Saturday, January 19, 2008

scientology -- tom cruise and others

I realize that I haven't written for a while, but I hope that I can make up for that with this post. The week that The, rather A Daily Show and The Colbert Report returned to the air, actually the night after the New Hampshire primary Colbert said that Will Smith had become a Scientologist. I thought little of it since I didn't know much about Scientology.

This past Thursday, there was a report on 360° about Scientology and videos of Tom Cruise preaching it. I can't find any online since the Church of Scientology apparently had them all removed and I'm too lazy to record what was on 360°, but I've got a lot of pictures! I just had to use the one above with Anderson for my own pleasure.

Cruise stated in a video for the Church that Scientologists experience "new and better realities." I was going to try really hard to keep my comments to myself on this, but instead I'll just have to limit myself. Doesn't that sound like something that someone who's high would say? Maybe it's just me. Anyways, many have long known that Cruise supports the Church and many have thought that he has a high role in it. According to the Church of Scientology however, Cruise is "a parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the church hierarchy." You can make up your own opinion on that. Below is Tom Cruise with Church leader David Miscavige at a Scientology award ceremony.

On the program Anderson Interviewed former Scientologist Bruce Hines who stated that Scientologists believe that "only they have to answers to the problems of the world." That's not the worst thought in the world, but most people feel that way, Scientologists and not.

Then on 360° they showed an interview from June 29, 2005 between Anderson and Scientologist Bruce Wiseman.
Wiseman, as well as many other Scientologists feel that psychiatry and psychology are crimes against humanity. They pretend to help society and they are responsible for suicides because of the drugs that they prescribe. In the picture above, Cruise is talking to some guy about just that, if there was sounds it'd make more sense. Just a little note, I'm not sure how psychologist fit into that since in most places they can't prescribe medications unless they work for the federal government, and most don't. That is my summary of the heated conversation, but I'll post the parts I found interesting below.

COOPER: You don't believe [Psychiatry] has helped anybody?

WISEMAN: How can it help someone? You talked about the anti- depressant drugs. Anderson, studies at Harvard, studies at Yale, studies at Columbia, studies at the State University of New York tied these drugs to acts of suicide and/or violence, yet the psychiatrist slaps a label on a child who looks out the window or buts into line, and puts them on these mind-altering drugs.

COOPER: But just factually speaking, though, the actual number of suicides or side effects is actually quite small compared to the number of people who say they derive very real life-saving benefits from these drugs.

WISEMAN: Factually speaking, studies show that people on these anti-depressant drugs commit suicide almost twice as much as those who don't. Studies...

COOPER: Well, wait a minute, wait a minute -- what that -- what you're really -- there's no clear, necessarily correlation between the drugs themselves. You can make the argument that these are people who are, you know, have real problems and maybe would have committed suicide anyway, and perhaps the drugs didn't help them.But you're just saying, categorically, no drugs work.

WISEMAN: No. And it's important to understand the difference when you say the words drugs. We're talking about mind-altering drugs. We're not talking about medicines that actually help. Insulin, or antibiotics, we're talking about mind-altering drugs.


COOPER: Let me ask you, though, because what you have been talking about is drugs. And what Tom Cruise keeps talking about is drugs and electroshock therapy. He makes it sounds as if anyone who goes to a psychiatrist gets pumped full of drugs and suddenly gets electroshock therapy against their will. That's misleading. I mean, the number of people who actually get electroshock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy is tiny compared to the number of people who enter into talk therapy. Are you opposed to talk therapy as well from psychiatrists?

WISEMAN: 100,000 people a year get electroshocked, Anderson.

COOPER: Right, and 10 million people get anti-depressant medication. So, relatively speaking, it's a tiny number given the number, given the number of people who are actually in better therapeutic situations. So, are you opposed to talk therapy?

WISEMAN: I'm opposed to any psychiatric practice that pretends to be a science, and it's not.

COOPER: So, is any form of counseling, other than with a scientologists, or Scientology approved group, inappropriate?

WISEMAN: Communication is a universal solvent. Pretending that someone has got some kind of chemical imbalance. That's the falsehood. There is no chemical imbalance. And yet...

COOPER: OK, but if communication is the universal solvent, then it's OK to go to a psychiatrist and communicate and talk and talk about, you know, experiences -- cognitive therapy. That's OK?
WISEMAN: But, the psychiatrist pretends that there's a chemical imbalance, and they're going to treat this with drugs, or with shock, or...
COOPER: But that's not true, sir. That not all psychiatrists pump you full of medication. I mean, that's just simply not true. There are plenty of people who are with psychiatrists who don't receive medication, who are in talk therapy.But I just want to make sure we're accurate, you're saying that's still wrong, because this person is a fraud, basically.
WISEMAN: I'm saying that they're pretending to be a science when they are not. That they are a pseudo-science. That -- that whatever treatment they're using is based on a falsehood. It's based on a lie. It's based on a pretense that there's some underlying, chemical basis that there's a medical problem when, in fact, there is not. And I think the public is being -- has been misinformed, teachers have been misinformed about the subjective nature of psychiatric diagnosis. And the violence-inducing nature of the drugs used to treat them. I think it's criminal, frankly.
COOPER: Bruce Wiseman. We really appreciate you joining us tonight. It's rare to actually talk to -- I've never talked to you. I really do appreciate it. It's an interesting perspective. And we value everyone's perspective on this program. Thanks very much for joining us.

On another note, politics. Today was the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina Republican primary. Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney won in Nevada and John McCain in South Carolina. What I don't understand however is how Barack Obama ended up with more delegates in Nevada with him coming in second. I missed Michigan the other day where Mitt Romney also ended up on top, with Clinton thought that didn't much matter because practically all the other Democrats dropped out due to the fact that there were no delegates since the Democratic Party wasn't supposed to move their primary before Super Tuesday, but they did anyway, or something like that.

1 comment:

Tanabe said...

I looked at this post and marvelled at how long it was. But I got interested in the topic of Scientology, so it read surprisingly quickly. I admit, it was difficult for me to read it unbiasedly, since I have never really thought the highest of the religion. I mean, I'm pretty neutral with all religions, but some of Scientology's beliefs are a little... far-out to say the least.

If you ever get the chance, watch the South Park episode on Scientology. It's surprisingly accurate and funny at the same time.