An Insider’s Perspective on the “Debacle” of the APA’s Support for Torture


“I spent almost 20 years inside the inner sanctum of the American Psychological Association,” writes Bryant Welch in The Huffington Post. “A psychologist and attorney, I was the first Executive Director of Professional Practice for the APA and in 1986 built much of the advocacy structure still in place to advocate for clinical psychologists.” Welch offers his perspectives on how and why the APA started to support the US torture program after his departure.

“(B)eginning in the early 1990s APA was transformed into a conflict-avoidant culture characterized by narcissism and self-congratulatory fawning that was carefully cultivated and readily manipulated by a few key leaders who used it for personal gain,” writes Welch. “Those decent people in the elected positions in the APA governance were simply over their heads and easily manipulated and deceived. When the military/intelligence community moved in shortly after 9/11, the APA’s virtue was quickly seduced and ravaged. There was no need for the “secret deals” that some people now think transpired. APA was readily and freely available to the beguiling and determined military interests.”

Torture, Fear, and American Psychology: An Insider’s Perspective on the Debacle Within the APA (The Huffington Post, December 29, 2014)


  1. Oh, poor them. They were “manipulated and deceived”, “seduced and ravaged”. I’m so sorry for them…
    How about the victims of the torture? Are they supposed to feel better about the people who condoned and defended their torturers? The whole organization is a sick joke (actually both APAs are – both psychiatry and psychology as it seems are guilty of torturing people not mentioning other crimes).
    Disgusting, despicable… I lack words.

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