David Lee the Founder of Intervention Services and Technologies, Inc.
Letting the truth flow.
Thank you David.

Special thanks to Reaching For The Tipping Point

source for post Narconon, Scientology and Intervention Services and Technologies
I believe it is necessary to help spread the articles by David Lee. He is the Founder of Intervention Services and Technologies, Inc. and has been writing on reaching4.info. His words are very enlightening and thought provoking. David’s words have already helped many get out and speak out.
David, I would like to truly thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep that river of truth flowing.

David Lee of Intervention Services and Technologies, Inc.

I feel that there are many reasons why families and addicts chose Narconon.  And it is usually because of what they were told over the phone.  I’d like to list many of the reasons that people did choose Narconon in my experience.  If any of the following were true, then it would be “logical” to choose Narconon.  When I was active in the Narconon universe I believed some of the following to be true and even promoted it.  However, today I find much of the following reasons either to be exaggerated, faulty science, completely untrue, or an outright lie.

Here are some of the most common things told to families about Narconon:

1)   “Because we have a 76% Success Rate.  Most traditional programs are only about 5% successful.”  I’ve seen this success rate posted and sold anywhere from 76% to 90% over the years.  In my experience I don’t feel that Narconon has anywhere near this success rate, and I do believe that they are aware of it, but continue to put the lie out there.  I feel they might be closer to 10% or less for absolute abstinence.  I know of very few Narconon grads who never used drugs again.  Of those, they usually pick up a drink instead and consider themselves successful.  It is very disconcerting to me that Narconon promotes what I believe to be a completely untrue success rate and many families have chosen it solely because of this.

2)   “Because the reason you are relapsing is because of drug residuals in your fat cells that cause cravings when they are released, sometimes for years.  Our sauna program is the only one that handles the physical cravings.” This logic makes sense to an addict who keeps relapsing.  Perhaps it explains why I get cravings every now and again, they think.  In reality, consistent cravings are normal and are what is referred to as Post-Acute Withdrawal.  Part of recovery is learning to deal with the cravings, not “make them go away” if that were even possible.  Many clients were led to believe that the sauna was the magic-bullet.  In addition, I encountered many clients who went to Narconon solely because of their Sauna program.  However, I haven’t found any scientific studies to support their science, and most professionals seem to find the sauna program as ineffective or even dangerous.  The reality is, the sauna doesn’t really get rid of cravings.  This is another semi-logical sounding “sell”.

3)   “We are long-term.  Most treatment programs of 28 days aren’t long enough and only are that long because insurance companies only pay 28 days.” This seems to make sense.  However, it also depends on the level of counseling available.  6 months of no counseling isn’t as effective as 28 days of clinical counseling.  Jail is also long term.  I wouldn’t sell it as a viable alternative to a 28 day residential treatment program.   Many families are given the impression that Narconon does a more detailed aggressive and longer term handling of addiction.  In reality, much of what clients do at a Narconon, a family member would think had little to do with addiction or recovery.  Ironically, insurance companies don’t necessarily bill out at 28 days.  They bill at different rates, days for different levels of services, including detox, outpatient, residential treatment, php, etc.

4)   “We have a guarantee.  If you relapse within 6months or so, you can come back, free of charge.  We so believe in our program”.    Very tempting.  However, most addicts that relapsed from Narconon and reached out to us afterwards, had zero intentions of ever returning.  In addition, it isn’t usually free.  If you “required” detox, there was often an additional charge, sometimes as high as $7500 or more.  The average minimum was around $2500 plus flights, etc.  Many families, after shelling out $30k+ aren’t that willing to shell out an additional thousands more in surprise costs.

5)   “We work well with your insurance.  Simply pay the money up front and we will advocate on your behalf to get you money reimbursed by your insurance provider.  We are usually quite successful in getting people most, if not all, of their money.” In my experience, there was little to no advocacy and I believe that usually less than 10% of clients got any moneys back.  Many Narconons did nothing to help the families to get reimbursed, because in order to do so, the client has to receive varying degrees of Assessments, Clinical and Psychological Counseling, etc which doesn’t usually occur at a Narconon.

6)   “We are results based, and not time based.  A client doesn’t move to the next section of the program until they fully are approved by a case supervisor on having done all the work thoroughly.  We don’t believe in releasing a client just because they stayed somewhere 28 days.” There is some truth here, but also know that many clients quickly discover that the faster they “rip” through the program, the faster they can go home.  Often a family is quite surprised when their loved one came home from the “6 month to 1 year stay” after only about 2-3 months.   Also, understand that results could mean “client was able to sit in a chair for 1 hour without moving”.  This is an example of a result that needs to be accomplished before moving on.  Many “results” are equally strange and unique to only the Narconon and Scientology world.

7)   “Because we have more one-on-one counseling than anywhere.  We have the highest client to staff ratio which means that your loved one will receive more attention than at another facility where 1 therapist oversees 10 clients.” There really isn’t any clinical counseling at Narconon in the classical sense.  You are sitting in a room, assigned a twin where you read books, answer questions, and do drills with your “twin”.  Your twin is the one-on-one time, not with a counselor.  Overseeing it all is a Course Supervisor who makes sure that you’re reading your questions, answering and doing your drills.  Over 90% of your time at Narconon, you are directly overseen by 1 maybe 2 staff members in a group of 20-30 clients.  If there are 90 clients in a courseroom, you might be overseen by 3 or 4.

