After Stormy completes roll call, the Objectives students make their way to the vans. I am ecstatic that I am no longer one of them. I crack Book 5 open and resume reading where I left off. The book has discussed in great detail, the attributes of both the antisocial and social personalities. Like many of the books before it, we are now moving into, “Basic definitions.”
The first term defined is the Suppressive Person (SP):
This means a person who seeks to suppress, or squash, any betterment activity or group. A suppressive person suppresses other people in his vicinity. This is the person whose behaviors calculated to be disastrous. Suppressive person is another name for the antisocial personality. Book 5, Page 218.
Next it defines the Potential Trouble Source (PTS):
Potential Trouble Source (abbreviated PTS”). This means a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person. He is called a potential trouble source because he can be a lot of trouble to him.self and to others. Book 5, Page 219.
As you can see, we are speaking Narconese again. The idea is that a suppressive person is so suppressive that he/she keeps the PTS from properly functioning in life. The PTS will go through spurts of doing well in life and then not doing well. The book suggest when the PTS is not doing well, he/she is ill. This is a result of having interaction and relationships with suppressive people. The book has a term for the spurts of doing well and then not doing well.
The term is called Roller-Coaster:
The term roller-coaster was derived from a ride of the same name in an amusement park (a “roller-coaster”), which is a small railroad that moves along a high sharply winding trestle with steep inclines that produce sudden, speedy plunges for its passengers. And that is the first indicator of a potential trouble source- the person is roller-coastering. Book 5, Page 227.
The book elaborates that when a person is making mistakes in life or is doing stupid things, that that person is in the vicinity of a suppressive person. An example of something a suppressive person might say that would cause for PTS is: “You will never amount to anything in life.”
My mind begins to ponder on the relationships I have held in my life. According to this book, I have most certainly held relationships with suppressive people. Eric, the guy I was running the streets with just a few months ago, was most definitely suppressive. It would be real easy to blame my bad behaviors on those relationships, but I won’t. I am responsible for my own actions and behaviors in life. This book appears to be contradicting the message the Objectives portion of the program tried so desperately to convey, “You have the ability to control your own life and make your own choices. You are responsible for them.”
I continue reading and discover that there is more than one type of potential trouble sources (PTS). According to the book:
The first type of PTS person is one who is associated with or connected to a suppressive person (SP) in his present time environment. By “connected to” is meant in the vicinity of, or in communication with in some way, whether a social, familial or business relationship. Book 5, Page 239.
An example of this type of SP would be a musician who had a friend around him that was constantly invalidating his talent and ambition. Having a friend who constantly degraded his ability, discredited his talent and belittled his passion. This might cause the musician to become ill and give up on his dream.
The second type of PTS is defined as:
A past suppression is being restimulated by someone or something in the present time environment. A person wouldn’t even have to see the suppressive person to go PTS but can become so just by seeing something that reminds him of the suppressive. Book 5, Page 246.
Surprisingly, the book actually uses an example that I can understand and relate to, drugs! The book describes visiting an area where you used to buy drugs. In this scenario, the drug dealer is the suppressive person, regardless of not being present. By simply visiting the area that you used to buy drugs in, you can become PTS and roller-coaster. while I understand the scenario, the book is still speaking Narconese to me. How is the dealer the SP?
The final PTS:
There is another specific type of PTS. This is the person who is working at bettering himself but who is also connected, knowingly or unknowingly to a suppressive person. A betterment activity makes people more able. A suppressive person is terrified of anyone becoming stronger or more able, as he is sure that the person would then destroy him. So the suppressive attacks that activity and the other’s interest and involvement in it. Book 5, Page 248.
An example of this, (not the example the Scientology based book gives you) might be joining a church prayer group and feeling stronger and more capable in life. Meeting new friends and learning new things, only to have a SP in your life belittle your involvement with the group by saying things like, “You don’t appear any different,” or “I don’t see any changes in your spiritual behavior.”
“Alright let’s take 10 minutes,” Stormy announces the break.
“Thank God, I need a cigarette,” I say.
“Why do you be smoking on them cancer sticks when you could be vaping with the chief, boo bear?” Bolts asks.
“Bro, vaping is new. They haven’t had time to measure, research, document or correlate the effects that vaping has on your lungs, heart etc. etc.,” I snarl back. “It might be worse for you.”
“Oh boo bear. Boo hoo. Vape is life,” he professes before blowing massive clouds of his peanut butter and jelly flavored vape in my direction. “What you know about that PB&J,” he laughs.
“Yo, can I get a square,” Buster interrupts.
I roll my eyes. The nerve of this guy! “Are you fucking serious right now bro?” I ask. “Don’t ask me for shit again. Not today, not tomorrow, not three years from now when you greet me on my way into your local Walmart, where I am visiting with my list of your IOU’s for CLE’s and Camel Menthol’s bitch!”
A group of students on the benches laugh. Bolts begins his mocking, “Bwahahaha,” laughter while pointing at Buster who bears no expression or visible emotion. I can’t stand him. I burst into laughter too.
“Have you noticed that Misty and Adam Moon are fighting?” Brian asks.
