|A Clockwork Orange: The ABA movie. "How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"|
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a profiteering, pseudo-scientific cult that takes payments from parents, guardians, the state, school districts, and insurance companies in order to add and remove appetitive and aversive stimuli and events soon after atypical behaviors occur that are creative, communicative, soothing, necessary, and most-excellently different, which ABA usually misjudges as "problem behaviors" of real human beings whom it characterizes as "deviants," in order to force them to submit to the popular norms of the day, most frequently when those behaviors cause nobody any real physical harm, all for the purpose of generating this mammoth, world-wide, octopus-tentacle network of entrepreneurs a steady stream of revenue in order to pay for the mortgages on their forest-sapping, plastic, factory-made, gargantuan McMansions plopped over tiny plots of astroturfed land in all-white-privileged, suburban-bad-air neighborhoods, in order to pay for their high-priced, gas-guzzling, over-sized automobiles, trucks, and minivans, to pay for their noisy, obnoxious-to-autistic-sensitivities, speed-demon motorcycles, for their elaborate, binge-drinking marriage festivities with their frilly-laced, ankle-length, wide-bottom, Skinnerian-style, atheistic wedding dresses, no doubt, as ridiculous as a Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks wedding party hopping down the church aisle with their mis-angled, doubled-jointed, jack-rabbit contortions on "her splendid day," the special day her Dad's been waiting for, to give her away and to get her out of his sight. Check out their leading Facebook pics. You'll see the all the white gowns, guaranteed!
ABA is a cult because it punishes and forces out of its network its own dissenting voices and it attempts to dismiss, censor, and silence outside critics with its behaviorally-engineered selection of coercion tools, which include ad hominem character assassinations and false accusations of "dishonest, misrepresentative, and unprofessional" against its best critics, as well as its DRI, Differential Reinforcement of any behavior that's Incompatible with any kind of angry verbal behavior their detractors let cross their lips about their lousy services. When ABA does engage its critics in honest debate, it does not listen to the actual autistics it is supposed to be helping, who, when emancipated from them as adults, collectively regard ABA as cruel and ineffective abuse.
A scientific system does not exclusively promulgate information about itself that always makes it appear beneficial and worthwhile, even when it obviously causes non-stop psychic harm and real physical damage at times. Most notably ABA makes marks under the electrodes of its very own extremely painful ABA electric skin shock ABA devices, of which it testifies in public hearings before governmental officials that their "Electrical Stimulation Devices" do not cause burns. One wonders then, why ABA's Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) director, Mrs. Glenda Crookes, finds it necessary to place its shock electrodes on the "upper quadrants" of her victims' "buttocks," as the director of ABA's JRC Crookes admitted to the FDA in a document released by the FDA to this blogger's ABA Leaks partner, Mrs. Pam Zich, school teacher from Virginia.
Physics does not deny it is the reason for nuclear energy radiation leaks all over the planet and for effluent spills of deadly radioactive poison into the Pacific Ocean at Japan. Physics is not adamant of claim that their atomic bombs dropped on Japanese babies were "effective science," but ABA insists its extremely painful electric skin shock is for the benefit of its victims whom it teaches to act as though it's wrong for them to dissent from its ABA tortures, including ABA's network-wide "reinforcer-strengthening, motivating operations by way of food deprivations" which enable them to "increase pro-social behavior rates" in "misbehaving, abnormal children" by shoving morsels of cookie into the unsuspecting mouths of little boys and girls for "properly stacking blocks." As her long, narrow, pointed Day One of submission training finger pushes into their faces miniscule bits of behavior modification snack crumbs, one by one, discrete task by discrete task, as reinforcement for "accomplished" block movements which she marks and records onto her applied experimental human organism "data sheets," the astonished "subjects of her reports" wonder, "Mommy and Daddy, what is she doing to me? I'm so scared! I want her to leave me alone! Please help me! Tell her to go away!"
