Psych vs Sci
Sigmund Freud goes to guns
against David Miscavige in
Salon has republished today a remarkable article by senior technology and business editor Katharine Mieszkowski. (Click the title above for full text.) Through datelined July 1, 2005, it could not be more timely, particularly with rise of Anonymous and increasing awareness in the media of the criminal corruption and abuses of corporate Scientology. What she writes is as true today as it was three years ago:
But the Church of Scientology's war on psychiatry is no joke. For decades, Scientologists have maintained that the very notion of mental illness is a fraud. They base this belief on the views of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, who proclaimed that psychiatry was an evil enterprise, a form of terrorism, and the cause of crime. Now, they're attempting to enshrine their contempt for psychiatry in laws across the country. ...
She lays out in detail Scientology's strategy and tactics in its war on psychiatry at the level of communities and state legislatures through its front groups, particularly CCHR (Citizen's Commisison on Human Rights - its anti-psychiatry front), and Narconon (its substance abuse rehabilitation front) since it's ability to do overt political lobbying is limited by its religious status.
Despite the setbacks, CCHR and Narconon continue to promote their programs in state legislatures, schools and the public eye. Ultimately, say Scientology critics, the message is not about medicine or science, which Scientology members consistently dismiss, but the church's messianic fervor to spread its religion.
"Their goal is to take over entirely the field of mental health," says Mark Plummer, a former member of Scientology for 14 years, including eight years in the Sea Organization, what Plummer calls an elite core group within Scientology. "Their beliefs stem from Hubbard's dogma that psychiatry is evil. Scientology teaches that psychiatry views people as 'meat bodies' without a spiritual aspect, and that Scientologists alone should be allowed to treat mental illnesses."
Cult watchdog and longtime Scientology foe Rick Ross [also see the Rick Ross Institute] agrees. "Basically, Hubbard designed Scientology to be the ultimate, if not only way, to address mental health problems," he says. "So psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors associated with mental health are anathema to a Scientologist because Hubbard said so. Psychiatry is outside of the practice of Scientology and the services that it sells."
But you don't have to rely on critics to show that Scientology's attack on psychiatry is part of the church's crusade to rule society. In 1995, David Miscavige, the church's current leader, addressed the International Association of Scientologists in Copenhagen. He told the faithful that the church had two goals as the new millennium approached, dutifully noted by International Scientology News: "Objective one - place Scientology at the absolute center of society. Objective two - eliminate psychiatry in all its forms."
Read the whole thing.
Absolute power has absolutely corrupted David Miscavige, iron dictator of the cult with his own KGB. He is in deadly earnest about wiping psychiatry and all mental health professions from the face of the earth. Mieszkowski takes Scientology's War on Psychiatry seriously, and exposes Scientology's attempts at gaining social power through political lobbying to achieve its destructive end.
A most welcome aspect of Mieszkowski's article is its delineating the political aspects of Scientology's war against psychiatry. She writes:
Jul 1, 2005 | This spring in Florida, where the Clearwater area is a Church of Scientology stronghold, CCHR mounted an aggressive political campaign to keep kids from getting psychiatric care. In the state Legislature, two CCHR-sponsored bills were backed by two Republicans, Rep. Gustavo Barreiro, of Miami Beach, and Sen. Victor Crist, of Tampa. Indeed, as Barreiro told the St. Petersburg Times, Scientologists had even written parts of the legislation. Both Barriero and Crist had been friendly with the church: They were guest speakers at a Scientology celebration where Crist touted the legislation and Barriero gave the church an award for volunteer work following the 2004 hurricanes.She also writes of Scientology's bringing its celebrity strategy to bear in Florida in an attempt to defeat an alliance of important medical, mental health, and government services organizations:
Scientologists Kelly Preston and Kirstie "Fat Actress" Alley testified in Tallahassee on behalf of their church. At one point, Alley wept so hard -- "This isn't an issue about psychiatrist vs. non, but about the children" -- that she could barely get the words out. "It's tough lobbying against movie stars," says Daughton of the Florida Psychiatric Society. "Some of it was just surreal."
