by Jeff Jacobsen
“I think psychiatry should be outlawed.” [Tom Cruise, Scientologist, on MSNBC 1/21/04]
The Church of Scientology has taken upon itself the goal of eradicating psychiatry from the face of the earth. This may seem like a strange project for a “church,” until one reads the thoughts of Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
In 1950 Hubbard published Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health. This unscientific and unproven method of “clearing” the mind of problems was seen as an alternative to what psychiatry at that time was providing. At first Hubbard did not consider himself in competition with psychiatry, and in fact had sought psychiatric help himself earlier. But dianetics was rejected by the psychiatric community and Hubbard gradually became more and more irate at the profession.
In 1969 the Citizens Commission on Human Rights was formed as an arm of Scientology to fight against psychiatry. In 1993 CCHR was granted tax-exempt status in a secret IRS agreement of the Church of Scientology’s exemption. CCHR and Scientology continue to attack psychiatry.
L. Ron Hubbard was a science-fiction writer before he started dianetics (1950) and Scientology (1953). In 1940 he wrote “The Indigestible Tritan.” In a forward to this fictional work, he wrote about psychiatry, stating
“the fact that psychiatry has succeeded in healing but a small percentage of the known ills of mind rather indicates that the subject is not, as yet, ready for its place among the sciences for all its brave effort to style itself.”
Hubbard bemoaned that psychiatrists would ignore unusual cases as simply “delusional,” and that “every pioneer of knowledge has been judged ‘insane’ in the initial stages of his work.”
[Unknown Magazine, April, 1940 vol. 3, #2 “The Indigestible Triton” by Renee Lafayette (a pen name of Hubbard’s)]
On October 15, 1947, L. Ron Hubbard wrote the Veteran’s Administration for help:
“After trying and failing for two years to regain my equilibrium in civil life, I am utterly unable to approach anything like my own competence. My last physician informed me that it might be very helpful if I were to be examined and perhaps treated psychiatrically or even by a psycho-analyst. Toward the end of my service I avoided out of pride any mental examinations, hoping that time would balance a mind which I had every reason to suppose was seriously affected. I cannot account for nor rise above long periods of moroseness and suicidal inclinations, and have newly come to realize that I must first triumph above this before I can hope to rehabilitate myself at all.”
The next year, Hubbard was promoting his invention Dianetics. This was Hubbard’s unscientific method of handling mental problems. In 1950 Hubbard published the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. While the methods were an alternative to psychiatry, they could be used by psychiatry:
“With the techniques presented in this handbook the psychiatrist, psycho-analyst and intelligent layman can successfully and invariably treat all psycho-somatic ills and inorganic aberrations.” [synopsis of Dianetics, 1950 6th printing, page ix]
Hubbard that same year in a lecture noted that a dianeticist should not be working on a psychotic:
“without liaison with some properly authorized gentleman of the medical profession, and without having a sanitarium close to hand...” [R & D vol. 2, page 167 1980 edition]
But also in 1950, the American Psychological Association wrote to its members that they should refrain from using dianetics:
“While suspending judgment concerning the eventual validity of the claims made by the author of “Dianetics,” the association calls attention to the fact that these claims are not supported by empirical evidence of the sort required for the establishment of scientific generalizations. In the public interest, the association, in the absence of such evidence, recommends to its members that the use of the techniques peculiar to Dianetics be limited to scientific investigations designed to test the validity of its claims.” [”Psychologists act against Dianetics”, by Lucy Freeman, New York Times, 9/9/50].
