Greg Hamilton's Narconon Experience

January, 2004

I am 37 years old, and "completed" the Narconon program on December 24, 2003. I spent nearly two months in Oaklohoma [Ed: at the Narconon Arrowhead facility in Canadian, Oklahoma]. I have practiced law the last 12 years and became dependent on pain medication as the result of an injury.

I did not choose Narconon....some "agent" for them directed my father to Narconon... and then they started phoning my house every single day. I really cannot speak for my father and how he received information about Narconon. Unfortunately, he has fallen into the firm belief that the sun rises and sets with Narconon. I guess they were effective in brainwashing him over the phone. These people are incredible at pushing the right buttons to isolate students from their families. I revoked their privilege to communicate with my family but I am sure they did not honor my revocation.

As I was "graduating" from the program, it was explained to me that for every person I could get to attend Narconon I would receive $1,700.00. It really is a horrible, horrible place. It has caused me quite a bit of despair.

Well, let me take this a step at a time. The initial phase of Narconon was "withdrawal". This was a potentially life-threatening experience for some as their "cold-turkey" approach was utterly ridiculous. Luckily, I had not taken any medication in several weeks and was able to spend less than 24 hours in this initial phase. The withdrawal phase is where I met Michael G.

The "cal-mag" stuff that they pumped into us [Ed: a tonic of calcium gluconate and magnesium carbonate, mixed with cider vinegar and water; Scientology pushes it as a "natural tranquilizer"] in this withdrawal unit was very ill-tasting and upset my stomach. I guess that when taken in combination with their "vitamins", this is the equivalent of a "Scientology cocktail".

The next phase was TR's, which stands for therapeutic Training Routines, covered in Book 1 of the Narconon course books. Book 1 was like a light blue book ...all these books were a different color....something to do with depression and colors I was told.....what utter one progressed through the program...I guess subliminal type of conditioning...oh yeah..I am getting better...type of stuff.

Book 1 was all about ...well....who was absolutely absurd....sitting there for hours (no exaggeration) and staring at your "twin" being screamed at by some big course "supervisor" for any movement voluntary or not. Eye any of these ...and hear "flunk" being screamed across the way. It was very demeaning....the book itself was like a cartoon book...lots of picture cartoons.....illustrating proper "tech".

Another part of this TR training...let me see...there was TR 0 eyes open/eyes closed- where the objective was to obtain a supervisor pass by being able to "confront, control and communicate" (these are all scientology or Hubbard terms) ....I saw people that were physically bad backs...severe headaches....yet they were ordered...and I do mean ordered to continue running these exercises until the wizards approved.

The next part of TR's was TR 0 bullbaiting.....this was beyond apt description. It consisted of a person sitting down and "confronting" their twin...while the twin cursed them...ridiculed them.ripped into them about anything. There were no boundries of common decency in this particular exercise. Absolutely vulgar and degrading. The only benefit from this exercise is I learned some new expletives.

The next part of Book 1 was TR 1, 2, 2 1/2, 3, and 4. These exercises bordered somewhere between insanity and hysteria. A person and there twin would read a passage from "Alice in Wonderland" (thought it was ironic that the book seems like some acid induced story that Lewis Carroll scribled down during a cold English night). These drills were supposed to help "communication" skills....I don't think so. Also in a few of these TR's an exchange of "Do birds fly" or "Do fish swim" was between twins....this was to teach "control" to basically not accept no for an answer (it seems apropos that this is Scientology dogma...since they do not seem to grasp the word no) . It was almost...I stress almost comical to walk in the TR room and see these people screaming , "do birds fly" at one another.

The remainder of Book 1 was TR 6-9. These were quite interesting in that they taught a person how to physically handle another. It was full physical contact and sometimes became quite rough. TR 6 and 7 dealt with "controlling" a person, forcing them to physically obey commands.

TR 8 consisted of ordering an ashtry to stand up and sit down into a chair...really...that was what we did ...hour after hour.....crazy made me wonder if the "religious" zealots really believed in this hoky vodoo.

TR 9 was more full contact karate....throwing people into walls...what have you.

