There was once a Milgram’s Experiment…the Stanford Prison Experiment… the APA’s GITMO Torture Collusion, and now the ASPPB Licensure Scheme.
MADISON, WISCONSIN- What started as a simple administrative discrepancy noted during a psychologist application, has turned out to reveal a major, 30-year long, illegal regulatory antitrust scheme at the national level by the accused psychologists. On February 2016, Modern Psychologist investigated and discovered a deliberate collusion between the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) as evidenced by clear and convincing public records.
The What? All 50 states in the U.S., the 10 provinces in Canada, and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia regulate the practice of psychology and require psychologists to obtain licenses in order to practice professionally through licensing boards. The purpose of licensure and licensure laws is to “protect the public” by only allowing qualified persons to practice; i.e., persons who have demonstrated that have met minimum standards of competence as defined by state or provincial law.
Sounds fair, but have you ever wondered why you have to jump through so many hurdles to become a psychologist? With free-labor practicum (1-2 years), one-year of underpaid internship, then you graduate with a doctorate degree, but still have to work another year, underpaid work, just to get licensed? This is the only profession that does this…it tortures its own… reinforces masochism, and fosters learned helplessness.
Here is Why? Back in the day, prospective psychologists would first complete their graduate courses, then attend a year-long internship to graduate… and then, they worked another year under supervision to become licensed… it made some sense. But today, you and I know (and APA agrees), we have more than double the supervised experiences these older folks had by the time of graduation, but most state laws remain the same. Well, Boards and its members have hidden behind the claim of having ‘sovereign immunity,’ and at the same time, have developed and maintained outdated rules to suit their needs, which have been reinforced through awards, trips, and employment.
How? Since the 1990’s, the ASPPB, a private corporation, through its dually compromised members (both ASPPB and State Board), have infiltrated the United States’ licensing boards and presented their private interests with the ASPPB as those of the public, thus creating a complacent course of commerce with minimal competitive interruption, yet harming thousands of psychologists in the process. These same folks have turned a blind eye, being unduly influenced, and even rewarded by the ASPPB to maintain these outdated laws, so they can just send you their way to get their certification to “increase your mobility,” thus creating a complacent course of the market with minimal interruptions.
While the ASPPB probably had some good intentions the first year or two, it quickly turned out to be a business scheme at your expense. Ask your State board: If we can document our post-doctoral experience independently to ‘increase our mobility”, why does the Board require me to have this experience to become licensed?
As Evidenced By
State of Wisconsin Public Records
- The alleged violations were conducted by the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), in their individual capacity as market competitors, while acting on behalf of the ASPPB, and while in public office in Wisconsin, Dr. Daniel A. Schroeder, Dr. Marcus P. Desmonde, Dr. Rebecca C. Anderson, Dr. Don Crowder, Dr. Barbara Van Horne, and Dr. Asher R. Pacht.
- While the Wisconsin Statute, Chapter 455 “Psychology Examining Board” requires psychologists to complete a doctorate degree, and one year of supervised experience, the Board has been demanding applicants to meet the ASPPB requirements since the 90’s… this is beyond its powers (ultra vires).
- The ASPPB is a private non-profit corporation (not a government agency) that promoted and furthered the very same occupation regulated by the Board, by selling centralized psychologist applications to psychologist licensing boards in the U.S., its territories, and Canada Provinces, and sells certifications to psychologists in exchange of increased psychologist license mobility across jurisdictions.
- Board members, as public officials, knew, or should have known, they were prohibited from advocating and functioning as officials with a private corporation promoting the very same occupation they regulated, the required standards of ethical and professional conduct, and to avoid conflict of interests that compromise the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board’s integrity.
- From about 1984 to 1991, Dr. Asher R. Pacht, concurrently served as public official of the Wisconsin Board, including as Board Chairperson, while functioning as an official of the ASPPB and its licensing task forces from 1988 to 1994, including its presidency (1992 to 1993). He “drafted the first ASPPB Supervision Guidelines and Chaired the Committee on Education and Training for Credentialing in the years of development of model language for statutes, rules, regulations and passing points.”