Their so-called "effective interventions" also include inappropriate tickle rewards, diabetic eating habit development with all manner of highly-addictive sugary sweets, putting bitter lemon on lips as punishments, facial water spritzes, loud, unpleasant, white noise machines unstoppably forced into easily-overstimulated autistic ears, forced-TV-static so-called "aversive therapy," which is instead an oxymoron, a contradiction of terms, because there is nothing therapeutic about people and things we want to escape and avoid, namely applied behaviorists and their techniques, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. All these forms of ABA coercions are Googlable in Google Scholar under their keywords and coupled with "Applied Behavior Analysis" in quotation marks.
Please note. Bill Gates, rumored as an Aspie on the autism spectrum, founder the Windows operating systems, does not care if an autistic employee of his doesn't talk, doesn't look him in the eyes, rocks his body, requests a private, walled-off cubicle area, repeats words, mimics sentences, flaps his hands, dexterously runs his fingers across the pages of a glossy-covered magazine, puts earmuffs over his head, and gently needs to douse the overhead lights by installing non-fluorescent, violet-tinted light bulbs in a shaded lamp at his now-softened desk. If this autistic coder can look instead into the screen of a Windows PC and generate some in-the-green revenue for Gates' Income Statements, then he or she has the job. They can even work from home.
ABA is prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of "challenging autistic behaviors" in order to make them "fit in" and be accepted by their peers. Why doesn't it teach society to accept them as they are. They will demand, "no body rocking." They will overstimulate easily overstimulated people with their Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions. They will coerce eye contact and touch people who don't even want to see them, let alone let them touch them. They demand in-seat behavior of hyperactive children who could easily work on something while standing. To look at the Judge Rotenberg Center of ABA's extremely painful electric skin shock so-called "school" pictures, students are always seated while teachers with the remotes to the heavy shock packs kids wear on their back are always standing in the dominant position. ABA is nothing more than submission training. It is sadistic.
Why do these women want to start with autistics younger than age one for their so-called "early diagnosis and interventions"? Because their victims are so small then that they cannot possibly defend themselves as they pin them in a chair behind a table and block any possible exit. If they got away, which they want to do, as any normal person would want to do, they will treat for the "elopement." This is so sickening it causes this blogger to puke. ABA also captures them at such an early age because they will not be able to remember the abuses that took place when they were toddlers and report them accurately to the authorities later on in life, as we usually don't remember well what happened to us at such young ages. That's why.
Lock, stock and barrel, ABA will howl at the moon with all their gonads overstimulated, like an international pack of wild horny wolves, "Mentalistic cognitive psychology is pseudoscience. Mind as the cause of the behavior is explanatory fiction. We, then, are the one, true definition of behavioral science." However, ABA here is the pot calling the kettle black, as shown above. Besides, if it were science, it would not be the only behavior science. In truth, rather, ABA is merely a set of highly-unethical behavior control models and techniques with a huge propaganda machine at its disposal. It actually uses its ABA methods on parents, politicians, and insurance companies to force them to pay their exorbitant fees.
So ABA is not a regular scientific system, but it can certainly manipulate behaviors to suit its narcissistic, mal-intentioned purposes.
Under its intensive Antecedents, Behaviors, and Consequences (ABC) Discrete Trial Training (DTT) methodology, not only does ABA "treat" behaviors by adding and removing consequences to raise and lower rates of its "subjects' appropriate and inappropriate behaviors," ABA will also manipulate behaviors with the antecedents to behaviors.