Hubbard had hoped that psychiatry would see the validity of his theories and embrace dianetics, but instead the opposite happened. By 1955 Hubbard was writing in scathing terms about psychiatry:
“We are not even vaguely propitiative toward medicine or psychiatry, and we are overtly intent upon assimilating every function they are now performing.” (Hubbard, Professional Auditor’s Bulletin no. 53, “Ownership”, 27 May 1955)
Also in 1955 Scientology chose to attack the Alaska Mental Health Act. Alaska at the time was not yet a state and was sending its mental patients to Oregon for lack of their own facilities. A bill was proposed in the US congress to provide funds to create and maintain psychiatric facilities in Alaska. One million acres would be set aside to provide future funding for treatment. Hubbard received a telex about this bill from a Scientologist asking for instructions on what action to take:
“HOUSE BILL 6376 PASSED JANUARY 18TH STOP GOES SENATE NEXT WEEK STOP BILL PERMITS ADMISSION OF PERSON TO MENTAL INSTITUTION BY WRITTEN APPLICATION OF INTERESTED PERSON BEFORE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS ARE HELD STOP DISPENSES WITH REQUIREMENT THAT PATIENT BE PRESENT AT HEARING STOP ANYONE CAN BE EXCLUDED FROM HEARING STOP BILL PERTAINS TO ALASKA AT MOMENT STOP BILL SETS UP ONE MILLION ACRES SIBERIAL IN ALASKA FOR INSTITUTIONS LETTER AND BILL FOLLOW WHAT ACTION YOU WANT TAKEN. KEN NIBS DICK” [Professional Auditor’s Bulletin #74, March 6, 1956]
Even though the majority of Alaskans, churches, and mental health professionals approved of the bill, Hubbard launched an attack to kill it, claiming that the bill would create a concentration camp, or a Siberia, in Alaska, and that any psychiatrist could ship whomever he or she wanted to the encampment.
The next year Hubbard’s attacks made a great leap and claimed that psychiatry has been messing things up since the beginning of time:
“But now, if you really want to make one worse, I’m afraid that you have to go in for mechanical assists... The best one I know is to take a sheet of glass and put it in front of the preclear—clear, very clear glass—which is supercooled, preferably about a -100 centigrade. You got that? Supercooled, you know? And then put the preclear right in front of this supercooled sheet of glass and suddenly shove his face into the glass. Now, that’s pretty good. I mean, that was developed about five billion years ago by a whole-track psychiatrist. [...]
“The mechanism of brainwashing which I gave you... was used very extensively in the Maw Confederation of the Sixty-third Galaxy. They had a total psychiatric control of all of their officers and executives, and when they got tired of them they used this specific method of brainwashing.”
[L. Ron Hubbard taped lecture of 13 November 1956, “Aberration and The Sixth Dynamic”, catalog #5611C13 15ACC-22]
By 1964 Hubbard was accusing psychiatrists of being murderers:
“And such a pc must be able to talk before anything else can happen. Pcs can be ruined by someone who doesn’t grasp that simple fact. Psychiatrists, failing to grasp it, murdered several million people - so it’s no light matter.” “...33 1/3 percent of all psycho-analytic patients are said to have committed suicide in their first three months of treatment...” [HCOB of 11 Dec. 1964 “Processes”]
Hubbard continued on with his attacks on psychiatry, blaming them for more and more of the universe’s ills.
“Psychiatry and ‘Mental Health’ was chosen as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West!” [LRH ED 55 Int, 11/29/68 “The War”]
“The psychiatric bid for total power is well progressed.” “They employ terrorism, corruption and blackmail to cow political henchmen. They have taken over education not only in universities but even in the lesser schools and are producing a submissive, degraded generation over which to rule.” [”The Planned Revolution” 12 June 1969 by LRH]
“I would say that the control philosophies called psychiatry, psychology, and sociology were a failure. Probably the biggest failure of the last two centuries. Isn’t it time we got rid of them?” [LRH 15 June 1969, quoted in CCHR mailer signed by Cuch Figueroa]
In 1969 the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights was founded by Scientology to expose the evils of psychiatry. This commission still works on this goal (www.cchr.org).