- On October 1, 1991, while inconsistent with state law, the Board conveniently inserted Chapters PSY-1 to PSY-5 into to the Wisconsin Administrative Code (Administrative Register No. 429), to particularly model the supervision requirements set by the ASPPB. Since that time, the Board deliberately ignored psychologists’ licensing requirements set by the Wisconsin Chapter 455 (Psychology Examining Board), yet demanded prospective psychologists (competitors) to complete 3,000 hours of experience (specifically 1,500 pre-doctoral hours and 1,500 hours post-doctoral), to meet requirements set by the ASPPB.
- From about March 1994 to July 1, 2002, Dr. Barbara Van Horne, concurrently served as public official of the Wisconsin Board, including as Board Chairperson, while functioning as an official of the ASPPB and its licensing task forces from 1999 to 2005, including its presidency (2003 to 2004).
- From about December 2000 to October 2009, Dr. Don Crowder, concurrently served as public official of the Wisconsin Board, including as Board Chairperson, while functioning as an official of the ASPPB and its licensing task forces from 2001 to 2016, and was the ASPPB’s current President at the time this complaint was filed.
- Since around 2002, the Board and the ASPPB, without the State of Wisconsin’s supervision to restrict trade, entered into a mutual written agreement (sample) that exchanged psychologist license reciprocity to those with ASPPB certifications from any State of the U.S., its Territories, or Canadian Provinces, yet discriminated those who met the psychologist licensing requirements set by Wisconsin Statute, Chapter 455.
- Since around 2006, the Board deliberately ignored the American Psychological Association’s (APA) recommendation, given improvements in the profession, to eliminate the postdoctoral year requirement for licensure. While Wisconsin statute mandates the Board promulgate rules that model APA Guidelines; for obvious reasons, they Board have chosen to follow their own agenda with ASPPB instead.
- Since around 2011, DSPS and the Board only employed four licensed psychologists, active participants in the relevant market, and Petitioner’s and prospective psychologists’ competitors. Since that time, the Board failed to recruit the two public member vacancies.
- Since around 2012, the DSPS and the Board failed to identify existing rules hindering job creation and small business growth, and intentionally submitted proposed rules with flawed economic impact analyses denying any impact to small businesses.
- On February 8, 2012, the Board and individual Respondents Schroeder, Desmonde, and Anderson reviewed, and acknowledged receipt and understanding pertaining their responsibilities as public officials listed in the DSPS Board Member Guidebook.
- On January 15, 2014, however, Respondents Desmonde and Anderson, deliberately ignored the DSPS Board Member Guidebook, and willingly approved of the appointment of Respondent Schroeder, a member of the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board since 2011, to function as an official with the ASPPB Licensing Task Force; the ASBBP reported Respondent Schroeder’s involvement in its Licensing Task Force since 2013, consistent with his professional website.
- During the timeframe alleged above, Respondent Schroeder willingly a) reviewed and clarified 64 member jurisdictions pertaining to the inclusion licensure for consulting and Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychologists; b) identified barriers to licensure and methods for reducing and eliminating those barriers; c) investigated and made license-mobility recommendations; and d) recommended ASPPB member jurisdictions and education programs feasible paths to licensure for consulting and I/O psychologists.
- On or about August 6, 2015, the Board drafted Administrative Code Rule PSY-2 (Requirements for Examination and Licensure of Psychologists) requiring the psychologist-supervised experiences to count toward licensing requirements only after completion of a doctorate degree, and again intentionally misrepresented the economic impact analysis that goes into the rule-making report, denying any impact to small businesses.
- On December 29, 2015, the Board intentionally promulgated PSY-2 rule alleged above, to directly favor I/O psychologists, who would otherwise have no previous psychologist-supervised clinical experiences, to become licensed after one-year of experience.
- The Board, essentially colluded to maintaining its private interests with the ASPPB and deprived the public’s general welfare from qualified clinical and counseling psychologists, including Petitioner, who typically have about 1 to 2 years (2,000 to 4,000 hours) of psychologist-supervised experiences at completion of their doctoral degree.