For example, if an intersection is dangerous, rather than walking through one (Antecedent), and then when a driver almost hits you (Behavior), you call him a bad word (Consequence), you can instead walk to a safer intersection (Antecedent control) and the pre-behavior antecedent sets up a different occasion which avoids the unwanted near-accident driver's behavior because safer intersections usually control for hazardous conditions better than the unsafe ones do, by definition, and therefore walking to a safer spot controls for unsafe driving behavior, which then probably never occurs to this particular pedestrian, and then neither does the consequence, the-pedestrian-reprimands-the-driver aversive verbal behavior, which then has no opportunity to appear in this incompatible scenario, logically. So then with this kind of safety antecedent manipulation there is never an opportunity for bad driver behavior to this particular ambulatory in this instance and the pedestrian solves his confrontational problem in a civil manner without ever needing to criticize any careless driver, since there is no such confrontation at the alternate intersection, this type of time across the road. This, therefore, comprises ABA's simplistic, linear-only, one-response-at-a-time, Brian Iwata led, ABC assessment and intervention paradigm. See more about Iwata below.
Note why there is nothing unethical with this kind of control. It's self-control of the behaving pedestrian and the behaver automatically consents to self-determined actions. Plus there is no opportunity for drivers' dissent in a case where a pedestrian chooses to walk elsewhere. ABA is almost completely unethical because it almost always disregards the dissent of their victims.
However, rather than using antecedent control, ABA, typically today and historically over the long-term, predominantly "treats problems of social importance" with consequences, rewards and punishers added or removed soon after responses occur. Antecedent control is more common as one kind of strategy used in non-ABA, Positive Behavioral Supports' (PBS's) "wide array of Alternatives to Punishment," which is the title to Lavigna and Donellan's 1986 PBS "Old Testament," as this blogger calls it. There is no PBS "New Testament" yet.
See below more about Gary Lavigna's PBS, which is, in theory only, but not in practice, the "gentle, sister profession," to harsh ABA's machismo weaponized technologies, electro-mechanical, slouch-detecting punishment gadgets and shock-delivering, anti-smoking contraptions.
There do exist many non-ABA forms of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral systems of psychology and education which are truly and thoroughly scientific AND which contain strongly ethical approaches. Non-ABA helping professionals are doing good thing with autistic people. These include those who lead children in play therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, and in democratic, Montessori, experience-based, John Dewey-style pragmatic teaching methods, to name just a few of the professional alternatives to the pseudo-professional, pseudo-scientific cult.
The decent people who perform all the alternatives to ABA know very well that there is so much more to life than one-variable-at-a-time ABA data-sheets where ABA practitioners string together rapid chains of distinguishable ABCs, which they draw as behavior curves on algebraic x-y axes graph paper to allegedly prove to those who pay their salaries how "highly effective" they are in "shaping up deviants" into normal, obedient children with allegedly "lower rates of challenging behaviors."
However, ABA octopus tentacles have even encroached into Montessori's territory, which, if it follows its founder, John Dewey, who spoke of Democracy in The Classroom, it would know enough to eject ABA practitioners off the stage with a huge hook. If Montessori schools only knew the history of ABA and their philosophy of democratic pragmatism, then Montessori schools wouldn't make this horrible blunder. ABA has also encroached into the professional territory of teaches' school systems, occupational therapy, play therapy, and all the rest of the alternatives to ABA, so watch out for them to corrupt any place you seek out as incompatible to this abnormal ABA community of control heads.
But ABA needs autism Mom and autism Dad to panic at an early diagnosis. That is why the ABA pack of hungry wolves just mainly calls for "autism awareness." If it chimed with the words of the emancipated adult autism Neurodiversity Movement which says, "Autism acceptance. Nothing about us without us," well then ABA would go bankrupt, which it shall do, eventually, when some day in the distant future the budding list of ABA survivors who courageously blog and Tweet out loud about ABA's dominations reaches a healthy, critical mass of effective spokespeople telegraphing over the world wide web and the radio airwaves all about their horrific ABA traumatic experiences, even some good ones, if indeed there were some, and no doubt this is also the case, albeit expectedly much, much less often.
Unfortunately, however, parents and guardians often do not film and are not present during day one of ABA submission trainings where they break the free will of their own bloodlines' defenseless children, toddlers, babies, and legally-incapacitated adults. Then much later on they are surprised to learn how their own children resent them in the end, often, especially as teens and adults, for paying the bills of their abusers, so the argument follows.
