Without proper understanding of the situation surrounding this essay, this paper can come off sounding improper, obtuse or if you've read my writings before the style seems forced and cramped. It is therefore proper to explain to you, the reader, some of the external forces and reasons the following essay is written the way it is. The biggest irony of this paper is that while it rails against the American Psychologists Association (APA), a requirement for the class in which it was written was that it must conform to APA formatting standards. My Alma Mater [REDACTED] uses APA format exclusively, and this does cut into my style quite a bit. The APA format excludes my common writing style which refers to me (the author) and you (the reader). It even prevents me from designating this essay as "this essay". It prevents gendered definitions, which to be honest at some points I outright ignored. The English language can only be butchered to a certain extent, past that one becomes too sick to write in such a neutered perversion of the language. Also for the sake of openness this paper received some dockings from the teacher, a one [REDEACTED] who teaches at [REDACTED]. The reasons she gave included a lack of headings throughout the paper, lack of literature reference, the paper was hard to read and that ouroboros was not a word. To these accusations I explained to her that headings were not in congruence with APA format, my literature review was included and clearly listed on the table of contents, and ouroboros is indeed a word and common at that. She gave no response and left the grade as it was. This is a victory to me, as in previous weeks both her and her assistant wrote passionate defenses for the APA when I brought up my project in discussion. That however is not what worried me. The students also came to the APA's defense, yet their words were less academic in nature, to the point of being intellectually deficient. They even went so far as to say that the APA shouldn't be questioned because psychiatrists motives shouldn't be questioned. It was almost as if they were unwilling to accept that people in the scientific community could be fallible. In response to the intellectual dishonesty, I am now posting this abroad, in the hopes that some light may shine on this darker corner of academia and the APA in general. I'm still researching the topic for expository purposes, in fact within the last few days I've found further information that may also link the APA to Planned Parenthood, but that will take another full essay to explain. In the meantime, I hope this essay blesses you and helps you in decisions concerning the APA.
American Psychologists Association: Implications of using APA format
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored" (Huxley, 2000).
It is of utmost importance that the population does not become complacent in its pursuit of knowledge, thereby allowing wiser evils to use history to their advantage. If academia does this it will forever be cursed to walk in ignorance, it's ideas dissolving the digestive track of an ouroboros serpent. This pursuit has never been so important as the present day, when superfluous information concerning minutia inundates the everyday man. American academia in particular lives in this quasi-intellectual stew where popular opinion is sacred word and any voice to the contrary or of opposition is met with a nigh religious fervor. Emphatic statements of disinterest in politics or blatant hatred of any true individuality express the voice of the majority. While this may seem obvious to some, others require citation for the implicit. This is not meant to confuse the issue ahead but to educate. There may be a common thread in the fabric of academic thought. This paper merely wishes to tug at it a bit and see what unravels. To perhaps catch a glimpse of the weaver working their loom, and to see the fabric they are using. The common thread is a trusted old friend to academia, id est the standardized formatting of works as outlined by the American Psychologists Association, this system is known as APA format. Formatting by itself is by no means inherently evil and should receive no criticism. Readers including teachers, professionals and writers are all to benefit from having standardization present in their works. It assists the reader in the accruement of ideas and the writer in articulation of same. To do away with the system entirely would be a disservice to the reader specifically and mankind by accumulation of its effect. The question that should be in the academic's mind is "who"? That is, "Who exactly is creating the rules for writing?" and "Who are the architects of writing who are entrusted with this task?". What has the APA done to establish not only their intellect, but integrity? Does the APA have any agenda that they adhere to that could influence these formats? To take for granted the integrity of an organization is ignorant, foolish, or both. Ignorance abounds if that group has any sway whatsoever over the minds of academia or the way the next generation thinks or interprets information. Before getting into particulars and answering these questions in full, it is apropos to define the terms.
