“There is no civilization if we don’t protect our children.” — Alice Gilbert, Michigan Circuit Court judge

CCHR wants APA’s Diagnostic Manual banned for excusing criminal conduct

by CCHR International

Can someone fire the American Psychiatric Association? Or, better still, can it step down as the self-acclaimed expert on the subject of human behavior? With mounting sexual assault scandals now being reported, has anyone thought to bring to account the APA for excusing pedophilia as a “mental disorder,” an act that not only attempts to excuse criminal behavior as a mental disorder, but also categorizes some instances of pedophilia as a “sexual orientation?”

The fact is that pedophilia must never be considered anything but a crime. Yet according to the APA’s Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), should a person not feel guilt or shame about their pedophilic impulses, then this ceases to be a “disorder” and becomes a pedophilic “sexual orientation.”[1] After public outcry about pedophilia being designated as a sexual orientation, the APA released a statement that the phrase “sexual orientation” was used in error and that the correct terminology was “sexual interest,”[2] a term which still seeks to normalize a criminal offense.

Perhaps their perverted perspective is explained by the high number of psychiatrists—and psychologists—that not only sexually assault their patients including minors. According to a national survey of therapist-client sex involving minors, one out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor, with girls as young as three and boys as young as seven victims of such abuse.[3] Based on the APA’s own Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM5, published in May 2013, such behavior is not labelled as a criminal offense; rather, the sexual assault of children is re-defined (and excused) as “pedophilic disorder” (insurance billing code number 303.2). APA suspects that that between three and five percent of the male population may experience the “disorder.”

APA defines pedophilic disorder as having a “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies. Sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger)” for at least six months and “the individual has acted on these sexual urges” or the “sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.” But were such individuals to “report an absence of feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety about these impulses and are not functionally limited by their paraphilic impulses…then these individuals have a pedophilic sexual orientation but not a pedophilic disorder,” according to the APA’s DSM5.[4]

Shameless in its candor, but chilling in its content, in the DSM’s section on “Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention,” the APA includes: “Child Physical Abuse” (Code No: 995.54); “Child Sexual Abuse” (Code 995.53) that involves any sexual act involving a child that is intended to provide sexual gratification for the perpetrator, including incest, sodomy and rape and “Child Psychological Abuse” (Code No: 995.51).[5]

Richard Gardner, a clinical professor of child psychiatry, was once quoted as saying, “Society’s excessively moralistic and punitive reactions toward pedophiles…go far beyond what I consider to be the gravity of the crime.” He suggested that pedophilia serves “procreative purposes.”[6] Tell that to a seven year old that has been sexually abused by his “doctor.”


Oakland psychologist Julian Gordon was sentenced to 6-15 years in jail for molesting and sodomizing a teenage boy.

Such views are in stark contrast to a Michigan Circuit Court judge Alice Gilbert who sentenced an Oakland psychologist, Julian Gordon, to 6-15 years in jail for molesting and sodomizing a teenage boy. Judge Gilbert certainly would not have a seen this as a “procreative purpose” when she stated: “There is no civilization if we don’t protect our children.”[7]

Yet recently, British consultant psychologist Dr. Glenn Wilson enraged children’s charities after suggesting it can be a “good” thing if pedophiles find jobs teaching or in social work where they can be around children. Dr. Wilson, who has held a string of academic posts including at Kings College London and Gresham College, also spoke of victims wanting to “cash in” on episodes of sexual abuse in the past, stating: “There is a danger of becoming hysterical about pedophilia and seeing it everywhere, like witches at Salem, or ‘Commies’ in Hollywood during McCarthyism. Pedophiles do exist, but there are very few of them and not all are child molesters.”[8]

With such views, dangerous criminals in psychiatry and psychology’s own ranks could have been excused of all personal responsibility for their actions. Consider Dr. Burnell Gordon Forgey, a California psychiatrist who worked with troubled youth in group homes, employed convicted sex offenders, including at least one pedophile. The then 82-year-old member of the APA pleaded guilty to five counts of oral copulation with a 15-year-old patient at one of the homes.

