Scientology Critical Information Directory

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CCHR's "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death"


National Post (Aug. 2007): "Industry of Death exhibition on psychiatry walks a fine line" by Kevin Libin

"A major purpose of Scientology is to destroy psychiatry and replace it with its own pseudo-counselling techniques. And CCHR is one of Scientology's front-group weapons attempting to achieve that goal," says Stephen Kent, a University of Alberta sociologist specializing in new religions and cults. Scientology holds that psychiatrists are "cosmic demons," he says. Recall Tom Cruise's televised rant last year against the profession.

"Scientology is a Church that does what it does," Mr. Francoeur insists. "CCHR is a human rights group." Many psychiatry critics unaffiliated with Scientology endorse the commission's work, though it is heavily funded by Scientology and many of its staff are Scientologists.

Few, meanwhile, are doctors, adds Mr. Kent, who caught the "Industry of Death" exhibit in California, where it debuted in 2005. "So, since it's ideologically driven, and most people at CCHR are not medically trained ... you don't know where the truth ends and the propaganda begins."

Here, you'll find some of both. Psychiatrists' eugenics theories helped legitimize Hitler's racist programs, certainly, as well as other persecuting regimes. But won't most visitors know, or at least suspect, there was a bit more to it? It's less likely they'll know, however, that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda architect of 9/11, is not a psychiatrist as the CCHR claims. Neither was B.F. Skinner, for that matter. And he didn't keep his kids locked in a box. [...]

Evening Standard (London): "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'" by David Cohen, 23 Oct. 2006

I expect the evening to have something a spiritual dimension — after all, Scientology calls itself a religion — but what happens next is truly eye-opening.

Up front, David Miscavige is dramatically - and somewhat bizarrely - attacking psychiatrists, his words backed by clips from a Scientology-produced DVD are broadcast on four giant high-definition TV screens and sensationally called: Psychiatry — an industry of death."

"A woman is safer in a park at midnight than on a psychiatrist's couch," booms Miscavige, backed by savage graphics of psychiatrists - or "psychs" as he calls them - being machine-gunned out of existence.

Tom Cruise once publicly criticised a postnatally-depressed Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants, for which he later apologised, but I am now witnessing the raw dogma that lies behind his outburst.

As Miscavige begins to crescendo "our next step is eradicating psychiatry from this planet, we will triumph!" the audience rise as one, wildly clapping and cheering.

I look around, half expecting people to be rolling their eyes at this ridiculous, over-the-top message, but instead they're staring at the screens with a rapturous gaze, almost as if they are hypnotised. A few minutes later, Miscavige crescendos again, and, on cue, the audience rise to hail the chief.

Los Angeles City Beat (Dec. 2006): "Scientology vs. Science" by Andrew Gumbel

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the recent outbursts of über-Scientologist Tom Cruise – his trashing of Brooke Shields after she went public about her post-partum depression, or his set-to with Matt Lauer about Ritalin, in which he proclaimed himself an expert on the history of psychiatry and made almost as big a fool of himself as he had by jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch. The crudeness of the anti-psychiatric argument is tinged with a distinct patina of paranoia. It’s not enough for Scientologists to express their near-pathological hatred of psychiatry in all its forms; they also have to feel they are being persecuted for their beliefs.

Barbara Graham (Jan. 2007): "Today's CCHR demo in Sudbury, MA"

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.

Wikipedia (Jan. 24, 2007): "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death"

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death is a museum in Hollywood, California, USA. It is owned and operated by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an anti-psychiatry organization founded by the Church of Scientology.

Missourian News (Jan. 2007): "Exhibit on Scientology concerns psychiatrists" by Cristi Parker

However, some local psychiatrists are upset and offended at the exhibit, which they say is purposely filled with misinformation and is a danger to psychiatric patients. Beitman says putting such an exhibit in a public building is a mistake.

“This is not a matter of debate. It’s not one of those things that is a difference of opinion,” Beitman said. “It should not be there. It’s like saying child abuse is just another opinion.”

Columbia Daily Tribune (Jan. 2007): "Scientology exhibit won’t help the mentally ill" by Scott Christianson

But given the current state of mental health care in Missouri, having this exhibit come to the state Capitol does seem like a slap in the face of those who have mental health problems or loved ones who are suffering.

As one Missourian explained, "As a person with a severe mental illness who has been helped greatly by the field of psychiatry" and also a person who has been greatly affected by the cuts in Medicaid made by Gov. Blunt, "this public display of disinformation disgusts me. It literally makes me sick to my stomach."

KSDK NewsChannel 5 (Jan. 2007): "DVD Attempts To Support Scientologists' Claims Of Harmful Effects Of Psychiatry" by Cordell Whitlock

Psychiatry and organizations linked to Scientology have locked horns before. After Tom Cruise publicly called psychiatry a "pseudo-science," the American Psychiatric Association issued this response:

"Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment of mental illness works. It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy."

Psychiatric Times (Nov. 1996): "Psychiatric Profession Current Target of Citizens Commission on Human Rights"

Last May, the Church of Scientology's Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) distributed 50,000 copies of a new booklet entitled Psychiatry--Education's Ruin, complete with a cover photo of drugged-looking school kids at desks. The CCHR logo on the cover resembles a federal government seal, with a hand holding up scales of justice. Beneath the logo are the words: "Published as a public service by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights TM." [...]

The Citizen Commission on Human Rights caught lying

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) falsely claimed that its touring exhibit, "Psychiatry: Industry of Death", was co-sponsored by Howard University, and when the lie was spotted by an astute reader, the evidence for this lie was (tentatively) removed from the web. Howard University was not co-sponsoring the event, but was simply renting space to CCHR, and in the end, Howard University decided not to rent a space to CCHR, as reported by Dr. David S. Touretzky [...]