The Beginning of the Narconon® Drug Rehabilitation Program

The Narconon Program has it’s roots in the Arizona State Penitentiary. In 1966, an inmate and life-long heroin addict, William Benitez began to develop the idea when he jumped from his prison bunk and made a note on his wall calendar that read, “Decision to set up Narcotic Foundation.” After reading books by many different authors about addiction, psychology and human ability, Benitez discovered a book passed on to him by a friend, Fundamentals of Thought, by L. Ron Hubbard. In that book he had found that by rehabilitating an addict and developing within him certain abilities that he had lacked, one could effectively stay off drugs.

Photo of the first class of the Narconon Program, 1966, Arizona State Penitentiary

Mr. Benitez first demonstrated The Narconon Program’s effectiveness to the prison officials, then on his release later that year helped grow the Narconon Program to include residential centers first in Los Angeles, California and then worldwide. Today there are Narconon residential programs in over 20 countries, and Narconon’s sister program, Criminon continues to grow inside the walls of prisons across the country.

I finally realized I had developed the essential abilities needed to overcome my drug problem. Feeling myself on safe ground, I knew I had to make this technology available to other addicts in the prison. I thought back over the years of all the junkies I had shot up with, and remembered their most treasured conversation: “One of these days I’m going to quit.”

-William Benitez Founder of Narconon