Anti-psychiatry Scientology astroturf exhibit at WorldCon

Yesterday, after the LA World Science Fiction Convention had wound down, I happened upon the Scientology after-party, held at the far end of the second-floor meeting room. This room had been converted to an anti-psychiatry museum by a Scientology-founded organization called The Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

A Scientology rep asked me if I wanted anything and I told her I was there to see what the Church was up to. She insisted that The Citizens Commission on Human Rights wasn't a Scientology organization, but on further questioning she admitted that the organization had been founded by the Church and that the majority of its funding came from donations from Church members.

The exhibit was a nightmarish round of blaring video-screens playing the kind of ominous music that you hear on America's Most Wanted during the atrocity re-enactment, each screen competing with the others to fill the room with a cacophonous, stomach-churning gumbo of scary sound-effects. The visuals showed photos of Hitler (a favorite graphic emblem of the Church — they used it to smear Time magazine after a critical piece appeared there) and atrocity photos. The Church's connection to the "Council" wasn't mentioned anywhere.

At the literature stand, there were a number of brochures on offer, including the one linked below, which encouraged readers to found astroturf blogs that copy-and-pasted information from the Council's own site in order to "get the word out." Astroturf is as astroturf does, I guess.

Link to astroturf blog brochure,

Link to video of exhibit,

Link to my photos of the exhibit,

Link to Wikipedia on CCHR