Anderson Cooper grilled Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson about her past remarks on anti-depressants on Thursday night.
Cooper suggested Williamson was contributing to the stigma around depression by suggesting people were taking anti-depressants to “mask” or “numb” their pain.
Replied Williamson: “I think that would be a not good message and I think I’ve never given that message. That’s just never the way I’ve spoken and it is a complete mischaracterization of my commentary.”
Cooper also confronted her about linking to an article written by the Church of Scientology after Robin Williams’ death suggesting that anti-depressants were a factor in his suicide.
Said Cooper: “Do you know who wrote that article? That was by an organization funded by the Church of Scientology which doesn’t even believe in psychiatry, doesn’t believe in any psychiatric medicine even for very serious mental illness. They even have a museum in Hollywood called Psychiatry and Industry of Death.”
Replied Williamson: “Anderson if somebody is helped by an anti-depressant, I’m happy for them. And I’ve never argued that anybody who is on an anti-depressant should get off an anti-depressant. … Because people must get off them very, very carefully. So this idea, like I’m some Tom Cruise about anti-depressants. I am not and I never have been.”
Williamson also apologized for calling clinical depression a “scam” during a podcast talk with Russell Brand.
Williamson tweeted about the interview on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Said the author: “I didn’t expect such an aggressive conversation with @AC360 but I figure it’s good rehearsal for debating Donald Trump.”
Another tweet read, “So let’s state it again. I’m pro medicine. I’m pro science. I’ve never told anyone not to take medicine. I’ve never fat-shamed anyone. And today there’s a new one: no I don’t support Scientology. The machinery of mischaracterization is in high gear now. Gee, did I upset someone?”
Williamson’s views on vaccines and AIDS have also been questioned.
NBC News adds: ‘Williamson’s distrust of material solutions to the material problem of illness has led her to offer dogwhistle support to the anti-vaxx movement, even as she’s claimed she is not an anti-vaxxer. This past June for example she called mandatory vaccine policies “Orwellian.” In addition, because she thinks that one’s spiritual state determines one’s material condition, Williamson frequently blames people who are ill for their own sickness. For example, she repeatedly told gay men with HIV that they could cure themselves by trusting in God and love. In “A Course in Weight Loss” she insisted that for men with AIDS, forgiving their enemies would function like chemotherapy for cancer patients.’
In her 1992 book, A Return to Love, she said this about AIDS: “AIDS, for instance, can be thought of as ‘Angels-In-Darth Vader-Suits.’ Here are some enlightened visualizations: Imagine the AIDS virus as Darth Vader, and then unzip his suit to allow an angel to emerge.”