Too Much “Noise”
by Rev. David R. Comings, Ph.D., BCPP, Director of Legislation
At a recent meeting I attended as part of my duties as Director of Legislation for APTA, I heard one of the participants comment that in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts legislators were delaying scheduling hearings on Massachusetts S.221 and H.350 because they did not want to contend with the “noise” of those who might speak out in opposition.
There is a disturbing trend occurring in government lately – government organizations do not want to listen to us, the people, the citizens of the United States. The Massachusetts legislature is not interested in hearing dissenting voices in its push for licensing of “alternative healing therapies.” School Boards have requested, and the U.S. Justice Department has granted, FBI investigations of parents who stand up and oppose the way their local school board is directing that their children be taught.
Freedom of expression, freedom to peaceably assemble, and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances are guaranteed to us under the United States Constitution. We are not “noise” and there are no legal grounds for federal investigations of protests at local school boards.
There is more to being a responsible citizen than following the law and voting – even though those two responsibilities are extremely important! We have a set of governments (Federal, State, and local) that are established for the people, of the people, and by the people, deriving their just authority through the consent of the governed. We need to clearly, politely, and peaceably tell them how we want to be governed.
We need to be more involved now than we ever have been before. It is time to speak up, to ensure our voices are heard, and remind our governing officials that they work for us, we are not their subjects.
If S.221/H.350 passes in Massachusetts, you will need a license to practice Polarity Therapy in Massachusetts. The requirements for that license will be dictated by Massachusetts law and the Commonwealth’s “board of registration of massage therapy and alternative healing therapies.” Massachusetts will become the first U.S. state to independently license energy workers, and not through massage laws as has been done in the past.
There are two aspects of the language in the current drafts of Massachusetts S.221 and H350 that are particularly troubling. Those are:
“The board shall: …
- … adopt rules and regulations, in consultation with the advisory council set forth in this section, governing the licensure of alternative healing therapists, the various and distinct practices of alternative healing therapies, and the approval and operation of alternative therapy training and certification programs;” (Section 2, page 2, Proposed Chapter 13, Section 99.(a)(iii)), and
- … approve massage therapy school and alternative healing therapy program curriculum, training, facilities and instructors.” (Section 13, page 14, Proposed Chapter 112, Section 233.)
This means that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will dictate to APTA, and Polarity Therapy practitioners as a whole:
- Our ethics and professional standards;
- How we conduct and approve our training programs;
- Our certification program (our Nationally Accredited BCPP); as well as
- Our training curriculum, facilities, and instructors.
No state or commonwealth has this authority.
Licensing laws can be good or bad, depending on how they are implemented. Having read this bill, and quoted to you some of the most egregious portions of it, it is my opinion that this law implements licensing in a way that is bad for Polarity Practitioners, bad for APTA, and bad for the public that it purports to protect. It also represents a remarkably significant overreach into the internal workings of APTA. This law should be defeated.
If we do not start standing up for ourselves and our rights now, in the foreseeable future there may be nothing left to stand up for. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts may supplant APTA as the governing body for Polarity Therapy – and that is a situation that is wholly unacceptable in these United States of America, and for a global organization like APTA.