The very first Narconon program was founded in 1966 by William Benitez within an Arizona state prison, after being inspired by the practical betterment philosophy of author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in the book, The Fundamentals of Thought. After reforming himself through the use of this new and innovative rehabilitation technology and establishing the Narconon program, Mr. Benitez found a new purpose in life by helping people not only rehabilitate themselves from drug addiction, but more importantly, restore their personal values, integrity, and responsibility.
Actually, Mr. Benitez, an inmate at the time, was so inspired by his own recovery and by his new purpose, that when it was found that his original sentence was in error and that he could be released with time served, he requested a reduced sentence instead. Although it was the most difficult decision in his life, he decided it would be better to stay an additional 16 months to continue helping others rehabilitate themselves and continue developing the Narconon program within the prison system.
After developing the program within the prison system, Mr. Benitez completing his reduced sentence, and was released in October 1967. He realized that his freedom could now allow him the opportunity to help more people, so he moved to California to establish a Narconon organization for people outside of the prison system. In 1971, Mr. Benitez established the first Narconon program for the general public, Narconon Los Angeles.
Over the years, Narconon Los Angeles, continued to grow, relocate and expand. This group began to open and manage more centers, and is now known as Narconon Fresh Start Drug Rehabilitation and Education Centers, and is located in Glendale, CA. This is one of the most successful drug rehabilitation groups in the world and now manages 6 centers in 4 states. Although, the name has changed over the years, the original high value purpose and drive to prevent and rehabilitate people from drug and alcohol addiction continues on.