A military religious freedom watchdog group is asking Commanding General Major General Pete Johnson to uninvite Kenneth Copeland from the February 1 prayer breakfast at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Kenneth Copeland has a rather checkered history but the main reason for the outrage is Kenneth Copeland’s past teaching on how to address post-traumatic stress disorder. On that topic, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein told the General:
But there’s something else that makes Copeland an even more outrageous choice to speak to any military audience. He has claimed that PTSD isn’t real because it isn’t biblical, saying on a 2013 Veterans Day episode of his TV show:
“Any of you suffering from PTSD right now, you listen to me. You get rid of that right now. You don’t take drugs to get rid of it, and it doesn’t take psychology. That promise right there [referring to a Bible verse he had just read] will get rid of it.”
Copeland’s guest that day, Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton, wholeheartedly agreed, adding that warriors in the Bible fighting in the name of God were “esteemed” and in the “faith hall of fame” because they “took so many people out in battle.”
At the time, Barton and Copeland took a lot of heat over that “advice.” Before I go on, here is the segment:
I hope the General decides to find another speaker. In my opinion, Copeland disqualified himself to speak to our service men and women. In addition to his bogus advice about PTSD, he teaches that people who recite certain Bible verses will survive war. In essence, his teaching is that Christians will survive if they do the right things and recite the right magic Bible verses (Psalm 91 is one he suggests). In his PTSD video, he claims that the Bible gives a promise of survival to soldiers who fight for God. I don’t know what happens to people who don’t believe these things according to Copeland.
I can’t imagine what he will say that will be of general benefit or encouragement to people of all faiths. His teaching in his Veteran’s Day video and on his website requires a rather close adherence to his specific interpretation of the Bible. There are many Christians who reject this approach, not to mention those of other faiths and no faith. Surely, General Johnson can find someone who can bring people together and respect troops of all faith traditions.
Here is the announcement in the Fort Jackson newsletter:
National Prayer Breakfast to take place Feb. 1 at NCO Club sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast for the Fort Jackson Community 7:30-9 a.m. Feb. 1 at the NCO Club. Nationally recognized televangelist Kenneth Copeland will be the speaker. Tickets are available from your unit. The event is free, but offerings will be accepted at the event. Attire will be duty uniform or civilian equivalent. The purpose of the NPB is to emphasize the importance of prayer for the Nation, Fort Jackson, our armed forces, and our Families. The themes for the breakfast are: prayers for the nation, community relationship and spiritual fitness.
UPDATE (1/12/18) – Last night, SAMHSA Asst. Secretary Elinore McCance-Katz released a statement about the termination of NREPP. The full statement is at the link and the end of this post. She also held a brief conference call with reporters. Although I wasn’t on it, I communicated with two people on the call. On the call and in her written statement, Dr. McCance-Katz criticized the NREPP. On the call, she was quoted by a reporter on the call as saying, “We in the Trump administration are not going to sit back and let people die,” she said, which will happen “if we leave things up on the website that don’t help people.”
There still is no time table for the implementation of the Policy Lab or any new approach. The statement is light on specifics. When I ask about when and how this is going to happen, I have gotten no responses. I hope to have another post later today with reactions to the Asst. Secretary’s remarks and am holding out hope that SAMHSA might address the issues of timing and implementation.
……………………………….. (Original post begins here)
One thing is clear. The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs & Practices contract has been terminated. SAMHSA’s statement about the registry first posted here on this blog is now on the NREPP website (see the statement in red below):
The Trump administration has abruptly halted work on a highly regarded program to help physicians, families, state and local government agencies, and others separate effective “evidence-based” treatments for substance abuse and behavioral health problems from worthless interventions.
Also out this morning, the Washington Postcovers much of the same ground but provides no details from SAMHSA about when the new process will begin.
I say again, SAMHSA replaced something with nothing and did so in the middle of an addiction epidemic.
Rep. Grace Meng Wants to Know What’s Going On with NREPP
Rep. Grace Meng represents the Sixth District of New York and is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. On January 5, unaware of the impending controversy over NREPP, she wrote SAMHSA to praise NREPP and ask how she could help support the registry. She closed her letter by saying,
Again, thank you for the NREPP. I feel that the registry and its website are crucial public health tools. Respectfully, I wish to know how you will grow the NREPP and its website, how you intend to review more opioid abuse-specific programs, and how I may be of help to you in these endeavors.
