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NARCONON EXPOSED: Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility is struggling, records show

NNArrowheadThe Underground Bunker has obtained internal financial records from Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility in Oklahoma — known as Narconon Arrowhead — which show the toll that recent deaths, multiple lawsuits, and a drumbeat of bad press has taken on the treatment center.

At its website, Scientology says that the Narconon network has 155 centers and groups in 46 countries, but it calls Narconon Arrowhead its “premier” facility, with a 230-patient capacity. In the late 1980s, Scientology chose Oklahoma as the place where it wanted to set up its largest drug rehab center as a model for the rest of the world. Located originally on an Indian reservation in Chilocco, the center took over a former conference center on Eufaula Lake in Southeastern Oklahoma in 2001 and was renamed Narconon Arrowhead.

The drug rehab program uses a combination of lengthy sauna treatments and low-level Scientology training and claims success rates of 70 to 90 percent (which even its own legal affairs officer admitted in an e-mail were based on no scientific evidence). John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Kirstie Alley have all praised Narconon publicly, and Cruise visited the Narconon Arrowhead facility with Katie Holmes in 2005.

But in recent years, as Scientology itself has experienced numerous crises, Narconon finds itself increasingly under attack. Three patients died at the Arrowhead center in a nine-month period in 2011 and 2012, and the families of Gabriel Graves, Hilary Holten, and Stacy Dawn Murphy have filed wrongful death lawsuits as they await the findings of multiple county and state investigations. Local media has covered those lawsuits closely, and Narconon Arrowhead was also the subject of a harsh NBC Rock Center segment last summer.

The result: Narconon Arrowhead is struggling to fill beds, and is operating at a severe loss.

That’s the conclusion we came to after obtaining Arrowhead’s very recent internal operating and financial records and discussing them with former executives who worked at the facility.

Eric Tenorio, who worked at Narconon in Oklahoma from 1997 to 2004, tells us he hasn’t seen patient numbers so low since the 1990s.

The records we obtained are weekly statistics that cover Narconon Arrowhead’s patients, staff, and gross income for the 14-week period of January 2 to April 3, with each week beginning and ending on Thursdays, in the Scientology tradition.

For each week, we have totals for the number of patients on hand, admin and technical staff, gross income received, overhead costs, money sent to the umbrella group Narconon International, and even the amount of money owed to vendors. As a Scientology entity, Narconon also tracks numerous quirky statistics, such as the number of “letters” sent and received each week (an average of 1,148 and 979, respectively), the amount of ‘bulk mail’ put out — which includes Internet promotional mailers (an average of 172,271 pieces weekly), the number of ‘success stories’ written by patients (184, on average), and total student ‘points’ (a whopping weekly average of 395,290).

“That’s a lot of words cleared,” joked a former Arrowhead employee, who explained that ‘student points’ was the kind of puffed-up statistic that Scientology relies on to make it sound like a lot of progress is being made. “That’s reading lots of pages worth 10 points each, with six words on a page,” the employee said with a laugh.

But Narconon Arrowhead’s situation is no joke. If the facility has a capacity for 230 patients, during the first 14 weeks of this year it averaged only 42 “bodies in the shop” — Scientology vernacular for customers — with a low of 39 and high of 45. That small number of patients produced a gross weekly income of only $59,724 with a weekly high of $100,394 on March 13 and a low of $22,226 on January 9.

“That’s worse than bad. Those are terrible numbers,” Tenorio says. “We had more people at Chilocco in 1996. They can’t operate like that much longer. It just doesn’t work.”

Tenorio points out that for each week, the overhead costs are the same: $133,000. But the gross income isn’t coming near covering that amount, with a deficit averaging $73,276. As a result, Narconon Arrowhead’s weekly cash on hand averaged only $40,970 while its ‘bills owed’ averaged $666,069.

The records also track the oldest bills that haven’t been paid, and at the end of the 14-week period, that oldest bill had reached an age of 425 days.

“Yeah, they’re more than a year behind on the bills they can’t catch up to,” an employee pointed out.

A key number is the amount that Narconon Arrowhead can afford to send ‘uplines,’ to its umbrella group, Narconon International. (NN International in turn is part of the Association for Better Living and Education — ABLE — which is staffed only with Scientology “Sea Org” members.) In the early 2000s, when the facility was operating closer to capacity, former employees say $20,000 to $25,000 would be sent weekly to NN International.

