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Cheryl L. Karp, Ph.D., Leonard Karp, J.D.INTRODUCTION

The MMPI is the most frequently used clinical test. Therefore, it is employed quite often in court cases to provide personality information on defendants or litigants in which psychological adjustment factors are pertinent to resolution of the case. It is easy to administer and provides an objective measure of personality. Since it is such a well-researched and highly reliable instrument, it is often used in custody evaluations. It provides clear, valid descriptions of people's problems, symptoms, and characteristics in broadly accepted clinical language. The profiles are easy to explain in court and appear to be relatively easy for people to understand. However, with any psychological instrument, it is important to acquaint yourself with the background of the test and to acquaint yourself with the assets and liabilities of any test used to assess your client.


The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI, was developed in the late 1930s by a psychologist and a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota. It was originally intended for use with an adult population, but was then extended to include teenagers, mostly for teens in the middle years, about 15 and 16. It required at least a sixth-grade reading level, so it was definitely not applicable for average children below the age of about 13 or for retarded persons. The MMPI was sometimes given to bright children of 11 or 12 years, but then great caution was exercised in the interpretation of the results. When the MMPI was completely revised in 1989 (see MMPI-2, next section), adolescent norms were not developed. The new instrument was not intended to be used for adolescents. Therefore, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory-Adolescent (MMPI-A) was developed. Although the MMPI has undergone a complete revision, resulting in the MMPI-2, the MMPI is
discussed here since many psychologists still report results from the MMPI and it forms the basis for the MMPI-2.

The MMPI has ten clinical scales and three validity scales plus a host of supplementary scales. The clinical scales were originally intended to
distinguish "pure" groups with psychiatric disorders. Therefore, the actual names of the scales assert bold and, sometimes, exotic-sounding
psychiatric labels. For example, Scale 1 is referred to as the hypochondriasis scale, Scale 8 is labeled the schizophrenia scale, Scale 9 is labeled the hypomania scale, Scale 4 is the psychopathic deviate scale, and Scale 7 is the psychasthenia scale. Other scales reflect more understandable symptoms such as Scale 2, depression; Scale 3, hysteria; Scale 5, masculinity-femininity; Scale 6, paranoia; and Scale 0, social introversion.

Researchers quickly found out that the scales were not able to be "pure" measures of the psychiatric diagnostic groups (in part this is due to the overlap in symptoms in some of the disorders). Thus, an elevation on Scale 8 did not mean that the client was definitely schizophrenic. As a result, the numbers of the subscales quickly replace the psychiatric labels in common usage. Thus, instead of talking about the hypochondriasis scale, the clinician will talk about Scale 1.

Researchers also found out that it was common for people to score high on more than one scale at the same time and that interpretations using two or more scales tended to be more sophisticated or refined, more useful, and more accurate. Therefore, patterns of elevations were distinguished, and the numbers were used as a shorthand to describe the elevations. Thus, a 24 meant that there were elevations above the "normal" range on scales 2 and 4, and 2 was the higher elevation. When the elevations are noted (either as done here or when presented as a graph), the result is called a "profile." Researchers literally went out and gathered data on the personality characteristics of those who scored high on the 2-4 or any other combination (sometimes relevant clustering involving three scales, such as a 4-6-8). The amount of research is impressive.

As mentioned earlier, the MMPI is vulnerable to faking because of the transparency of some of the items. The three validity scales are designed to help the psychologist identify abnormal response sets that might suggest "faking good" or "faking bad." In spite of these special scales, it is easier for the client to slant answers to give a favorable or unfavorable impression with the MMPI than with the Rorschach, for example. On the other hand, it is much more difficult to consistently bias the MMPI than an instrument of less complexity and more transparency, such as the Thematic Apperception Test (the TAT).

The nature of the instrument, with true and false answers and patterns readily identifiable, has prompted the development of books to supply interpretations of the results. The information is given in the form of descriptive statements that tend to be true of clients whose scores yield certain profiles. These books tend to be called "cookbooks" by psychologists. Thus, if the result shows a 2-4 profile, one can look in any number of "cookbooks" to find the personality descriptors attached to elevations on 2 and 4 alone and then as a combined pattern.

In the hands of a skilled and experienced psychologist, the MMPI is a powerful instrument and allows for powerful presentation in court. However, the MMPI must be interpreted in light of the biographical and other information about the client. "Blind interpretations," where nothing is known of the client except perhaps gender, may be useful for testing a psychologist's memory about the descriptive statements attached to certain individual scale elevations or certain profiles. They are not useful, and may be dangerous, in interpreting MMPI results for forensic work or any other professional psychology work. For example, an elevation on Scale 8 (schizophrenia) may have a different interpretation if the client is in a psychiatric hospital than if the person is a respected professor at a university, with no history of psychiatric disorder, who is interested in yoga or some other occult or esoteric study.

The psychologist administering and interpreting the MMPI must pay attention to all relevant factors, including age, sex, education, social class, religious background, place of residence, and other historical data. This information must be integrated correctly with research data, such as is found in the "cookbooks," in order for the interpretation to be valid.

Computer use has brought other problems to the area of MMPI interpretation. Computer programs have been developed to allow computers to score the raw data (anywhere from 399 true and false answers for the "abbreviated" MMPI form to almost 600 answers for the full MMPI form), produce the files in printed graph form, and do the work of fetching interpretative information from "cookbooks." Undeniably, the computers save valuable time for psychologists. Yet, their use with the MMPI has opened the way for some serious problems.

This advanced technology lends an image of "truth" or "accuracy" to the printout results that may mislead even psychologists. Also, this technology is more readily available to nonpsychologists than is wise. Persons with no or minimal training in psychology and psychological testing may use a computer report to make statements about a person's personality functioning that sound definitive or are presented as such. Even generally competent and respectable practitioners in fields normally thought to be "allied to" psychology, such as psychiatry or clinical social work, can make the grievous error of believing that they have acted responsibly or done a good job when they make conclusions about a client based solely or predominantly on the MMPI, using a computer to produce scores and interpretations. The MMPI needs to be interpreted in light of many factors often not considered by the computer programs. Computer programs frequently require only information about the client's sex, age, and achieved education level, not other factors such as current life stressors or other life experiences or environmental factors.

Furthermore, when used as part of a testing battery, the MMPI results must be integrated with all the testing and historical data and finally interpreted in light of all of the psychologist's psychological knowledge. Doing this may alter the psychologist's original interpretation of the MMPI, as will be discussed below in the section on the interpretation of the Rorschach. Nonpsychologists should not and usually cannot administer a whole test battery and interpret it appropriately.

Secondly, many computer reports focus mainly on giving statements about the elevation of each individual scale, with perhaps cursory statements about the highest two scales considered together. Unfortunately, there is not a statement at the beginning of the computer printout explaining whether the statements are from research with a normal or abnormal population. For example, an elevation on Scale 4 (the psychopathic deviate scale) may yield statements about interesting personality qualities such as "independence" or "anger." (one psychologist working with a codependency program was heard repeatedly calling Scale 4 the "anger" scale, an interesting oversimplification.) Such single-scale interpretative statements may be of help describing a normal person who is an independent thinker, who follows society's mores
and laws, but reserves the right to make his or her own moral judgments and may lawfully and appropriately challenge authority. It does not begin to do justice to the "independence" from society's norms seen in a person with a history of seriously breaking society's mores and rules, such as the person expelled a number of times from school for various offenses or the person with a long history of violence or trouble with the law.

Thus, one can have the undesirable result that a psychologist may erroneously (and incompetently) use single statements from a computer to present someone accused of molestation in a rather favorable light, ignoring the fact that the overall pattern of the 4-9, combined with a history of violence against others and minor legal charges and convictions, demands a more serious and less favorable view of the client. On the other hand, you can have a parent with an elevation on Scale 4 labeled a probable antisocial personality (formerly known as psychopath or sociopath), while the elevation really suggests less sinister characteristics.

Antisocial persons and persons recently traumatized in some manner in interpersonal interactions (e.g., a rape victim or a man or woman recently divorced) may superficially share some characteristics reflected in an elevation on Scale 4, which can confuse interpretation of MMPI results. An elevated Scale 4 may suggest that the client does not allow himself or herself to become significantly close to others emotionally, has a lot of anger, and may be likely to misrepresent or lie about circumstances. A closer look at this is warranted.

A person with an antisocial personality disorder typically shows interpersonal distancing, that is, does not allow himself or herself to become significantly close to others. The person recently traumatized may likewise keep people from getting close. However, the similarity may end on the surface, because the antisocial personality may be charming in person but unable to bond. The traumatized person may be less charming in person and may be quite able to bond but fearful of doing so because of the trauma. Likewise, persons with antisocial personality disorders usually have a more or less disguised well of anger, typically feeling mistreated by society and entitled to act out against individuals or institutions. It is easy to see that a rape victim might have a well of anger, sometimes directed against the perpetrator and sometimes directed

Persons with antisocial personality disorders typically lack guilt about their exploits; they simply hate being caught. Rape victims typically experience inappropriate guilt and hate what has happened and what they have become." A convicted felon may have a 2-4 elevation, suggesting significant depression (the 2 is the "depression" scale), while sitting in a county jail on murder 1 charges or charges of domestic violence. Persons with personality disorders often develop real and significant depressions when caught and suffering the consequences of their misbehaving or criminal acts. Yet, a victim of domestic violence might just as easily have a 2-4 elevation, but the interpretation of the two profiles would or could be very different.

