The Narconon Story
may have noticed that society is rapidly going downhill... And the most serious
part of this is that drugs, both medical and street drugs, have disabled a majority
of those who could have handled it, including the political leaders, and have
even paralyzed the coming generations." L. Ron Hubbard
The Narconon network consists of over 100 rehabilitation and drug prevention centers around the world. Our rehabilitation centers produce graduates, the majority of whom have demonstrated they can live stable, ethical, productive, drug-free lives. The Narconon drug prevention centers educate hundreds of thousands of people each year with live presentations and bring the truth to many more through video presentations and written materials.
The Narconon drug rehabilitation program is an entirely drug-free social education program. The key to the success of the Narconon program is the Drug Rehabilitation Technology developed by author and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard. This methodology has been used successfully by hundreds of thousands of people around the world to rid themselves of the need for drugs and to regain control of their lives.
The Narconon drug prevention and education program takes a comprehsive approach to preventing drug use through effective educational programs with school children, parents and educators, training for peer leaders and professionals, and broad information campaigns.
Narconon International, the administrative and promotional international coordinating office in Hollywood, California, was formed up actually long after the network of individual Narconon centers had existed. With dozens of staff speaking many languages, Narconon International licenses new centers worldwide. Beyond providing managerial expertise to the network, its senior function is to monitor and support the highest level of technical and administrative excellence throughout the network. The International office has also spearheaded drug education delivery and other drug prevention events to hundreds of thousands of students and others in southern California. Supporting the office is Friends of Narconon International, whose staff have produced and distributed drug education videos and curriculum including The Truth About Drugs: What is it? and Marijuana: The Myth. The Narconon International Science Advisory Board has also sponsored research, outcome studies, and international peer-review conferences on L. Ron Hubbard's sauna detoxification protocol, including conferences in Los Angeles in 1995, Stockholm in 1997, and Oklahoma in 2001.
Benitez persisted and finally assured officials the program was needed and would
not pose a threat to the safe and orderly operation of the prison. After being
allowed to start the program on a trial basis, he founded the NARCONON program
(NARCOtics-NONe) on February 19, 1966.
Today, the Narconon program has spread from that one program in Arizona State Prison to include community programs in many states and countries such as Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Colombia, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Africa, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Argentina and Brazil.
Until he died from a sudden illness in 1999, Mr. Benitez was a Hearing Officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections, the same system which once kept him under lock and key. Below, he tells his own story:
I started smoking pot in 1947, when I was thirteen. Then I went on to injecting opium and other drugs when I was about fifteen. I started to get into trouble and was arrested for various crimes, so I decided to join the Marines to see if I could get away from drugs. Instead, I ended up getting arrested on drug charges during the Korean conflict, received a military court martial and was discharged as undesirable.
In the following years, I kept trying to stay away from drugs. Sometimes I could stay clean for a short while, then I would go right back on the needle again. I carried the monkey for about eighteen years, and it cost me thirteen calendar years of being locked up. In addition to doing time in the Marines, I did a Federal prison term and also was convicted three times in Arizona state courts.
On my last trip to prison, I pled guilty on December 22, 1964 to possession of narcotics. Because I was being sentenced as a habitual offender, the sentence called for a mandatory fifteen years, and up to life. I remember speaking to one court official and telling him how I was still going to leave drugs alone and maybe even start a drug program. I remember his words so well: The best thing to do with guys like you, after the first time, is take you behind a building and do you and everyone else a favor and put you out of your misery.
My attorney arranged for me to go before the judge just before Christmas, feeling that the spirit of the holiday might be in my favor. It may have worked. I made my plea to the judge telling him of all the attempts I had made over the years to stop using drugs, such as joining the Marines, committing myself to hospitals for psychiatric care and therapy on several occasions, isolating myself in mining towns in a personal attempt to kick the habit, and even how two marriages had not helped me straighten up. I told him that in spite of all those failures, I was still going to make it and was going to find a solution to my problem, that I had not yet quit. He must have believed there was still a spark of hope for me. He sentenced me to the mandatory fifteen years, but instead of running it to life, he made the term fifteen to sixteen years.
After arriving at prison, a friend of mine gave me some reading material to keep me occupied while I was in the Orientation Cellblock pending transfer to general population. Among the material was an old, tattered book, Fundamentals of Thought, by L. Ron Hubbard. I had heard of his writings when I previously served a ten-year sentence at Arizona State Prison, but had never read them. I had always been an avid reader of books dealing with human behavior. Yet, this small book impressed me more than anything else I had ever read before. I read it over and over and then purchased additional books by Mr. Hubbard and studied them very carefully during the following year, even into the late hours of the night in my cell.
The material identified human abilities and their development. I was amazed I had never run across such workability within a multitude of other works I had studied over the years. Im not a gullible person when it comes to accepting new or different approaches or ideas. If they work, fine. Otherwise, throw them out the window. They either work or they dont. I was tired of experimenting with so many ideas and philosophies, many having credence only because some authority had written them.
What impressed me the most about [Hubbards] materials was that they concentrated not only on identifying abilities, but also on methods (practical exercises) by which to develop them. I realized that drug addiction was nothing more than a disability, resulting when a person ceases to use abilities essential to constructive survival.
