Monday, July 21, 2008

Katharine Mieszkowski: Scientology's War on Psychiatry

Psych vs Sci
Sigmund Freud goes to guns
against David Miscavige in

Scientology's war on psychiatry

Salon has republished today a remarkable article by senior technology and business editor Katharine Mieszkowski. (Click the title above for full text.) Through datelined July 1, 2005, it could not be more timely, particularly with rise of Anonymous and increasing awareness in the media of the criminal corruption and abuses of corporate Scientology. What she writes is as true today as it was three years ago:

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. ...

She lays out in detail Scientology's strategy and tactics in its war on psychiatry at the level of communities and state legislatures through its front groups, particularly CCHR (Citizen's Commisison on Human Rights - its anti-psychiatry front), and Narconon (its substance abuse rehabilitation front) since it's ability to do overt political lobbying is limited by its religious status.

She concludes:

Despite the setbacks, CCHR and Narconon continue to promote their programs in state legislatures, schools and the public eye. Ultimately, say Scientology critics, the message is not about medicine or science, which Scientology members consistently dismiss, but the church's messianic fervor to spread its religion.

"Their goal is to take over entirely the field of mental health," says Mark Plummer, a former member of Scientology for 14 years, including eight years in the Sea Organization, what Plummer calls an elite core group within Scientology. "Their beliefs stem from Hubbard's dogma that psychiatry is evil. Scientology teaches that psychiatry views people as 'meat bodies' without a spiritual aspect, and that Scientologists alone should be allowed to treat mental illnesses."

Cult watchdog and longtime Scientology foe Rick Ross [also see the Rick Ross Institute] agrees. "Basically, Hubbard designed Scientology to be the ultimate, if not only way, to address mental health problems," he says. "So psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors associated with mental health are anathema to a Scientologist because Hubbard said so. Psychiatry is outside of the practice of Scientology and the services that it sells."

But you don't have to rely on critics to show that Scientology's attack on psychiatry is part of the church's crusade to rule society. In 1995, David Miscavige, the church's current leader, addressed the International Association of Scientologists in Copenhagen. He told the faithful that the church had two goals as the new millennium approached, dutifully noted by International Scientology News: "Objective one - place Scientology at the absolute center of society. Objective two - eliminate psychiatry in all its forms."

Read the whole thing.

Absolute power has absolutely corrupted David Miscavige, iron dictator of the cult with his own KGB. He is in deadly earnest about wiping psychiatry and all mental health professions from the face of the earth. Mieszkowski takes Scientology's War on Psychiatry seriously, and exposes Scientology's attempts at gaining social power through political lobbying to achieve its destructive end.

A most welcome aspect of Mieszkowski's article is its delineating the political aspects of Scientology's war against psychiatry. She writes:

Jul 1, 2005 | This spring in Florida, where the Clearwater area is a Church of Scientology stronghold, CCHR mounted an aggressive political campaign to keep kids from getting psychiatric care. In the state Legislature, two CCHR-sponsored bills were backed by two Republicans, Rep. Gustavo Barreiro, of Miami Beach, and Sen. Victor Crist, of Tampa. Indeed, as Barreiro told the St. Petersburg Times, Scientologists had even written parts of the legislation. Both Barriero and Crist had been friendly with the church: They were guest speakers at a Scientology celebration where Crist touted the legislation and Barriero gave the church an award for volunteer work following the 2004 hurricanes.
She also writes of Scientology's bringing its celebrity strategy to bear in Florida in an attempt to defeat an alliance of important medical, mental health, and government services organizations:

Scientologists Kelly Preston and Kirstie "Fat Actress" Alley testified in Tallahassee on behalf of their church. At one point, Alley wept so hard -- "This isn't an issue about psychiatrist vs. non, but about the children" -- that she could barely get the words out. "It's tough lobbying against movie stars," says Daughton of the Florida Psychiatric Society. "Some of it was just surreal."

There should be a Godwin's Law that reads "Whoever invokes "It is about the children" in a discussion, loses. "The Children" has become the last refuge of scoundrels. Scientology's invoking them in its war on psychiatry is obscene.

Socially and politically the treatment of children in our society is one of our greatest concerns. Scientology has used both parties for its purposes: Republicans in Florida for its anti-psychiatry jihad, and the Clinton administration, dazzled by celebrity power, to bring pressure on Germany through representations of our State Department. Scientology also won its 25 year war on the IRS in the same administration. It was certainly granted tax-exempt religious status because of the perjuries of David Miscavige , ecclesiastical head of the Church. The IRS was exhausted and budget- depleted by an onslaught of lawsuits. Arguably, the final grant was made though extortion and blackmail.

