This Just In: No Church Owns the Idea of Human Rights
I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there. Frankly, it seems pretty obvious to me but proponents of invasive psychiatry like to overstate the Scientology connection when talking about the psychiatric rights movement. Don’t get me wrong — I can see how the question would arise occasionally as the Scientology backed Citizens Commission on Human Rights is, for better or worse, the PETA of antipsychiatry. However, it has gotten to the point now that when advocates of the medical model of psychiatry are presented with an opposing view, their knee-jerk reaction is often to toss the label of “Scientologist” at their opponent and dismiss their argument as baseless.
It seems strange and strangely weak to assert that a belief in basic human rights and a belief that those rights should be upheld in the mental health system is only concurrent with a belief in any one religion. I refuse to accept the often presented false choice that you must either blindly accept whatever the pharma-funded psychiatric industry tells you and excuse all of its resultant actions; or profess your faith in a science-fiction based religion with a blemished history and, at the very least, questionable current practices. Maybe it’s just easier to discredit a religion than a movement truly rooted in rights and equality so they have to be grouped together to be jointly dismissed. Is it really so unfathomable that a person professing any number of religions or none at all would dare to question the infallibility of, well — anything?
I believe in fundamental human rights and equality, in autonomy of care, in choosing your own way to get through life and that the ability to do so is all the more important when those choices have greater consequence. I don’t need a religion to tell me that forced drugging, shock and imprisonment for thought are wrong. I don’t need a religion to tell me that disregarding the physical health and emotional well-being of children in exchange for “acceptable” behavior is wrong and I don’t need a religion to tell me that suppressing emotions and behaviors instead of working through problems is an ineffective and harmful practice.