When it comes to the characteristic of lying and breaking society's mores and laws, the superficial similarities are likely to end. Persons with antisocial personalities may, indeed, lie about the legal charges confronting them and, for that matter, about many things. Like the antisocial personality, the rape victim may be putting emotional distance between herself and others and also may have a lot of anger. However, it does not follow, therefore, that, like the antisocial personality, the rape victim is also likely to lie and misrepresent circumstances and is also likely to have broken society's laws in the past or likely to break them in the future.

The best and most significant computer programs are extremely complicated and sophisticated. The good programs integrate the elevations from all the scales to eliminate contradictions that one can find looking only at individual scales (one scale may suggest that the person is depressed, while another scale may suggest that the person is optimistic). The most commonly used computer services are probably the ones from Minnesota (from the National Computer Service, with James Butcher, one of the experts in MMPI work as developer and advisor) and the one from Los Angeles (developed by Alexander Caldwell, another giant in the field of the MMPI).

The importance of having a skilled and competent psychologist to interpret testing results, including the computerized MMPI, cannot be stressed enough. Here are some things to watch for in evaluating whether a psychologist is adequately handling the MMPI:
1. Most psychologists trained in clinical psychology refer to the MMPI scale evaluations by numbers (2-4 or 4-6-8). If the psychologist mainly uses the scales' official names or stresses these official names, look further; the psychologist's primary training may not have been in the field of clinical psychology. 2. If the psychologist does not readily integrate the MMPI scale information, but is content with mainly singlescale descriptors, take care in using the psychologist. Not only may the psychologist be ineptly interpreting the MMPI, but the psychologist's testimony would be very vulnerable to attack by a skillful cross examination or on rebuttal by a competent psychologist.

3. If the psychologist does not integrate the MMPI data with historical information and other testing data, and account for anomalies, then the work is not adequate.

4. To be most helpful, your psychologist consultant should be acquainted with the major developments in MMPI interpretation. The psychologist should be acquainted with the work of the Minnesota group and the Caldwell group and those associated with the work of those two groups. Caldwell has developed an alternative way of looking at and interpreting the scales that helps one understand that the 2-4 of the rape victim is different from the 2-4 of the convicted felon and helps one understand why that is so.

Custody evaluations or domestic violence litigation would be simpler and easier if there were MMPI patterns or profiles reliably correlated with the "perfect parent" or conviction for domestic violence or, better yet, highly correlated with admission of guilt in domestic violence cases. There are no such "molester" or "domestic abuser" profiles identified yet, but there may be in the future.

There has been research seeking to identify profiles of molesters. The populations studied have mainly been men in custody who are nonfamily molesters or are a mixed group of nonfamily molesters and incest molesters. This population may be very different from the general population of domestic violence abusers, molesters, or physical abusers of spouses or children. Furthermore, the number of people in the group studied have been too small for much weight to be given to the conclusions in terms of generalizing to other groups or the population at large. Some of the elevations seen on the profiles of the convicted offenders are not surprising; for example, an elevation on Scale 4 is common. One would never be surprised to see someone convicted (often of multiple offenses) scoring high on Scale 4 of the MMPI, but that would be common for anyone in penal custody.


The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), described above, has been in use now for over 50 years. In that time, no revisions in item content or wording were made. Over the last 10 years, there have been increasing complaints that some of the items were out of date, sexist, awkward, or ambiguous. In addition, two items which contained religious content specific to Christianity were found to be offensive to other religious sectors.

According to James Butcher, one of the researchers responsible for the revision of the MMPI, the MMPI-2 is a valid revision and expansion of the original MMPI. He asserts that continuity with the previous empirical literature has been assured. The original validity and clinical scales have been kept virtually intact in the MMPI-2. According to Butcher, however, new norms based on nationally representative samples provide a sounder comparative base. Therefore, the information on the MMPI covered above is still accurate.

In addition to the original validity scales (LFK), there have been three new validity scales included in the MMPI-2: FB, VRIN, and TRIN. FB refers to the F scale, only for the back side or the second half of the test. VRIN is the variable response inconsistency scale which attempts to indicate a random response pattern or an inconsistent pattern of responses. The TRIN refers to the true response inconsistencies scale and indicates invalid profiles due to a true set or a false set. A true set is when a person answers true to two inconsistent items such as most of the time I feel blue and I am happy most of the time. A false set would be answering false to both items. The validity scales are extremely important in the interpretation of the entire test since it indicates the degree to which a clinical profile is a valid picture of the person being

In the past, one of the complaints of the MMPI was the lack of uniformity in the T-score distributions of the clinical scales, therefore, making it difficult to compare relative T-scores. During the restandardization, this problem was corrected so that the 8 clinical scales (omitting scales 5 and 0) and the 15 new content scales have uniform T-scores making it much easier to compare clinical and content scales. Scale 5 (masculinity/femininity scale) and Scale 0 (introversion scale) were not included since they are not comparable measures of psychopathology and these scales differ in their distribution.

With the uniform T-scores, a T-score of 65 is at the 92nd percentile across the clinical scales and a T-score of 70 is equal to a percentile rank of 96. A T-score of 65 has proven to be the best cutoff for critical items. In general, it is hoped that the MMPI-2 will answer the problems raised with the original MMPI. Many researchers are dubious of these new findings and still prefer the original version. However, the MMPI-2 is the preferred test at the present time, although many computer test interpretations will include both profiles.


The MMPI-2 contains seven validity scales and ten clinical scales that are nearly identical to the original MMPI. Following is a description of the validity scales as well as the clinical scales for the MMPI-2.

Validity Scale

The "Cannot Say" Scale ("? scale") - The "?" scale is simply the number of omitted items (including items answered both true and false). The MMPI-2 manual suggests that protocols with 30 or more omitted items should be considered invalid and not interpreted. Other experts suggest interpreting with great caution protocols with more than 10 omitted items and not to interpret at all those with more than 30 omitted items.

L Scale - The L scale originally was constructed to detect a deliberate and rather unsophisticated attempt on the part of the respondent to present him/herself in a favorable light. People who present high L scale scores are not willing to admit even minor shortcomings, and are deliberately trying to present themselves in a very favorable way. Better educated, brighter, more sophisticated people from higher social classes tend to score lower on the L scale.

F Scale - The F Scale originally was developed to detect deviant or atypical ways of responding to test items. Several of the F Scale items were deleted from the MMPI-2 because of objectionable content, leaving the F Scale with 60 of the original 64 items in the revised instrument. The F Scale serves three important functions:
1. It is an index of test-taking attitude and is useful in detecting deviant response sets (i.e. faking good or faking bad). 2. If one can rule out profile invalidity, the F Scale is a good indicator of degree of psychopathology, with higher scores suggesting greater psychopathology.

3. Scores on the F Scale can be used to generate inferences about other extratest characteristics and behaviors.
K Scale - Compared to the L Scale, the K Scale was developed as a more subtle and more effective index of attempts by examiners to deny psychopathology and to present themselves in a favorable light or, conversely, to exaggerate psychopathology and to try to appear in a very unfavorable light. Some people refer to this scale as the "defensiveness" indicator, as high scores on the K Scale are thought to be associated with a defensive approach to the test, while low scores are thought to be indicative of an unusually frank and self-critical approach.

Subsequent research on the K Scale has indicated that the K Scale is not only related to defensiveness, but is also related to educational level and socioeconomic status, with better-educated and higher socioeconomic-level subjects scoring higher on the scale. It is not unusual for college-educated persons who are not being defensive to obtain T-scores on the K Scale in a range of 55 to 60, and persons with even more formal education to obtain T-scores in a range of 60 to 70. Moderate elevations on the K Scale sometimes reflect ego strength and psychological resources.

Back F (Fb) Scale - The Fb scale consists of 40 items on the MMPI-2 that no more than 10 percent of the MMPI-2 normative sample answered in the deviant direction. It is analogous to the standard F scale except that the items are placed in the last half of the test. An elevated Fb scale score could indicate that the respondent stopped paying attention to the test items that occurred later in the booklet and shifted to an essentially random pattern of responding.

VRIN Scale (Variable Response Inconsistency) - The VRIN scale was developed for the MMPI-2 as an additional validity indicator. It provides an indication of the respondents' tendencies to respond inconsistently to MMPI-2 items, and whose resulting protocols therefore should not be interpreted. It consists of 67 pairs of items with either similar or opposite content. Each time a person answers items in a pair inconsistently, one raw score point is added to the score ont he VRIN scale. It is suggested that a raw score equal to or greater than 13 indicates inconsistent responding that probably invalidates the resulting protocol, although this scale is still experimental.

