“Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging” gets recognition as eye-opener
■ By Halima Haider / Editorial Assistant
The International Idyllwild Festival of Cinema enjoyed its triumphant eighth season last month in the quaint mountains of Idyllwild –– home to Idyllwild Arts Academy –– closing with a gala awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 15. Among film champions to walk away with an award in hand, Hemet’s Golden Era Productions, the 80,000 square foot film and audio studio run by the Church of Scientology, won the “Most Humanitarian Award” for the controversial documentary “Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging.”
The 2008 documentary chronicles a shocking behind-the-scenes look at the $330 billion American psychiatric drug industry, zooming in on the trend of psychiatrists prescribing a buffet of addictive drugs that they claim do more harm than good without offering a single “cure.” The general outcry: psychiatry is “making a killing” by killing people.
The announcement of Golden Era’s well-earned victory was made at the gala awards ceremony by IIFC Founder and Director Steven Savage. Oscar-nominated actress and Scientologist Anne Archer accepted the award on behalf of the organization and documentary Director Randall Stith. In her acceptance speech, Archer verbatim quoted Stith from a prepared statement saying: “The current use of psychotropic drugs in society is, by its very nature, abusive, and people need to become fully aware of that. Thank you to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a charitable Watchdog Foundation, for making it possible to get this message out.”
“Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging”–– produced by Citizens Commission on Human Rights (a non-profit organization established by the Church of Scientology in 1961) –– contains more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, families of people who experienced adverse side effects when using psychiatric drugs, and those who claimed to have survived similar reactions. It pushes the envelope in an attempt to shed a brutal light on the alleged reality of the flourishing multibillion dollar industry that is American psychiatry. The documentary scrutinizes psychopharmacology praxis in the states, claiming that prescription psychiatric drugs kill an estimated 42,000 people every year, and that the death counts rise each year.
An article in The New Yorker writes that the sales of psychiatric drugs amounted to more than $70 billion in 2010. And according to one study by Danish professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, psychiatric drugs lead to the deaths of more than 500,000 people aged 65 and over alone annually in the West. Gøtzsche also claimed that patients benefit very little from the drugs and their benefits “have been vastly overstated.”
Lethal reactions to psychiatric drugs result in nearly 90,000 emergency room visits each year by U.S. adults, with anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives among the most common culprits, especially among senior citizens, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Psychiatry. It’s no wonder that Stith’s exposé merited an award for its display of salient humanitarianism.
[Editor’s Note: Never stop medications without medical supervision. Please consult your physician before altering the dosage of or stopping any medications that have been prescribed. The Valley Chronicle is not endorsing the cessation of any prescribed medication.]