Collegiate level formatting comes in a variety of styles. The most notable of which are MLA, APA, and Chicago. There are many others, but few as widely used as APA. [REDACTED] University as well as many other accredited educational systems use APA, so for the sake of the Cogitatio pro Alma Mater, the APA is going to be the center of attention. Now collegiate formats are useful for a variety of reasons. The first being clarity in the transference of information and ideas. Strictly from a logical standpoint it would be short-sighted to allow students to write in a large variety of styles because it would increase the communication barrier between student and teacher. The APA does have something very distinct and unique to its favor though and that is it's firm stance on referencing. In the electronic age of information and the internet, the APA's use of constant in-text citation as well as a full bibliography for any items that contributed to the ideas of the work nearly eliminate the possibility of plagiarism (American Psychological Association, 2009). Plagiarism is still not impossible by any means, but the style certainly helps the writer stay honest should they choose to be. The style can also protect the honest writer by helping to deflect any claims to proprietary knowledge because of its in-depth citations. For all these reasons teachers at [REDACTED] and other academies are very comfortable in the security that the APA format brings.
The APA collegiate format is so named because of its parent organization, the American Psychologists Association. This organization has existed for some time, the organization officially beginning in 1892 with 26 members (American Psycology Association, 2011). In 1929 the APA decided that in light of the many writing styles predominating academia, that a singular style crafted with the reader in mind should be prepared. The intention was so that the majority of writers audience would be able to absorb the most amount of information consistently. In essence a linguistic marriage of accuracy and precision in knowledge retention. It was a success, and according to the publication record in their style handbook, had additional publications and major adaptations in the 1960's and 70's. Now with the advent of the internet APA has the ability to rapidly update the format. All of this information should be commonplace knowledge to writers who have used the style and serves merely as a backdrop so that the organization spoken of is clear in the mind. Hazy perspectives lead to hazy judgments and thoughts, making the real intangible. The American Psychologists Association as it exists today is also extremely politically and legally active. The accusations that will come later may confuse the reader into thinking that the two organizations are separate entities, this is to reassure they are the same. If there is any evidence to this one needs to look no further than the APA's news page on their website. They frequently champion cases such as California's Proposition 8 debate (Anderson, 2010), Roper vs. Simons which placed death penalty of minors under violation of the 8th amendment (Supreme Court of Missouri, 2005), and many others. All this is laudable, it is after all appropriate for a group of professionals who study the mind to be able to give an opinion on the psyche in public. If they are truly objective and handle empirical evidence properly when they state their opinion, and are above reproof in character, then their opinion should matter more than nearly any other man or group. Who would disagree to that assertion?
The problem with APA is that they are not above reproof. At the extreme least, their honesty should be brought into question. NARTH (The National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuals) contends that the APA has flip-flopped repeatedly on some of its issues. For instance while refining the definition of a disorder, they defined homosexuality under the definition of what they called scientific psychology, while at the same time they used moral psychology for their definitions of pedophilia (NARTH, 2008). Now in western academic society homosexuality is a charged, hot-button issue. Mostly due to the APA's influence, it's the new civil rights protagonist in most academic circles, despite the fact that there were many psychologists who opposed the APA's assertions about homosexuality. Yet the APA still persisted on issues that had not been set in stone. The Family Research Institute formally voiced their problems with APA assertions concerning homosexuality in 1996
American Psychologists Association: Implications of using APA format
saying they were inconsistent with scientific findings and called their terms over-simplified and negligent in blatantly biased partisanship (Cameron, Cameron, & Landess, 1996). These debated terms and definitions increased the scope of the APA's voice on what they perceived to be human rights and would eventually open the gates to many more alternative sexualities. In December of 1973 the APA decided that homosexuality was no longer a disorder stating:
"Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment,
stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities;
further, the American Psychological Association urges
all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing
the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated
with homosexual orientations" (Conger, 1975).