TRIN Scale (True Response Inconsistency) - The TRIN scale was developed to identify persons who respond inconsistently to items by giving true responses to items indiscriminately or by giving false responses to items indiscriminately. The TRIN scale consists of 23 pairs of items that are opposite in content. Two true responses to some item pairs or two false responses to other item pairs would indicate inconsistent responding. The MMPI-2 manual suggests that as rough guidelines TRIN raw scores of 13 or more or of 5 or less may be suggestive of indiscriminate responding that might invalidate the protocol, however, this scale is still considered experimental.

Clinical Scales

Scale 1: Hypochondriasis (Hs) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients who manifested a pattern of symptoms associated with the label of hypochondriasis. A wide variety of vague and nonspecific complaints about bodily functioning are tapped by the 32 items. All the items on this scale deal with somatic concerns or with general physical competence. Scale 1 is designed to assess a neurotic concern over bodily functioning. A person who is actually physically ill will obtain only a moderate elevation on Scale 1. These people will endorse their legitimate physical complaints, but will not endorse the entire gamut of vague physical complaints tapped by this scale. All but one of the original items were retained on the MMPI-2.

Scale 2: Depression (D) - This scale was originally developed to assess symptomatic depression. The primary characteristics of symptomatic depression are poor morale, lack of hope in the future, and a general dissatisfaction with one's own life situation. Very elevated scores on this scale may suggest clinical depression, while more moderate scores tend to indicate a general attitude or life-style characterized by poor morale and lack of involvement. Of the original 60 items, 57 have been retained in MMPI-2.

Scale 3: Hysteria (Hy) - This scale was developed to identify patients who demonstrated hysterical reactions to stress situations. All 60 original items have been retained in the MMPI-2. Items in Scale 3 consist of two general types: items reflecting specific somatic complaints and items that show that the client considers himself or herself well socialized and adjusted. Such people generally maintain a facade of superior adjustment and only when they are under stress does their proneness to develop conversion-type symptoms as a means of resolving conflict and avoiding responsibility appear. Scale 3 scores are related to intellectual ability, educational background, and social class. Brighter, better-educated persons of a higher social class tend to score higher on the scale. In addition, high scores are much more common among
women than among men in both normal and psychiatric populations.

Scale 4: Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients diagnosed as psychopathic personality, asocial or amoral type. General social maladjustment and the absence of strongly pleasant experiences are assessed by the 50 items included in Scale 4. Scores on Scale 4 tend to be related to age, with adolescents and college students often scoring in a T-score range of 55 to 60. Black respondents have also been reported to score higher than white persons on Scale 4. Scale 4 can be thought of as a measure of rebelliousness, with higher scores indicating rebellion and lower scores indicating an acceptance of authority and the status quo. High scorers are very likely to be diagnosed as having some form of personality disorder, but are unlikely to receive a psychotic diagnosis. Low scorers are generally described as conventional, conforming, and submissive. All 50 items in the original scale have been retained in the MMPI-2.

Scale 5: Masculinity-Femininity (Mf) - Scale 5 was originally developed by Hathaway and McKinley to identify homosexual invert males. The test authors identified only a very small number of items that differentiated homosexual from heterosexual males. Scores on this scale are related to intelligence, education, and socioeconomic status. It is not uncommon for male college students and other college-educated males to obtain T-scores in the 60 to 65 range. Scores that are markedly higher than expected for males, based on the persons' intelligence, education, and social class should suggest the possibility of sexual concerns and problems. High scores are very uncommon among females. When they are encountered, they generally indicate rejection of the traditional female role. Of the 60 items in the original scale 5, 56 have been maintained in the MMPI-2.

Scale 6: Paranoia (Pa) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients who were judged to have paranoid symptoms such as ideas of reference, feelings of persecution, grandiose self-concepts, suspiciousness, excessive sensitivity, and rigid opinions and attitudes. Persons who score high on this scale usually have paranoid symptoms. All 40 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2.

Scale 7: Psychasthenia (Pt) - This scale was originally developed to measure the general symptomatic pattern labeled psychasthenia. This
diagnostic label is not commonly used today. Among currently popular diagnostic categories, the obsessive-compulsive disorder probably is closest to the original psychasthenia label. Psychasthenia was originally characterized by excessive doubts, compulsions, obsessions, and
unreasonable fears. The person suffering from psychasthenia had an inability to resist specific actions or thoughts regardless of their maladaptive nature. In addition to obsessive-compulsive features, this scale taps abnormal fears, self-criticism, difficulties in concentration, and guilt feelings. The anxiety assessed by this scale is of a long-term nature or trait anxiety, although the scale is somewhat responsive to situational stress as well. All 48 items from the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2.

Scale 8: Schizophrenia (Sc) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients diagnosed as schizophrenic. All 78 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2. The items in this scale assess a wide variety of content areas, including bizarre thought processes and peculiar perceptions, social alienation, poor familial relationships, difficulties in concentration and impulse control, lack of deep interests, disturbing questions of self-worth and self-identity, and sexual difficulties. Misinterpretations of reality, delusions, and hallucinations may be present. Ambivalent or constricted emotional responsiveness is common. Behavior may be withdrawn, aggressive, or bizarre. Scale 8 is probably the single most difficult scale to interpret in isolation because of the variety of factors that can result in an elevated score. Scores on this scale are related to age and to race. Adolescents and college students often obtain T-scores in a range of 50 to 60, perhaps reflecting the turmoil associated with that period in life. Black subjects, particularly males, tend to score higher than white subjects, perhaps suggesting the alienation and social estrangement felt by many blacks.

Scale 9: Hypomania (Ma) - This scale was originally developed to identify psychiatric patients manifesting hypomanic symptoms. Hypomania is characterized by elevated mood, accelerated speech and motor activity, irritability, flight of ideas, and brief periods of depression. Some of the 46 items deal specifically with features of hypomanic disturbance, while others cover topics such as family relationships, moral values and attitudes, and physical or bodily concerns. Scores on this scale are clearly related to age and to race, with adolescents and college students typically obtaining scores in a T-score range of 55 to 60, while elderly persons often achieve scores below a T-score of 50. Black persons typically score higher than white persons on the scale, often scoring in a T-score range of 55 to 65. All 46 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2.

Scale 0: Social Introversion (Si) - Scale ) was developed later than the other clinical scales, but it has come to be treated as a standard
clinical scale. This scale was originally designed to assess a person's tendency to withdraw from social contacts and responsibilities. All but
one of the 70 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2. The items on this scale are of two general types. One group of
items deals with social participation, while the other group deals with general neurotic maladjustment and self-depreciation. High scorers are
generally seen as socially introverted, while low scorers tend to be sociable and extroverted. High scorers are very insecure and uncomfortable
in social situations. They tend to be shy, reserved, timid, and retiring, while low scorers tend to be outgoing, gregarious, friendly, and talkative.


In a State Bar of Texas advanced Family Law course, David McClure made an interesting comment that psychological testing in custody disputes date back to the Old Testament, when King Solomon attempted to resolve a custody dispute of an infant. We are all familiar with his declaration that he would satisfy each woman by splitting the child in half, giving one-half to each of the women. He granted custody of the child to the woman who put the child's safety and welfare before her own needs. In today's world, King Solomon would have appointed a psychologist to conduct a full psychological evaluation to determine which mother had better parenting skills and perhaps which mother was determined to be the "psychological parent."

The MMPI/MMPI-2 has been cited extensively in appellate cases involving custody evaluations as well as in cases where one party is attempting to limit parental rights for the sake of the children's welfare. Since the general goal in custody evaluations is to establish custody and visitation arrangements that are in the best interests of the children involved, courts often turn to psychological assessment to help determine which parent is best suited to be the primary custodial parent. MMPI-based assessment of parents can provide valuable information in identifying not only psychological and behavioral problems that might argue against a grant of custody but also characteristics that may suggest mature parenting abilities.

In providing expertise in forensic evaluations, psychologists are often asked to provide expert opinions about the emotional health of the parents as well as assessing any possible developmental or adjustment problems related to the child. The MMPI/MMPI-2 is the most frequently administered psychological test in assessing parents. Personality assessments of parents entangled in custody disputes are among the most difficult that psychologists face. In fact, most licensing boards and professional insurance companies will tell you that those psychologists that embark on this specialty, have the most complaints and lawsuits filed against them.

One of the problems that face the psychologist completing a custody evaluation is that men and women in custody disputes tend to be very self-protective and assert their lack of problems, while at the same time tending to provide extremely negative and acrimonious information about their spouse. It is important not to just accept these self-protective responses and claims about others without carefully exploring and evaluating the charges.

As stated earlier, it would be nice to have a clean assessment that allows the attorneys to clearly see which client is better fit to be the "perfect" parent and which client may be guilty of abusive behavior. It isn't so simple, although some research does suggest that some MMPI/MMPI-2 scale scores are statistically associated with higher risk for child abuse. Other research studies have focused on how abuse (e.g., incest) affects the personality and development of the victim/survivor. The MMPI can also be used to help assess the credibility of a parent's self-report, possible psychopathology, problems with alcohol or drugs, and characteristics that seem to be associated with safe, appropriate, and effective parenting.


