Articles by Roy Eidelson

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Psychology’s “Dark Triad” and the Billionaire Class
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 28 Oct 2019

25 Oct 2019 – The data are stark and compelling. The richest 400 families in the United States own financial assets that exceed the wealth of the bottom 60% of all American households combined. U.S. billionaires pay taxes at a lower effective rate than working class families. The CEOs of S&P 500 companies, averaging over $14 million in annual compensation, make roughly as much in a single day as their median employee earns in an entire year.

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Silencing Our Veterans: A Bridge Too Far
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Sep 2019

During my assignment to Abu Ghraib, I witnessed detainees killed and maimed due to insufficient protection from indirect fire, detainee suicide, detainee abuse at each other’s hands as members of opposing factions were knowingly housed together. I placed cuffed and shackled children in un-air conditioned cages in tents for punishment purposes and was forced by the nature of my duty to contribute to their general mistreatment. It’s my hope that through sharing my experiences I’m able to generate awareness of the inhumanity of war and detention. — A member of Veterans For Peace

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‘Political Mind Games’ Free PDF Online
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Sep 2019

3 Sep 2019 – It was just a year ago that I published Political Mind Games: How the 1% Manipulate Our Understanding of What’s Happening, What’s Right, and What’s Possible. Now, as we enter the 2020 election cycle, when we’re sure to be bombarded with manipulative psychological appeals designed to advance the interests of the super-rich and powerful, I’m eager to bring its progressive message to a broader audience. To download the free PDF version click HERE.

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Give Peace a Chance: Don’t Believe the War Profiteers
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Jul 2019

11 Jul 2019 – Last month I had the opportunity to share some thoughts at a Divest Philly from the War Machine event, hosted by Wooden Shoe Books and sponsored by World Beyond War, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and other anti-war groups. Below are my remarks, slightly edited for clarity. My thanks to everyone involved.

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Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Apr 2019

19 Apr 2019 – On the morning of September 11, 2001, the APA sprang into action and worked with the American Red Cross to provide psychological support to families of the victims and to rescue workers. The APA also ensured that the Bush Administration would view the association as a valued partner in the military and intelligence operations central to the new “war on terror.” These two responses are clearly very different from each other.

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Stoking Fear: We Must Remember How the Iraq War Was Sold
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 Mar 2019

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” — Nazi propagandist Hermann Goering .
It was 16 years ago this month, on March 19, 2003, that U.S. forces began a misguided and illegal “shock and awe” military assault on Iraq.

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In a World of Corporate-Backed Politicians, Beware the Sounds of Sirens
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Feb 2019

The favorite mantras of today’s corporate-backed politicians are much like a virus that infects the public with false and harmful beliefs about what’s happening, what’s right, and what’s possible.

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Get Ready for These Political Mind Games in 2019
Roy Eidelson - CounterPunch, 24 Dec 2018

20 Dec 2018 – In my research as a psychologist, I’ve found that manipulative appeals from the 1% are often designed to target issues of vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. Are we safe? Are we treated fairly? Who should we trust? Are we good enough? Can we control what happens to us? By offering disingenuous answers to these questions, self-serving one-percenters aim to shape ‘our’ understanding of what’s happening, what’s right, and what’s possible to ‘their’ own advantage.

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Another Crossroads for the American Psychological Association
Roy Eidelson | Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Jul 2018

23 Jul 2018 – The President is a big fan of waterboarding, and worse. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called torturers “patriots.” New CIA Director Gina Haspel oversaw torture at the agency’s infamous black sites. Chief of Staff John Kelly subjected Guantanamo detainees to brutal treatment. National Security Adviser John Bolton is notorious for dismissing international law. The list is incomplete, but it’s sufficient to make one thing clear: for the Trump White House, inhumanity awaits as soon as the right opportunity arises.

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“They’re Different from Us”: The Profiteers of Prejudice
Roy Eidelson | Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 Jun 2018

18 Jun 2018 – The 1% could use their influence to challenge bigotry. Too often they don’t. If we want to focus on the kind of differences that truly matter, we should turn our attention to the striking divergences between the documented policy preferences of the 1% compared to the rest of us.

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Authoritarians, Plutocrats and the Fight for Racial Justice
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Jun 2018

Trump’s belligerent stance toward dissent provides context for the National Football League’s decision last week: players on the field will now be required to stand during the national anthem. Trump was quick to publicly endorse the change: “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there, maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

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The American Psychological Association Speaks Out Against Gina Haspel
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. | Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 14 May 2018

The APA took an important step last week. In key ways, the APA’s opposition to Gina Haspel’s nomination is important symbolically even if its immediate practical impact proves limited.

