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Counterpoint // Scientology responds

Title: Counterpoint // Scientology responds
Date: Monday, 26 July 1993
Publisher: Daily Bruin (University of California)
Main source: link (54 KiB)

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By Linda Hight

Your article "Church Members File Suit Against Professor," May 17, quotes psychiatrist, Louis Jolyon West, at length but is less generous with the quotations from reporter Nancy Hsu's interview with me.

West seems to think that free speech means that he is free to break laws and misuse state funds to conduct his personal vendettas. He is wrong.

West is a victim of his own prejudices and misconceptions. Substitute "Jews" or "blacks" for "Scientologists" in West's remarks and the outrage would be thundering. He would be denounced as a racist or anti-Semite and probably toppled from his post at UCLA.

The suit has been brought because West's diatribes against Scientology are being supported financially by UCLA and the Board of Regents (who do so with the monies of California taxpayers and tuition payers) in violation of the constitution and education codes.

West's track record on human rights indicates that he has pushed for measures which discriminate against minority, ethnic, racial and religious groups. In the 1970s, he ran into controversy with a proposed "experimental violence center." Chemical castration and implanting electrodes into people's brains were among the plans he put forward. Young black males and Latinos were to be most of the guinea pigs. There was public outcry, and the proposal was abandoned.

In the 1950s he took part in "mind control" experiments funded by the CIA, he advocates mind-altering drug use to "cure" violence, and he has stated that "morphine, heroin and synthetic narcotics" may become "prescription drugs in psychiatry."

He also has the dubious distinction of being the first psychiatrist to kill an elephant with LSD. The animal died in agony after he injected it with a dose of the drug large enough to send 1,400 humans on full-blown trips.

Linda Simmons Hight is the Church of Scientology International media coordinator