Tag Archives: freedom of expression

Anti-psychiatry Scientologists push envelope on academic freedom

Anonymous video of display at Concordia

The local anti-Scientologist Anonymous group is in an uproar over a display setup at Concordia’s Library Building this week by a group calling itself the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (auto-play video warning).

The CCHR is part of the Church of Scientology, and its message is that psychiatry is responsible for all the world’s ills, including the shooting at Dawson College in 2006.

This is a rather bold claim, and seems to be based more on religion than on science. Kind of like Intelligent Design. Only Intelligent Design isn’t as likely to encourage people to make the wrong decisions about their health.

Anonymous has taken to writing letters, alerting the media (I’ve received two emails about it so far) and personally insulting Concordia administrators.

The response from the university (according to these people) is that while they may not agree with the message, the university respects their right to say what they want provided they don’t descend into hate speech or discrimination.

For some reason, Concordia always seems to be the centre for these kinds of envelope-pushing events. Perhaps it’s because other universities stop them before they start, or because people just feel that when they want to test the limits of freedom of expression they should do so at Freedom Of Speech University.

In any case, Concordia has caught the attention of Anonymous. And for that they have my sympathy.

UPDATE: The Gazette covers the controversy. CTV follows with comments from an actual psychiatrist. Radio-Canada also reports on it.