2003: A conference co-sponsored by the American Psychological Association, CIA & RAND Corp.

In July 2003, an invitation only conference co-sponsored by the APA, the CIA and RAND Corp. was co-organized by Susan Brandon, Program Officer for Affect and Biobehavioral Regulation at the National Institute of Mental Health, while also serving as “Senior Scientist” at the APA; Scott Gerwehr, a RAND Corp. policy analyst; and Kirk Hubbard, chief of CIA’s behavioral research and member of the APA Science Directorate is a major player and the CIA funded it.

Hubbard had recommended military psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen to the CIA, which contracted them to design the infamous torture techniques that the government prefers to call “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

The invitation to the conference stated that it “brings together individuals with a need to know and use deception in service of national defense/security, with those who investigate the phenomena and mechanisms of deception.”  The conference was attended by approximately 40 research psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, as well as representatives from the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense with interests in intelligence operations.

The stated purpose of the meeting was “to identify [ ] important questions, and to discuss how we as a national organization can better assist psychologists and other mental health professionals…” (Steven Reisner. CIA on the Couch, SLATE, 2014)

“Science of Deception: Integration of Practice & Theory”
A workshop hosted by RAND “with generous funding from the CIA.” APA’s newlsetter (which has been scrubbed from APA’s website) is posted here, and quoted by Scott Horton:

“The workshop provided an opportunity to bring together individuals with a need to understand and use deception in the service of national defense/security with those who investigate the phenomena and mechanisms of deception.

Meeting at RAND headquarters in Arlington, VA, the workshop drew together approximately 40 individuals including research psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists who study various aspects of deception and representatives from the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense with interests in intelligence operations. In addition, representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security were present.” (Scott Horton. APA’s Unpredictable Past, Harper’s, 2010  

The workshop explored  such questions as:

  • “What are mechanisms and processes of learning to lie?”
  • “How do we find out if the informant has knowledge of which s/he is not aware?”
  • “What pharmacological agents are known to affect apparent truth-telling behavior?”
  • “What are the effects of sensory overloads on the maintenance of deceptive behaviors?
  • How might we overload the system or overwhelm the senses and see how it affects deceptive behaviors?”

These scenarios were originally posted on the APA website, but they, and all links to them, have since been removed. The workshop report was marked “Not for Distribution” and was never made publicly available, nor was it provided to reporters who requested it. An APA senior staff member replied to a reporter that it was “lost,” though at that point it could be located on the APA website. The list of attendees has never been released publicly. Another APA – CIA – Rand Workshop on Interpersonal Deception was held in June 2004. (Coalition for Ethical Psychology Timeline)

Investigative reporter Jeffrey Kaye, who is a psychologist was first to notice that APA tried to scrub the evidence of its collusion as stakeholders and facilitators in the odious but lucrative enterprise of torture.

 “Sometime in the past six months [2010], the APA eliminated all references to the webpage described above, even going so far as to eliminate linked references to it on other webpages on its site. While the webpage that described the workshops has been scrubbed, mirrored images of the site remain available at well-known web archive sites.

In one sense, this attempt to hide its history is not surprising, because the kind of activities discussed in these workshops are exactly like those that involved CIA and military mind control torture programs going back fifty years or more, and evidently still operational today.” (Jeffrey Kaye. Obama Interrogation Official Linked to U.S. Mind Control ResearchMay 25th, 2010)

Numerous astute dissidents within the profession — Jeffrey Kaye, Roy Eidelson, Jean Maria Arrigo, Trudy Bond, Brad Olson, Steven Reisner, Stephen Soldz Dan Aalbers, to name but a few– have been pulling the cover off APA’s deceptive facade to reveal

“APA’s excessive and unwarranted accommodation to military-intelligence priorities;” the true nature of “behavioral science consultations to interrogations” and the “science of deception.” (Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. Letter to the APA: Psychological Ethics & National Security, Feb 2013)

The American Psychological Association cannot scrub all the evidence of its collusion as stakeholders and facilitators in the evil enterprise of torture. Scott Horton, a human rights attorney who is Harper’s contributor on legal affairs and national security, noted the parallel between APA’s whitewashing its historical record to the Soviet Union which famously scrubbed historical accounts of atrocities.
(The Truth About Communism-Socialism and the Atrocities Scrubbed From History)