The MMPI has been cited in a large number of cases involving the issues of custody evaluation, limitations and termination of parental rights and adoption. Generally, the goal in custody evaluations is to establish the arrangements that are in the children's best interests. Litigation often involves acrimonious dissolution proceedings where allegations of neglect, abuse and molestation are alleged against one or both parents. MMPI-based assessment of parents is invaluable in identifying psychological and behavioral problems which often provide the basis of an order which provides or denies custody to one parent or the other.

The MMPI is the most widely used standardized test of personality and is likely the most widely cited personality assessment instrument in litigation. Federal courts have affirmed the MMPI as a scientifically valid and accepted procedure for personality assessment. Regents of the University of Minnesota v. Applied Innovations, Inc., 685 F Supp 698 (DC Minn 1987) and Applied Innovations, Inc. v. Regents of the University of Minnesota, 876 F2d 626 (8th Cir 1989).

Examples of reported cases where the MMPI was admitted to support a custody evaluation include D.J. v. State Department of Human Resources, 578 So2d 1351 (Ala Civ App 1991) (the MMPI was accepted as evidence of a mother's mental state); In Re Rodrigo S., San Francisco Department of Social Services v. Joan R., 225 Cal App3d 1179, 276 Cal Rptr 183 (Cal App 1 dist 1990) (the MMPI was accepted in a father's evaluation); Gootee v. Lightner, 224 Cal App3d 587, 274 Cal Rptr 697 (Cal App 4 Dist 1990) (MMPI-based testing was appropriately used to evaluate the family in the custody dispute); and Utz v. Keinzle, 574 So2d 1288 (La App 3 Cir 1991) (the MMPI was used in a custody dispute to evaluate two sets of parents).

MMPI testing was also used to determine whether parental rights should be terminated in State ex rel. LEAS in Interest of O'Neal. 303 NW2d 414 (Iowa 1981) and to decide when parental rights should be given to potential adoptive parents in Commonwealth v. Jarboe, 464 SW2d 287 (Ky 1971).


The fundamental principal for attorneys in preparing and confronting expert testimony using MMPI results is adequate preparation. It requires a commitment to the integrity of the case at issue. They attorney must prepare in such a way that he understands the evidence and arguments to be asserted on behalf of the client but also anticipates the opposition's assumptions, approach and documentation.

Preparation starts with extensive background research and discovery. After carefully obtaining the client's version of events and supporting documentation, the attorney needs to make sure that he is adequately familiar with the MMPI as a standardized psychological test, with its legal history and context and with fundamental technical knowledge about evaluating, administering, scoring and interpreting psychological tests.

The attorney must be familiar with the MMPI items as well as the rationale behind the test, and its nature, reliability an limitations. Most competent psychologists believe that taken alone and out of context of the test (e.g., the MMPI scales), a response to a single MMPI item may be of questionable validity. The response to the item remains to the attorney, however, a statement by the individual who took the MMPI. That statement may support or contradict other testimony given at deposition or trial.

The lawyer, or his expert, should conduct a review of the literature to locate MMPI articles relevant to the case at hand. Retaining the right expert early in the case should make the task of background research much easier. Expert testimony often significantly influences the outcome of closely contested custody and domestic violence cases.

Once the expert is retained to evaluate MMPI results, the attorney should not automatically assume that the expert should be called to testify. Fundamental queries need to be made, including the following:
1. Will the MMPI results help the trier of fact understand facts or theories at issue in the case? 2. Are the MMPI results consistent with the attorney's theory of the case?

3. If the MMPI results are inconsistent, is there a reason for the inconsistency?

4. Will the MMPI results confuse the trier of fact?

Once the attorney has a fundamental understanding of the client's version of events, all supportive documentation that the client is able to supply, the nature and function of the MMPI as it is relevant to the case, the relevant diagnostic frameworks and categories and the expert's opinions and role, all remaining available information concerning the case that is the subject of the litigation should be obtained.

The attorney must then obtain all documents in any way related to the adverse expert's evaluation in which the MMPI was used. The subpoena
duces tecum should include all, but not be limited to, the following specifically enumerated materials: 1. The expert's entire original file pertaining to the psychological exam or evaluation and any psychological testing, including but not limited to, testing materials and results of the MMPI or any version of the MMPI. 2. All notes of conversations with any person, including the client or any person consulted in connection with this case or the exam or evaluation of the client and any psychological testing, including but not limited to, the MMPI or any version of the MMPI. 3. All scorings, computerized scorings, and hand scorings of any and all psychological tests or assessment instruments, including but not limited to, the MMPI or any version of the MMPI.

4. All psychological testing documents, including the original completed examinations (the actual answer form), score sheets, and notes written by the client or anyone else in connection with the testing.

5. All MMPI testing documents for the client including the original completed examination, score sheets and notes.

6. All documents that were reviewed in connection with the expert's exam or evaluation of the client or any aspect of the case entitled Doe v. Doe.

7. All reports and drafts of reports prepared in connection with the expert's exam or evaluation of the client or your evaluation of the case entitled Doe v. Doe.

8. All documents, including computer-scored or computer-generated information, that you reviewed or wrote or that you discussed with any person in connection with you exam or evaluation of the client or the evaluation of her MMPI testing, regardless of whether these documents are still in the expert's possession.

9. The original file folders in which any information regarding the client is or has been stored.

10. All calendars that refer to appointments with the client or any person with whom the expert discussed the evaluation of the case Doe v. Doe.

11. All billing statements and payment records.

12. All correspondence with any person in any way relating to the case Doe v. Doe.

13. All video and audio tape recordings of or pertaining to the client.

14. The expert's curriculum vitae, including a list of all articles, papers, chapters, books or other documents he has written or published, a list of all articles, papers, chapters, books or other documents, materials, or sources of information that he relied on in forming expert opinions regarding the matters at issue; transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended by the expert; a list of all legal cases in which the expert has been endorsed in the last 5 years; a list of all attorneys and their addresses for each case in which the expert has been endorsed; and in some cases, a copy of the expert's dissertation or thesis.

15. The originals of all correspondence, notes of conversations and documents between and among the expert witness, attorneys (who retained the expert), representatives and consultants of the attorneys in any way related to the case.

The original file and folder is requested because short scribbled notes or notes on the reverse sides of documents can provide a wealth of information that might be missed when copies are requested.

Needless to say, it is essential that the adverse witness who will be testifying concerning the MMPI be deposed. The objective is threefold: (1) to learn from the expert so that the attorney can better understand his own client and case; (2) to assess whether the opposing expert's testimony might be beneficial to one's own case; and (3) to determine how, if possible, the attorney can damage or destroy the credibility of the opponent's expert witness. It is a very rare occasion that the expert witness should be questioned for the first time in the courtroom during trial. Pretrial depositions of opposing experts should be the standard operating procedure.


Witnesses should be called and testimony elicited in such a way that adds support, clarity, detail, significance and immediacy to the basic story that the lawyer is attempting to communicate to the trier of fact. Providing testimony in narrative style by the experienced mental health witness is one way of making the story more vivid. In fact, research has indicated that there is generally a great difference in the way testimony in narrative style is received as opposed to fragmented style. If those hearing testimony believe that its style is determined by the lawyer, they may believe that use of a narrative style indicates the lawyer's faith in the witness' competence. Similarly, when witness uses a fragmented style, presumable under the direction of the lawyer, the lawyer may be thought to consider the witness incompetent.

The attorney may want to address the following points for presenting the MMPI-2 in court in direct examination:
1. Describe the MMPI in terms of being an objective, paper and pencil personality scale that has been widely researched and validated. 2. Describe how widely used the MMPI is in clinical assessment, and cite references to support its broad use.

3. Provide a rationale for the original development of the MMPI as an objective means of classifying psychological problems.

4. Explain the empirical scale construction approach.

5. Describe and illustrate how the MMPI was validated, and explain the correlate base for the clinical scales.

6. Illustrate how the MMPI is used in personality description and clinical assessment.

7. If pertinent to the case, describe the MMPI revision (and MMPI-2/MMPI-A).

8. Describe and illustrate how the clinical scales of the revised versions (MMPI-2/MMPI-A) are composed of the same items and possess the same psychometric properties as the original version of the scales. Traditional scale reliabilities and validities have been assured in the revised version.

9. Describe how the credibility and validity of a particular MMPI profile can be determined?

10. Describe what the MMPI/MMPI-2/MMPI-A measures for the particular client?

11. Establish that the results of the MMPI were only one factor that the clinician used in coming to a conclusion about the client. The MMPI is only a tool and the results should rarely, if ever, be used as the sole reason for arriving at an opinion or conclusion.

12. Establish that the MMPI does not focus on cultural differentiations, and simply seeks an assessment of a test taker's personality.