Then in 1994 the APA changed its 'scientific' definition of disorders. A person now considered to be afflicted with a disorder when it "caused clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning" (American Psychological Association, 2000). By this definition homosexuality was by no means a disorder, however neither was any other alternative sexuality especially pedophilia. The APA has never backed off their decision because of this controversy, although still maintains children are essentially the same as adults with respect to sexuality. The APA's obvious partisan allegiance and the clinging to what is known to be reprehensible leads to obvious questions about their integrity. The APA releases material that pedophilic organizations praise, yet supports what it calls "children's rights". But maybe NARTH was too rough, after all its stance that homosexuality is a disorder instead of a natural occurrence managed to label it as a hate-group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), of course with a positive response from the APA (Beirich, 2010). It would appear that the far-left politically leaning SPLC and the APA spend a lot of time together supporting similar initiatives. Initiatives like "Truth Wins Out" where they tell the general public that participating in a different school of psychological thought will make their children depressed and would try to kill themselves (SPLC, 2011). Even though the Pentagon also disregarded the APA's advice and suggested that homosexuality is indeed a disorder (Baldor, 2006). Now there really isn't anything wrong with an organization trying to save face when they have hit a political rut. It is why there is an entire career field based on public relations and it is why [REDACTED] teaches about talking to the public in many classes. However, the only time the APA claims to be wrong is when they decide they are not doing enough based on their own views. Now the APA has put itself in a dangerous position, with their open definition of homosexuality. There is very little stopping them from also claiming that pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia are all equally valid. Since, by their standard, if it does not affect a person's job or their life sustaining habits then it is not a disorder. By defining psychological disorders with such open language they are also opening the gates for the dropping of charges against all kinds of sexual deviancy including child molestation and life threatening practices such as bestiality. In trying to placate their political affiliations, they have opened American society to a very dark corner of humanity, and the possibilities with these court rulings regarding these actions may have disturbing consequences. It will either be the death knell for the LGBT movement by means of a backlash or it will set the precedent for the legalization of perversions the world has not seen since Ancient Rome.
The APA is actually in the spotlight for its supportive stance on pedophilia for supporting the findings in the Rind Et. Al controversy. The APA published a study that claimed sexual activity with children (consensual or not) had minimal psychological effects. (Rind, 1998). The claim understandably met immense opposition by numerous groups the most influential being the House of Representatives. It was found abhorrent across the board with all psychologists, thinkers, and writers. Except those who were in the APA. The APA did not recant it's position, instead it stood and vehemently defended the article (Baird BN, 2002). Psy.D. Benzion Sorotzkin went so far as to say there was nothing at all wrong with the action. Sorortzkin's theories on "adult-child sex" are extreme to say the least, he even asserts that "youngsters" who commit sexual actions with adults "do not suffer long-term negative consequences" (Sorotzkin, 2003). This is especially true, according to the Sorotzkin, of boys who were "willing" participants in sexual activity with older males". In short, according to the APA, pedophilic sodomy is not detrimental to a small child. Some more conservative doctors like Dr. Laura Schlessinger took the issue head on calling the APA's stance on pedophilia reprehensible, while psychologists like Scott Lilienfeld rebutted with a claim that essentially called them and the general public scientifically ignorant (Lilienfeld, 2002). Around this time another association decided to weigh in on the controversy, although not completely to the credit of the APA. NAMBLA, or the North American Man/Boy Love Association, called the article an official endorsement of pedophilia as an acceptable practice (Lilienfeld, 2003). Now any decent parent would say that adult-child sexual relations is disgusting, abhorrent and above all predatory behavior. However APA's behavior has already started legislation making pedophilia legal (Young, 2011). Judith Levine went so far as to say that Child-Adult sex isn't as damaging as traditional Christian views on the matter (Levine, 2003). The fact that APA stands behind this mess should be enough to say that they should not be used as a standard for academia because it is such a radical partisan stance.
