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Among the codes and creeds Scientology parishioners unite under is the Code of a Scientologist, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. The fourth point of the code is one in which the individual pledges: “to decry and do all I can to abolish any and all abuses against life and mankind,” followed by agreements “to expose and help abolish any and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental health,” “to help clean up and keep clean the field of mental health” and “to bring about an atmosphere of safety and security in the field of mental health by eradicating its abuses and brutality.”

Since the Church of Scientology’s inception, its parishioners have remained steadfastly opposed to the brutal treatments, criminal practices and human rights abuses which are the stock in trade of the mental health field.

Established in 1969 by the Church, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has become an effective force for change in this area. A nonprofit and tax-exempt public benefit organization, it investigates and exposes psychiatric violations of human rights and actively works to eliminate harmful practices in the field of mental health. By 1998, CCHR had grown to 128 chapters in twenty-eight countries and become an internationally acknowledged authority on mental health reform.

A 1986 report presented by a Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Commission refers to the reforms accomplished by CCHR in the field of mental health, stating, “CCHR has been responsible for many great reforms. At least thirty bills throughout the world, which would otherwise have inhibited the rights of patients, or would have given psychiatry the power to commit minority groups and individuals against their will, have been defeated by CCHR.” By 1998, the number of such bills defeated, or bills that protected patient rights passed because of CCHR’s work, had risen to one hundred.

While the CCHR chapters that exist in many countries and cities manage their own immediate areas, they are extensively supported by the CCHR International office located in Los Angeles. Serving all these offices worldwide, CCHR International is responsible for ongoing research and analysis, the production of enlightenment and training publications, the creation of public relations and other campaigns, coordinating legislative watchdog and reform activities and many other actions concerned with cleaning up this once neglected field.


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