I am sure that you are familiar with these "exercises". [Ed: see the discussion of TRs at Narconon-Exposed for more info.] They have absolutely nothing to do with drugs or educating oneself about the effects of drug use or addiction. They are just a covert attempt to have one "audited" [Ed: "auditing" is Scientology's version of mental therapy] by their "twin" or training partner. This consisted of several days of "cycling" these TR's, by sitting in chairs and staring at one's partner for days on end....until you obtained a "Narconon pass" of one consecutive hour without having any "somatic" (Narconon word) reactions. [Ed: this staring routine is known as TR0, and is also taught in the Scientology communications course.]

Book 2 was all about the was a small book called "New Life Detoxification Program". I have a copy sitting right in front of me. Once again it is comic strip form...lots of drawings of people doing drugs. Interesting side note about subliminal brain this book and in all others to the best of my recollection...the "bad" people...the ones shown doing drugs or being menaces of society all have mustaches or beards ..long hair...something like that....then the "clean" post- narconon caricatures (sic) are all clean cut..youthful looking etc. Just more fodder material on the brainwash technqiue these people use. The book describes "restim" or reactivation of drug matter in a person...the drugs being dislodged because of niacin, pressed oils, and of course 170 degree temps for hour after hour and day after day.

That is really about it for the side note. After each book a person had to take a test on the material...this was interesting ...oh also more importantly had to take an "IQ" and personality test prior to sauna. The IQ test was timed...the personality test was like 200 questions and it was untimed....once again I believe this goes to demonstrate that these people are trying to create some super race...some supreme beings....weird stuff...becuase after sauna you had to take these tests again...they wanted to see the sauna had made you more intelligent and develop a social conscience.

Back to these book tests....they would give you a fairly short test...definitions...essays....stuff like was not easy...because common sense was out the window....words that do not exist in the real world..."enterbulate"....a Scientology word meaning to be disruptive to the group...questions like these would be on the test. It was mind boggling,. They were attempting to re-educate people in a Scientological way. Learning their tech... their language... scary stuff... and the repercussions of failing one of these tests was to redo the class.

The "New Life Detoxification Program" was an absolute absurdity. Basically, one would appear before some clearly untrained sauna personnel, and have one's blood pressure and pulse taken. It should be noted that my blood pressure was 120/80 for 9 days in a row. This illustrates just how poorly trained these sauna workers really were. Back to the process: once the blood pressure and pulse rates were recorded, one would be given copious amounts of "vitamins, minerals, and niacin". These products were produced exclusively for Narconon, as they came in a bottle with the Narconon logo and stated that this product was produced only for use by Narconon. This was a sealed container and I have no doubt that they were making or having made their own niacin.

After ingesting these "vitamins" we were told to walk on the treadmill for anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Then we were to climb right into a sauna for at least 25 minutes before being allowed a 2 minute break. This went on for 5 hours...and was brutal. One older gentleman lost consciousness during the sauna program. It was frightening. After one had completed a five hour block of sauna they were once again subjected to the blood pressure and pulse checks....which of course was always 120/80, in spite of being in a boiling sauna for five hours. I was amazed that my blood pressure never reflected the anger that I was experiencing. After having the pulse and blood pressure "checked", more vitamins, minerals and other stuff was on the way. They basically made us drink olive oil...and eat lecithin along with a ton of mixed vitamins. A person was directed to continue drinking 2 glasses of cal-mag a day, but I had stopped...I knew something was very wrong with their methodology.

The guy in the sauna..that was very scary. He passed out....they thought he was unconscious....they never called for an ambulance...they tried to blame him for not being well fed prior to going in the sauna that particular day. Of course I also spoke with a guy that had been there (Narconon before) these guys were called "retreads" there were lots of them...makes you wonder if their success rate is so high...why all these retreads. Anyway, this guy told me that the first time through Narcanon..they loaded him up with like 2500 mg of liquid niacin and he passed out...and was having a severe reaction...they had him in the shower for like 30 minutes trying to calm him down. He said it was horrible. My roomate also had a terrible reaction to niacin. He refused to take the stuff, he would act like he was swallowing it, but he threw it away. Finally one day they forced him to take it in front of them....I believe it was 1500 mg...he got so sick....he went to our room...I kept checking on him. He was scarlet red for at least 45 minutes.....he was very naseous and his breathing was shallow.

