First off, they are friends.
Secondly, they are humanitarians.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) were co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. Yikes, there's that word, 'psychiatrist'.
For many years now (Over 40 in fact) the CCHR have been relentless in their campaigning to protect children (and adults) from the harms of unsafe psychiatric medications. They, just like me, have been labelled as just being a front for the Church of Scientology - this, ladies and gentlemen, is a myth, it's also a line of defence used by people, including healthcare "professionals" who cannot defend the use, or indeed safety of psychiatric medications. They are 'whacko's', 'nutjobs' and 'conspiracy theorists' are just some of the labels that have been used against the CCHR. In fact, I've been accused of being a 'smeary conspiracy theorist' and, indeed, a 'scientologist', of which I am neither.
CCHR recognise the 'normal' man or woman on the street, they also acknowledge these very same people. They don't wish to cover themselves in garlands for fighting, they do, however, applaud the work of others.
There seems to be a reluctance by the minority to praise the work of CCHR, I honestly don't know if this is due to being blind or ignorant of the facts - or maybe people just don't wish to be labelled by having their names mentioned alongside these 21st century warriors who have been kicking ass for almost 50 years now. That, by anyone's standards, is deserved of acknowledgement.
Each year the CCHR hand out awards to those who have been fighting alone in the war (because that's what it is) against the use of psychiatric medication, the incararation of patients in institutions and the use of electro compulsive therapy (ECT) to treat apparent mental disorders - I say apparent because, to date, none of these 'disorders' can be proven by modern science to treat the various forms of depressive illnesses churned out (almost on a yearly basis) by the field of psychiatry.
The work they have done, and continue to do, is quite staggering and yet the minority still try to align their fight to some sort of crusade to get people wrapped up in the whole Scientology thing.
I've known of their existence since 2011. In 2006 I created this blog and basically fought my corner and then the corners of others after I became aware that my own experience with the antidepressant, Seroxat (Paxil) paled into insignificance compared to those who had died as a result of taking these particular types of medications (SSRIs)
I've met many of the members of CCHR and have remained good friends with them over the years, be they American, Canadian or British - They are just 'normal' people with an undying passion, one of humanitarian values - one that we should all acknowledge and, maybe, learn from.
Adults, teenagers, children and infants are dying - not as a result of a 'chemical imbalance' causing an 'illness' - they are dying as a result of a drug causing a chemical imbalance - one that tips them over the edge and makes them do things they wouldn't normally do. This isn't science fiction folks, it's science-fact.
We owe a great deal to the CCHR because they have been banging the drum loudly for nigh of 50 years - they've been labelled and ridiculed for showing compassion and love for their fellow humans. Their mission was, and still is, simple - they don't wish to see any more needless deaths to these types of drugs and they lambast (rightly so) those that push these medications and treatments.
The video below is one of the most powerful I've seen, particularly if you watch it through to the end - the message really hits home. It features a mother, Celeste Steubing, who lost her son to antidepressant induced suicide. Celeste pretty much sums up how most parents (who have lost their children to antidepressant induced suicide) wish to speak out and warn others about these powerful class of drugs. The first time I saw this video I cried buckets, it's beautifully crafted and drives the message home that we, the public, are being duped. The video is, of course, from the phenomenal team of the CCHR. (Click on 'Full Screen' to embrace the message - to feel it and then to do something about it) - It's inspirational, just as the parent who features in it, just as those (CCHR) who created it. (Just take a look at all those children, folks!)
If it wasn't for the CCHR we'd all be battling our corners alone, of that I am certain.
CCHR - I salute you and will continuing holding that salute forever more.
For Jan, Marla and Brian - I shall live forever in your debt. I will embrace the love and humanity that you have embraced for all these years - you are all my heroes.
**For the record, I have no faith in religion. I do, however, beleive that I'm embroiled in this war because it would just be too hard to walk away, shrug my shoulders and do nothing.**