ABA sees something unusual, according to their upscale, neurotypical way of life standards of what's normal and what's not normal, well then their knee-jerk reaction is to tell a parent with money behind her or him: "This child will never fit it with its peers! Hire me before it's too late. Let's fix it! Let's modify your human organism child! I'll even teach you how to control your it just as 'effectively and scientifically' as only we know how to do, with all methods we've learned in our Skinner Box white lab rat experiments. You see, Mom and Dad, you, too, can also make your kids the subjects of your own behavior control experiments. Won't that be fun! You really don't know how to be a parent until we're done with you, too. What? It doesn't want to bark like a dog for a treat? It's a child. It's not informed like you will be after we're finished with you, Mom and Dad. Don't listen to it when it whines during our Day One sessions. That's a behavior. We'll fix that too. There's no such thing as freedom, anyway. It's for its own good."
As ABA rams its way down the throats of autism families, it also sinks its cross hairs and binocular scopes into geriatrics, national defense, espionage, intellectually disabled, Tourettes, public safety, and organizational management, to name just a few of its targets. There is no field it does not try or will try to barge into.
When it comes to humane treatment of animals, ABA is worse than how it deals with people, though not much worse. Its flagship Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis caused rhesus monkeys to head bang themelves to the point of self-made lacerations. They did that so that ABA could analyze head banging in another species so that it could shock head banging in humans. What a brilliant solution. "They hurt themselves so let's hurt them back." Well that's the reason they gave for treating animals with such cruelty. Perhaps the real reason is they took sadistic pleasure out of their tremendous ability to "effectively" make monkeys torture themselves.
Philosophically, ABA's approach to ethics is: "Be effective by any means necessary." This is the same philosophy Adolph Hitler used to be "scientifically effective" sending gays, gypsies, autistics, and Jews into Nazi Germany's scientifically effective gas chambers, to murder, heap into piles of corpses and bury them in mass graves. So being "effective" is nothing to brag about and that's one of their biggest promotional features.
To read the actually autistic blogosphere of the reports of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of ABA survivors and to read the ABA dissemination groups (propagandists), one can easily see how ABA is a pseudo-science cult according to this argument.
This blog's approach, Reward and Consent (R+C), as seen within it, is not an overbearing behavior control way of life. ABA, though, precisely is an overbearing behavior control way of life.
Some of them actually speak of ABA as "The Force" of Luke Skywalker's Star Wars saga. So how long do their marriages last, for God's sakes?
Just because Skinner discovered conditioning by reinforcers and aversives does not mean we should use them! Should we use atomic bombs?
R+C, on the other hand, is just a teaching method, used with the sufficient dual consent of the recipient and the adult-in-charge, and only used when instruction or leading-by-example is warranted. Reward and Consent stresses: Do not modify a behavior without the dual consent of parent AND child or of guardian AND legally-incapacitated adult. It would be awfully dumb of an R+C practitioner to try to modify the behavior of a friend, but ABA wouldn't get that, because ABA is dumb.
R+C is both Cognitive and Behavioral Teaching (CBT) combined. Cognitive psychological therapy sessions will include discussions of how a patient is feeling, but ABA technically cannot observe the feelings of its "experimental subjects," so it will only consider as its "data" what it can count and manipulate with their environmental tools, namely the behaviors and things in the environment it can observe directly. So ABA will not attempt to look "inside the box" at the thoughts and feelings of its experimental subjects, which ABA places "under the skin," invisible without any kind of brain scan to help them see the feelings. So ABA has no method at its pseudo-scientific disposal of putting themselves in the shoes of its victims, of loving their neighbors as themselves. But R+C is keen to know how student feels about anything its teaching. If the student doesn't like it, well then R+C knows for certain that R+C is doing something very wrong and goes back to the drawing board.