One of the appalling features of corporate Scientology is its abuse of children. Children of the staff and management and the Sea Org, that silly and deadly paramilitary fake navy, are subject to such terrible abuses that all of Scientology's major facilities would be locked down tomorrow by state child protection agencies in California and Florida.

Why don't they? Inertia. because we are not bringing pressure on them. Fear of the kind of celebrity power of Scientology being brought to bear that Mieszkowski writes about. But mostly because of corporate Scientology's successful program of skillful religious cloaking.

Ex-Scientology executive Lawrence Brennan was in charge of designing and putting that program in place. In his important affidavit he lays out the elements of the program like commissioning clergy and scholars to write articles averring that Scientology is a religion, labeling its medically and psychologically dangerous practice of junk psychology interrogation called auditing as a "religious service" and thus tax deductible to the "parishioner" making a "fixed donation" for these (expensive) "religious services".

Since Catholic religious orders are exempt from labor, social security, and minimum wage laws, Scientology deliberately started calling its elite staff and management organization, the Sea Org, a religious order to avoid these laws, as Brennan has exposed. Catholic religious life is built on fraternal love in a community vowed to a simpler life to be free of encumbrances to live the Gospel. Religious cloaking in Scientology has created a cadre of slaves in the Sea Org.

It is here among the children of Sea Org members that abuses occur. Education that consists solely of indoctrination into the thought of L. Ron Hubbard; separation from parents for weeks and months at a time; separation from siblings, parents, and grandparents through the Church's cruel and heart-breaking practice of primitive religious shunning known as disconnection. Children as young as four have been locked up:

The four-year-old boy could no longer cry. He had been nearly 48 hours in the chain locker of the flagship _Apollo_ and his entire body was aching from his efforts to chip off rust. His knees and hands were raw with cuts and bruises. His voice was raspy from crying, and he was desperately afraid.
Teenagers have been forced to get married because they had a crush on someone. Some have had to endure the trauma of their parents being forced to divorce by head of the Church and Tom Cruise's best friend, David Miscavige. Former Scientologist Dennis Ehrlich wrote of the experience of one of his children growing up in Scientology;

My youngest child nearly died shortly after birth because of scientology's distrust and unwillingness to get competent medical care for members. She spent the first several years of her life in a Sea Org nursery. I used to wonder why she would cry hysterically each morning when she was deposited in the facility. It was staffed by children, usually 12 to 16 years old, from the Cadet Org. The nannies had no sense of hygiene, and the children often suffered from infections, illnesses, fleas, lice, scabies or crabs. During all of this, I was so focused on my job in the Sea Org -- Chief Quality Control Officer in the brainwashing factory -- that until one day when I was changing my child's diaper and saw little white worms wiggling their way out of her anus, I didn't realize the abuse going on. Shortly after that I left the cult. But the image of those worms exiting my infant daughter still haunts me, just as the image of the twisted, forgotten children in the movie, Mondo Cane, seared into my memory. It will for all time serve as a reminder to me of the neglect and abuse to which I subjected my own flesh and blood in order to "clear the planet."
That is what corporate Scientology does to children. Scientology's war on psychiatry is not only on psychiatric medications for children and adults. It is against all of the mental health professions including those that aid and protect children. Scientology's war is not just against psychiatry. It is a war against children as well.

I applaud Mieczkowski's taking Scientology's threat to society seriously. I hope other journalists in the blogosphere will follow her forthright lead now that Anonymous is expanding public knowledge about corporate Scientology's abuses. I also hope her article portends more writing and agitation about this very real social threat. I hope that public opinion will eventually force government action to call to account for great justice the Church of Scientology as presently constituted.

We all stand to lose in Scientology's war on psychiatry.

Credit: Dr. Lilly von Marcab, Psychiatrist


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


For Great Justice supports the E-Meter Initiative that has arisen out of the excellent research and impassioned writing of Dr. Lilly von Marcab. and aims at petitioning the government to end stress testing by Scientology. The issue of non-compliance of e-meters with Food and Drug laws is of lesser importance compared to the perjuries of David Miscavige, the religious cloaking and tax exemption issues, along with recurring human rights violations in the Sea Org. However, it provides leverage with our government regarding administrative code violations that will keep another spot light on the Church of Scientology with the public.