- The Board members failed to act in good faith by presenting their private interests with the ASPPB as those of the State of Wisconsin, and at the expense of the public’s general welfare and interstate commerce as evidenced by the foregoing clear and convincing allegations noted in public records.
- The Board, through its members, acted without privilege or justification, and deliberately engaged in anticompetitive conduct without clearly articulate and affirmatively expressed by state law.
- The Board lacked sufficient and substantive evaluation, scrutiny, review mechanisms, and supervision for its procedural rule-making process (if any) to prevent the foregoing alleged scheme.
COUNT 1: ILLEGAL RESTRAINT OF TRADE 15 U.S. CODE § 1 & 3
- At all times relevant to this complaint, the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board and the ASPPB, through its dually compromised members (individual Respondents), intentionally restrained prospective competitors from entering the relevant market by presenting their private and pecuniary interests as those of the State of Wisconsin, and at the expense of the public’s general welfare and interstate commerce.
- Through the Respondents violations, Respondents caused Petitioner, and prospective competitors, significant economic and financial losses, including but limited to illegal restraint of trade, the loss in the ability of competing in current and future relevant markets, the loss in the ability to treat patients as a licensed psychologist, the loss in the ability to do business with third-party organizations and insurance companies across the U.S., and the loss in the ability to compete for federal and state government contracts with Respondents in the relevant markets.
COUNT 2: MONOPOLIZING A TRADE 15 U.S. CODE § 2
- Respondents deliberately engaged in a horizontal agreement between the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board and the ASPPB, through its dually compromised members (individual Respondents), and exercised market and monopoly power over the Petitioner and prospective competitors, to substantially restraint free competition and creating a monopoly in the relevant markets.
- Through the Respondents monopoly, Respondents caused Petitioner, prospective competitors, and consumers, reduced the overall quality of care that customers receive, reduced the quantity of services availability, reduced the supply of services, reduced consumer’s choices, restricted innovation, potentially kept high prices, and delayed future competition for services in the relevant markets. Without prospective competition, Respondents, as incumbent psychologists, had and will continue to follow a predictable and complacent course of commerce with minimal competitive interruption.
COUNT 3: DISCRIMINATION IN PRICE, SERVICES, OR FACILITIES 15 U.S. CODE § 13
- The Board directly discriminated against Petitioner and prospective competitors, who have met the State of Wisconsin licensing requirements, by not issuing a psychologist license, but favored those with ASPPB certifications from any State of the U.S., Territory, or Canadian Provinces by granting them reciprocity.
- Through the Respondents violations, Respondents caused Petitioner and prospective competitors, foreclosure and exclusion from competing with psychologists in the relevant market. Respondents’ violations were discriminatory and prejudicial against the interests of the Petitioner and prospective competitors in the same field.
CAUSES FOR ACTION
- By failing to respond within the 30-day period, thus deeming Petitioner’s petitions denied, the DSPS and the Board violated Statt.227.53, Wi.Statt.227.49.(5), Wi.Psy.5.24, and Wi.Statt.101.02(6).
- By willingly engaging in business with a private corporation that promotes the psychologist profession, an occupation regulated by the Board, the Board and individual Respondents violated Wi.Statt.15.08(1).
- By failing to properly administer, enforce and supervise the Board, relating to its unlawful, prohibitive, and discriminatory psychologist licensing rules, promulgating rules inconsistent with the law, failing to remedy reported wrongs with its available means, and misleading the public, including Petitioner, with erroneous information inconsistent with state law, DSPS violated Wi.Statt.101.02.15(b).
- By failing to issue a psychologist license to the Petitioner, even when he had complied with all licensing requirements, cleared all examinations, and paid all applicable fees, the DSPS and the Board violated Wi.Statt.455.04(1).
- By failing to issue a psychologist license, even after being presented with clear and substantiated evidence, the DSPS and the Board violated Wi.Statt.440.035(1).
