John Gever, Senior Editor of MedPage Today, has published an video interview with American Psychiatric Association (APA) president, Nada Stotland, M.D. from the APA convention currently being held in San Francisco:
In the view of Now Is The Time, Dr. Stotland's strong remarks provide welcome support for the Anonymous movement in its efforts to put an end to Scientology's psychiatric malpractice.
Significantly, the Anonymous protest against Scientology is the first time ever that Scientology has ever been counter-protested while demonstrating as an anti-psychiatry hate group. Anonymous bested CCHR. They distributed information to psychiatrists, and received much support, particularly from younger psychiatrists and residents.
Communication and liaison between the APA and Anonymous would go far to counter Scientology's harms, particularly as CCHR's (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) Psychiatry: Industry of Death exhibit travels from city to city and campus to campus.
Anonymous, as well as the APA, are profoundly concerned about Scientology's CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) disseminating potentially lethal psychiatric information to vulnerable student populations, as recently occured at Concordia University in Montreal.
See: A response to the Montreal Gazette: Concordia students have the right to hear about Scientology's human rights abuses
Here is a transcript of the interview with Dr. Stotland.
JG: John Gever: I'm John Gever from MedPage today at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco.
JG: For more years than many APA members can remember, the psychiatric profession has been the focus of a hate campaign by Scientologists. As in past years this year's meeting was met by a noisy street protest as well as counter-protests by groups opposed to Scientology.
I spoke with Dr. Nada Stotland, the APA's current president about the impact on psychiatry and the Association.
NS: It's a matter of concern. While we do have data showing that people increasingly believe in the validity of psychiatric disorders and increasingly believe the're treatable, still, when a movie star jumps around on a couch and tells people that psychiatry is bad, we worry about the patients we're already treating who are watching. We worry about the people out there who are suffering from psychiatric illnesses and will be scared away from effective treatment because of those kinds of allegations.
JG: So what can the organization do? What has the organization done? And how effective has it been?
Dr. Stotland: It's hard to know.how effective it is, except that we know that people increasingly feel good about psychiatry, I am talking about the public, increasingly think that diseases are real. They don't think if your're depressed it's just because you are lazy or didn't pray enough or something. They understand it's a disease, and its treatable. That's really the tack we've taken. To put accurate information out there through the media and other venues, through our own website and so on, to counter allegations with facts.
JG: Has there been any disruption here so far here that has affected the meeting?
NS: Well, we have demonstraters marching up and down in front of our meeting. We're used to that, I'm afraid, all over the world as a matter of fact, as I've traveled all over the world this year. We can only hope that the public isn't particularly taken it by that.
I think to some degree we've noticed the media are getting less and less interested in listening to the allegations of Scientology, many of which are patently ridiculous, you know, that psychiatrists caused the Holocaust or things of that sort. And so it doesn't cause as much disruption as it had in years past when that was the first time we had people marching up and down.
There is no other medical specialty I know of that has its own particular, dedicated hate group. And there is no other medical specialty in which people are already stigmatized and afraid as much as they are of psychiatry, so it's a very unfortunate conjunction of those two things.