Secular use of the e-meter in public stress testing is illegal according to the 1971 ruling of Judge Herhard Gesell. It provides ample material for the signs, banners, and fliers of Anonymous. Anonymous may well shut down stress testing by its street raiding and internet activism alone.

The relevant part of the ruling is below the speech.

Here is a suggested speech for the Over 9000 Anon March in Washington DC, calling on the government to end Ending Stress Testing. This first National Anonymous demonstration takes place this Saturday, July 19, 2008. at the reflecting pools and the Lincoln Memorial, "amid teh monuments of awesome."

End Stess Testing: A Speech for the 9000 Anon March on Washington, DC

Standing here amid the great institutions
that guarantee and sustain our our freedoms,
we petition the President, the Congress, the Justice Department, and the Food and Drug Administration
to investigate and remedy Scientology's gross and continuing violations of the laws that protect us from
their fraud, deception, and medical quackery, which have claimed thousands of victims.

We ask you to enforce our present laws.
We ask you to end a practice that has deceived thousands of hapless victims,
damaging, ruining, and destroying their physical, psychological, and financial well-being.
We ask you to enforce Judge Gesell's ruling in our Federal Courts and
end illegal stress tests in the public square with the crude lie detector known as the e-meter.
We ask you to reaffirm the Court's condemnation of this device as scientific fraud and medical quackery.

Daily, illegally, and fraudulently, hundreds of Scientologists present themselves to the public as secular diagnosticians
and purport to diagnose and treat individual's neuro-physical, medical, and psychological condition of stress.

Through the lure of free stress tests on street corners, at malls, and in subways
thousands have been se
duced deeply into a cult of greed and power
to their physical, psychological, moral and financial ruin.

Protect the vulnerable, as you are sworn,
from all of corporate Scientology's forms of interrogation,
mind control, and junk therapy.

We ask you, our government and servants of the People, to restore our confidence in the laws meant to protect us from this fraud and deception.

We pray you may be moved by truth to act for great justice.


Anonymous will be present at the Mall bearing their awesome flags, banners, and signs in their hundreds if not their thousands. Most certainly more than 9,000 anonymous will be present in spirit, their eyes glued to monitors and their fingers hovering over keyboards from Sydney to Munich to San Francisco.

Among the Anonymous will be proud /b/tards from 4chan, who rallied their comrades from the chans and launched this extraordinary internet and street insurgency; channers of all sorts; a core of Anon's indispensable trolls; and anons from ages thirteen to eighty-three who have joined the Anonymous Insurgency "for lulz and great justice".

Among the revered and beloved veteran anti-Scientologists attending and speaking are -

Dawn Olsen of - tireless pursuer and propagator of the truth through columns, podcasts interviews and important interviews.

Tory "Magoo" Christman - the rickrolling sweetheart of Anonymous who has slap fight scars to prove it

Graham Berry - the extraordinary and courageous anti-Scientology lawyer fair gamed by lawfare.

Mark "Wise Beard Man Bunker" - Anon's favorite TV talking head. "His words are wise. His face is beard."

Boris Korczak - the favorite spy of Anonymous. As a former CIA Agent who infiltrated the KGB and survived an assassination attempted assassination by poison, he is an estimable ally in the struggle with the Church's ruthless and immoral Office of Special Affairs.

Arnie Lerma, a source of knowledge and wisdom of all things anti-scientology. He is a living example of the belief that "unearned suffering is redemptive."

From the 1971 Ruling of Federal Court Judge Gerhard Gesell

An E-meter shall be deemed to comply with the Act if and only if it is used, sold or distributed upon specified conditions.

The device may be used or sold or distributed only for use in bona fide religious counseling. No user, purchaser or distributee (other than the Founding Church of Scientology or an ordained practicing minister of the Church) shall be considered engaged in bona fide religious counseling unless and until such user, purchaser or distributee has filed an affidavit with the Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration stating the basis on which a claim of bona fide religious counseling is made, together with an undertaking to comply with all conditions of the judgment so long as the E-meter is used.

The device should bear a prominent, clearly visible notice warning that any person using it for auditing or counseling of any kind is forbidden by law to represent that there is any medical or scientific basis for believing or asserting that the device is useful in the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It should be noted in the warning that the device has been condemned by a United States District Court for misrepresentation and misbranding under the Food and Drug laws, that use is permitted only as part of religious activity, and that the E-meter is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone.

