Is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights a Scientology Front Group? I won’t support the Citizens Commission on Human Rights anymore if they are, that’s for sure.
I thought that the connection between the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and Scientology was a thing of the past and something the co-founder psychiatrist Thomas Szasa felt necessary at the time of its inception to fight against some pretty horrific abuses being perpetrated by psychiatrists.
Related post: Why The Antipsychiatry Movement is Necessary.
A thing of the past meaning I thought it was not directly affiliated with Scientology anymore. I believed what was written on the websie about page:
“It is a nonpolitical, nonreligious, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to eradicating mental health abuse and enacting patient and consumer protections.”
“CCHR’s Board of Advisers, called Commissioners, include doctors, scientists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, educators, business professionals, artists and civil and human rights representatives.”
Abuses by Psychiatry in the Past
Psychiatry has a pretty dark history, that is for sure, with much criminal abuse inflicted on institutionalized patients staining its historical track record. And it did need to have some form of a check system put in place to counteract that abuse of power.
That is what – I thought – prompted Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz to help create CCHR. Too bad he used the help of Scientology to achieve that goal.
If you are interested in more of his objections to abusive psychiatric practices you can read his book “Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry“. The book was published in 2007.
I won’t read it. I know much of the basics and don’t need more specifics as am not studying to become a psychologist or psychiatrist, etc. I’d rather focus on the here and now and help put an end to the abuse going on with regards to over-diagnosing and misdiagnosing of bipolar.
I think many years ago I read his “The Manufacture of Madness” book, or at least parts of it. I read a ton of psych theory articles and texts way back then. Probably too much.
Competent Caring Psychiatrists
If CCHR is a Scientology front group – of course I want nothing to do with it. I’ve never been a part of it, or any cult… unless you consider the Catholic Church that I was raised as a member of a cult of sorts. Even that I am no longer a member of post college years other than superficial ties in respect of my parents and upbringing (Christmas mass) and possible schooling options for my son.
I am not anti-psychiatry either. Never have been, never will be. I think it’s an unsupportable position to take, and have had excellent care at times from very competent, caring psychiatrists for a very real mental illness.
There are plenty of them out there. Psychologists as well. As well as plenty of mental health professionals who are incompetent and basically puppets of Big Pharma who do much harm to patients. That I’ll speak out against. For sure.
Next I want to clearly understand the Chemical Imbalance Theory – how it came to be, exactly what it is, the science behind it (legit or not), etc. Will get a post up in the New Year or before.
Update December, 27th, 2015: Got it done and here it is! What is the Chemical Imbalance Theory?
Biological Factors Contributing to Mood Issues
I will speak out against abuse in psychiatric care as a bipolar blogger and patient advocate in efforts to support better understanding of biological factors contributing to mood issues.
My Manic Depression caused significant hardship in my life, and I am even one of the fortunate few who in actuality had good care for the most part.
I’m grateful. But why wasn’t I made well? Why did I end-up homeless at times and unemployed when I am very employable? Why this, why that, why not explore how we can help others who have this horrible illness now called Bipolar 1 Disorder – as well as forms of depression – heal better and lead happier, more productive lives.
Some do. My life has been a bit of a crapshoot but that is not surprising. The illness is a very difficult lifelong medical condition. Let’s understand it better i.e. BP-1.
Also, we need more honesty about the damage psychotopic medications cause (especially long-term use) and less harmful alternatives to those medications that actually have hard science behind them on their effects on moods.
We know about B-12, we know about thyroid issues… we know about many things. We need to focus on treatments that heal, not ones that harm such as barbaric ECT that is still practiced.
Previous post: Take a Staycation Instead of Having ECT.
Co-founder of CCHR Thomas S. Szasz Was Not a Scientologist
The below is: ‘Reproduced with the permission of Jeffrey A. Schaler. All rights reserved.’ Disclaimer copied and posted as required from www.szasz.com, the official site of former Professor Szasz (passed away Sept, 2012, RIP).
“Please note: Neither Thomas S. Szasz, MD, nor Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D., are “anti-psychiatrists.” We both believe in psychiatry between consenting adults. We are opposed to institutional psychiatry and coercion.”
“We are not opposed to contractual or consenual psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, or counseling, what have you, as long as the designated client is able to fire his or her therapist at any time.”
“Obviously we do not consider drugs as medicine for behavior. If people want to take drugs to control the way they think, feel, behave and perceive, by all means they should be free to do so.”
Dr. Szasz was not anti-psychiatry and was never a part of the Scientology cult, never a Scientologist. The purpose of CCHR Was to stop abuses by psychiatry and better information to the public about psychiatric practices.
That I support but I cannot support the connection to Scientology and from a brief current check, looks like that is who is in charge at the moment.
The current president of CCHR is a Scientologist. And, when I did a quick Google search on her background, found she was accused in 2010 of advising a former Scientology member to lie to police about being sexually abused (ages eight to eleven years) by her stepfather.
You can read the basics of the case here, including that the perpetrator later admitted to sexually abusing the woman as a young girl: Charges Dropped Against Scientology Executive Jan Eastgate.
And yet she is still president of CCHR. That told me enough about the organization to warrant no more support of it. Will put updates on a couple previous posts – as I thought some of the work they were doing was excellent.
No more. Thanks to a note on my Bipolar Facebook page from someone who understood the background of CCHR better than I did. Thank you Dean McIntosh! Here is his comment:
“*sigh* CCHR is a Scieno front group. This calls the whole reality of the article into question. I expect better.”
I do too. A good kick in the rear I’ve officially given myself. Have a good day.