8)“Because we have 24 hour medical staff on site”. Some Narconons have a nurse on staff 24 hours.  Many do not.  However, the doctor is usually a contractor who may show up only once a week to do a basic checkup on you when you arrive.  This impression is given to families who want to be secure in knowing that, in the event something major happens, the treatment center can handle it.  In many Narconons I was at, I had more medical training then any of the staff, and all I had was a CPR certification.

9)   “We have a legal liason that can help you to stay out of jail.”  In my experience, most legal letters were simply a form letter written by the registrar that introduced Narconon and said that the client had been accepted.  In terms of ongoing reports to probation officers or such, very often this was neglected and clients got in trouble.  It was usually told to clients to simply allow a bench warrant to occur, finish Narconon and take a letter of completion to the judge and hope they rescind any bench warrants.  Whenever attorneys of clients were involved they usually recommended against this course of action.

10)   “Because we specialize in people with learning disabilities.  We have an entire course dedicated to helping people learn the proper ways to study, define words, go slowly, etc.  Many people aren’t dumb, they just were never taught proper study techniques.  We can help this.” This seems attractive and many families feel that their loved ones struggled in school and that’s why they have such low self esteem and got into drugs.  Offering this to a mother or father is like a holy grail to someone with a learning disability.  However, the Study techniques found at Narconon include the idea that “physical ailments are an indicator that you went past a word you didn’t understand” and much other pseudo science.  There is nothing wrong with looking up words in a dictionary, however, to offer it as a magic bullet for education and addiction is unfair and deceptive.

11)   “Because we believe in curing people, unlike traditional programs who insist on telling people they are always an addict.  After Narconon, you don’t have to go to meetings or anything.  You are fixed.”  This is so tempting.  Any addict in the world would choose this if it worked.  Invest 3 months….or go to an AA meeting every day “forever”.  And, many traditional programs would embrace this if they could find something that quickly arrested alcoholism or addiction.    Many families are very reluctant to have their 19 year old labeled as an addict and want desperately to believe that their addiction is a temporary mistake that can be fixed. The reality is that, for most, there is no quick fix and addiction often takes years to conquer.

12)   “If your loved one is a good person, then your loved one could have a job.  That’s how I got started working here.” After years of failures, many parents of addicts want desperately for their loved one to find a place in responsible society.  The offer of a job is one of the major points that family members choose Narconon.  They hope that they can become responsible and start helping people.  However, you can’t go to sleep a patient and wake up a counselor.   There are no short cuts.  What a traditional therapist and recovering addict acquires in 4 years of abstinence, training and schooling cannot be accomplished in one month of study after graduating Narconon.  One of the most tragic mistakes that I and many addicts make is in trying for shortcuts as opposed to earning our way the hard way.  It is also strange that families never seemed to question the legitimacy of the staff if Narconon predominately hires graduates.

13)   “We are coed”.  I don’t know of any legitimate treatment program that enmeshes male and female clients together like I have seen at Narconons.  Those other programs that are coed are usually quite separate and you aren’t even allowed to speak to the opposite sex.  Traditional programs find co-ed interaction to be an often deadly problem that should be avoided at all costs.  Often at Narconon, I slept in a room 10 feet away from a females room, there was little to no oversight, I was allowed to interact with, hang out with and spend almost all of my free time with women.  It was a very college like experience, with clients sitting on each others laps, wandering off together, tickling each other, sexual contact, note passing etc.  Many times clients left together before completing the program that had found “new love”.  Most legitimate programs would never suggest that being coed is actual a good thing.  Ironically, Narconon often promotes it as such.

14)   “We are a secular, non-religious program.”  On occasion a family member would discover, before their loved one arrived at Narconon, that it was connected to Scientology.  If this happened the client was “debugged” and told definitively how it wasn’t Scientology.  I have heard these arguments several times but I don’t fully understand how it is any different.  I have heard that although it uses the same tech as scientology, it isn’t scientology because scientology is the belief in a thetan or something to that effect.   It is pretty strange.  It’s almost like a program that only uses the bible and teachings of Jesus Christ for their material but says they aren’t religious or Christian.  I think if they are Scientology they should simply say so.  In most Narconons, there exists a Qual department, which actually oversees everything, including the executives.  Many people believe that the Directors run everything, however, I have found that, in reality, the Qual department really oversees everything and is one of the few departments that can actually put an Executive Director in ethics.   The responsibility of the Qual department is to make sure that Scientology Tech is all being implemented and followed within the Narconon.   In most Qual departments, you will only find Scientology materials, including the red tech dictionary, the green and red volumes of Scientology Tech.


If you want to know what Narconon really is, walk into the Qual Department.  I have never seen a Qual department that wasn’t fully staffed by Scientologists at a Narconon.  I don’t believe the position can be held by a non-Scientologist.  They hold the keys to the kingdom.

Well, I hope this helps people to understand that there are many different reasons why people have chosen Narconon.  The majority of the time it is because they either don’t like religion, NA, AA, or tried it before and it didn’t work and were seeking alternatives.  Unfortunately, there really aren’t many alternatives and most who dig around end up talking to Narconon and sold the various points that I have listed.  I think over time there will be more alternative options, however, they need to be legitimate, transparent and effective.


David Lee
Intervention Services and Technologies, Inc.


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