Psychiatry & Scientology

Bruce E. Levine at AlterNet:

Scientology and establishment psychiatry have something else in common. They are both orthodoxies that deal harshly with their ex-insiders who have come to reject them. Currently, psychiatry is the more prevailing orthodoxy, and, as George Orwell explained, the mainstream press does not challenge a prevailing orthodoxy. Orwell wrote, “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. … Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.”

It is my experience that psychiatry, Scientology and fundamentalist religions are turnoffs for genuinely critical thinkers. Critical thinkers are not so desperate to adjust and be happy that they ignore adverse affects — be they physical, psychological, spiritual or societal. Critical thinkers listen to what others have to say while considering their motives, especially financial ones; and they discern how one’s motivation may distort one’s assumptions.

A critical thinker would certainly not merely accept without analysis Fromm’s and my conclusion that American society is insane in terms of healthy human development. Perhaps a society should not be labeled insane just because it is replete with schools that turn kids off to reading, for-profit prisons that need increasingly more inmates for economic growth, a mass media that is dishonest about threats to national security, trumped-up wars that so indebt a society that it cannot provide basic health care, a for-profit health care system that exploits illness rather than promoting health, et cetera.

The whole thing is here

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