Hubbard himself kept up the rhetoric, declaring in 1970 that:
“Technology can come from a wrong source. For instance, Leipzig University’s school of psychology and psychiatry opened the door to death camps in Hitler’s Germany... Not only taking data from wrong source but officialdom from it can therefore be sufficiently aberrated as to result in planetary insanity.” [HCOPL 26 Nov. 1970 “More Outpoints”]
“Thus, psychiatry is MAKING insane people.” [HCOB of 16 July 1970 “The Psychiatrist at Work”]
Hubbard ordered that “we assign any case or upset in Scientology to past damaged and interference with the person by medicine and psychiatry” [HCOP of 29 June 1971, “CONFIDENTIAL”] and eventually called for the complete eradication of psychiatry:
“Doctors are too often careless and incompetent, psychiatrists are simply outright murderers. The solution is not to pick up their pieces for them but to demand medical doctors become competent and to abolish psychiatry and psychiatrists as well as sychologists and other infamous Nazi criminal outgrowths.” [L. Ron Hubbard, HCOB 6 December 1976 “Illegal PCs, Acceptance Of - High Crime Bulletin” (Technical Bulletins, Volume XI, first US printing of 1979)]
“There’s only one remedy for crime - get rid of the psychs! They are causing it!” [HCOB of 6 May 1982, “The Cause of Crime”]
Hubbard’s shrillness kept expanding until he was declaring that all of society’s ills throughout history are caused by psychiatry:
“The greatest crime of our time is the use of psychology and psychiatry to teach little children in schools with them and manufacture crime and a whole world of immorality and unhappiness.” [HCOB of 29 November 1981 “Dianetics and Scientology Compared to 19th Century Practices”]
“Under the false data of the psychs (who have been on the track a long time and are the sole cause of decline in this universe) both pain and sex are gaining ground in this society and, coupled with robbery which is a hooded companion of both, may very soon make the land a true jungle of crime.”
“Psychs... destroyed every great civilization to date and are hard at work on this one. [HCOB 26 Aug. 1982 “Pain and Sex”]
“The psychs should not be let to get away with ‘treatment’ which amounts to criminal acts, mayhem and murder. They are not above the law... They should be handled like any other criminals. They are at best dramatizing psychotics and dangerous, but more dangerous to the society at large than the psychotics they keep in their offices and looney bins because they lie and are treacherous.” [HCOB of 6 May 1982 “The Cause of Crime”]
L. Ron Hubbard died in January of 1986. He left behind his anti-psychiatric rants that the Church of Scientology and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights continue to obey as scripture.
In 1994 CCHR sponsored a book titled “Psychiatrists: the Men Behind Hitler.” This laughable treatise states that; “...all the atrocities and mass murders that Hitler inspired can only be understood if the researcher starts with the assumption that behind Hitler stood certain manipulators who not only encouraged the brutalities, but actually ‘justified’ them.”
“From there flows the fact - now documented and not open to dispute - that Hitler’s philosophy and his concept of man in general was shaped to a decisive degree by psychiatry.” [page 8]
The book’s major thesis is that psychiatry caused the holocaust by giving Hitler and his henchmen the necessary foundation for their actions.
“Psychiatry under the Nazis was more than an obedient servant and an executioner. It was a co-conspirator and co-initiator, if not the major force behind a staggering portion of genocide.” [page 71]
This psychiatric influence still exists today, and has its tentacles all over the world:
“Perhaps the most powerful of these enclaves is in the United States, where psychiatry influences many of the institutions that are simply taken for granted: politics, education, health and the court systems. The result of this unfortunate influence can be found by a quick glance around our nation’s cities and towns: dramatic increases in illiteracy, drug abuse, crime, teenage pregnancy, poverty and insanity. All concurrent with the presence and expansion of they psychiatric influence.” [p. 223]
And here as well, the call for eradicating psychiatry rings through:
“In any place that these ideas [of psychiatry] have taken root and been practiced, progress and well-being have steadily declined. The example of the men behind Hitler is reason enough to become extremely vigilant against any infiltration of these ideas into any part of society, and justification to stamp out where it currently exists.” [p. 365]
Meanwhile, CCHR continues this drumbeat to destroy psychiatry:
“Be part of the team that is taking out psychiatry!” [CCHR mailer Dec. 7, 1993, signed Don Gershbock]
“Psychs are the major source of planetary suppression; they and this program must be stopped.” [CCHR mailer 15 Sept. 1993, signed Steve Manuels]
“We know psychiatrists create insanity, war and crime.” CCHR mailer April 1995, signed Jan Eastgate]
...the psych industry has been bleeding the life and sanity from our country.” [CCHR mailer June 1995]
“It is obvious that psychiatry as an industry has fully infested English-speaking countries and a good portion of the rest of the world.”