13. Establish how the MMPI-2 illustrates how the test taker meshes with the demographics of the national norm.

14. Describe how the test was scored (by computer, by hand, by some third party, etc.).

15. Establish the expert's observation and opinion about the test taker's behavior and actions derived from the test taker's T scores.


Few aspects of legal proceedings require more extensive, detailed preparation for the attorney than discovery through deposition and
subsequent cross examination. Although on occasion it is strategically useful to jump from one topic to another (in order to determine how different aspects of the testimony fit together) and to return to a topic repeatedly (to assess the degree to which an expert's testimony on a specific topic is consistent during the long course of deposition and cross examination), it is crucial that the attorney have a well-organized outline to ensure that all relevant questions are asked.

The major difference between questions asked during the trial of your own witness on direct examination and that asked in cross examination of the opposing expert is the manner in which the questions are asked. Direct examination questions are usually phrased in an open-ended manner, whereas cross-examination questions during the trial are generally closed-ended, requiring a short, specific answer, often a "yes" or "no" to which the examiner knows the answer. The examiner must be prepared to impeach or contradict the expert if the answer is anything other than what is anticipated.

There is no special or best style of cross examination, but the attorney must be organized and prepared to take the expert in the direction that careful preparation lets the attorney know he can accomplish.

One of the most difficult tasks facing the attorney in a case involving the MMPI is deposing and cross examining the expert witness. The attorney himself must attempt to become as knowledgeable as the expert witness about the MMPI as an instrument, about its use in the case at hand, and about the complex and detailed framework or psychological theory, research and practice with which the MMPI results and other evidence in the case will be understood. Questions put to the adverse expert (at deposition and if pertinent at trial) testifying in a case involving the MMPI fall into twelve basic categories. They are as follows:

1. Compliance with the subpoena. a. Determine whether any of the documents were altered, recopied, erased, written over, enhanced, edited or added to since originally
created. b. Determine whether any documents are missing--such as the computer printout which was copied over and substituted by a
hand-copied replica.

c. Determine whether any of the documents been lost, stolen, misplaced, destroyed or thrown away?

d. Determine whether the expert has any policies for keeping or eliminating documents, the rationale for such policies and how monitored and implemented.

2. Education and Training. a. Does the expert meet the criteria or recognized formal training for the title they refer to themselves? The "expert" may have a psychological degree but lack a doctorate in psychology--possessing a doctoral degree in some unrelated field as Dr. Laura does on national radio. b. Which of the degrees or internships is relevant to the expertise and testimony which is being provided?

c. Which of the training programs and internships were fully accredited the full time the expert was in attendance?

d. What is the name, title and other vital information of the directors of each graduate training program and internship?

e. Did the expert fail to successfully complete a doctoral degree, clinical practicum, field placement, internship or similar program?

f. What specific courses and training in psychological testing and assessment did the expert take and successfully pass?

g. How many hours in each course, workshop or training program were devoted specifically to the MMPI?

3. Illegal, unethical or unprofessional behavior. a. Has anyone ever filed a complaint against the expert with a licensing board in any jurisdiction and the details of such complaints? b. What complaints were filed against the expert with any ethics committee, professional standards review committee, peer review board or other organization?

c. Has there ever been a malpractice or criminal action filed against the expert?

4. Occupational history. a. What professional positions has the expert had since graduate school? b. Are there positions omitted from the curriculum vitae but mentioned in the deposition which might be because the expert was fired for cause or otherwise found to have committed acts that might cast doubt on credibility or expertise.

c. Are there gaps when the expert moved from one level to a seemingly lower level (e.g., from full-time, untenured professor at a major university to full-time, untenured position at an unaccredited university within the same city)?

d. Which of the positions involved the administering, scoring or interpreting the MMPI?

5. Research and publication history. a. Has the expert conducted any research or published any books, chapters, articles or other documents that involved the MMPI? b. Is the expert's testimony in the current case consistent with what the expert has previously written?

c. Was the publisher of an authored document reputable?
6. Forensic history. a. Has the expert previously testified as an expert witness regarding the MMPI in any proceeding or setting? b. Is the prior testimony consistent with the testimony offered by the adverse expert witness in this case?

c. Does the expert's prior testimony suggest a bias or prejudice?

7. Knowledge of general issues of tests and psychometrics. a. Does the expert have genuine expertise and understand the nature of testing as opposed to following a "cookbook" method of test use or improvising opinions? b. Was the standardized MMPI tests conducted under generally standardized conditions, i.e., in all essential respects that might significantly affect test performance?

c. Is the expert aware of characteristics of the individual taking the test or the testing circumstances which may significantly influence test results and interpretations?

d. Did the expert follow the standard procedures for administering the test and were special individual characteristics or testing circumstances adequately taken into account and discussed in the forensic report?

e. Is the expert able to distinguish retrospective accuracy from predictive accuracy? In other words, is the expert confusing the directionality of the inference (e.g., the likelihood that those who score positive on a hypothetical predictor variable will fall into a specific group versus the likelihood that those in a specific group will score positive on the predictor variable). Cross examination must carefully explore the degree to which testimony may be based on such misunderstandings.

f. How consistent or reliable are the test results? See if the test taker took the test on more than one occasion and whether the results were identical. MMPI test results might be different because of the time or conditions under which the test was administered.

g. What types of scales were involved in the various tests and methods of assessment that the expert considered in selecting the instruments and diagnostic frameworks that the expert used in the case at hand?

h. What is a T score, and what are its psychometric properties? Understanding the T score is essential to understanding the MMPI.
8. Knowledge of the MMPI. a. Ask the expert to describe the normative group for the original MMPI and for the MMPI-2. b. Inquiry whether the normative group for the MMPI-2 scored about half of one standard deviation above the mean on the clinical scales of the original MMPI and whether that doesn't illustrate that the group was not therefore not really normal? Knowledgable experts should be able to explain that the difference seems largely the result of differences in instructional sets and unanswered questions.

c. A series of questions can be asked if the expert's previous responses do not show a basic familiarity with the MMPI. The quetions include the level a clinical score must be to be considered significant, what scales indicate the degree to which a specific test protocol is valid and what reading level is required for the MMPI-2.

9. Administration and scoring. a. Who was responsible for administering the test? b. Was the test administered in a setting close to that employed in normative studies?

c. What instructions were given to the test taker? The purpose of this question is to determine whether the conditions adequately met the criteria for a standardized test. Did for example, the person who administered the test include instructions regarding attempting to answer all items which can affect the validity of the test.

d. How was the test taker's reading level assessed?

e. Was the test administration directly monitored? What degree did the test taker relied on other sources or written material for filling out the test? To administer the MMPI without adequate monitoring violates the published opinion of the APA's Committee on Professional Standards.

f. Was any phase of the assessment audiotaped, videotaped or otherwise recorded?

g. What conditions of test administration did the expert consider as potentially affecting the validity of the MMPI?

h. Has anyone but the expert had access to the original completed response form?

i. Has the original completed response form been altered in any way by anyone? Did anyone except the test taker make marks on, erase or change the original form in any way?

j. Were any test data discarded, destroyed, recopied or lost? Are all of the documents involved in the administration and taking of the test present in their original form?

k. Who scored the test? Was it hand scored or done by machine or computer?

l. Did the scoring differ in any way whatsoever from the scoring method set forth in the MMPI manual? To the degree that the standardized methods for scoring are altered the test is no longer standardized. The reliability, validity and interpretations that are associated with the standardized test do not automatically transfer to methods of scoring that deviate from those specified in the manual and the research literature.

m. What steps has the expert taken to ensure that the scoring of this test is accurate and free from error?

n. Were there any changes made in the test format, mode of administration, instructions, language or content?

10. Interpretation. a. By what method were these interpretative statements derived from the MMPI scores and profiles? b. Did the expert have any reservations or qualifications regarding the validity of the interpretations that he is presenting?

c. What other documents or sources of information does the expert consider important or relevant to interpreting this MMPI profile?
11. The unexpected: Testimony regarding specific claims and issues. a. No matter how thoroughly an attorney has prepared his side of the case and no matter how favorable the opinions formed by the expert witness whom he has designated, the attorney is likely, at least occasionally, to encounter one or more surprises from opposing experts. b. There is no easy or magical way for an attorney to simply be sure whether such claims are exceptionally well founded, entirely bogus or somewhere in between. Theories that have the ring of authority, common sense and inevitability may be ludicrously fallaciious. Concepts that seem bazarre, counterintuitive and just downright silly may, in fact, be valid.

c. To help attorneys untangle and examine overwhelmingly complex and intertwined issues comprehensively, Pope, Butcher and Seelen, recommend using a systematic set of 16 fundamental questions about each relevant issue. The list of areas of inquiry that follow can be used both as a "road map" to the extensive discussion and analysis that follows in the book and also as an outline for deposition or cross-examination questioning:

1) the adequacy with which the expert portrays the studies,
information or publications;

2) relevance;

3) internal consistency;

4) research foundation;

5) definition and consistent application of evaluative

6) number of investigations;

7) sample size;

