MLN Vol.20, No.3

Massage Law Newsletter

www.healingandlaw.com

Vol. 20, No. 3                                   ISSN 1073-5461                                      April  2001

CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE ARIZONA

COALITION OF MASSAGE THERAPISTS AND BODYWORKERS

Part 1: Greetings and Salutations to the Arizona Coalition.

Part 2: Reply from John Yates, President of the Council of Massage Therapy Educators in Arizona replies.

Part 3: Albert Schatz replies to John Yates.

PART 1: GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS

 TO THE ARIZONA COALITION

From: Albert Schatz, Ph.D. Editor.

            Massage LawNewsletter

It's not having been in the dark house, but having left it, that counts. Theodore Roosevelt

I very much appreciate our dialogue.  Some of you asked about my background in massage. For that information, click "bios" on our web site <www/healingandlaw.com>..

Others asked for a list of all our reports about the Coalition. These reports are in the Massage Law Newsletter which is also on our web site. Click "massage law." Then check the issues from Vol. 15, No. 4 through Volume  20, No. 1.

Additional reports  about state regulation, national certification, etc. are in the Massage Humor newsletter on our web site. Click on  "Massage humor." 

Thank you for your comments about our reports. I am especially grateful to those of you who expressed your disagreement with what we published. I will publish  corrections if you provide evidence that anything in our reports is incorrect. I clearly stated this policy in 1994 as follows:

"My objective with respect to state massage laws has been to do research on this highly controversial issue; and document the proverbial 'other side' with which many massage therapists are not familiar. If I have published anything that is incorrect, I shall not only publish a correction, but will also cite or refer to the evidence which proves that I was inaccurate." 

I am pleased that our dialogue has been friendly and mutually  respectful, with only one exception. That was an e-mail with words which, I was surprised, a member of the coalition would put in writing. In reply, I invited him to submit a letter or article which points out what he considers incorrect in our reports, and  provides evidence that it is incorrect. I also asked him to give me permission to publish his comments, with his name, in the Massage Law Newsletter. His reply was more vulgar than his original e-mail.

Our report in Massage Law Vol. 17, No. 4 (addressed to Judy Boyer) ended with this comment. "If you or others believe there is any misinformation in this report, or in Schatz's previous reports about the Arizona Coalition, please let us know what that misinformation is, why you consider it misinformation; and give me permission to publish your comments, with your name, in the Massage Law Newsletter." Since I have not heard from Judy, I assume she has not found any inaccuracy in what we published about the AZ AMTA Chapter or the Coalition.

In reply to two inquiries, I write about the Coalition because readers of the Massage Law Newsletter are interested in what is going on with respect to state regulation throughout the United States. As editor of the Massage Law Newsletter, I report, comment on, analyze, and request additional information about what is happening in Arizona and other states. The Massage Law Newsletter presents information that many people find useful. See Vol. 19. No. 1.

If any of you have questions about me and what I do, please give me an opportunity to speak in my own behalf before you draw conclusions. Otherwise you will be conducting a kangaroo court. The information about me in "bios"(on our web site) will apprise you of my  background in science, education, and other areas.

I look forward to your feedback on our latest reports about the Coalition, especially the two Massage Law Newsletters: Vol. 4, No. 4, and Vol. 20. No. 1.

Finally, the Coalition has changed its name once. Our report in the Massage Law Newsletter (Vol. 20, No. 1) suggests that another name change may be in order.  What do you think of this name:  Arizona Coalition of Massage Schools to Promote State Regulation (ACMSSR)?

