This article analyzes the history and purpose of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology to educate the public on the alleged abuses of psychologists and psychiatrists and advocate for legal reform. Its other founder was Thomas Szasz, a non-Scientologist professionally trained as a psychiatrist who came to disagree with much of his field’s practices and methodologies. Until his death in 2012, Szasz remained supportive of CCHR and its crusade against “coercive psychiatry,” though the atheism, materialism, and libertarianism of his anti-psychiatric worldview remained at odds with Scientology’s anti-psychiatric theology. I examine L. Ron Hubbard’s evolving views on psychiatry and psychology in order to contextualize and outline this theology as it relates to the mission of CCHR as a non-profit organization heavily staffed and supported by Scientologists yet separate from the Church of Scientology International.
“The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend”: Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology
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Donald A. Westbrook; “The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend”: Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology. Nova Religio 1 May 2017; 20 (4): 37–61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2017.20.4.37
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