8) criteria for "success";

9) duration of study;

10) questionable applications;

11) level of effectiveness;

12) reliability and validity;

13) independent verification;

14) ethically questionable research practices;

15) publication in peer-reviewed academic, scientific
or professional journals; and

16) accounting for the base rate.12. Options and alternatives. a. In arriving at his diagnosis or other conclusions, what alternatives did the expert consider? In some cases, the attorney may want to list possible alternatives and ask the expert to explain why he did not arrive at each alternative diagnosis. b. Is there any other source of information that the expert did not take into consideration (e.g., because it was not available or because the expert chose not to administer a particular test) that might be relevant or that might change his opinion? If the expert acknowledges such an alternative conclusion, the attorney might want to ask the questions that follow.

c. How such a source of information might alter the expert's opinion?

d. Whether the expert is less certain of his opinion in the absence of this information?

e. Why the information was not obtained? In some instances, the attorney may discover that the opposing attorney who retained the expert had possession of (or access to) such records or information but did not make them available to the expert; if so, this situation and its implications should be carefully explored.
The list of questions set forth above is in no way intended to be exhaustive. It is merely an outline of categories and types of questions that might lead to helpful testimony and evidence that will aid in the attorney's attempt to discredit, damage or destroy the adverse expert's testimony and the weight of his opinions and conclusions. The professional work that has been most useful to these authors in preparing this paper is the book written by Pope, Butcher and Seelen entitled The MMPI, MMPI-2, & MMPI-A in Court: A Practical Guide for Expert Witnesses and Attorneys. This book is geared not only for seasoned attorneys and expert witnesses but also for psychologists who have never set foot in a courtroom and attorneys who have never heard of the MMPI.


Print one of these up and keep it handy it for future use- Violation_Warning-Denial_Rights_under_Color_Law.pdf

First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution

The Statutes-
42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(15)
Reasonable Efforts

42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(19) Relative Placement

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
Conspiracy Against Rights

Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 241

This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 242

This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her color or race.

Acts under "color of any law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under "color of any law," the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245
Federally Protected Activities

Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 245

1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:

a) A voter, or person qualifying to vote...;

b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by the United States;

c) an applicant for federal employment or an employee by the federal government;

d) a juror or prospective juror in federal court; and

e) a participant in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

2) Prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin and because of his/her activity as:

a) A student or applicant for admission to any public school or public College;

b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by a state or local government;

c) an applicant for private or state employment, private or state employee; a member or applicant for membership in any labor organization or hiring hall; or an applicant for employment through any employment agency, labor organization or hiring hall;

d) a juror or prospective juror in state court;

e) a traveler or user of any facility of interstate commerce or common carrier; or

f) a patron of any public accommodation, including hotels, motels, restaurants, lunchrooms, bars, gas stations, theaters...or any other establishment which serves the public and which is principally engaged in selling food or beverages for consumption on the premises.

3) Prohibits interference by force or threat of force against any person because he/she is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or class of persons from participating or affording others the opportunity or protection to so participate, or lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate in any of the benefits or activities listed in items (1) and (2), above without discrimination as to race, color, religion, or national origin.

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life or may be sentenced to death.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001
Fraud and False Statements
United States Code TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PART I - CRIMES CHAPTER 47 - FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01 Section 1001. Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully -
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
18 USC Sec. 1203
Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 18 : Section 1203

STATUTE (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure, or to continue to detain another person in order to compel a third person or a governmental organization to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the person detained, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life and, if the death of any person results, shall be punished by death or life imprisonment.

Codes and Statutes US Code Title 18 Part I Chapter 63 Section 1346

18 U.S.C. § 1346 : US Code - Section 1346: Definition of "scheme or artifice to defraud"For the purposes of this chapter, the term "scheme or artifice to defraud" includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.


U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01

Section 2234. Authority exceeded in executing warrant

Whoever, in executing a search warrant, willfully exceeds his authority or exercises it with unnecessary severity, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year. U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01

Section 2235. Search warrant procured maliciously Whoever maliciously and without probable cause procures a search warrant to be issued and executed, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year.

Section 2236. Searches without warrant

Whoever, being an officer, agent, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, engaged in the enforcement of any law of the United States, searches any private dwelling used and occupied as such dwelling without a warrant directing such search, or maliciously and without reasonable cause searches any other building or property without a search warrant, shall be fined for a first offense not more than $1,000; and, for a subsequent offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This section shall not apply to any person -
(a) serving a warrant of arrest; or
(b) arresting or attempting to arrest a person committing or
attempting to commit an offense in his presence, or who has
committed or is suspected on reasonable grounds of having
committed a felony; or
(c) making a search at the request or invitation or with the
consent of the occupant of the premises.

More on Section 2236

Title 42 USC Section 1983Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 42 : Section 1983

Sec. 1983. - Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia

Title 42 USC Section 1983 Information

Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141
Pattern and Practice

Laws: Cases and Codes : U.S. Code : Title 42 : Section 14141

This civil statute was a provision within the Crime Control Act of 1994 and makes it unlawful for any governmental authority, or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may in a civil action obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice.

Types of misconduct covered include, among other things:

1. Excessive Force
2. Discriminatory Harassment
3. False Arrest
4. Coercive Sexual Conduct
5. Unlawful Stops, Searches, or Arrests

Section 1001. Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully - (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding. (OK for system to lie?)

(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to - (1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or

(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.




Fifth Amendment rights against Psych Exams AND Ineffective Counsel

This case regards pre-sentencing evals but has lots of useful info. And conveniently enough it also regards ineffective assistance of counsel regarding not being informed of your 5th. Amendment rights by your attorney.
The Fifth Amendment provides, in relevant part, that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” U.S. Const. amend. V. This right against self-incrimination “not only permits a person to refuse to testify against himself at a criminal trial in which he is the defendant, but also ‘privileges him not to answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings.’ ” Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 426 (1984) (quoting Lefowitz v. Turley, 414 U.S. 70, 77 (1973)). The “sole concern” of the Fifth Amendment’s right to silence is “the danger to a witness forced to give testimony leading to the infliction of ‘penalties affixed to the criminal acts. . . .’ ” Ullman v. United States, 350 U.S. 422, 438-39 7 (1956) (quoting Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 634 (1886)). When a criminal defendant exercises his privilege against self-incrimination, such silence may not be used as “evidence of guilt.” Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609, 615 (1965).

The United States Supreme Court established the standard for a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in Strickland v. Washington, supra. Strickland sets forth two components necessary to a criminal defendant’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel: First, the defendant must show that counsel’s performance was deficient. This requires showing that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the “counsel” guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment. Second, the defendant must show that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. This requires showing that counsel’s errors were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable. 466 U.S. at 687, 104 S.Ct. at 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d at 693.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to counsel during all “critical stages” of the adversarial proceedings against him. United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218, 224, 87 S.Ct. 1926, 1931, 18 L.Ed.2d 1149, 1156 (1967); State v. Ruth, 102 Idaho 638, 637 P.2d 415 (1981). A defendant’s right to effective assistance of counsel “extends to all critical stages of the prosecution where his substantial rights may be affected, and sentencing is one such stage.” Retamoza v. State, 125 Idaho 792,

The availability of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination “does not turn upon the type of proceeding in which its protection is invoked, but upon the nature of the statement or admission and the exposure which it invites.” Application of Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 49, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 1455, 18 L.Ed.2d 527, 558 (1967) (noting the privilege may be claimed in a civil or administrative proceeding if the statement is or may be inculpatory). This Court’s decisions clearly indicate that both at the point of sentencing and earlier, for purposes of a psychological evaluation, a defendant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination applies.2 See State v. Lankford, 116 Idaho 860, 871, 781 P.2d 197, 208 (1989) (“The fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination and the sixth amendment right to counsel apply to custodial psychiatric exams conducted prior to sentencing as well as those conducted prior to trial.”); State v. Wilkins, 125 Idaho 215, 217-18, 868 P.2d 1231, 1233-34 (1994) (holding that the Fifth Amendment privilege protects a defendant against compelled testimony at the sentencing hearing in a non-capital case); State v. Odiaga, 125 Idaho 384, 387, 871 P.2d 801, 804 (1994) (“Following Idaho’s repeal of the insanity defense, no statutory scheme remains through which a psychological evaluation can be compelled without threatening the rights guaranteed under both [the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 13, of the Idaho Constitution].”); State v. Wood, 132 Idaho 88, 100, 967 P.2d 702, 714 (1998) (noting that, “[i]f a psychiatrist or psychologist had been appointed by the court for purposes of a pre-sentence investigation, counsel for Wood would have had the opportunity to advise his client of the possible uses of the information and of the privilege against self-incrimination.”)

