One of the criticisms of Oprah Winfrey is that she has never covered the Church of Scientology in any critical way. In the 1990’s and the 00’s when former Scientologists were contacting her show with horror stories, Oprah refused to have any of these people on as guests. Oprah has refused to acknowledge Scientology Fair Game, the breaking up of families by Disconnection, or even Scientology’s use of child labor.
Why is Oprah Winfrey mute on the subject of Scientology’s egregious human rights abuses?
Scientology’s critics and former members long ago realized the fix was in with Oprah; she has called Scientologist John Travolta her “soulmate,” adores the man, and has had him on her show many times over the years. In the video below, Oprah and Scientologist Kirstie Alley fawn over John Travolta — and the words “fawn over” are Oprah’s choice of words and not ours:
Oprah self-censors and engages in thought stopping when it comes to Scientology because she considers John Travolta her soulmate. Travolta has safe-pointed Scientology when it comes to Oprah. The same is true of Tom Cruise whom Oprah considers a friend.
Oprah’s professed love for John Travolta and her refusal to do any negative stories on Scientology dovetails with her known fondness for pseudoscience. In a Vox article entitled Oprah’s Long History with Junk Science, author Julia Belluz points out that Oprah has given a platform to the notorious anti-vaxxer and junk science auteur Jenny McCarthy. Oprah also champions Dr. Mehmet Oz of whom Belluz notes:
In 2014, Oz was called before a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection. He was asked by the senator in charge, Claire McCaskill, to explain his use of “flowery” language to champion weight loss fixes that don’t actually work. She then admonished him for endorsing a rainbow of supplements as potential “belly blasters” and “mega metabolism boosters.” As McCaskill put it, “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles.’”
In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission found that Oz’s producers did the scantest research on the show’s guests, which allowed modern-day snake oil salesmen to appear on air hawking bogus products. That same year, a group of professors, scientists, and doctors argued that the show was so misleading that Oz’s professor position was incompatible with his on-air work.
Dr. Oz knows better because he is a real doctor. He knows biochemistry and knows he is pushing dubious products for money. This is why his colleagues in medicine have publicly rebuked him.
The June 8, 2009 edition of Newsweek featured a cover story about Oprah Winfrey’s passion for promoting pseudoscience on her show, some of which could be dangerous to her viewers:
For 23 years, my show has presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience, including doctors’ medical advice and personal health stories that have prompted conversations between our audience members and their health care providers,” Winfrey said in a statement responding to the Newsweek article. “I trust the viewers, and I know that they are smart and discerning enough to seek out medical opinions to determine what may be best for them.
While it is true that Oprah has “presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience” we reiterate she has never once in her decades on television done one negative story on the Church of Scientology. As a Gatekeeper of Culture, Winfrey does a disservice by refusing to cover stories on Scientology as a favor to John Travolta.
Oprah Winfrey is the reason Marianne Williamson became famous. Oprah early on championed Williamson’s books on A Course in Miracles. As with Scientologists John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise, and Kirstie Alley, Oprah has also regularly had Marianne Williamson on her shows for three decades now. What these guests have in common is an intense hatred of Psychiatry and psychiatric drugs.
Like Oprah’s guest Jenny McCarthy who blamed vaccinations for her son’s autism, Marianne Williamson also has no scientific training of any kind. Williamson’s formal education is sparse: She is a high school graduate who studied theater and Philosophy for two years at Pomona College. Williamson told her alma mater in an online interview that she did a semester in New Mexico which consisted of living in a geodesic dome and growing vegetables.
Like Oprah, Marianne Williamson shares a penchant for pseudoscience. Williamson has also shown a long-term antipathy to vaccines. In a recent campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Williamson called vaccines “Orwellian” and “draconian” and railed against mandatory vaccinations. After being pilloried for her embrace of junk science, US presidential candidate Williamson had to walk back her comments. Nevertheless, Williamson has never walked back her 2018 tweet on the suicide of Kate Spade:
One of Scientology’s favorite slurs is “Big Pharma.” Scientology’s rabid anti-psychiatry front group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) constantly attacks Big Pharma. Scientologist John Alex Wood stated the following Twitter:
In an interview that has gone viral, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Marianne Williamson if she was aware of having promoted a Scientology CCHR anti-psychiatry video. In the interview Williamson repeats Scientology language almost verbatim: Psychiatric drugs numb the pain; spirituality should be used to treat human issues and not medicines. She then attacks psychopharmaceuticals. And yet Williamson deflects and insists she is not Tom Cruise when it comes to antidepressants.
A question left unasked by Anderson Cooper: Where did Williamson first see the Scientology video? Did it come to her through Oprah’s staff from John Travolta or Kelly Preston? Much of what Williamson has wrote or tweeted about psychiatry, and psychiatric medication closely matches what Scientology says. Example:
The psychotherapeutic-psychopharmacological-industrial complex is one of the most threatening forces in America today. Putting our children on psychotherapeutic drugs does more to cause depression than to heal it. Parents awaken.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) April 14, 2018
The Church of Scientology:
In her 2018 interview with Russell Brand, Marianne Williamson repeated Scientology’s straw man argument: There is no blood test for depression. This is a bogus argument. There are no blood tests for many diseases. For example, there is no blood test to detect Hodgkin lymphoma. Williamson’s simplistic reductionist thinking, like that of Scientology, is that every disease must be detectable by a blood test — and therefore all psychiatric conditions (mental illnesses) must also be detectable by a blood test. This fallacious thinking fails to understand what diseases can and cannot be detected by blood tests. Marianne Williamson should have called Dr. Oz on this question.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) November 13, 2018
While Marianne Williamson denies that she supports Scientology, our opinion is that her views on mental health are virtually identical to those of the Church of Scientology. Williamson is clearly in the same anti-vaxxer, anti-Psychiatry, anti-psychiatric drug camp as Scientology. She can try to walk this all back but she can’t escape her history on the matter.
Postscript: Dateline Hollywood Article.
Categories: The Scientology Money Project