About those CCHR theories …

I wanted to write you to thank you for your rather courageous and forthright article on the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and Scientology (“Group with Scientology connections opens chapter to investigate abuse,” Jan. 27-Feb. 2). I say courageous because I wonder how many nasty e-mails you’ve already received from CCHR members, Scientologists, or anonymous flamers.

I am currently a social work graduate student specializing in clinical training (psychotherapy). I have been aware of the CCHR’s and Scientology’s stated views on psychology/psychiatry for some time and was pleased to see your investigative article. The CCHR is correct in pointing out some of the egregious errors in the mental health field’s history; however, these are mistakes that the field itself is aware of, ashamed of, and has hopefully learned from. But I note that the CCHR seems to rely almost exclusively on history — some very obscure, at that. I find it amusing that Seaman references the DSM-II, which has not been in use for two decades. If you want to critique current problems, go ahead, but if the DSM has been revised three times since the second edition, obviously the mental health field found something wrong with it too.

As far as the usefulness of medication vs. medications being over-prescribed: It’s not such an easy, black-or-white answer as the CCHR has reportedly described it in the article. A large amount of people have benefited from psychotropic medication by their own report. Why does the CCHR not use their opinions? And yes, in my (non-medical, non-prescribing) opinion, some drugs are over- or too easily prescribed. Many do have side effects. Does that negate their usefulness? There’s no logical reason to jump to that conclusion. The client’s wishes and distress have to be weighed with the risks and benefits of medications, just as with any non-psychiatric medication.

When it comes to other forms of treatment, the CCHR leaves me baffled. In your article, Seaman complains that most in our field believe that “drugs are the answer instead of counseling.” What about those of us who exclusively do counseling? Why then urge to shut down community mental health centers? Perhaps in the above quote Seaman refers to that very particular type of counseling within Scientology. Perhaps not, as the CCHR and Scientology ARE officially unrelated.

Again, thank you for your article. It’s ironic that it is in line with one of the principals that CCHR espouses: informing the public about what’s really going on.

— Ted Clements

Lawrence, Kan.

An alternative to our alternative

Thanks for the Best of Kansas City issue (Jan. 27-Feb. 2). I’ve been away from Kansas City for about eight years and plan to use the section as a guide for getting reacquainted with the town.

I’d also like to say that I will look forward to picking up the Pitch each week, as I did with the Ad Sheet in Columbia, Mo. I find it refreshing that, unlike other weekly shoppers, the Pitch includes a calendar section that lists happenings other than those of its advertisers. I also respect the fact that the Pitch makes space for an article or two each week. The articles I’ve read so far have been a refreshing alternative to material in journalistic papers like The Star.

I am bothered, however, that I can’t find the Pitch until Friday afternoon. I thought all shoppers came out in the middle of the week. Since the articles, comics, and columns in the Pitch seem to have merit on their own, perhaps they could become the nucleus of a weekly alternative newspaper, while the Pitch can better serve its main function by coming out on Wednesday like other shoppers. Just a thought.

— Don Hooten

Kansas City, Mo.

Gross out

To what purpose were we completely grossed out by Dan Savage and the Sperm Taster in, of all issues, the “Best of Kansas City” (Savage Love, Jan. 27-Feb. 2)?

Please don’t insult our intelligence. We’re a whole lot “Better” than that.

— Rina Alexander

Pleasant Hill, Mo.

Ixnay on the hombre

What happened to Sex Files? I’ve read only a couple issues with Dan Savage, Dr. Carroll’s replacement, but I’ve read enough to know I never have to read him again. The guy is a shock value blowhard with nothing to say. From what I can tell, his column is just an excuse to spew crude slang. What a disappointment.

What a loss for the Pitch. You’ve lost more than one regular reader over your decision to scrap the good doctor.

— Doc Roubinek

Kansas City, Mo.

Or, if they had produced a cat …

Regarding your Pitchfork about C.W. Gusewelle from the Star, who had never heard of David Crosby or Melissa Etheridge (“In lieu of e-mail, send all feedback by telegraph …” Jan. 27-Feb. 2): It occurred to me that if they had produced a hunting dog, the old fuck might have found a way to write about it.

— Alan Barry

Kansas City, Mo.

You mean Jose Eber doesn’t do your hair?

I thank you, and Great Clips thanks you for choosing me as “Best TV Hair” (“Best of Kansas City,” Jan. 27-Feb. 2).

Thanks for all the nice things you said.

— Jeremy Hubbard

KMBC Channel 9

Kansas City, Mo.

Categories: News