Yesterday, we heard from a number of people who were alarmed by a disturbing report that aired on the BBC about autistic people in England being subjected to a frightening “treatment” of intimidation and bullying.
It was an excellent undercover investigation by the BBC’s “Inside Out” program. But what the BBC’s reporters didn’t mention, and perhaps didn’t know, was that the treatment the autistic victims were subjected to looked an awful lot like Scientology.
The BBC had found that a man in Hungary, Zoltán Tóth, operates a company named Stabil Point Technologia — or “SPOT” — that claims to cure autism, a condition that medical science says can’t be “cured.” When they contacted him, Tóth said “I can kill autism, the first that did.” He then put the BBC in touch with his colleague in England, a man named Joszef Kanta. And it was hidden-camera footage of Kanta treating a supposedly autistic young man which appeared so disturbing. For several hours at a time over several days, Kanta subjected his patient to staring exercises, then shouted and tried to intimidate the subject to make him flinch. It was like an extended session of Scientology “bullbaiting” with especially awful alternative techniques thrown in. (At one point, for example, Kanta has the subject’s mother record herself saying that she didn’t love her son, and then Kanta plays that back while belittling the young man. It was hard to watch.)