Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas has led many to call for tighter gun control legislation in the U.S., yet actress Kirstie Alley sparked outrage on social media when she placed the blame on doctor-prescribed psychiatric drugs.
“We have to solve the mystery of why there are no ‘shooters’ or almost 0 before the 1980s. I know one common denominator other than guns,” Alley tweeted on Oct. 2. “One additional common denominator of ‘shooters’ is U.S.A.’s mass usage of psychiatric drugs. A % do have side effects of violence and suicide.”
Alley’s remarks may sound outrageous, especially since there has been no evidence that drugs, psychiatric or otherwise, were involved in the shooting
As an avowed Scientologist, however, Alley’s anti-psychiatry stance is right in line with the teachings of the controversial church’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who once wrote, “There is not one institutional psychiatrist alive who, by ordinary criminal law, could not be arraigned and convicted of extortion, mayhem and murder.”
However, Alley’s remarks were too much for TV news reporter Derek Shore, who replied to Alley’s tweet, writing: “Did you really just say that? Sit down. 58 people are dead.”
“Yes I did say it,” Alley fired back. “It happens to be a common denominator in shooters..one that didn’t exist before the 80’s.. not my opinion. Statistic based”
That was when the floodgates opened, with numerous Twitter users criticizing the former Cheers star for her comments.
Following the backlash, the 66-year-old actress issued another tweet insisting she has “UTMOST sympathy 4 the victims & their loved ones,” but defended her words by stating that “prayers & condolences aren’t enough anymore.”
This isn’t the first time a celebrity Scientologist’s views on psychiatry stoked controversy. Back in 2005, Alley’s fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise became gave a now-infamous interview with Today host Matt Lauer in which he slammed Brooke Shields for using prescription medication to help overcome postpartum depression, calling psychiatry “a pseudo-science” and recommended vitamins as a cure for postpartum depression.