PART 2: REPLY FROM JOHN YATES,

 PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MASSAGE  THERAPY EDUCATORS IN ARIZONA

Subject:

Re: Hello

Date:

Mon, 2 Apr 2001 18:47:04 -0700

From:

John Yates <njyates@vtc.net>

To:

"Albert Schatz" <aschatz@unix.temple.edu>

 cc:

'"liz.ligon@pcmail.maricopa.edu"<liz.ligon@pcmail.maricopa.edu>,

"spomfret@email.msn.com"<spomfret@email.msn.com>

Mr. Schatz,

I suspect most members of the Arizona coalition will find your suggested alternative name most amusing, particularly because it is so completely misinformed. As of this moment, the Council of Massage Therapy Educators (CMTE), which represents 10 of the 14 licensed massage therapy schools in Arizona, does not even have a vote on the Coalition, although we do hope to see this changed in the future. If and when we are successful in being granted a vote on the Coalition, our vote will be only one of many, and we will have no more say about the final outcome than any other participating organization.

When originally asked for its position statement regarding licensing issues, the CMTE prefaced its comments on the individual issues by reviewing all of the pros and cons of licensing. Statewide licensing undoubtedly offers many positive impacts, but it is by no means going to benefit schools directly in any obvious way. Schools will be subject to more restrictions and more regulation as a result. The most probable impact of increased educational standards on most schools, particularly increased hours of instruction, will be to reduce profitability. Longer programs cost more, but the population of potential students is not going to have any more money than before. Therefore, if you think of tuition in terms of cost per hour of instruction, there is a pressure on school owners to reduce the "tuition price per classroom hour" as total hours increase. There are also expenses for program development and curriculum writing to meet new standards. As program length increases, owners are able to provide less of the total instruction themselves and must hire more instructional staff. Also, programs taught at a higher standard will inevitably require more highly qualified, and therefore more highly paid, instructors. Finally, the experience in most other jurisdictions has been that licensing usually results in many new schools suddenly appearing because the licensing requirements essentially provide a blueprint for what a massage school needs to do in that particular state. This may benefit potential students by giving them more choices, but school owners will see it mainly as more competition.

Individual school owners and directors differ strongly with each other in their opinions about the relative merits of licensing at this particular point in time, but I think all agree that it is not something that is going to make their jobs any easier. Those schools who belong to the CMTE have collectively decided that, even though some favor statewide licensing and some do not, it is far better to be involved in the process than to stand by while someone else decides what the licensing is going to involve. If there must be licensing, then they want to see the legislation defined in the best way possible so that it does the most good for the profession and the public. The schools that do not belong to the CMTE tend not only to be opposed to licensing, but prefer to express their opposition through non-participation.

I suspect that you view the schools as an easy target, a "boogie-man", because most are privately owned and dare to make a profit from education. I must say that most people I have spoken to do not credit you with much integrity, but I am reserving judgement personally until I see how you deal with this issue. I hope you are willing to become informed and consider the facts, rather than to spread misinformation based on innuendo, and to manipulate opinions based on the biases of those who have paid tuition towards those who have profited from those payments.

I specifically request that you keep the contents of this letter completely confidential unless you offer it whole and complete, unchanged from its original wording, spelling, and punctuation, and with absolutely no omissions. You are welcome to reprint this letter in its entirety only, but not as excerpts, and it must be unedited.

Sincerely,

Dr. John Yates, PhD

Executive Director

Council of Massage Therapy Educators

PART 3: ALBERT SCHATZ REPLIES 

TO JOHN YATES

April 10, 2001

To:  John Yates. President, Council of Massage Therapy  Educators (Arizona)

From:  Albert Schatz. Editor, Massage Law Newsletter

Thank you for your e-mail of April 2, 2001, which is your reply to my e-mail of the same date, on page 1 of this newsletter.

It was a joke

You mistakenly assume that I was "misinformed" about the Coalition changing its name to the Arizona Coalition of Massage Schools to Promote State Regulation (on page 1) My comment about that name change was a joke.. I was therefore neither informed nor misinformed about that fictitious name change.

I am astonished that you took my joke seriously. I am even more astonished (a) that you wrote me at length to correct what you mistakenly assume to be misinformation, (b) that you are now waiting to see how I "deal" with what you call "this issue;" and (c) that you will make a decision about my integrity based on how I "deal" with "this issue."

