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From the Free APA Report. Fall, 2005.


   APA has a code of ethics as does virtually every other organization. This fact is the only reason I can really think of that APA should have one. To be like other groups.

   Several months ago I asked if APA could be held accountable for violating its own code of ethics It seems to me that APA policies and practices indicate that the organization is itself in violation of its own code. The citations from the code of ethics are from the 2002 version which I down loaded from the APA website. Ive included quotations from the introduction, General Principles and the code proper.

   One thing is clear, it doesn't matter if a psychologist knows the code or is ignorant of it. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an Ethical Standard is not itself a defense to a charge of unethical conduct. (Introduction) Furthermore, the code proves that APA and those who produce its documents, are so tolerant of ambiguity and politically correct jargon that parts of the code are rendered meaningless. As an example from the introduction to the code, in discussing possible conflicts between law, organizational requirements and regulations the code says that  psychologists make known their commitment to this Ethics Code and take steps to resolve the conflict in a  responsible [emphasis added] manner. If the conflict is unresolvable via such means, psychologists may adhere to the requirements of the law, regulations, or other governing authority, in keeping with basic principles of human rights. (Introduction) [emphasis added] This might seem to make sense to psychologists of a certain mind set. Responsible is not defined. Furthermore, no one knows what basic human rights are. APA doesn't behave as if there were such things. APA doesn't define human rights. APA has no moral standards from which such rights could be inferred as applying to all humans. If this refers to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights were at a total loss because the UN itself has shown that what constitutes human rights depends upon what nation or group of nations is accused of violating them. Furthermore, the UN does not declare from whence these so called rights come. So APA is requiring its members to commit themselves to a position which is based upon undefined, irrational, very poorly identified bases.

   In the introduction, after mentioning psychologists commitments to science and professional knowledge one may read: Psychologists are committed  to the use of such knowledge to improve the condition of individuals, organizations, and society. [emphasis added] Psychologists respect and protect civil and human rights and the central importance of freedom of inquiry and expression in research, teaching, and publication. They strive to help the public in developing informed judgments and choices concerning human behavior. At this point it should be pointed out that:


      APAs support for abortion has clearly not benefited society

      APA has not shown that abortion has benefited the individuals who have had them

      So far as is known, the only organizations which have benefited from APAs actions are abortion providers.

      It is clear that APA seems to believe that legal action on the part of APA will lead to informed judgments and choices on the part of the public.

      Furthermore, APA has not shown that its enthusiastic embrace of all things homosexual: has benefited society.

      Has not shown that the individual homosexual has benefited from APAs blind support for homosexual causes.

      Only gay advocacy organizations have benefited from APAs actions.

 APA has engaged in attempting to deny  human rights to homosexuals who wish to change their life style through consultation with psychologists.


 It has demeaned women by referring to men who have had cosmetic surgery done on their genitals so that they resemble female genitals as her and she and calling them by their chosen female names. Real women are not the result of surgery and the surgically altered males are not women.

    For a real laugh read this from the General Principles: Because psychologists scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence. (Principle A) If one believed this, one would believe that APA is not political and is in the mainstream of thought in the US. Lawsuits and testimony before Congress hardly qualify as nonpolitical.

   Here are a couple of more laughable quotations: Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology. In these activities psychologists do not steal, cheat, or engage in fraud, subterfuge, or intentional misrepresentation of fact. (Principle C) [emphasis added] APA has misrepresented or distorted the research on abortion, affirmative action, and homosexuality. To what extent the misrepresentation was deliberate or simply a strongly held bias is irrelevant; the results, in terms of the reputation of social science, is the same. Another principle that APA violates is Psychologists respect the dignity [undefined] and worth [undefined] of all [emphasis added] people, [This of course is patent nonsense, all includes every rapist, murderer, terrorist, pedophile etc.] and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self determination [unless they are homosexuals, women. or people who don't want to submit to the tyranny of nondiscrimination]   Psychologists are aware of and respect [undefined] cultural; individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, racer, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. (Principle E)  Contained within this principle is the germ of the disease from which APA suffers. Since such vital words such as dignity, worth and respect are undefined, one cant know for sure what this principle is all about. But, how does one respect all individuals and at the same time attack an individuals beliefs by promoting group rights which would deny the individual control over his own rights. APA has abandoned the individual for the group. This has been done despite the fact that the only thing we know for certain about human beings is that every one is unique. The promotion of group as the primary unit of concern for APA ignores the fact of mans uniqueness and in fact dehumanizes the very animal for which APA  is supposed to have so much respect. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. (Principle E) [emphasis added]         Group as APA's  primary concern also dehumanizes human beings by denying each mans ability and responsibility for deciding how his life will be lived.  APA denies the individuals ability to chose and decide. This is basically why the question of the need for an APA code of ethics arises. It is clear that APA considers the groups that it protects are impaired and vulnerable in a way which is never identified except to say that these impaired people are not able to make decisions. 

