“Mind Games: Scientology versus Psychiatry” from BBC Radio Five Live

Scientology 'Volunteer Minister' with professional camera

A Scientology ‘relief worker’ equipped to exploit photo opportunities

2006 | BBC Radio 5 Live | Mind Games: Scientology verses Psychiatry
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View transcript online | Download transcript as .pdf

On September the eleventh 2001, the world changed. A coordinated terrorist operation hijacked four passenger aircraft. Two of these were flown into the World Trade Centre in New York City. Another was used to attack the Pentagon building. The forth plane crashed into a field, after the passengers courageously attempted to overcome their hijackers. The terrorists killed 2,996 people and injured many more.

On July the seventh 2005  there was a coordinated suicide attack in London. Four fanatical Islamists detonated rucksack bombs on three underground trains and one double-decker bus. 52 people were killed, and 700 physically injured. These events are sometimes referred to as ‘7/7’.

On both of these occasions, emergency services were hampered by Scientologists wearing bright yellow T-shirts bearing the legend  “Volunteer Minister”. They claimed to be there to help by performing  ‘locationals’ and  ‘touch assists’ (a species of faith healing’ which is described in this Scientology handbook) on injured and traumatised people.

Critics respond that the ‘Volunteer Ministers’ are present during these disasters (and many others) so that they can insert themselves into news coverage, alongside the emergency services and disaster relief personnel. They also take photographs of their activities and distribute leaflets to promote the Church of Scientology.

This BBC radio programme was made one year after the London bombings, and uses recordings made by an undercover journalist to reveal another motive – Scientology ‘Volunteer Minsters’ attempt to prevent victims from receiving psychological counselling, and recruit them into Scientology instead. Their rationale is that:

  • Psychiatry is an evil conspiracy
  • There is no such thing as mental illness
  • Psychiatric drugs are all harmful, all of the time

If find these points unbelievable, please listen to this programme. Both the undercover recordings, and discussions with two people speaking officially for the Church, demonstrate them all.

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8 thoughts on ““Mind Games: Scientology versus Psychiatry” from BBC Radio Five Live

    • Thanks for that.

      What shines through this brief article is the frustration of a real doctor, operating under real ethical restraints, when he sees what goes on in a Scientology Org. Here, the ends justify the means – and the principal end is to persuade people to pay escalating amounts of money to participate in a process that is a mixture of outdated pulp science fiction and quack medicine.

      Even if The Church of Scientology did not charge so heavily for its services or abuse its members, it would still do a lot of harm by depriving believers of proper medical treatment (they not only demonise psychiatry but also forbid the taking of medication for conditions like migraine and epilepsy).

  1. Minor quibble – you mean ‘versus’ not ‘verses’.

    Sorry, I’m an editor. Shot me 😃

      • I’ll blame my error on three hours of sleep. Sea ORG take note, lack of sleep leads to errors. Give your people more sleep and they’ll be more productive!

        • And provide them with nutritional meals, time off, freedom of movement, safe working conditions, decent accommodation, family time… oh – and treat them with respect.

          The trouble is, Sea Org inmates would then likely recover their ability think straight, realise what nonsense it all is and walk away.

          Without sleep deprivation and all the rest, there probably wouldn’t be a Sea Org.

      • Hey, you weren’t supposed to say that! I was hoping that someone in the Sea ORG would take my advice, and the defections would multiply!

        FYI, you need to fix your WordPress install. Goto:

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