Narconon, Club Forming at Queens College, New York

Queens College Club Forming

Narconon is a drug and crime rehabilitation program founded by William Benitez, an inmate at Arizona State Prison. He was looking for a way in which to help rehabilitate prisoners and drug addicts. The first organized NARCONON program as started by Benitez in 1966.

Student Association members Diane Svobada and Ralph Miles felt that such a program would be important to the students here at the College, and conducted a survey of College students through questionnaires, finding out the abilities and goals these students would like to achieve.

“The survey overwhelmingly showed that the students are interested in how to communicate, study more effectively and handle situations and people in a different way,” states Miles. “From this survey, we felt that NARCONON would be a welcome addition to the Queens College campus.”

“Basically,” Miles continued, “the materials offered by this program are helpful not only to drug addicts and criminals. It is very useful because it teaches in terms of the basic ability to communicate, to focus one’s attention on what he is doing at the present time. It is a most important thing for students because of great part of the course teaches students how to study and to overcome barriers to the application of what is studied.” A NARCONON club has been formed and a course is being planned for next semester.

The three parts of the NARCONON course are communications, which teaches the basic skills of communications; objective orientation, which teaches the basic principles of work and study; and study, which gets into the principles of learning and how to study effectively, using special techniques. The course will be taught by a highly trained supervisor whose job it is to see that the students are progressing steadily and to help them to locate and overcome any problems with the course materials. Everyone enrolled in the course works at his own speed, studying the theory and materials and performing practical aspects.

Among the many people and universities in favor of the NARCONON course is John Brodie who is the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers and now the head of NARCONON in the USA. He is devoting his full time to expansion of the present programs and the creation of new ones. Ronald V. Dellums, a Senator from California; Father Paul Hogarty of St. Augustine; Retired Lieutenant Colonel Mark Jones, USMC and Ed Reinecke, Lieutenant Governor of California are also supporters of the program. The University of California and the University of Utah are also interested parties in support of this program.

In New York City, Peter F. Vallone is most responsible for the success of this program. He is the founder of NARCONON on Rikers Island and is working towards its expansion within the present system.

Miles assures that “The program is going to start next semester as a club open to all students. It will hopefully become an accredited course offered here on campus. I feel that it will be valuable to any student who wishes to increase his ability to communicate and handle problems within his own personal life, be they educational or social problems. I’m sure that any student, after taking this course, will realize it to be the most important course he has ever taken in his life.”

See also these articles from 1974: