ACLU sues TSA to make it explain junk science "behavioral detection" program

Here’s a little head start on your reading list…

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I have read about it. My point was that I have never done any research in this area, so it means no more nor no less to me than any other hearsay I have no direct experience of. Maybe I’ll try to reproduce some of the tests later, if I have time.

I do my best to shake, fidget, finger nervously at my clothes, look away when answering questions, get angry, evade answering questions directly and generally trigger as best as possible.

I also fake loud orgasms whenever the TSA touches me or anything I own.


If someone paid me one billion dollars (or even a fraction of that) to watch all of Lie To Me as a training course then pretend to be Tim Roth being rude and clever and knowing I’d take it.


My clients disagree.

You may as well say “As a 5th level Reiki Master, I use energy healing techniques regularly with clients.” It carries just as much weight.


Psychotherapists don’t diagnose people they haven’t treated. So you’re coming perilously close to an unethical act, by making this kind of “diagnostic” comment about people you haven’t even met.

One thing they’re worse at than untrained people is telling the difference between two nervous aspies and people who actually might pose a threat to national security.

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Are you suggesting there are TSA employees that are certified

Since there is no such thing as a “certified diagnostician,” no, I’m not.

I’m stating (not suggesting) that you have no basis for your assertion, and that holding yourself out as speaking from a diagnostic perspective regarding people you’ve never even met is not a particularly good way in which to represent the profession.

Oh and by the way, as it appears you’re an unlicensed practitioner in Ontario*, you’re not a “certified diagnostician” of anything either.

*True fact: In Colorado, the majority of complaints brought to the regulatory body that oversaw mental health services were against “unlicensed psychotherapists.” Who’d a thunk? It’s almost like having some kind of licensing process helps reduce the number of untrained quacks who hang out a shingle because they’re “really good listeners” and have declared themselves able to “help people” thanks to their Dunning-Kruger certification. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW, LIBERTARIANS? Ahem.


Certified by whom? What point is there to credentials if people cannot decide who they credit with what? It needn’t matter to anybody else if they don’t meet your criteria. But you make “certified” sound like something universal, with objective validity.

Suspicious People ?

Saying somebody isn’t qualified is a (literally) quote-unquote diagnostic comment?

Not in any sense of the unquoted term I’ve ever seen.

Psychotherapists are not engaged in academic analysis, they’re engaged in seeing patient results. All sorts of tools get used, where the primary qualifier is “does the patient find some benefit in this.” Witness the old use of the “Eliza” software – it was crap, but people still got some good from it.

My wife has started giving my son homeopathic* sleep-spray. That provides a benefit to both her (doing something active, instead of being passive), and our son: instead of giving him drugs, or fighting until he (and we) are worn down, he thinks “oh! something to help me sleep!” and gets sleepier. Somewhat. Because he believes in a peppermint-scented spray of water with 1 part per billion of magical dinosaur poop, or something.

* Me, I lose a little bit more dental enamel when I hear what was purchased. But as long as it “helps” my son to sleep…

That’s not even the main point – @Elusis is stating that if we were to say that “President Obama is not a qualified Rogerian therapist” that we are making a diagnostic assessment.

He is making a unique use of the term “diagnostic assessment” that is coming straight out of his ass.

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I hold several licences in Ontario, Canada, where it’s not illegal to provide help for people unless you are a member of the AMA.

And in Colorado you will find that bringing complaints against those who are members of powerful, legally represented groups is nigh on impossible unless you can afford vast legal costs.

I am held to account for my practice and as such, have to be fully insured to practice.

Dunning-kruger back at you.

And I didn’t diagnose anyone. I was generalizing that a certain group (TSA guards) are probably incapable of taking on the concepts and education necessary to implement any sort of assessment(better word?) tool in their job.

Maybe your reading comprehension slipped temporarily?

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I quit studying Psychology for the simple reason that there are few if any tools in the field to actually effect positive change in a person, and I took alternative certifications that I tested to work before I held them out to others.

Seriously, stop with the JAQing off. In my profession, terms like “certified” and “diagnosis” have very important, even legal, meanings.