The district court found that under Strickland, Estrada’s attorney was deficient in failing to inform Estrada of his right to assert the privilege against self-incrimination. The judge’s findings on this point are not clearly erroneous and are affirmed by this Court. Strickland sets an “objective standard of reasonableness” for judging whether errors in an attorney’s performance are serious enough to render that performance defective. 466 U.S at 688, 104 S.Ct. at 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d at 693-94. See also State v. Hairston, 133 Idaho 496, 511, 988 P.2d 1170, 1185 (1999). “There is ‘a strong presumption that counsel’s performance falls within the wide range of professional assistance.’ ” Hairston, 133 Idaho at 511, 988 P.2d at 1185 (citing Aragon v. State 114 Idaho 758, 760, 760 P.2d 1174, 1176 (1988)). Under Strickland, “[t]he proper measure of attorney performance remains simply reasonableness under prevailing professional norms.” 466 U.S at 688, 104 S.Ct. at 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d at 693-94. Given the state of the law established by Estelle, Wilkins, Odiaga, Wood, and Lankford, this Court cannot find that Estrada’s attorney acted reasonably under prevailing standards of professional norms. See Estelle, 451 U.S. at 470, 101 S.Ct. at 1877, 68 L.Ed.2d at 373-74; Wilkins, 125 Idaho at 217-1

Estrada also alleges ineffective assistance of counsel by claiming his attorney was deficient in failing to file a motion to suppress the psychosexual evaluation. Given our conclusion that Estrada’s attorney was deficient in failing to advise him of his Fifth Amendment right at the time of participation in the evaluation, we need not address Estrada’s second basis for alleging deficient performance.


Estrada has met his burden of showing ineffective assistance of counsel in his attorney’s failure to advise him of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and in the resulting prejudice through the sentencing judge’s reliance on the psychosexual evaluation. This case is reversed and remanded to the district court for re-sentencing. Chief Justice SCHROEDER and Justices EISMANN, BURDICK and JONES concur.


Humanist Manifesto I   The Manifesto is a product of many minds. It was designed to represent a developing point of view, not a new creed. The individuals whose signatures appear would, had they been writing individual statements, have stated the propositions in differing terms. The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world. -- Raymond B. Bragg (1933)

The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.

There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life. A change in any of these factors results in alteration of the outward forms of religion. This fact explains the changefulness of religions through the centuries. But through all changes religion itself remains constant in its quest for abiding values, an inseparable feature of human life.

Today man's larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.

THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

FOURTH: Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.

FIFTH: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.

SIXTH: We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of "new thought".

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation -- all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist's social passion.

NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.

TENTH: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.

ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

TWELFTH: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.

FIFTEENTH AND LAST: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.

So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: There were 34 signers of this document, including Anton J. Carlson, John Dewey, John H. Dietrich, R. Lester Mondale, Charles Francis Potter, Curtis W. Reese, and Edwin H. Wilson.]

Copyright © 1973 by the American Humanist Association

Permission to reproduce this material in toto in electronic or printout form is hereby granted free of charge by the copyright holder. Free permission to reprint the essay is granted to nonprofit Humanist and Freethought publications. All others must secure advance permission of the author through the American Humanist Association, which can be contacted at the address at the end of this file.

For more information on Humanism and the AHA, please contact --AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
PO BOX 1188
AMHERST NY 14226-7188Phone: (800) 743-6646


Humanist Manifesto II  PrefaceIt is forty years since Humanist Manifesto I (1933) appeared. Events since then make that earlier statement seem far too optimistic. Nazism has shown the depths of brutality of which humanity is capable. Other totalitarian regimes have suppressed human rights without ending poverty. Science has sometimes brought evil as well as good. Recent decades have shown that inhuman wars can be made in the name of peace. The beginnings of police states, even in democratic societies, widespread government espionage, and other abuses of power by military, political, and industrial elites, and the continuance of unyielding racism, all present a different and difficult social outlook. In various societies, the demands of women and minority groups for equal rights effectively challenge our generation.

As we approach the twenty-first century, however, an affirmative and hopeful vision is needed. Faith, commensurate with advancing knowledge, is also necessary. In the choice between despair and hope, humanists respond in this Humanist Manifesto II with a positive declaration for times of uncertainty.

As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to live and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith. Salvationism, based on mere affirmation, still appears as harmful, diverting people with false hopes of heaven hereafter. Reasonable minds look to other means for survival.

Those who sign Humanist Manifesto II disclaim that they are setting forth a binding credo; their individual views would be stated in widely varying ways. This statement is, however, reaching for vision in a time that needs direction. It is social analysis in an effort at consensus. New statements should be developed to supersede this, but for today it is our conviction that humanism offers an alternative that can serve present-day needs and guide humankind toward the future.

-- Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson (1973)

The next century can be and should be the humanistic century. Dramatic scientific, technological, and ever-accelerating social and political changes crowd our awareness. We have virtually conquered the planet, explored the moon, overcome the natural limits of travel and communication; we stand at the dawn of a new age, ready to move farther into space and perhaps inhabit other planets. Using technology wisely, we can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, extend our life-span, significantly modify our behavior, alter the course of human evolution and cultural development, unlock vast new powers, and provide humankind with unparalleled opportunity for achieving an abundant and meaningful life.

The future is, however, filled with dangers. In learning to apply the scientific method to nature and human life, we have opened the door to ecological damage, over-population, dehumanizing institutions, totalitarian repression, and nuclear and bio-chemical disaster. Faced with apocalyptic prophesies and doomsday scenarios, many flee in despair from reason and embrace irrational cults and theologies of withdrawal and retreat.

Traditional moral codes and newer irrational cults both fail to meet the pressing needs of today and tomorrow. False "theologies of hope" and messianic ideologies, substituting new dogmas for old, cannot cope with existing world realities. They separate rather than unite peoples.

Humanity, to survive, requires bold and daring measures. We need to extend the uses of scientific method, not renounce them, to fuse reason with compassion in order to build constructive social and moral values. Confronted by many possible futures, we must decide which to pursue. The ultimate goal should be the fulfillment of the potential for growth in each human personality -- not for the favored few, but for all of humankind. Only a shared world and global measures will suffice.

A humanist outlook will tap the creativity of each human being and provide the vision and courage for us to work together. This outlook emphasizes the role human beings can play in their own spheres of action. The decades ahead call for dedicated, clear- minded men and women able to marshal the will, intelligence, and cooperative skills for shaping a desirable future. Humanism can provide the purpose and inspiration that so many seek; it can give personal meaning and significance to human life.

Many kinds of humanism exist in the contemporary world. The varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include "scientific," "ethical," "democratic," "religious," and "Marxist" humanism. Free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture, and liberal religion all claim to be heir to the humanist tradition. Humanism traces its roots from ancient China, classical Greece and Rome, through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, to the scientific revolution of the modern world. But views that merely reject theism are not equivalent to humanism. They lack commitment to the positive belief in the possibilities of human progress and to the values central to it. Many within religious groups, believing in the future of humanism, now claim humanist credentials. Humanism is an ethical process through which we all can move, above and beyond the divisive particulars, heroic personalities, dogmatic creeds, and ritual customs of past religions or their mere negation.

We affirm a set of common principles that can serve as a basis for united action -- positive principles relevant to the present human condition. They are a design for a secular society on a planetary scale.

For these reasons, we submit this new Humanist Manifesto for the future of humankind; for us, it is a vision of hope, a direction for satisfying survival.ReligionFIRST: In the best sense, religion may inspire dedication to the highest ethical ideals. The cultivation of moral devotion and creative imagination is an expression of genuine "spiritual" experience and aspiration.

We believe, however, that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence; in our judgment, the dogmas and myths of traditional religions do not do so. Even at this late date in human history, certain elementary facts based upon the critical use of scientific reason have to be restated. We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of survival and fulfillment of the human race. As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity. Nature may indeed be broader and deeper than we now know; any new discoveries, however, will but enlarge our knowledge of the natural.

Some humanists believe we should reinterpret traditional religions and reinvest them with meanings appropriate to the current situation. Such redefinitions, however, often perpetuate old dependencies and escapisms; they easily become obscurantist, impeding the free use of the intellect. We need, instead, radically new human purposes and goals.

We appreciate the need to preserve the best ethical teachings in the religious traditions of humankind, many of which we share in common. But we reject those features of traditional religious morality that deny humans a full appreciation of their own potentialities and responsibilities. Traditional religions often offer solace to humans, but, as often, they inhibit humans from helping themselves or experiencing their full potentialities. Such institutions, creeds, and rituals often impede the will to serve others. Too often traditional faiths encourage dependence rather than independence, obedience rather than affirmation, fear rather than courage. More recently they have generated concerned social action, with many signs of relevance appearing in the wake of the "God Is Dead" theologies. But we can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.

SECOND: Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices. Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the "ghost in the machine" and the "separable soul." Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context. There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have influenced others in our culture.

Traditional religions are surely not the only obstacles to human progress. Other ideologies also impede human advance. Some forms of political doctrine, for instance, function religiously, reflecting the worst features of orthodoxy and authoritarianism, especially when they sacrifice individuals on the altar of Utopian promises. Purely economic and political viewpoints, whether capitalist or communist, often function as religious and ideological dogma. Although humans undoubtedly need economic and political goals, they also need creative values by which to live.EthicsTHIRD: We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. Human life has meaning because we create and develop our futures. Happiness and the creative realization of human needs and desires, individually and in shared enjoyment, are continuous themes of humanism. We strive for the good life, here and now. The goal is to pursue life's enrichment despite debasing forces of vulgarization, commercialization, and dehumanization.