These are just a few examples, there are more believe me.

Also, I must inject that the whole "drive" behind this sauna program was for a person to experience some type of "restimulation". Something I suppose that is similar to a flashback. I felt nothing but heat.. and in conversations with most, they never felt any kind of a reaction. In fact it was quite hilarious, watching some of the people "acting" as if they were having a reaction to the sauna program.

The amount of niacin varied, but increased daily. I was given a dose of 1500 mg my 14th and final day in sauna. A lot of people were in sauna for 30 or 40 days, and I had heard stories that they were given 4000 mg of niacin. At this point it was obvious that Narconon was a sham. In my opinion, Narconon is no better than a drug dealer. They profit from drug use, and they prey upon the fears of people that care about the drug user.

I don't mean to go off on a tangent here, but it looks as if I am headed that way. I was sanctioned frequently for my outspokenness against Scientology and my belief that Narconon is practicing some kind of voodoo medicine. Within the first two weeks of attending Narconon, I revoked Narconon from contacting my family. I had seen the psychological mind games that Narconon would play on people and their families. I was summarily hauled in by an "ethics officer" who really had it out for me. He "warned" me that I was attempting to undermine Narconon, and that the consequences of my actions would be severe.

Now, after sauna, one would start book 3 which was on the level of a 3rd grader. The book was obviously written by Hubbard ....when he was at his condescending best or worse ...depending on your point of view. The whole crux of the book was to help people learn to study....okay then. It took me about 2 hours to complete this course. It was so absolutely elementary..that it confirmed my suspicions that the place was just a big sham.

The book points out three "critical" factors that inhibit learning.

I have tried to forget this crap, but let's see it was:

1) absence of mass
2) misunderstood word
3) too steep a gradient

Yes, that is it. These were the three things and there were supposedly facial expressions that were "phenomena" of each one. That was big thing at Narconon...the "end phenomenon" when a person had "peaked" or was at top level...something like that. Anyway, this book 3 showed ways to "word clear", another part of Scientology "tech", I am sure.

One was supposed to "word clear" through a dictionary. I never used it....but there was a dictionary in the course room by Hubbard himself. There were also these elementary school was just absolutely ridiculous.....a bunch of pagan dogma. The book was about a three or four day course for most. I finished in 2 hours and really pissed them off. They punished me by jacking with my folder...losing it, misplacing it...anything to slow me down. In talking to some of the other students....(it was very early on that I learned not to trust anyone in Narconon, unless I really, really knew them) they would tell me how they "word cleared" the word "a" for three days. How they had never thought that the word "a" had such an infinite number of meanings. This was really spooky. These people were becoming part of Hubbard's army right in front of my eyes.

Of course there were a few of us that were members of the underground dissident group. We knew that Narconon was essentially a Scientology "petting zoo". That all Narconon was about was $ and recruiting new members for the cult. We had to keep a collective low profile, because the ethics officers were always trying to punish us. We kept each other as well grounded as possible...watched each other's backs and tried our best to deal with the endless parade of propoganda and subliminal messages that we encountered on a daily basis.

The ethics officers were obviously working their way up the "org" and must have been super thetans. I can remember the intimidation tactics they used....taking off their glasses....staring directly at you...not blinking. You could feel their power....they thought that they could control was unbelievable that this type stuff goes on. As previously mentioned, they wanted to shut me up right away. I was even supposedly suspended once....but never knew about was never announced. I only found out as I was routing out of the program. we come to book 4. It was split into 4(a) and 4(b). Book 4(a) was an exact repeat of Book 1. The only significant difference was that Book 4(a) required that one sit still during these TR 0 eyes open/eyes closed for 2 hours to achieve a pass. Luckily, my twin was part of the underground dissident movement and he was just like me, trying to fast track the hell out of the cult. My partner Tom and I played their game by "cycling" these silly exercises over and over. It took us about 7 days to get through this part of the course, but it was only because they were purposly attempting to slow us down.

