chapter  7
21 Pages

Critics of the System?: The Church of Scientology and the International Vilifi cation of Psychiatry in South Africa

In 1976, reports emerged that members of the South African division of the Scientology organization broke into the Minister of Health and Smith Mitchell offi ces and stole fi les in order to substantiate claims of the mistreatment of black patients within South African mental institutions, particularly in the government contracted private institutions of Smith, Mitchell & Co.1 Shortly thereafter, they sent press releases to the international media reiterating their accusations. This began an infl ux of international investigations into psychiatric institutions in South Africa.