What is the Narconon programme?
4. Life Improvement Courses

Last updated
12 December 2002
Contents > What is the Narconon programme? > 4. Life Improvement Courses


The last major element of the Narconon therapeutic programme is a series of six courses. Each of these very closely follows an original Scientology version, as an examination of each reveals; the similarities will be discussed in more detail in the "Narconon and Scientology" section.

Based on the "Study Technology" originally devised by L. Ron Hubbard to train Scientologists. The course chiefly involves learning "how to fully use a dictionary", reflecting Hubbard's belief that people feel "bent, dizzy, sort of dead" if they do not fully understand every possible meaning of a word. In practice, this can involve writing out definitions for every word in a sentence, including "and", "it", "the", and so on. The course also involves "demonstrating concepts" using clay models, a technique which Scientology refers to as a "clay demo".

Essentially a "retread" of the earlier Therapeutic TRs Course. The same training routines are performed again.

Another course taken directly from Scientology (it even has the same title). This is essentially an indoctrination course in Scientology's world view that people can be defined as "social" or "antisocial" personalities, the "antisocial" ones comprising about 20% of the population and being responsible for war, crime, income tax, psychiatry, etc.

Also taken directly from Scientology, with an unchanged title. Indoctrinates the recipient in "Scientology Ethics" (often referred to as just "Ethics"), the code of conduct to which Scientologists are expected to adhere.

Again taken directly from Scientology, albeit with a slightly different title (there, it is referred to as the "How to Improve Conditions in Life Course".

The Way to Happiness is a fairly short book written in 1981 by Hubbard to "revert [sic] the decline in basic moral values, social decay and further disintegration of integrity and human decency". (There is an official Way to Happiness website at http://www.twth.org and the booklet itself can be downloaded in Acrobat format at http://www.twth.org/TWTH-English.pdf - you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.)

It is a fairly harmless work, often anodyne to the point of being obvious: "The way to happiness does not include murdering your friends, your family, or yourself being murdered." Having said that, there are some oddities about some of Hubbard's precepts: he advises "Do not tell harmful lies" (so beneficial lies are acceptable?). The Church of Scientology has put a huge amount of effort into disseminating it - over 57 million copies are said to have been produced - but its reasons may not be entirely altruistic. Although The Way to Happiness is promoted as "a non-religious work", internal Scientology documents explicitly state that the book is "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history" and "the bridge between broad society and Scientology." ["Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science", Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, 27 June 1990] The body distributing the booklet, The Way To Happiness Foundation, is a sister organisation of Narconon - it is one of the four "social reform" groups (Narconon being another) that come under the supervision of the Association for Better Living and Education and ultimately the Church of Scientology, although it is separately incorporated. (See "Narconon and the Scientology Management Structure" for more details of this relationship.)


Back to top