Bad Religion

There’s been a lot of Scientology-related news that has been clogging up the “Religious Cults, Crazy” folder on my desk, so it’s time to clear it out.

First of all, everyone is talking about the murders in Australia. To catch you up, a 25-year old woman was diagnosed with psychiatric problems late last year. She saw a therapist who put her on anti-psychotics, which by all reports worked for her up until this past January when she felt well enough to go off the drugs. This is a common problem with psychiatric illness, and it pretty much requires that the person in question have a support group of family, friends, and doctors who make sure she stay medicated. Unfortunately, this woman’s parents were Scientologists, who vigorously oppose psychiatry of any sort. They refused follow-up from the hospital’s mental health team after her initial diagnosis.

After dropping the drugs, the woman’s paranoia returned. Her parents attempted to treat it with non-psychiatric drugs from America — I’ve not been able to determine what those actually were, but for all we know (and for all her parents’ medical knowledge) it could be anything from Advil to Vagisil. According to the woman, when these drugs failed to alleviate her symptoms, her parents allowed her to restart the anti-psych drugs just to help her sleep. This info comes from the report made after the woman was taken into custody. I haven’t seen any verification of any drugs in her system, so I’m unsure whether or not she was actually taking the drugs properly. In any event, it was too little, too late, as a few weeks later she killed her father and sister with a knife and severely wounded her mother in a frighteningly violent bloodbath.

The fault lies pretty squarely on the shoulders of L. Ron Hubbard, may he rest in eternal hellfire if such a thing exists. Had the parents not been so steeped in superstition, there’s a very real chance that this woman could have received the care she needed to stay on the medication and not, you know, butcher anyone. The Scientologists of course claim they have nothing to do with this situation. They’ve hit the airwaves to twist the facts in the case to suit their stupid beliefs and claim that it was psychiatry and psychiatric medicine that actually caused all this. Sure.

Coincidentally, a reader recently sent me a package produced by the Scientologists called “Psychiatry: Industry of Death” (or something, I don’t have it in front of me at the moment). It included a glossy magazine and a DVD, all of which was very professionally done and chock full of misinformation and misused statistics. It’s frightening how well-produced they were, and a little more frightening that this bunk is being handed out for free to passersby on the streets in LA.

And one last Scientology news item: has created L. Ron Butt Plugs: NOT SAFE FOR WORK! Fitting in that his head so neatly fits up an ass, but not so fitting that he could bring anyone real pleasure.

Image above found at Scientomogy.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Quick note as well that doing a search in for "Panorama – Scientology and Me" should turn up a fairly high quality stream of the recent panorama special on scientology, if anyone's not seen it yet. The airing somehow managed to slip by me, and it's really excellent viewing for anyone even slightly interested in the subject.

  2. "The fault lies pretty squarely on the shoulders of L. Ron Hubbard,"

    Unfortunately I have to disagree.

    The fault should be shared by the parents. There was a very conscious effort on their part to place this woman in danger. I'm perfectly fine giving the mentally ill woman a pass on personal responsibility but not her parents. While I am saddened that anyone was hurt I feel extra sympathy for the sister (assuming she didn't encourage this psychotic behavior, the parents not her mentally ill sister).

    Here's an article with this money quote from Vicki Dunstan (as spokesperson for the Church of $cientology)


    I don't think the family are scientologists … the church had no knowledge of the family and never had contact with the family," she said.


  3. Does anyone else think the "Parass Hilton" buttplug looks just like common depictions of the Virgin Mary?

  4. (Long time reader, first comment.)

    Although slightly off topic, but still relevant to "Bad Religion"; has anyone thought to search the DC Madam call list for Pat Robertson? I mean hell, we might as well embarrass as many of the fundies as we can in one go, right?

  5. I'm also going to have to be wary of blaming L. Ron (although he does deserve so much blame).

    "Had the parents not been so steeped in superstition"… is the key phrase. If it weren't Scientology, it probably would have been something else and that might have led to the same result (e.g. Christian Science! Or Homeopathy! Or…)

    Scientology is merely the symptom of a much deeper issue…

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