Brain Distrust: Shrinks and Scientologists Find Weird Common Ground Over the DSM-5

The Achilles heel of the Occupy movement was that extreme and — some would say — unbalanced individuals hijacked the spotlight and the message.

So, perhaps it's fitting that this past weekend's protest, titled "Occupy the American Psychiatric Association," was forced to reschedule so that extreme and — some would say — unbalanced individuals wouldn't hijack the spotlight and the message.

The APA gathered in the city over the weekend prior to the rollout of its controversial fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. On the 18th, the marching masses of the Citizens Commission for Human Rights, outfitted in matching T-shirts reading "CHILDHOOD IS NOT A MENTAL DISORDER: Stop Psychiatric Drugging of Children" were slated to demonstrate at Moscone Center. Occupy the APA wanted nothing to do with them.

"There was an announcement they were going to do their protest on the 18th, so we moved ours to the 19th," explains Jim Gottstein, a co-organizer of Occupy the APA, a gathering of mental health professionals, patients' rights advocates, and other critics of a drug-first approach to mental well-being. "We want no confusion about this being a joint effort."

That's because while the CCHR describes itself as a "psychiatric watchdog," it's also an offshoot of the Church of Scientology — which wants to do to psychiatry what your dog wants to do to a squirrel. For folks like Gottstein with nuanced objections to the current state of psychopharmacology, it's deeply frustrating to be constantly queried if he's part of a Scientology front group.

He isn't. But there is common ground. Both the psychologists protesting on Sunday and Saturday's Scientologists object to the lowering of thresholds in the DSM for conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder, which led to a boom in drug prescriptions. Kirk Schneider, a psychologist and adjunct professor at San Francisco's Saybrook University, worries about a "growing reductionism in psychiatry that is equating people with their biochemical functioning — and the main reason for this is so they can be treated with drugs."

The CCHR has long targeted ADD as bogus and lobbied against therapeutic drugs for minors. But it goes further — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard likened psychiatry to terrorism. The church's current leader, David Miscavige, has been quoted stating that one of Scientology's ultimate goals is to "eliminate psychiatry in all its forms."

So, if you were seeking a method to discredit people like Schneider and Gottstein — complex men who use words like "holistic," "Procrustean," and "reductionism" — there's no easier way than by tying them to Scientology. "The presence of Scientology in the storytelling mix served to taint all criticism of the medical model and psychiatric drugs, no matter what its source," author Robert Whitaker lamented in Anatomy of an Epidemic.

Having a straw man is handy for the psychiatrists and drug companies who stand to financially benefit from the DSM-5's proscriptions. Says Gottstein with a sigh, "If the CCHR didn't exist, the psychopharmoceutical complex would have to invent them."

 
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11 comments
Gracie
Gracie

WTF!!! yea, I'm a year late to this post, who cares, won't sleep without responding.  Scientology is more then a cult, its an abomination!!! Its a crime against humanity and tax payers.  Obviously anyone who is worried about mental health abuse, should worry about scientology,physical abuse as well.  All this exposure for years and years and that tiny little hobbit is still existing. How are people so disconnected from reality, the exposure is like a brick in the head?, Spit in your face, WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!  Tom Cruise, the poster boy, your kidding?  Isn't he at OT whatever level, some mickey mouse high level intuitive?  He was oblivious to his wife escaping and blind sided by her divorcing him, oops, paid way too much for those false super powers, he scratches his head cuz he can't believe with all this new knowledge, he gave up his true power of "common sense"  dah While filming "Oblivion", LOL over and over!!!!

(FYDMDA)  I am giving you my code for free, (Fuck you David Miscaviage Die Already) SP'S RULE!

truthrevealed
truthrevealed

CCHR , Narconon, Criminon,  Youth for Human Rights and Artist for Human Rights are all front group for the church of scientology.  The church of scientology and its leader David Msicavige has been under investigation by FBI and other government agency and has been under hundreds of law suits for decades.  Just google them read about their crimes and abuses.  Vanity Fair mag, Oct 2012 issue by Maureen Orth has several pages of truth about this cult, exposing all their crimes.

Who the hell do they think they are to criticize Psychiatristy or Psychology?  This cult should be eradicated from this planet.

truthrevealed
truthrevealed

CCHR , Narconon, Criminon,  Youth for Human Rights and Artist for Human Rights are all front group for the church of scientology.  The church of scientology and its leader David Msicavige has been under investigation by FBI and other government agency and has been under hundreds of law suits for decades.  Just google them read about their crimes and abuses.  Vanity Fair mag, Oct 2012 issue by Maureen Orth has several pages of truth about this cult, exposing all their crimes.

Who the hell do they think they are to criticize Psychiatristy or Psychology?  This cult should be eradicated from this planet.

truthrevealed
truthrevealed

CCHR , Narconon, Criminon,  Youth for Human Rights and Artist for Human Rights are all front group for the church of scientology.  The church of scientology and its leader David Msicavige has been under investigation by FBI and other government agency and has been under hundreds of law suits for decades.  Just google them read about their crimes and abuses.  Vanity Fair mag, Oct 2012 issue by Maureen Orth has several pages of truth about this cult, exposing all their crimes.

Who the hell do they think they are to criticize Psychiatristy or Psychology?  This cult should be eradicated from this planet.

madjohnny3
madjohnny3

The problem with the APA is there is a majority that stands behind a claim that there is a biological reason for some ," disorder". Well then why have they yet to prove it after all this time.  They don't run a blood test to determine ADHD nope just a check list of behaviors. BUT they insist on treating this ," disorder" in a biological way with dangerous drugs. People should scrutinize the profession when others in the same profession some lead members call it BS! Lord knows they only seek to create life long patients in Ca- hoot with big pharma. Who cares what church CCHR is affiliated with at least they have the balls to provide the truth instead of lying to the innocent and profit from it. Kudos CCHR! Hope you march on them the next day. 

zxemooo
zxemooo

Psychiatrist occasional cure patients.  Scientology only removes the patients money. Google Lisa McPherson to see how scientology treats psych patients. 

olpe1919
olpe1919

@zemu @madjohnny3 Yeah he's most likely a scientologist. David Miscavige, dictator-head of scientology is a violent criminal who belongs in prison, but that doesn't mean scientology itself is bad.

olpe1919
olpe1919

@madjohnny3 @olpe1919 @zemu Why are you attacking me? I agreed with everything you said, I already knew this stuff 30 years ago. 

Unless you don't like my words about Miscavige. He needs to retire, or be forced out, because the US legal system will never indict him. You might get more than .01% of the population on your side if you could prove that you can clean your own house when it is necessary.

 

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