During the 14-week period we have records for, payments to Narconon International averaged only $994.

We’ve put into table form the information for all 14 weeks. Many of our readers had experience running Scientology divisions, and we’d like to hear their thoughts on these numbers. With only about 42 patients, Narconon Arrowhead is not the income-generating powerhouse it was supposed to be.

 

Statistic Jan 2 Jan 9 Jan 16 Jan 23 Jan 30 Feb 6 Feb 13
Bodies in Shop 39 39 42 44 45 40 40
Admin personnel 48 48 47 47 46 48 48
Tech personnel 26 26 25 25 25 25.5 27
Gross Income 43,540 22,226 87,749 88,228 45,426 88,621 61,488
Weekly Operating Cost 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000
Cash in House 38,123 35,483 39,602 39,886 46,892 54,819 43,749
Bills Owed 671,971 693,796 682,662 653,799 655,298 673,972 645,447
Payments to NNI 1,614 1,374 632 1,066 717 1,035 1,238
Credit Collected 38,821 13,381 16,954 64,060 3,954 37,396 6,603
Bills Paid 70,730 59,269 65,819 76,162 50,251 48,229 79,846
Days from Oldest Bill 335 342 349 356 370 386 393
Paid in Refunds 0 0 12,500 0 0 0 13,165
ORG Reserves 2,544 2,545 2,545 2,545 2,545 2,546 2,545
Building Fund 2,660 2,661 2,661 2,661 2,661 2,662 2,662
Gen’l Liabilities Fund 16,936 16,941 16,941 16,941 6,691 6,694 6,694

 

Statistic Feb 20 Feb 27 Mar 6 Mar 13 Mar 20 Mar 27 Apr 3
Bodies in Shop 40 40 41 45 44 45 43
Admin personnel 48 48.5 49.5 49.5 49.5 47.5 46.5
Tech personnel 27 27 27 27.5 28.5 27.5 27.5
Gross Income 61,488 53,248 28,835 100,394 40,801 89,849 24,328
Weekly Operating Cost 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000 133,000
Cash in House 43,749 42,599 48,005 44,783 32,017 35,895 27,976
Bills Owed 645,447 642,537 628,709 716,513 680,173 673,704 660,941
Payments to NNI 1,238 1,162 526 0 1,283 1,084 951
Credit Collected 6,603 21,228 963 5,938 1,749 13,399 8,341
Bills Paid 79,846 64,000 55,171 42,447 48,917 61,933 70,718
Days from Oldest Bill 386 393 397 404 411 418 425
Paid in Refunds 13,165 10,000 0 0 0 0 0
ORG Reserves 2,545 2,546 2,546 2,546 2,546 2,546 2,546
Building Fund 2,662 2,662 2,662 2,662 2,662 2,662 2,662
Gen’l Liabilities Fund 6,694 6,694 6,694 6,695 6,696 6,696 6,696

 
See more of our reporting on Narconon…

March 7, 2013: Narconon CEO Gary Smith loses counselor certification
March 11, 2013: Scripts spell out how Scientology directs the unsuspecting to its rehab network
April 26, 2013: RAID ON SCIENTOLOGY’S DRUG REHAB CENTER IN ATLANTA
May 9, 2013: Search Warrant Affidavit: Scientology’s Atlanta Drug Rehab Billed $3 Million in Insurance Fraud
June 4, 2013: CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT ALLEGING FRAUD FILED AGAINST SCIENTOLOGY AND NARCONON
July 19, 2013: STACY DAWN MURPHY: One Year After Her Death, Still No Answers
July 21, 2013: DEATH AT SCIENTOLOGY MICHIGAN DRUG REHAB SPARKS WIDESPREAD INVESTIGATION
September 25, 2013: Scientology Drug Rehab Shut Down in Georgia
February 21, 2014: Federal judge dismisses Georgia class-action lawsuit against Scientology and rehab network

 
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Celebrity Report

We continue not to care about whether that actor guy is maybe dating that television gal, rumors of which the television gal now denies. So now we can go on not caring about that thing we didn’t care about.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 23, 2014 at 07:45

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer

 

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