Contemporary cases include:

  • In December 2017, therapist and school counselor Jacqueline Bryce Herron, 36, pled no contest to 28 felony counts related to engaging in sex with two minors in Shasta County, California. Herron, who was employed through Victor Youth Services in July of 2015 and then with Alternatives to Violence in 2016 as a therapist, committed the offenses while employed at both businesses.[9] Herron originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included engaging in sexual intercourse, oral copulation, sexual penetration with a foreign object and sodomy—all allegedly with minors. She was also charged with sodomy by anesthesia or controlled substance, according to the complaints.[10] The father of the victim said Herron had introduced herself as his son’s tutor. Herron is facing a maximum term of 29 years and 8 months in prison.[11] She would also be required to register as a sex-offender for the rest of her life.[12] School counselors typically train in psychology and sociology.
  • Kenneth Breslin, 69, was a child psychologist who was running a private practice in Orinda, California, called “A Child’s Point of View” until authorities found a trove of child porn in his home last year, according to court records. He was indicted in December 2016, and bailed out of jail within days. According to The East Bay Times, “Since then, things have been going from bad to worse for Breslin. In April federal authorities caught him using the internet—a violation of a signed court order—and uncovered evidence that he was using various encryption techniques to surreptitiously download child pornography.” He may now be facing more charges.[13]
  • An Australian psychologist, 51, was charged after allegedly indecently assaulting a young patient earlier this year. In May, detectives from the New South Wales Crime Command’s Child Abuse Squad commenced an investigation following reports that a young boy had been indecently assaulted by his psychologist. The psychologist was arrested and was charged with three counts of an aggravated act of indecency, indecent assault of a person under 16 years, and grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity.[14]
  • In November 2017, former child psychiatrist Ian Stuart McAlpine, 69, was on trial in the District Court of Western Australia, charged with 13 counts of indecent assault and five of sexual penetration without consent. The child psychiatrist was accused of sexually assaulting two teenage patients between 1988 and 1990 and gave a teddy bear to one of the girls as the abuse intensified.[15]

An August 2014 study published in The Psychiatric Bulletin headlined:“The demonization of psychiatrists in fiction (and why real psychiatrists might want to do something about it),” said that in film and popular culture the psychiatrist is “depicted as a murderer, rapist, pedophile, charlatan or crook. At his most benevolent, he is an ineffectual fool, unable even to manage his own life.”[16]

This is a case of fact, not fiction. The fact is that psychiatrists and psychologists should not be allowed to determine the standards of criminal conduct in any court and the APA held to account for both redefining criminal behavior as a “disorder” and any consequence of this resulting in harm to individuals. Its “billing bible,” the DSM, is the tool used to excuse such conduct and must be abolished. The APA, as an association, would be doing our society a tremendous service if it dissolved itself.


[1] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5), American Psychiatric Assoc., May 2013, pp. 697-698.

[2] Deborah Brauser, “DSM-5 Typo: Pedophilia Described as ‘Sexual Orientation,’” Medscape, 1 Nov 2013,; Cheryl Wetzstein, “APA to correct manual: Pedophilia is not a ‘sexual orientation,’” The Washington Times, 31 Oct 2013,

[3] Kenneth Pope, “Sex Between Therapists and Clients,” Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender, (Academic Press, Oct. 2001).

[4] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5), American Psychiatric Assoc., May 2013, pp. 697-698.

[5] DSM5, pp. 717-719.

[6] Kelly Patricia O’Meara, “Has Psychiatry Gone Psycho?” Insight Magazine, 26 Apr. 1999, p. 17.


[8] “Paedophiles working as teachers a ‘social good’ – psychologist,” The Telegraph (UK), 23 Oct. 2015,




[12] “Ex-therapist-counselor pleads no-contest to having sex with teens,” Record Searchlight, 6 Dec. 2017,

[13] “Orinda child psychologist may see new criminal charges, as plea deal begins to fall apart,” East Bay Times,  28 Nov. 2017;

[14] “Psychologist Charged Over Alleged Indecent Assault of Young Coffs Patient,” Triple MMM, 19 Nov. 2017,

[15] “Child psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting two young girls ‘told a 16-year-old she would sleep better if she had sex and gave her a teddy bear for her birthday’” Daily Mail, 14 Nov. 2017,

[16] Jacqueline Hopson, “The demonisation of psychiatrists in fiction (and why real psychiatrists might want to do something about it),” Brit. Journ. Psychiatry (BMJ) Bulletin, 10.1192/pb.bp.113.045633 Published 1 August 2014; The Psychiatric Bulletin, July 9, 2014, doi:10.1192/pb.bp.113.045633,