She said, "We found out that was the wrong target. It's the psychs who prescribe the pills that are causing the problem, not the drug companies".
I won't get into the whole story of how I figured all this out, but it turns out that CCHR spent most of the 1990's fighting the drug companies. Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and some of the other big pharma companies. They called that period the Prozac Wars, sometimes the Lilly Wars, and I remember feeling slightly sad that I'd missed out on what I truly thought could have been an amazing campaign.
The problem was that big pharma basically walked all over CCHR. Scientology may have some well-trained lawyers and plenty of funding, but they're no match for the heavy hitters. CCHR barely made a dent.
So after almost a decade of wasted funding and failed campaigns, the execs sat down to figure out what the problem was. They used L. Ron Hubbard's notion of "wrong target" as a solution. They figured, "the reason this isn't working is because we're attacking the wrong target, the wrong cause of the psych problem. The main problem isn't the pills, it's the evil psychs themselves."
The result was two-fold:
1) CCHR's enemy turned from something that was real into something that wasn't. As I said, the "psychs" don't exist. When I was working there I always had this feeling that the "psychs" were everywhere, with their grubby paws in everything, just as I'd been taught - but we could never pin down where psychiatric main basestation was. Because there isn't one.
2) CCHR's fight suddenly became unwinnable. You are never going to get the world to agree to outlaw psychiatry (which really is their goal, whether they say so or not), and replace it with Scientology.
Lots of people are pissed at drug companies. I'm not advocating the destruction of big pharma - their research does a lot of good in many ways. But they've also done some rather heinous things, and I think that that is a fight the general public, not just Scientologists, could get behind.
And though, like I said, dismantling the big drug companies isn't good for society as a whole. But with companies that big, with that much power, it's always good to have a few watchdog groups around to keep them in check. I'd be behind that. Parents and teachers could get behind that. Doctors could get behind that.
Then you could talk about overmediation from a logical platform - because overmedication does happen. You could talk about doctors not telling people about negative side-effects, because that too happens.
I'm just sad they turned away from a real issue and decided to make one up instead. Thoughts?