Anyhow, R+C is not only "highly effective," it's also highly ethical, as the dual consent method shows, but ABA traps them, "treats them for elopement" when they just want to be free of them, and ABA, therefore, denies its recipients their legal right to dissent, so ABA cannot reasonably claim its system is highly ethical. One of their bigwigs actually said to this blogger in email that R+C is "trite" and when the blogger asked her to read it, she said she "wouldn't know where to begin." Another one found this blogger in a cafe in Asbury Park, New Jersey, engaged him in public debate, and flat out said it was completely wrong to let a child dissent from his methodology. Then he left in a huff. Was he drunk? Who knows. It was a Saturday night. The cafe was full of drinkers sobering up late night.
It's simple to beat ABA in ethics debate. All it takes is the Golden Rule of Ethics flipped: Don't do to others what you don't want done unto you. So tell them to do to themselves what they do to their victims, in precisely the same way, with the same intensities, repetitions, and tedious lengths of time, such as forty hours a week for more than fifteen years, and then ABA fails miserably in its ethics debates and discussions. When it does, its approach is to ostracize and ignore its critics, hoping to "extinguish their verbal behavior." (Silly, huh? They should know that that's a tough one for an estimated one hundred thousand behaviorists and their trainees worldwide to pull off completely.)
Tell them to skin shock themselves. Put the skin shock electrodes of intense, inescapable, unremitting pain on their own buttocks for decades. It is now known that it does place them on the rear, by their own admission. It appears it has done so this long to at least one of its victims at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) of extremely painful skin shock in Canton, Massachusetts, where two United Nations Special Torture Repertoires have said "torture" is taking place at this ABA institution.
ABA, therefore, is not much more than a large set of people with a highly-intensive behavior manipulation and control focus, who are, in fact, the actual ones with the behavior problems, as they are clearly empathy disabled characters who need to be treated with loving kindness out of their own special needs. Bullies are people, too. To love a bully is to not to submit to a bully's asinine demands when non-submission is safe, legal, and ethical and especially when the person challenging the bully has strong support network in backup or in the lead, cops, parents, friends, etc. Hence, this brings the bullies out of their bullying behavioral misery. ABA is no different. This is how to cure and to love a bully of her disorder, as ABA controllers are most often females.
One speculates that they're a huge network of non-recovering alcoholics when he analyzes THEIR social media profiles with their loaded drinks in their hands and when one gets to know their Twitter profile follow lists with so many alcohol industry ties. Here, to their disapproval and stubborn inflexible crybaby resistance, we analyze their behavior as a pleasant surprise to them. (You're welcome, pals.)
One by one, they will deny that they support skin shock pain, or else the daring, in a way more likable, non-hypocrites, will indeed outright support it, but the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) once again, this year, after several years of doing so, has officially "approved" extremely painful Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) ABA skin shock as being "aligned" ABAI's "mission." This is in cahoots with ABAI's general "approval" of all its convention "sponsors" with this specific "aligned with their mission" language, skin shockers included. Rotenberg has purchased space in its annual convention book as such a sponsor for several years now, even after the major network of autistic adults has demanded they let it go.
Note: Psychiatry has brain shock called the ECT. ABA intends its skin shock to hurt extremely badly. If it didn't hurt its victims so much, then it would not be, as they claim, "effective" in decelerating problematic behavior rates. ECT is used, among other reasons, according to reports, to treat chronic pain. They are completely different of purpose.
In addition, if you ask a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to show you her official position specifically published against extremely painful electric ABA skin shock, she will not produce one, because none have ever come forward in journal against it, to this author's knowledge, and he has challenged them to do so, but to no avail, though the following complication draws out a critical difference in the internecine ABA vs. PBS pseudo-professional battles among all these Behavioral Ethics wanna-be's. There is the following rather convoluted exception. (It is okay to skip this last part and still get the main argument in this paper.)
