What is the Narconon programme?
2. Therapeutic TRs Program

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12 December 2002
Contents > What is the Narconon programme? > 2. Therapeutic TRs Program


Narconon has described the second stage of its rehabilitation programme as follows:

This course extroverts the individual and gets him/her into better communication with others and with the environment around him/her. This is accomplished through a series of simple Training Routines (TRs). Each TR is a specific drill (exercise) on one part of communication. Together, the TRs show how to get oneself understood and how to communicate better with others.
[Pamphlet issued by Narconon Chilocco, Oklahoma c. 1992]

This element of the Narconon programme is lifted directly from the (self-proclaimed) religious practices of Scientology, an issue which is discussed in "Narconon and Scientology: Doctrines". It was described in considerable detail in a report written for the California State Department of Health in 1974:

[The course] involves a rigid series of training routines termed TR's subnumbered 0-9. Each TR is an individually prescribed entity which must be mastered before proceeding on an upward "gradient" to the next TR. TR0 involves three exercises specified as "eyes closed," "eyes opened," and "bullbaiting." The premise seems to involve the exercise of trust in "eyes closed," the exercise of direct eye contact tolerance (staring into the coach's eyes) in "eyes open," and the seeking of an emotional weak spot or "button" and a corresponding emotional response to it in the bullbaiting routine. The bullbaiting exercise seems to involve principally physical characteristics that may be used to embarrass or humiliate an individual and condition him to accept and control is responses to these verbal threats to his body image. For example, one might poke fun at a poor complexion, a crooked nose, and etc ...

TR1 through 9 involves mastering written course materials ... [primarily] involving the "proper" understanding of key words and phrases that must be looked up in the Narconon dictionary and then demonstrated in each exercise routine. TR1 teaches students to "clearly communicate"; TR2 -- how to "acknowledge" properly; TR3 -- how to get an answer to a question without "variation"' and TR4 -- how to handle "origination" -- to accept a pain or discomfort and find out where it originated.

The first five TR's (0-4) must be mastered in their entirety three times before proceeding to TR6. (We were informed that no TR5 existed [see note below].) TR6 involves "good and effective control over an individual or group". TR7 -- the same as TR6 but on a higher "gradient" which presumably means physical control over a threatening or disturbed individual. TR8 involves "intention without reservation" - to totally clarify ones intentions (which may be nonverbal). TR9 is a culmination of previous TR's and stresses particularly the thorough mastery of four conceptions, i.e. "exact intention," "exact strength needed," "exact force necessary," and "exact intention without reservation or limit."
["Outline for recovery, House Evaluation" - by Forrest S. Tennant, Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H., Jane Thomas, R.N., Mike Reilly, and Joseph Shannon, M.D., M.P.H. Submitted to Don Z. Miller, Deputy Director, Health Treatment System, State Department of Health, Sacramento, CA, on 31 Oct 1974]

(Note: In fact, TR5 does exist. The Technical Dictionary of Dianetics & Scientology (Bridge Publications Inc., 1974) defines it as "a drill called 'Hand Mimicry,' a drill to educate students that verbal commands are not entirely necessary ... 'You make that body sit in that chair.' 'Thank you.' ")

The ostensible rationale for this part of the programme is that drug addicts are "out of communication" with the world around them. In Hubbard's view, "drugs tend to push a person into experiences of the past and stick his attention in those moments, [so] processes which pull more of a person's attention outward help unstick him from his past." [The Scientology Handbook, p. 270 (Bridge Publications, 1994). See also <http://www.drugsno.com/narconon.htm> under the Step 4 heading.] In Scientology, the procedures making up the Narconon Therapeutic TRs Course are collectively called "Objective Processes", intended to "bring about interaction between the individual and the existing physical universe" by "orienting the person in the present time of the physical universe". [Hubbard, "Drugs and Objective Processes", HCO Bulletin of 12 May 1980, Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology]

Further information on the TRs can be found in the Scientology Handbook's "Communication" chapter (although not in the book's online edition, oddly enough). Critical perspectives can be found at <http://www.ezlink.com/~perry/Co$/TRs.html> and <http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/TR/>.


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