Inside Scientology’s “Psychiatry Kills” Exhibit

Ahh, do you smell that, citizen? Scientology’s in the air! The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a Scientology-funded organization and I’d been meaning to investigate their ominous Psychiatry Kills exhibit for years. A sunny Friday morning one day past L. Ron Hubbard‘s birthday seemed as good a day as any for this mission. My roommate, who happens to be 2 quarters away from an M.A. in Clinical Psychology came along.

The lobby felt like a movie set – huge CCHR emblem above a reception desk, lots of white, another CCHR crest inlaid into the floor. We were greeted by an unblinking curly-mopped cherub, signed in with fake names and explained we brought no purses when asked if we minded a bag inspection. The entrance to the exhibit itself was special-effects-rusty with random metal chunks protruding and overall very Silent Hill. The “Abandon all hope…” quote from Dante’s Inferno above completed the look, which the cherub politely asked us to read while thinking about entering the final level of hell. Charming.

Through the doors, a padded room and introductory video featuring doctors and professors, edited in the same sensationalist Fox network style as other Scientology media, statistics and numbers flashing in a rusty and blood-stained font, culminating in the words “Psychiatry – an industry of DEATH”. A wave of blood washed over the screen and it went black. The mood was set.

The museum past the padded room has several sections, each with LCD screens showing 15 minute videos, which I will describe in an almost entirely opinion-free virtual mini-tour beyond the jump.

1. Medieval medicine, which I thought was rather sexy with its displays of antique bloodletting tools, drills and restraint-equipped chairs. The video here focused on medieval treatment of the mentally ill, lots of old-looking engravings and paintings displaying people languishing in horrid conditions.

2. Behaviorism, complete with Skinner Box. The video here talks about how psychiatrists reduced humans to animals and stole their soul. Skinner and Pavlov, shots of adorable monkeys having their skulls drilled, children with holes punched in their cheeks to monitor salivation during Pavlovian tests, Skinner’s daughter whom he kept in a human-size box for a year, etc. Good stuff.

3. The Holocaust. Wallpapered with life-sized photos of starved children behind razor wire and factoids about Eugenics. The overall angle thus far is that the Behaviorists spawned Eugenics and Eugenics spawned the Holocaust. Slogans like “Psychiatrists: the men behind Hitler”. Some Nazi books and memorabilia on display.

4. Racism through Eugenics. This section covered the KKK, segregation, the American Eugenics movement.

5. Electroshock therapy and Lobotomy. I could actually hear one of the displays in this room while watching the Eugenics video. This had a steel bed [upon which I gazed longingly], a large glass head with attached electrodes, and a dial you could turn to an age to see the amount of electricity used in ECT. Kind of like those magic spheres at Halloween shops. Much disturbing footage in the video, including ice picks shoved in patient’s eye sockets and Walter Freeman‘s “Lobotomobile” – a name so hilarious it may enter my regular lexicon. And a bonus – in the corner, a door with a TV behind it showing children playing with their own feces in a Greek mental health facility which was later shut down.

6. Inpatient abuse. On display, a full-body straitjacket, a bed with institutional restraints, another straitjacket. Photos and stories of children who died while in psychiatric care.

7. Drugs. Let me preface the next two sections by saying that I already think the pharmaceutical industry is evil and corrupt, so I didn’t need convincing in that department. Here were papers documenting various mind-control drug testing, records about programming Manchurian candidates, video about people being diagnosed with new disorders and how it’s directly related to release of new drugs, dangers of drugs, Thorazine in the 60s and how it’s side effects weren’t properly researched and turned people into vegetables as a result, etc.

8. Schools and Ritalin. We entered through a metal-detector gate to a classroom with school desks, lockers and photos of hallways. Video about ADD being fake, overprescription of drugs to kids and people in general.

The final video was basically about psychiatrists being child molesters and sex offenders. By this point the roommate and I were both zoning out, restless and eying the exit. But it wasn’t over yet, no.

Through the exit we entered a bright room – quite a contrast to the murky spook of the museum. Here we were faced with the biggest screen yet under a sign declaring “You’re safe as long as we’re here” below a circle that ever so vaguely resembled an enticingly illuminated spaceship door in the ceiling. Here was a sort of summary video glorifying the CCHR and letting us know that now that we’ve been enlightened by their exhibit, we had to act. The video ended by saying “With knowledge comes responsibility”. We were spent and left through a back door under the guise of using a restroom after being asked to fill out surveys. Mmm, the smell of freedom!

