Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)

Scientology often employs its front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), to deploy their message to the general public. Their choice of name is part of a strategy trying to reframe their campaign against psychiatry as a human rights issue, however internal documents show the Scientology purpose behind this group.

The flagship of the CCHR campaign is undoubtedly its ‘Psychiatry: An Industry of Death’ travelling exhibit and associated film. This travelling exhibit visited Cork in June of 2008, although it was billed as a mental health awareness weekend. By advertising and promoting their event in such a manner the CCHR managed to have the Lord Mayor of Cork lined up to open the event (although after press articles highlighted the Scientology link to the event he became unavailable). That a high-level political figure is susceptible to such marketing techniques should serve to highlight how effective such techniques really are.

Another way the CCHR spread its anti-psychiatry message is though L.E.A.F. campaigns (Letters to the Editor Attack Force). This is a coordinated attempt to manufacture the appearance of public outrage against psychiatry. Whenever a newspaper article on the topic of psychiatry is published a series of talking points are supplied to a CCHR mailing list. The recipients of these talking points then flood the newspaper in question with letters expressing these talking points, thereby creating the appearance of public outrage. Here are some examples of emails detailing the planning of these campaigns.

Scientology also use another of its front groups, their ‘Volunteer Ministers’, to attempt obstructing people receiving psychiatric help. In disaster areas such as 9/11 and the London bombings these Volunteer Ministers deliberately hampered people from psychiatric help. This undercover BBC radio documentary exposes this practice.

Exposing Scientology's fraud and abuse in Dublin