“We need to exploit the lawsuits and all psychiatric criminality to maximum advantage... making psychiatry the most unpopular and ridiculed group of the day.” [CCHR newsletter copyright 2000]
“The time to put an end to psychiatry and it’s criminal practices is NOW!” [CCHR mailer, copyright 1998]
“Get rid of the psychs! That is just what CCHR is doing.” [CCHR mailer “Stop Psych Experiments on schoolchildren!” copyright 1997]
Even Scientology’s own CIA, the Office of Special Affairs, got in on the act:
“’Psych Buster’ t-shirts with the infamous ‘Psychiatry Kills’ message written clearly for all psychs to see are available from the Office of Special Affairs for $10.00. Send your size and check to the address listed below.” [OSA Newsletter, July 9, 1986]
At one point CCHR tried to be magnanimous and give psychiatrists an out:
“Dear Doctor X,
At the Citizens Commission on Human Rights we are currently gathering information and documentation of abuses, harmful treatments, and violations of human and civil rights. We fully intend to push for the prosecution of psychiatrists who have been involved in such violations, under whatever laws may apply. In all fairness, we wish to first offer to all those who have in the past been involved in such violations, a chance to absolve themselves, providing that they will come forward and make a clean breast of it, and agree to no longer commit such violations. In return for this cooperation we are willing to offer them an amnesty, and will not push for their prosecution.” [CCHR letter undated but signed Rev. Bruce Cann, chairman CCHR]
David Miscavige, current head of Scientology, explained on ABC’s Nightline program that Scientology was at war with psychiatry:
“But to understand what this war is, this is not something that we started. In fact, 22 days after Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health came out, the attacks from the American Psychiatric Association started... I have the letter sent out by the man who was in the American Psychiatric Association asking for ad hominem reviews on the subject of Dianetics. These people absolutely felt that we were cutting across their vested interests, and the lengths with which they have gone to destroy Scientology and Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard is absolutely mind-boggling. They attempted to do so through the 1950s. First they tried to attack L. Ron Hubbard’s credibility, then they recruited the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration, and they then proceeded to infiltrate our organization.” [ABC Nightline, February 14, 1992]
Notice the power attributed to psychiatry, which apparently can order around entire federal bureaus.
The method and types of attack from Scientology on psychiatry follow the pattern set down by L. Ron Hubbard in the “scriptures” he left behind. For instance, in explaining how to stop attacks (as, for example, psychiatric associations speaking against dianetics) he explained:
“1. Locate a source of attack on us. 2. Investigate it. 3. Expose it with lurid publicity.” [HCOPL of 25 February 1966 “Attacks on Scientology”]
Certainly psychiatry was seen as an attacker:
“Nearly all the backlash in society against Dianetics and Scientology has a common source – the psychiatrist-psychologist-psychoanalyst clique.” [PAB #62, 9/30/55 “Psychiatrists”]
The famous “Fair Game” tactic was simple. If someone is declared an “enemy” as all psychiatrists certainly are, they are
“fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist... May be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.” [HCOPL 18 October 1967 Issue IV “Penalties for Lower Conditions”]
Hubbard’s Guardian’s Office, which had 11 of its leaders (including Hubbard’s wife) serve time in federal prison for infiltrating the U.S. government, had directions on how to attack psychiatrists:
“b. General scene: a psychiatrist who has instigated attacks on the org via police and press.
1. Expose his Nazi background to the press with evidence that he still attends local Nazi meetings.
2. Wake him up every night by calling him on the phone and threatening him.
3. Send an FSM (Field Staff Member) in to be a patient of his for a year to disperse the psych during sessions.”
[”Operations Definitions” handwritten “7/8/77” document from FBI raid on Scientology in 1977]
Pyschiatry was the gremlin in the closet that could be pulled out and blamed for any bad thing. When the Toronto Scientology office was raided by the police in 1983, Scott Carmichael, spokesman for the church, declared that
“Psychiatry has raised a hue and cry against our religion ... and we cannot help but wonder if they do not lie in the background in this incident.” [UPI March 4, 1983]
When the IRS went after Scientology for exemption issues, David Miscavige - current head of Scientology - linked the attack back to psychiatry. [David Miscavige’s IAS speech, 8 October 1993]
Obviously, the operating word from Hubbard was “attack,” and this is just what Scientology has done and does to psychiatry.