When Rep. Meng learned about the NREPP’s termination, she followed up with another letter on January 8 requesting the answers to several questions. The first question was “Why, with specificity, was this contract terminated?” That was followed by nine additional questions:
These are good questions. I would add, why did SAMHSA terminate NREPP when it appears that SAMHSA doesn’t have another evidence-based process ready to go?
For background, see my first post on the termination of NREPP.
………….. Statement of Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use regarding the National Registry of Evidence Programs and Practices and SAMHSA’s new approach to implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs)
Thursday, January 11, 2018
SAMHSA and HHS are committed to advancing the use of science, in the form of data and evidence-based policies, programs and practices, to improve the lives of Americans living with substance use disorders and mental illness and of their families.
People throughout the United States are dying every day from substance use disorders and from serious mental illnesses. The situation regarding opioid addiction and serious mental illness is urgent, and we must attend to the needs of the American people. SAMHSA remains committed to promoting effective treatment options for the people we serve, because we know people can recover when they receive appropriate services.
SAMHSA has used the National Registry of Evidence Programs and Practices (NREPP) since 1997. For the majority of its existence, NREPP vetted practices and programs submitted by outside developers – resulting in a skewed presentation of evidence-based interventions, which did not address the spectrum of needs of those living with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. These needs include screening, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, psychotherapies, psychosocial supports and recovery services in the community.
The program as currently configured often produces few to no results, when such common search terms as “medication-assisted treatment” or illnesses such as ”schizophrenia” are entered. There is a complete lack of a linkage between all of the EBPs that are necessary to provide effective care and treatment to those living with mental and substance use disorders, as well. If someone with limited knowledge about various mental and substance use disorders were to go to the NREPP website, they could come away thinking that there are virtually no EBPs for opioid use disorder and other major mental disorders – which is completely untrue.
They would have to try to discern which of the listed practices might be useful, but could not rely on the grading for the listed interventions; neither would there be any way for them to know which interventions were more effective than others.
We at SAMHSA should not be encouraging providers to use NREPP to obtain EBPs, given the flawed nature of this system. From my limited review – I have not looked at every listed program or practice – I see EBPs that are entirely irrelevant to some disorders, “evidence” based on review of as few as a single publication that might be quite old and, too often, evidence review from someone’s dissertation.
This is a poor approach to the determination of EBPs. As I mentioned, NREPP has mainly reviewed submissions from “developers” in the field. By definition, these are not EBPs because they are limited to the work of a single person or group. This is a biased, self-selected series of interventions further hampered by a poor search-term system. Americans living with these serious illnesses deserve better, and SAMHSA can now provide that necessary guidance to communities.
We are now moving to EBP implementation efforts through targeted technical assistance and training that makes use of local and national experts and will that assist programs with actually implementing services that will be essential to getting Americans living with these disorders the care and treatment and recovery services that they need.
These services are designed to provide EBPs appropriate to the communities seeking assistance, and the services will cover the spectrum of individual and community needs including prevention interventions, treatment and community recovery services.
We must do this now. We must not waste time continuing a program that has had since 1997 to show its effectiveness.
But yet we know that the majority of behavioral health programs still do not use EBPs: one indicator being the lack of medication-assisted treatment, the accepted, life-saving standard of care for opioid use disorder, in specialty substance use disorder programs nationwide.
SAMHSA will use its technical assistance and training resources, its expert resources, the resources of our sister agencies at the Department of Health and Human Services, and national stakeholders who are consulted for EBPs to inform American communities and to get Americans living with these disorders the resources that they deserve.
UPDATE (1/8/2018) – This morning, I received this statement from a SAMHSA spokesman:
Although the current NREPP contract has been discontinued, SAMHSA is very focused on the development and implementation of evidence-based programs in communities across the nation. SAMHSA’s Policy Lab will lead the effort to reconfigure its approach to identifying and disseminating evidence-based practice and programs.
The Policy Lab is referred to on SAMHSA’s website and is led by Christopher Jones. The Policy Lab was created by the 21st Century Cures Act and is an evolution of SAMHSA’s Office of Policy, Planning and Innovation. Clearly, the issue with the change from NREPP isn’t with the term “evidence-based” since the above statement uses the term and the Cures Act requires evidence-based interventions. For the exact language of the Cures statute, scroll to the end of this post.
——————- (original post starts here)
Yesterday (Jan 4, 2018), a contractor for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration alerted program participants that funding for work on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs & Practices had been terminated “for the convenience of the government.” According to a source with the contractor, the work was not terminated due to any problems with their work but because the administration did not want to continue it. According to my source, this action follows a freeze in the work which had been in effect since September, 2017.
