Susanne: My name is Susanne Lawrence and I completed the Narconon program way back in 1976.
Man speaking: Susanne would you say that Narconon saves lives?
Susanne: It certainly saves lives and it certainly saved mine.
Susanne: Well I was on drugs for about 5 years, but I would like to say before that when I was a bit younger I was actually an international swimmer and I swam for Great Britain. So it’s kind of of odd that a few years after that I ended up starting to smoke and I was very very fit and then eventually living in London and going to the artwork festival which is the place that I very first took marijuana and from there on it was a downward trend. Up to that point I was still fairly fit and I was living life and enjoying it and then I start smoking marijuana.
Question: Why did you start taking drugs?
Susanne: So it was totally okay for most people my own age to do drugs and it seemed to be a solution to something. When you have a problem in life and you can’t deal with it and you feel said or if you lost your family and somebody comes along and says well have a joint you will feel better makes it very very easy to think oh yeah I wanna feel better so you take the joint and you snort the sulfate (Low grade snortable cocaine) which is what I used to do. So that’s how it was for me in those days.
I used to get together with lots and lots of people and we sit in a room and somebody would get the marijuana going around and a few lines of sulfate or perhaps get the coke out and everybody would start using it and start laughing and thinking it was the greatest thing since sliced bread without realizing the consequences were going to be in the future. And 5 years later I had the feeling that I was dying and I was very lucky in that time to meet someone who knew about the Narconon program and introduced me to it at that time.
Susanne: You know I took the program in 1976 and the program still works. You don’t use drugs on the program and it works and it has ever since it was first developed.
SO here I am so many years later since 1976, completely rehabilitated. I have no attention on drugs what so ever and all I can say is thanks to L Ron Hubbard because it works.
Although I have to admit when I finished the program and graduated and all the guys gathered around to congratulate me to finishing it. I felt like a million dollars! That’s how it makes you feel!! And the rest of life, you get the rest of the million dollars.
Question: Did the fact of having done drug rehabilitation affect your later life?
Susanne: Well in terms of value fact, to be honest no. I mean sometimes you might think well somebody is not going to employee me if I been a druggy, but in actual fact what happens to me is when people find out that if I been a drug addict they look at me and say, “No, you look like you never taken the drug.” And I say, “Oh, but that’s the specialty of the Narconon program when it’s finished.” You really do get rehabilitated. And rehabilitated is that return to former condition. So I am as bright and shiny as I ever was before I took drugs.
Question: Did you get a chance to work with William Benitez? (William Benitez is the founder of Narconon)
Susanne: I did have the opportunity to work with Mr. Benitez. I was with him for 3 days when we were opening a Narconon program in a place called Chilocco in the United States.
And I think probably the thing that struck me the most about Mr. Benitez was the way he cared. And I think that was one of the things that made the program when he first started running it in the prison successful. He really cared about people and he cared about you as an individual. And when he heard about my completing the Narconon program he validated me a lot and I could see in his eyes that he was really happy that something he had done made it possible to change my life. So I think Mr. Benitez certainly did something that has really changed drug rehabilitation and made drug free rehabilitation available and taking Mr. Hubbard’s technology and making it usable in prisons and usable in residental centers. So I have a lot to say. Thank you Mr. Benitez for a lot.
Question: How is your life now?
Well, I’m enjoying life as a pension believe it or not. I am 61 years old of age. So at the moment I’m thoroughly enjoying my life with a painting hobby which I started years ago, which I always wanted to do before I got into drugs. So now I am realizing that. I became a dancer and I’ve done acting. I really love my painting. That’s my passion at the moment. I’m also a writer and I’ve been published and I’ve written articles that have been published on the drug scene and getting out of drugs and saying no to drugs because that’s a really good answer if someone offers it is to say, “No thank you.”.because it’s really not good for you to do it. And life can be very wide ranging. I had a wonderful career, I’ve been in public relations, I’ve been in advertising, Ive been in sales and I had a wonderful life. I have two wonderful children. Lovely husband at the time. And things are just really really good.
What’s really nice is sometimes you see a person come through the program and their artistic abilities comes out and they start doing things that are artistic. And I am no exception. I am now really an artist and I enjoy it.