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10 Bizarre Claims From Scientology’s War On Psychiatry

by Debra Kelly
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Scientology’s hatred of everything psychiatric is well-known due to Tom Cruise’s infamous, controversial statements on the subject. Those statements just scratch the surface, however, and there is much, much more to the cult-like religion’s absolute condemnation of anything and everything that has to do with the mental health industry. It’s ironic, really.

SEE ALSO: 10 Shocking Scientology Conspiracies

10 Psychiatric Meds Cause School Shootings

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) was formed in 1969 with the sole goal of exposing abuse and practices that put the lives and mental well-being of patients in danger. Founded by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, the commission claims to be a nonreligious organization that doesn’t force any opinion on anyone. It supposedly exists only to provide all possible information on a particular subject, in order to allow people to make educated choices and decisions for themselves.

It seems like a pretty legit organization, and one that’s probably needed—until you take a closer look and find things like their belief that school shootings are largely the result of psychiatric interference and medications. According to the CCHR, school shootings are mostly the fault of psychiatrists who are prescribing drugs with side effects like violence and “homicidal ideation.” An article published by CCHR International points the finger at 35 school shootings, where the perpetrators were found to have prescriptions for medications such as Prozac, Xanax, Zoloft, ADHD medications like Vyvanse, and plenty of unnamed medications.

The link between school shootings and medication has been so loudly shouted that it’s been investigated by groups like the Treatment Advocacy Center, the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety Disorders, and the School of Psychiatry in Australia. The former study concluded that the annual murder rate in patients undergoing treatment for psychosis is 0.11 per 1,000. The latter concluded that mental illness was involved in between 5–10 percent of all homicide cases, and the overwhelming majority of those incidents involve people who weren’t being treated properly or were also abusing other substances.

But according to Scientology’s Los Angeles–based museum known as Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, psychiatrists are the reason that schools are no longer places for learning, but for controlling children with drugs that are prescribed not for the benefit of those taking them, but for the pockets of the psychiatric industry.

9 Anti–Mental Health Laws

In 2005, the CCHR and the Church of Scientology made an attempt at getting legislation passed that would have helped to further their crusade against both psychiatry and specifically child psychiatry. Bills HB209 and SB1766 were put before the Florida state government in the hopes of tying the hands of schools when it came to even suggesting that a child might have some problems that need looking into.

The bills, which were fought wholeheartedly by organizations like Florida’s Office of Suicide Prevention, would have required schools to tell parents that any medication, treatment, or diagnosis of a mental health–related issue would follow the child for the rest of his or her life—which was only true because that was written into the bill, too. Parents would also be told that there was no medical basis for diagnosing mental illness, they would be entitled to refuse any and all treatment or evaluation, and the child wouldn’t be removed from classes in any way if treatment was refused. The bills would have covered anything and everything, even counseling through difficult times like divorce or a death in the family. They also specified that school officials would be forbidden from making any sort of referrals in mental health matters, and they had the backing of a handful of politicians.

Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush, vetoed the bill, and it wasn’t the only Scientology-sponsored bill that he stopped, either. There was also a bill on the table for $500,000 in state funding to be directed toward a prison rehabilitation program based on the principles of Scientology, making it clear how Bush felt about the “weird little group.”

8 Psychiatrists Caused The Holocaust


Photo via Wikipedia

This one’s a pretty roundabout theory, but at least we can give them points for creativity.

According to the CCHR, the Holocaust was engineered by psychiatrists. They point the finger first at a 19th-century psychologist named Francis Galton, who was one of the first to put forward the idea that the “best” specimens of the human race should be the ones to reproduce. And since humans clearly can’t control what they’re biologically programmed to do, a medical solution was called for. (Even in the United States, the results of the eugenics movement were terrifying. We’ve talked about them a few times.)

According to the theory, while there were eugenics movements in a frighteningly large number of countries, Germany’s movement was particularly dangerous because of the number of psychiatric professionals that were involved in the development of the doctrine. They were writing books on inferior races and on racial hygiene, and they weren’t shy about specifying who needed to be cleansed from the world’s population. The use of accepted psychiatric practices turned Hitler’s movement into something scientific, rather than just the rantings of a madman. Psychiatry gave him credibility, and a match made in Hell was formed. The Nazis needed official, accepted, medical justification, and the psychiatric community wanted money. It was only in Germany, where psychiatric input became key, that sterilization turned into murder. Once the groundwork was in place, the CCHR says, it was easy enough to expand the list of people that were unworthy.

7 Psychiatrists Kill Creativity

unrecognized businessman thinking about suicide
Scientology’s Museum of Death claims that Hollywood has been invaluable in touting the benefits of psychiatry and raising the status of its practitioners. From the 1950s–60s, there was a very particular way that psychologists and psychiatrists were portrayed. They were intelligent, they were learned, they were the voice of reason, and their advice should be followed. Ironically, they were the ones that were killing the world’s creative talent.

