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Reflections on the APA Scandal


Reflections on the APA Scandal

David Luban

Last Friday, James Risen published an article describing an independent investigation of the American Psychological Association (APA) by a team of lawyers at Sidley Austin, headed by former prosecutor David Hoffman. The APA commissioned Sidley to investigate the conduct of its own leadership in connection with the role of psychologists in the torture of detainees.


Well, here and now, psychologists are still involved in the criminalization of poverty. I suppose that is ethical.


Perhaps this item would “ring a bell,” to quote Pavlov in explaining why it is that persons TRAINED to obey authority figures in fact too often end up doing just that:

Stanley Milgram (August 15, 1933 – December 20, 1984) was an American social psychologist, best known for his controversial experiment on obedience conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale.[4] Milgram was influenced by the events of the Holocaust, specifically the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in developing this experiment.

From the article:

"A remarkable conclusion: Studying the risks abusive interrogation tactics pose to detainees would be unethical. Devising the tactics would not.

“This is a moment of moral insanity. The organization has turned ethics upside down.”

The rabbit hole goes much deeper than conditioning persons in professions based on “doing no harm” to DO harm… in that the entire trigger that formed the pretext for all this National Security-favoring torture insanity was itself an INSIDE JOB!

If more professionals could toss off the coil that has them believing in the Dominant Fictions that fuel these inversions of law, and collectively stop to consider that persons wiling to invert law are prone to using whatever diabolically deceptive means are at their disposal… then no longer could the LIE that torture saves lives be used.


Good attorneys know how to establish PATTERN. Let’s connect some dots to see how the same modus operandi is being applied to essentially nullify the consciences of psychologists, drone pilots, and legal experts.

Notice how protocols are being propped up to protect the psychologists who can be brought into the torture programs:

“In other words, just at a moment of national soul-searching about torture, the APA’s ethics director was guiding a conversation about “the risk … that mental health professionals will stay away from this work, out of a concern of exposing themselves to legal and ethical liability” (p. 200). Instead of asking whether to put the brakes on psychologist participation, the aim was to explore “how APA … can serve as a resource for psychologists and mental health professionals who participate in these investigations” (p. 198). Even in the wake of Abu Ghraib, APA still hoped to be an enabler.”

A body vested with authority (by the make-war state) grants these individuals its own breed of moral, professional, and legal cover.

I’ve offered as Exhibit A on numerous occasions, evidence of the military using a hierarchy of Christian chaplains to ENSURE that drone pilots drop drone ordnance–which is to say, KILL innocent civilians as part of an ongoing (sick!) program. Just like a Crusades-Redux, the LIE that it’s “God’s will” for people to murder other people is being pushed via those with religious titles & authority.

The third prong in this chain of diabolical enterprise is to anesthetize the law through shifting legal terminology. A prisoner, no longer a prisoner, is suddenly entitled to no protections (as drawn from The Geneva Conventions) by virtue of a mere change in title to “enemy combatant.” Plus, torture itself is rebranded as “enhanced interrogation.” People who lack empathy and place ambitious self-interest before the rule of true law and concern for The Greater Good have no problem with these inversions of language. Many are quite good at. And they imported the skill from Edward Bernays and Goebbels.

Add in a captured media merely regurgitating official narratives AS news (in spite of being “caught in the act” in fostering war on the basis of all sorts of fake/false/fixed/faux information/evidence) and the recipe is complete.

As Mr. Chatterjee’s article attests–some drone pilots, suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder are beginning to collect.

WE all wait for the day that THEY gave a war and nobody showed up (to fight it)!!!


How Mars comes to rule:

A two-pronged strategy is involve:

#1:Disable, disappear, denounce, or denigrate any competent whistle-blower:

“Koocher’s low point was his effort to silence the most vocally dissenting PENS committee members, Jean Maria Arrigo. After she appeared on Democracy Now! he publicly dismissed her objections as symptoms of her own “troubled upbringing” and the trauma of her father’s purported suicide (pp. 25, 267, 342-43).”

This was what was done to Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, Julian Assange and others.

#2. Turn everything into a pro-military strategic maneuver where those within the military chain of command write, define, and enforce the rules: (Following quotes are taken from this article)

“Behnke was also instrumental in ensuring that the PENS Task Force would be stacked with DOD-friendly members; and he played a large role in APA’s media strategy."

“It is inconceivable that things would have gone differently at APA if those conflicts of interest didn’t exist. The individual conflicts of interest are revealing, to be sure: the fact that no one in the APA appeared to be concerned about them speaks volumes about how uncritical the officials had become about the organization’s relationship with DoD."

“In some ways, DoD is like a rich, powerful uncle to APA, helping it in important ways throughout APA’s life” (p. 72). A large APA constituency works, directly or indirectly, for DoD. And DoD has conferred benefits on APA members, most notably by granting APA members prescription-writing privileges within DoD and in other locales, crucial in competing with psychiatrists."

Now efforts of this nature that act reverentially towards the MIC, corporate oligarchs, and mainstream media to lock out any alternative narratives are commonplace.

Treaties like TPP and TIPP allow for corporations to appoint their own courts to arbitrate would-be trade challenges. THE PUBLIC–i.e. We, The People–are left out, entirely.

Big Brother has merged with god, the patriarch of capitalism and imperial conquest to bleed the world into submission to HIS will. This grants Source false witness. The poisonous fruit from this toxic tree is falling all around us.


Sounds like there are a whole lot of so called professional types out there that could be charged with conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and with out and out torture! But these are indeed professionals, and in the United States we never prosecute professionals (See Wall St. and/or Banksters), unless of course they’re honest professionals, then of course we throw the book at them! No, the US never prosecutes professionals, we set up and prosecute people who are mentally disabled and are a disappointment to their police captain fathers who couldn’t or wouldn’t even try to get them help. It was so much easier to turn them over to the FBI (Federal Blackmail Institute)!


There is a book that describes what is going on here. It’s called “Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes)”

The root cause of macro-social evil: the small percentage of psycho-pathological deviants who nevertheless have a disproportionally large influence (fear) on the minds of normal humans. The author clearly lays out the various types of psychopathy and what happens when they combine their various talents and manage to take over a society from the inside and start to rule over normal people in the form of a pathocracy. It describes how to stand up to this evil by saying No, loudly. (Prosecute the APA and all those who came up with the torture scheme!)

It is truly ironic that psychologists tricked themselves psychologically into doing what they invested their education learning not to do. This is a huge lesson for all those in positions of power. What will money and power make you do? Anything?


There’s no trick. You’ve read the book, so you know that psychopaths seek occupations that offer them power over others. One of those occupations is clinical psychologist. The psychopaths who study psychology do it with the intention of exploiting their training to gratify their own power-seeking, not for the benefit of their clients.

Which is why the ones most closely involved in this horror story should be struck off, not suspended from, their state licensure rolls, and have their professional memberships cancelled and their credentials permanently withdrawn by the schools that granted them. They’ve shown themselves to be in violation of the most basic ethical requirements of the profession.