The Truth About Drugs
Scientology has many and varied ways to introduce their skewed ideology to the masses. Every front group’s ultimate agenda is to influence and hopefully convert those they come in contact with. In the absence of an actual conversion, at least an opportunity to lighten the wallets of the unwary cannot be overlooked.
Drug abuse is a deadly and growing epidemic that is costing lives. The need for responsible, effective programs to educate about, as well as treat, addiction should be a major priority for our society.
Scientology, never one to let an opportunity slip by, has smoothly stepped into this arena with their Drug Free World program.
Ostensibly a program meant to educate the public in order to keep them from becoming addicted in the first place.
Upon closer inspection however, there is a secondary, subliminal reason for it as well.
I decided that the best way to understand Drug Free World would be to take the online course myself from start to finish. I did not wish to end up on the eternal Scientology mailing list however, so it was Sue Preseve, my nom de guerre, who signed up on the drugfreeworld.org website.
The entire course is very short and takes less than 20 minutes to complete, the video portion clocking in at just over 7 minutes.
Although it encompasses several sections, the core of the class is the introduction video. Everything that comes afterwards either reinforces what was seen in the video or is basically vocabulary.
The vocabulary sections take two forms. First there are multiple choice quizzes to ensure the student understands various words used during the instruction. Secondly there are several pages that simply define various substances that are commonly abused, their effects on the body and mind and a list of some of their street names. This list includes alcohol as the most abused drug and it was not lost on Sue Preseve that David Miscavige is known for his love of single malt Scotch.
Scientology’s agenda is wrapped up entirely within the Introductory Video. Beginning with a montage of various people, understood to be former addicts, describing what led them to begin taking drugs.
“I wanted to fit in.”
“It was the cool thing to do.”
“I didn’t want to deal with life.”
This segues into What is a Drug?
At 2:03 the narrator states, “All drugs, whether we’re talking about alcohol, marijuana, LSD, these are all essentially poison.”
This is followed by vignettes of the former addicts making statements about what drugs do to the body, along with pointing at Hollywood and the Media as glamorizing drug use.
Speaker 1, a pretty young blonde says, “when you take drugs, the drug goes through your bloodstream and later on in your life that drug can, you know, come back up in a flashback.”
A second speaker explains, “you could’ve taken LSD one day and, like, a year down the road it can come back into effect and you can start hallucinating again.”
Concurring with this comment, a third young man somberly states, “and it’s not just LSD. It’s every drug. So you can get hit with the effects of a drug even a long time after you’ve stopped taking it.”
Here, right during the first few moment of this video the seeds for the Purification Rundown are sown. Scientology claims that Drug Free World is to educate in order to prevent anyone from even starting to abuse drugs in the first place. However this video, while it does contain some short comments about how drugs ruined someone’s life, made them feel horrible and of course brought to mind the image of an addict sleeping under a bridge, living only to shoot up, feels equally like something that could be used to promote Narconon.
Those shown sharing their experiences are only given seconds to relay the idea of “don’t think it can’t happen to you, look at what happened to me.”
Much more time is spent on subtly proffering Scientology’s ideas of how even if you quit abusing drugs or alcohol, you’ll be running the risk of those drugs coming back to haunt you.
COS falsely teaches that drugs and other toxins have been stored in the fat of your body. The only way to free oneself from the effects of these toxins is to undergo the Purification Rundown.
While the speakers are very clear about how any drug, once taken, can affect a person even years later, the cure for this potentiality is never mentioned.
Unexplained is how one can hope to free themselves from this Curse of the Recurring Residue. Someone watching this video, either having done drugs themselves or knowing a loved one in this situation would naturally be triggered to ask how to avoid such a fate.
Who better to ask for more information than the creators of this course? One phone call to Drug Free World would be all it takes for one to find oneself either in Narconon or, at the very least, paying several thousand dollars for the Purif. After all, it is the only way to remove those dangerous stored toxins so they do not rear their ugly heads unexpectedly down the road some day.
Finally, the last few minutes of the video is filled with the most exquisite of ironies.
Our intrepid spokespeople are asked about the insidious ways drug dealers use to hook new customers.
Their descriptions are sublime in their hypocrisy, so à propos one cannot help but think not of the drug dealer, but rather another malicious entity solely focused on the financial bottom line.
Beginning at 5:13, “When you’re trying to get someone hooked, you’ll say whatever you can to get a customer.”
“You’re lying for them to believe you so they can make money.”
“I would tell people ‘it’s fun. Makes you energetic, makes you more likable. It’s something people want to be around.’ I’d tell them whatever they wanted to hear in order to pick that first one up.”
The video ends and one is prompted on to Part 2, the first vocabulary test. From there as mentioned earlier, Part 3 is made up entirely of the descriptions of drugs and their effects. There is no commentary for any of these drugs, simply definitions of what they are and what they do. Information one can gain just as easily, without being added to a cult’s mailing list, with an internet search.
Following is the final vocabulary test and with it’s completion the course is finished.
Drug Free World’s online course truly feels like it is elementary level, missing any feeling of humanity, compassion or personal warmth. It is short, succinct and clinical in its approach, with nothing truly relatable other than a few brief seconds of “if it happened to me…”. The spokespeople allude to their journeys, but one is never privy to them. Certainly there would be more of an impact if one were to be let in to the details of each actor’s struggle. Instead all is vague and shallow, the watcher kept at arms length.
There is nothing that penetrates the heart, nothing emotional or that fosters identifying with the actors in the video.
No PSA announcement with information about who to contact or where to turn if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction is included with this so-called “educational program”. Indeed there is a feeling of something left incomplete, something left unsaid at the end of the course.
In reality, for a program that claims to be educational and a tool to keep people from abusing drugs, there is very little education at all. A few brief moments of actors hinting at the negativity their addictions had on their lives, longer minutes of erroneous information on how drugs affect a person, a nod to how some dealers operate and it’s over.
That legitimate, supposedly right thinking organizations back the use of this program is mind boggling. It’s efficacy cannot but be in doubt.
Addicts come from every walk of life, they become addicted in spite of their social class, financial situation or level of intelligence. People do not set out to become drug addicts and one can be certain that the majority of those struggling today have all, at one time or another, been exposed to information about their condition.
This Drug Free World course with it’s sterile, impersonal approach would have little to no impact on anyone either already addicted or well on their way.
One wonders how any of the intelligent, savvy young people of today can watch that video and come away with any positive thoughts on it at all.
There is no information contained within it that is either not already known or that is not patently false.
Giving someone a vocabulary test is a waste of time when so many people are dying from this epidemic. Cold data cannot help real, suffering people.
Sue Preseve did complete the course and was awarded a certificate for her efforts.
What good a certificate will do for someone facing the realities of addiction is anyone’s guess.