Individual psychiatrists have been targeted. The July 19, 1985 Boston Herald had an ad placed by the Church of Scientology which stated:
“Have your rights been violated by psychiatrist John G. Clark? The Church of Scientology is seeking information to determine that psychiatrist John G. Clark of Massechusetts may be engaged in the following activities:
• Rendering diagnoses without examining patients;
• Providing exaggerated diagnoses to attorneys to further their clients’ cases;
• Conspiracy to destroy an individual’s person, reputation or profession;
• Engaging in anti-religious activities;
• Invasion of privacy;
• Any other actions that may have violated your rights.”
The reader was invited to write to the Church of Scientology, Boston. Dr. Clark was an outspoken critic of religious cults.
One of the worst results of CCHR’s actions is that people who take their message to heart will stop listening to their psychiatrist or psychologist, and may stop taking prescribed medication or treatment, even though CCHR has no medical staff or training to make the medical claims they do.
For instance, Dennis Clarke, on his CCHR radio program on WTAN made the following statements about psychiatric drugs:
“There’s far more [violence] in this society than any other society on earth, and the reason is chemicals, causing anomalous states of mind in individuals making them insane, and there are a thousand ways to show it, a thousand ways to approach this whole mystery and unravel it. And I can just tell you that in the medical literature there is ample evidence to convict any psychiatrist for his complicity in the creation of the anomalous states of mind that result in mass murder in this country.”
“The non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs kill more Americans every year from just 2 of their side effects than 2 Vietnam wars, and we’re talking every single year.” [Dennis Clarke for CCHR on WTAN, Clearwater Florida 6/1/01]
People who are under a psychiatrist’s care and on medication prescribed for them can be influenced by such statements, even though Mr. Clarke has no medical background to make such claims.
Hubbard claimed that he had developed some techniques in 1973. The breakthrough, he declared, “means the last reason to have psychiatry around is gone.” [HCOB of 23 January, 1974R “The Technical Breakthrough of 1973!”] This technique, known as the Introspection Rundown, would provide an alternative for society to handle psychotic problems.
Hubbard wrote several “bulletins” about his process in which he declared “Its results are nothing short of miraculous.” The three bulletins I’ll be quoting from in this section are:
1) HCO Bulletin 23 January 1974 “The Technical Breakthrough of 1973! The Introspection RD”
2) HCO Bulletin of 20 February 1974 “Introspection RD Additional Steps”
3) HCO Bulletin of 6 March 1974 “Introspection RD Second Addition; Information to C/Ses, Fixated Attention”
A “rundown” in Scientology is a series of prescribed steps designed to produce a certain end result. These steps involve “auditing”, which is looking back through a person’s past to find some memory that is causing the person present time problems. The Introspection Rundown is designed to handle a psychotic break or mental breakdown. The theory of the Introspection Rundown is that if you can find what caused the person to become introverted and psychotic then you can handle that cause and break the psychotic episode.
The first step of the rundown is “isolate the person wholly with all attendants completely muzzled (no speech).” 
Auditing sessions are given infrequently to search for the cause of the psychotic break during this rundown, otherwise the person is isolated in complete silence.
“When it is obvious the person is out of his psychosis and up to the responsibility of living with others his isolation is ended.”  The supervisor in charge of the person being isolated tests the person’s condition by writing a note, such as “’Dear Joe. What can you guarantee me if you are let out of isolation?’”  If Joe does not answer in writing satisfactorily, the supervisor must write back “’Dear Joe. I’m sorry but no go on coming out of isolation yet.’”  Of course, “this will elicit a protest from the person”  but the rundown is not over until the supervisor concludes that Joe has recognized what caused his psychotic break. Once the rundown is over, if the person is a Sea Org member (the elite corps that signs a billion year contract with the church), he/she is put on the RPF – a sort of manual labor detail, and is “told to make good.”  Hubbard wrote that “This Rundown is very simple but cannot be flubbed, as that will compound the errors and cause further introspection in the pc.”  In other words, this process if done incorrectly could actually make someone having a psychotic break get worse. Handling the Rundown “is very precise and even touchy business. There must be no mistakes and you cannot be heavy-handed on them.” 
What right does the church have to incarcerate mentally unstable people? What training do they have to prevent injury to the unstable person? What recourse or input does the person incarcerated have? What criteria are used to decide that the isolation is no longer needed?
