Kirstie Alley is defending her faith in Scientology — and its stance on what she calls “psychiatric abuses” — after her tweet linking psychiatric drugs to the latest round of mass shootings got pushback online.
The Cheers actress, who has been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1979 and credits it with helping her overcome a cocaine addiction, shared a report titled “Psychiatric Drugs Create Suicide & Violence” on Twitter, which blames such medication for “self-harm” and “homicidal ideation.”
Alley first shared the report after Roseanne Barr posted a YouTube video in which her son, Jake Pentland, vented about the reaction to the El Paso and Dayton shootings and accused the media of overlooking the impact of psychotropic drugs.
“I’m tired of people thinking it’s guns or that someone posted on f****** 8chan and likes anime, or maybe they’re bullied,” he said. “Everybody’s looking at the wrong f****** s*** and I’m tired of it. Nobody f****** wants to talk about the fact that somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of these shooters are on psychotropic medication.”
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While experts tell The Poynter Institute’s fact-checking arm Poltifact that there is “no scientific basis” for Pentland’s “unproven” claim about mass shooters and prescription drugs — which he insists in his video is not a “conspiracy theory” — Alley is among those who feel otherwise.
But many of Alley’s followers called her out for speaking out against psychiatric drugs. Some commenters credited medication with helping them treat anxiety and depression, and accused her of being biased against such drugs because she is a Scientologist.
The church outlines its views on psychiatry here, slamming the “nightmarish proportions” of antidepressants being marketed to the public, casting doubt on the existence of the diseases the drugs are intended to treat and writing it off as an “elaborate and deadly hoax.” The report shared by Alley hails from Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International, a nonprofit organization founded by the Church of Scientology.
“He hated psychiatric ABUSES,” she continued, in reference to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. “So do most people. One doesn’t really need to be trained to mistrust or oppose psychiatric abuses. If you condone ECT, lobotomies and drugging the f*** out of the masses then clearly this suggestion was not for you. Peace.”
Alley did get support from some fans, one of whom accused critics of hating on her religion.
39 PHOTOSKirstie Alley through the years See GalleryKirstie Alley through the years CHEERS — Pictured: (l-r) Ted Danson as Sam Malone, Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)CHEERS — Season 7 — Pictured: Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe — Photo by: NBCU Photo BankKirstie Alley (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)WESTWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 4: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the ‘Shoot to Kill’ Westwood Premiere on February 4, 1988 at the Mann Westwood Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) Kirstie Alley (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)American actress Kirstie Alley with her husband, actor Parker Stevenson, circa 1990.(Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON — Pictured: (l-r)Actors John Travolta and Kirstie Alley during an interview with host Johnny Carson on December 13, 1990 — (Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)Kirstie Alley (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)VAN NUYS, CA – SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Kirstie Alley attends the Narconon’s 12th Annual Celebrity Softball Game on September 28, 1991 at the Tom Bradley Stadium @ Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) CHEERS — ‘One for the Road’ Episode 25 — Air Date 05/20/1993 — Pictured: Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe(Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO — Episode — Pictured: (l-r) Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview with and host Jay Leno on April 21, 1995(Photo by Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)Kirstie Alley at the Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)285399 01: Actress Kirstie Alley makes a public appearance October 26, 1996 in New York City. Before starring in the NBC sitcom ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ Alley played Rebecca Howe on the sitcom ‘Cheers’ for which she was awarded an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)Kirstie Alley in a scene from the film ‘For Richer Or Poorer’, 1997. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)CENTURY CITY, CA – DECEMBER 5: Actress Kirstie Alley and actor James Wilder attend the ‘Deconstructing Harry’ Century City Premiere on December 5, 1997 at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO — Episode 1283 — Pictured: (l-r) Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview with host Jay Leno on December 12, 1997 — (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD – NOVEMBER 10: Actress Kirstie Alley attends Ted Danson’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony on November 10, 1999 at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) 1999-2000 Kirstie Alley In ‘Veronica’s Closet.'(Photo By Getty Images)Kirstie Alley at the Morton’s in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)Kirstie Alley of ‘Fat Actress’ during Showtime TCA Press Tour Party – Red Carpet at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)HOLLYWOOD – FEBRUARY 23:Actress Kirstie Alley attends Showtime’s Premiere of ‘Fat Actress’ at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome on February 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD – FEBRUARY 23: (US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) (L-R)Actress Kelly Preston and actress Kirstie Alley attend the after party for Showtime’s Premiere of ‘Fat Actress’ at the Geisha House on February 23, 2005 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)HOLLYWOOD – MAY 04:Actress Kirstie Alley arrives at the Paramount Pictures fan screening of ‘Mission: Impossible III’ held at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on May 4, 2006 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Kirstie Alley, presenter (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)TODAY — Pictured: (l-r) Meredith Vieira and Kirstie Alley appear on NBC News’ ‘Today’ show(Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 09: Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston arrive at Kirstie Alley’s Organic Liaison Store Grand Opening on March 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)DANCING WITH THE STARS – ‘Episode 1201’ – A star-studded cast filled with celebrities across a variety of genres are set to compete each week on the dance floor. Performing either the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha Cha, all 11 couples danced for the first time on live national television in the spectacular two-hour season premiere of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Larkey/ABC via Getty Images)KIRSTIE ALLEY, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIYLOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 28:Actress Kirstie Alley attends Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho’s book signing at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on March 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Beck Starr/FilmMagic)HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 02:Kirstie Alley arrives at Cheryl Burke’s 27th birthday celebration at BoHo Restaurant on May 2, 2011 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)DANCING WITH THE STARS – ‘Episode 1207’ – ‘Dancing with the Stars’ celebrated ‘Ballroom Greats’ week, MONDAY, MAY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET/PT), on the ABC Television Network. Serving as guest judge, alongside Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, was Donnie Burns MBE, the most decorated Latin dancer of all time and head of the World Dance Council. Each couple, who danced a style they had yet to perform, received a ‘master class’ from one of ballroom’s best, either former Latin World Champion Shirley Ballas or Luca Baricchi, former Ballroom World Champ. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)KIRSTIE ALLEY, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIYActress Kirstie Alley (R) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy arrive to the ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ World Premiere at Disneyland on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, United States. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)Kirstie Alley arrives atthe 2011 All The Right Moves Summer Invitational at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom on June 5, 2011 in New York City.THE VIEW – (6.20.11) Actress Kirstie Alley was guest co-hosttoday, Tuesday, June 21, 2011 on ‘The View.”The View’ airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network.(Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)WHOOPI GOLDBERG, KIRSTIE ALLEYNEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13:Actress Kirstie Alley walks the runway at the Zang Toi Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 13, 2011 in New York City.(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO — Episode 4154 — Pictured: Actress Kirstie Alley during an interview on November 28, 2011 — Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo BankNEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 03:Actress Kirstie Alley attends the ‘Kirstie’ series premiere party at Harlow on December 3, 2013 in New York City.(Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)TODAY — Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Kirstie Alley appear on NBC News’ ‘Today’ show — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 05:Kirstie Alley attends the ‘Girls’ season four premiereat American Museum of Natural History on January 5, 2015 in New York City.(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 06:Actress Kirstie Alley visits the SiriusXM Studios on January 6, 2016 in New York City.(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)Up Next
Alley isn’t the only celebrity Scientologist to raise the alarm about psychiatric medication. In 2005, Tom Cruise and then-Today host Matt Lauer got into a heated conversation about Scientology and psychiatry, with the movie star decrying Adderall and Ritalin.
“I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever,” said Cruise, who was introduced to Scientology by first wife Mimi Rogers, Alley’s former roommate.
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