Dr. Larry C. James, who worked as Chief Psychologist at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, is one of those psychologists. In this role, Dr. James oversaw abusive interrogations and designed programs to exploit the psychological weaknesses of detainees. During his tenure at the detention center, boys and men were systematically abused. Techniques included threats of rape and death; forced nudity; sleep deprivation; extreme isolation; short-shackling into stress positions; and physical assault.

Dr. James is licensed in Ohio, which means he must adhere to the regulations set forth by the Ohio Board of Psychology. On July 7, 2010, four Ohio residents presented a 50-page complaint to the Ohio Board of Psychology, alleging that Dr. James violated eighteen different Ohio Board of Psychology ethics rules through his abuse of detainees, breaches of confidentiality, and false statements to the Board and the public. The complaint was supported by over a thousand of pages of documentation, including reports, records, and hearings from the U.S. Military, Senate, Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, as well as Dr. James’s own public admissions and survivors’ statements. In addition, an expert in psychological ethics told the Board, “If true, the allegations contained in this complaint represent the most serious ethical breaches I have seen in my thirty-five years as a psychologist. They also have the most far reaching implications for the profession of psychology of any ethical or licensing issue I have yet encountered.”

Despite the serious allegations and overwhelming evidence, the Ohio Board of Psychology refused to adequately investigate the allegations. The Board responded with a cursory letter, concluding without any explanation that, “It has been determined that we are unable to proceed to formal action in this matter.” By refusing to hold a full hearing and carefully examine the evidence of torture, the Board has misled the public into believing that Dr. James has not committed ethical violations. It has also sent the message that the Board will tolerate torture and other serious violations.

The Board’s action follows the trend of other state licensing boards across the country choosing to ignore their duty to protect the public and refusing to hold health professionals responsible for their role in torture.

Please consider signing the attached letter to the Ohio State Board of Psychology and joining the citizens already demanding justice from the Board. Let the Board know that, as an Ohio resident or member of the public, you want the Board to ensure your safety and hold a hearing in order to fully examine the weight of the evidence against Dr. James and sanction him in accordance with Ohio law and Board rules.

Overview Letter
Targeting: The Governor of OH, The OH State Senate, The OH State House, Ohio State Board of Psychology The Governor of OH, The OH State Senate, The OH State House, and Ohio State Board of Psychology
Started by: (your name will appear here)
Psychologists played a major role in designing and implementing the abusive interrogation system used by the U.S. military in military prisons and used their psychological training to design a program intended to exploit vulnerabilities.


I am deeply concerned with the Board’s decision not to proceed to formal action against Dr. Larry C. James. The complaint filed against Dr. James alleged serious and substantiated ethical violations, including torture, and the Board’s cursory letter was a grossly inadequate response, providing no assurances that the complaint was fully investigated.

By refusing to hold a full hearing and carefully examine the evidence, the Board sends a disturbing message that torture and other serious violations will be tolerated. The Board has failed to place public safety as paramount in its regulation of the profession of psychology. I might switch the order of these sentences, but up to you.

I ask that you please follow your own guidelines, regulations and ethical rules and take action against Dr. James. Ohioans must be able to trust that all professionally licensed psychologists comply with ethical standards and duties of care.