17 Responses to “Inside Scientology’s “Psychiatry Kills” Exhibit”

  1. Milly von Hilly Says:

    I went to that exhibit last September when my friend was visiting me from London. He also happened to be a psychiatric nurse, so we truly couldn’t give this attraction a miss.

    Although it said nothing about Scientology on our ticket, or on the building that we could find, it was fairly easy to assess that it was one of their operations from even the pointlessly inflammatory title. I was actually a bit surprised that our host fessed up in his intro that they were an organizations run by the COS, I’d expected them to dodge that fact until at least the end. Points for honesty.

    My accolades end there.

    It was fairly embarrassing, and I echo your Fox News reference. While we were walking through the exhibit, my nurse friend was vocally debunking much of what they were presenting between fits of laughter.

    The ‘lobotomobile’ was just too much, we couldn’t even see clearly we were laughing so hard. The smiling old man waving from his van set to a spooky sountrack was certainly memorable.

    When we got home, we set about finding info on said lobotomobile, and the internet had nothing forthcoming. But it’s not as though the COS would lie to you, or anything.

    It’s free! Go and see it if you can.

  2. Eev Says:

    Grr. Of course there have been many fucked-up things in the world of psychology– it’s been around for centuries, and anything that’s been around for centuries will have fucked upedness in its history. And while sure, there is plenty of abuse in psychiatry and medicine, that doesn’t mean people who are bipolar or schizophrenic or severely depressed shouldn’t be getting actual medical treatment for an actual illness. Physical, chemical problems cannot be corrected with fucking vitamins and jogging.
    Sorry. Preaching to the choir.

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Milly, the Lobotomobile is real! Ah, history, what fun secrets you hold. I’m very surprized your guide confirmed the COS link – the only clue we had was a room with all the plaques of CCHR supporters’ names – most were high profile celebrity Scientologists.

    Eev, yes yes.

  4. pinkdeviant Says:

    I really must go down there for this exhibit one day. They’re such a fascinating subculture it seems almost wrong to ignore their bizarre ways. If only for pure entertainment.

  5. James Shearhart Says:

    Gaddamn. I think I need to buy you a drink, Zoe, for suffering through that….

  6. Jani Says:

    It’s actually written Lobotomy, so that can explain why you didn’t find anything..
    If I remember right In europe to be excact in my neighbour country Eesti, there has been lobotomies in such little time, that those people still live their disabled wrongly ruined lives as old persons.
    Life sucks, but I think that would be very intresting exhibition to see.

  7. Zoetica Says:

    James – yes, drink donations are accepted, especially on Modays. Please.

    Jani – to explain, The Lobotomobile is an actual van in which Walter Freeman drive around and conducted on the spot lobotomies. Some Google results.

    Pinkdeviant – you must. Just don’t sign anything, please. And I think you meant subCULTure ;)

  8. Jani Says:

    Oh nice or actually pretty weird stuff. I guess I misread something wrong in Milly’s comment..
    But yeah, keep the good stuff flowing here. I can also buy you a drink if you ever come to Finland! :)

  9. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Quick Robin, to ze Lobotomobile!!!

  10. Adam Rice Says:

    Did you read about John Scalzi’s visit to the Creationism museum? This reminds me of that.

  11. Tanya Says:

    Man, if they moved the shindig to Fisherman’s Wharf, started charging admission prices, maybe even added a “This coupon good for 10% off a lobster dinner” with each ticket purchase… They could really be onto something!

  12. Tequila Says:

    It’s a lot like those Hellhouse displays Christian fundamentalists put together on Halloween. Only in this case it’s taken to a beautifully campy extreme by the sounds of it. They take some pretty amazing liberties with the truth though…rebuilding history and events to serve their own aims. How delightfully evil of them!

    It all seems to be coming from this notion that science should be perfect and all experiments should be safe. While this is all typical scare tactics it makes sense they would invest in something like this…what the COS really is when you break it down is a giant self help pyramid scheme. The self help world can’t abide having people seek help outside their guru and cult circles.

