The University of Melbourne professor, with Monash University’s Prof Louise Newman and Prof Ian Hickie, director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney, publicly backed calls by South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon in March for a senate inquiry into Scientology.
They have since received requests under Freedom of Information seeking the release of emails discussing the church, funding and research programs.
The church says it is concerned about the pharmaceutical links between medical researchers and psychiatrists and denies the request is harassment.
The University of Sydney has refused to release the requested documents and Monash is still processing the request.
Shelly Wilkins, executive director of the Scientology-funded Citizens Committee on Human Rights, said the FOI requests into mental health experts including Prof McGorry sought to expose links between psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry.
Prof McGorry said he was not surprised to be targeted after speaking out against the church’s teachings on psychiatric care.
“We already have enough trouble destigma-tising mental illness and ensuring people who are distressed have access to help without them actively dissuading people to seek help.”
Senator Xenophon said he supported the three experts highlighting the dangers involved in Scientology’s teachings on mental health.
Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 23, 2010.
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