Humor is an integral part of  my culture. I grew up in a family where humor was important. During the "hard times" of the Great Depression, humor enabled us to laugh and enjoy life without having to spend money for entertainment. I used humor with students when I was a professor. I was  a comedian when I spoke at some professional meetings. I write for and publish the Massage Humor newsletter (to which I refer on page 1 in this issue of the Massage Law Newsletter).  

My integrity

Your e-mail includes the statement, "I must say that most people I have spoken to do not credit you with much integrity." 

I am shocked to learn that my integrity has become an issue in evaluating the validity of what I have published. Those who disagree with me question my integrity because they are unable to provide well-documented evidence that I am wrong in what I have published. It is customary for professionals who disagree to support their respective positions with factual information and opinions within a framework of mutual respect. Personal attacks that question my integrity do not disprove my position that is based on well-documented evidence.

What "issue"?

Your e-mail also includes this statement, "I am reserving judgement" [about my integrity] "until I see how you deal with this issue."

I cannot "deal" with "this issue" because you have not told me precisely what "this issue" is. Since, "this issue" is singular, I assume you have one issue in mind.  If you tell me what "this issue" is, I will "deal" with it.

If "this issue" involves people who, you say, "do not credit" me "with much integrity," that is their problem, not mine. Please tell them that I would appreciate it if they would (a) let me know, in writing, why they do not "credit" me "with much integrity," and (b) give me permission to publish their reasons (with their  names) in the Massage Law Newsletter. I want our readers to have this information.

If "this issue" involves how you will evaluate my credibility, that is also your problem, not mine. However, because you have written me about "this issue, I will "deal" with it if you give me the information which I need to do so.

Your integrity

Since you are concerned about my integrity, I hope you will understand why I am concerned about your integrity

However, "I am reserving judgement" about your integrity "until I see how you "deal" with the questions which I ask you in this e-mail.

I hope you have the integrity to provide me with the information I am requesting . I need this information to "deal" with "this issue." After you evaluate my response to the information you provide, you will be in a good position to evaluate my integrity yourself, independently of what others may think.

Your four hopes

Your e-mail expresses your four hopes:

1. You hope I am "willing to become informed."

2. You hope I will "consider the facts."

3. You hope I will not "spread misinformation." 

4. You hope I will not "manipulate opinions."

What are you talking about?

1. Why do you assume I am unwilling "to become informed"? I have (in  publications about the Coalition and the Arizona Chapter of AMTA) asked Susan Pomfret and Judy Boyer many questions, to which they have not replied. I am now asking you questions. Will you reply? And I offer to publish information, that they and you provide, in the Massage Law Newsletter.

What more evidence of my willingness to be informed, do you want?

2. Specifically what "facts"  do you want me to consider? What evidence do you have that they are indeed facts, and not your opinions? And how do you know that I have not considered those facts?

3. What evidence do you have that I "spread misinformation"? What misinformation have I spread?

4. What evidence do you have that I "manipulate opinions"? I  provide  well-documented information and ask important questions about state regulation and other controversial issues. I have absolutely no control over what opinions people have about the evidence I present and the questions I ask. Therefore, how can I possibly "manipulate opinions"?

Please inform me

In your e-mail,  you say, "I hope you are willing to become informed.... " I assure you I am both willing and eager to be informed, but I need your help to become informed.

Therefore, please provide me with the information requested in my above-mentioned questions (a) about "this issue," (b) about my "being willing to be informed," and (c) about the "facts," "misinformation," and "opinions" to which you refer.

If you do not provide me with the information I request, (a) I do not know what you are talking about; and (b) I therefore cannot "deal with" what you call "this issue."

For the record

I appreciate your having given me permission to publish your April 2, 2001, e-mail, in accordance with  your instructions. As you see, It is in this Massage Law Newsletter.

I am requesting that you also give me permission to publish your reply to this memo in the Massage Law Newsletter. I want our readers to have this additional information.

Thank you.

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