What training do the supervisors get to make such a decision over the length of someone’s incarceration? How many people have gotten worse instead of better? What happens if a person never gets better, since Scientology considers psychiatry to be quack science? How long can isolation be maintained? Months? Years?
On December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson was dead on arrival at a hospital 45 minutes north of Clearwater Florida. According to the coroner’s report, Lisa was underweight, severely dehydrated, and had bruises and bug bites.
Lisa’s last address was listed by the police as 210 S. Ft. Harrison in Clearwater Florida, which is the Fort Harrison Hotel, a Scientology property. Lisa had been a Scientologist from the age of 18 to her death at age 36.
Lisa was put on the Introspection Rundown.
To begin Lisa’s story; on November 18, 1995, Lisa was involved in a minor car accident. She was apparently not hurt, but she got out of her car and took all her clothes off and seemed mentally unstable. She was taken to a hospital where she was physically evaluated as being unharmed, but the hospital wanted her to be psychologically cared for.
However, some Scientologists arrived and stated that Lisa did not believe in psychiatry, and she checked out after a short evaluation and left with the Scientologists. She went with them to the Ft. Harrison Hotel for “rest and relaxation” according to the church, but
church logs from Lisa’s stay there from November 18 to her death December 5 show differently. Some logs are missing, and a high-ranking ex-Scientologist has written an affidavit in which he claims that the church has in the past destroyed documents that might get the church in trouble.
The family of Lisa McPherson is now suing Scientology and individuals involved for wrongful death, while Scientology claims it did nothing wrong toward Lisa. However, Lynn Farny, an official in Scientology’s legal department, said in a police interview:
Q. Have you changed the procedure as far as parishioners or staff who have psychotic breaks, how those people are now handled? Are they handled at the Fort Harrison?
A. They were never supposed to be handled at the Fort Harrison, and that’s been reiterated. They’re not supposed to be there, they’re supposed to be somewhere out in the countryside or something like that.
[Clearwater police department interview, October 14, 1997]
On November 13, 1998, Scientology was indicted on 2 felony charges in Lisa’s death. On June 12, 2000 the criminal charges were dropped against Scientology because (so the prosecutor claims) the medical examiner could not be counted on to confidently testify, even though the criminal charges were abuse of a disabled person and practicing medicine without a license.
Scientology now makes members sign a waiver specifically against suing Scientology over the Introspection Rundown: The “Lisa clause” is an adhesion clause to insulate one party from all damages, including personal injury or death, from known and unknown conduct of commission or omission of the party so released. To quote from the form:
“I understand that the Introspection Rundown ... includes being isolated from ... family members, friends or others with whom I might normally interact.... The Case Supervisor will determine the time period in which I will remain isolated, according to the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion. I further specifically acknowledge that the duration of any such isolation is uncertain, determined only by my spiritual condition, but that such duration will be completely at the discretion of the Case Supervisor.
“I accept and assume all known and unknown risks of injury, loss, or damage resulting from my decision to participate in the Introspection Rundown and specifically absolve all persons and entities from all liabilities of any kind, without limitation, associated with my participation or their participation in my Introspection Rundown.”
While Scientology spends a good portion of their energy attacking psychiatry, it may be well for them to look within. I have compiled 32 cases where individuals have allegedly been held against their will in incidents related to Scientology.
We have Scientology claiming to be at war with psychiatry. We have Scientology claiming that psychiatry caused the holocaust, most crime and social problems, millions of murders, terrorism, insanity, immorality, and more. We have Hubbard’s claim that psychiatrists have been around millions if not billions of years causing the decline of countless cultures throughout the universe.
With this mindset, we also have Scientology’s attempts and written goal of eradicating psychiatry. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is tasked with being at the forefront of the attack on psychiatry by Scientology. With the above information, could it be said that CCHR is a hate group?
Black’s Law Dictionary does not have a definition for “hate group”. ”Hate speech” is “speech that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group... in circumstances where the communication is likely to provoke violence”. A “hate crime” is “a crime motivated by the victim’s race, color, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.”
