Today is my first day in the Objectives course room and it is a zoo! Before we get to Objectives, we have to do Book 4a. I have been paired up with Richard.
“Twinny, twin, twin nigga,” I say, mimicking Chris Tucker’s line from the movie Friday.
Both Richard and I laugh. I haven’t talked to Richard much, but he is the student that detests Mr. Bojangles the resident cat. We communicate in a group dynamic usually. Now we are paired up and will be one on one for the next month of our program. Brooklyn and Makayla are the Objectives supervisors today.
“Book 4a is like Book 1 on steroids,” Makayla informs us.
“What does that mean?” Asks Richard.
“You’ll see,” she replies.
She issues us each a book. I cringe when I see the Alice in Wonderland books she is grabbing for us.
“Oh no. We have to run through all of the TR’s we learned in Book 1 again! You have got to be freaking kidding me. This should be fun,” I joke.
“I know, right?” Richard responds.
Before we have to run the TR’s (Training Routines), we have to read a bunch of definitions first. The first definition we come across is the Narconese definition of, “Objective.”
Objective means something real and observable. It means existing outside of the mind as an actual object and not merely in the mind as an idea; real. Book 4a. Page 7.
After we read about what an objective is, the book makes a case for typical drug addict behavior. Basically saying that drugs can keep a person stuck in their past, leaving them unaware of their present time. It is important to bring an addict into a present environment.
“Is this mumbo jumbo to you?” I ask.
“A little bit. I am not even going to lie,” Richard laughs.
Next we read the Narconese definition of an “Exercise.”
An exercise is a set of questions or commands that you ask a person to help him find out more about himself and life and to improve his condition. Book 4a. Page 20.
These are designed to help bring the addict into a present time environment with order, control and communication. By bringing the addict into present time they are then able to become unstuck from their past and focus on the task in front of them.
After we read about what an Objective is, we have to demonstrate it to the supervisor with a demo kit. A demo kit is the most ridiculously confusing tool I have ever seen. It is a basket filled with colored marbles you might find in a fish tank, a few rocks and the occasional paper clip. You have to position the rocks and marbles on the table and then call the supervisor over and explain the demo to them. You have to get the course supervisors initials to move forward in the book.
“Brooklyn,” I call out. “We are ready to do our demo kits.”
Brooklyn heads over to us.
“Okay so this purple marble is the gnarly tar (heroin) screaming at me to blame everyone else in my life for my shit hole mistakes. This green marble is me hovering around the heroin. This clear marble is my present environment otherwise known as Narconon. This other green marble is my twinny, twin, twin, otherwise known as my homeboy Richard. He is trying to get me to read this book, or this red marble, but I am hovering around the heroin marble,” I laugh.
“You are overthinking this Liz. What is the definition of Objective?” She asks.
I regurgitate the Narconese I have just learned and she asks me to demo it for her again.
“Oh, okay. This purple marble is me and this green marble is a car. It’s real and observable and out of my mind man,” I say.
“Very good,” she laughs.
Richard demos the same scenario, only instead of a car, he suggests his marble is a tree. We both receive Brooklyn’s initials on our paperwork and move forward in the book.
Next we learn what a “Case,” is.
Case: a general term for a person being treated or helped. It also refers to his condition. A person’s case is the way he responds to the world around him by reason of his past bad experiences. Book 4a. Page 35.
“Is this Greek to you?” I ask Richard.
“No. It’s Narconese,” he replies. We both giggle before calling Brooklyn back over so that we can demo with the marbles the definition of the word, case.
Then we learn about a, “Case Gain,” and we demo it.
Case gain: the improvements and resurgences a person experiences from his sessions. It is any case betterment according to the person who experiences it. Book 4a. Page 40.
I am a hands on learner. These definitions are confusing to me because I don’t know their relevancy to what we are going to be doing. Richard shares my confusion.
There are several other definitions to cover. (For the sake of understanding Objectives in the story here are the key definitions and yes, we had to demo each one with marbles.)
Session: a precise period of time in which you are receiving Objectives from your twin at Narconon. Book 4a. Page 52.
Cognition: an origination from. a person indicating that he has “come to realize.” It’s a “What do you know I …” statement. It’s something a person suddenly understands or feels. “Well, what do you know about that?” It is a new realization of life. Cognitions result in higher degrees of awareness and as a result greater abilities to succeed with one’s endeavors in life. Book 4a. Page 56.
“Okay. Bathroom break,” Makayla announces.
“You guys can smoke because you are not in Objectives yet,” Brooklyn informs us.
“Wait, what? We can’t smoke during Objectives?” I ask.
“No. Nicotine is considered a mood altering substance. You can’t smoke during course hours,” she replies.
“Dude that’s bullshit! I specifically asked if this rehab was a smoking facility because I am a fucking smoker. I can’t kick heroin and not have my nicotine to calm my nerves,” I shout in a panic.
