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Reply to "An Urgent Philosophic Journey"

John Wylie

September 17, 2013

Category: Philosophy and Religion > Philosophy

This is a response to Nate Jessup's "An Urgent Philosophical Journey," on the subject of Scientology.

As you suggest, Nate, I was pleasantly surprised at the far-reaching aspects of this philosophy, which I had not previously appreciated, many of which comport with my own philosophy of life, particularly the spiritual aspect of it.

However, I saw scant mention of Scientology's denial that mental illnesses are actually medical illness. With the benefit of 35 years of practicing psychiatry, I can assure you that severe mental illnesses such as major depressions, panic disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are unmitigated sicknesses and are the enemy of health just as much as cancer is.

I grant you that there are many more minor anxiety and depression conditions that are not, strictly speaking, mental illnesses, in my judgment. For these "existential" conditions, I am sure the believers of Scientology are helped by their methods. It has been demonstrated that, for these common maladies, a given treatment is effective in proportion to the degree that both the therapist and the "patient" believe that the treatment can and will be effective, whatever the treatment may be.