In light of the American Psychologists Association not being the beacon of reason and intelligence that America (specifically, academia in America) was hoping for, a further look into their association is required. If the APA is reprehensible (id est, evil) it would stand to logic that they would be evil in other areas as well. Since the love of money is the root of all evil, the finances are next to be questioned. It just so happens that the APA is involved in some immense monetary exchanges with large pharmaceutical companies. When the APA released their soft-worded fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it put ambiguity onto exactly what was defined as a disorder. Some psychologists such as M.D. Allen Frances questioned it, wondering whether the move could lead to misdiagnosis and over medication of bon-adjusted or "normal" persons (Frances, 2011). Doctor Frances is notable because he worked on the last manual, the DSM-4, and has insight into the manual that other psychologists may lack. After reading through some of the words of his peers it became clear to him that these ambiguities in wording may have something to do with the APA's hierarchy receiving monetary compensation from pharmaceutical companies. Psychologist and author Robert Whitaker writes in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America that the APA is nearly entirely funded and held aloft by money from pharmaceutical companies and that it has caused many to become misdiagnosed, overmedicated or improperly medicated (Whitaker, 2010). It's not just members of the medical profession that are questioning the money either, Senator Charles Grassley requested full disclosure about the APA's finances in 2008 based on increasing scrutiny on their relationship with pharmaceutical companies (Moran, 2008). Grassley's concern was that of 100 polled physicians, psychiatrists made an alarmingly higher and disproportionate gratuity than any of the other fields of medicine. Contributions to other fields were Spartan in comparison, with some field's combined amounts did not equal the amounts drug companies were paying the psychological field. Besides this there are many groups that have been created (both with the help of people in the industry and without) whose sole purpose is to rally against the APA for these injustices. The Alliance for Human Research Project, Antipsychiatry.com, Citizens Commission on Human Rights are just some of the names of the organizations that take aim at the APA. With all this controversy and all the questions over the veracity of the integrity of the APA, the question that must be asked is "Is APA above reproof"? The answer is a self-evident; "No".
What impact could this possibly have on the APA writing style though? Why does their moral integrity matter if it is a simple scientific format for writing as the APA claims? Well, the American Psychologists Association has authored many disreputable actions in nearly every aspect of their organization from accepting bribes to unethical medical procedures. Why would professionals who behave in such a manner consider themselves above a little dabbling in the way the common man interprets information? Common sense would suggest that they are not. The most malicious way in which the APA format does this is the removal of personal voice. While the APA format does make some exceptions for scientific testing (as they do when referring to steps in an experiment), only in rare cases does the APA allow for the writer to communicate first-person. They do not allow personal voice in the matter of soft subjects such as opinions or personal beliefs (American Psychological Association, 2009). Clearly it's not a stylistic issue based on the English language since they allow it in some contexts. So what purpose does taking away first person writing accomplish? The only thing that is stripped is the ability to say anything based out of personal perspective. In light of their activist tendencies it also draws into question their barring of specific terms. Can a writer trust in the APA's assertion that using a gender specific pronoun is distracting when the APA is in the courts fighting controversial cases involving gender identity? Perhaps it was only distracting to the author of the APA style manual? Can they truly claim to be unbiased? Of course not. Any group or person who fights for a cause they believe in will tattoo their ideas on everything within their reach. Questions then turn to the APA format's use in academia. Is it possible that the APA with its extensive knowledge of developmental psychiatry and trained behaviors that they are teaching students certain codes of morality by simple inclusion or exclusion of words? As a matter of fact, yes. In the book Cognitive-Behavior Modification, Donald Meichenbaum asserts that all humans start with a non-verbalized internal language and that adding vocabulary, and meanings to those words in that vocabulary, will ultimately effect the worldview of the child in question (Meichenbaum, 1978). If the APA is allowed to direct the thoughts of young students and make certain terms acceptable and normal, all it must do then is take the original words (that they do not approve of) and attach a negative stigma to them. In this way they can make certain words turn a person completely off to certain subjects. Many words have been programmed even into adults minds. Take "radical" for instance. Because of news channels using the term consistently over and over again to describe a something inflammatory, upsetting or a threat it bears to mind images of the same. Writers no longer use the word radical in the descriptive sense, the simple phrase "The football team is radically off track this season" seems foreign and obtuse to the common reader. Now this is not speaking to the pseudo-science of word association that makes a better parlor game than a psychological test, this is referring to operant conditioning. Quite frightening is the possibility of psychologists using their superior knowledge of the brain and human behavior to control a populous. George Orwell had originally predicted a similar fate for information, implying that a "Newspeak" would replace English. Orwell postulated in his dystopian novel 1984, that instead of eliminating thought by outright oppression, Academia could limit thought by eliminating vocabulary and reducing the meanings associated with the words that remained (Orwell, 1949). In reality, this thought reverberated a decade before the book's mythos in the famous words of Spanish neuropsychologist Dr. Jose Delgado in front of Congress in 1974 (Congressional Record, vol. 118, No. 26) "Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must[...]control the brain". The APA even believes that criminal proceedings should be done with psychiatric assistance. As it is implied by their open language defining hate crime motivations:
"...some objections are based in constitutional law, other objections invoke a variety of psychological constructs, including attitude, motivation, behavior, emotion, and intergroup relations. These objections can be illuminated by relevant psychological theory and research. Topics addressed include the measurement of motivation and intent, and distinctions among attitudes, emotions, and behavior" (Sullaway, 2004).
