Friday, November 21, 2008

Stop making me angry, you censoring cult!

Believe it or not, I opened an unsolicited manuscript from a Scientologist today. It didn't say it outright, but I became suspicious when he referred to psychiatric drugs as "toxins" and the use of them on children a crime performed because the parents were "stupid." That was the thesis of his book - children are diagnosed with bogus psychiatric problems - everything from ADD to autism to pyromania - because their parents had bad marriages.

I checked his biography. He was a psychologist (not a psychiatrist) with no clinical experience and had won the Citizien's Commission for Human Rights Award in 2008. Bingo. The CCHR is that Scientology front group dedicated to discrediting psychiatry, lobbying for less screening for emotional problems in schools, and funding bogus studies to present psychiatric drugs as unsafe. Taking my compazine for nausea? NOT a human right.

(Compazine is an anti-psychotic that, in low doses, can treat severe nausea. It's also a drug Scientology spends millions to get proven unsafe even though it's been on the market for years)

I did not write anything in the rejection commenting on this. I made that mistake once for someone's incredibly racist book about Muslims and he called the BBB on my boss. Never making that mistake again.

In an update on the Complex book situation, what apparently happened was Scientology's corporate offices sent "legal letters" to all the major booksellers in the UK, who promptly pulled the book for fear of lawsuit. Whether there's any legal grounds for a lawsuit is completely unknown. Merlin, the publisher, had no idea this was going to happen (the author did, and said he's not surprised). Merlin doesn't do books internationally on its own, and is now trying to sell foreign English-language rights to places like America, where we have free speech. Just not on Amazon, where it's suspiciously completely out of stock and has been since the day it was posted.

I ordered the book from Eason, and they charged my credit card and said they shipped it. EDIT: Apparently you can still find it on their website. They're an Irish store, not UK, so who knows how long they'll have it up, but here's to the Republic of Ireland!