Scientology Crime Syndicate


In the wake of the Columbine massacre, CNN interviewed a medical expert who touted a study connecting Ritalin with violence. What CNN neglected to mention is that the expert, Dr. Mary Ann Block, is connected with the Church of Scientology -- and the "study" was hastily thrown together for the media. ADD Guide Bob Seay tracks down the story. http://add.about.com/library/weekly/aa062999.htm

Bob Seay - your About.com Guide to: Attention Deficit Disorder
Dateline: 06/29/99

A Choreographed Campaign of Misinformation

Or, "How Proproganda is spread, Misinformation is disseminated and how People will exploit even the death of children in order to advance an agenda or to sell a book." It has always been the position of ADD on About.com that Medication is a matter of personal choice. That is still our position. We have total respect for those parents and ADDults who choose to deal with their ADD through the use of non-medication therapies.

It is also our position that all news should be reported in a fair and accurate manner. When the story broke that TJ Soloman had taken Ritalin - Ritalin and the Conyers, Georgia school shooting, we had it on the website before Time magazine even had the hardcopy edition of it on the newsstand. We were among the first to spread the news of the Problems with Pemoline, a story about liver toxicity and Cylert.

Unlike many other "Pro-ADD Websites", we carry pages from Parents Against Ritalin and an entire list of Articles from people who think ADD/ADHD is a hoax.

It is in that same spirit of freedom to make personal health care choices and the public's right to have the information necessary to make such choices that we present this story. Barb Day didn't know what to think when someone from the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado contacted her about a study linking increased school violence and the increase in the use of ritalin. She had never heard of such a study, and as the leader of the ADD Advocacy Group for the Denver Metro Area she should have heard something. But the caller sounded as if there was a such a study. It was a matter of fact. Someone had heard something about it on CNN.

In fact, the segment was on CNN several times - three times in one day, on June 1, 1999 as part of the "Headline News" segments and again on all of the "For Your Health" programs of June 5 and 6.

Barb sent me an email asking about the study. I had never heard of such a study, and I try to make it my business to stay on top of these things. Occassionally I miss something, but I usually find out about it sooner or later. This was news to me. Given the amount of evidence to the contrary, I was surprised to hear that such a study had been written. The timing - released on the day after the Columbine killings - seemed too ironic for words.

I searched Medline and all of the other databases for studies connecting Ritalin and School Violence or Medications and School Violence and found nothing.

I started asking around in chatrooms and on Bulletin Boards. People began to respond. "Yes", some of them said, "there was a study like that. I heard a lady talking about it on CNN."

Well, if it was on CNN, it must be true, right?

The lady interviewed on CNN turns out to be Dr. Mary Ann Block of The Block Center. Dr. Block is the author of the book "No More Ritalin - Treating ADHD Without Drugs". Dr. Block's other book is "No More Amoxicillin", which kind of tells you where she is coming from.

CNN arranged to interview Dr. Block.

In the course of preparing this story, CNN also contacted CHADD. According to Jennifer Garner, Director of Communications for CHADD, CNN felt that they already had the "pro-medication" side of the story covered and didn't need to talk with any of the organization's doctors or other advisors, which include highly respected researchers such as Dr. Russell Barkley and others. Instead, CNN contacted CHADD and asked them to provide families that suffered through bad experiences as a result of the medication, which CHADD was unable to do. CHADD founder, Harvey Parker, did appear on the report.

The producer for "For Your Health" at CNN, Dan Rutz, was out of town and unable to return my call.

Dr. Block's credentials are not quite as impressive as those of the CHADD Advisory Board. She does, however, serve as a medical consultant for the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology, the CCHR defines itself as "a non-profit, public benefit organization dedicated to exposing and eradicating criminal acts and human rights abuses by psychiatry." The group is extremely Anti-ADD and views the treatment and medication of ADD/ADHD people as a human rights abuse which exists, in part, to provide income for pharmaceutical companies. Vice President Marla Filidei told me that it is the CCHR's job to see to it that the information - the "truth" - about the psychiatric profession and the ADD/ADHD diagnosis in general be made public.

She also asked me if I was familiar with this topic. I told her I had a little experience with it. I told her I wrote for About.com.

