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 Published by the Church of Scientology International

In Support of Human Rights
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MENTAL HEALTH REFORM: Eradicating Psychiatric Violations of Human Rights

REEDOM has consistently investigated and exposed psychiatric abuses and violations of human rights.

Since 1968, the great harm caused by the barbaric psychiatric practice of psychosurgery has been covered in depth in FREEDOM, with the result that psychosurgery is now widely recognized as a brutal means of lowering people to the level of vegetables. The practice has become so unpopular that at least one expert stated that he felt there were no more active psychosurgeons in the United States.

In the 1970’s, FREEDOM exposed psychiatric camps in South Africa, where blacks provided slave labor and cooperation was enforced with electric shock, delivered without anesthetic. FREEDOM’s charges of abuse were investigated and confirmed by the World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association. In Australia, FREEDOM investigated and exposed brutal and fatal psychiatric “deep sleep” treatments, resulting in getting the practice outlawed and victims compensated. Worldwide, FREEDOM has documented the havoc created by the psychiatric drug Prozac and alerted the public to its dangers.

In 1973, FREEDOM began an investigation into abuses of patients’ rights in Missouri state mental hospitals and particularly into the Missouri Institute of Psychiatry in St. Louis. After uncovering instances of overdrugging and physical abuse, FREEDOM’s probe continued and led to the discovery of something more sinister.

What FREEDOM uncovered can only be described as one of the darkest entries in the long catalog of psychiatric crimes: psychiatrically inspired CIA and military funding of behavior-modification and mind-control drug experiments, where mental patients and prison inmates in institutions around the country were secretly used as disposable psychiatric “guinea pigs.”

These psychiatric-government programs – later discovered by Congress to have such code names as Project Bluebird, Project Artichoke and MK-ULTRA – were first discovered by FREEDOM in 1974. Congress, in 1975, launched a full-scale investigation. Reforms were made to cancel such programs, and greater safeguards were put into place to protect patients’ and inmates’ rights. This exposure of mind-control experimentation by the U.S. government developed into one of the largest congressional investigations ever undertaken – and it was through FREEDOM’s investigative reporting that the first examples of these abuses were uncovered.1

Through the years, FREEDOM editions in many lands, including France, Germany and Italy, have investigated and reported on violations of human rights by the psychiatric industry, as by electric shock and forced drugging.

In the mid-1970s, the South African edition of FREEDOM conducted an extensive investigation of psychiatric slave labor camps run undercover by a profit-making corporation. It was found that thousands of black mental patients in South Africa were in the “care” of this private business. Not only was it holding them prisoner and forcing them to provide slave labor for other private companies, but the barbaric treatment of these people included, to enforce “cooperation,” the savage administration of electric shocks to the brain without the use of anesthetics.

FREEDOM’s charges were investigated by the United Nations’ World Health Organization, which concluded, “The limited evidence available on the conditions within the private mental institutions suggests that the ‘sanitaria’ are in fact custodial institutions with very few discharges per year, and with poor standards of patient care.... [I]n a country which is among the richest in the world, the type and quality of mental health care are determined by the color of the patient’s skin.”

The American Psychiatric Association dispatched an investigative team to South Africa which reported that the “most shocking finding” was the “high number of needless deaths among black patients” in the camps. Charles Pinderhughes, one member of the investigative team, commended the Church of Scientology and FREEDOM for exposing the camps and stated that discrimination against blacks there was “massive and general.”

Brutal and fatal psychiatric “deep-sleep” was relentlessly investigated and exposed by FREEDOM reporters and members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights2 (CCHR) in Australia, with the result that the practice is now outlawed, with many victims compensated for their suffering. Under “deep-sleep,” victims were kept comatose for periods of up to two weeks, while brain-damaging electric shocks were administered without their knowledge and consent.

Due to persistent efforts by CCHR and the Australian edition of FREEDOM, a Royal Commission was called which investigated the Chelmsford atrocities for two years. Justice John Slattery appointed to conduct the inquiry, found that at least 977 people suffered brain damage at Chelmsford, while a total of 183 others died either at Chelmsford or within a year of being discharged.

FREEDOM editions in the United States and Canada provided extensive coverage of CIA-funded “deep sleep” experiments in Canada conducted by psychiatrist Ewen Cameron. Nine plaintiffs later settled with the U.S. government out of court for $750,000 in 1988.

In numerous in-depth investigative features over the years, the pages of FREEDOM have documented the havoc created by the cult of psychiatry and by such psychiatric drugs as Prozac. The responses have been overwhelmingly one of tremendous gratitude for providing important and insightful information.

A state judge wrote a letter with a description of a disturbing case over which he had presided involving the drug Prozac. The judge had mitigated the penalty against the defendant in the case due to the fact that the man had been forced to defend himself from a Prozac-crazed attacker. “Judges are never absolutely sure that they have made the right decision,” the judge concluded in his letter, “so I was happy to read your article as it supports my judgment. I hope that you will continue to provide a public service by warning people of the dangerousness of certain drugs.”

A housewife sent a long letter describing a heart-rending personal travail she suffered while on Prozac and stated, “Needless to say, as soon as I read your article I poured what was left over down the drain.... I thank your magazine so much for bringing this horrible drug to my attention. I owe my life, as well as my husband’s and children’s, to you. I will never take another Prozac as long as I live and that, thanks to you, will be a long, long time!”

1. In 1980, as a public service FREEDOM published The Mind Control Papers, a collection of important documents regarding the government’s secret mind-control programs obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. For additional information on experiments uncovered by FREEDOM, see “Government Reform.”

2. An organization established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.

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