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Apparent suicide of witness to a mysterious Scientology drug rehab death


This is a strange one, folks.

For a couple of years, we’ve been telling you that Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon, has been in real trouble, particularly after the deaths of three patients at its flagship facility in Oklahoma over a nine-month period. Gabriel Graves, Hillary Holten, and Stacy Dawn Murphy each died at Narconon Arrowhead between October 2011 and July 2012, and those deaths sparked multiple government investigations as well as numerous civil lawsuits. Of those three, the death of Graves was the most mysterious — to this day, there has been no cause of death assigned by the medical examiner.

How and why did Gabriel Graves, a 32-year-old father of two, die while a patient at Narconon in October 2011? The person who found Gabriel’s lifeless body was his roommate at Arrowhead, a fellow patient named Beau Griffis (pictured).

Griffis, like so many other Narconon “students,” went on to become an employee of the system after he “graduated.” He then promoted Narconon and got involved in Scientology, but he was also a key witness in the death of Graves.


About a year ago, Griffis was deposed in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Gabriel’s family. We’re told that Narconon’s attorneys were unhappy that Griffis turned out to be such a friendly witness for the plaintiffs. In May 2013, Griffis announced at his Facebook page that he was through with Scientology. And by January of this year, he began writing about his experiences, and posted some initial material online.

But those who knew him well tell us that Griffis was never entirely comfortable in either role — as either Scientology’s promoter, or as a whistleblower against Narconon.

Yesterday, Griffis fell seven stories to his death from a balcony on a building in State College, Pennsylvania in what appears to be a suicide.

People who knew him are stunned and mystified, and apparently that’s what Griffis intended.

Colin Henderson, a former Narconon patient who has become a dedicated watchdog of the facility, got to know Griffis well. He says Griffis was talking about divulging more information about Scientology and Narconon, and he was also exploring the possibility of litigation against the church. But others tell us Griffis told different stories to different people, and it was hard to predict what his next step was going to be.

Then, Henderson tells us, just three days ago, on Wednesday, Griffis told him something cryptic.

“He said, ‘Wait till you see the curve I’m about to throw.’ And he sure did throw a curve,” Colin tells us.

We’re hearing conflicting things about the credibility of Griffis as a witness, and we’re also hearing that he had longstanding issues that led to strange behavior — several of the people we’ve talked to say they weren’t really surprised to hear that Griffis had taken his life.

But it’s still early, and we’d like to know more about the man. Henderson tells us Griffis was known for being a troll over at WWP, the forum for Project Chanology. But Colin also believes that more recently, Griffis had been serious about telling what he knew about Scientology and Narconon.

Henderson was clearly shaken by his friend’s death when we spoke to him last night.

We’ve put out a message to a family member to let them know we’d like to hear from them. We’ll let you know if we learn more.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 31, 2014 at 07:00

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