Two 20-foot banners blasting the use of psychiatric drugs on children were unfurled yesterday on the Church of Scientology‘s Beacon Street headquarters, aimed at the hundreds of thousands of holiday revelers on their way to the Hatch Shell.
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted at What judges have to say about Scientology
But the crowds blasted back, using the Brooke Shields vs. Tom Cruise vs. Matt Lauer beef as ammunition.
With a banner that read, “Is psychiatry junk science inventing illness for profit?” as a backdrop, Bill Walsh, 21, an MIT student called the church’s message “incredibly stupid.”
“You can’t refute neuroscience,” he said. “How can you say it’s a zombie space alien making kids depressed, when you have CAT scans and blood tests that show a chemical imbalance? It kills me.”
Kevin Hall, spokesman for the church, said in the past crowds have shown overwhelming support for the banner.
“Children never have the right to choose whether to be drugged,” he said. “It’s not their choice . . . We see every day a lot of abuse cases calling in to our office.”
Hall said the battle between Cruise and Shields has helped spread the church’s message.
“I think it’s just brought it out more, or made it a topic,” he said. “If you don’t get the word out no one knows there’s a cause.”
But for folks not familiar with the church, such as Brandy Worthington, 22, a recent Wellesley psychology graduate, the message falls on deaf ears. “I don’t think you can reduce the whole of psychiatry to one issue,” she said.