Scientology Crime Syndicate

Nancy Kelly, Digital News. Feb 4, 1991

Ciba-Geigy was refused technical support for its disk defragmenter after the supplier, Executive Software Inc., learned that the Swiss chemical company made Ritalin, a drug sometimes prescribed for hyperactive children.

Executive Software, maker of the dominant disk defragmenter for the VAX, Diskepper, objects to the production of Ritalin as a drug that is prescribed by psychiatrists. The drug has provoked controversy based upon some studies that document several cases of suicides among young adolescents who had been given the drug as children. The Physicians' Desk Reference indicates that the side effects of Ritalin withdrawal include paranoia with thoughts of suicide.

The Glendale, Calif. software firm has a longstanding policy against selling its products to psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions. On Jan. 9 the firm's board of directors voted to expand that policy to include psychiatric drug manufacturers, after a company employee brought it to President Craig Jensen's attention that the makers of Ritalin had purchased a copy of Diskeeper.

"Ciba-Geigy ranks with the scum of the earth in my opinion," said Jensen. "The primary effect of Ritalin is suicide. When some of our employees heard we sold our software to them, I agreed to cancel that license, if necessary, and refuse to do business with drug manufacturers in the future."

The U.S.-based Ciba-Geigy MIS manager who bought Diskeeper late last year is not part of the pharmaceutical division of the company, which has eight seperate divisions that produce products ranging from pigments to plastics. He asked that he and his division not be identified. He said that he sought technical support when his employees ran into difficulty installing Diskeeper and that he was referred by the support staff to Dave Kluge [no relation- s.d.] Executive Software's corporate affairs manager.

He said Kluge told him Executive Software would not provide Ciba-Geigy with any technical support. "He told me 'You people make psychiatric drugs and implements of torture.'

"I said, 'You're kidding.' I thought he was putting me on.

"He said we're responsible for people taking these drugs and don't we know they commit suicide. I told him we have nothing to do with the pharmaceutical division but he said it was the company policy," said the Ciba-Geigy official.

Kluge sent the MIS manager a letter outlining Executive Software's policy and the means by which Ciba-Geigy could obtain a refund for its purchase.

Jensen told Digital News that Executive Software would honor its contractual obligations with Ciba-Geigy, which had purchased a 12-month update service. However, it would not renew the service or the software once the agreement expired.

"Ciba-Geigy slipped through," said Jensen. "But I think someone should take a stand on this, and I'm willing to do so."

Meanwhile the Ciba-Geigy MIS manager, who had worked with Diskeeper at a previous job and had decided to purchase it after experiencing problems with a competitor's product is essentially without a disk defragmenter.

"There's no point in using it if this is what they are going to do," he said, referring to the eventual loss of technical support and upgrades. He also expressed dismay at Executive Software's stand on Ritalin.

"Thousands of kids can attend school because of Ritalin," he said. "Those parents thank us. There are problems with every drug on the market. It is up to the doctor to decide who it should be prescribed to."

According to two former Executive Software employees, the company's policy in part stems from Jensen's membership in the Church of Scientology. "He doesn't believe in anything that has to do with psychiatry because the church doesn't," said Michael Sigourney, president of Aviv Software Inc. and a former director of marketing at Executive Software. A second employee, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Jensen's affiliation with the church, adding that, "The Church of Scientology is against the distribution of Ritalin to school children. They're opposed to a variety of drugs."

In an October 1989 letter to his employees, Jensen detailed the company's policy in refusing to license software to psychiatrists or psychiatric institutions, stating that the policy reflected his own personal views. That policy states in part that to do business with psychiatrists "would condone political mental treatment such as electric shocks, lobotomy and convulsive drugs. We condemn utterly this fascist approach to 'mental health' by extermination of the insane, and we will not agree to brutality and murder in the guise of mental healing or to the easy and lawless seizure of persons in the name of 'mental health' for political reasons."

The latter further elaborated that, to counter the action of some psychiatrists who purchase the product, Jensen personally donates "large sums" to organizations such as the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, "which is doing an excellent job of documenting and publicizing psychiatric crimes."

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to protect individuals from psychiatric abuse. It frequently lobbies against the practice of prescribing Ritalin as a means to control hyperactive children.


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