Each user, purchaser, and distributee of the E-meter shall sign a written statement that he has read such warning and understands its contents and such statements shall be preserved.

Any and all literature which refers to the E-meter or to auditing, including advertisements, distributed directly or indirectly by the seller or distributor of the E-meter or by anyone utilizing or promoting the use of the Emeter, should bear a prominent notice printed in or permanently affixed to each item or such literature, stating that the device known as a Hubbard Electrometer, or E-meter, used in auditing, has been condemned by a United States District Court on the grounds that the literature of Dianetics and Scientology contains false and misleading claims of a medical or scientific nature and that the E-meter has no proven usefulness in the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease, nor is it medically or scientifically capable of improving any bodily function.

The effect of this judgment will be to eliminate the E-meter as far as further secular use by Scientologists or others is concerned. E-meter auditing will be permitted only in a religious setting subject to placing explicit warning disclaimers on the meter itself and on all labeling. The Government has requested an opportunity to show that complete forfeiture and destruction of the E-meter is required, but the Court has concluded that however desirable this may be in the public interest, the Court is without power to so order in view of the protections afforded claimant and others similarly situated under the First Amendment.

Here is the entire ruling.


Thursday, July 3, 2008



Canada's Human Rights Tribunals are a fair game dream machine for the Church of Scientology. One wonders why its Office of Special Affairs (OSA) has not begun to use them in its lawfare campaign against Anonymous, the anti-Scientology free speech movement made up of 10,000 high school and college students world-wide.

Canada's Human Rights Tribunals were established as informal administrative hearings with the laudable purpose of protecting poor minorities from discrimination in employment and housing. They are now being used to prosecute hate speech crimes and have become the greatest threat to freedom of speech in Canada.

The cases of Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant, and Pastor Stephen Boissoin illustrate the tribunals' jihad against free speech. Steyn and Levant were charged with Islamophobic anti-religious hate speech and Boissoin with homophobic hate speech. Boissoin's sentence forbids him from ever making a disparaging remark about homosexuality anytime, anywhere including in his sermons and on the internet.

Commenting on the Boissoin sentence, former Executive Gilles Marchildon of Canada's leading gay rights organzation, EGALE, wrote Freedom For Each is Freedom For All. He recognizes both the viciousness of Boissoin's homophobic stance and the tribunals for the destroyers of human rights and free speech they are. Steyn and Levant are conservatives and widely disliked on the left. Steyn was charged for publishing portions of his book America Alone that raises alarm about the encroachment of Shariah law in liberal democracies through suppression of free speech. Levant published the famous cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that created a furor of reactionary Islamic rage when first published in Denmark.

From the outset bloggers on the left led by Glenn Greenwald, (The Noxious Fruits of Hate Speech laws) have recognized that, as much as they despise Steyn, their own and everyone else's right to free speech is at risk. In fact, David Bernstein reports that University of British Columbia Professor and Marxist, feminist, and multicultural activist Sunera Thobani, a native of Tanzania, faced a hate-crimes investigation after she launched into a vicious diatribe against American foreign policy. Noam Chomsky has agreed on the anti-free speech nature of the tribunals. The entire center-right blogosphere is up in arms. A liberal and a conservative member of Parliament have each introduced resolutions to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of the tribunals. The Supreme Court of of Canada has also recently taken a more liberal updating and expansion of the realms of speech permissible without penalty of libel.

Still, the attitude of the tribunals has not changed. Charges against Steyn were dropped. The judge sniffed that, though Steyn was guilty of hate, prosecuting him was beyond the mandate of the tribunal, mostly because the case involved him quoting himself. A principal investigator for the tribunals has said, “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.” So it looks like more suits are coming.

For Scientology as for reactionary Islam the main attraction of the tribunals is that they are outside the legal system and lack its safeguards. There is no discovery and no trial by jury. Truth is no defense if you are accused of hate speech. The complainant merely has to feel disparaged, offended or hurt. All his costs are borne by the tribunal. The defendant bears the cost of lawyers for his legal defense, even if he wins, along with penalties and fines if he looses.

In the kangaroo court process of the tribunals, corporate Scientology would have a case to make on the grounds of anti-religious hate speech, though no one but Scientologists believe Scientology is a religion. "Hate speech" here meaning "speech I find disparaging and insulting even if it is true." If that sort of disparaging speech is a crime, Anonymous stands gleefully guilty as charged. The image board culture of Anonymous also provides a deep well of suitably shocking anti-PC offensiveness guaranteed to give the vapors to the tribunals' prissy guardians of PC righteousness.

