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Friday, 24 August 2012

Parents sue over woman's death at Scientology Narconon facility - FIDDAMAN backers Kill

McALESTER - The parents of a 21-year-old Texas woman who died this spring after spending two days at an Oklahoma rehab facility rooted in Scientology filed a lawsuit against the organization Thursday, court records show.

Hillary Holten of Carrolton, Texas, died April 11 after entering Narconon Arrowhead, a nonmedical drug-detoxification facility on Lake Eufaula near McAlester.

Holten is one of three Narconon Arrowhead patrons to die since October. As a result of those deaths, the facility is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Other recent deaths at the facility include those of Stacy Murphy, 20, of Owasso on July 19 and of Gabriel Graves, 32, of Claremore on Oct. 26.

The lawsuit involving Holten is the first and only lawsuit filed since the investigation began, records show.

The suit, which lists Holten's parents, Matthew and Suzan Holten, as plaintiffs, alleges negligence by the organization for accepting Holten into their program given Holten's medical condition.

Holten's autopsy report has not yet been released by the state Medical Examiner's Office, the Holtens' attorney, Michael Atkinson, said.

"Plaintiffs contend that the agents, servants and employees of Narconon Arrowhead lacked sufficient training to properly evaluate and understand the serious nature of Hillary's condition," the lawsuit alleges.

Listed as defendants are Narconon of Oklahoma, Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education International.

According to the lawsuit, Holten had congenital adrenal hyperplasia and required daily medication.

Also, Holten tested positive for drugs while she was a patient in a Texas hospital about nine days before going to Narconon, the lawsuit says.

While at the hospital, she was in intensive care and on a ventilator, the lawsuit says.

Personnel at Narconon assured Holten's parents that the facility had adequate staff, including registered nurses and a medical director, to manage the condition, the lawsuit alleges.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, an adrenal gland disorder, "usually have good health" when treated.

Original Print Headline: Parents sue over woman's death at Narconon facility

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

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