Skeptic News: Church of Scientology denies holding woman in isolation

An image of Alice Wu who some are claiming is scientologys' latest victimFrom: Lateline

The Church Of Scientology in Sydney has been accused of holding a young Taiwanese woman hostage after she suffered a mental breakdown. The Church of Scientology denies the allegations.

The Church of Scientology in Sydney has been accused of holding a young Taiwanese woman against her will after she suffered a mental breakdown. Alice Wu was hospitalised last March after a serious cut to her hand caused by punching a window at Scientology’s Sydney headquarters. Alice Wu’s family claims she hurt herself trying to escape. She eventually returned to Taiwan. The Church of Scientology denies allegations that she was held captive or forced to do anything against her will. The case is said to highlight Scientology’s controversial beliefs around psychiatry.

According to former insiders, so many Australian Scientologists have left in recent years that at least half of the staff here now are Taiwanese.

Scientology’s official policy on what they call the Introspection RunDown, a procedure to deal with mental breakdowns written by their founder L Ron Hubbard states under the heading Isolation:

“With someone in a psychotic break, it is necessarily to isolate the person for him to destimulate and to protect him and others from possible damage. While in isolation the person received the Introspection RunDown, done flawlessly on a shortsession basis, gradiently winning and gaining confidence. Between sessions the muzzled rule is in force. No-one speaks to the person or in his hearing.”

Hubbard described this policy as a technical breakthrough which possibly ranks with the major discoveries of the 20th Century. However this policy was followed with tragic consequences in 1995. Lisa Macpherson, a young Scientologist in Florida, had a mental breakdown. Instead of seeking psychiatric treatment, the Church of Scientology put her in isolation in a hotel room. She died 17 days later.

The Church of Scientology is opposed to psychiatry, labelling it an “industry of death”. Scientologists belief that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished. They prefer the pseudoscience of dianetics which seems to be little more than a reimagining of Freuds psychoanalytic beliefs coupled with the use of chiropractics e-meter.

The attitudes scientologists hold would not be so dangerous were it not for their insistence that they offer the quack science of dianetics to those in mental distress. As in many cases reports of the treatment of those with mental health issues sounds like nothing better than torture.

 

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