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CHURCH FILES $20 MILLION SUIT AGAINST ELI LILLY EXECUTIVE

 CHURCH FILES $20 MILLION SUIT AGAINST ELI LILLY EXECUTIVE
 ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Church of Scientology issued the following:
 The Church of Scientology today filed a $20 million damages suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Mitchell Daniels, a senior executive of Eli Lilly & Company, manufacturer of the controversial anti-depressant drug Prozac. The suit charges that Daniels, as part of Lilly's attempt to "shore up" crashing sales of Prozac in the face of national adverse publicity about the dangers and negative side effects of the drug, set out to attack the church as a source of the criticism.
 During the course of a meeting with editorial staff of USA Today in June 1991, Daniels attempted to discredit and malign the church as a source of the protest against Prozac by making false and defamatory statements about the religious nature and standing of the church. The statement was subsequently published in USA Today in June of last year. Daniels, according to the suit, "knew or reasonably should have known, and indeed intended, that his defamatory comments would be published by USA Today."
 "Daniels couldn't defend Prozac on its merits," said Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International. "Instead, he sought to assault the religious nature of the church as a way of trying to eliminate the most effective and well-known critic of Prozac."
 For more than two decades, American courts have unanimously upheld that the Church of Scientology is a bona fied religion. A representative sampling of over 20 such decisions have been cited in the church's complaint.
 The Church of Scientology and the Church-sponsored Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) group have been conducting a public education campaign concerning the dangers of Prozac.
 "We had hoped that Daniels and Lilly would act responsibly to correct the problems and prevent further lives from being damaged and destroyed by this drug," stated Jentzsch, pointing out that there are now more than 18,000 adverse reaction reports from Prozac on file with the FDA. "Instead, Lilly's response has been to try to silence any critic of the drug to salvage the flagging sales of the drug."
 CCHR learned about the devastating side effects of Prozac from victims who reported that the drug caused bizarre and violent behavior such as suicidal impulses, death wishes and self-mutilation. According to the adverse reaction reports filed with the FDA, there have been 778 Prozac-related deaths linked to suicide, and 1187 suicide attempts. Many of those who suffered from Prozac reactions had no prior psychiatric history. CCHR's concern was fueled by news reports about lawsuits being filed by Prozac victims and their relatives and by scientific studies published in medical literature that tied Prozac to these otherwise inexplicable altered mental states.
 Some patients given Prozac in scientific trials experienced intense suicidal tendencies. One study by doctors reported that, "We were especially surprised to witness the emergence of intense, obsessive and violent suicidal thoughts in these patients. Their suicidal thoughts appear to have been
obsessive, as they were recurrent, persistent, and intrusive. ... It was also remarkable how violent these thoughts were ... one patient actually placed a loaded gun to her head." These doctors, according to the literature, concluded that such suicidal thoughts could occur even in patients who had no previous history of suicidal impulses.
 Studies and case reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also have warned about the suicidal impulses caused by Prozac use.
 Approximately 100 civil suits have been filed against Lilly as a result of the violent, often deadly side effects of Prozac.
 -0- 2/4/92
 /CONTACT: Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch of the Church of Scientology International, 213-960-3500/ CO: Church of Scientology; Eli Lilly & Company ST: IN: MTC SU:


TW -- DC029A -- 6826 02/04/92 15:43 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1992
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