Why Scientology opposes psychiatry
anti psychiatry references in scientology
how they spread their message
the contents of their message
concluding remarks

How they spread their message

In order to fully grasp Scientology’s approach it is necessary to look at the tactics used by Scientology in spreading its anti-psychiatry message. Two different approaches are used by Scientology depending on the target audience, and both of these will be examined.

Spreading the message to other Scientologists

We have seen in the previous section how Scientology teachings are rife with anti-psychiatry sentiments, including specific policies dedicated to harming the practicing of psychiatry. In addition to these, Scientology magazines, events and promotional materials aimed at Scientologists also contain anti-psychiatry messages. These mediums, however, deliverer a message more focused on combating psychiatry rather than simply espousing the supposed failures of psychiatry. The following video is from the International Association of Scientologists’ 2007 New Years event, and serves to illustrate this difference in message.

It is virtually impossible to open a Scientology magazine without finding an article devoted to the war against psychiatry. These often contain supposed ‘victories’ Scientology claim to have achieved in their war.

scn article on facility closures

Events and publications like the above are intended to convey the impression that Scientology is winning in its fight with psychiatry. This type of marketing is often used by Scientology in order to fundraise off its members.

Spreading the message to the public

Scientology often employs its front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), for deploying their message to the general public. Their choice of name is part of a strategy trying to reframe their campaign against psychiatry as a human rights issue, however internal documents show the Scientology purpose behind this group.

The flagship of the CCHR campaign is undoubtedly its ‘Psychiatry: An Industry of Death’ travelling exhibit and associated film. This travelling exhibit visited Cork in June of 2008, although it was billed as a mental health awareness weekend. By advertising and promoting their event in such a manner the CCHR managed to have the Lord Mayor of Cork lined up to open the event (although after press articles highlighted the Scientology link to the event he became unavailable). That a high-level political figure is susceptible to such marketing techniques should serve to highlight how effective such techniques really are. You can read a journalist’s account of their visit to the Los Angeles exhibit here.

Another way the CCHR spread its anti-psychiatry message is though L.E.A.F. campaigns (Letters to the Editor Attack Force). This is a coordinated attempt to manufacture the appearance of public outrage against psychiatry. Whenever a newspaper article on the topic of psychiatry is published a series of talking points are supplied to a CCHR mailing list. The recipients of these talking points then flood the newspaper in question with letters expressing these talking points, thereby creating the appearance of public outrage. We have provided some examples of emails detailing the planning of these campaigns.

Scientology also use another of its front groups, their ‘Volunteer Ministers’, to attempt obstructing people receiving psychiatric help. In disaster areas such as 9/11 and the London bombings these Volunteer Ministers deliberately hampered people from psychiatric help. This undercover BBC radio documentary exposes this practice.

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