    A shame really because the amount of money pouring into Scientology could actually do some good if it wasn’t all going to lawyers and celebrity brown nosing.

    Wouldn’t mind doing a “Scientology Kills!!!!” virtual display using a 3D program then rendering it out as a lil movie or better still interactive environment using an available game engine. Could prove interesting…

  13. Tomorrow Museum » Archive » Oliver Stone’s Prescient SFnal Scientology Critique Says:

    [...] Coilhouse, “Inside Scientology’s ‘Psychiatry Kills’ Exhibit” [...]

  14. Arabella Says:

    I used to live across the street from that place, I never went in since those IQ Test station people are always trying to brainwash tourists around Hollywood as it is. Good call leaving out the back door; it always starts with those surveys, haha.

  15. ronbothunter Says:

    WARNING!!! SCIENTOLOGY’S RONBOTS KILL

    WARNING!!! SCIENTOLOGY’S RONBOTS DIVIDE AND DESTROY LOVE AND HOMES

    Power Comes From Knowledge of The Enemy

    Ronbot is a pejorative term for some or all fanatical followers of Scientology. The term is a pun on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s first name and the word robot.
    The term Ronbot is meant to express the habit of Scientologists of being so programmed with the “Tech” that they can’t express their own viewpoints on life, because that has been suppressed and prohibited of them from doing so.
    The fanatical Ronbot never doubts any thing he is told by staff, never investigates, never thinks beyond what he is told, never seeks to know more than he is permitted to know, never refuses to turn on his family, never reads what he is told not to read, never refuses to hurt the feelings of his family, never refuses to kill the love he had for his family, never refuses to go to your neighbors to spread lies about you, never doubts PTS or SP data, never seeks other ways to heal any symptom, never wonders why he is so fanatical and why? Never wonders why he hates SPs, never refuses to hurt, damage or harm an SP, never doubts he is superior to us, never refuses to obey his masters on staff, etc.
    The fanatical Ronbots that guard the military bases and navy of Scientology are ordered to kill or shoot at any SP or ordinary intruder that comes near or invades their ships or bases, even if it is their own parents who go there to get them out. He is so robotic that the killing of his own parent will not produce the same mental effect that it would produce in us – if we killed our own father or mother, whose only crime was the hurt of disconnection ordered by the Anti-God cult.
    “A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable.” – L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 1 March 1965, HCO (Division 1) “Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists”
    Under official Cult policy, you can get away with the murder of a “Suppressive Person”. No Ronbot has ever been punished by the “Church” of $cientology for hurting or doing any kind of harm to any SP.
    The sad fact is that each and every day, Brain-washed Ronbots hurt and harm their own parents to please and obey their Cult. They have caused many parents to commit suicide and/or ruined family relations.
    “THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.”
    – L. Ron Hubbard, “Off the Time Track,” lecture of June 1952, excerpted in JOURNAL OF SCIENTOLOGY issue 18-G, reprinted in TECHNICAL VOLUMES OF DIANETICS & SCIENTOLOGY, vol. 1, p. 418
    Ex-scientologists view a fanatical anti-god Ronbot as a brainwashed Robot, since he can’t ever leave the Tech and express his own view points.
    His reading material, his TV viewing and his interpersonal relationships and what he says and the way he talks, are closely monitored by other Ronbot Staff. If they discover that he went out with or talked with an SP and read material from Anti-cult websites, he is in deep trouble and must now face an ethics review.
    He in fact does not have his own viewpoints, but just thinks so. His mind is so flooded with the Tech that to speak to, associate with, date or love a person who is classed as an SP is instant insanity (drastic down-tone slide) and he will be classed by the Anti-God Cult as a “risk” or PTS.
    Remember this fact—that all true fanatical Ronbots have a weak mind and spirit, no matter their IQ or years of word clearing. They are actually very willing to be a slave of the Tech without question.
    In the CULT OF SCIENTOLOGY YOU HAVE NO CONSTITUTION RIGHTS SUCH AS FREE SPEECH – you are told what to think, do and say. Your actions, your friends your relations, your books, and everything else you can think about is RESTRICTED to their approval.
    In the CULT OF SCIENTOLOGY YOU HAVE NO CONSTITUTION RIGHTS OR CIVIL RIGHTS SUCH AS THE RIGHT TO MEDICAL CARE OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING — IF YOU ARE SICK IN ANY WAY. YOU ARE PROHIBITED BECAUSE YOU ARE CLASSED AS A PTS PERSON AND AS SUCH, YOU HAVE NO FREEDOMS.
    YOU ARE NOT A FREE MAN OR WOMAN, ABLE to do as you please at home, read what you please at home, your home TV set has a little censorship lock on it placed there by the cult to keep you inline.
    Even your thoughts and innermost secrets are investigated and if they are considered wrong or un-approved by your ETHICS OFFICER you are taken (scammed) for more money.
    The fanatical Ronbot was told that “suppression is illness and illness is suppression”, therefore he thinks that all illnesses come only from suppression or a PTS condition.
    Remember that Ronbots are told that “all illnesses to a greater or lesser degree are due to only a PTS condition”. Any illness or symptom makes a fanatical Ronbot turn on anyone he was near in the past 72 hours. He is programmed to believe that his Mother or Father now is a Monster called a“SP” or “Suppressive Person.
    He is never given the facts on “symptom re-stimulations”. He is never told about it being a physiological reaction, he is never told that all symptoms and illnesses are physiological reactions and that some symptoms can be re-stimulated by stress and arguments. And those symptoms are never the same for all; because every one has different deficiencies and different levels of toxins in their body that will always bring out a different symptom each time he is argued with.