The CCHR names people like Marilyn Monroe and Kurt Cobain as individuals who were of “exceptional artistic ability” and were responsible for saving the soul of mankind. At least they would have been, had they not been destroyed by offers of help from the psychiatric community. Contrary to the popular belief that musicians, artists, actors, and writers see the world differently and therefore can be expected to live lives that are in constant upheaval, often dying young, it’s not the artist that’s wrong. The real issue is the offer of drugs to help correct problems. The world’s artists are now being pumped full of chemicals that are as deadly and debilitating as the lobotomies that were once performed, and they’re being prescribed drugs that are more powerful and potent than cocaine. This is, of course, killing them, and that’s why so many artistic lives end so young.

6 Engrams

All of Scientology’s ideas on psychiatry are, of course, coming from their fearless founder, L. Ron Hubbard. His hatred of psychiatry is in no small way based on his having written his own version of therapy and, according to him, having discovered the real root cause of all mental distress. Hubbard says that in order to be scientific, any mind-science has to be able to pinpoint one single cause for ailments. He’s not saying that all ailments have the same cause, but he is saying that there’s got to be a measurable reason for everything, even if it’s interference by medical professionals. According to Dianetics, that root cause is an engram.

Engrams are found in a person’s mind. Specifically, they’re in the engram bank, a part of the mind that’s responsible for holding and processing all of the emotional and physical pain that we ever feel. Engrams are physical traces left on the tissues of the brain, and they give us everything from high blood pressure and asthma to the so-called psychosomatic disorders. Hubbard says that the cells of the engram are sentient, and once engrams are planted in the mind, they record all the different sensations that go along with an experience, making the person feel them again and again. For example, once a person is told they’re worthless, it creates an engram that makes them feel worthless all the time, especially when they feel a trigger that’s associated with their early experiences.

Hubbard also says that people are born with a lot of their engrams. Being in the womb is a terrible experience, and as the brain of a developing baby is nothing but a reactive mind-recorder and engram bank, it’s an overload of information powerful enough to scar you for life. Fortunately, he’s got the cure, too—anyone who reads Hubbard’s books and listens to him. Officially called auditors, they’re basically people who sit down and listen to other people, removing all the bad engrams. It works so long as no one questions Hubbard’s methods.

5 Psychiatrists Are Terrorists

If Dianetics is the way to remove all the mental difficulties from your life and start down the path to happiness and freedom, then psychiatry is terrorism. According to an article written by Hubbard called “Today’s Terrorism,” four out of five people have been (or know someone who has been) “ruined by psychiatry.” The reason we don’t hear about it is because anyone who might be willing to speak out against the evil regime of psychiatrists is terrified that their loved ones will pay for their rebellion. He tells stories of people being held against their will, their loved ones ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars or forfeit that loved one to a mental institution . . . and we all know what goes on there.

Once people can’t pay any more, have sold all that they had, and have nothing left, the patient is disposed of. According to Hubbard, he was part of a conversation determining the fate of a woman who had been impregnated by mental health workers, and when her husband couldn’t pay any longer, they got rid of her—and the baby. He claims the whole industry is responsible for nothing less than torture and murder. While we fight terrorist groups outside our borders, we’re completely missing the one right here at home.

4 Psychiatrists Encourage Racism

Racial Tension
In case you’ve ever wondered why people are racist, the answer to that is, of course, psychiatry. According to the CCHR, the psychiatric community is directly responsible for encouraging worldwide racism by diagnosing conditions more often in some specific groups. At the top of the list is the idea that minority children are more likely to be assigned a label such as “learning disabled” while in school. This increases the image that minorities are somehow lesser races. The diagnoses are also used as a reason to get the children hooked on medication and drugs, keeping them as lower-class citizens. Psychiatry is perpetuating the cycle of criminality and discrimination by whom they diagnose, and the CCHR says that it continues well beyond school.

Minorities are more likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic, the CCHR claims, and they’re more likely to be kept on mind-altering substances and subjected to inhumane treatments like electroshock therapy. The underlying, racist principles of the psychiatric community are responsible for apartheid, for the oppression of groups including the Native Americans and the Australian Aborigines, and for all the discrimination that we still see today.

These claims are hilarious, especially in light of letters written by Hubbard and his upper-level cronies that talk about their pro-apartheid tendencies when it came to the presence of Scientology in South Africa. In the 1960s, Hubbard was hoping to use South Africa as a gateway into the rest of the continent, and he made every effort to endear himself to the government. He offered Scientology as a tool to help put down any kind of rebellion against apartheid and wrote of the benefits: “In South Africa terrorism and its attendant dangers can be fought more effectively by E-Meters than by guns, since only Scientologists with meters could detect subversives.” Hubbard wrote some pretty disturbing stuff, especially for someone who blamed psychiatry as the reason for racism. He sent directions to the government on how they could use E-Meters on unwilling subjects and included the idea that people that failed to pass the E-Meter test should be executed.