There should be a Godwin's Law that reads "Whoever invokes "It is about the children" in a discussion, loses. "The Children" has become the last refuge of scoundrels. Scientology's invoking them in its war on psychiatry is obscene.
Socially and politically the treatment of children in our society is one of our greatest concerns. Scientology has used both parties for its purposes: Republicans in Florida for its anti-psychiatry jihad, and the Clinton administration, dazzled by celebrity power, to bring pressure on Germany through representations of our State Department. Scientology also won its 25 year war on the IRS in the same administration. It was certainly granted tax-exempt religious status because of the perjuries of David Miscavige , ecclesiastical head of the Church. The IRS was exhausted and budget- depleted by an onslaught of lawsuits. Arguably, the final grant was made though extortion and blackmail.
Why don't they? Inertia. because we are not bringing pressure on them. Fear of the kind of celebrity power of Scientology being brought to bear that Mieszkowski writes about. But mostly because of corporate Scientology's successful program of skillful religious cloaking.
Ex-Scientology executive Lawrence Brennan was in charge of designing and putting that program in place. In his important affidavit he lays out the elements of the program like commissioning clergy and scholars to write articles averring that Scientology is a religion, labeling its medically and psychologically dangerous practice of junk psychology interrogation called auditing as a "religious service" and thus tax deductible to the "parishioner" making a "fixed donation" for these (expensive) "religious services".
Since Catholic religious orders are exempt from labor, social security, and minimum wage laws, Scientology deliberately started calling its elite staff and management organization, the Sea Org, a religious order to avoid these laws, as Brennan has exposed. Catholic religious life is built on fraternal love in a community vowed to a simpler life to be free of encumbrances to live the Gospel. Religious cloaking in Scientology has created a cadre of slaves in the Sea Org.
It is here among the children of Sea Org members that abuses occur. Education that consists solely of indoctrination into the thought of L. Ron Hubbard; separation from parents for weeks and months at a time; separation from siblings, parents, and grandparents through the Church's cruel and heart-breaking practice of primitive religious shunning known as disconnection. Children as young as four have been locked up:
The four-year-old boy could no longer cry. He had been nearly 48 hours in the chain locker of the flagship _Apollo_ and his entire body was aching from his efforts to chip off rust. His knees and hands were raw with cuts and bruises. His voice was raspy from crying, and he was desperately afraid.Teenagers have been forced to get married because they had a crush on someone. Some have had to endure the trauma of their parents being forced to divorce by head of the Church and Tom Cruise's best friend, David Miscavige. Former Scientologist Dennis Ehrlich wrote of the experience of one of his children growing up in Scientology;
My youngest child nearly died shortly after birth because of scientology's distrust and unwillingness to get competent medical care for members. She spent the first several years of her life in a Sea Org nursery. I used to wonder why she would cry hysterically each morning when she was deposited in the facility. It was staffed by children, usually 12 to 16 years old, from the Cadet Org. The nannies had no sense of hygiene, and the children often suffered from infections, illnesses, fleas, lice, scabies or crabs. During all of this, I was so focused on my job in the Sea Org -- Chief Quality Control Officer in the brainwashing factory -- that until one day when I was changing my child's diaper and saw little white worms wiggling their way out of her anus, I didn't realize the abuse going on. Shortly after that I left the cult. But the image of those worms exiting my infant daughter still haunts me, just as the image of the twisted, forgotten children in the movie, Mondo Cane, seared into my memory. It will for all time serve as a reminder to me of the neglect and abuse to which I subjected my own flesh and blood in order to "clear the planet."That is what corporate Scientology does to children. Scientology's war on psychiatry is not only on psychiatric medications for children and adults. It is against all of the mental health professions including those that aid and protect children. Scientology's war is not just against psychiatry. It is a war against children as well.
I applaud Mieczkowski's taking Scientology's threat to society seriously. I hope other journalists in the blogosphere will follow her forthright lead now that Anonymous is expanding public knowledge about corporate Scientology's abuses. I also hope her article portends more writing and agitation about this very real social threat. I hope that public opinion will eventually force government action to call to account for great justice the Church of Scientology as presently constituted.
We all stand to lose in Scientology's war on psychiatry.
Credit: Dr. Lilly von Marcab, Psychiatrist