Human Rights Activists in Germany Take to the Streets to Protest Electroshock

CCHR demands an end to barbaric and harmful practices in the field of mental health.

At a rally and demonstration in the heart of Frankfurt, Germany, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) demanded transparency and an end to electroshock (ECT) in the country.

Several people attending the rally expressed their shock that electroshock is still practiced in Germany.

Volunteers dragged a giant gravestone down Kaiserstrasse that bore the inscription, “In memory of 60,078 deaths in German psychiatric hospitals 1991-2017.” 

The reasons CCHR is demanding an end to ECT are described in the film Therapy or Torture: The Truth About Electroshock. According to the documentary:

  • ECT hits the patient’s head with the force of a 40-pound cinder block dropped seven and a half feet.
  • Patients have described it feeling like a grenade is going off in your body. 
  • Contrary to what many believe, ECT is not a practice of some bygone era. ECT is inflicted on a million people worldwide. Every year.
  • The human brain operates on 0.2 volts, nearly eight times less than the power of a watch battery—1.5 volts—compared with up to 460 volts that are put through the brain in a single shock treatment. That is 2,300 times the electricity the brain uses to function.
  • Side effects of ECT include amnesia (substantial and permanent memory loss), confusion, disorientation, apathy, disinterest, headaches, nausea, slowed reaction time, lowered intellectual function and death.
  • Children under 5 years old, even infants, are administered shock.

“On an immediate basis, we demand transparency of finances, side effects and deaths,” said CCHR Germany spokesman Bernd Trepping, “and a ban on the use of electric shocks in psychiatry. ECT is torture, not therapy.”

CCHR Germany delivered letters to 10 local psychiatric institutions demanding under the state’s Freedom of Information Act that they disclose how many electroshocks they administer each year and how many of those patients died after the treatment.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a nonprofit charitable mental health watchdog established by the Church of Scientology in 1969, dedicated to eradicating psychiatric abuses and ensuring patient protections.

Therapy or Torture: The Truth About Electroshock and the work of CCHR Germany’s Berndt Trepping and Nicola Cramer can be viewed on the Scientology Network on DIRECTV Channel 320 and streamed at, on mobile apps, and via the Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV platforms.

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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