Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Perfect Apostate


If you ever want to see why the testimony of some Scientology ex-members can be totally biased and wrong, then you ought to watch this television interview of Jean Paul Dubreuil made in the wake of the Jett Travolta tragedy.

The interview was sub-titled by the Anonymous Credulous type, who, as witnessed by the comments, find it a wonderful source of information.

In the interview, Dubreuil claims that autism is not recognized by Scientology because Scientology does not recognize mental illnesses.

The problem with this is that autism is NOT a mental illness. His claim therefore that Scientology does not recognize autism is pure and unadulterated crap. Alas, one that has been repeated ad infinitum by the press.

He also says that he is really surprised that Travolta did not seek medical treatment for his son because he really can afford to find the best medical advisers there is.

How the hell does he "know" that they did not seek medical advises and medical treatment? Of course, he doesn't, but he heard that assertion in his closed group of "critics" and just repeat and present it as if it were a fact. Quite on the contrary we know now that the family did seek out and use medical doctors, something that any Scientologist with a modicum of common sense and knowledge about Scientology knew already because they would know that medical treatment is not forbidden in Scientology.

He then brings up his brother who died because, he says, he did not receive medical treatment, waiting to be cured by Scientology instead.

We don't know the details of this story but we do know for certain that it is definitely against Scientology policy and Scientology tech to sell people courses or auditing with the claims that they will get cured of this or that medical ailment. And of course we also know that Scientology does not prevent people from pursuing medical cures, quite on the contrary.

If that wasn't bad enough, we get treated with a description of auditing that supposedly consists of "trying to make the PC repeat and see what provokes his illness until the illness does not exist anymore".

What???

If that's the guy understanding of what auditing is, then I am not surprised he wrote a whole freaking book to complain about all the terrible things Scientology supposedly did to him and his brother, because he demonstrate here that he doesn't understand squat about Scientology!

Auditing really consists of following the chain of previous traumatic incidents until the source that lays in the past blows, at which point the person is freed from the mental effect of that particular chain of events (and not cured from illness, even though this may be a consequence).

Dubreuil, however, sounds as if he believes that auditing is just a sort of mantra that is constantly being repeated until the subject is hypnotized to think he is not sick anymore!

Asked what doctors think of Scientology treatments (as he would know), he bluntly proclaims that doctors proscribe it! No, he does not say doctors "don't recommentd" it, as is written in the sub-title, he really uses the term proscrivent". That's French for "proscribe". It seems that the Anonymous Credulous who made the translation tried to ease off and soften up some of the utter crap that was coming out from what is supposed to be the guy's mouth.

Dubreuil also claims that he tried to audit someone to cure him from autism, then complains that it did not work!

The reason it did not work is simply because auditing people to try and cure them from medical ailment is a no no, and because autism is not something you can cure, whether with Scientology or medicine or psychiatry or Voodoo dances.

Again, Dubreuil demonstrate his total ignorance, misunderstanding, and incompetence.

From all this, ensues shocked expressions of horror at the thought of Scientologists taking on to themselves to audit their children to cure them from autism or other medical ailments rather than follow medical advises. It never occurs to that journalist that the assumptions and information at the basis of these claims are just totally wrong. No. That "ex-member" is taken as an authority on the subject, by the sole fact of him being an ex-member and his accusations going in the direction of the general mob understanding of Scientology.

As Lisa Marie Presley wrote in her Facebook today:
“Just like anyone else, If one is sick, they go to the doctor, If a medication will make it better then they take it. If they don't then they are an idiot and you can't blame their religion.”
That guy Dubreuil falls perfectly under the definition, trying to blame Scientology for what is mostly his misunderstanding and misapplications.

But hey, he wrote a whole *book* with his "criticism", and, you know what? He goes to *schools* to preach his anti-Scientology views. And of course he is ailed by so-called "critics" of Scientology...

Jean-Paul Dubreuil is the example type of the perfect apostate. Having an axe to grind but ignorant about the very subject he is supposedly expert about, as well as other subject which he pretends to know about, such as autism and what doctors say, and in which he has of course not competence whatsoever - and yet preaching the world over that Scientology is BAD BAD BAD.

7 comments:

pignotti said...

While I agree that many of this person's comments are without good basis, I do want to point out that Autistic Disorder (299.00) is listed in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) under Pervasive Developmental Disorders. While it is also neurological, no clear neurological markers have been identified and it is also in this manual, so on that basis Scientologists might consider it a mental disorder. The DSM states that there are no definitive physical markers for this illness and no physical test for it. Kelly Preston used that argument in one interview I saw of her when she was asked about her son and autism. She made the analogy, what if someone said you had cancer and yet had no physical test to demonstrate that the person actually had cancer. Would you do chemotherapy? She argues that this is the case with autism and thus she does not accept the legitimacy of the treatments being offered for it. There's some truth to this argument. While there is one form of treatment (applied behavior analysis - ABA) that has been shown help some children, it doesn't help all children with autism and there are many treatments for autism that are completely bogus with no empirical basis whatsoever that make completely unsupported claims about it. Even ABA has been accused of this. For a good review see: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Treatment and Etiology of Autism
http://srmhp.org/0101/autism.html

Bernie said...

Thanks, Monica. That's the first cogent argument I see on this question. On what you write alone I will have to revise my writing about it.

"Autistic Disorder (299.00) is listed in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) under Pervasive Developmental Disorders. "

All I read so far about autism, including in Wikipedia, indicated that it was a neurological disorder, not a mental illness. Why then would it be listed in DSM-IV? And what does the TR part means (first time I see that)?

Are things like mental retardation and mongolism listed too? These are clearly neurological IMO.

How about seizure?

"While it is also neurological, no clear neurological markers have been identified"

I don't understand this. Why would they say it is neurological if no clear neurological markers have been identified?

