Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scientology Causes Schizophrenic Teen's Death

As someone who deals with mental illness in my home daily, this article infuriated me. According to the story, a Scientologist father convinced his schizophrenic son to stop taking his medications, AND he placed a loaded gun on the teenage boy's nightstand. Not surprisingly, with the sudden withdrawal the anti-depressants, the young man's voices began tormenting him again, and the boy killed himself.

Anyone who lives with a person afflicted with schizophrenia knows what a terrible affliction it is. The victims are often terrorized by voices, running 24/7, that are so realistic, so convincing, that they lose track of reality. They believe these are real people. And these voices are not nice – often they're yelling, saying horrible, insulting, or degrading things to the patient. All day long.

Schizophrenia is not something that these patients make up. They don't just feel a little bit off, or unhappy. They can be completely incapacitated by fear from the unrelenting voices that yell at them, curse them, or just whisper awful things to them, day after day, year after year.

Getting back to Scientology, they are flat out WRONG about the causes of schizophrenia. It is not a matter of poor diet, or "allergies," or of psychiatrists getting patients addicted to drugs they don't need. Schizophrenia is a terrible disease. Nobody knows the cause. Nobody knows the cure.

Scientologists, in my opinion, are acting immorally and irresponsibly when they, with no scientific or medical training, diagnose illnesses, contradict the best scientific and medical advice available, and convince a patient to stop following the doctor's prescribed treatment plan.

Only a religious group could get away with such immoral and outrageous behavior.

Modern medicine doesn't have all the answers, but in this case, I can say from first-hand personal experience, as well as a thirty-year career working with some of the finest medical researchers in the world, that Scientology is wrong. And in the case of this teen who shot himself, they're dead wrong.

As far as I can tell, Scientology has always been, and continues to be, a destructive religion. It was a complete fraud, perpetrated by founder Hubbard, from day one, and it's disgraceful that so many have fallen into its grip. I hope those responsible, directly and indirectly, for this young man's death will be punished. Unfortunately, the reality is that they'll probably get a "Get out of Jail Free" card, because their quackery was done in the name of religion. They can make any wild-ass claims they like, and the government can't stop them. Even if someone dies.

I can understand many things, but Scientology's stance on psychiatry and mental illness is beyond belief, beyond rationality. It's just cruel.


  1. Craig, you are right, except that the story is not true. There was no withdrawal, no "convincing of not taking meds". You fell for some legal extortion scheme. Do some research and talk to some Scientologists too, for heaven's sake.

  2. Louanne, you sound like one of those loonys! This is confirmed when you click on your link.

  3. $cientologists will flock to this site sadly.

    If as they claim, dianetics is a 'modern science of mental health' then please pursue some form of scientific rigour.

    Hubbard was a notorious liar and charlatan. $cientology is also infamous for its 'baby sitting' with recruits that have mental health problems.

    Funny how those scientologists never quite make it up the bridge eh?

    Craig, schizophrenia has affected close members of my family too. I am passionate about the care I provide for my clients, as a health professional, I am obligated to look for the best evidence to provide care for my clients, rather than the ramblings of a rather rich fraudster.

  4. You are right, Scientology's paranoid delusions about psychiatry and mental illness is not cruel, its driven by false propaganda thats beyond belief. Check out these clips from their own public television broadcasts to see self-induced insanity at its finest:

  5. Louanne, if you're trying to convince anyone of your sincerity, you shouldn't include a link to the "Scientology Myths" web site. That stuff is so laughable I can't believe you think it's serious. It's really sort of sad that apparently intelligent people can be fooled so easily.

    Get a life, girl. Go find someone who knows how to un-brainwash you.

  6. The dead kid`s father locked up the kids meds in his truck and left a loaded weapon out (wiped of fingerprints, no less!). NOTHING the insane $cientologist`s say can change this picture or outcome! $cientology should be legally BANNED! SHAME!

