Psychiatry: An Industry of Death

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Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum
Psychiatry death museum.jpg
Location6616 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°05′51″N 118°20′02″W / 34.0976°N 118.334°W / 34.0976; -118.334
WebsiteOfficial website

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death is a museum in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, 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 and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. 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".[5] It has a variety of displays and exhibits that highlight physical psychiatric treatments, such as restraints, psychoactive drugs, electroconvulsive therapy and psychosurgery (including lobotomy, a procedure abandoned in the 1960s[6][7]).


In 2006, a documentary film also called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death was released on DVD by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Two academics featured in the production, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum and bioethics scholar Arthur Caplan, subsequently rejected the film's attacks 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", while Caplan complained that he had been taped without being told what the film was about, and described the producers as "smarmy and dishonest."[8]


The CCHR has been criticized by journalist Andrew Gumbel for "crudeness" and "paranoia" in its criticism of psychiatry. Gumbel, who wrote about the museum 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.[9]


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.[10]

Exhibits at Worldcon 2006[edit]

The museum had a large display area at the 2006 World Science Fiction Convention held in Anaheim, California, United States at which it presented a variety of exhibits on CCHR's controversial views on psychiatry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Libin, Kevin (2007-08-09). "Torture, or just plain torque? 'Industry Of Death' Exhibition On Psychiatry Walks A Fine Line". National Post. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  2. ^ CCHR Archived 2007-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Opening Press Release Archived 2010-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  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. ^ Gunderman, Richard B. (2013). X-ray vision : the evolution of medical imaging and its human significance. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 125. ISBN 9780199976249. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ Kalat, James W. (2007). Biological psychology (9th ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. p. 101. ISBN 9780495090793. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  8. ^ Funny? Yes, And Quite Weird, Too, Tampa Tribune, Mar 22, 2007
  9. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2006-01-12). "Scientology vs. Science". (originally Los Angeles CityBeat). Southland Publishing. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  10. ^ Klepper, David (January 25, 2008). "Church of Scientology brings its anti-psychiatry exhibit to Kansas Capitol". Kansas City Star.

External links[edit]