Shrinks in their sights

The Sydney Morning Herald/February 28, 2009

Coming to a doctor's surgery near you: a sparky little DVD, saying "psychiatrists occupy the lowest rung of the medical profession", has been dispatched to GPs across Australia.

The DVD says that psychiatrists are money-grubbing quacks who invent diseases so that they can become rich by prescribing drugs. Those evil dudes also kill 3000 people a month by prescribing psychotropic drugs, it says.

While Tom Cruise's comely visage does not feature on the DVD, it is the product of that crazy bunch of shrink-hating thetans who were banished to Earth about 75 million years ago by a mean and nasty galactic ruler named Xenu. Well, that's what the Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard claimed. And who says he wasn't nuts?

Titled Making A Killing, The Untold Story Of Psychotropic Drugging, the DVD is put out by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which was established by the Church of Scientology.

You'll recall a few years back Cruise, who likened psychiatry to "Nazi science", had to apologise to the actress Brooke Shields after he criticised her for taking anti-depressants for post-natal depression. Vitamins and exercise would snap her out of it, Cruise said.

Describing the information as "riveting", the DVD's covering letter implores doctors to: "Watch it, share it and please act on it."

CCHR's chief in Australia, Shelley Wilkins, who is off to Los Angeles this weekend to celebrate the commission's 40th anniversary, denied it was run by the Church of Scientology. Shelley, a scientologist, was "proud" that CCHR had been established by the church, but it was a separate organisation devoted to exposing the evils of psychiatry, she said.

Wilkins was happy to talk about the "phenomenal" response to the video, but was vague on details concerning cost and the size of the mail-out.

James Packer's diminishing riches are not available to Scientologists since he quit but a leaked Scientology document revealed that in 2007 the actress Kirstie Alley donated $US5 million, Cruise $US2.5 million, while John Travolta and Kelly Preston donated $US1 million each. But the mother of all donations came from Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) with a hefty $US10 million. Last month Cartwright was rapped over the knuckles by the producers of The Simpsons for using Bart's voice in an automated message to fellow Scientologists. "Hey what's happening, man, this is Bart Simpson ... hahaha ... just kidding. Don't hang up, this is Nancy Cartwright. And this is a very special phone call to you. I'm now auditing on new OT [Operating Thetan Level] Seven," the message said.

Professor Ken Kirby, of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, was remarkably unmoved at the DVD's cruel taunts, which he described as old-fashioned. He was sure members of the medical profession were well equipped to make their own judgment.

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