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23 Drug-Free Lives

23 Get Diplomas To Drug-Free Lives

Article:
Evening Journal
Wilmington, Delaware
July 15, 1972

SMYRNA - There was a graduation at Delaware Correctional Center yesterday -- and to 23 students receiving certificates it meant more than a degree from Harvard ever meant to a kid from the suburbs.

The 23 are free of drugs. But more than that -- and just being "clean" is an accomplishment -- they have learned something of how to deal with themselves and with others.

THE certificates and pins that were presented yesterday represent the completion of a 15-hour Narconon course.

Narconon -- meaning "non-narcotic" or "without drugs" -- is by its own definition, "a nonprofit organization which uses a technology of prevention and rehabilitation to reduce crime and drug abuse."

Established in Arizona State Prison in 1966, the Narconon program is based on a training course that places men in contact with one another and, through a series of studies and practical exercises, teaches them to achieve increasingly difficult goals. When they attain a goal they have a "win."

SOME of the theory behind the program is that the reason men find themselves in prisons or turning to drugs is that they have never learned to "win" in society and the burden of constant "losses" overwhelms them.

The practical exercises in living and confrontation, as much of the philosophy of the program, are derived from the theories of L. Ron Hubbard.

According to the Narconon theory, the program is intended to make an individual more aware of his environment, to allow him to communicate this awareness and eventually to control both himself and his environment.

29-YEAR-OLD Barry Jaye came from Narconon headquarters in Los Angeles to get the program started in Delaware.

"The minute I got here I got the utmost cooperation and enthusiasm from everyone involved," he said.

"These have been the most beautiful six weeks of my life. We started the program in Smyrna with eight students and we currently have 26 involved, including the 23 who graduated.

"We have four men who progressed from the training routine course to the supervisor's course, so that they can carry on the program here," Jaye continued.

NEXT week, Barry Jaye will be moving on to Connecticut, to help establish a Narconon program there. In Delaware, Lon Elmer, of the state Division of Drug Abuse Control, and the graduates of the program at Smyrna will keep the program going and expand it.

In addition to the Narconon graduates yesterday, more than 20 inmates who had completed high school equivalency programs also received certificates.


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