The fact that a patient is likely to relapse soon after completing the Scientology rehab program called Narconon can perhaps best be described as a “predetermined failure”. Contrary to what Narconon claims, Narconon’s actual success rate is not 70%, an imaginary number that is closer to the relapse rate. Narconon executives and other Scientology staff members know well that most patients will relapse, with many returning several times for a so-called repair and forking out thousands of dollars each time.
Narconon websites and brochures profess that Narconon has qualified professional counselors who tend to the individual needs of each patient, when, in fact, many of these Narconon “counselors” have no training whatsoever, except for the Scientology courses taken at each Narconon and a certificate printed in fancy colors. This alone is what Narconon means by “certified counselor”.
As a Narconon Trois-Rivières patient and staff member, I experienced my private life being stripped away and my dignity reduced to a state of obedience under the control of Scientology gradient indoctrinations. As a staff member, I enrolled in the Scientology-Narconon courses to help suffering patients lead a drug free life — I cared with my entire being.
To become a course room supervisor was an easy task, although extremely boring, and most of the training material made absolutely no sense as far as drug treatment and rehab therapies are concerned. Listening to 12 hours of tape recordings by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a prescription equivalent to a handful of Valium or bottle of barbiturates; my efforts to avoid falling asleep failed me on several occasions.
As a former owner/operator of a rehab facility back in the early 1990’s, I wondered what the hell this absurd course had to do with treating addicts. For twelve days, I listened to Hubbard ramble on about his photography experiences and I had to “word-clear”ridiculous words such as “nomenclature”, “it”, “the”, etc. — having to define with dictionary-like perfection what these words mean. “Oh, this should really help a distraught, suffering addict,” I mused.
I later learned that it was all about being able to control others, as well as obeying the control commands of superiors. A gradient of brainwashing may well be the best way to describe this process.
When patients complete the Narconon program, which consists of studying eight Scientology books with Narconon stamped on them and completing the toxic sauna Purification Rundown, many are more confused and unable to cope than when they first arrived. In this vulnerable state, being recruited onto staff by a keen Scientology staff member is no big chore. “Saving lives” is the motto each morning at the military-style roll-call. Playing God in a science-fiction adventure of deception and abuse may be a fitting way to describe the plot of the Narconon story.
Patients are paired as “twins” to perform all the Scientology training routines and auditing sessions. Patients are yelling at ashtrays: “Ashtray, stand up!” “Sit back down on that chair!” Other patients are commanded: “You, look at that wall.” “You, touch that wall.”
Some patients can be seen walking back and forth between a table on which lies a book and a windowsill on which stands a green wine bottle. One of the patients commands the other: “You, look at that bottle.” “You, walk over to that bottle.” “What color is the bottle?” “What is the temperature?” “What does it weigh?” The patient who receives the commands then turns around, obeying the same commands for the book on the table. This routine can go on for days at a time.
Some patients go into hypnotic-type trances while others have near-psychotic breaks and end up in the Ethics Office for misbehaving. Here they are interrogated and screened for possible connections to a “Suppressive Person” outside Narconon. If the Ethics Officer decides you are connected to a Suppressive Person, you may be advised to disconnect from family and loved ones.
When I moved up the ladder and became the Graduate Officer, the things I saw and read were even more absurd. I took a “Product Clearing Course” and training on the Valuable Final Product (VFP) took a day or so. Thus did I become a Certified Counselor in aftercare and relapse prevention. And, of course, calculating the Narconon success rate was an eye-opener!
Basically, my job consisted of preparing statistics about the patients or “Products” and having the data ready to send up-lines to Scientology every Thursday by 2:00 P.M. sharp. Nothing else seemed to matter except these stats.
If patients I contacted had relapsed, they were not counted as VFP’s; they could not be expected to perform what we needed. I also had to convince the patients who were doing well (VFP’s) to send a new intake patient to Narconon Trois-Rivières. We were to suggest that the successful patient’s life was saved by Narconon and that now this same patient “owed” a debt to help Narconon.
I was instructed to spend less time on the suffering relapsed patients. No stats could be used for them and Narconon did not want too many to come back at one time, because it would not look good.
Discharging graduating patients was an easy task. It took only an hour or so to process them and send them back to the same environment they came from. I knew some that needed a half-way house or a similar step to ensure a safe environment, but my words fell on deaf ears and were met with outlandish comments from my superiors.
When a cry for help arrived in my email inbox, my instructions were to have the relapsed patient read the Narconon books and perhaps do a Scientology “condition formula”. I thought: “They were here for 4 months reading these crazy books and the books did nothing to prevent a relapse. What is a couple more days going to do when they are not even here?” I remember sitting at my office desk in tears, reading their tales of suffering and their cries for help — “Please David, help me.” Mistakenly, I did bring a couple back, and I do regret this.
Once the patient interviews are complete, a graduating patient is driven to the Montreal airport and dropped off to catch a flight. Unfortunately, there is often much time to visit one of the airport bars before the flight, and some lasted only minutes before relapsing!
The Narconon staff, who are also Scientologists, are well aware that the only way for a Narconon patient to remain clean and sober, according to L. Ron Hubbard, is to enroll in the “NED Drug Rundown” offered at the Church of Scientology.
Scientology’s own words about the “NED Drug Rundown” say: “On this rundown, the harmful effects of drugs are erased and a person is freed from the compulsion or need to take drugs. This service handles drugs and the real reason a person started taking them in the first place.”
“Addressing drugs with NED technology removes the barriers that prevent progress up THE BRIDGE levels. It is a vital step on your NED program.”
What these quotations imply is that the Narconon program does NOT erase the harmful effects of drugs, nor does it free a patient from the compulsion or need to take drugs!
As evidence documents prove, Narconon is nothing more than a recruitment center for the Church of Scientology, to expand its cult practices into the secular community using Scientology coercion and exploitation of vulnerable and very ill patients. Aftercare of patients is all but non-existent.
Patty (Pieniadz) Moher was Executive Director of a state Narconon program and also a Scientologist for 27 years. She says: “Narconon tries to pretend that it is not a Scientology front group, but the links have been exposed many times in the past. It is just another hoax that the cult uses to make money.”
Participation in an aftercare program often makes the difference between abstinence and relapse. Overcoming months or years of addiction isn’t easy for anyone, especially after Narconon. Going through treatment for an addiction is often a life-saving blessing, but it’s just the first step in an ongoing process toward recovery.
Addicts are never “cured” of their addiction. It is a disease like many others. Addicts learn to understand the basis for their addiction, to see the contributing factors, to cope with and manage cravings and temptations, and to develop more healthy behaviors that will sustain them on their path toward recovery.
A person sometimes just needs a friend or a loved one, someone who understands, and someone who has been through the same type of experience. Whether it’s today, next week or next year, something may happen that rocks the carefully established foundation of sobriety and the person in recovery needs help. Again, help and support —– or an understanding ear to listen — is always available in an appropriate 12-step group. Friends, sponsors and the people the recovering addict meets during these meetings may be the lifeline that keeps them firmly rooted in sobriety — or helps them out during periods of crisis.
David E Love
Narconon Trois-Rivieres: CBC TV – Expose:
Narconon Scientology Training Routines