Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Work in Progress

I'm a psychiatrist who was curious about why scientologists protest against psychiatrists and psychologists. About a year ago, I decided to learn a little about the Church of Scientology (CoS) to have a better idea of why scientologists hate "psychs", and whether there was any room for mutual understanding.

I was really disappointed to discover that scientologists believe psychiatrists are criminals who colluded with an alien overlord (Xenu) to kill billions of people 75 million years ago. Given that their hatred is based on a shared paranoid delusion, I have lost hope that there will ever be any understanding between believers in the CoS and providers of mental health treatment.

I felt I had to start this blog because of the convergence of a few recent events. First, I was involved with members of an evangelical Christian family who were taken in by CoS internet posts. I knew that these people would not have paid attention to this disinformation if they had any idea that it was coming from an anti-Christian cult. The posts stated that antidepressants were very toxic and recommended that people should wean off their medications and take high doses of niacin instead. I thinks it's fine for people to take reasonable doses of natural supplements, and I often recommend them to my patients, but when I saw that the niacin doses recommended were high enough to cause liver damage and possibly even liver failure, I became especially concerned.

Next, I attended the 2009 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association and once again witnessed the yearly CoS protest, but this time, members of Anonymous protested against the CoS. When I returned home after the convention, there was a post on the Anonymous web site pointing out that Anonymous is doing work that psychiatrists need to be involved in. Anonymous is right! Now I'm going to do my part to expose some of the dangerous practices of the CoS.

This blog will be mostly a place to put together links to other information sites, but I'll try to highlight news pertaining the CoS and mental health care.


  1. Your blog is MOST welcome. I hope that it in time it can become a terrific resource for other psychiatrists and mental health professionals, as well as for the wider community.

    Thanks so much for being prepared to ACT to inform people about some of the risks that Scientology poses, particularly to those who are living with mental illness.

    Kudos to you.

  2. Thanks for the comment and the encouragement!