- By failing to promulgate rules consistent with the law, and deliberately maintaining those inconsistent with the law, the DSPS, the Board, and individual Respondents violated Wi.Statt.227.10(2) to (2m).
- By failing to foster the standards of education and training pertaining to the psychologist profession, and in relation to Wisconsin’s government and to the general welfare, the Board violated Wi.Statt.15.085(6).
- By deliberately ignoring the American Psychological Association’s (APA) recommendation, given improvements in the profession, to eliminate the postdoctoral year requirement for licensure, the Board violated Wi.Statt.455.08.
- By failing to identify existing rules hindering job creation and small business growth, the DSPS and the Board violated Wisconsin 2012 Executive Order 61.
- By intentionally misreporting the required economic impact analyses that goes into the rule-making process, and denying any impact to small businesses, DSPS, the Board, and individual Respondents violated Wi.Statt.227.137.
- By intentionally restraining the Petitioner and prospective competitors, from entering the relevant market, and presenting private and pecuniary interests as those of the State of Wisconsin, and at the expense of interstate commerce and the public’s general welfare, all Respondents violated Wi.Statt.133.03(1) and Section 1 of Title 15 of the U.S. Code.
- By deliberately engaging in a horizontal agreement creating a monopoly to restrict free competition and exercising market and monopoly power over the relevant markets, all Respondents violated Wi.Statt.133.03(2) and Section 2 of Title 15 of the U.S. Code.
- By directly discriminating against Petitioner and prospective competitors, who have met the State of Wisconsin law requirements, by not issuing and/or delaying issuing a psychologist license, but favored those with ASPPB certifications from any State of the U.S., Territory, or Canadian Provinces, all Respondents violated Statt.133.04, Wi.Statt.133.05, and Sections 3 and 13 of Title 15 of the U.S. Code.
- By engaging in anticompetitive conduct without clearly articulate and affirmatively expressed by state law, without sufficient and realistic review mechanisms and supervision to prevent the foregoing alleged collusion, DSPS, the Board, and individual Respondents violated Sections 1 of Title 15 of theS. Code.
ASPPB: Fix your scheme immediately, you all were warned about 10 months ago, and again last week.
State Licensing Boards: Wisconsin was just the beginning. Review your laws and administrative rules, and make sure you are following the law (you should be doing this anyway). Investigate how your law and rules were developed, and if the ASPPB had any influence in your licensing, thus resisting changes given improvements in the profession…we ask you to seriously reconsider it soon. While the APA, decided to drop the post-doctoral requirement in 2006, only 11 have changed their rules, but 40+ states jurisdictions haven’t… Ask yourselves why?
APA: Take a Position and make a Public Statement on where you Stand.. You were also warned about this last week. Silence is collusion. We all know how that went for you last time. This is your chance to redeem yourself, “Stand up for what is RIGHT… Stand up for the TRUTH… Stand up for JUSTICE…” –MLK.
APPIC: We have your letters complaining to the APA about eliminating the post-doctoral requirement in 2006, because it was not good for your business, how convenient to further yourself at our expense, then you turn around and tell us, you are helping us with the ‘internship crisis”? (But that’s another scheme to investigate and scrutinize in the near future). This is your chance to retract those comments and stand up for what is right in our profession. Fix it.
Associations and “Advocacy” Cabinets: Make yourselves useful once and for all, instead of asking for moneys to ‘fix’ problems, won’t you start challenging outdated current and proposed rules your States…you have the power and ability to contest them, but you choose, instead, to be agreeable on every issue… easily a pray for ‘group think.’ Act Now, Take a position.
Psychologists: Question everything about your State Board, they are here for the public. If your state had or has member actively involved in promoting the ASPPB, this is illegal, and at a minimum at significant conflict of interest by public officials. Research how and when your rules were developed and the people involved. Ask your State board: “If I can document my post-doctoral experience independently to ‘increase my mobility”, why does the Board require me to have this experience to become licensed? and at the expense of the State’s small businesses’ development??