The NREPP is an effort to alert the public and professional community about evidence-based practices in mental health treatment and prevention. According to SAMHSA’s 2018 budget justification, NREPP helps meet the requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act which requires the government to provide accurate information about what works in the treatment of mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction. SAMHSA is responsible to post this information on an agency website. SAMHSA requested $2.8-million in FY 2018 for NREPP.
According to an email I obtained which was later posted on Twitter by someone else, Development Services Group alerted their constituents that their contract to manage the NREPP’s contents and website had been terminated on December 28, 2017.
The email stated:
It is with great regret that we write to inform you that on December 28, 2017, we received notification from SAMHSA that the NREPP contract is being terminated for the convenience of the government.
This cancellation means that we can no longer make any updates to your program profile. We thank you for the help and cooperation you gave so that we could complete your review.
We are deeply saddened by the government’s sudden decision to end the NREPP contract, under which we have been able to provide and strengthen science-based information about mental health and substance use treatment and prevention programs, both nationally and internationally.
All comments and concerns should be directed to [email protected]
According to DSG, it isn’t clear what will become of NREPP. The reason the process of evaluating programs was given to a contractor was because SAMHSA did not have a sufficient number of staff to do the job. The website may remain but at present no additional guidance has come from SAMHSA. According to DSG, all materials are being returned to the government and not sent to another contractor.
My calls and emails to SAMHSA have not been returned.
It isn’t clear how SAMHSA will meet the mandates of the Cures Act without a functioning evidence-based program. Another open question is why the program was halted in the middle of the fiscal year without cause (“for the convenience of the government”). (Updates will be added to this posts through the day)
The entire text of the 21st Century Cures Act is here. For the section relevant to the Policy Laboratory and the work on evidence based practices and programs, see below.
SEC. 7001. ENCOURAGING INNOVATION AND EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMS.
Title V of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290aa et seq.)
is amended by inserting after section 501 (42 U.S.C. 290aa) the
``SEC. 501A. <<NOTE: 42 USC 290aa-0.>> NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AND
SUBSTANCE USE POLICY LABORATORY.
``(a) In General.--There shall be established within the
Administration a National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy
Laboratory (referred to in this section as the `Laboratory').
``(b) Responsibilities.--The Laboratory shall--
``(1) continue to carry out the authorities and activities
that were in effect for the Office of Policy, Planning, and
Innovation as such Office existed prior to the date of enactment
of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Reform Act of
``(2) identify, coordinate, and facilitate the
implementation of policy changes likely to have a significant
effect on mental health, mental illness, recovery supports, and
the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder services;
``(3) work with the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics
and Quality to collect, as appropriate, information from
grantees under programs operated by the Administration in order
to evaluate and disseminate information on evidence-based
practices, including culturally and linguistically appropriate
services, as appropriate, and service delivery models;
``(4) provide leadership in identifying and coordinating
policies and programs, including evidence-based programs,
related to mental and substance use disorders;
``(5) periodically review programs and activities operated
by the Administration relating to the diagnosis or prevention
of, treatment for, and recovery from, mental and substance use
``(A) identify any such programs or activities that
``(B) identify any such programs or activities that
are not evidence-based, effective, or efficient; and
``(C) formulate recommendations for coordinating,
eliminating, or improving programs or activities
[[Page 130 STAT. 1221]]
under subparagraph (A) or (B) and merging such programs
or activities into other successful programs or
``(6) carry out other activities as deemed necessary to
continue to encourage innovation and disseminate evidence-based
programs and practices.
``(c) Evidence-Based Practices and Service Delivery Models.--
``(1) In general.--In carrying out subsection (b)(3), the
``(A) may give preference to models that improve--
``(i) the coordination between mental health
and physical health providers;
``(ii) the coordination among such providers
and the justice and corrections system; and
``(iii) the cost effectiveness, quality,
effectiveness, and efficiency of health care
services furnished to adults with a serious mental
illness, children with a serious emotional
disturbance, or individuals in a mental health
``(B) may include clinical protocols and practices
that address the needs of individuals with early serious
``(2) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the
Laboratory shall consult with--
``(A) the Chief Medical Officer appointed under
``(B) representatives of the National Institute of
Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and
the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
on an ongoing basis;
``(C) other appropriate Federal agencies;
``(D) clinical and analytical experts with expertise
in psychiatric medical care and clinical psychological
care, health care management, education, corrections
health care, and mental health court systems, as
``(E) other individuals and agencies as determined
appropriate by the Assistant Secretary.
