The WithholdAPAdues website and the listserv associated with it was begun by psychologists who had decided to
withhold their dues from the American Psychological Association in protest over the APA's policy regarding
psychologists'involvement in interrogations and detention centers.
We have had considerable success in advancing our agenda in the last two years. Most significantly, a history-
making referendum, written by members of the WithholdAPAdues Steering Committee, proposing that psychologists
may not work in settings in which persons are held in violation of international human rights law and of the Geneva
Conventions. The referendum was voted on by the APA membership and passed by a wide margin. The referendum
is now official APA policy, although we have yet to learn the extent to which it has been actually implemented.
Several of us faced the dilemma this year about whether to resume paying our dues or resign from the APA because
our two years of withholding dues were at an end. Some of us decided to pay our 2009 dues (though not the back
dues) in a gesture of good faith, while others including some prominent long-term members, have left the organization
altogether, some issuing scathing critiques on their way out. Many other members who began withholding dues in
2008 are not facing this dilemma and have opted to withhold their 2009 dues.
So, properly speaking, this listserv is no longer restricted to APA members who are withholding their dues (although
we have chosen to retain the name for reasons of continuity, historical value, and logistics). Instead, the listserv is
open to all psychologists, whether they are members of the APA or not, who are concerned about the American
Psychological Association’s stance on ethical and human rights violations. The listserv continues to be a way for
psychologist activists and those who support them to exchange up-to-date information on local, state, and national
protests against APA policies. In addition, listserv members provide each other with a steady supply of resources --
documentaries, journal articles, magazine articles, blogs etc. Those joining the listserv may post and ask questions
Some History and Information about "WithholdAPADues"
(Please scroll down for info. on joining the listserv, withholding dues, or writing letters to APA
CEO Norman Anderson regarding protest, dues withholding, or resignation from APA.)
Joining the WithholdAPADues Listserv
As mentioned in the paragraph above, the listserv is open to all psychologists, mental health professionals, or others
(whether or not they are currently withholding dues from the APA) who are concerned about the APA's present and
past policies regarding detentions and interrogations at Guantanamo, the black sites, and elsewhere, as well as larger
ethical issues within the APA (including, for instance, the recent discussion around revising Ethics Code provision
Currently, the listserv is maintained through Yahoo! Groups, and resides at the following web address:
To join the group, you will need to have a Yahoo! ID and password, which you can get by going here...
(or, of course, use your pre-existing Yahoo account). Once you have your Yahoo! account set up and are logged in,
you should be able to find and join the group at the address above. We welcome your involvement and participation!
Information on How to Withhold Dues from APA
In order to withhold your dues from the APA, you can simply not pay them! (Here is a link to the relevant bylaws
governing dues and non-payment thereof.) Of course, in order to make your dues-withholding more politically
effective, we encourage psychologists concerned about interrogation and torture to also write a letter to the APA
Chief Executive Officer:
Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
stating that you are withholding your dues in protest over the APA's policies and actions (or lack thereof) regarding
the issue. At this point, there are any of a myriad of specific reasons related to this issue that might lead one to
withhold dues, and your letter may have more impact if you link your repayment of dues to specific steps you wish
to see the APA take. Please contact a member of the steering committee if you wish to discuss the specifics of what
you might include in such a letter. Also, please consider "cc-ing" your letter to other APA officers.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding withholding dues:
What happens to my membership?
Briefly put, you can withhold dues for two years and remain a voting member of the APA but you will not receive the
journals. At the end of that time you will forfeit your membership. You can rejoin the APA either by paying back
dues and late fees, or simply by paying dues for the year that your are rejoining. Here is a link to the relevant APA
by-laws on membership. See particularly highlighted Articles XIX:3, 10-9-1, 10-10-1, 10-10-2.
What about Division membership?
Several divisions, among them Division 9, Division 27, and Division 48, do not make membership in the APA a
condition of membership. Division 39 has made provisions for members withholding dues from the APA to remain
"friends" of the Division and retain all rights to membership in the division. To remain in Division 39, send a check
for $95.00 to Ruth Helein, Administration Office, Division of Psychoanalysis, 2615 Amesbury Road, Winston Salem,
NC 27103. (Write 2009 Division dues in the memo line of your check.) If you are a member of another division and
want to remain a member of that division, we suggest you speak to your Board about making similar provisions or
changing their bylaws.
Will I lose my professional insurance if I stop paying dues?
NO! Neither of the insurance companies that provides malpractice insurance to psychologists makes APA
membership a condition for coverage. However, if you have another policy with the APA, such as life insurance or
disability insurance, this may be affected by your membership status. If you would like to check this out for
yourself, you can reach the American Professional Agency at 800-421 6694, and the APAIT at 877-637-9700.