When it came time to try for a pass on eyes open/eyes closed....we were punished. They actually made us go ...I believe that it was like 2 hours and 45 minutes in eyes closed. It was just aggravating and I am quite sure that they were trying to "crack" us. Trying to break us. They had targeted our little group of people, and trust me, they did their absolute best to isolate us from one another. Luckily our solidarity was too strong to crack..but there were some real tense moments.

During eyes seems like they overran the exercise as well. Maybe if Tom reads this, he can help set the record straight. Anyway, something odd occured ...we were forced to go longer than 2 hours for some reason. It was all very disquieting.

The remainder of the TR's were exact duplicates of the Book 1 TRs. We were able to proceed without too many problems.

Once I had completed Book 4(a) and was preparing to go into Book 4(b), I developed a horrible flu-like sickness. Actually almost the entire population at Narconon was sick, both staff and students. There was a terrible flu epidemic that was made worse by the fact that there was no proper ventilation for the population of the Narconon Arrowhead facility. My fever shot up to 103.7 and yet they refused to give me asprin or anything to break the fever. I was simply sequestered to my room and told to drink water. I still am having trouble hearing out of my left ear and also my gums are still sore from being subjected to such a high fever for an extended period of time. My roomate was afraid to sleep in our room because there was a certain smell of infection from my fever. Once, the fever had gone down to 101, I was subjected to interviews about "who had been suppressing me" and "who was a potential trouble source." All these terms are straight out of Scientology.

"Objectives" were book 4(b). [Ed: TRs & Objectives is a Scientology course.] This basically consisted of having a partner and walking around the room having "cognitions" (clearly, another term from Scientology.) This took about seven days; they were called "sessions" and were another attempt to "audit" an individual. The sessions or exercises were "run" until the desired "cognition" was obtained. As in sauna, this was a complete hoax.

Basically, a student and his/her "twin" would run or "audit" these exercises on one another until a "cognition" was magically transplanted into the brain of the person being run. Then the student would tell his twin the cognition, it would be written down, either the "cognition" was the mythical answer sought or else the exercises would continue...sometimes ad nasueum. Luckily, I was once again paired with my wing man, Tom. We both were really pushing to get the hell out of this place at that point. We would sit around at night and try to keep our heads about us, because presuure was coming from every direction imaginable.

Narconon staff really expected the stimulus of obeying commands such as, "touch that chair" to elicit some earth shattering revalation. This was comical, because I watched as the most ardent followers of Hubbard performed these exercises endlessly, only to be disappointed by the fact that no "cognitions" ever came oozing out of their craniums. It was a tiring and rigorous part of the program. I could feel the staff tugging at my subconscious, trying to get me to buy into the whole Church of Scientology. There was no ryhme or reason with these exercises....they wanted you to be "flat" -- I am sure some more Hubbard jargon. Often they would comment about "comm lags" or a communications lag between twins. It was as freaky and goofy as the rest of the series of books. I was able to make it out relatively unscathed.

I did not witness anyone have a real "cognition", although I did witness some "true-believers" agonize over their failure to achieve a cognition.

There was a well documented case of a very likable student named Jorge, who had run an exercise for 10 hours. He was a very strong willed guy, but I am sure that this finally broke his will. The last few days I saw him, he was singing about the virtues of Narconon. something happened to him, and it was not good.

Tom and I knew that they were stacking the cards against us...we were able to maintain our cool even though they agaitated us to no end. I do not say this heroically... it is just that somehow we were able to survive. Being part of the subversive group really helped us keep our wits about us. If not for our little group, am quite sure that I would have lost my mind in this compound.

That is about it for Book 4(b). Oh, yes...I had to retake the IQ test and actually scored lower than the first time. My roomate was taking it at the same time and he just christmas treed it. ie just guessed at the answers...he did not give a damn. I guess that I was distracted...either that or the sauna did some brain damage to me. I don't know.