FOURTH: Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute: neither faith nor passion suffices in itself. The controlled use of scientific methods, which have transformed the natural and social sciences since the Renaissance, must be extended further in the solution of human problems. But reason must be tempered by humility, since no group has a monopoly of wisdom or virtue. Nor is there any guarantee that all problems can be solved or all questions answered. Yet critical intelligence, infused by a sense of human caring, is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems. Reason should be balanced with compassion and empathy and the whole person fulfilled. Thus, we are not advocating the use of scientific intelligence independent of or in opposition to emotion, for we believe in the cultivation of feeling and love. As science pushes back the boundary of the known, humankind's sense of wonder is continually renewed, and art, poetry, and music find their places, along with religion and ethics.The IndividualFIFTH: The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value. Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires. We reject all religious, ideological, or moral codes that denigrate the individual, suppress freedom, dull intellect, dehumanize personality. We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. Although science can account for the causes of behavior, the possibilities of individual freedom of choice exist in human life and should be increased.

SIXTH: In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered "evil." Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, a civilized society should be a tolerant one. Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their life-styles as they desire. We wish to cultivate the development of a responsible attitude toward sexuality, in which humans are not exploited as sexual objects, and in which intimacy, sensitivity, respect, and honesty in interpersonal relations are encouraged. Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.Democratic SocietySEVENTH: To enhance freedom and dignity the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties in all societies. This includes freedom of speech and the press, political democracy, the legal right of opposition to governmental policies, fair judicial process, religious liberty, freedom of association, and artistic, scientific, and cultural freedom. It also includes a recognition of an individual's right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide. We oppose the increasing invasion of privacy, by whatever means, in both totalitarian and democratic societies. We would safeguard, extend, and implement the principles of human freedom evolved from the Magna Carta to the Bill of Rights, the Rights of Man, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

EIGHTH: We are committed to an open and democratic society. We must extend participatory democracy in its true sense to the economy, the school, the family, the workplace, and voluntary associations. Decision-making must be decentralized to include widespread involvement of people at all levels -- social, political, and economic. All persons should have a voice in developing the values and goals that determine their lives. Institutions should be responsive to expressed desires and needs. The conditions of work, education, devotion, and play should be humanized. Alienating forces should be modified or eradicated and bureaucratic structures should be held to a minimum. People are more important than decalogues, rules, proscriptions, or regulations.

NINTH: The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives. The state should encourage maximum freedom for different moral, political, religious, and social values in society. It should not favor any particular religious bodies through the use of public monies, nor espouse a single ideology and function thereby as an instrument of propaganda or oppression, particularly against dissenters.

TENTH: Humane societies should evaluate economic systems not by rhetoric or ideology, but by whether or not they increase economic well-being for all individuals and groups, minimize poverty and hardship, increase the sum of human satisfaction, and enhance the quality of life. Hence the door is open to alternative economic systems. We need to democratize the economy and judge it by its responsiveness to human needs, testing results in terms of the common good.

ELEVENTH: The principle of moral equality must be furthered through elimination of all discrimination based upon race, religion, sex, age, or national origin. This means equality of opportunity and recognition of talent and merit. Individuals should be encouraged to contribute to their own betterment. If unable, then society should provide means to satisfy their basic economic, health, and cultural needs, including, wherever resources make possible, a minimum guaranteed annual income. We are concerned for the welfare of the aged, the infirm, the disadvantaged, and also for the outcasts -- the mentally retarded, abandoned, or abused children, the handicapped, prisoners, and addicts -- for all who are neglected or ignored by society. Practicing humanists should make it their vocation to humanize personal relations.

We believe in the right to universal education. Everyone has a right to the cultural opportunity to fulfill his or her unique capacities and talents. The schools should foster satisfying and productive living. They should be open at all levels to any and all; the achievement of excellence should be encouraged. Innovative and experimental forms of education are to be welcomed. The .energy and idealism of the young deserve to be appreciated and channeled to constructive purposes

We deplore racial, religious, ethnic, or class antagonisms. Although we believe in cultural diversity and encourage racial and ethnic pride, we reject separations which promote alienation and set people and groups against each other; we envision an integrated community where people have a maximum opportunity for free and voluntary association.

We are critical of sexism or sexual chauvinism -- male or female. We believe in equal rights for both women and men to fulfill their unique careers and potentialities as they see fit, free of invidious discrimination.World CommunityTWELFTH: We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government. This would appreciate cultural pluralism and diversity. It would not exclude pride in national origins and accomplishments nor the handling of regional problems on a regional basis. Human progress, however, can no longer be achieved by focusing on one section of the world, Western or Eastern, developed or underdeveloped. For the first time in human history, no part of humankind can be isolated from any other. Each person's future is in some way linked to all. We thus reaffirm a commitment to the building of world community, at the same time recognizing that this commits us to some hard choices.

THIRTEENTH: This world community must renounce the resort to violence and force as a method of solving international disputes. We believe in the peaceful adjudication of differences by international courts and by the development of the arts of negotiation and compromise. War is obsolete. So is the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. It is a planetary imperative to reduce the level of military expenditures and turn these savings to peaceful and people-oriented uses.

FOURTEENTH: The world community must engage in cooperative planning concerning the use of rapidly depleting resources. The planet earth must be considered a single ecosystem. Ecological damage, resource depletion, and excessive population growth must be checked by international concord. The cultivation and conservation of nature is a moral value; we should perceive ourselves as integral to the sources of our being in nature. We must free our world from needless pollution and waste, responsibly guarding and creating wealth, both natural and human. Exploitation of natural resources, uncurbed by social conscience, must end.

FIFTEENTH: The problems of economic growth and development can no longer be resolved by one nation alone; they are worldwide in scope. It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to provide -- through an international authority that safeguards human rights -- massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe. World poverty must cease. Hence extreme disproportions in wealth, income, and economic growth should be reduced on a worldwide basis.

SIXTEENTH: Technology is a vital key to human progress and development. We deplore any neo-romantic efforts to condemn indiscriminately all technology and science or to counsel retreat from its further extension and use for the good of humankind. We would resist any moves to censor basic scientific research on moral, political, or social grounds. Technology must, however, be carefully judged by the consequences of its use; harmful and destructive changes should be avoided. We are particularly disturbed when technology and bureaucracy control, manipulate, or modify human beings without their consent. Technological feasibility does not imply social or cultural desirability.

SEVENTEENTH: We must expand communication and transportation across frontiers. Travel restrictions must cease. The world must be open to diverse political, ideological, and moral viewpoints and evolve a worldwide system of television and radio for information and education. We thus call for full international cooperation in culture, science, the arts, and technology across ideological borders. We must learn to live openly together or we shall perish together.Humanity As a WholeIN CLOSING: The world cannot wait for a reconciliation of competing political or economic systems to solve its problems. These are the times for men and women of goodwill to further the building of a peaceful and prosperous world. We urge that parochial loyalties and inflexible moral and religious ideologies be transcended. We urge recognition of the common humanity of all people. We further urge the use of reason and compassion to produce the kind of world we want -- a world in which peace, prosperity, freedom, and happiness are widely shared. Let us not abandon that vision in despair or cowardice. We are responsible for what we are or will be. Let us work together for a humane world by means commensurate with humane ends. Destructive ideological differences among communism, capitalism, socialism, conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism should be overcome. Let us call for an end to terror and hatred. We will survive and prosper only in a world of shared humane values. We can initiate new directions for humankind; ancient rivalries can be superseded by broad-based cooperative efforts. The commitment to tolerance, understanding, and peaceful negotiation does not necessitate acquiescence to the status quo nor the damming up of dynamic and revolutionary forces. The true revolution is occurring and can continue in countless nonviolent adjustments. But this entails the willingness to step forward onto new and expanding plateaus. At the present juncture of history, commitment to all humankind is the highest commitment of which we are capable; it transcends the narrow allegiances of church, state, party, class, or race in moving toward a wider vision of human potentiality. What more daring a goal for humankind than for each person to become, in ideal as well as practice, a citizen of a world community. It is a classical vision; we can now give it new vitality. Humanism thus interpreted is a moral force that has time on its side. We believe that humankind has the potential, intelligence, goodwill, and cooperative skill to implement this commitment in the decades ahead.

We, the undersigned, while not necessarily endorsing every detail of the above, pledge our general support to Humanist Manifesto II for the future of humankind. These affirmations are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living and growing faith. We invite others in all lands to join us in further developing and working for these goals.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Thousands of names have been added to the list of signatories which followed the original Humanist Manifesto II, published in the September/October 1973 issue of The Humanist magazine by the American Humanist Association. You may become a signer yourself by contacting the AHA at the address below.]

Copyright © 1973 by the American Humanist Association

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