Another slap in the gob: Scientologists to proselityse at Lib Dem Conference

Flicking through my Lib Dem Spring Conference agenda and directory, I was dismayed to spot the following exhibitor:

Stand B9
Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights
CCHR: international watchdog in the mental health field since it was co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Professor of Psychiatry Dr Thomas Szasz to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.

CCHR is one of a family of “independent” organisations that can be found hovering around the Scientology hub, which includes Applied Scholastics and the comically named Criminon and Narconon. If the Applied Scholastics stand at Conservative conference a couple of years ago is anything to go by, literature from all these organisations will be included, as will plenty of copies of the L. Ron Hubbard-penned The Way to Happiness.

Of course, most Lib Dem conference attendees will treat this stall in the way they treat most commercial exhibitors: with polite contempt. But I am profoundly uncomfortable about the way these organisations tend to present themselves as secular and independent when they are anything but. It is a trap for the unwary – note the misleading “Tax Payers’ Alliance” type name for instance.

Ultimately what I’m saying here is: be aware of who they are. And if you do happen to have a V for Vendetta mask…


  1. Jennie, I’m not convinced that a few hundred miles will ever stop you from sexually harrassing me! 🙂

  2. I think most organised religions could be characterised (fairly or otherwise) as murderous cults but in a liberal, secular society we must always be careful not to tar all religious followers with the same brush.

    Unless it emerges that there are actual murderers on the stand, polite contempt is the way to go I feel.

  3. CCHR have some peculiar strategies even by $cientology standards; I remember a few years ago, while walking through Manningham in Bradford, it appeared most of the Asian-owned shops on Oak Lane were displaying posters in their windows advertising this lot alongside the ones you’d normally expect to see. No idea if $cientologists thought they’d have a chance of proselytising to Muslims; but if so it appeared they were rebuffed in fairly short order as I haven’t seen any of their literature returning to that part of town. I hope, and fully expect, that CCHR will be given the bum’s rush if they try on their brand of dangerous woo at Birmingham.

  4. I think the real problem isn’t that these people will be given a chance to show their ‘Psychiatry: an Industry of Death’ film. Neither is it that several people with psychiatric disorders have died in Scientology’s ‘care’. What bothers me is that the party I voted for (or in particular, their exhibition organization) can be so staggeringly naïve. This could never have been anything but controversial, and the potential harm far outweighs the benefit of getting a couple of grand from the exhibitor.

  5. “Ultimately what I’m saying here is: be aware of who they are. And if you do happen to have a V for Vendetta mask…”

    I do.
    Others too.
    We are.
    We will.

    Anyone in doubt, click the website link, take the video very seriously. The CCHR need to be stopped.

  6. Given that the Royal Palace had recently barred entrance, to their summer garden party, to Nick Griffin of the British National Party, maybe its time for political parties to apply intelligent conscience to their choice of stall holders.

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