    Remember this one fact that Scientology rejects—“symptoms are not illnesses!” But Ronbots are never taught the true causes of real illnesses, and are trained to despise their parents when they get a symptom of a real illness. Symptoms can be re-stimulated by many real causes of illnesses even by stress—which in the cult is accepted by the brain-washed ronbots as “suppression”.
    Scientology NEVER teaches Ronbots that symptoms are really physiological reactions of all life on Earth.
    A physiological reaction is an EFFECT of some CAUSE. The real causes of all illnesses produce the symptom.
    They use this brain-washing about symptoms, in order to control them and make them hate whoever opposes the cult.
    In his weak fanatical brain-washed mind, he can’t ever accept that legal and illegal drugs, chemicals, parasites, toxins, toxic plants, mutated foods, Nuked (irradiated) Foods, or poisonous animals or insects, poisons, viruses or bacteria or over acidity etc., are the only and true causes of illnesses in the world. His mind rejects these well known facts as SP propaganda.
    When he faces you in the street—he can’t see you, he can only see what is programmed into his brain-washed head. To him, you are the hated SP monster who is no better than his hated SP father or SP mother he turned his back on and now hates and/or distrusts.
    He is not free to think for himself–therefore he is a ronbot.
    It is senseless to argue or fight with a hateful Ronbot—he needs de-programming—he needs to be told he is a Robot and that he can’t pull the plug and reset his brain. Do not confront, argue or fight a Ronbot the old way – just pity him and dare him to talk with you about how Physiological Reactions are connected to study tech.
    Dare him to have a friendly conversation with you—the more of a Ronbot he is – the more he will be afraid to go to ethics for daring to talk with an SP.
    The fact that is easily proved is that he is really SCARED to have a friendly conversation with you – to him you are a suppressive person – to him you are a MONSTER – the kind of monster his cowardly mind could not face in his nightmares.
    The Anti-God cult will threaten any person with total exposure of all their confessed sins and secrets, if you dare leave, EXPOSE or confront them. That is the weapon that controls ALL CELEBRITIES, PROFESSIONALS AND COWARDS.
    FACT!!! The Godless $cientologists on staff will NOT respect your “Priest Penitent Privilege”. Anything you confess to, can and will be used against you!!! They will tell your neighbors, friends, relatives and police all your sins and secrets to destroy you.
    The weak have given up their soul and now find that their confessions of their own sins and deep dark secrets — will be made public knowledge. Every Celebrity is nothing more than their slave for life.
    “Never discuss Scientology with the critic. Just discuss his or her crimes, known and unknown.” LRH
    In every confrontation with Ronbots, the programming that he has received will force him to ask for your crimes and sins and secrets. He sincerely believes that you are against the Cult, ONLY because you have committed horrible crimes, called by them: sins of omission and commission.
    He expects you to be up-set, so just explain to him that he has sins and secrets too and that you would like to know his first, since he brought up the issue first. But don’t ask to hear them as a threat or condition to talk with him—if he refuses to give you his own sins and secrets—let it pass as long as he is willing to talk with you. Just get him to talk!!! Admit you have some sins, but dare to talk about his!!!
    Warning!!! The Ronbot is trained to illegally set-you up as per SP policy and fair game rules and be able to call for the police to get you arrested. If he attacks you or looks like he will, turn your back and let him attack you when your back is turned. Put your hands in your pockets and never let them out. If you are going up against them, have the incident filmed and documented. He will viciously insult you and scream at you and even bump and push you with his stomach or chest to make you lose control and get arrested. When he bumps you – just fall down and call for the police, because he has just assaulted you and caused you to fall and hurt yourself. Fact is – that if your stomach pushed a cop, you would be arrested, right? Well, commercially – it is an assault!!! Do not argue with or insult a Ronbot, talk with him in a polite way even if he disgusts you. Arguments are commercial Controversies and make you lose the game. Get him to identify who he is and find out if he has property (House) or a website. He if is connected to any website that libels your actual name on it—he just made you rich. If he assaults you and you can prove it –he also made you very rich. Read the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial laws or common law remedies, Commercial Affidavit of Truth Method, notary acceptor and look up sovereignty UCC or anti-corruption websites to learn how to counter-attack them and take them for all they are worth.
    After you study the UCC, hire a Private Investigator to find out who owns or runs the website. Write them thru a Notary third party witness and accept all their attacks on your name for value. That is the way to become a true RONBOTHUNTER. Thru the “Commercial Affidavit of Truth Method” — You can bring your common-law commercial suits against any Ronbot and the Cult itself, who is used by the Cult to harm you. Under the Constitution –You are the Law. You don’t need attorneys or judges or courts to file a UCC lien on them — once you PERFECT your UCC lien.
    Know this for a fact. — His brain is not his anymore. He can’t be proactive and dare to talk with a person who he was told is a MONSTER. But if he dares to talk and you only ask questions and never argue with him. He will begin to doubt and you know what happens to him after he is in the Condition of Doubt.
    He is as evolved as a snail-or he was one in another life. In this life, he consented to be a mind-slave. Just dare him to read and dare him to talk with any anti-cult person on a friendly basis for at least one hour—dare him to get to know you–by then after that hour he is now a damaged ronbot to the cult—he won’t be trusted and now he is on his way to freedom from control.
    For you to defeat the Anti-God “Church” of Scientology you must expose these truths about how Ron discovered Study Technology.
    Once you put this NEW DATA into his brain, he is now damaged goods and is no longer a Ronbot, but a suspected PTS person never to be trusted again by the Cult.
    To save a RONBOT BRAIN you must deprogram it with NEW DATA.

