When Joseph Feshbach, a Scientologist, joined QuadraMed Corp.'s board in 2001 he didn't think the health-care information technology company would ever involve itself with the "pseudo-science" of psychiatry.
So when the company decided to market its pharmacy software to psychiatric hospitals, Feshbach quit.
"Psychiatry is a pseudo-science and its practices, including the widespread use of psychotropics, is leaving widespread misery and even death in its wake," Feshbach told the board in his resignation letter filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A spokeswoman for the Reston, Va., company declined to discuss Feshbach's decision.
Feshbach, a member of the Church of Scientology, told Dow Jones Newswires "I didn't expect something like this to happen."
Like other adherents to Scientology, Feshbach is opposed to the practice of psychiatry, including drug treatments for depression and other psychological disorders.
Scientology's objections to psychiatry got mainstream exposure in June 2005 with a denunciation of the profession by Scientologist Tom Cruise on The Today Show. Feshbach, however, said his resignation was a result of his personal belief and not his adherence to Scientology.
"(Quadramed's decision) conflicted with a moral standard of mine," he said.
Feshbach has been a Scientologist since he was 18 years old, and attributes his successes in life and business to the religion, according to his personal Web site. For over 20 years, Feshbach has also been an investor, both personally and as a fund manager.
From the early 1980s to the early 1990s, he managed an investment fund based on a method he describes as "informational short selling." Investors who sell securities "short" borrow stock and sell it, betting the stock's price will fall, allowing them to buy the shares back later at a lower price for return to the lender.
In April 2005, Feshbach launched Joe Feshbach Partners, an investment fund that focuses on troubled companies in a strategy he calls "Crisis Investing," which he has been using for investing his own money since 2000.
Feshbach said all investors have moral standards, and he uses his own standards in his investments, just as he did in deciding to step down from QuadraMed's board.
"It is important to align one's strategy for making money with one's own standard for what's right or wrong," he said.