SPEARHEADING SOCIAL REFORM
Interestingly enough, psychiatry has been a field which claims both humanitarian motive and leadership in the treatment of mental health. It is a positioning that for many years has filled its trough with lucrative government appropriations and given it no small measure of societal power.
Based upon the realities discovered by the Church of Scientology, however, a more apt analogy might be that it has been looting the coffers for many years, for if, as is true for most of us in society, payment is received in return for a valuable service or product, psychiatry has been pulling the wool over government eyes for a very long time. Having taken the high ground much earlier this century simply due to the fact that nothing much had been done as far as studies of the mind were concerned, psychiatry stepped into the void and declared its leadership position. There were no competitors to speak of, for medicine had its hands full with advances in physical treatment and had virtually no interest in the mind. And so, initially at least, in a society newly infatuated with the claims of science, there was little opposition to these new theories that claimed for themselves the same scientific status. Funded by governments interested in the control of populations, psychiatrists donned white cloaks in their laboratories, ran their tests on mice and monkeys and dogs and issued scholarly papers, written in a rapidly developed lexicon virtually incomprehensible to the layman or the politician.
In truth, and as time finally proved, it was simply another case of an emperor with no clothes. The problem was not minor, however; it lay in the basic premise. Any researcher faces many choices in virtually limitless directions. And more than a century ago, psychiatry and its cousin, psychology, chose a certain path which has since, with minor exceptions, been slavishly followed. The premise was that man was an animal (thus the experiments on animals), that all mental activity originated in the brain (thus physical treatment of this physical organ was a primary solution), and that he responded to environmental stimuli (thus his behavior could be manipulated by such stimuli). Psychiatry has done little to diverge from this premise.
Unfortunately, the path has led only to a dead end. The fact of the matter is that these self-appointed experts do not, to this day, understand the mind or how it works. And although their name implies they are involved in the study of the psyche or soul for that is what the word psychiatry originally meant todays psychiatrist denies the existence of the spirit and sees man as only a pain-driven lump of matter and chemicals.
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