The Church of Scientology claims psychiatry is responsible for school shootings and even racism. Now the group has picked a very public place to spread its message.
In 1969, the group founded the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The Commission has brought a traveling exhibit to Missouri that is highly critical of psychiatry.
"When I walk around and meet random people on the street a very large majority of them either have been harmed by a psychiatrist or they know someone who has," says Moritz Farbstein, a local member of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Farbstein admits he makes sweeping statements when talking about psychiatry. His organization sponsors an exhibit called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death appearing in St. Louis this month. The exhibit includes several DVD viewing stations.
"They present interviews by psychiatrists (and) psychiatric victims giving examples of the horrific side effects of psychiatric treatment," says Farbstein.
An Industry Of Death will be on display inside the Capitol rotunda in Jefferson City in two weeks. Those opposed to the group's viewpoints have already sent e-mails to the Capitol.
"This is the people's building and we are content neutral," said Richard Aubuchon of the Office of Government Administration. The office handles bookings for the rotunda.
Psychiatry and organizations linked to Scientology have locked horns before. After Tom Cruise publicly called psychiatry a "pseudo-science," the American Psychiatric Association issued this response:
"Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment of mental illness works. It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy."
An Industry of Death is at Westfield South County Mall in south St. Louis County and America's Center in downtown St. Louis this weekend. It will be at the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 18.