``(d) Deadline for Beginning Implementation.--The Laboratory shall
begin implementation of this section not later than January 1, 2018.
``(e) Promoting Innovation.--
``(1) In general.--The Assistant Secretary, in coordination
with the Laboratory, may award grants to States, local
governments, Indian tribes or tribal organizations (as such
terms are defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination
and Education Assistance Act), educational institutions, and
nonprofit organizations to develop evidence-based interventions,
including culturally and linguistically appropriate services, as
``(A) evaluating a model that has been
scientifically demonstrated to show promise, but would
benefit from further applied development, for--
[[Page 130 STAT. 1222]]
``(i) enhancing the prevention, diagnosis,
intervention, and treatment of, and recovery from,
mental illness, serious emotional disturbances,
substance use disorders, and co-occurring illness
or disorders; or
``(ii) integrating or coordinating physical
health services and mental and substance use
disorders services; and
``(B) expanding, replicating, or scaling evidence-
based programs across a wider area to enhance effective
screening, early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment
with respect to mental illness, serious mental illness,
serious emotional disturbances, and substance use
disorders, primarily by--
``(i) applying such evidence-based programs to
the delivery of care, including by training staff
in effective evidence-based treatments; or
``(ii) integrating such evidence-based
programs into models of care across specialties
Here are a few things I have been thinking and reading about.
Ravi Zacharias, Ligonier Ministries, and His Oxford Thing
UPDATE: As of January 10, the bio has been changed to remove the claim that Zacharias is a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall.
I thought Ravi Zacharias would be more careful after his brush with controversy over his credentials. However, he is speaking for Ligonier Ministries this summer and they are billing him as a current “senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University.” Problem is, he’s not. Even though Wycliffe Hall is a Permanent Private Hall at Oxford and he once held an honorific title there, he was never considered on faculty at Oxford. I have seen the correspondence from Oxford on the subject and it is clear that he does not have any position now with Wycliffe or Oxford (source, source, source, source).
Since December 19, I have been corresponding with Ligonier about this without any change in the description or response from them. Apparently, false claims aren’t a big deal.
Are Husbands Responsible to Sanctify Wives?
This piece by Sarah Lindsay directed me to this piece by Bryan Stoudt. Stoudt argues that husbands are responsible “to be instruments of his sanctifying work in the lives of our wives.” This means husbands are supposed to correct their wives without being too angry or too passive. Apparently the process doesn’t go both ways. Wives get to be corrected but not to correct.
Trump Supporter Sheriff Clarke Posts Fake Jefferson Quote
Democrats and liberals embrace of criminal illegal aliens by pardoning them to avoid deportation and their disdain of the Constitution reminds me of this Thomas Jefferson quote. We need more of this attitude back. We have it with @realDonaldTrump as POTUS pic.twitter.com/Hb2TuM01Qv
I have always been skeptical about Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder). A friend recently pointed me to this 1993 documentary on the subject featuring the work of discredited therapist Colin Ross. One may generalize some aspects of the therapists’ mistakes to what reparative therapists do to falsely consider their techniques to be useful.
Feel free to comment on any and all topics. Add some of your own. What are you reading about? I’ve also been reading articles on free will and determinism, arguments against Calvinism, why there is something rather than nothing, whether or not hydrolized wheat is gluten free, autogynephilia, lost cities of Finland, arguments against an immaterial soul, the Collective Unconscious, the Milgram experiment, the history of Fleetwood Mac, and a few other things.
I might get on some theme soon or then again, I might not.
Some past posts have aged well. The 2009 post regarding child abuse and non-heterosexuality has been in the top ten nearly every year since 2009. Readers continue to be interested in Mars Hill Church and various players surrounding the demise of that church.
Although the page views don’t show it, the story that continues to be covered here and almost nowhere else is the Gospel for Asia saga. The target of federal scrutiny and two RICO lawsuits in the U.S., GFA has also initiated and been involved in various legal actions in India. Although the scope of the GFA empire dwarfs other organizations I have examined, it continues to fly along under the radar.
For a profile of my work and the role blogging has played in it, see this lengthy article by Jon Ward in Yahoo News earlier this month.
To follow the blog on social media, check out and like
To like the Facebook page dedicated to the book Getting Jefferson Right, click here.
The learn more about the sexual identity therapy framework, go here.