Thursday, November 16, 2006

Scientology - A Question of Faith

Did A Mother's Faith Contribute To Her Murder?

(CBS) Why would a 28-year-old man, described as sweet, kind and gentle, take a knife to his mother one morning in 2003 and stab her over 70 times?

Jeremy Perkins, who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, came to believe that his mother, Elli, was evil and out to get him. Experts say the brutal murder might never have occurred, had he received proper treatment to control his psychotic delusions. But Jeremy’s parents were devout Scientologists and their religion strongly opposes psychiatric treatment.

Did Elli Perkins' faith contribute to her death? 48 Hours correspondent Peter Van Sant explores the issue.

"I tried to slit my wrists...but I wouldn't die, so I decided to do my mom instead," Jeremy Perkins told police after the murder.

Jeremy’s chilling words describe his actions on March 13, 2003, while he was in an active psychotic state.

The Perkins family cared deeply for their son and sought treatment within the principles of their faith. A lawyer for Jeremy's father told 48 Hours that Jeremy was seen by both physicians and mental health practitioners, including a psychiatrist. But court records unsealed by 48 Hours indicate that Jeremy’s treatment was limited to mostly vitamins and other holistic healing methods. The family filled prescriptions for an anti-anxiety drug and a sleeping aid. Medical experts and a doctor who treated Jeremy after the murder dismiss these methods as ineffective for an individual with paranoid schizophrenia.

Today the Church of Scientology claims more than 10 million members worldwide. Its religious opposition to psychiatry is well-known. In June of 2005, the issue was brought to national attention when actor Tom Cruise took a very public stance on NBC’s "Today" show. "I know that psychiatry is a pseudo-science," he told Matt Lauer. "You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do."

Van Sant examines the roots of Scientology’s opposition to psychiatry and the tragic death of a caring mother who desperately wanted to help her beloved son.

Watch the full 48 Hours segment of video here.


2 The World U R 1 Person, 2 1 Person U R The World said...

I could write for days voicing my opinions on Scientology. But I will not. This is not my blog. But I do think it is important that you posted this. As I said before, you bring up things in your blog that need to be addressed/comtemplated and brought to the public's attention. It is a tragic story, one that should not have occured... but it does need to be read.
Thanks for sharing Andrew. Kudos to you.


Andrew said...


I very much wanted to express a few opinions as well, but decided to see what others thought about this. Either way, it was a tragic event that could have been circumvented if Jeremy was given proper treatment.

When you truly get psychotic, you don’t know what you are doing. I got it into my head that Emeril Lagasse of Food Network fame was going to fly me to New York to eat in one of his restaurants. It was four in the morning and I got dressed to the nines and walked over to my parent’s house to wait for Emeril’s limousine to come pick me up. My parent’s were dumbfounded not knowing what to do with me. I honestly believed a limousine would show up any moment and whisk me away to New York. Dad finally sedated me and got me into the bed with my mother (they sleep in separate bedrooms). I woke up the next morning feeling much better after taking my morning dosages of medications. I had forgotten to take them for several days. That’s how non compliance can be such a vicious cycle for those with mental illness and schizophrenia.

I won’t even go into the time I thought my ex-wife, Rachel, was pregnant and I was driving her crazy by calling her every hour to check up on the baby. She couldn’t even have children and was barren. I truly believed she was pregnant with my child though and it was so vividly and scarily real. An ill mind is such a trickster with this disease.

All of these incidents happened to occur when I was un-medicated and not complying with taking my medicines on a regular basis. My regular injection of sustained release Risperdal Consta went a long way in changing this behavior pattern and allowing me to have a more normal life for a change.

2 The World U R 1 Person, 2 1 Person U R The World said...

The 'gist' of my opinions reagrding Scientology's beliefs in not using medication matches yours. I believe in meds because they work for many people with a wide range of illnesss from mild to severe, as I said about another entry of yours.
It is TRULY tragic that life saving meds are shunned by those who choose to follow Scientologies beliefs. This sad, sad story is proof of what can happen.
Sadly though, those who do not have any experience with mental illness simply do not know better and will blindy stand beside their beliefs. In my personal opinion, no God, or higher power, of any religion, would want someone to suffer.

Andrew said...

Thank you Liz. I agree wholeheartedly.


Karen said...

I truly believe there is a middle ground. Sensible medications used in sensible ways are wonderful for improving the quality of life for so very many. My son is one. He is schizophrenic, and doing very well ... as long as he takes his meds.

My sister also is schizophrenic and on medicine. At one point, however, the hospital had her on 30 different medications ... one of which was benedryl. No, she did not have allergies, or a cold. I believe it was being used because with some people, it has a calming effect.

With her it did the opposite. (I cannot take it either.)

They just kept adding more meds to counteract the side-effects of the other meds. She was so drugged she could barely walk, and kept falling face first on the floor. (Just before we removed her from that hospital she was hardly recognizable from the bruises, cuts, and blood on her face they had failed to wash off.)

She is also retarded, so she could not defend herself with logic, only temper, so they would give her more meds.

This was not in 'the stone age', but only two years ago.

Used wisely, medications are wonderful, but they cannot do everything. People do have to help themselves by making positive life choices such as not drinking, helping others, and engaging in creative hobbies.

Also, everyone is different. There really are some people who recover with vitamins! (Perhaps they did not have 'true' schizophrenia in the first place ...) But it has to be done with proper testing and supervision by a qualified doctor.

abbagirl74 said...

I take no meds. Just wanted to put in my words. Felt left out because I don't follow up with the "beliefs" stuff too much. On the other hand, how do I know if I don't need any meds?