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The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 23 Apr 2018

18 Apr 2018 – Multi-millionaires and billionaires comfortably ride the waves and add to their enormous wealth and power. The contrast is jarring to be sure, but it persists nonetheless because self-interested representatives of the 1% have become masters at using manipulative psychological appeals — I call them “mind games” — to defuse and misdirect our outrage.

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Political Mind Games: How the 1% Manipulate Our Understanding of What’s Happening, What’s Right, and What’s Possible
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Apr 2018

20 Mar 2018 – In my new book I explain the psychology behind the success of today’s plutocrats in marketing their false claims—and what we can do to counter them. Offering a research-based framework, I show how the 1% exploit five fundamental concerns that govern our daily lives. Political Mind Games was written with a clear purpose: to help inoculate the public against the 1%’s self-serving appeals.

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Fear Is the NRA and Gun Industry’s Deadliest Weapon
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Oct 2017

Home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers” among the threats that only assault-style rifles and other guns can stop. The NRA and gun lobby aggressively push these psychologically-potent appeals because they know nothing sells guns like fear — including the fear of not having a gun.

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From Outer Space, Three Guideposts for the Resistance
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. | Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Jul 2017

Beware Trump’s fearmongering, blind loyalists, and divide-and-conquer tactics.

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The Sustaining Fires of Standing Rock: A Movement Grows
Roy Eidelson – CounterPunch, 20 Mar 2017

Regardless of the pipeline’s final disposition in the federal courts, Energy Transfer Partners and its cronies have unleashed a counterforce that may well exceed their comprehension and control. While digging for dollars they’ve awakened a movement that combines a long-overdue commitment to addressing the trampled rights of Native Americans with a reinvigorated call for climate justice and environmental action.

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The Predatory Presidency
Roy Eidelson – Common Dreams, 6 Mar 2017

Recent executive orders reveal the Trump White House as a ruthless predator set to prey upon the most vulnerable among us. In nature, potential prey instinctually use a wide range of strategies to ward off attacks—from camouflage to traveling in groups to alarm signals to communal defense based on strength in numbers—and they rarely succumb without a fight. Surely we must be prepared to do the same.

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Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. | Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Jan 2017

A psychologist tries to defend the indefensible, and fails.

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Resisting the Mind Games of Donald Trump and the One Percent
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 26 Dec 2016

When it comes to profiting off people’s hopes and fears, by far the most successful purveyors of lucrative lies and false promises are some of the denizens of this country’s palatial estates, corporate boardrooms, and corridors of political power. And unlike their small-time counterparts, they’re never on the run — despite the misery they leave in their wake. Enter Donald J. Trump, soon to be the 45th President of the United States.

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Standing Firm for Reform at the American Psychological Association
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Jun 2016

17 Jun 2016 – Abolitionist and preacher Frederick Douglass once warned, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.” Feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde similarly advised, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Their words are worth remembering as we now witness a coordinated campaign of intimidation, deception, and obfuscation targeting the American Psychological Association’s recent efforts to right its ship and institute meaningful ethical reforms in national security contexts.

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Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Feb 2016

The Department of Defense is now seeking to undo the changes required by the policy and undermine the American Psychological Association’s determination that the work of psychologists in national security settings must be consistent with international human rights law.

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When Psychologists Deny Guantanamo’s Abuses
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Dec 2015

It’s now time to discard the carefully crafted fiction that these psychologists have a legitimate, ethical role to play in supporting the interrogation and detention operations there. Until they are removed, psychologists remain key actors in an environment that was aptly called “the gulag of our time” a decade ago, and where abuses still persist today.

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Making a Choice – American Psychological Association: Reform or Business as Usual?
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Nov 2015

The real divide here is not between psychologists who are employed by the military and those who work in the civil sector. Nor is it between psychologists who are healthcare practitioners and those who work in non-clinical areas. The divide that matters is the one between psychologists who recognize the urgent need for accountability and reform and those who instead insist that no wrongdoing took place and that business as usual should prevail.

