In fact, however, there is much more to the Narconon program, and the steps are important; for it is here, with tools drawn from the greater body of LRH works, the addict is provided with the means to make his way in life—to succeed where he had failed, as it were. Case in point, correlations between illiteracy and dependency tell us a lot about the pattern of substance abuse: scholastic failure, followed by alienation, hopelessness and animosity. (Which is why the “Just Say No” campaigns have been generally regarded as so ludicrous. For why say no when all you can say yes to is a minimum wage and a funny-hat-behind-a-fast-food-counter?) But in either case, Ron tells us, the addict cannot learn, and so the Narconon student is provided with key LRH educational tools. Likewise, the Narconon student is provided with LRH tools for the attainment of constructive goals, an appreciation of integrity and personal values, and a means for the unburdening of guilt (a far more active factor in the equation of addiction than one might realize). Also unique to the LRH program are tools to resist those who might encourage reversion. That is—and herein lies the failing of many a rehabilitation program—addiction is invariably linked to the addict’s association with criminal/antisocial elements, and upon leaving the Narconon center the graduate must be proofed against those who would lead back to usage.
The final step of the Narconon program, and a particularly powerful one, is based upon L. Ron Hubbard’s nonreligious moral code, The Way to Happiness. The most broadly influential work of its kind, The Way to Happiness appears in twenty-three languages for distribution in some fifty nations. More than fifty million have received it, and the effect has been considerable. To take but one pertinent example, Colombian military personnel swear by the booklet and claim it has done much to quell drug-related violence on both sides of the narco-political line. While for those who imagine a common sense appeal for honesty and temperance, the fulfilling of obligations and abiding by laws might not take to the nineties addict—it just so happens that for all the dark ethos of modern usage, including romantic oblivion and wasted-as-chic, the twenty-one precepts of The Way to Happiness continually prove compelling.
In full, results are routinely exceptional, frequently astounding. To state it bluntly, Dr. Tennant adds, “Narconon takes those people whom no one else will take,” i.e., the traditionally incorrigible hard-core addict. He is correct, but the point bears further explanation. Whereas the typical private rehabilitation clinic tends to receive the still functioning addict/alcoholic (if only for the fact that they are still capable of holding a job and thus provide the financial wherewithal for extended hospitalization and drug therapy) Narconon provides the net for those in free fall. They are regularly unemployed, habitually in trouble with the law, and so utterly negligent they will frequently forget where they live or left their children.