With wording that open, it is possible to see how it could pour into every court decision. This mindset is supported by the numerous cases which the APA is involved in. The APA even defended the rights of the 'Moonie' brainwashers in the 1988 Supreme Court case, Molko v. Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Jenkins, 1996). The APA actually assisted in both sides of the case. First the APA assembled the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) to decide whether or not coercive mental tactics had taken place. Then when it found out that the "Moonies" had indeed used brainwashing techniques (Similar techniques to what the psychologists were doing in therapy sessions) they sent the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BESERP) claiming that the evidence that they found themselves was without merit (Introvigne, 1998). This case is interesting in and of itself because it also created the opportunity for the APA to assist in legislation leaving holes in the wording regarding brainwashing (Anthony, 1992). They withdrew their amicus in that case, and never recanted their beliefs on the subject matter presented by BESERP (Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn., 1987). They still contend and maintain that brainwashing cannot occur, which leaves academia questioning what they do in medical practice behind closed doors.
In conclusion, altruistic behaviors are the cornerstone of social ecology. Psychiatrists and psychologists alike in the APA started out searching through their own psyches and the psyches of those around them for these behaviors so that they could blossom with their full potential (Sokal, 1992). Yet now they come up short and are starting to support the behaviors that are the signature of a failing society (Moody Institute of Science, 1973). Shortly after their formation, the American Psychological Association stooped low enough to allow itself to become involved in corporate bribery, intellectual dishonesty, contributed to medical malpractice, and has implemented rules in formatting that could lead to indoctrinating students without their knowledge. The Committee on Science, Engineering and Public policy wrote a book on the matter of ethos in the sense of research and the public. They said that the public's worldview hung on the research of scientists, and that scientists must hang onto ethical behavior. That science must never be used for political or financial gain and if they do, that that body of science should be shunned by academia to prevent catastrophe (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2009). It is therefore appropriate for [REDACTED] University to cease using their system of formatting in protest to these actions as morally reprehensible and dishonest to both the common man and their students. These robber barons of knowledge use the advantages of doctoral prestige to unfairly leverage the populace for their own gain. Is there any question that if given the enough money they could find justification for any action? Does it now makes common sense that any given credit or support is credit and support for their actions as well? Simply stated, using a writing format produced by radicals endorses their actions when there are many non-partisan alternatives like MLA format. By trusting them, [REDACTED] is trusting their judgments and agreeing with their precepts. The University must realize the consequences and implications of its allegiances to this abhorrent and corrupt organization and act accordingly. If it does not, it will become a party to the grievances herein mentioned, as would any school.
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Young, S. (2011, August 26). With B4U-ACT, Pedophilia Takes a Step Toward Being Considered Normal. Retrieved December 9, 2011, from Yahoo! News: http://news.yahoo.com/b4u-act-pedophilia-takes-step-toward-being- considered- 212800919.html