Given the draconian Boissoin sentence, one win against Anonymous would be sufficient to silence all of Anonymous in Canada. No disparaging remarks about Scientology ever? From Anonymous? lol. Relentless and hilarious disparagement of corporate Scientology and its vicious litigiousness and dirty tricks is the heart and soul of Anonymous. This is why among other things it would be stupid for OSA to go to the tribunals. There would be an enormous outcry from Anonymous, the entire anti-Scientology movement, and their sympathizers.

Public opinion, however, has never been anything corporate Scientology thought it couldn't manipulate or intimidate. It is also busy shoring up its inter-faith alliances with its fellow travelers and useful idiots. It wants to form an alliance against anti-religious internet hate crimes to silence Anonymous and the entire anti-Scientology movement. The tribunals afford a way for the Church to play the persecuted religious minority aggrieved by the hateful signs, leaflets, posters, videos, and photoshops of 15-year old boys living in their Mom's basement.

With the out-of-nowhere appearance of the Anonymous Insurgency a mere six months ago, a paradigm shift has occurred in the relationship of Church of Scientology to the anti-Corporate Scientology free speech movement. The previous calculus for the cult was easy: Maximum prosecution by OSA in the courts with minimal exposure in an easily intimidated media. Now, as the extraordinary Gerry Armstrong says in his interview with Dawn Olsen, every move of corporate Scientology is watched and immediately reported on the internet by Anonymous.

OSA has not understood the paradigm shift. It continues to display its traditional broad range of immoral and unethical means of lawfare against its Number One Enemy, Gerry Armstrong, now a fugitive in his native Canada. Armstrong fled enforcement by a court in Marin Country of a gag agreement with the Church of Scientology that is a dream for those who want to punish the likes of Mark Steyn, Pastor Boissoin, and Sunera Thobani. Armstrong must pay $50,000 per recipient for anything he says in speech or writing about Scientology even if it his own personal experience. If he so much as mentions the word Scientology to an audience of 100, he is penalized $5,000,000. No wonder he fled.

Corporate Scientology is beginning its lawfare against Anonymous with low-level legal scare tactics. There is no indication that OSA will do anything other than what it has always done. It will lumber along raising legal pressure as it always has, smearing reputations and engaging in character assassination all along the way. It does not realize that things have changed and that reaction to any action grows exponentially on the internet.

OSA is deluded, as is head of the Church, David Miscavige, that they can control everything including the internet and public opinion. Public opinion is increasingly, if not yet completely, shaped by the internet. In its 13 year war against the internet, corporate Scientology's blunder of suppressing of free speech on YouTube ignited the Anonymous Revolution. I don't think the Church of Scientology would do anything different if the scenario were replayed. The same deluded mindset continues to operate. Which is to say, I think OSA just might well try to use the Canadian Human Rights tribunals to silence Anonymous, in spite of the fact that there are 10,000 anons watching and publicizing every move they make.

If that happens, the possibility of joining Anonymous to a broader cross-ideological free speech coalition arises. There are several free speech movements operating in parallel: the anti-reactionary Islam free speech movement; the anti-Political Correctness free speech movement, and the anti-Scientology free speech movement. An Anonymous show trial for anti- Scientology religious hate speech would bring these currents together as allies.

There will also be enormous opposition. Reactionary Islam, the PC establishment, and corporate Scientology are formidable adversaries, and odd bed fellows. They each find things quite appalling in the other. Reactionary Islam and Scientology are doctrinally homophobic, and share urgent dreams of world domination justified by any barbarous means necessary. PC has turned a blind eye to reactionary Islam's homophobia, Antisemitism, and disenfranchising of women's rights in the interest of PC class warfare.

All three of them are united in their desire to impose an ideology on all of society and to do so by repressing free speech. In Canada the PC tribunals and reactionary Islam have made cozy bedmates. Corporate Scientology is busy creating alliances with religious groups and heightening its image as a persecuted religious minority.

Will Scientology fair game Anonymous in Canada's Human Rights tribunals? I think it probably will. I don't think OSA realizes the game has changed. It will do what it knows how to do and has always done. Sooner or later it will try to fair game Anonymous in the Canadian Human Rights tribunals.

Watch out, OSA. It's a trap.