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A new drug shows promise for depression, so naturally Scientology is fighting it

Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology’s most unhinged front group and its quixotic battle against modern mental health…

Last week we took a look at how Scientology is not expert in the field of drug rehabilitiation. Today we’ll look at a new article from the Scientology front group CCHR and how it pretends to be expert in the field of mental health and pharmaceutical regulations. CCHR is insignificant in matters of public policy. The article appears to be directed at influencing the FDA drug approval process but it was too late for that. The actual purpose is to charge the emotions of Scientology publics and encourage donations in the name of fighting Psychiatry. It’s a scam aimed at their own members and the goal is money.


[“Psychiatry — the Men Behind the Holocaust” display at CCHR in Clearwater, Florida]


The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is by far Scientology’s angriest front group. CCHR accuses, taunts, and mocks mental health professionals, accusing them of torture similar to the Holocaust. It maintains two permanent “Industry of Death” museums in Los Angeles and Clearwater and traveling museums that pop-up in cities around the world that have an Ideal Org. CCHR opposes all forms of mental health treatment other than Dianetics. It lobbies the U.S. Congress and state legislatures to restrict medicines and medical devices.


[Spravato nasal inhaler]

Scientology has come out against FDA approval of a new drug, Spravato. CCHR claims that the FDA has a conflict of interest, having received money from the drug manufacturer, and that the drug is similar to the dangerous club drug ketamine. “If approved, it would add to the mind-numbing of America that an FDA-psychiatric collusion is causing.” On Tuesday the FDA approved Spravato over the objections of Scientology. Not that its opposition would carry any weight, but CCHR was too late, having missed the approval of the FDA Advisory Committee back on February 12. The Spravato application received Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations that sped up the process significantly.


What CCHR either does not know or is not saying is that it is because Spravato is similar to ketamine that it was almost certain to be approved. The article calls the active ingredient esketamine a “chemical mirror” which is one way to describe enantiomers, also known as optical isomers. Enantiomers have the same chemical components but have a rotated structure along one axis. The similarity of the molecules means esketamine is very likely to be similar to ketamine, but the new drug may provide significant benefits to patients.


Ketamine is also known as Special-K, a party drug with low doses producing a floaty feeling and stronger doses a strong out-of-body experience known as the “K-hole,” similar to a near death experience that some find spiritual. In recent years it has been used in low doses to treat severe depression, and ketamine clinics have been established that provide intramuscular injections. It is not a first line treatment for depression. Ketamine patients have been experiencing severe depression for years that multiple traditional antidepressants have failed to relieve. Ketamine is faster acting than other antidepressants, taking effect in hours rather than weeks which is important for patients who may injure themselves. It’s an off-label use of the drug which means insurance is unlikely to cover it.



Spravato has been approved by the FDA for treatment of severe depression, making it much more likely to be covered by insurance. Delivery is in a nasal inhaler to be used in combination with an oral antidepressant and it will only be available at certified medical offices. It’s unlikely to be abused as a party drug with these restrictions. As an enantiomer of Ketamine its effectiveness may be different but researchers hope it will be shown to be more effective over time.


The kicker is that CCHR accuses the FDA of being influenced by drug review costs which are paid by pharmaceutical companies for review of new drugs. In Scientology GI (gross income) is the most important statistic an organization has, and everything they do is intended to increase that. The FDA doesn’t run that way. They judge their effectiveness by approving safe and effective medicines, not by their GI. The fees for drug review are not established by the FDA but by the U.S. Congress. They even waive the fees for drugs that might not be developed otherwise under the Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher Program.

By accusing the FDA along with drug manufacturers and psychiatrists Scientology invents a conspiracy web in the style of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings. In the minds of their members only CCHR and Scientology are lining up to oppose this plot to numb people’s minds and control the population. One would have to be opposed to Hubbard and Scientology not to donate to this cause. Where does the money donated to CCHR go? Perhaps to the traveling exhibits, perhaps a little to lobbying, but if they are taking in multiple millions that doesn’t seem to be reflected in their spending. Articles such as the one about Spravato make it appear that they are fighting the psychs but it’s a sham as it was too late and completely ignored by the decision makers. Fortunately for Scientology the intended audience will never realize that as they reward CCHR with further donations and support in the fight against the psychs.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items from our tipsters

Some images coming in from last night’s LRH Birthday event in Clearwater…



HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. We have something in mind, but for now we’re not giving out information about it.

Friday night we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22.



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Mike Rinder answers questions about the new ‘Aftermath Foundation’
[TWO years ago] Louis Farrakhan, Leah Remini, and a document that helps explain the Scientology-NOI pact
[THREE years ago] Reporter’s notebook: Scientology’s latest intimidation attempt is sadly familiar
[FOUR years ago] Scenes from a ‘Going Clear’ screening — Alex Gibney at the True/False Festival
[FIVE years ago] ‘Mad Men’ actress Elisabeth Moss’s record in Scientology is actually easy to obtain
[SIX years ago] Hurry, Scientology Needs Your PR Help!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Intervention: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,384 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,515 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,017 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,497 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 560 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 448 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,755 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,623 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,397 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,171 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,517 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,083 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,003 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,170 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,751 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,011 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,051 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,763 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,289 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,378 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,518 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,838 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,694 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,813 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,169 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,471 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,577 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,979 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,851 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,434 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,929 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,183 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,292 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 10, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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