Human Rights Activist Awarded IAS Freedom Medal for Protecting the Rights of Those Abused by Psychiatry

Executive Director of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) New Zealand received the International Association of Scientologists Freedom Medal at the organization’s 31st Anniversary celebration. By exposing horrendous violations of human rights at the hands of psychiatrists, Steve Green ensured victims received restitution and brought New Zealand psychiatry and psychiatrists under the law.

Steve Green of Auckland, New Zealand, who uncovered five decades of systemic and criminal psychiatric abuses in his country, has been honored with the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) Freedom Medal for 2015. By exposing terrible psychiatric crimes and demanding reform, he protected the rights of victims of psychiatry, saw to the closing of notorious psychiatric facilities and insisted that those committing these crimes be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Steve Green of Auckland, New Zealand, accepting his International Association of Scientologists Freedom Medal at the 31st anniversary celebration of the IAS.

As the longtime Executive Director of the New Zealand chapter of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Green exposed the practice in New Zealand of Deep Sleep Therapy (in which patients are drugged into a coma and subjected to electroconvulsive shock or ECT).

Mr. Green cataloged evidence of torture, tracked down victims throughout New Zealand and pressed the issue until the Department of Health launched an inquiry that resulted in compensation to those who suffered mental and physical abuse.

His subsequent pursuit of the criminal psychiatric institutions that perpetrated the abuse created a media sensation, beginning with exposure of the notorious Lake Alice Hospital, a dumping ground for troubled teens in the 1970s. Mr. Green’s discovery of evidence that psychiatrists used ECT to punish children for bad grades or attempting to escape, led to the prime time, nationwide airing of a documentary that generated a literal torrent of television coverage and 95 victims coming forward to tell their stories.

CCHR handled the subsequent flood of legal cases, resulting in the victims receiving monetary damages and a formal apology from the New Zealand government and the closing of Lake Alice and other criminally culpable psychiatric institutions.

But the New Zealand government was not holding these psychiatrists accountable under the law, so Mr. Green refused to stop there. CCHR next set its sights on uncovering abuses throughout the New Zealand psychiatric industry, compiling a 200-page dossier detailing five decades of psychiatric crimes and the New Zealand government’s failure to prosecute. He testified before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, which published a landmark decision stating that forced psychiatric treatment should be classified as torture. 

The U.N. Committee also ordered the New Zealand government to enact reforms to end mental health abuse and “prosecute [all psychiatrists who perpetrate these crimes] in accordance with the gravity of their acts”—thus bringing psychiatry under the law.

In accepting his award, Mr. Green said, “It was a constant persistence toward this seemingly insurmountable goal that kept me going against any and all odds, but we did it!”

In all, Mr. Green documented more than 2,000 cases of psychiatric abuse and saw to a payment to the victims of $27 million in restitution.

Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, presented the Freedom Medal to Steve Green on behalf of the International Association of Scientologists at its 31st anniversary celebration at Saint Hill, England. The IAS Freedom Medal is awarded to Scientologists for stellar accomplishments in forwarding the dignity and freedom of all humankind, thus furthering the Church’s humanitarian objectives. Mr. Green was joined  as an IAS Freedom Medal winner this year by Mr. Mario Chirinos of Maricaibo, Venezuela, and Mr. Rohit Sharma of New Delhi, India.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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