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As Stacy Murphy lawsuit heads to crucial hearing, two Scientology entities settle

Stacey_Murphy

 
Thanks to one of our researchers, we noticed something odd about the docket in the wrongful death lawsuit that Stacy Murphy’s family is pursuing against Scientology’s drug rehab center in Oklahoma, Narconon Arrowhead. And when we looked into it, we learned something pretty surprising.

Four years ago this month, Stacy, 20, was found dead in the withdrawal unit at Arrowhead, the victim of an overdose in a drug rehab facility that had no medical personnel on hand. The eastern Oklahoma rehab center was supposed to be the flagship of Scientology’s Narconon network, but Stacy’s was the third patient death there in nine months, which led to national media and local official investigations. The lawsuits over the previous deaths, of Gabriel Graves and Hillary Holten, have been settled. But we reported last month that the defendants in the lawsuit filed by Stacy’s parents had filed a motion for summary judgment, hoping to get the lawsuit kicked out of court.

One of our crack researchers noticed that there were two dates for a hearing on the motion, set for both August 3 and August 17. That didn’t seem possible, so we called up Gary Richardson, the former federal prosecutor who is representing Stacy’s parents — Robert Murphy and Tonya White — in the lawsuit.

He told us that it was probably a mistake, and that the second date, August 17, was the correct one. But he then told us something that stunned us.

“Narconon International and ABLE have settled,” he told us. “And we’re very happy with the settlement,” he added, which is lawyer-speak for ka-CHING.

We know that nothing will bring back Stacy Murphy, but we hope that getting some compensation from Scientology’s two top Narconon umbrella groups, Narconon International and ABLE (the Association for Better Living & Education) will come as some relief to her parents.

Narconon of Oklahoma, the corporate entity of Narconon Arrowhead itself, is still a defendant, and will present its argument for the motion for summary judgment on August 17, but Richardson didn’t sound very worried about it.

We sure wish we could be in the courtroom to hear Narconon Arrowhead’s attorneys argue their motion now that the facility’s two boss organizations have bailed. Have we got any Bunker readers in Oklahoma who might be able to attend?

Meanwhile, one of our good sources of Narconon Arrowhead information, who has been right in the past about the place, tells us that the dwindling facility is now down to only 10 staff and only three patients. While that’s pretty shocking for a major Scientology project that was built to house more than 200 patients, it’s consistent with the declining revenues of the place, which have plummeted from $11 million in 2007 to less than $1.5 million in 2014, according to tax returns.

Scientology leader David Miscavige is apparently letting Narconon Arrowhead die on the vine as he puts a new emphasis on smaller, less regulated and upscale facilities in Ojai, California and elsewhere. We have to wonder if Narconon Arrowhead will have anything left to give Stacy Murphy’s parents after Gary Richardson is done with the place.

 
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Chris Shelton looks at an academic apologist

Chris tells us about his new series: “I started reviewing the book Scientology by cult apologist James R. Lewis for research on my new book and found myself outraged at the inaccuracies and distortions about Scientology which he and others were claiming were facts. Since this is an academic work meant to be taken seriously and is also positioned as an objective analysis of Scientology, I figured it was wide open to some constructive criticism and I’ve started a new video series to do just that.”

 

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

“Am I OT 8 yet?”

Freewinds6

 
Tampa org, actual caption: “Carol is one of Tampa’s long-term public and one of our Survival Rundown Students. Last night she enrolled for her full route to Clear AND Solo 1! Well done Carol!!”

 
SciTampa13

 
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The verdict on the Hungarian shit-throwing incident

We just heard from Peter Bonyai, our correspondent in Budapest, who has finished with his investigation of the story published by the scandal sheet “RiPost” about David Miscavige being targeted by a protester with a bucket of shit after the Ideal Org opening there this weekend.

Peter talked to eyewitnesses and came to a couple of conclusions.

First, as to the scene with the Roma family in a restaurant after the ceremony: This incident did take place generally as described, Peter says, but Miscavige was not present. The Roma family did encounter several Scientology officials in a drunken scene, and the officials were put off by the attention.

Second, as for the shit-throwing scene, here’s what he found out:

A block away from the new building, someone threw four small barrels of liquid pig excrement from a white minivan onto the sidewalk when Miscavige and his entourage were approaching. It happened a block away from the new building. One of the private security guards was fully covered with shit, a few others got smaller doses, but Miscavige himself was not hit.

So we were right to caution that “RiPost” was a sketchy source, but we can say that Miscavige actually was targeted with buckets of shit, and narrowly escaped with his coif intact.

Thank you for clearing that up, Peter!

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 28, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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