Gabriel Graves… Another Narconon Victim, and a Mother’s Loving Memory

Rest In Peace
Gabriel “Gabe” Graves
November 4, 1978 – October 26, 2011

Gabriel Graves was a victim of Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, Oklahoma. Not the first and, unfortunately, not the last.

On October 25, 2011, he complained of a terrible headache, a worsening continuation of one that he’d had the day before. It started after he began the sauna part of the Narconon drug program, where he’d gone to get help with his addiction. He had been sweating for hours after taking increasing amounts of vitamins each day — vitamins which, according to Narconon’s teachings, were necessary to remove drugs and toxins from his body. He complained about his headaches, and asked for pain relief, but was denied each time. Instead, he was told to get back into the sauna.

The following morning, Gabriel was found dead in his bed. We do not know the cause of death. Gabriel Graves was 32 years old.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Has Been Filed – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

We have the initial complaint from the lawsuit that his mother, Shirley Gilliam has filed, which is in progress: Gilliam v. Narconon of Oklahoma, et al.

With many of the Narconon victims, we know very little about their deaths, and even less about their lives. However, in Gabe’s case, we do know his mother, Shirley, so we asked her to tell us something about his life. She shared this story and said it was “Soooooo Gabe….”

A few days after Gabriel passed away I received a phone call from a broken hearted young man that was at Narconon during Gabe’s time there. Through his tears he told me a story that is the very essence of who my son was (is). We will call him Joe to protect his identity.

It was Tuesday morning, October 25th, 2011 and Joe’s birthday. Gabriel asked Joe what he wanted for a birthday present (Joe tells me he was very sad and Gabe was trying to cheer him up). Joe replies “I want a birthday party with a real birthday cake…I’ve never had one”.

Joe goes about his day and when evening comes, Gabe comes to his room to get him and brings him to a room full of people with a birthday cake and they celebrated Joe’s birthday. He told me he had no idea where Gabe got the cake. (Gabe always found a way to make others happy). Joe shared with me that no one really hung around with him and Gabe reached out to him and others soon followed….he told me he would never forget the kindness Gabe showed him. My son was found unresponsive the next day at 10:15.

I also received a letter from the mother of one of the other kids that met Gabe only once while visiting her son at Narconon. She also said she would never forget his beautiful blue eyes and his energetic, kind nature. He made an impact on everyone that crossed his path.

My son was 6’3″ and wore a 37″ sleeve length….every time we went to a store and some small person was reaching to a top shelf to get something, he would always get it for them and flash his beautiful smile.

I miss him….his birthday is November 4th. Celebrate the day he was born and wish him happy birthday.

Gabe was (is) a son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend, artist, musician, poet, and comedian. Gabe was (is) the FATHER of two beautiful daughters……

Gabe: son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend, artist, musician, poet, and comedian.  And the FATHER of two beautiful daughters

Gabriel Graves: son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend, artist, musician, poet, and comedian. And the FATHER of two beautiful daughters

Rest in Peace, Gabe, and know that your death, and your life, were not in vain.

Shirley, our thoughts and prayers are with you today, and every day, as you stand with super-human strength against the organization responsible for taking your son from you. The end of Narconon cannot come soon enough.

Related link:
Narconon of Oklahoma is a Deadly Place

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  1. From the Desk of...
    Colin Henderson

    I can’t believe it’s been 4 years. RIP Gabe

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