MindFreedom International is 100 percent independent, with no funding from or links to any government, corporation, drug company or religion. However, defenders of the mental health system have tried to say that all critics of the psychiatric system “must” be linked to Scientology, and their organization CCHR. A promoter of more forced psychiatric drugging, D. J. Jaffe, is circulating this rumor by Twitter, etc.
As stated elsewhere in MFI’s Frequently Asked Questions, MindFreedom International has zero links to or funding from Scientology, or their mental health advocacy group Citizens Commission for Human Rights (CCHR). This is not to necessarily criticize any other group, but it is the truth.
You can read more about this is in our “Frequently Asked Questions” MFI also has a letter from our attorney David Atkin about our independence, here.
Unfortunately, a proponent of more involuntary psychiatric procedures – D. J. Jaffe – has admitted to using Twitter to circulate a false rumor that MFI is a Scientology front group, in an attempt to discredit our non-profit organization. Mr. Jaffe is a long-time crusader for involuntary outpatient treatent, where people can be court-ordered to take prescribed psychiatric drugs in their own homes, or even to have electroshock against their will on an outpatient basis.
In October 2010, Jaffe used his Huffington Post blog to attack the appearance of author Robert Whitaker at the Alternatives 2010 conference. Jaffe and MFI director David Oaks joined the dialogue in the comments section. You can read the exchange here.
In the dialogue, Jaffe confirmed he had used Twitter to forward a statement on the web by an ex-MFI member. This statement is a false rumor. Jaffe cleverly adds that he can’t confirm or deny the rumor, perhaps aware that MFI’s attorney is willing to look into defamation against representatives of MFI.
The specific story behind the rumor:
Earlier in 2010, a member contacted the MFI e-mail lists and MFI office stating that he was in crisis and needed urgent support. While MFI has clear and repeated disclaimers that we do not provide mental health, counseling or social services of any kind, as a courtesy and member service, the MFI office spent some extra time to forward his plea for help to a number of MFI members via our e-mail lists.
In MFI’s forwarded message we clearly and carefully stated a disclaimer that anyone contacting this member was only speaking and acting for him or herself, and was not acting as a representative of MindFreedom International.
One of several individuals to contact MFI’s troubled member, was an individual who has utilized Scientology in his own recovery, and he recommended that approach. As a result, MFI’s troubled member quit MFI and posted an angry note to the web, claiming MFI was a Scientology front group. Of course, MFI is not a front group for anyone.
This ex-member even posted a bizarre accusation that he felt MFI’s director David Oaks had taken LSD, which he has not.
Unfortunately, anti-rights activist D. J. Jaffe, searching for a way to attack MFI, has circulated this rumor.
An underlying question raised by this hoax is:
Are some individual members of MFI also members of Scientology?
Yes, a few members are. MindFreedom has a proud “anti-bigotry” position. MFI does not purge or screen our members based on individual affiliation. If an individual agrees to MFI goals and guidelines, then he or she is welcome to be a member whatever their affiliation.
However, even though individual members have a broad and vast diversity of religious, social and political affiliations, no other organization, group, corporation, or religion controls or influences MFI’s direction. We are run by our members. In fact, ironically enough, MFI is one of the few totally independent organizations in mental health advocacy today!
The MindFreedom director, David Oaks, feels strongly about MFI’s anti-bigotry policy. He personally has a family history where his relatives were targeted by the “Red Scare” of the 1950’s as communists, and lost jobs. In fact, his own mother and grandmother helped lead a communist march against hunger into downtown Chicago during the depression. “I’ve seen the impact of witch hunts and purges, loyalty oaths and bigotry. I’m very proud that MFI is open to all — regardless of an individual’s affiliation — as long as he or she supports MFI goals and guidelines. “
For more information on debunking this hoax, contact or visit the MFI office.