“Chill. It’s okay Liz. Go have a smoke,” she suggests.
Makayla walks the group of students in Objectives over a small, decorative bridge and up a path to a separate building that houses the lavatories. I watch as she unlocks the doors and allows the students access to them.
“No smoking in the bathrooms!” She warns.
My mind eases. Clearly, the students smoke in the bathrooms. I absolutely will be smoking in the bathroom and blame my time duration using the facility on my morning coffee.
After the bathroom break we continue class. Richard and I drill the TR’s we learned from Book 1 with the added joy of using the demo kit to demonstrate what a drill and training routine is. Reading from Alice in Wonderland is boring. Once you have it, you have it. To be forced to drill this again is torture. Finally, it is lunch time.
I pile onto the van and sit next to Keisha. The center is directly across the street, but we have to be driven across to avoid the liability of being hit by a car. We are in the middle of nowhere. This protocol makes me laugh.
“What do you think so far?” Keisha asks.
“Oh my gawd girl! Book 4a sucks. It’s Book 1 all over again with the added definitions relevant to Book 4b, Objectives,” I scoff.
“I know. I saw you twitching in your seat,” she laughs.
“I am already missing sauna,” I joke.
When we unload from the van, we have to report to the course room and wait to be dismissed for lunch. After Stormy dismisses us, we race to the chow line.
“Hey girl hey,” I call out to Hayden.
“Liz. Don’t enturbulate sauna students!” Kentucky exclaims.
“My bad mama,” I reply.
Hayden smiles in my direction before finishing her plate. Keisha and I sit with Noah, Bolts, Brian and Hunter.
“We have to get through our eyes closed for two hours bro,” Brian says in Bolts direction. They are twins.
“Two hour TR’s! That is insane. How the hell can they expect us to sit in a chair for two hours without at least adjusting in the chair? After an hour my ass was numb,” I say.
“Bolts here is a pain in my ass Liz. We were an hour and 45 minutes into TR-0 eyes closed and this mother fucker fell asleep and fell out of the chair. Makayla flunked us. Now we have to start all over again,” Brian says, irritably.
“Oh my gawd! I would be so pissed,” I announce.
Bolts is laughing hysterically, but I can see that Brian is frustrated.
“It could be worse!” Noah exclaims. “I am stuck with Juice. With the exception of drawing swastikas on the partitions, he ain’t doing shit.”
“That sucks. I can’t believe they broke you and Keisha up,” Brian says.
“Dude. I know. Juice is my third twin. I am never going to get out of Objectives,” he says, slamming his fist down on the table.
“Why does he draw swastikas on the partitions?” I ask. “He has tan skin, brown eyes and black hair.”
“He thinks he is being funny,” Noah responds.
“I don’t think there is anything funny about swastikas,” I confess.
Vinny too Skinny is Jewish and I am sure he won’t appreciate it once he moves to that course room. The boys laugh and exchange antidotes while my mind wanders to a Holy Land tour I took in Israel. I visited Yad Vashem. It is the Holocaust museum. After walking through that place, no one would think it was funny. I will never forget these weird contraptions they had under glass. There were plaques that explained what they were. They were a tool used to measure noses, conforming to the stereotype that Jewish people have big noses. I remember reading that a lot of Gypsies were killed during the Holocaust as well because their noses were large and they were labeled Jewish, simply by this measurement. It sickened me.
There were videos playing with Holocaust survivors telling their stories in each room of the museum. The Nazi flag was blood red and I could feel hate and evil emanating from it. It frightened me. It terrified me to a point of not wanting to walk past it. I excused myself halfway through the tour, but I never went back in. I wept. There was a Children part to the museum. I remember walking into this separate building. It was dark. The only light was less than that of a single candle flame and a female’s voice was casually reading in a whisper, the names and ages of the deceased children. It sent chills down my spine. My daughter was less than two at the time. Some of the names called, were her age. I had to leave.
To think that anyone would find humor in drawing swastikas, sickens me. It’s ignorant. I feel I am alone in this, as I hear the boys joking about it. I remember questioning God that day. I was on a Holy Land tour designed to show Christians places described in the Bible. The history there created awe and wonderment. I was on fire for God back then. I went to church every Sunday, read my Bible, prayed every night and was attending a Christian college, but that day, that day I questioned God’s existence. It was the only day in my entire life that I ever entertained an idea that he couldn’t exist and allow that evil to coexist with him.
I quickly dismissed the idea because I’ve had enough personal experience through Christ, that I know he is real. I felt instantly convicted for even having the idea, but of any place, any hell I had ever been, that museum was the most sobering. I remember the entire time the theme song to Schindler’s List played on repeat in my mind. I had never watched the movie, I still haven’t, but I know the music well….
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Today’s Theme Song- Schindler’s List Theme- John Williams
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**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!**