Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Psychiatry, Tom Cruise and Scientology

Here is an article that says it all. Ever wondered about the onslaught by the main stream media on Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology? Why do media outlets repeat the same lies and scandalous rumors over and over, never checking to see if there is an ounce of truth behind them? Perhaps this article will give you an idea: Psychiatry, Tom Cruise and Scientology.

Also remember that the pharmaceutical industry makes many billions of dollars every year from psychiatric drugs and that they spend over a billion every year on advertising. Think how much power that gives them over the TV networks and other media outlets who live off advertising. (See: CBS Conflict of Interest). With so much money at stake is it any surprise they would stop at nothing to protect their huge profits? (See: Antidepressants, Bipolar Disorder and the Chemical Enslavement of Humankind by Drug Companies, Psychiatric Medications, Illicit Drugs, & Alcohol)


Anonymous said...

I suspect that most of the naysayers about the dangers of psychiatry are probably on some kind of prescription themselves... LOL...

Like I said a couple of times, I would hardly call myself a fan of Tom Cruise. Maybe I'll like his new upcoming one, (Germany).. But that's not the issue. Mr. Tom actually made sense when he confronted Matt Lauer. I don't know why the press was "oooing" and "aaing" this and that. I saw a documentary on lobotomies and Walter Freeman..

I didn't see the press get mad at that guy as much as they do with Scientologists and Tom Cruise. It seems like the APA wants to shut everyone up who is in disagreement with them. I for one say, Mr. Cruise, you have a right to speak up. Actually, I'm impressed. Here is someone who actually took the time to do some responsible research.. So much the better...

Grahame said...

Was the documentary you saw on Walter Freeman this one: The Lobotomist?

SouthernBread said...

I don't get your religion's argument on this topic. I mean the argument against psychiatry is that it was born out of backwards medicine that was experimental and harmful. I don't disagree. I studied psychiatry probably as much as you have.
However I've also studied medical sciences and the same science of blood transfusions for cancer, and other medical treatments that several doctors from your church are active in using, were born from the same science. Blood letting, leeches, et al. Science is a crude beast and the path to learning is not perfect.

Grahame said...

Hey SouthernBread,

You ask a very good question. The first part of the answer is this: due to misrepresentation in the media there is an idea that "Scientologists are against psychiatry". This is a sweeping and inaccurate generality. A more accurate statement would be "Scientologists are against psychiatric abuse."

There are plenty of psychiatrists and psychologists who are also against abuses in the field and who work alongside Scientologists to help eradicate abuse and bring psychiatrists back under the law.

If psychiatry were a field where abuses did not occur or where they were minimal and only committed by a small minority then we wouldn't have a problem with it at all. Unfortunately, throughout its history, abuses are the norm in psychiatry rather than the exception.

I recommend you take a look at this video clip: Psychiatry an Industry of Death and then order the DVD so you can see the facts and make up your own mind.

You say "... the argument against psychiatry is that it was born out of backwards medicine that was experimental and harmful." That is not quite accurate. If psychiatry were a field that actually helped people here and now then who cares about its roots?. The fact that it has a continuing history of abuse from its roots right up to the present day makes it roots important as part of the process of understanding it.

SouthernBread said...

I think that's a fair response. I think abuse is out there and like with anything with a profit motive, corruption occurs. More often than it should.

I'm a believe in Psychologists work, because I feel a lot of people just want someone to talk to and listen to them.

However, I also have worked around true mental illness. Those whose drug usage or mental illness has eaten away at their brains. I've seen the autopsies and see what's left of their brains in some cases. It's a shame. I just am not convinced that at that point, auditing could have helped these people.

In the same respect, at the later points, I am not sure anything, drug or otherwise oculd repair the damage done.

Personally, I'm more wary of religions as a form of abuse. More people have been killed, hurt, maimed, in the name of a religion than any other psuedo or real science.

Grahame said...

Thanks for your reply, SouthernBread.

There are good people out there who want to help others. Some go into the field of psychology to do that. If they are caring, compassionate individuals who simply listen to others then I say more power to 'em.

On your comment about mentally ill people: Scientology Auditing (counseling) is meant to improve a person spiritually. If a person is insane then they would have to be helped back to sanity before they could undergo auditing. If they have brain damage then they would need medical treatment to help them, auditing is not meant for that, it is a spiritual activity. There is a type of auditing called "Assists for Illnesses and Injuries", which can be administered to anyone.

On your comment about people being hurt, etc. in the name of religion: I think it is important to differentiate between what is the religion and what is simply evil men misusing something to gain their own ends. You can look at the Bible and the things Christ said about "love thy neighbor," and "turn the other cheek," etc. then take a look at the Inquisition and you just can't reconcile what the religion says and what certain individuals, who claim to be members, actually do. That's because they were not following the teachings of the religion, they were trying to maintain their grip on power in a barbaric culture.

