The Canadian Psychiatric Association 60th Annual Conference is September 23-26 in Toronto at the Westin Harbour Castle. (http://www.cpa-apc.org/browse/documents/92)On Friday the 24th Dr. Stephen Wiseman is delivering a 75-minute workshop on Scientology v. Psychiatry.The conference program schedule at p. A4, WO6: “No Pleasure Cruise: The Troubled Relationship Between Psychiatry and the Church of Scientology - Stephen Wiseman, MD" (http://www.cpa-apc.org/cpd/conference/2010/cpa_pp_2010/index.html?pageNumber=42)
Dr. Stephen Wiseman is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and Consultant Psychiatrist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. For a number of years he has been researching Scientology, its inventor L. Ron Hubbard, and the organization's anti-psychiatry arm, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights
THE WAR: UNDERSTANDING AND CONFRONTING SCIENTOLOGY’S EFFORTS TO DESTROY PSYCHIATRYChairperson.: Stephen R Wiseman, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, St. Paul’s Hospital, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, V6Z1Y6 Canada,Presenter(s): Stephen Wiseman, M.D., Nancy Many, B.S., C Lynn Partridge, M.D., Stephen Kent, M.A., Ph.D.EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES:At the conclusion of this session, the participant should be able to:1) Understand Scientology’s development and nature as a New Religion;2) Appreciate the historical development of, and reasons for, Scientology’s opposition to the practice of psychiatry;3) Identify some of Scientology’s current methods of opposing and stigmatizing psychiatric treatment; and4) Appreciate the experience of mental illness and how it is handled from within Scientology.SUMMARY:L. Ron Hubbard published “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” in 1950, prior to then developing Scientology and registering it as a religion in 19534[sic]. During this time, he referred to psychiatry as a potential rival but not an enemy to be demonized and destroyed. This suddenly changed in 1955, however, and since this time, Scientology has been vociferously opposed to psychiatry to the degree of advocating for, and actively working towards, its entire destruction as a system of treatment. Today, both psychiatrists and the public alike are surprised by the degree of influence Scientology and its various affiliates have had, and continue to have, on antipsychiatry initiatives.Utilizing sophisticated propaganda techniques to disseminate apparently legitimate criticisms of psychiatric practice, Scientology has supported and paved the way for more comprehensive and damaging attacks on the profession using legal and political methods. Any understanding of the ongoing stigma against psychiatry, its practice, and by extension those in need of psychiatric treatment, is entirely incomplete without an appreciation of the major role Scientology has played over the years in its perpetuation. This workshop explores the relationship between Scientology and psychiatry by commencing with an academically oriented discussion of the nature and internal mechanisms of new religions and cults in general and Scientology in specific. A detailed history of Scientology’s opposition to psychiatry, with specific ideas as to how and why this was triggered, is then presented.Thirdly, Scientology’s current propaganda, legal, and political efforts to destroy psychiatry are reviewed, along with examples of how these have in fact had a stigmatizing influence. Finally, a personal testimony of Scientology’s teachings, and a struggle against mental illness from within the Church, is presented by a prominent ex-member who has also published her story in the book “My Billion Year Contract”. This will be a controversial workshop, in that it will be the first presentation of its kind in North America to address this issue directly.Traditionally, the concern of legal action or even personal retribution against those who would speak out against Scientology’s antipsychiatry practices has been enough to preclude any such workshop as this until now.
There was seating for 90, and at least 100 in the room. We went 20 minutes overtime because of all the questions and comments, and nobody left. Very warm and prolonged applause at the end...it felt very special.