There was another book before Book 5. It was called the Basic Study Manual or study guide or something like that. It was referred to as Book 3 on steroids..and it was. There was much more information about the barriers to learning, and different types of "word clearing". For example there was a guy called the "word clearer" who did nothing but "clear" words with students all day. It was absurd... insanity ruled at Narconon. Luckily I never had to play mental chess with him, becuae I am pretty sure he was high up in the "org."

Next up was Book 5. I believe to the best of my memory that this dealt with social and anti-social behavior types. It was all about subversive personalities... suppressive groups. The Book 5 book was straight out of Nazi Germany. There were cartoon drawings of Hitler and the swastika....the book stated in no uncertain terms, and at the risk of error, I shall quote from memory, "people are either good or evil". In other words there are no in betweens. No grey matter in the universe. I found this to be another one of Hubbard's fallacies...especially since as an attorney, I've been paid to find grey matter in some cases. The book focused on the need to stamp out all negative influences on the world population and to become a superb or supreme race. The doctrine was very close to the type of propaganda most extreme right wing groups use.

The book also stated that it was okay to use force in some defend other members of the "group". The book always talked about the "group"...promoting the group, protecting the group..hurting the group. It was a very strange attempt to alter one's perception of people and society. The book went into great detail listing characteristics of the "anti-social" personality type and then the traits of a "social" person. The book had a twisted point of view and often was conclusionary without any sound basis. But then we are exploring Scientology I guess that is par for the course.

Naturally, by this point, I was "playing the game". I had begun to realize just what they wanted me to believe..what changes they wanted to see in me. So, to survive the regime I did my best to make them believe that this was really fascinating, earth-shattering mystical stuff.

Next was Book 6; this dealt with omissions and overts (Scientology terms?). [Ed: in Scientology jargon, an "overt" is "an act of omission or commission".] The process of writing these overts, or acts against the group, took a few days. There was also a big tie-in to one's dynamics (perhaps Dianetics). [Ed: The eight dynamics are one of the fundamentals of Scientology.] The "overts" were reviewed by some Wizard of Oz upstairs and one was either instructed to write more or move on.

Book 7 was all about one's conditions and dynamics. A person had to work through some junked up equation of past and present ethical conditions. [Ed: ethics conditions are one of Scientology's primary means of coercive control.]

Finally, Book 8 was simply spitting out Hubbard's bible verbatim. Nothing more and nothing less. It was the Way to Happiness book...there was a workbook that went with it, but it was basically just the Hubbard Way to Happiness book.

So, there is a capsule of what $20,000.00 will get you.

No mention of how to deal with drug problems, no distinction between anti-depressants or street drugs. Everything is bad... "come be a super thetan (spirit) and join the ranks of the supreme being." This seemed to be what they were saying.

This place was definitely a cult. Apparently there was a "cam" or machine that is similar to a polygraph test around the facility. [Ed: the "cans" are Scientology's terms for the electrodes used with their E-Meter device, the " Hubbard electro-psychometer".] Staff memebers talked of their goal to go get "audited" in Clearwater, Florida [Ed: location of Scientology's spiritual headquarters]. The "graduations" on Friday nights were like the early days of Nazism. Much stirring of the crowd, attempting to work the crowd into a frenzy. Propaganda about the wonders of Narconon, and its virtuous benefits. There was one graduation that comes to mind. A lady that must have been high up in Scientology made a statement that "she had been to several facilities in the org. but this was the finest". It got so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop.

There was also a constant barrage of making out KR's (Knowledge Reports) or "spy reports" as I called them. The idea was to have everyone spying on each other...very unsettling...very spooky stuff.

There was also a time that a team of super Scientologists came in and stayed for several days while making a documentary (propaganda) for Narconon. These guys did not blink, they were perfect Scientologists.

There was also something that they put into the food. I believe that it may have been some type of testosterone blocker, because my strength in the gym went way down while I was there. There were other strange happenings as well.

I will be happy to talk to any reporters. I have already lost $ 20,000.00 and become a target for Scientolgist extremists....I might as well go all the way.

Last modified: Fri Sep 10 01:33:16 EDT 2004