September 09, 2008

It was the moment of truth, after which they all got back to lying... is designed to help inform the public about political psychology; that is, psychologists violating established codes of ethics to carry out the political agendas of others, especially employers. Political psychology is often used to facilitate workplace mobbing...

When one imagines using mental health professionals to target undesirable individuals, one almost always thinks of totalitarian governments such as the former USSR, China, and Cuba. There is a long and ugly precedent of using mental health professionals in those societies to target politically undesirable people and have them placed in mental institutions involuntarily.

Human rights groups refer to this practice as "political psychiatry."
Victims of political psychiatry are usually people who have filed grievances or complaints against employers or officials, or are union organizers, people who have publicly criticized officials, members of minority religions, and whistle-blowers. Because of reports of the former Soviet Union and China committing political dissidents to mental institutions, the World Psychiatric Association passed the Madrid Declaration in 1996 declaring that "all forms of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment on the basis of the political needs of governments are forbidden." Unfortunately, no such declarations have been made for or by psychologists to condemn political psychology...

In this case, an SIUC faculty member was mobbed by the university administration with the help of some of her departmental colleagues because they disliked her opinions, which were expressed through grievances, guest columns and letters to the editor, speeches, union activism, and by joining in a suit with other faculty members against the board of trustees to protest the firing of a popular chancellor.

As a result, her office was moved out of the department and her mail was stolen. Frequent whispering campaigns were held in the hallways by colleagues who quickly scattered behind slammed doors when she was sighted. She was unjustly blamed for negative tenure votes and missing department materials. The nameplate on her door was vandalized and she learned that she was referred to as "the little twerp" by some.

The university administration then hired a licensed psychologist who, the faculty member was told, would conduct counseling and conflict resolution for her deeply divided department, but who instead wrote a report for the administration indicating that the faculty member was destructive and in need of discipline and professional help.

The administration disseminated the psychologist's report to over 20 people on the campus.
In this case, the psychologist made an unsubstantiated assessment of the faculty member based solely on what the faculty member's "enemies" had said about her...

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