Scientology has been trying to get the public to buy into its anti-psychiatry ideas in NZ recently. The religion's branch called the Citizens' Commission for Human Rights has been visiting shopping malls around Auckland and setting up displays that seek to teach people that psychiatry is evil.
In the run-up to Christmas, the CCHR ran a display at Westfield Mall in Manukau. The display included pictures of dead children, apparently killed by psychiatry. The church defended the display, saying that they considered "anywhere" to be an appropriate venue because of the importance of their message. However, the display was taken down (opens new window) before Christmas despite the fact that the church had paid up until the 29th of December.
The display is now back (opens new window), at the Highbury Mall in Birkenhead, Auckland.
Local MP Jonathan Coleman said:
"I totally disagree with those views. There is a strong scientific basis in psychiatry and those ideas are pretty dangerous.To say that psychiatry is wrong is dangerous and to say that you shouldn't see trained professionals if you are mentally ill is dangerous."
James Devlin, who booked the space, said:
"We live and learn. Sometimes we do these short term deals thinking we understand what we are in for, but what transpires is something else...".
"We had clauses in the licence that they wouldn't be promoting Scientology and I'm not aware of any evidence [that they did]."
Apparently they "wouldn't have thought" they would do so again.