  7. As a Scientologist, I find this post highly biased, as you no doubt will find my comments. Such is the nature of idvergent viewpoints.

    The post is unfair because it skews several important details of the case:

    1. Kyle was already taking Lexapro sporadically, before he arrived in Clearwater.

    2. His behavior prior to the suicide, during the time period when he was supposedly "on" Lexapro, was highly erratic. He had recently stopped in an FBI office and claimed people were after him.

    3. The way the post was written, it makes it seem like someone gave the gun to Kyle, when, in fact he discovered his father's gun in a bag in the nightstand.

    A person would have to be completely off his rocker to give his teen-aged son a handgun when he was known to behave irrationally. And I'm sorry to say here, that the author of this post did not cross-check his sources because that is NOT what happened. But such misinformation feeds very well into the author's argument because he wishes to portray Scientologists as "quacks" and Scientology as a scam.

    (This is, however, the most disturbing part of the story, as I am not an advocate of firearms for private use. And I think it was a remarkably stupid thing for Tom to have a handgun in the house. But that is more of a political issue and preference than a religious one.)

    4. As far as Scientology's "views" on schizophrenia, it seems clear to me that the author has only a general sense of what they are and is basing his assumptions largely on what is portrayed by the media.

    When a person is psychotic--whatever his diagnosis--the view is to put him in a safe, calm environment, free of factors which may cause a psychotic break. A full physical exam is suggested to eliminate biological/organic causes.

    Obviously, this was not done in Kyle's case.

    If the causes of schizophrenia are "unknown" as the author suggests, why is it so unreasonable to suggest that a person suffering from schizophrenia receive a thorough physical? Why is it unreasonable to assume that the person suffereing from the disorder may also be suffering from a nutritional deficiency, bacterial infection, or allergy? It isn't.

    And if the psycholgocial and psychiatric treatments proposed by the author's finest reasearcher friends are so effective, why was Kyle behaving erratically to begin with? Whose medical/psychological care was he in? Strange that he should run away from the area where he was under such good and effective care on a cross-country drive, isn't it? Why isn't his doctor/psychologist on trial? How long was he really off the Lexapro before he shot himself? If it was only a short period of time (a day or two, perhaps), I can't imagine it was such a major factor in Kyle's decision to kill himself.

  8. Anonymous – you shouldn't jump to conclusions about what I might or might not know about schizophrenia. If you were a regular follower of this blog, you would know that I lived with it daily. My stepdaughter, a wonderful, intelligent, and beautiful young woman, is schizophrenic. Not only do I see first-hand what a tragedy this is, I have also done extensive research about the disease.

    When I wrote that modern medication is highly effective, that was accurate and true. But it does NOT mean the patient is cured. This terrible, tragic disease steals the victim's mind away, sentencing them to a lifetime of nightmares worse than any I've ever had.

    Does that mean they're cured by the medication, that they're magically restored to normalcy? No, and contrary to your implication, that's not what I said. These medications will often reduce the symptoms to the point where the victim can live outside of a mental institution, yet still under close supervision.

    As to your claims of nutritional deficiencies, that's bogus. Sure, there are certainly patients with poor nutrition. But if this were the only cause, or even a minor contributing factor, a simple scientific experiment would have easily and conclusively discovered it years ago. This argument is a total red herring.

    Regarding Scientology's position on mental illness, you are flat-out wrong about where I get my information. My sources are the Scientology web sites, official statements by the "church", and talks and public statements by well-known Scientologists. The position of Scientology on mental health is well known, and is both scientificially and morally corrupt.

    You're obviously an intelligent person, and you should apply some of that intelligence to discovering the truth about the sham called Scientology.

  9. Scientology would rather a mentally ill person commit suicide, then see a psychologist or psychiatrist. This is just one of many cases of scientology followers dieing for lack of real care. Kyle was looked at as a way to extract money from the mother, and nothing more.


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