   In the code one is held responsible for the decisions one makes. But how is this possible when APA policy seems to promote the notion that adolescents cannot decide not to have sex; homosexuals cannot decide not to have sex nor can they decide to seek help in changing their lifestyle; people who oppose abortion or same sex marriage must be at least irrational and probably fundamentalist Christian bigots who are not able to make decisions and who must have the correct decisions imposed upon them   and whose worth and dignity seem to deserve no respect.  

   It might be noted that all these APA notions reflect its adoption of a leftist, collectivist perspective which calls for conflict between groups. Since the Marx/Lenin originally predicted revolutionary conflict between classes soured., new conflicting groups must take their place. This collectivist thinking and the substitutions made can lead to some interesting consequences with respect to enforcement of an ethics code. Some psychologists are members of these vulnerable groups. Since members of these groups are impaired with respect to autonomous decision making; can they be held individually responsible for  violating the ethics code in the same way as individuals who do not belong to a vulnerable, impaired group? Is there really one code for impaired groups and one for nonimpaired groups?

   What we know for sure is that each impaired group has its own division in APA or a separate organization which celebrates its impairment or there is both a division and an organization.

   Another section of the code says: In their work-related activities, psychologists do not engage in unfair [emphasis added; and term undefined] discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or any basis proscribed by law.

(Code, 3.01)

   APA has violated this repeatedly in its promotion of affirmative action. Affirmative action is unfair [if by this is meant giving one group preferential treatment over another] because it gives preferential treatment to one group over another i.e., a variety of minorities vs. a majority some of whom are also members of an impaired group, women vs. men, homosexuals vs. nonhomosexuals. etc.  Take for example, a Caucasian lesbian. If the issue is race she could be considered an oppressor, if the issue is sexual behavior she could be considered a victim. 

   Furthermore, APAs brand of affirmative action has led to a sense of entitlement among victim groups. Among the most recent examples are the demands of some victims of the Katrina hurricane that they are entitled to  government provided housing, food, clothing and any other necessities of life; and the law schools suit to be able to refuse to allow military recruiters on campus but insist that they are also entitled to  receive government money. They do not want to be held responsible for the actions of their schools. The reason they say they want to ban  recruiters is because of the Don't ask Don't tell homosexual policy of the military. Of course, there are too many examples of Black citizens believing that there are no Black criminals. The most recent one is the Williams execution in CA. The LA city council had been fearful of riots if he was executed. When was the last time there was a riot by Whites over an execution or unjustified police killing, or police brutality.

   The development of a victim mentality is crippling. It stunts the growth of individual initiative and individual responsibility  APA has participated in stunting the psychological growth of many of our citizens.

   Another quote from the Code 3.06: Psychologists refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, scientific, professional, legal, financial, or other interests or relationships could reasonably be expected to (1) impair their objectivity, competence, or effectiveness in performing their functions as psychologists or (2) expose the person or organization with whom the professional relationship exists to harm or exploitation.       

    APA has violated both of these injunctions.

 It has engaged in political activity on behalf of legislation, and it has engaged in legal activities on behalf of some impaired groups. In the process of both these activities it has misrepresented research by not reporting research results contrary to the bias which it holds.

 It distorts scientific reality through its editorial policies.

I believe APA exposes itself and psychology to harm by risking the loss of public confidence in and l respect for psychological science and practice through its leftist, collectivist, exploitive practices and its obviously prejudiced policies and misrepresentations.

   To return to the original question: Can APA be held responsible for  violation of its own code of ethics? Can members of Council be held responsible for violation of the code? APA does not publish the names of council members and how they vote on policy issues that come before council. Therefore there is no way to hold those members responsible for their actions. APA leaves it to the council members to report to their constituents. The council members  often dont report their votes or they bury them in a long report on other council business.

   APA bureaucrats like to say that they are only carrying out the policy endorsed by council. APA represents all its members and at present, all professional psychologists. That being the case the organization should be responsible to all its members and not rationalize its behavior as simply carrying out orders.


1. APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of

Conduct 2002. APA website.


 Ray W. Johnson: 2005