I found that if a person rehabilitated and applied certain abilities, that person could persevere toward goals set, confront life, isolate problems and resolve them, communicate with life, be responsible and set ethical standards, and function within the band of certainty.
finally realized I had developed the essential abilities needed to overcome my
drug problem. Feeling myself on safe ground, I knew I had to make this technology
available to other addicts in the prison. I thought back over the years of all
the junkies I had shot up with, and remembered their most treasured conversation,
One of these days Im going to quit. I had found the means and
was going to share it with them. Thats when I made the decision real by
writing it down on my calendar page in my cell.
The program was sanctioned by the warden, and it soon began to expand from its original twenty members. I then started to get requests from non-addict inmates who wanted to get into Narconon. They told me they were impressed with what Narconon students had told them about the program and what the technology taught. I approached the Administration for permission to include non-addicts. At first it resisted, saying that non-addict members didnt need the services of Narconon, and that they might disrupt the program.
demonstrated to officials that any person, inmate or otherwise, could benefit
from Narconon because its attention was on increasing abilities, that we had an
ethics mechanism built into the program, and that the responsibility and involvement
required of a member would soon dissuade anyone not serious about improvement.
I convinced the prison officials. The program met its expectations so well that
seven months after the beginning of Narconon, I was asked to start another program
for young offenders housed in the annex outside the prison walls.
Shortly after founding the Narconon program, William Benitez researched his court conviction and discovered he had been tried under the wrong statute and was sentenced in excess of that prescribed by law. Upon return to court, Mr. Benitez was advised that he could conceivably be re-sentenced to time served and be released based on his eighteen months already served because of the miscarriage of justice.
The Narconon program was only a few months old at that time and Mr. Benitez believed the program would collapse if he didnt return to complete it. Rather than petitioning for his immediate release, he requested a smaller sentence which would allow him to fully implement Narconon program development. The Court re-sentenced him to four to six years, leaving him sixteen months to serve. Mr. Benitez returned to prison and developed the program to its full capacity. As he states, It was the best, but toughest decision I ever made in my life. I would have loved to walk away from that court a free man.
The Narconon program subsequently came to the attention of the public when reporters from the Arizona Daily Star secured permission from the warden to interview the inmate who requested to be returned to the walls. The Star printed a two-part series on the Narconon program in August 1966. TV Channel 10 News from Phoenix also took its cameras to the prison to interview Mr. Benitez and members of the Narconon program and to observe its functions.
Mr. Benitez completed his prison term and was released in October 1967. He moved to California to expand the Narconon organization and to make it available to persons in need. Mr. Hubbard and his organizations supported the effort, resulting in worldwide expansion.
Years later, Mr. Benitez returned to Arizona and was hired as Inmate Liaison by former Arizona Department of Corrections Director, Ellis McDougall, in 1981. Until his death in 1999, he served as a Hearing Officer on inmate complaints for the Corrections Director at Central Headquarters.Message From the President
If the results presented here are of interest to you, allow me personally to invite you to visit a Narconon center. Come and talk to our students. Talk to their parents and families. Talk to probation officers and judges who have referred offenders to the Narconon program. You may have questions. If so, I would be glad to answer any inquiries directed to Narconon International via phone, fax, e-mail, or mail. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that we can share our work, combine our resources, and duplicate our results with you and your colleagues. What we have learned is available for your use. We hope you will seriously consider what it can do for people in need in your town, city, or country.
R. N. Carr
The Narconon program has from the beginning been founded on key principles developed by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The keynote is that an individual is responsible for his own condition and that anyone can improve his condition if he is given a workable way to do so. It is based on improved understanding of his fundamental nature: that man is basically good and it is pain, suffering, and loss that lead him astray.
In the early '60s, Mr. Hubbard was one of the first to see the long-term consequences of the accelerating drug culture. He responded warmly to William Benitez's request for help with his fledgling Narconon program in Arizona State Prison and continued to write up his observations on the effects of drugs on the individual person, his body, and the society as a whole.
The Narconon program from its inception promoted an approach to rehabilitation without recourse to alternative drugs. This early program did not, however, deal directly with withdrawal symptoms and difficulties. In 1973, after Mr. Hubbard had conducted further research to aid Narconon staff to help others through the difficulties of withdrawal discomfort safely and with minimal discomfort, the Narconon program adopted these procedures to include drug-free withdrawal, using vitamins and mineral supplements along with special techniques to ease the mental and physical symptoms.
Another truly pioneering innovation researched by Mr. Hubbard was adopted in 1978 known as the Narconon® New Life Detoxification Program. This tissue-cleansing regimen of specific vitamin/mineral therapy with cardiovascular exercise, intensive sweating in low heat saunas, adequate replacement of fluids and oils, has become immensely valuable for reducing the long-term physical and mental effects of drug residuals on people who have taken drugs. Mr. Hubbard noted the scientific evidence behind the accumulation of drug and other toxic residuals in the human body. He postulated the influence that these psychoactive toxins might have subliminally and overtly on the mind and person and developed a safe, healthy, and thorough method of cleansing the human body of the actual drug residuals.