Scientologists Take One on the Chin from Jeb

Tom Cruise is jumping on the anti-psychiatry Scientology bandwagon. Despite Florida Gov. Jeb Bush vetoing a bill last week after the cult sent heavyweight (and I told myself I wouldn’t make Kirstie Alley jokes) lobbyists to champion the cause, they aren’t giving up. And Cruise is mouthing his lines well.

Palm Beach Post:

Ignoring the pleas of Scientologist celebrities, Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday vetoed a measure that would have prohibited school administrators and teachers from keeping children who chronically misbehave out of school unless they take medication.

It will be awhile before Florida legislators get the image of a sobbing Kirstie, who testified in April, out of their minds. St. Petersburg Times:

Kirstie Alley was weeping so hard she could barely get the words out…

As she spoke, Alley held up pictures of adolescents who committed suicide after taking psychotropic drugs.

“None of these children were psychotic before they took these drugs. None of these children were suicidal before they took these drugs,” Alley said.

But the Scientology celebrity firepower, which included actor Kelly Preston, wife of actor John Travolta, wasn’t enough to convince the council.

Before they even heard from Alley and Preston, council members stripped the most controversial language out of the bill (HB 209).

The original bill said that before a school could refer a child for mental health treatment, it would have to tell parents there are no medical tests to diagnose mental illness. It also would have required schools to tell parents a mental disorder diagnosis will go on a student’s permanent record…

The council approved a watered-down version that simply prohibits schools from denying services to children who refuse psychotropic drugs. A similar federal law passed last year.

Why are Scientologists appearing before the Florida legislature? Scientology took over the west-central Florida town of Clearwater, starting in the 1970s. Today it’s their Salt Lake City, according to their web site.

Clearwater is the spiritual headquarters of the Scientology religion… [It] is the hub of the Scientology worldwide community, a dynamic, multilingual organization and is the largest single church of Scientology in the world.

Historically, when a small group of Church of Scientology staff first came to Clearwater in December 1975, acquiring the Fort Harrison and Clearwater Bank building, no Scientologist lived in the area.

Today, with more than a dozen buildings, the Church of Scientology’s 1,200 staff and more than 2,000 out-of-town visitors in any given week are only a small part of the Scientology community in the City, which is estimated to be in excess of 12,000.

Now, why would longtime residents feel they’d been taken over? The Travoltas live in nearby Ocala, by the way, which is why every John Travolta movie lately is filmed in or around Jacksonville.

Anyway, Cruise is mad as hell and he’s pledged to kick some psychiatric butt. After all, psychiatry isn’t a true science like, you know, Scientology. Tom, as quoted on Internet Movie Database:

“I’m going right after psychiatry and these false labels and this pseudo-science. I was diagnosed as dyslexic; I had a lot of energy as a child. They wanted to put me on drugs… Had I been put on those drugs, I never would be here today… I never would have had the career that I’m having. Am I making people aware of it by discussing it openly and saying what a fraud psychiatry is? You bet I am…”

Geez Tom, take a chill pill, why don’t cha?


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