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Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum
Established 2005
Location 6616 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

Coordinates: 34°05′51″N 118°20′02″W / 34.0976°N 118.334°W / 34.0976; -118.334

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death is a museum in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, as well as several touring exhibitions.[1] It is owned and operated by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an anti-psychiatry organization founded by the Church of Scientology. The museum is located at 6616 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California and entry to the museum is free.[2]

The opening event on December 17, 2005,[3] was attended by well-known Scientologists, including Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Jenna Elfman, Danny Masterson, Giovanni Ribisi, Leah Remini, Catherine Bell, and Anne Archer.[4]

The museum is dedicated to criticizing what it describes as "an industry driven entirely by profit" and provides "practical guidance for lawmakers, doctors, human rights advocates and private citizens to take action in their own sphere to bring psychiatry under the law."[5] It has a variety of displays and exhibits that highlight physical psychiatric treatments, such as restraints, psychoactive drugs, shock therapy and psychosurgery (including lobotomy, a procedure not used widely as a treatment since the early 1970's) with which psychiatrists have attempted to treat mental problems.



In 2006, a documentary film also called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death was released on DVD by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The film is 108 minutes long and is described by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in this way:

Through rare historical and contemporary footage and interviews with more than 160 doctors, attorneys, educators, survivors and experts on the mental health industry and its abuses, this riveting documentary blazes the bright light of truth on the brutal pseudoscience and the multi-billion dollar fraud that is psychiatry.[6]

Exhibits at Worldcon 2006

The museum had a large display area at the 2006 World Science Fiction Convention held in Anaheim, California, at which it presented a variety of exhibits on CCHR's controversial views on psychiatry. The following images by blogger Cory Doctorow highlight some of the exhibits.


The CCHR has been criticized by journalist Andrew Gumbel for "crudeness" and "paranoia" in its criticism of psychiatry. Gumbel, who covered the museum's gala opening for Los Angeles CityBeat magazine, described how CCHR publicist Marla Filidei attempted to engage him in a debate about the evils of psychiatry:

I told her I wasn't a scientist and had no interest in getting into a detailed argument about the benefits or dangers of mood-altering drugs; on the other hand, she wasn't a scientist either, and the Church of Scientology had absolutely no standing to pronounce on medical issues. That clearly riled her, because by the time I got home there was an e-mail waiting in which she called our meeting "the most bizarre encounter I have had with a reporter in 10 years" and essentially berated me for refusing to engage in an argument she was clearly itching to have [...]. The crudeness of the anti-psychiatric argument is tinged with a distinct patina of paranoia. It's not enough for Scientologists to express their near-pathological hatred of psychiatry in all its forms; they also have to feel they are being persecuted for their beliefs.[7]

Two scholars featured in the DVD, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum and bioethics scholar Arthur Caplan, have rejected the attack on psychiatry and psychology. Berenbaum stated that "I have known psychiatrists to be of enormous assistance to people deeply important to me in my life," and Caplan complained that he had been taped without being told what the film was about, and called the producers "smarmy and dishonest."[8]


The museum has had traveling exhibits (sponsored by the Scientology-related advocacy group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights) which have been in places such as the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, St. Louis, and Kansas City. [9]

See also


  1. ^ Libin, Kevin (2007-08-09). "Torture, or just plain torque? 'Industry Of Death' Exhibition On Psychiatry Walks A Fine Line". National Post. Retrieved 2007-09-20.  
  2. ^ CCHR
  3. ^ Opening Press Release
  4. ^ Walls, Jeannette (2005-12-22). "Getting hitched hasn't mellowed Elton John - Gossip: The Scoop -". MSNBC. Retrieved 2006-06-08.  
  5. ^ "Museum Targets Psychiatry As An “Industry Of Death”", CCHR press release, December 21, 2005
  6. ^ DVD Presentation page
  7. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2006-01-12). "Scientology vs. Science". Los Angeles CityBeat (Southland Publishing). Retrieved 2006-06-08.  
  8. ^ Funny? Yes, And Quite Weird, Too, Tampa Tribune, Mar 22, 2007
  9. ^ Klepper, David (January 25, 2008), "Church of Scientology brings its anti-psychiatry exhibit to Kansas Capitol", Kansas City Star  

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