Subtlety at the Industry of Death Museum

My friend Kim and I recently went to the bizarre Scientology anti-psychiatry museum that recently opened in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. It’s quite an experience and the building and displays are pretty impressive. Obviously there’s plenty of room to criticize psychiatry, but they seem to get a bit carried away. I’d say the most effective parts of the museum are the displays on abuses in mental hospitals and the horrors of lobotomies and other bizarre treatments from the past. Their criticism of psychiatric drugs makes some good points too. Hell, I’m on Prozac myself and want to get off it eventually.

But the odd thing about the museum is how absolute their total condemnation is. They blame so much on psychiatry: genocide, the Holocaust, racism, violence in schools, apparently even 9/11. It’s as though everything about psychiatry is evil – Everything! Like they’re saying it has done absolutely no good for anyone in the world – Ever! Which just seems to be taking things a bit far, and is a clumsy way for anyone to make an argument. There’s so little in the world that’s that black and white. A little more subtlety actually would have made a much stronger case. As it stands I just walked out thinking, what’s going on with this? What’s the motivation here?

One pretty cool thing, from my own twisted perspective, is all the great medical restraints on display. They have some great gear that I’d love to own: straightjackets, leather straps and manacles, and this awesome blue leather mummy bag. The thing has a hood and laces up the front and even has straps that can be used to lash it to the wall so that the person inside is forced to stand upright completely sealed up inside it. It would cost a small fortune at a bdsm shop.

I think the next time I have out of town visitors I’ll have to take them here and then in the afternoon perhaps pay a visit to the even more bizarre Museum of Jurassic Technology (totally cool and without the creepiness factor of Scientology), for a nice day of complete L.A. weirdness.

2 thoughts on “Subtlety at the Industry of Death Museum”

  1. I have worked for those fokes in the past and they are nuts. and dangerouse ones at that. When i left I sigened a form saying that I would not tell just what happened. They also dislike anyone who is gay, or outher lifestyle choises.

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