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Thursday, 26 July 2012

SCIENTOLOGY Prozac scare stories for over 20 years could they become more convincing - FIDDAMAN blog?

Scientology's Prozac Scare Campaign

Dallas Operation Fronts for Church

Under Guise of Consumer Rights

By Mike Sullivan

One of the International Church of Scientology's most visible front groups is the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which has been in business for over 20 years trying to recruit new members into the cult and turn public opinion against conventional psychiatry. In the past few years, the Church has mounted a huge campaign to discredit the safety of the prescription drug Prozac.

CCHR advertises on cable TV channels in Dallas under the pseudonym "Psychiatric Abuse Line", urging people to call for information on Prozac. CCHR hopes to attract depressed individuals to Scientology's bizarre "therapy" after frightening them with stories about an alleged link between Prozac and suicides.

This is in line with the Church's view that conventional medicine in general and psychiatry in particular is evil and unnecessary once one achieves "clear", the Church's euphemism for total understanding of the Dianetics training.

Prozac, a brand of fluoxetine hydrochloride developed and marketed by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company, is widely prescribed to treat severe depression. So far, the Church tactics have not resulted in decreased sales of the drug, but Lilly executives and top government medical officials are disturbed and frustrated by the misinformation campaign spearheaded by the Church.

In an April 19, 1991 Wall Street Journal article, staff reporter Thomas Burton told how Lilly introduced Prozac in 1988 after nearly 20 years of development, and how it quickly became the market leader. With 1990 sales of $777 million, Prozac is one of Lilly's top products, second in sales to the antibiotic Ceclor.

Burton also reported:

How the Church's misinformation about a man who killed 12 co-workers and himself in Louisville in 1989 and the alleged link to Prozac has scared hundred of depressed patient off the drug against the orders of their doctors.

A Harvard psychiatry professor says the Church's campaign has caused a potentially serious public health problem.

How the Church twists the facts reported in a Harvard medical school study to extrapolate that 14,000 Americans are suicidal as a result of Prozac; the study's author says the Church's use of his work is "absolutely irresponsible" and that he considers the proper use of Prozac safe and effective.

More than 3.5 million people are using Prozac safely and with great benefit.

The U.S. government's top psychiatrist called Prozac "a miracle, the first medication to rescue them from the living hell we call depression."

How a former Church minister says that Scientology is out to derail psychiatry and drug companies as a way to gain more followers for their Dianetics training.

According to John Blamphin, director of public affairs for the 37,000-member American Psychiatric Association in Washington, D.C., Prozac has been proven effective in treating severe depression, with over 3 million prescriptions written worldwide since its introduction.

In a telephone interview for this article on June 6, Blamphin said the suicide rate for severely depressed individuals is one in six, whether or not medications are used. "Like all drugs," Blamphin said, "Prozac isn't 100 percent effective. No drug is. But I would be more surprised to find that no one who ever used Prozac had committed suicide."

Blamphin says that many APA member doctors contacted the organization after Prozac was given what he says was a very one-sided treatment by CCHR officials on the Donohue TV show. Blamphin says that APA tried to get a representative on the show to provide some balance, but the show's producer turned them down.

Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

Blamphin said that patients with severe depression are likely to do almost anything, even when being treated with medications. He said that he knew of at least one case of a patient, concerned about the unfounded Prozac allegations, who discontinued using the drug and later committed suicide. In this way, Blamphin said, the Scientology campaign could probably result in a self-fulfilling prophesy.

"We have no statement on Scientology. They can say or do anything they wish, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone," Blamphin said. "What we are concerned with is when any organization makes statements or does things that scare people into discontinuing medication that is prescribed by their doctor. Prozac is a beneficial drug. It simply gives the doctor another tool to use."

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