Gary Lavigna, in lead of his breakaway-from-ABA network, has testified under pain and penalty of perjury against ABA's skin shock. But his Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) theory and team of supporters is NOT an ABA. ABA is dependent upon punitive, linear-only ABC techniques as a last resort method, or even in conjunction with positive reinforcers even well before any last-resort, life-endangering situation, such as eye gouging emerges, while on the other hand, academic PBS, in theory only, has a community of behaviorists whose consensus of opinion is that coercive aversives are unnecessary and therefore unethical. It has reached this conclusion, according to its main spokesman, Gary LaVigna, BCBA, after more than 25 years of PBS research. He speaks of the "wide array" of the linear positive-only approaches with nonlinear alternative such as treating behavior as a form of communication, of which the ABA punishment orthodoxy doesn't include in its narrow linear-only ways of abuse, as the autistics describe it clearly and presently, in greater numbers as more ABA survivors have lately been speaking out over time.
Therefore, and bare with the following complications, please, there may be a BCBA who honestly does deny she will punish. However, insurance does not pay for PBS by a BCBA unless it's called ABA, so the non-punitive BCBA will do PBS, will truly not punish, and, however, will be doing something other than ABA, according to this argument, which is indeed a violation of ABA's own code of ethics, whereby the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) will punish its own members who do something other than ABA while passing it off as ABA. ABA will claim that PBS is a secondary part of ABA. That is false. There is a clear wall of separation between them. ABA is addicted to punishment. PBS is not.
Both ABA and PBS theory, though, and here they are both ethically flawed, will disregard or overrule the dissent of their recipients because PBS exists in the schools which operate under the authoritarian, "pipeline to prison" compulsory education law. PBS in practice, though, in the schools, moreover, does punish and ostracize children who are different, withholding day trips and treats and prizes from those who cannot compete well in this world of normalizing pressures called the school system. This is what ABA calls negative punishment, dangling the rewards in front of them, letting them sample them, taste them, and then take them away with the infractions to their asinine teacher administered rules. Schools should let students set these rules, the ones they know they need to operate as a group of peers together, but they don't. Alas, both PBS and ABA are authoritarian and bitter to the taste.
LaVigna's response to the life threatening situations. De-escalate under crisis management training to nip a crisis in the bud, but in event of a crisis, intervene, restrain perhaps, BUT this is not an ABA opportunity for behavior modification. It is a crisis that requires a different set of professional skills that is not a part of ABA training, Crisis Management. Note well also, please, the bonafide university coursework called Disability Studies is never required of any BCBA. If it were, ABA would have actually autistic professionals teaching them as their professors, which is anathema to ABA, which calls autistics "deviants." Google Scholar it. It's there with "Applied Behavior Analysis" in abundance.
Indeed, B. F. Skinner, ABA's granddaddy founder, Pop of the pops, was an atheist. Atheism does no soul searching. It cannot. It's more like a feather in the breeze than a rock because it's ungrounded in the more enlightened moral teachings of religions: feed the hungry, be as good to others as you are unto yourself, and then leave this world better than you found it if you can (Judaism). Not that atheism cannot be ethical, and has not secular basis for reaching the same moral proscriptions of solidly ethical behavior, but it's missing out on a lot of good spiritual teachings from the Buddha, Confucius, Taoism, Zen, Hindu, and Native American, so it's got a lot of catching up with religious morality to do, though even religions get it wrong big time, often, ethically speaking, which is a topic for another entry, as we see when Trumpee fundamentals quote scripture to justify KKK racism against blacks and Jews and to advocate the ethnic cleansing of Mexican Americans across the border and back out of the United States of America.
This is the same B. F. Skinner who actually defended Dr. Matthew Israel in the news, the founder of the skin shock institution, Skinner's Harvard PhD student, soon before he bought his first self-injurious head-banging skin shock device called the SIBIS, the Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System, from the team of Brian Iwata, ABA's "most prolific" author (See Table 4 here.), according to reports, the man who told the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that he was against its proposed skin shock ban, which is still not final yet as of the publication date of this post.