The University of Maryland web site states that “a hate group is an organization of individuals who believe that another group of individuals, be it ethnic or religious or both, is wrong or evil. The hate group prides itself on the common background of its members who usually share the same religious views as well as ethnicity. [U. of Maryland web site, www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/its/hate2fall01/gvpt333presentation.ppt ]
The Southern Poverty Law Center states that “all hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” [http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp]
Finally, the Wikipedia states that “A hate group is an organization or movement which hates some other group of people. Typically they prejudge each individual in the target group as “unworthy” or “inferior” and want to exclude or hurt them. A hate group commonly works to achieve its goals using fear, hate, and intimidation as its modus operandi (or commonly used methods).”
These definitions bring us close to CCHR, but CCHR’s discrimination is based on a profession, not an ethnicity, religion, or any of the other major groups normally listed in discrimination. Technically the actions and rhetoric of CCHR against psychiatry are what one would see from a hate group; attributing negative outcomes to the group’s actions or mere existence, professing intolerance and hostility toward the entire group, attributing great powers to the group, and seeking the eradication of the group. Because the profession of psychiatry is not listed as one of the attacked groups in most definitions of hate group, perhaps CCHR could be labeled a psychiatry hate group.
Black’s Law Dictionary has an entry for “group libel” which is “libel that defames a class of persons.” The definition goes on to state, however, that this is a rare charge in law because “the plaintiff must prove that the statement applied particularly to him or her.”
Whatever the precise term for CCHR’s actions is, it is certainly disgusting. This type of unsubstantiated, dangerous rhetoric should not be tolerated.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights enjoys tax exempt status in the United States. This tax exempt organization seeks to emasculate the psychiatric profession and replace it with an irrational, unproven process invented by a science fiction writer. They seek to persuade people to ignore their psychiatrist or counselor’s advice, enticing some to forego proper medical advice and treatment. They attack an entire profession with bigoted unsubstantiated claims. By these actions and teachings CCHR harms society.
In July of 2000 I was living in Clearwater Florida, home of the spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology. I worked for the Lisa McPherson Trust (LMT), which was a group that tried to expose the dangers of Scientology and help those who have been harmed. At one event Mike Krotz, a friend of some ex-Scientologists, was videotaping outside the Trust in case there were any problems. Dennis Clarke, local head of Scientology’s Citizens Commission on Human Rights, walked by Mike in the parking garage where Mike was taping. Mike taped Dennis walking by and going through a door to the steps. Suddenly, Dennis turned around, told Mike to stop taping, and punched Mike.
A few weeks later several of us were picketing in front of Scientology’s Ft. Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. I was across the street toward the beginning, just videotaping the scene. Later I reviewed the tape and saw Mike in front of the hotel. He also was videotaping. Dennis Clarke, a very large man, walked toward Mike and slapped him in an attempt to get Mike to drop his camera. Mike kept taping, so there are 2 videos of this event.
On another night not much later, we were again peacefully picketing in front of the Ft. Harrison hotel. A few dozen Scientologists were there harassing us. Dennis Clarke was also there, trying to goad LMT founder Bob Minton into a fight. While walking by Mark Bunker, the Trust’s videographer, he stepped on Mark’s foot, shut off his camera, then turned to me and said “you want some of this too?” and stuck his gum on my camera lens. Eventually that night, the police took Dennis aside and persuaded him to leave the area.
Dennis Clarke was the long-time representative for the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights. He had a weekly CCHR radio program on local radio station WTAN. He won awards from Scientology for his excellent work. And he assaulted critics. This was my first experience with a human rights activist physically assaulting people.
Dennis is an example of the 2 faces of CCHR - one an organization that claims to be fighting for human rights, and the other an attack group assaulting perceived enemies.
http://www.lisamcpherson.org - the Story of Scientologist Lisa McPherson
http://www.lisaclause.org - the form Scientologists sign to allow Scientology to lock them up
http://www.lisafiles.com - legal documents from Lisa McPherson case
http://whyaretheydead.net/misc/scientology_hatred_of_psychiatry.html - more information on Scientology and psychiatry
http://ub-counseling.buffalo.edu/Abpsy/lecture23.html - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
http://www.xenutv.com/pickets/mad.htm - see Dennis Clarke in action
http://www.xenu.net - general information on Scientology
http://www.cchr.org - Citizens Commission on Human Rights official site
copyright 2004 by Jeff Jacobsen, may be reprinted in full for noncommercial purposes.