"on that basis Scientologists might consider it a mental disorder"

"no physical test for it"

Yes, I think you are right. If there is no physical test for it, they may file it in the mental category instead. There may be some true to the claim after all.

On the other end, it also seems fairly clear that it is neurological. At the end of the day, I think nobody really knows where to file it, including Scientologists. That may be the reason why they did not include that specific question in their statement of late and also why they did not make the statement through their web site but just through a press release. The Scientologists I have spoken to also had to guess on the issue rather than rely on something the CoS would have said, because they too could find nothing about it.

"Kelly Preston used that argument in one interview I saw of her when she was asked about her son and autism. She made the analogy, what if someone said you had cancer and yet had no physical test to demonstrate that the person actually had cancer. Would you do chemotherapy? She argues that this is the case with autism and thus she does not accept the legitimacy of the treatments being offered for it."

That's interesting. It would be good if you could trace back that interview, though if it was a passing-by footage on the TV that could be difficult.

In a way of course she is right, because it is widely acknowledge that there is no cure for it, so whether or not to treat it would be irrelevant. Treatment would only involved the child and his surrounding to cope with it, but regarding this I think the family already did all they could about it.

The real life-threatening problem, though, are the seizures. But nevertheless, what you say I think is important and by all means I would have to temper my pronouncements about it, though I'd like to have a bit more information before that. Thanks again.

pignotti said...

"TR" in the DSM stands for "text revision" -- it just means that it is a revised updated version of DSM IV -- I suppose I should have clarified that, given what "TR" means in Scientologese!
Yes, mental retardation is also listed. Even if the origins are physical, any disorder that has mental symptoms and has been studied and passed by the committee, is listed in the DSM. Psychologists who are trained in assessment procedures for autism can even diagnose it. That, along with the fact that no definitive medical test can be done for diagnosing it, is probably why Kelly Preston and other Scientologists do not consider it a real medical disorder. That is what I meant by no neurological markers. There is no physical test that can be given -- diagnose is based entirely on observation of symptoms. Research is advancing and getting close to identifying a gene, but it isn't there yet. In the past this was the case with other neurological conditions such as MS until finally MRIs were discovered that can identify physical signs of it -- deterioration of myelin shows up. There is still nothing like that with autism, though.
By the way, I just wrote on my blog about some more unwarranted assertions being made by Scientology critics including some claims being made on CNN that the ex-Scientologist's own affidavit showed were false. See:
http://tinyurl.com/8y3qqg

Bernie said...

"Yes, mental retardation is also listed. Even if the origins are physical, any disorder that has mental symptoms and has been studied and passed by the committee, is listed in the DSM."

Then, though you are correct that this is something that could influence the decision of a Scientologist, it does not make it automatically a mental illness if it is listed there, from what I understand. That would make sense with the common assertions that it is most of all a neurological disorder rather than a mental illness.

"Psychologists who are trained in assessment procedures for autism can even diagnose it."

"That is what I meant by no neurological markers. There is no physical test that can be given -- diagnose is based entirely on observation of symptoms."

Would that be a criteria to determine whether something is medical or psychological? Seems like yes. Actually, it seems to be a cross-breed between both. A neurological disorder but still something that has no markers and thus can be identified by psychological symptoms only. Strange breed but why not...

"That, along with the fact that no definitive medical test can be done for diagnosing it, is probably why Kelly Preston and other Scientologists do not consider it a real medical disorder"

I think you are right there, but also it does not preclude that they may have consulted doctors about it. While psychologists can make the diagnostic, so can doctors, I presume. The fact that Travolta/Preston say "Jett has never been diagnosed with" makes me think that they consulted doctors and that doctors were the ones to decide it wasn't autism. Speculative, though, of course. However, I think you are right nevertheless, this notwithstanding. It could very well be both. No real contradiction. They obviously took the possibility that it was autism into account, but I think the reason they rejected it was not so much the stance of the CoS about it as just medically based reasons, plus the fact that since it could not be proven through test, could not be cured even admitting it was autism, and was not deadly, treatments were mostly irrelevant anyway.

"By the way, I just wrote on my blog about some more unwarranted assertions being made by Scientology critics including some claims being made on CNN that the ex-Scientologist's own affidavit showed were false. See:
http://tinyurl.com/8y3qqg"

Thanks, will have a look when I get to check my blog list.

scarlettscion said...

Hi there--couple comments.

1) No, you are never assured a medical cure. They doesn't mean that intimations that auditing can cure basically, well, everything, doesn't abound--especially in pre-GAOT material. Surely you know that as an ex-Scn.
2) It isn't that Scn won't assure people with mental illness a cure before it starts auditing them--it is rather that it just will not start in the first place. Again, surely you know that anyone who has ever been suicidal, on psych meds, etc CANNOT be audited. As for other illnesses, see comment 1.
3)Yes, the guy was a jerk with his comment about John and Kelly's care of their son. I highly doubt he saw a shrink if he was autistic, but he would have seen a neurologist if he had seizures. Taking it away from the Travolta's and putting aside Jett as an example, however, if you refuse cutting edge behavioral therapy (given by a psychologist) to an autistic child--that would be negligence in my book. I doubt most Scientologists would allow their child to see a "psych" of any nature.

Bernie said...

"well, everything, doesn't abound--especially in pre-GAOT material. Surely you know that as an ex-Scn."

I don't even know what GAOT means :-)

"Again, surely you know that anyone who has ever been suicidal, on psych meds, etc CANNOT be audited."

True.

scarlettscion said...

GAOT=golden age of tech ;-) Supposedly the books were messed up by David Mayo, editors, et al., and the Church released all new books recently to get back to the "pure" tech. I've noticed that along with being more readable, it's also quite a bit more PC.