Iwata is the guy who hatched an ABA plot to persuade parents to promote skin shock instead of letting the behaviorists do it themselves. "We should not advocate for adoption of aversive technologies because such activity, at least by us, is not effective, not in the best interest of our field, and not necessary. Instead, we should leave adoption to advocates, parents, and courts." (Iwata, 1988, p. 156)
The film clips and snapshots Israel has published of his Judge Rotenberg Center are obviously biased in favor or showing "before and after" footage, what horrible creatures he has to deal with when they arrive and then just the lovely results of his punitive methods. There's been just one video released of actual shock taking place to Andre McCollins and this he fought hard to prevent. Here it is:
Some consenting parents of ABA's skin shock victims don't even their child during the pain "treatments." Watch at 3:57.
Skinner never saw Andre's 2002 video. He died in 1990. He defended Israel in 1985. He praised Israel's work based on seeing just his videos, previous to Andre's. He told the Boston Globe reporter he hadn't gone to Israel's institution to see the punishments in action. He called him "humane" and "brave" for taking on such difficult "cases" of self-abusers and aggressives.
It wasn't until 1988 that Israel sank his teeth into Iwata and company's SIBIS, his first skin shock device. Before '88 "treatment at the school consisted of many different forms of punishment, including spraying children in the face with water, forcing them to smell ammonia, pinching them, slapping them, subjecting them to painful muscle squeezes, spanking them, forcing them to put hot peppers on their tongues, and forcing them to wear a 'white-noise helmet' that emitted static." (Gonnerman, 2007 in Davies, 2014). Six people have died so far at BRI/JRC under the care of Skinner's wonderful student.
Shocks have been used at JRC for an incredibly wide variety of behaviors. Although JRC claims that the intention is to stop self-harming or violent behaviors, it also has shocked students for many other things, including: involuntary body movements, waving hands, blocking out sound overstimulation by putting their fingers in their ears, wrapping their foot around the leg of their chair, tensing up their body or fingers, not answering staff quickly enough (xxx), screaming while being shocked, closing their eyes for more than 15 seconds, reacting in fear to other students being shocked, standing up, asking to use the bathroom, raising their hand (Miller), popping their own pimple, leaving a supervised area without asking, swearing, saying “no” (Ahern and Rosenthal 13), stopping work for more than 10 seconds, interrupting others, nagging, whispering, slouching, tearing up paper, and attempting to remove electrodes from their skin (Ahern and Rosenthal 20-21). Additionally, students are shocked for having 5 verbal behaviors in an hour. These behaviors can include talking to oneself, clearing one’s throat, crying, laughing, humming, repeating oneself, or “inappropriate tone of voice” (xxx). A former JRC teacher recalled how “one girl, who was blind, deaf, and non-verbal was moaning and rocking. Her moaning was like a cry. The staff shocked her for moaning. Turned out she had a broken tooth. Another child had an accident in the bathroom and was shocked” (Ahern and Rosenthal 3). The behaviors that JRC considers punishable by shocking are also discovered by surveillance footage, with shocks then administered after the fact. Shock has even been used as a threat to pressure students to say positive things about JRC in front of the state legislature (Berrington). Non-speaking students tend to be subjected to shock the most, and are the ones who often have a more difficult time speaking up about their abuse (xxx). (Davies, 2014)So BF Skinner's ethics stunk, like a skunk. Take a bath, B. F. Skinner Foundation! You stink, too. Pew! Get a whiff of that stench!
Now Philosophy admits it has far more questions than answers. Nevertheless, metaphysically speaking, above and beyond the physical realm, this paper moves forward to cover Skinner's bestselling Beyond Freedom and Dignity. He convinced himself there and in similar rambles throughout his voluminous Cumulative Record that there's no such thing as an autonomous, limitless freedom to choose the actions of human behavior. Accordingly, so he claimed, three sweeping factors cause or determine all human behavior, two historical and one current, 1) our genetic endowments as our organisms represent them, 2) our histories of learning under lifetimes of experiences, and 3) the current environmental scenarios which stage all the behaviors we emit. No behavior, therefore, to him, is a product of free will. There's no autonomous pinhead of man, no homunculus, directing the show from somewhere deep within the skull.