3 A Psychiatrist Masterminded 9/11

Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri

Photo credit: Hamid Mir

In case you were wondering who has been behind all the horrific acts of terrorism that have been going on in the world today, the Scientologists know that, too. It is, of course, the psychiatric community, who’s using drugs, behavior modification, and mind-control techniques to turn ordinary people into suicide bombers and mass murderers. They point to the early techniques of drugging Hashishiyn (meaning “user of hashish”) assassins, telling them that the paradise would be waiting for them all if they were successful in their terrorist activities. They point to amphetamine use by kamikaze pilots, and they also point fingers at the psychiatrist who they say was controlling Osama bin Laden.

According to Scientologist theories, Ayman al-Zawahiri wasn’t just always seen alongside bin Laden, he was actually the mastermind behind all of the plots. It was al-Zawahiri who not only counseled bin Laden, but also who created the propaganda and psychologically manipulative tools that were needed to create an army of suicide bombers that would do their bidding. Ayman al-Zawahiri is actually an eye surgeon.

Al-Zawahiri was far from the only “mad psychiatrist” out there. A man named Aziz al-Abub, who trained under the KGB, was an expert in behavior modification and was a known manufacturer of suicide bombers. Living in Iran, he created his soldiers and passed his mind-melding techniques on to a new group of psychiatrists. And then there’s Adel Sadeq, head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Ein Shams University in Cairo and chairman of the Arab Psychiatric Association, who used television to brainwash countless young people into killing machines for the cause. The list goes on and on, and according to Scientology, suicide bombers are the result of some serious psychiatric meddling.

2 PTSD Doesn’t Exist

PTSD Veteran
Just like we’re medicating our children for mental diseases that don’t actually exist, we’re doing the same thing to our veterans—according to the doctrine. The somewhat ironically named Freedom Magazine interviewed a Dr. Chuck Ruby, a clinical psychologist who had a change of heart. According to Ruby, there have been an extraordinary number of suicides, violent acts, and heart-disease related deaths among the nation’s veterans, specifically those veterans that were prescribed drugs to help them deal with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

There’s no such thing, Ruby said, along with the comment, “It’s all just about being human.” Veterans diagnosed with PTSD aren’t sick; they’re just normal. Ruby supports the idea that they don’t need medication, just need someone to talk to. This falls right in line with the idea that there’s actually no such thing as a mental disorder, meaning that there’s no real reason for medication. PTSD, they say, isn’t like being diabetic—it’s not measurable, and there’s nothing there that drugs need to correct. It’s just people being people.

To support their case, they look to the group they call the “Charleston Four,” a group of young veterans who died from the drugs that they were prescribed for PTSD. The four had been diagnosed with the supposedly imaginary condition, were prescribed drugs to help them cope, went to sleep, and never woke up. They’re not the only ones, either, according to the story. They claim that deaths which are labeled suicides have more to do with an imaginary diagnosis and the drugs than modern psychiatry is willing to admit.

1 Genetics And Mental Illness

According to Scientology, one of the biggest problems with psychology and psychiatry is that in truth, it’s all just someone’s opinion. They claim that there are no medical tests that can be done to find concrete evidence of so-called mental disorders, and nothing physical will show up with anything such as depression, anxiety, or any one of the other diseases that drugs are being prescribed for. No brain scans will show ADHD; there are no genetic markers for mental illness, no blood tests, no nothing. They also point out that there have never been any concrete findings in which a biological reason for mental illness has been found, and there have been no genetic markers linked to any illness.

This flies in the face of studies like a recent one done by the National Institute of Mental Health, in which five mental disorders (ADHD, autism, major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia) were found to have a genetic link. Individuals diagnosed with these conditions were found to have an increased likelihood to have a genetic abnormality in four chromosomal sites—the genes that were responsible for balancing cellular intake of calcium. Even before that study, other disorders have been proven to display certain genetic risk factors. For example, people with depression and bipolar disorder show signs of commonalities in genetic origins.

Still, Scientology claims that mental disease isn’t real, citing quote after quote about psychiatry being nothing more than one person’s opinion, usually based on a book—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)—which contains nothing more than what’s been elected to be accurate for that edition. Engrams, on the other hand, are absolutely, positively real.

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Debra Kelly

After having a number of odd jobs from shed-painter to grave-digger, Debra loves writing about the things no history class will teach. She spends much of her time distracted by her two cattle dogs.

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