In the previous article, we looked into the development of the American Psychological Association (APA). Now we will start investigating Division 44, a small group of gay-lib activists within the APA who write on behalf of the whole organization. Who are they? Who do they represent? We will demonstrate how they have morphed from gay men wanting recognition in 1973 into terrorists, silencing freedom of speech itself in 2018.
1. History of Division 44
In the Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, Volume 4, page 1662, we read:
“In the year 1973, the Society for Gay Psychologists was founded at an APA convention.
In 1980 they were labeled the Division 44 of the American Psychological Association. They approved a list of “demands” that were delivered to APA President Albert Bandura. The demands included the creation of a task force and a request for the association to follow the lead of the American Psychiatric Association who appeared to reject the idea that homosexuality is a mental illness. Both requests were subsequently approved by the APA Council of Representatives, without any scientific substantiation. It has become APA policy ever since and to date, no scientific evidence has been submitted to validate the stance.
Such violent interruptions were frequently held during the following years to raise consciousness about the stereotypes held about lesbians and gay men.”
Behavioral therapy has nonetheless saved the lives of countless clients seeking help. But the APA-activists (who were not clients themselves, by the way) regarded it as insulting. Ever since that time, Division 44 became a source of geurilla warfare in the association challenging the majority.
2. Identity Politics
In recent years, the moves made by members of Division 44 have been labeled ‘identity politics’. Other psychologists have criticized this movement. In Wikipedia we read,
“Identity politics refers to political positions based on the interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify. The social groups are often loosely correlated. Not all members of any given group are involved in identity politics. Identity politics are used by minority and civil rights organizations to form a coalition with, or to combat members of the majority.
The term identity politics came into being during the latter part of the 20th century, especially during the civil rights movement. Identity politics voices a claim that individuals belonging to those groups are, by virtue of their identity, more vulnerable to forms of oppression such as violence, marginalization or powerlessness.”
Identity politics gives the self-acclaimed leaders of the minority group great power, because their opinions are not based on any democratic process within for example an association with a board of directors and members who can vote annually on the political stance. It is more an anarchist power struggle, with the most articulate, best organized or most heavily funded activist rising to social power and prestige on behalf of an unnamed and unidentifiable social group. Therefore, the stances of the self-acclaimed leaders cannot be questioned by group members.
The “leader” can base his/her stances on verifiable facts, but can also use emotional manipulation, hysterics or demagoguery to speak to the heart. He/she is not accountable.
3. Political Correctness
Canadian professor of Psychology, Dr. Jordan Peterson, a Harvard graduate, writes that he watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s, and considers that the academic studies of the humanities have become corrupt, relying less on science. He says,
“Instead of having an intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation”.
Identity politics creates new realities, defines victim roles, defines enemies and thereby it justifies a war. The fighters become Social Justice Warriors. We see Division 44 trying to create a scientific foundation for that war, and in doing so disguising their activist bias (that is, their own political stances, values, distorted observations and incentives).
4. Social Justice Warriors
Social Justice Warriors have been heavily criticized over the years for their behavior, which is often seen as unfair and non-inclusive.
Critics urge that the Social Justice Warrior risks
– cultivating a needlessly hysterical sense of outrage at perceived injustice;
– being too dogmatic, purist and black-and-white in their views;
– refusing to acknowledge the nuanced complexity of human behavior;
– painting society and large groups of people with an extremely wide brush ;
– enforcing a confrontational and incendiary style of discussion;
– eagerness to label others as oppressors;
– holding ordinary people (including total strangers) personally responsible for social ills and atrocities (both current and historical);
– demanding that others change their attitudes and behavior without a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue;
– refusal to see respect and tolerance as a two-way street;
– loudly broadcasting their own views while attempting to deprive their opponents of a platform;
– smugly self-aggrandizing their own chivalry.
In the magazine Rolling Stone, musician Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) notes that,
“Social justice warriors use outrage to indoctrinate left-leaning folks who do not want to be on the wrong side of history. They are willing to shout down anyone they disagree with purely out of hate.”
There is much debate about Social Justice Warriors. Some disapprove of the development, whilst others feel that the movement protects free speech. In an article called “The Totalitarian Doctrine of Social Justice Warriors” (The Observer, 2016), Cathy Young writes,
“The modern Social Justice movement, or the new “political correctness,” vaulted into the spotlight last year. Student protests swept across campuses with demands often focused on purging thoughtcrime – leading to heated debates on whether this movement is a dangerous pseudo-progressive authoritarianism or a long-overdue effort to achieve justice for all. Have the Social Justice Warriors of 2015 supported some worthy causes? Sure. But much of their passion goes into speech and culture policing directed at victimless crimes that violate their moral taboos.”
The proponents, however, insist on free speech and open debate. A firm stance is taken by Prof. Dr. Matthew Stears (English Literature). He has become famous for his argument: “Free speech often benefits the already powerful”. He stresses all forms of victimhood and sees free speech as an opressive instrument in society.
“Truth depends on different perspectives and lenses, and this is what experts in the humanities – the so-called Social Justice Warriors – bring to education. Critical theories about race, gender and sexuality are not undermining education. Rather, they complicate and expand our understanding of familiar topics, including those in my own field of classics like ancient Roman imperialism and the nature of Greek homosexuality. Professors should provide students with the best tools available to engage in debate.”
The question for Dr. Sears is, how can professors bring “the best tools available” on questions of Greek homosexuality, or Californian homosexuality for that matter, when any opposing view is banned thanks to the Social Justice War that has led to the bill AB2943? And how can we expand “our understanding of familiar topics” when we see that this ban, which aims to silence dissenting views for ever more, is on its way to conquer the whole USA?
What “free speech and open debate” is Dr. Sears referring to? Where?
To be continued.