Source documents
Narconon & Scientology

Last updated
1 January 2003
Contents > Source Documents > Narconon & Scientology


This internal Narconon document provides a flowchart of the progression of an individual through the programme, circa 1984. (Click here for an image of the original document, which unfortunately is not of very high quality.) The Narconon/Scientology detoxification programmes underwent significant changes at the end of the 1980s, so it probably does not fully represent today's Narconon programme, although much of it is still very similar to the present setup. It provides a clear illustration of the interlinked nature of Narconon and Scientology, although it is unlikely that Narconon clients or sponsors would have seen it. To see commentary on the different areas of the flowchart, click in the individual boxes above. The flowchart should be read from bottom to top, where the bottom represents the routes into Narconon and the top the route out.


Describes the ways that people get into Narconon or can be brought into it. The organisation is very active in giving lectures, particularly to schools. A number of Church of Scientology books, such as Ron the Humanitarian and What is Scientology? include promotional material on Narconon. Perhaps the most significant route, however, is that given in the fourth box: "FSMs" are Scientology Field Staff Members, Scientologists who are given a 15% commission for recruiting people into Scientology and selling them books and courses. Their inclusion here suggests that they perform a similar function for Narconon (but do they earn commissions there as well?).


This is the first stage of the Narconon programme for those physically addicted to drugs, amounting to a "cold turkey" cessation of drug use with Scientology "touch assists" - a form of faith healing - with dubious effectiveness. See "Drug-Free Withdrawal" for more on this topic.

Drug Education/Orientation Lecture

Introduces the theories of L. Ron Hubbard on the nature and effects of drug addiction. They are, to say the least, difficult to reconcile with science. (See "Hubbard's Junk Science - Drug Effects" for more on this topic.) Note that the flowchart refers to how drugs affect "the body, the mind and you". This refers to the Scientology belief that the seat of consciousness is not the mind or body but an immortal, incorporeal entity called a thetan. This is the first of a number of signs that the document was written by a Scientologist for Scientologists, or at least for those familiar with Scientology doctrines.

Hard TRs (0-9) Course

The TRs, or Training Routines, used by Narconon are pure Scientology with little obvious relevance to drug rehabilitation, other than when considered in the Scientology context (see "Therapeutic TRs Program" for details). The flowchart uses a number of Scientology jargon terms here - the aim of the TRs is said to be to improve the client's "ability to confront" (in other words, ability to interact with the physical universe, with which the drug-addled thetan is supposedly out of sync). The document also refers to them as "Hard" TRs - a term adopted by Scientologists in the 1970s to distinguish them from the "soft" TRs used since the start of the 1960s. This provides a clear illustration of how the practices of Scientology and Narconon have tracked each other, with Narconon's adapted Scientology practices changing to reflect changes in the Scientology originals.

Purification Program

This actually refers to the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, but the consistent use of the alternative name in this and other parts of the flowchart is highly significant. The "Purification Program" is another name for the Scientology Purification Rundown, which Narconon uses in a virtually identical form. (See "The New Life Detoxification Program" for more on this.) Why is the Narconon programme here referred to with the title of the Scientology programme? Perhaps the author of this document got confused, or perhaps - and more likely - the document itself originated as a flowchart of stages in the Purification Rundown, but was later adapted (minimally) to Narconon's purposes.


Once again, pure Scientology. This is what is known in Scientology as "Objective Processing" (see "Narconon & Scientology: Doctrines" for details). The description of this stage uses much Scientology jargon, relying fundamentally on L. Ron Hubbard's religious concepts.

Repair Action #1

This stage of the process actually references a Scientology Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, "Conditional Step Following The Purification Program And Objectives". The HCOBs are part of the "scriptures" in which Hubbard sets out the practices and beliefs of Scientology. Note again the reference to the "Purification Program" - this document very clearly relates more to Scientology's Purification Rundown than Narconon's New Life Detoxification Program.

The Drug Rundown

This stage of the Narconon programme as it was circa 1984 is difficult to map onto today's Narconon course. It appears to be roughly equivalent to the "Life Improvement Courses", six related courses very closely modelled on Scientology equivalents.

Repair Action #2

This appears to have some similarities with the Narconon Changing Conditions in Life Course, which promises to "repair previous bad conditions in one's life". A "confessional", in Scientology terms, is a session in which a client unburden himself of past "overts" (sins) before a Scientology "auditor", who carefully records the details in a file. These are, supposedly, as sacrosanct as a Catholic confessional (for which the Scientology practice is named) but in reality there have been repeated incidents - and documented corroboration - of the Church of Scientology using supposedly confidential personal information to attack ex-members.

The Way To Happiness Rundown

The final stage of the Narconon course, in which clients have to study and prove their comprehension of L. Ron Hubbard's "non-sectarian moral code which is a guide to living a happy life". Although not overtly religious, it has been accused of being a way of introducing broad society to Scientology. (See "Narconon & Scientology: Doctrines" for more.)

"Route to nearest org"

One of the most significant and revealing aspects of this entire document is what it reveals as the end point of the Narconon programme. This is in fact an instruction to send Narconon clients to "the nearest [Scientology] org[anisation]" for "further [Scientology] services". Narconon is often accused of being a recruiting front for the Church of Scientology and strenuously rejects the allegation. It is probably fair to say that Scientology recruiting is not Narconon's reason for existence. That said, there is hard evidence from other sources (see, for instance, "Flag FSM Newsletter") that indicates that Narconon branches do indeed recruit directly for the Church of Scientology. As Narconon's programme is effectively equivalent to a fairly comprehensive basic education in Scientology, such recruiting is probably accomplished by telling clients that advanced versions of the courses they have undergone (and further courses on top of that) are available through Scientology.