Citizens Commission on Human Rights Exhibit in a South African Township Exposed Racism and Abuse in the Psychiatric Industry

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death documents the shocking history of psychiatry, including its promotion of dangerous practices and harmful drugs, and its role in suppressing people of color

Citizens Commission on Human Rights South Africa brought the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Exhibit to Diepsloot, a densely populated township in Gauteng, South Africa. The exhibit, held April 19 to 26, educated officials, business owners, members of African royalty and residents on human rights abuse, racism and harmful practices that pervade psychiatry, including its role in promoting racism. 

Like many South African townships, Diepsloot suffers from poverty and substandard living conditions. The townships were the product of apartheid, the political system implemented in 1948 and continued until ended by the election of 1994. Townships were part of the government’s solution to enforcing racial segregation. But few visiting the exhibit were aware of psychiatry’s role in apartheid. Many were shocked to learn that psychiatry was behind the pseudoscience known as “eugenics” that promoted “improving” the human race through selective breeding and sterilization.

German psychiatrist Eugen Fischer (1874–1967) experimented on native people in concentration camps on Shark Island in a German colony that is now part of Namibia. His macabre “research” included decapitating victims and sending their skulls to Germany so psychiatrists could study so-called “inferior races.”

Learning the truth helped people understand what lay behind the creation of the townships and the degradation of the people of South Africa.
Learning the truth was hard to confront, but helped people understand what lay behind the creation of the townships and the degradation of the people of South Africa.

Fischer recommended outlawing interracial marriage, which was adopted in 1912 throughout African German colonies. It was these same false psychiatric theories that gave the government of South Africa the “legitimacy” it needed to implement apartheid.

The exhibit also raised awareness of the dangers of drugging children with dangerous substances whose side effects are known to increase violence and suicidality.

CCHR aims to educate parents, caregivers, and mental health professionals throughout South Africa. Concerned visitors included ward councilors, police officials, pastors, and community leaders. Many pledged their support of CCHR’s efforts with 98 signing up to volunteer for the local CCHR chapter. Victims shared their own experiences of abuse in the mental health field and expressed relief that CCHR is taking action to help.

CCHR South Africa is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating and exposing human rights violations in the mental health field. Its work is inspired by visionary and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard who believed that human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.

For more information visit the website of Citizens Commission on Human Rights or watch a series of documentaries on the Scientology Network:

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death

Therapy or Torture: The Truth About Electroshock

The Marketing of Madness

Or contact the nearest Scientology Church or Mission to find or begin a new chapter of CCHR.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights was cofounded in 1969 by professor of psychiatry Dr. Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology. With headquarters in Los Angeles, California, CCHR International guides a global human rights advocacy network of some 180 chapters across more than 30 nations. CCHR Commissioners include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, government officials, educators and civil rights representatives.

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