    “KNOW YOURSELF, AND KNOW YOUR ENEMY, AND IN A THOUSAND BATTLES YOU WILL NEVER BE IN PERIL” — SUN-TZU, THE ART OF WAR

    Sincerely yours,

    Ronbothunter
    All Rights Reserved

    Copyright Ronbothunter— All Rights Reserved, Without Prejudice UCC 1-308 & 1-103.6 including rights under the UCC and common law remedies. I reserve my right not to be compelled to perform under any contract or commercial agreement that I did not personally sign and enter knowingly, voluntarily and intentionally and especially if I was not given full disclosure. I do not accept the liability of the compelled benefit of any unrevealed contract or commercial agreement.

  16. Hideousss Says:

    Uh, Milly, http://www.damninteresting.com/howard-dullys-lobotomy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Freeman_(neurologist)

  17. zenon Says:

    Being a “psychiatric survivor” i just wanted to mentions that CCHR had been the first source of information and help that enabled me to free myself form the oppression of that quasi-medicine. You need to go through it to fully understand what does it mean to be “treated” by that industry. Personally i don’t give a fck if they are COS. They’ve never knocked on my doors since. I’ve never been asked to join COS. Thomas Szasz was working with them and he was an atheist (so am I). So some of them are Cos, so what ? Most of my neighbours are christan – believing in talking snakes and stuff like that. Let’s talk after some of you (or your children) is diagnosed with a fake disease and put on drugs what kills everything inside you. Good luck.