APA Memorandum on Brainwashing: Final Report of the Task Force

May 11, 1987

MEMORANDUM

TO : Members of the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC)

FROM : Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP)

SUBJECT : Final Report of the Task Force

BSERP thanks the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control for its service but is unable to accept the report of the Task Force. In general, the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur.

The report was carefully reviewed by two external experts and two members of the Board. They independently agreed on the significant deficiencies in the report. The reviews are enclosed for your information.

The Board cautions the Task Force members against using their past appointment to imply BSERP or APA support or approval of the positions advocated in the report. BSERP requests that Task Force members not distribute or publicize the report without indicating that the report was unacceptable to the Board.

Finally, after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue.

The Board appreciates the difficulty in producing a report in this complex and controversial area, and again thanks the members of the Task Force for their efforts.

Enclosure

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Read the Task Force Report
Read the 1986 APA Memo about the Final Draft of Task Force Report
Read the 1983 APA Memo about the Proposal for Task Force on Coercive Psychological Techniques


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