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Reflections on a Historic American Psychological Association Convention and the Road Ahead
Roy Eidelson Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Aug 2015

Last Friday [7 Aug] the APA overwhelmingly approved – by a vote of 157 to 1 – a Resolution that bans psychologists from involvement in national security interrogations and adopts the UN Convention Against Torture and the judgments of UN representatives and other international bodies in determining what constitutes torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

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How the American Psychological Association Lost Its Way
Roy Eidelson & Jean Maria Arrigo – Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug 2015

In early July, a devastating independent report by a former federal prosecutor determined that more than a decade ago APA leaders — including the director of ethics — began working secretly with military representatives to craft deceptively permissive ethics policies for psychologists, which effectively enabled abusive interrogation of war-on-terror prisoners to continue.

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Commitments the American Psychological Association Should Make Today
Roy Eidelson Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Jul 2015

An investigation of APA collusion with the CIA is nearing completion.

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Fugitive Facts Escape from American Psychological Association Headquarters – Colluding with Torturers
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 May 2015

Although preliminary reports have now identified many of the fugitive facts, the APA continues to warn that extreme caution should be exercised until the Association has provided specific safety guidelines. Without adequate precautions, close contact has been linked to a variety of psychological symptoms, including denial, defensiveness, and despair.

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The American Psychological Association’s Disappearing History
Roy Eidelson Ph.D., Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 May 2015

During a period of heightened scrutiny, APA webpages are vanishing. APA’s leaders have some difficult questions to answer. For starters, why has so much information been removed from the APA website at the very time Mr. Hoffman is being promised “full and unfettered access” for his investigation?

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The American Psychological Association and Guantanamo: Actions, Not Words
Roy Eidelson and Dan Aalbers – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Apr 2015

Yet again the APA fails to honor its commitments. It is time for the APA to devote as much energy to getting psychologists out of Guantanamo as it has devoted to getting psychologists into the halls of power.

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Collusion? Where the APA Investigator Should Look
Roy Eidelson Ph.D., Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 16 Mar 2015

Is Accountability and Reform within the APA on the Horizon? – The past decade has witnessed persistent claims that the American Psychological Association crafted its ethics policies in order to support the Bush Administration’s use of psychologists in abusive and torturous detention and interrogation operations.

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Rejecting the Obama-Cheney Alliance against Torture Prosecutions
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Feb 2015

Following the release of the Senate report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program,” we are drawn to another deceptive distinction: the difference between “torture tolerance” and what might be called “torture tolerance-lite. Torture, regardless of whether it relies on physical pain or psychological torment, is cruel, immoral, misguided, and illegal.

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Cast Into the Depths: Perilous Waters for the American Psychological Association
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Jan 2015

The brutal treatment of detainees was not merely the isolated and abhorrent inspiration of two so-called rogue psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen; indeed, from the start the Office of Legal Counsel “torture memos” were drafted with key roles for psychologists specifically in mind.

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The Complicity of Psychologists in CIA Torture
Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Dec 2014

What the American Psychological Association Knew – Other evidence suggests that the abhorrent actions of two highly paid CIA contractors were by no means the only instances in which the profession’s do-no-harm principles were tragically abandoned. So while this week’s grim Senate report provides important answers to crucial questions, for the psychology profession there is much more yet to be illuminated.

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Building a Racially Just Society: Psychological Insights
Roy Eidelson, Mikhail Lyubansky, and Kathie Malley-Morrison – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Nov 2014

Racial Injustice Poses a Difficult yet Increasingly Urgent Challenge – As three white psychologists, we offer this brief essay with the awareness that our perspective is necessarily limited by our lived experience as members of the privileged racial class.

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New Evidence Links CIA to the American Psychological Association’s “War on Terror” Ethics
Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Oct 2014

Based on revelations in James Risen’s new book, ‘Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.’ The only matter of dispute is the extent to which the APA collaborated with and worked to support the program of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

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Complicity: Psychology and War on Terror Abuses
Roy Eidelson, Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo and Brad Olson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 May 2014

Given that psychologists have been central figures in the abuse and torture of our country’s “war on terror” detainees, and that the American Psychological Association has worked to guarantee psychologists’ positioning in detention and interrogation roles, examining the APA’s involvement is an appropriate starting point for this crucial work.

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Psychology Association’s Torture Link Fails “Do-No-Harm” Ethics
Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Mar 2014

As we look to the future, we wonder whether the profound tragedy of Guantanamo might have been diminished if psychologists there had held fast to our profession’s do-no-harm principles and refused to countenance human rights abuses, and if psychology’s leadership had done the same.

