(Note: article is from 2005 but gives a good overview on the cult’s anti-psychiatry actions.)

Scientology’s war on psychiatry

It may be easy to dismiss Tom Cruise’s recent outbursts against psychiatry as the ravings of an egomaniacal celebrity. Comedians have certainly had a field day with Cruise, a fervent disciple of the Church of Scientology, ever since he scolded Brooke Shields for taking prescribed medication to treat her postpartum depression and lectured Matt Lauer, host of the “Today” show, that psychiatry was a “pseudoscience” and antidepressant drugs were worthless because there is “no such thing as a chemical imbalance.” “No?” wisecracked Lewis Black on “The Daily Show,” watching a video clip of Cruise berating Lauer, “Then what do you call what’s happening to you right now?”

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.

Recently, Scientologists have promoted legislation in Florida, Utah and New Hampshire that seeks to discredit psychiatry and drug therapies, especially for kids. The laws would penalize, even criminalize, schoolteachers who recommended mental health treatments to students or parents. At the same time, Scientologists have infiltrated the public schools, promoting a drug abuse program that presents information — that drugs like marijuana and LSD, for instance, accumulate in body fat and create constant cravings — roundly dismissed by medical experts.

Advertisements