Scientology versus Psychiatry

CMHR2012 | Stephen A. Kent & Terra A. Manca (2012)
A war over mental health professionalism: Scientology versus psychiatry, Mental Health, Religion & Culture,
Read Online | Download as .pdf

As I write this, a Scientology front group called Narconon is coming under increasing pressure.

“Narconon” is an organisation which runs establishments throughout the world. It presents itself as a provider of  drug rehabilitation treatment with an incredibly high success rate.

In actual fact, their ‘treatment’ consists of an ineffective regime invented by the founder of Scientology founder, L Ron Hubbard, in the 1950’s – a programme of saunas and vitamin overdoses which is totally at odds with Scientific Medicine.

A growing number of US law suits filed against Narconon allege the falsification of credentials, systemic deception and outright fraud. Others allege that Narconon’s ‘treatment’ is not only ineffective, but has also contributed to the suffering or death of vulnerable people trusted to their care. Have you Told all by Lewis A Catton gives an insider view of the way Narconon operates

This paper describes Scientology’s historic struggle to be accepted as a legitimate alternative to scientific medicine (starting with psychiatry) and then to replace them. The authors argue that, in the the 1950s, the possibility of a successful assault on psychiatry not as far-fetched as it seems now.


Over 60 years ago, founder L. Ron Hubbard began what has become
Scientology’s greatest battle. Scientology emerged from Dianetics, which
Hubbard hoped would replace the psychiatric profession. In this article, we
discuss how Scientology attempted to position itself as a rival profession to
psychiatry and the consequences of those attempts. Scientology’s battle with
psychiatry gained some success from the social conditions during which it
emerged, but it continues in a time that has seen increasing success with various
psychiatric treatments. As such, Scientology’s direct influence on the psychiatric
profession may be difficult to measure, but its actions have coincided with
substantial challenges to psychiatry.


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