Restoring Honor and Self-Respect

No discussion of The Way to Happiness would be complete without a word regarding the criminal-reform program utilizing that booklet. Known as Criminon (without crime), this program is derived from Mr. Hubbard’s discoveries on causes and prevention of crime as determined through the course of research conducted while serving as a Los Angeles law enforcement officer in the late 1940s. “If you want to rehabilitate a criminal,” he declared, “just go back and find out when he did lose his personal pride. Rehabilitate that one point and you don’t have a criminal anymore.” With Mr. Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness and key principles drawn from Scientology fundamentals, Criminon accomplishes exactly that.

Again, the program is unique. As with Narconon, it relies upon no drugs or punishment, but rather appeals to what Mr. Hubbard described as the basic goodness within all men. If such an approach seems unlikely among hardened criminals, the results speak for themselves. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Criminon delivers through correspondence courses and directly on the floor of penitentiary cellblocks. It further delivers in every type of facility: maximum security, medium security, minimum security, county jails and juvenile halls.

In one such juvenile program alone, wherein 80 percent of all young offenders were routinely rearrested, a Criminon regimen utterly reversed the trend. That is, 90 percent of those completing The Way to Happiness Course were not rearrested. It is not for nothing, then, Chief Probation Officer, Daniel O. Black of the Butler County Juvenile Court in Greenville, Alabama, concluded: “The Juvenile Justice System is in great need of a workable community-based first-step program. The Way to Happiness fills that void. We start with basics: a good moral foundation based on honesty, integrity and trust; that is The Way to Happiness.”

There is appreciably more and it is equally impressive. No words can adequately express what it means to witness the “transformation of a criminal into a human being,” writes a correctional officer in the wake of Criminon implementation across Mexican penitentiaries. Nor is the statement in any way isolated. To be sure, Criminon now delivers in more than 1,500 penal institutions across some fifty nations and results are similarly regarded with awe.

Results of a Study of Criminal Activity Before and After Doing the Criminon Program


2 Years After

To cite but the merest fraction of it: a notorious Leeuwkop supermax penitentiary in South Africa saw a 90 percent recidivism rate plummet to barely 2 percent after implementation of Criminon. Moreover, pervasive cellblock violence fell to virtually nothing. The numbers are no less telling across Indonesian facilities—habitually high recidivism likewise dropping to 2 percent—whereupon Indonesia recommends Criminon implementation to all neighboring nations. Then there’s Rwanda, where a 60 percent recidivism rate fell to zero and where wardens frequently mistake Criminon graduates for correctional officers “because of the type of behavior they conform to.”

All told, better than one hundred thousand inmates have successfully participated in Criminon programs and since embarked on crime-free lives. What those former inmates represent in totality is no less than the total sum and substance of what L. Ron Hubbard long maintained—namely and most sincerely: for all Man’s failings, his violence and degradation, the human being is nonetheless basically good and so, as he further tells us:

“Wherever Man strives, wherever he works, whatever he does, the good he does outweighs the evil.”

For the complete body of information on The Way to Happiness see the L. Ron Hubbard Series edition, Humanitarian: Restoring Honor & Self-Respect.