By Barbara Graham more
24 January 2007
When tragedy strikes, most people are sympathetic and
considerate of survivors, friends and relatives of the victims.
There are a few notable exceptions, such as
Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps is drawn to military
funerals as a fly is drawn to stinky. His congregation, which is
mainly members of his own family, show no regard for the
mourners. Left to their own devices, they'll hoot and screech
that 'God hates fags,' and that the death is god's retribution
for national tolerance.
Is Scientology poised to become the next Westboro? One might
be inclined to think so, as Scientologists are planning a
protest following a fatal stabbing at a Sudbury, Massachusetts
school last Friday.
Under the banner of Scientology front group 'Citizens
Commission on Human Rights,' Scientologists are planning to
demand a list of the accused killer's prescriptions and the name
of the doctor who prescribed them.
John Odgren has been diagnosed with
Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and is on several
Scientology is not above scrounging around at disaster sites.
September 11, Scientologists posing as mental health workers
and "Volunteer Ministers"
swarmed into New York City. They even conned
to run a banner on their news crawl, offering mental health
assistance from an organization they called 'National Mental
Health Assistance,' not to be confused with the legitimate
'National Mental Health Association.' The phone number on the
banner is the same 800 number used by Dianetics. Back at
Ground Zero, Scientologists were walking around in NMHA
shirts in a deliberate attempt to mislead people. Certainly it
is a mere coincidence that their mental health assistance
organization just happens to have the same initials as
the National Mental Health Association. Right?
CCHR claims there is no such thing as mental disease. This
reflects the beliefs of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard, not that
there's anything wrong with that. At least, not until their
whacky, ignorant junk science theories begin to affect state
They also claim that "psych drugs" are the core reason for
school violence because kids who commit unthinkably horrible
acts like the Sudbury stabbing are under medical supervision.
As Dr. Earnest Harman points out, "The kids doing the school
shootings are troubled to begin with, whether they're on
anti-depressants or not," he said. "The fact they're on a
medication is an indication that somebody in the community has
identified a problem and is trying to help."
CCHR clamoring has already affected one state legislature;
New Mexico. Pressure from groups opposed to screening influenced
New Mexican legislators to pass a law prohibiting mental health
screening in schools. Similar legislation has been proposed in
nine other states, the National
Mental Health Association reports. Screening for depression
and other mental health issues could be a valuable tool in
preventing tragedies like the
Columbine shootings. This is Scientology fantasy impacting
real life...real kids and real deaths. Heck, they screen for
vision and hearing problems. What if the voices are all in the
head, or your adolescent is suffering from depression? Wouldn't
you want to know about it? Wouldn't you want your child's school
to be aware of potential problem kids?
CCHR is also actively promoting a traveling road show, in the
best tradition of snake oil salesmen of the Wild West. Called 'Psychiatry,
An Industry of Death,' this display of wild accusations and
inaccuracies has drawn criticism and rejection wherever it goes.
Again posing as "experts," CCHR representatives churn out
choice sound bytes by the hatfull.
Mental health "expert" Kevin Hall is head of CCHR in New
England. "These doctors shouldn’t be prescribing willy-nilly.
It’s like playing Dr. Frankenstein," he declared. Apparently you
don't need a medical degree to give advice to doctors. A diploma
from Klown Kollidge is apparently sufficient. He makes it sound
like the doctors hang up a Physician's Desk Reference and hurl
darts to pick a drug. Sadly, some people are naive enough to buy
this codswallop. Even sadder, some of them are legislators,
congresscritters, and judges.
The problem is, hardly anyone bothers to fact-check the
misinformation gushing from the Scientology standpipe.
Last week, CCHR made the mistake of sending a brochure to the
Kingman Miner, the local paper for Kingman, Arizona. The
reporter decided to take the time and research some of CCHR's
A psychiatrist who was shown the brochure described the
Scientologist mindset accurately and succinctly. "First of all,
you have to recognize where (CCHR) is coming from," Dr. Earnest
Harman said. "They're a mouthpiece for the Church of
Scientology, which is big on anti-psychiatry drugs.
"They look at all kids in what we call primary process
thinking, which does not adhere to logic. For example, if you
have someone in a yellow shirt kill someone wearing a yellow
shirt, a primary process thinker believes anyone in a yellow
shirt will kill someone else in a yellow shirt."
Thus, we can see strangely incomprehensible leaps of
Scientology logic made clear. If you're against Scientology, for
example, you support the drugging of schoolchildren. If you
criticize Scientology's drug rehab facility
Narconon, you're in
favor of illegal drugs.
Scientology seems to have a real talent for repulsing and
disgusting people worldwide. Targeting vulnerable disaster
victims and sending members posing as mental health
professionals and ministers is pretty low. But they haven't
stopped there, it's almost as if they're trying to find the line
that shouldn't be crossed. Using a community tragedy as an
excuse to spread their peculiar and ill-informed beliefs while
the residents are grieving is repugnant.
This is already a concern voiced by
The Metrowest Daily News which covers the Boston area, "A
Scientologist group will gather today in Sudbury to demand that
accused teen killer John Odgren's psychiatric medications be
made public in an event some say will enrage the grieving
Another topic of outrage should be over CCHR's demands for
access to the accused killer's medical records and doctor's name
as if they have a right to them. When Scientologists are on a
roll, they act like they have a right to personal information,
medical histories and criminal records.
It is somewhat surprising that there isn't more of a backlash
from the medical community. Scientology's open hatred of the
mental health industry is dangerous. Just ask Scientologist Elli
Perkins. Oh, right, you can't. She's dead, stabbed to death by
her schizophrenic son Jeremy
Perkins, who was being "treated" with vitamins on the expert
advice of an osteopath named
Conrad Maulfair. You might as well take medical advice from
a geologist for all the good it will do.
Finally, I want to emphasize that CCHR presents itself as a
secular organization not connected with Scientology. Like
Narconon and other front
groups, they claim to be a separate entity, realizing that they
will benefit from establishing some distance away from the
Mother Ship. Still, with this kind of lurid, insensitive
behavior, they aren't making any friends. Their protest today in
Sudbury consisted of nine people on a corner holding signs, with
the following reaction from locals.
During the hour-long protest, several motorists could be seen
shaking their head. Several flashed their middle fingers at the
CCHR members as they passed, while others shouted from windows.
"Have you ever seen a
schizophrenic off his drugs? Obviously not!" one woman
shouted, before driving away.
If there's one thing Scientologists know how to do well, it's
making friends all around the world!
— Spidergraham Chaplain, ARSCC xenub...@netscape.net
"Comparing Scientology to a motorcycle gang is a gross,
unpardonable insult to bikers everywhere. Even at our worst, we
are never as bad as Scientology."
— ex-member, Thunderclouds motorcycle "club"