In Feb 2012, I was sent to Narconon Gulf Coast in Destin Florida for treatment for a drug addiction. We were assured over and over again that Narconon was NOT affiliated with Scientology and had nothing to do with the Church. When I got to Gulf Coast, I almost immediately realized I and my family had been blatantly lied to.
The entire Narconon "treatment" program is based off of Scientology teachings. In fact, it mirrors the first 2 or 3 steps of L Ron Hubbards "Bridge", which is the path to supposed enlightenment and spiritual wellness. The program has nothing to do with real drug rehabilitation and everything to do with teaching you Scientology-based material. L Ron Hubbard's name is on all the books used at Narconon (although the owners and staff continally lied about why his name was on the books and said it had only to do with copyright laws, and that the books were only "based" on L Ron Hubbard's work).
We spent multiple nights of "group therapy" watching L Ron Hubbard's The Road to Happiness. We also read the book.
The sauna treatment was a nightmare. I felt sick and exhausted from having to sit in 110+ degree dry heat repeatedly over the course of 5 hours a day, for three weeks. Any issue I had was explained away as "the sauna doing it's job" and my body getting rid of toxins. One morning, after taking a huge dose of niacin, I became very weak, had extreme pains in my stomach and felt like I was going to pass out. I told the "sauna tech" on duty what was going on and she tried to make me get "back in the box!" as the sauna is called. I was fearful of my health at this point and refused, instead walking (stumbling) past her, and landing in my bed in my room. I was crying in pain, and asking to see the "doctor on staff", who surprise surprise, was no where to be found. I ended up having to go to the emergency room and paying out of pocket because Narconon's "doctor on staff" couldn't be reached. The ER found nothing wrong, and the pain eventually subsided, and so I went back to Narconon. Later, when the doctor at Narconon was finally located and came in, he spent all of 5 minutes with me, then dissmissed me as "ok to continue with the sauna". I was petrified after this experience, which was the one "uncomfortable" effect from sauna that Narconon staff actually denied was related to sauna.
The TRs - training routines - that were supposedly to help you learn to communicate and control your environment, involved the following: yelling/cursing/belittling and making vulgar sexuallly-based comments to fellow "students" while they had to sit there for minutes at a time and not react in any way; sitting for up to 90 minutes closely facing another student, with eyes closed then eyes open and NOT MOVING AT ALL or else you "flunk" and have to start over again; leading your "twin" (fellow student you are paired with) around a room like a robot, telling your twin to "touch that wall" over and over and over again; spending hours over the course of 2+ weeks doing "objectives", which is basically you being told by your twin to do various things in a robotic way, over and over again - like touch various items in a room, touch various body parts, look at items to deterimine their color and texture, until you have a "cognition" which is a predetermined "realization" you are supposed to have. You cannot "pass" until you have enough of these predetermined realizations. This means you can be touching a specific item over and over and over for hours at a time until you have the correct cognition. Doing objectives puts you in a vary robotic, trancelike state. Anytime I started to get tired or upset or voiced any discomfort at all, I was made to continue on - I had to shut down my mind completely and robotically go through the motions. One night after a day of objectives, I felt so intensely overwhelmed, degraded and beat down, that I began to have suicidal ideations and literally felt like I was losing my mind as I lay in bed that night.
The following day, when I told my counselor how I was feeling, I was made to sign a "no suicide" contract. Even though I had been severely depressed and was feeling suicidal, I recided little to no extra care/treatment/supervision.
When I realized the only way I was getting out of Narconon was to tell them what they wanted to hear, I began to "fake it" and write glowing testimonials after each portion of the program (if you do not write good testimonials attesting to how the program is helping you, you are forced to remain in the program longer). I repeatedly was told how great I looked and how wonderful I was doing and how great Narconon is and how other programs don't work and how the program was NOT Scientology. I began to get very confused and doubted myself often - maybe I was the crazy one? The mental manipulation I was experiencing was horrible.
I eventually did graduate the program and left feeling mentally and physically decrepit. I was in such a bad state when I arrived at Narconon, it is difficult to image me feeling as bad or worse when I left, but emotionally I was a disaster. Within 3 weeks of coming home I relapsed. About a month and a half after coming home, I checked myself into another legitimate program to try and get help. Currently I am clean. But my mental state, which I have a difficult time explaining, is not good. I feel very weak, vulnerable and unable to stand up for myself. Narconon beat me down so badly, not only physically, but psychologically.
All I want is the truth to get out and have people KNOW what they are doing when they send their loved ones to this or any other Narconon. Narconon is ABSOLUTELY SCIENTOLOGY!!!!!!!!!! This report is merely a short version of what I experienced at Narconon, the absolute WORST experience of my life. I returned home in early May 2012 and now mid August, I am still experiencing negative affects, and feel I will be working on overcoming the Narconon nightmare for a long time coming. I went to get home, and came home with even more issues than I already had.