“Oh poor Moony. Mr. Moon. Hottest rapper alive. Still waiting on his mixtape. Boo hoo,” Bolts chimes in. A few students laugh.
Adam Moon is a rapper. He’s just a kid, but has extreme passion and talent for what he does. I feel badly that Bolts and a few others mock his dreams. I can relate. I have always wanted to be a singer and a writer. I’ve had people mock my ambitions before. It’s upsetting and causes that stir of insecurities. I won’t mock Adam’s dreams. In fact, I hope he aspires to fulfill his dream. Who knows, maybe he will let me sing a hook for one of his jams once he makes it big?
“Bolts knock it off. I noticed Adam seemed upset this morning,” I reply. “They didn’t sit together during roll call.”
“Well boo hoo. Poor Moony. Maybe he can rap a song about losing his sweet rehab romance,” Bolts laughs. “Bwahahahaha.”
Keisha and Noah are sitting beside me. I try not to laugh, as I don’t want to mock, but I can’t control myself and laugh with the crowd. Noah breaks out into his hyena type laughter. Bolts continues to point and exacerbate his mocking laugh, “Bwahahaha.”
“Dude. In all seriousness though, what do you think is going on between them?” Brian asks.
“I have no idea. Misty has been acting distant these past few days. Her and Justice are besties and Justice isn’t really vibing with me right now,” I reply. “Sometimes I love her to death and sometimes I really want to punch that bitch!”
“Wow,” Keisha says through laughter. “Don’t hold back now Liz.”
“Oh trust me, she feels the same way about me,” I snicker.
It is time to go back into class. Noah and Keisha are still on like their second dynamic of O/W’s. They mostly spend the day drawing in each others books and giggling. Stormy is well aware of this and has warned them several times about separating them if they do not start producing some work.
“Alright you two. I want to see you heads down and your pens moving,” Stormy warns them again.
I come to a part of the book that describes handling the potential trouble source. There are two stable data, (yes more Narconese) that will help you to handle them. Incidentally, they are patters that will need to be repeated verbatim and then written verbatim on the test. They are:
- ALL ILLNESS, IN GREATER OR LESSER DEGREE, AND ALL FOUL-UPS STEM DIRECTLY AND ONLY FROM A PTS CONDITION.
- THAT GETTING RID OF THE CONDITION REQUIRES THREE BASIC ACTIONS: (A) DISCOVER; (B) HANDLE OR DISCONNECT. Book 5, Page 257.
Once you understand these two datas, a PTS person can be markedly helped in three ways:
a. gaining an understanding of the technology of the condition;
b. discovering to what or to whom he is PTS;
c. handling or disconnecting. Book 5, Page 270.
Handling means to smooth over a situation in a relationship with someone who has been identified as a PTS in your life. A disconnection is severing all ties with a SP in your life that will continue to cause you to be a PTS. The book continues to elaborate that if you find that a family member is a PTS for you, you should handle the person rather than disconnecting from them.
After further reading about handling and disconnecting I come to this statement:
NOTE: IN STUDYING THE MATERIALS OF THIS COURSE, YOU MAY HAVE FOUND THAT YOU HAVE A PTS CONDITION THAT YOU NEED TO HANDLE. IF THIS IS THE CASE, THE NARCONON ETHICS OFFICER CAN HELP YOU TO HANDLE THIS SITUATION. FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON THIS SEE YOUR COURSE SUPERVISOR WHO CAN HELP TO ARRANGE THIS FOR YOU. Book 5, Page 323.
Naturally, if I were to apply this data to my life. I can absolutely see PTS conditions in my life. I hop up and make my way to Stormy. Apparently, this is part of everybody’s recovery here. No one doesn’t have an interview with an ethics officer. I suppose that if one believed that there were no PTS conditions in their life and didn’t need the Ethics interview, they would be classified as an antisocial personality or SP.
“Yes Liz. everybody has an ethics interview. I will put it in your folder and you are dismissed until an ethics officer finds you for the interview,” Stormy says.
I collect my things from the desk and flip a peace sign in Keisha’s direction. What the fuck is an ethics interview? I have no idea. The only students out of class right now are AM sauna students and they are behind me in the program, so they can’t answer that for me. I make my way to the lodge for some coffee flavored water and plant myself on the couch. The show, “Ridiculousness” is on and I laugh hysterically with the AM sauna students in the lodge.
The 3 o’clock break is drawing near. After that there is only one more session before we have our steak dinner and another graduation. Graduations are becoming more and more difficult each week. The students leaving now, are students I have grown closer to than the ones who graduated my first weeks here. I haven’t full on wept at a graduation yet. However, I can sense that in the future. The idea of Keisha and Hayden graduating causes me to tear up a little. Maybe I am premenstrual. Maybe it’s just hormones. I have no idea what is happening, but I am starting to get comfortable here and I am not sure I like that fact too much…
Today’s Theme Song- Fearless- Taylor Swift
**DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience at a Narconon Rehabilitation Center. This is not an expose or journalistic documentation. It is not meant to bash the program in any way, or suggest that it is the only rehab facility that works for recovery. I have been clean and sober since 09-27-13 and attribute much of that success to this program. All of the names in this series have been changed to protect the identity of my friends and sober family’s privacy! Thank you for reading!**