So get this new train of thought here. He only believed behavior was totally determined. He spoke of his human science with such hubris, though, that he deluded himself into believing that his belief in a determined universe was the absolute truth. Nonsense! Nobody has ever proven one way or the other whether we have a free, independent willpower to create our own actions regardless of what's happening around us, or whether we have nothing of the sort. As chemist Matthew Harbowy replied to Skinner, "There will never be a computer big enough to account for every movement of every atom and subatomic particle in the universe to answer this question with certainty."
One answer to freedom, though, steps away from the everything-up-there and lands down here to the one-day-at-a-time earthly experiences where we plant our feet in relative, rather than absolute, notions of freedom. The USA Supreme Court announced in its ruling that free speech is not absolute, that we have just some freedom and it's limited. We may not "shout fire in a crowded theater." The prisoner chained to the bed has less freedom than the man in the same cell who's not chained to the bed. So now we do know for certain under reason that people possess relative freedom.
But Skinner didn't come anywhere near this down-to-earth sensibility with a ten-foot lance pole. He was too busy pontificating all day long upon his elevated Harvard University royal-crown toilet bowl throne to speak about this concept during his pigheaded rants against what he called "the fictional explanation of the cause of behaviors—the mind—" when he attacked cognitive psychology its "mentalism." Thanks to Skinner's flaws, and not without the Noam Chomsky's landmark Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior, cognitive psychology staged a university psychology department coup against behavioral psychology and dethroned it from the kingdoms and lordships of all the intellectual, pooh-pooh, pooh-pooh-pa-pa-pooey snobbery zones.
Skinner's weak-willed denial of freedom of any kind, absolute or relative, shows his readers how he had a rather narrow outlook, as this section says. His B. F. Skinner Foundation estate needs to plunge his snot through his stopped-up sinuses and get a real job. But it's too late for him. All that remains of Pops is his apartment, intact, whereupon, within, and whereunder, he used his soulless husk to experiment on itself. Talk about abnormal behavior! Skinner's frigid, Cambridge, Massachusetts, rotten, worm-holed corpse now takes the wedding cake and smushes into his Clockwork Orange world in their humans-ain't-free, Behavioral Republic.
He took determinism to a behavioral science extreme. Skinner proposed a utopian Republic which would nudge and control the behaviors of his populace of childlike, happy cattle, human peon "organisms." This was the pinnace dream of his palsied "explain, predict, and control" philosophy, topped off in in his chapter on the scientific design of culture in Science and Human Behavior, as a vacant bottle of ultra-strong, vomit-inducing Pavlovian/Skinnerian Soviet Union vodka, where he once went. Guess who would to the designing. Why, his mad, mad, mad, mad lot of ABA followers, of course. Who else? This would be tyranny! Not the philosopher-king Republic. No! This is the pseudo-scientific-oligopolyRepublic, Pinky and the Brains, with no ethical backbone in his stinging red jellyfish, slime-ridden global concoction of a Brave New World!
Talk about frightening. Read into the Twitter hashtags #bigData, #behavioralInsights, and #nudging to see what has now become of Skinner's non-consent-of-the-governed scientific design of culture. It's happening now all over the world under the United Nations rubric, inside corporate databases, and all throughout our computerized World Wide Web of security and defense networks, and, ironically, autistic savants could be forging the tunnel into this unknown abyss.
Disclaimer. This blogger takes no money to write this post. Readers can see there are no ads on this web log (blog). He is a disabled, certificated New Jersey "Teacher of the Handicapped." His name is David Altier(i). He is the founder of ABA Leaks.
ABA does take money, a lot of money, in HUGE stakes, so then, obviously, it is biased and slanted in how it brags on itself.