In the News today there is an article covering the tragic death of a 34 year old UK man who has taken his own life. Suicide at any time is a serious issue but during this stressful, frightening time those suffering from mental illnesses can be at greater risk. For Mr. Furniss, who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, the isolation of being locked down became too much for him to bear.
Sadly, it is safe to assume that there are many people struggling right now as Mr. Furniss did.
Suffering and struggling with mental illness can be difficult during the best of times. Being faced with social distancing, the loneliness and boredom of sheltering in place and the daily barrage of negative, frightening media headlines can all combine into an overwhelming, seemingly insurmountable event.
As usual, Scientology’s uncaring, negligent actions have reached even into this subject and the advice coming from their front group The CCHR is not only irresponsible but potentially deadly.
“Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) is reminding people that CDC prevention guidelines are a safer option than anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants or other potentially mind-altering drugs.”
First and foremost the CDC’s primary and most basic admonition is for social distancing to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.
David Miscavige issued bulletin 88 wherein he states “the current hysteria, whether you believe in it or not (and the only thing you can be certain of is that it is hysteria)…”
While Scientology has subsequently issued several booklets covering CDC protocols concerning health and safety, this sudden nod to precautionary procedures in light of the cult’s actions seems almost a patronizing afterthought. A disgusted and unwilling response simply to keep the rest of the world shut up about their lack of care or consideration.
Here again is just one more example of Scientology hypocrisy; they instruct the world to do one thing while they traipse along doing exactly the opposite.
Paying lip service to common sense, “Do what the CDC suggests” while snidely revealing their real beliefs through completely contrary actions. COB says this is all just hysteria and they continue to defy the very precautions they promote to others.
What does that say about how they view the rest of us?
Scientology is known for its policy of Safepointing, the careful and deliberate development of good relationships with those in positions of usefulness. That there recently was an inspection done in Clearwater of certain Scientology properties where complete compliance and cleanliness was duly noted is neither comforting nor believable. Rather it begs the question, how far in advance was Scientology warned that such an inspection was heading their way?
After all, just a short time prior to the inspection dozens of Sea Org members were recorded exiting Scientology buses en masse. Sea Org members were not maintaining 3-6 feet distances from one another and there were far more people disembarking those buses than alluded to in the report. Thus COS is currently modeling none of the social distancing noted in the inspection report lending credibility to a healthy suspicion for the authenticity of the review. There can be no doubt that the checkup done was controlled by Scientology and that the inspectors saw only and exactly what was wanted for them to see.
Health and safety protocols advised by the CDC are absolutely vital to slowing, controlling and eventually stopping the spread of the virus. However these initiatives in no way address the emotional and psychological toll that such a catastrophic event can have on those suffering from depression, anxiety and/or other mental illnesses.
Wiping one’s table top down with sanitizer will not alleviate stress, fear or loneliness. In fact practicing the isolation and social distancing as advised by the CDC prevention guidelines that the CCHR refers to can not only exacerbate the psychological toll, but indeed can lead to the same tragic choice made by Mr. Furniss.
The risk for such an outcome doubles when taking into consideration the CCHR’s exhortation against taking appropriately prescribed medications.
Expounding on Miscavige’s myth that this pandemic, responsible for thousands of deaths, is hysteria, the CCHR further states that “With 50 years’ experience, CCHR has tracked and documented the push for people to take psychotropic drugs when facing social tragedy and chaos. Sales of these, especially antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs often soar in times of major health or terrorism threats and long-term use can carry significant risks.”
Such a claim paints these often life changing medications as useless in the “Pandemic for Profit” conspiracy. It also clearly indicates COS’ belief that taking these medications is, in the end, really not necessary and herein lies the danger.
Those struggling with mental illness can find themselves desperate for anything that can give them their lives back. The CCHR presenting itself as some kind of authority of and protection over the field of mental health can fool vulnerable people into following their advice.
A decision that very well can lead down a dark and dangerous path into an irreparable decision.
In fact the CDC is aware of and clearly addresses these serious concerns during this time of uncertainty and stress. They have excellent information for recognizing and coping with the stresses this virus is causing.
The CCHR advises people to follow the guidelines found on the CDC website for dealing with the pandemic, however at the same time they refute the information this same organization carries for handling the psychological and emotional aspects. Such an unbalanced trust is contradictory and adds to the instability and confusion. Either one believes in and follows the prevention guidelines or one doesn’t. Part of the prevention information and resources are those made available to address the emotional aspects such a pandemic inevitably brings.
“People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.” )
Facing any disaster, whether tornado, hurricane or global pandemic has extreme repercussions for the mental and emotional states of all involved. Even those not afflicted with mental illness can become overwhelmed by the daily media pieces barraging us with announcements of those who’ve died, the political ineptitude and insanity and constantly conflicting information surrounding the virus. This situation is hard for everyone involved in hundreds of differing ways.
Attempting to separate the physical dangers of the Coronavirus from the emotional is to lessen the overall seriousness of the epidemic as a whole.
We are currently experiencing an unexpected situation that is turning out to be far greater in scope and more worrisome than we’ve had to endure in a long time. It is completely understandable for there to be fears, stress and anxiety; feelings that can be extremely difficult for those already dealing with mental illness. No matter what remember that Scientology is never the answer.
If you or someone you know are struggling, there is help available. Please know that this pandemic is affecting all of us and you are not alone. Most importantly we all matter. We all count.
2. The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
—The Safe Space is home to resources and tools to provide you with some extra support in an emotionally safe environment. IF YOU ARE IN CRISIS RIGHT NOW, CALL 1-800-273-8255 (or you can start a chat on their website)