I think I neglected to mention that I am the ADD Guide.

Vice President Filidei helped Dr. Block prepare for the CNN interview. She was quite pleased with the CNN coverage of the story and the "ample opportunity" CNN had given to Dr. Block to present their side of this discussion.

Basically, Dr. Block and the CCHR feel that the American Psychiatric Association has failed to inform people that there are side effects of ritalin and other psychotropic medications. According to Filidei there are about 5 million children on ritalin and almost another million using antidepressants. Of this 6 million children, between 4%-6% experience side effects including suicide or mania.

The Physician's Desk Reference has this to say:

Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the afternoon or evening. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizziness; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite casual relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: leukopenia and/or anemia; a few instances of scalp hair loss. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.


Ritalin should be given cautiously to emotionally unstable patients, such as those with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism, because such patients may increase dosage on their own initiative. Chronically abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychic dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with parenteral abuse. Careful supervision is required during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effects of chronic overactivity can be unmasked. Long-term follow-up may be required because of the patient's basic personality disturbances."

Of course, none of the above are very pleasant. However, these side effects do not include going into schools and firing on other students as at least 6 of the 6 million students who use these medications have done.

That would be 6 out of 6,000,000, or 1 in 1,000,000 children on medication.

By the way, the term "parenteral" which is mentioned above means "to be injected into the body." This is obvious abuse of the medication ritalin as there is no indication in the literature for injection. When was the last time you saw somebody mainlining ritalin?

Yet, research cited by Dr. Block on CNN includes a 1995 study in which eight healthy male volunteers were administered ritalin by injection. Their scans were then compared with those of subjects in previous studies who had been injected with cocaine and found to be similiar. The problem with this study is that ritalin is not intended to be injected and does not come in an injectable form. The author of the study, Nora Volkow, stressed that taking a stimulant orally is very different from injecting or snorting it. Intravenous caffeine also resembles cocaine, she points out.

Her paper warned that similarities between cocaine and Ritalin "should not be used as an argument against the use of methylphenidate." Neither of these points were mentioned in the CNN piece.

Marla Filidei talked with me about her involvment in the CNN interview and about the "study on violence" as well.

This "study" turns out to not be a study after all, but a report titled "The Interim Report on Psychiatric Drugs and Children Who Kill". Ms. Filidei put the report together the day after the Columbine Shootings in response to media interest in the fact that Eric Harris - one of the killers - had been taking Luvox. Also according to Filidei, the "research" for the report is "date coincident". The killers killed only after they had started taking the medications.

In other words, for Ms. Filidei, it was a simple logical deduction: These children killed other students. These children had been prescribed psychotropic drugs. Therefore, the drug is the connection.

The report costs $3.00 and is available through CCHR.

CNN is not the only media outlet that has been used by this group. Insight Magazine, a publication of The Washington Times ran a story in their June 28, 1999 issue titled "Guns & Doses" which also tried to make a connection between these senseless acts of violence and pshychotropic medications such as Ritalin or Luvox.

So there we have it - an interview with an author who wants to sell a book, a study which is actually a compilation of stories taken from newspapers and whatever research could be found to provide some footnotes, and somebody in the Office of the Governor of Colorado who can't tell propaganda from research.

Freedom of Speech is a beautiful thing.


Sidebar: Scientology vs. Psychology A long running battle

From an LA Times article, ironically dated June 29, 1990 Suits, Protests Fuel a Campaign Against Psychiatry

"The church has spelled out the strategy in its newspaper, "Scientology Today".

"While alerting parents and teachers to the dangers of Ritalin," the newspaper stated, "the real target of the campaign is the psychiatric profession itself.... And as public awareness continues to increase, we will no doubt begin to see the blame for all drug abuse and related crime move onto the correct target -- psychiatry." What is "their side"?

Rod Keller / rkeller@voicenet.com / Irresponsible Publisher
Black Hat #1 / Expert of the Toilet / CWPD Mouthpiece
The Lerma Apologist / Merchant of Chaos / Vision of Destruction
Killer Rod / OSA Patsy / Quasi-Scieno / Mental Bully

Click here for some additional truth about the Scientology crime syndicate: XENU.NET

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