How to Stay Well | Prevention Resource Center

Think ECT Went Out with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Think Again

Open house educates the community on the dangers of ECT

Church of Scientology Pasadena hosted an open house with special guest speaker Rev. Fred Shaw, Vice President of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Inglewood-South Bay branch and Director of Public Affairs for Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International. Rev. Shaw began working to reform the mental health field over 25 years ago. His work is featured in an episode of Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network.

In his talk, Rev. Shaw pulled no punches. He stated that while many believe electroshock (electroconvulsive treatment or ECT) is not often used today, it is. And it is one of the most brutal treatments ever inflicted upon individuals under the guise of mental health care, he said. Those attending were shocked to hear that some 1.4 million people worldwide, including an estimated 100,000 Americans, are given electroshock each year, including the elderly, pregnant women—even children.

ECT devices can send up to 460 volts of electricity through the brain to induce a grand mal seizure—the type of seizure that involves a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.

What those attending learned was that the FDA has never required clinical studies that prove electroshock is either safe or effective.

Rev. Shaw has called for a ban on ECT and, through his work with CCHR, has obtained two NAACP resolutions, one to ban ECT, and another to oppose the mass psychotropic drugging of children. Both were unanimously passed by NAACP national office and distributed to all 2,000 NAACP chapters in the U.S.

CCHR has an online petition to ban ECT and Rev. Shaw encourages people to read and sign it. Click here to read and sign CCHR’s Petition to Ban Electroshock (ECT).

Citizens Commission on Human Rights exposes human rights violations in the field of mental health and actively works with individuals and groups the world over to bring about much-needed reform and to ensure patient and consumer protections are instituted and enforced to eradicate abuse in the field of mental health. In this role, CCHR has helped to enact more than 180 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed 50 years ago, including a ban on electroshock use on children in four U.S. states and in Western Australia. For more information visit

For more information on the Church of Scientology Pasadena, watch Destination Scientology: Pasadena on the Scientology Network. For more information on the state of psychiatry and what CCHR is doing to eradicate abuse, watch Psychiatry: An Industry of Death on the Scientology Network.

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.

Church of Scientology Media Relations
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