Religion is not the only thing in society that gets misused by greedy and evil men. Vioxx is a horrible example of a drug company keeping a drug on the market when they knew it was killing people. Does that mean all medical drugs are bad? No, it means that certain money hungry men thought that deaths and damaged hearts were an acceptable way to make a nice profit. Those specific individuals should be prosecuted because of what they did, but the entire field of medical drugs should not be looked upon as to blame.

SouthernBread said...

I agree. While the majority of a black-eye your religion has is due to members that have left and said things that, as you hinted, may not have been appropriate.

Another part of the black eye comes from the way the organization itself.

The IRS break-ins, and a number of the below-the-line activities of the 60s and 70s can't be ignored. From the people I personally have known that have joined Scientology, they have a tendency to preach the wrongs of drug-companies, and preach the wrongs of politics, and so-on. They base these wrongs on history. Yet they often forget that Scientology, like all other things man has been involved with, has been corrupted at times by evil men with bad intentions.

To clarify, from the publicly available knowledge that both the Church and it's critics have presented, I have a mixed view on scientology.

I support the progression of man-kind, and the resolution of one's problems by being totally honest and dealing with them head-on.
I support the many charitable acts the church has done.

I do not support the way the church has treated critics.

I'm also, honestly, not a fan of how Tom Cruise has presented himself as an example. There are several other celebrities that have presented the religion in a very good manner, in my opinion. Yet Tom's overzealousness, often scares me in to wondering if some of the more creepy critics out there have a point.

Grahame said...

In the early 1980's there was a major reformation in the Church. The people responsible for the "below-the-line" activities you mention were removed from positions of authority and some were kicked out of the Church altogether. What they did was against the policies of the Church, policies that had existed for many years. In fact some of the noisier "critics" are the very people who were responsible for the "below-the-line" stuff and were thrown out for it. It's almost funny that the things they accuse the Church of are the things they themselves were doing, things that stopped when they left.

We've gone through some rough times in Scientology. The late 70's and early 80's was a particularly rough patch. Since then I've seen huge changes in Church management and as someone who has "seen it all" and has lived through the tough times I can tell you that the current Church management impress the heck out of me. They aren't perfect (who is?) but they are sincere and they work their butts off trying to help their fellow man. You have to judge people by their products not by what others say about them.

Right now the Church of Scientology is running the largest Human Rights educational program in the world, the largest anti-drug educational program in the world and the largest volunteer organization in the world. If someone thinks the Church is imperfect then I say why not try to help instead of standing around finding fault and throwing insults? What are the critics doing to improve human rights? What are they doing to help keep kids off drugs? When a disaster strikes in some part of the world are they jumping on a plane at their own expense to go help the survivors? No, they are sitting at their computers typing lies, hatred and insults and trying to stop the guys who are doing something to help. Please forgive me if I sound angry. It is not directed at you but at the "critics" who go around spreading lies about and trying to damage good people. This even extends to critics claiming all sorts of wrongs done to them by the Church. Whilst I can't comment on every single claim, I personally know people who work in the legal area of the Church and they are absolute sticklers for obeying the law. One example of a "critic" claiming harassment which turned out to be a lie was Andrew Morton who claimed "I have received threats from the Scientologists and things have become pretty heavy - to the extent that it is more than my lawyers can handle. I have sold my flat and I am not telling anyone where I am moving. I intend to disappear for a while." The newspaper that published this found out it was a lie and published an apology to the Church (Daily Express: Church of Scientology An Apology.)

On the subject of Tom Cruise. Probably all you know about the way Tom Cruise "has presented himself as an example" and his "overzealousness" is through reports in the media and the media (speaking of history) has a long history of lying about celebrities, whether Scientologists or not. See this post: Accuracy of Celebrity News for some background. If you take a careful look at the news about Tom since early 2005 you'll see that time after time the guy is lied about and misrepresented (the "eat placenta" lie, the "building a bunker" lie, etc.) or they take something personal and misrepresent it (like the recent video of his address to a Scientology event or that disgusting "biography" where the reporter is not satisfied with lying about Tom but has to slime his baby daughter too.) Even when he wanted to get married the media tried to turn it into a circus. Come on, give the guy a break. It's gotten so bad now that other celebrities are speaking up about it saying "Leave the guy alone." (Celebrities say "Enough is enough").

You can probably detect a little upset in my tone :). I've had 31 years of seeing lie after lie after lie after lie after lie, ad nauseam, written and broadcast about Scientology and leading Scientologists. Time after time I see my beliefs misrepresented or just plain lied about and then the misrepresentation or lie is ridiculed as if I actually believed it. Then if I am somehow able to respond and say that's not what I believe, I'm told that what I say is not valid because I'm a Scientologist and biased and only the opinions of a third party are valid (and that usually means an antagonistic third party).

Anyway, I'll stop whining and simply say: Thanks for your comments, You seem like a pretty reasonable person and I really appreciate your openness and honesty. I hope I've answered your questions and given you something to think about. And the important thing is for you to carefully evaluate the data you are presented with (data from me and from "critics") and then make up your own mind.