Monday, 5 January 2009
Anti-psychiatry, Scientology, and Psychedelic Healing, Part 1
Some years back, I was in a book shop and was attracted to this very interesting looking book. It's cover had on it an image from a famous oil painting, a profile of a human-looking head, but all features composed of sea life, and pearls, shells, seaweed. The title of the book was The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz.I am extremely grateful for finding that book!!
Also a few years ago, I had a friend who got involved with Scientology, and I saw the cult suck him in!
Right from the off, I had bad feelings about the Church of Scientology (CoS), but he persuaded me to try this Scientology 'auditing' session downtown, which I did.
You kind of--if I remember right--hold these two tin cans, and answer these set questions--bit like a psychology test/assessment--and course the result which was like made into a map, where the line/'me' was all 'underground' (which means 'bad') and meant I needed their religion. I said no.
But I remember this scene: At that time, I had got a book called The Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra, and on the front was an image of Siva as Lord of the Dance . And knowing my friend was being pulled into the CoS, I had tried to get him to read it, hoping it might somehow snap him out of his trance, but he wouldn't. When I mentioned about this book after my test at their Church training session, I had two fierce looking Scientologists in my face telling me it was a bad book, bla bla. I was outta there, and soon I lost total contact with my friend.
Before he 'disappeared' he made me this pair of amazing hi fi speakers made of solid wood which are great for sound, and I still use them. That was his passion, and would wax lyrical about best ways to hear music, how sound should come, best, regarding music systems, from speakers encased in solid walls.
I have heard many negative stories about the CoS, and about how they don't like criticism at all, and have a motto of 'Never defend, always attack' So many people do fear this cult. And there exists a group called WhyWeProtest who are extremely anti-CoS, and wear masks because of fear of being, well, attacked (more about this group later.
So considering my own experience with this cult of Scientology (and they apparently hate being called a cult), and what I have read, seen, heard, I was very upset, confused, and disturbed when I found out that Thomas Szasz, a kind of mentor for me, was involved with them, and co-created the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Thomas Szasz WIKIpedia
"Together with the Church of Scientology, Szasz co-founded the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), in 1969, to help clean up the field of human rights abuses. He remains on CCHR's Board of Advisors as Founding Commissioner, and continues to provide content for the CCHR. In the keynote address at the 25th anniversary of CCHR, Szasz stated: "We should all honor CCHR because it is really the organization that for the first time in human history has organized a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never been done in human history before." Szasz, himself, does not have any membership or involvement in Scientology. In 2003, the following statement, authorized by Szasz, was posted to the official Szasz web site by its owner, Jeffrey Schaler, explaining Szasz's relationship to CCHR:
"Dr. Szasz co-founded CCHR in the same spirit as he had co-founded — with sociologist Erving Goffman and law professor George Alexander — The American Association for the Abolition for Involuntary Mental Hospitalization...
Scientologists have joined Szasz's battle against institutional psychiatry. Dr. Szasz welcomes the support of Jews, Christians, Muslims, and any other religious or atheist group committed to the struggle against the Therapeutic State. Sharing this battle does not mean that Dr. Szasz supports the unrelated principles and causes of any religious or non-religious organization. This is explicit and implicit in Dr. Szasz's work. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join in the struggle for individual liberty and personal responsibility — especially as these values are threatened by psychiatric ideas and interventions."
Now I can understand Thomas Szasz's need to create a powerful enemy against the monolithic pharmaceutical - bio-psychiatric industry, with its mega-profit making abuse of people, and children; an industry that is creating more and more phony 'disorders' to push more and more toxic drugs, and 'treatments', including, especially since 1987, millions of children , but I also feel he should have considered where the CoS's relentless passion was coming from. And also to consider is their collaboration helping or hindering the public's awareness and need to dismantle this monolith, rather than just think it is all hype from the Scientology cult, and that tends to put many people off looking further? For I have found that people will be blinded by the presence of Scientology, and not even see or hear what is revealed about psychiatric history and its abuses, and the pattern which connects. So this is why I am expressing this here, because I am not seeing this being talked about.
For I have discovered since Szasz, that other notable heavyweights in the anti-psychiatric movement also embrace the CoS's presence and help, and their anti-psychedelic approach. For example Dr John Breeding, though I must add he yet still did encourage me to speak out what I feel!
Thomas Szasz has written a book called Ceremonial Chemistry which, I believe is in favour of freedom for people to take whatever drugs they choose, including psychedelics. A position totally contradicting the Church of Scientology!
Dr Fred Baughman ( I don't know what Dr Baughman thinks about psychedelics) who has published a book exposing the pharma-psychiatric attack on children from the ages of 2 upwards, since 1987 with phony labels like 'ADD' and 'ADHD' The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Make "Patients" of Normal Children
; Dr John Breeding, a psychologist exposes the mental illness myth, paying particular attention to the abuse of Electro-Convulsive Therapy;
Dr Gay Null, who narrates the great video, The Drugging of Our Children,
and Dr Breggin (I do not know Breggin and Null's views on psychedelics)
...None of them have anything challenging to say about Scientology's role in supporting and promotion of the anti-psychiatric movement. So I felt out on a limb.
Then I was delighted to meet Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Robert Whitaker clips from film "Take These Broken Wings" . I was very relieved to meet him. Because he seems on my wavelength. He also encouraged me not to worry about being a 'loner' about this, but to say what I feel, which is very deep felt advice.
In my research for this, I watched the video series Psychiatry - Instrument of Death, which is in ten parts
Here is one of the best exposes of the Church of Scientology I've ever seen! I was transfixed from beginning to end. And this is largely down to the amazing charisma of the person articulately telling of his experience, actor, and ex-Scientologist, Jason Beghe, Jason Beghe Interview
A massive clue regarding where the CoS is at, is there stance on psychedelics. They are anti psychedelics, for recreation, and healing, and therapy! They have made videos putting psychedelics in same category of other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and so on. I am afraid this shows their ignore~ance, but I also think there is a deeper motive as well, and this is shared with most groups--throughout history--which seeks to suppress access to psychedelics for fear of their inspirational power for helping the experiencers potentially see right through all-pervasive matrixes that are created by controlling mindsets, and so they create scary stories about such dangerous agents-for-clear-seeing, and worse in some cases. The Christian Inquisition springs to mind!