Home | About | Donate

How the American Psychological Association Lost Its Way


How the American Psychological Association Lost Its Way

Roy Eidelson, Jean Maria Arrigo

The American Psychological Association is in crisis.


This behavior is all too reminiscent of Hitler’s use of experts in Psychology to manipulate mass opinion and also to break minds down. That peculiar form of torture, essentially a rape of individuals’ personhood was of inordinate interest to those State Department interests (along with conventional military upper echelon types) who covertly imported Nazis into their own military organizations.

Even this idea that Psychology CAN be compatible with militarism when the sort of unchecked, muscular militarism favored by today’s Empire Builders does a great deal of harm suggests cognitive dissonance, if not collective professional schizophrenia.

Just as Bible advocates who favor war look away from the Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”; psychologists who look for ways to normalize soldiers and soldiering avoid the covenant: First do no harm.

And any shrink worth their salt ought to know that the entire war on terror is a major psy-ops operation! No doubt, some psychologists helped to configure its logistical operations and to control perception in its aftermath.


There are two phrases which stand out - cognitive dissonance, and collective professional schizophrenia. Two conditions
which the APA has plenty of experience dealing with. Practioners in psychology and psychiatry can work to cause, or work to
treat, such conditions. We have, sadly, seen the effects on people when, for example, soldiers muster out, reenter, and somehow
fail to reclaim their former civilian lives. With the rapid advances made by the military in weaponizing psychology,
one has to wonder whether any dissident psychologists will be heard from. Before “see, we could have told you so” becomes a tag line.


its a real problem when degreed specialists,aka psychologists,dont recognize a kiddie toon fairy story like the govts sketchy non explanation for the events of 9/11 and continue to call it “a terrorist attack” as in one of foriegn manufacture.unless you mean it as the homemade,home grown Terrorist Attack that it was?
if so then make that clear,otherwise it sounds like another psychologist has fallen for an inane story that most of the world knows is false.

this raises an interesting question- how did you (plural) fail to discern what most of us did years ago? might that failure be nearly as important as the unethical behavior of your peers?


“The APA got into this mess”

Correction; created this mess.


Institutions that range from academe to corporate culture to the military hierarchy all work through top-down frameworks. Therefore, in every one of these entities, persons situated lower down the ranks must answer to their superiors. The nature of hierarchy is itself antithetical to genuine Democracy. It also promotes the fallback position of “Just following orders.”

The academic world too often serves as a gatekeeper. Lending validity to theories, postures, and positions that conform to the dominant narrative (and current cultural norms) it discourages anything in the way of nonconformity. That means that those mavericks, inventors, iconoclasts, and geniuses who see way past existing constructs can and will be demonized. It is very much the need to fit in that prompts too many would-be thinking persons to conform to often amoral standards. This “getting shrinks on board” to SUPPORT torture is perhaps the most odious example. However, this behavior has its roots in many earlier historical pogroms: the Inquisition comes to mind.

J. Edgar Hoover’s use of the THREAT of being cast as a communist served–for a time–as judge, jury and executioner. This mindset that works through the power of blaming, shaming, and identifying “outsiders” has been a component of patriarchy. After all, one of patriarchy’s chief tools of social control is the use of a pariah or human target upon which to project all sorts of accusations. No one wants to be that target, so most go along “with the program.”

You’re quite right (in my view) that a passive acceptance of an obvious fairy-tale fabrication shows that those “just following orders” are unwilling to think critically. They’d rather win approbation from the father figures who are positioned further up the hierarchy. Of course the constraints of status within a system that draws most of its rewards from capital (and thus capitalism) inclines many people to do things they might not otherwise do… for “the money,” and/or for (a) title, status, prestige, power, and/or position.