LOS ANGELES - The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a 33-year psychiatric watchdog, says that if unlimited mandated mental health parity is passed, there will be more widespread patient abuse and fraud. Already, the mental health industry defrauds the government up to $40 billion per year; between 1950 and 1990, the total number of inpatient deaths exceeded the number of Americans killed in 10 wars, including World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars; today, there are up to 150 restraint deaths per year in psychiatric institutions and, as The New York Times exposed this week, 960 people died between 1995 and 2001 in New York group homes for the mentally ill-all without accountability.

"Mental health parity amounts to a blank check for a mental health industry that cannot police itself, frequently abuses patients and rips off the health care system. Costs of psychiatric care run a staggering 300% more than other health care services, with a greater percentage of this going to brain-damaging psychiatric drugs," says Bruce Wiseman, U.S. President of CCHR.

In a compelling article in The Washington Times last December, CCHR co-founder Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, wrote, "Advocating 'parity for mental illness' is a hoax. The supporters of 'mental health parity' do not want parity for mental patients: They do not seek equal 'legal treatment' by legislators and courts for mental patients and medical patients. What they want is parity for psychiatrists: They seek equal 'monetary treatment' by health insurance companies for psychiatrists and other physicians."

"Parity" will only saddle the nation's companies with a financial burden in times of economic stress. Recently President Bush told Congress, "If we restrain spending…if we react responsibly, we can return to a balanced budget." The Congressional Budget Office estimates "parity" to cost $5.4 billion for the federal government and $23 billion for the American people over the next 10 years. It is estimated to raise insurance premiums more than 11%.

Nor will "parity" provide effective treatment. As a growing number of psychiatrists state, psychiatrists have become "drug pushers." Today, antipsychotics (neuroleptic) sales have reached $5.5 million and antidepressant sales are $12.5 billion in the U.S. America accounts for 70% of the world consumption of antidepressants, 60% of antipsychotics drugs, and 80-90% of one stimulant prescribed to children, known as "kiddy cocaine."

American psychiatrists discriminate in their treatment of "schizophrenia," pushing drugs despite many studies showing that relapse rates have been better for non-drugged patients. In a study over eight years, the World Health Organization found that patients in three poor countries-India, Nigeria, and Colombia-fared dramatically better than U.S. patients and four other developed countries; 64% of the patients in the poor countries were without symptoms and functioning well. The difference? Only 16% of the patients were maintained on neuroleptics in the poor countries. In rich countries, the figure was 61%.

While psychiatrists cry about "reducing stigma," it is their labels and treatment that initially create the stigma. Psychiatrists drug what they cannot even define: A commentary on schizophrenia in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), says, "Even if it had tried, the [APA] Committee could not establish agreement about what this disorder is; it could only agree on what to call it."

The main groups pushing for parity receive huge funds from special interest groups who profit from the drug model psychiatry is foisting off on the public. These same groups orchestrated the "anti-stigma" campaign, says Wiseman: "Who is doing the stigmatizing here? Millions of children and adults are being told there is something 'wrong' with their brain, though no one can prove it. They are labeled 'mentally ill' with diagnoses that are completely subjective and then subjected to dangerous and addicting mind-altering drugs in order to change their behavior. It's pretty clear where the 'stigmatization' is coming from. It's coming from the mental health monopoly that stands to profit at the sake of millions of Americans."

To view CCHR's full report on Mandated Mental Health Parity, visit: CCHR was established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. For more information contact Marla Filidei at 800-869-2247