Medical claims in Scientology doctrine
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In Church of Scientology doctrine, there have been a number of controversial medical claims made, usually centered on their auditing process. These claims began with the 1950 publication of founder L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (DMSMH). Chapter 5 of DMSMH, Psychosomatic Illness, asserted "The problem of psychosomatic illness is entirely embraced by Dianetics, and by Dianetic technique such illness has been eradicated entirely in every case. About 70 percent of the physician's current roster of diseases fall in the category of psychosomatic illness." Hubbard added, "That all illnesses are psychosomatic is, of course, absurd, for there exist, after all, life forms called germs which have survival as their goals." [emphasis in the original.] Later in the chapter Hubbard asserted, "Bizarre aches and pains in various portions of the body are generally psychosomatic. Migraine headaches are psychosomatic and, with the others, are uniformly cured by Dianetic therapy. (And the word cured is used in its fullest sense." [emphasis in the original.] Such claims have often brought the Church to the attention of law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
Scientology and mainstream medicine
In public statements, especially to newcomers, the Church claims that it has no problem with Scientologists taking drugs prescribed by a physician. The official Church website says it is okay to take antibiotics or other medical drugs prescribed by a medical doctor. "Any other drug use, such as the use of street drugs or psychiatric mind-altering drugs, is forbidden."
However, the Church has a long history of opposition to drugs and medical treatments of any kind but their own. In their Narconon materials, they explicitly state that all drugs are poisonous and remain in the body "permanently" (or rather in the fatty tissue, see Purification Rundown). Several former members of Scientology have reported being ordered to stop taking their prescription medications, and being warned that they would suffer negative consequences if they continued to do so.
In 1965, Hubbard wrote that Scientologists taking courses were barred from visiting a doctor without express permission from the Church, except in cases of severe emergency. (HCOPL 26 July 1965, "Release Declaration Restrictions, Healing Amendments").
- Nanette Asimov. Scientology link to public schools, San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 2004.
- Staff. "Scientology in spotlight", San Antonio Express-News, July 10, 2005.
- Daniel J. DeNoon. (WebMD) Psychiatrists Defend Psychiatric Drug Use, June 29, 2005, Fox News.