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If Not Now, When? – APA Fails to Sanction Psychologist in Guantanamo Torture Case
Roy Eidelson, on behalf of - Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, 10 Feb 2014

10 Feb 2014 – The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology has issued a statement that raises significant questions and deep concerns about the American Psychological Association’s recent decision not to proceed with formal ethics charges against Guantanamo psychologist and APA member Dr. John Leso.

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Psychology’s Newest Joke: Not Very Funny
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – Psychology Today, 27 Jan 2014

There’s a new psychology joke making the rounds, a simple one-liner. Rather dark, more than a bit absurd, and relying on a healthy dose of incongruity between reality and pretense: “The American Psychological Association-APA will not tolerate psychologist participation in torture.”

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Coalition Endorses Recommendations of New Report on Health Professional Involvement in Torture, Calls for APA Action
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Nov 2013

The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology applauds the release yesterday [4 Nov 2013] of an important new report titled “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror,” funded by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations.

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A Psychologist’s Deceptions about Prison Abuse in California
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – Psychology Today, 10 Sep 2013

“Brutal killers should not be glorified. This hunger strike is dangerous, disruptive and needs to end.” That’s how Jeffrey Beard, head of California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, concluded his disturbingly deceptive August 6th op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

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Hawaiian Mind Games: American Psychological Association Fiddles While Psychology Burns
Roy Eidelson and Stephen Soldz, Psychology Today – TRANSCEND Media Service, 5 Aug 2013

More consequential will be the APA leadership’s latest victory in its long-running campaign: the stubborn obstruction of all efforts to meaningfully address the central role psychologists played in U.S. government torture and abuse of national security detainees.

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Guantánamo and the American Psychological Association: Where Accountability Goes to Die
Roy Eidelson, Trudy Bond & Stephen Soldz – CounterPunch, 15 Apr 2013

Many of these individuals have suffered not only from indefinite detention, they have also been the victims of horrific physical and psychological abuse often rising to the level of torture, at the hands of individuals who have never been held accountable. As psychologists distressed by the involvement of our own profession in detainee abuse, we are especially troubled by the failure of the American Psychological Association (APA) to sanction one of its members, Dr. John Leso, a psychologist and Army officer who served at Guantánamo from June 2002 to January 2003. Six long years ago one of us (Trudy Bond) filed a complaint against Dr. Leso with the APA’s Ethics Committee.

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Dr. Frankenstein and the American Psychological Association’s Decade of Monstrosities
Roy Eidelson, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Sep 2012

The betrayal of psychological ethics will not make the world safer.

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The US Army’s Flawed Resilience-Training Study: A Call for Retraction
Roy Eidelson and Stephen Soldz – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Jun 2012

In a report released today [4 Jun 2012] by the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, two psychologists call upon the US Army to retract or publicly correct a recent research report that claims the Army’s $140 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) resilience program “works.” The psychologists Roy Eidelson and Stephen Soldz argue that the study design is flawed and that the results do not justify the researchers’ favorable conclusions.

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Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA’s Latest Wrong Turn
Roy Eidelson – Truthout, 16 Apr 2012

There is incontrovertible evidence that in the years following the 9/11 attacks, psychologists served as planners, consultants, researchers and overseers to the abusive and torturous interrogations of prisoners in the US “global war on terror.” A fundamental question is whether coercion, deception, manipulation and humiliation should be part of a psychologist’s ethical work in support of his or her country.

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Human Rights Groups and Advocates Call for Annulment of APA’s PENS Report
Roy Eidelson – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Oct 2011

Recognizing that the world has been shocked by the specter of abusive interrogations and the torture of national security prisoners by agents of the United States government since 9/11, over a dozen human rights groups and hundreds of advocates – health professionals, social scientists, social justice and human rights scholars and activists, and concerned military and intelligence professionals – have initiated a call for the annulment of the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) 2005 “PENS Report.”

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The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness”
Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk & Stephen Soldz - TRANSCEND Media Service, 28 Mar 2011

Why is the world’s largest organization of psychologists so aggressively promoting a new, massive, and untested military program? The APA’s enthusiasm for mandatory “resilience training” for all U.S. soldiers is troubling on many counts.

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IN PRAISE OF SHARED OUTRAGE
Roy Eidelson - Truthout, 20 Mar 2010

"We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all." These were the words of Lord Brian Griffiths, Goldman Sachs international adviser, when he spoke at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral last fall. With inequality at historic levels here in the United States and around the world, it’s a […]

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