Open Letter Against The Witch Hunt of Jordan Peterson – Public 2/13/23


The issues in question are conspicuously political and not clinical.

Council Members Fred Schmidt, Ian Nicholson, Wanda Towers, Marilyn Keyes, David Kurzman, Archie Kwan, Paula Conforti, Adrienne Perry, Marjory Phillips, Melanie Morrow, Conrad Leung, Kendra Thomson, Paul Stopciati, Nadia Mocan, Esther Vlessing, Carolyn Kolers, Ilia Maor, Scott Warnock, Cenobar Parker

The College of Psychologists of Ontario

110 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 500

Toronto, Ontario M4R 1A3


Dear Council Members,

We are writing as psychologists, academics, and concerned citizens to express our grave concern with your demand that psychologist Jordan Peterson submits to a “Coaching Program” with a therapist under threat of revoking his license to practice.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario is engaging in McCarthyite tactics, demanding that Dr. Peterson sign the following statement: “I may have lacked professionalism in public statements and during a January 25, 2022 podcast appearance.”

The issues in question are conspicuously political and not clinical. The College alleges that some of Dr. Peterson’s comments, including those about gender ideology, climate change, overpopulation, and nuclear power, “appear to undermine the public trust in the profession as a whole and raise questions about your ability to carry out your responsibilities as a psychologist.”

To that claim, we reply, “No, they do not, and the allegation that they do is symptomatic of precisely the dogmatic victimhood ideology that Dr. Peterson is famous for criticizing.”

One need not agree with anything Dr. Peterson has said or written to realize that the College’s concern has nothing to do with his clinical practice. The College has presented no evidence that Dr. Peterson has lacked professionalism, undermined public trust in the profession, or said or done anything that would raise questions about his ability to carry out his responsibilities as a psychologist.

Instead, Dr. Peterson has expressed opinions that he has every right to do without the threat of losing his license to practice.  Moreover, these opinions are widely held by journalists, scientists, and potential psychotherapy clients, who would be ill-served by a profession that officially demonized their beliefs and purged any clinician who shared them.

In short, the College of Psychologists of Ontario is abusing its mandate for ensuring professional integrity to engage in thought policing, ideological indoctrination, and compelled speech, which is unacceptable in a liberal democracy.  We denounce this grossly unethical behavior without reservation. We urge you to drop your inquisition and save what is left of the College’s moral and professional standing.


1.              Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist, and professor, New York University

2.              Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

3.              Martin Drapeau, Clinical Psychologist and Professor

4.              Gad Saad, Professor, Concordia University, Canada

5.              J. E. R. Staddon, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology, Duke University

6.              Sally Satel, American Enterprise Institute

7.              Camilo Ortiz, Professor & Co-Program Director, LIU-Post Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program

8.              John D. Haltigan, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

9.              Abigail Shrier, Independent Journalist

10.           Michael Shellenberger, Public

11.           Leighton Woodhouse, Public

12.           Peter Boghossian, author, Founding Faculty Fellow University of Austin

13.           Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

14.           Wilfred Riley, Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University

15.           Brendan O’Neill, Spiked

16.           Konstantin Kisin, Satirist & Co-Host of TRIGGERnometry

17.           Nina Power, Senior Editor, Compact Magazine

18.           Emmet Penney, Editor-in-Chief, Grid Brief

19.           Christopher Rufo, Manhattan Institute

20.           Douglas Murray, author of War on the West

21.           Shant Mesrobian, Inquire

22.           Winston Marshall, Musician, podcast host, The Spectator

23.           Sam Harris, author, neuroscientist, Making Sense | Waking Up

24.           Melissa Chen, contributing editor, The Spectator & Managing Director, Ideas Beyond Borders

25.           Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

26.           Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and founder the AHA Foundation

27.           Joshua Slocum, commentator and host of Disaffected

28.           Razib Khan, Unsupervised Learning

29.           Pascal Bruckner, French writer and philosopher

30.           Dave Rubin, The Rubin Report

31.           Bret Weinstein, PhD, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century

32.           Andrew Sullivan, editor, The Weekly Dish.

33.           Erec Smith, Associate Professor of Rhetoric at York College of PA, Co-founder of Free Black Thought

34.           Geoff Horsman, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Wilfrid Laurier University

35.           Zachary Patterson, Associate Professor, Concordia Institute of Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University

36.           Mark Mercer, Professor of Philosophy

37.           Edward R. Vrscay, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo

38.           Prof. Sam Vaknin, professor of psychology and finance, commentator, and author

39.           John R Williams, Professor of Information Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

40.           Henry Wolkowicz, Professor of Mathematics, University of Waterloo

41.           Stephen Quilley, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

42.             Philip Carl Salzman, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, McGill University

43.           Brad Fedy, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

44.           Barbara Kay – Journalist

45.           Douglas Farrow, Professor of Theology and Ethics, McGill University

46.           Anna Krylov, Professor of Chemistry, University of Southern California, USA

47.           Lawrence M. Krauss, Physicist and President, Origins Project Foundation, and Host, Origins Podcast

48.           Luana Maroja, Professor of Biology, Williams College, USA

49.           Claire Lehmann, Quillette

50.           Stephen Hicks, Professor of Philosophy, Rockford University

51.           Heather Mac Donald, Fellow of the Manhattan Institute

52.            Roy Eappen MDCM , FRCP(c)  assistant Prof McGill University

53.             Janice Fiamengo, retired Professor of English, University of Ottawa

54.           Charles Negy, Ph.D.Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Florida)

55.           Ivan Marinovic, Associate Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB.

56.           Professor Ron Stern, Concordia University

57.           Professor Sergiu Klainerman, Princeton University

58.           Richard Lowery, Associate Professor of Finance, University of Texas at Austin

59.           Chee Yap, Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute, New York University

60.           John Londregan, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

61.           Richard Mann.  Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

62.           Gail Wolkowicz, Professor, Math & Stats, McMaster University

63.           Boris Mordukhovich, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Wayne State University

64.           Rob Whitley, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University

65.           William McNally, Professor of Finance, Wilfrid Laurier University

66.            Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph

67.           Harald Uhlig, Bruce Allen and Barbara Ritzenthaler Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

68.           Pat Kambhampati, Professor of Chemistry, McGill University

69.           Geoffrey Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of New Mexico

70.           Matthew M. Wielicki, Assistant Professor in Geological Sciences, University of Alabama

71.           Adi Ben-Israel, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, Rutgers University

72.           R. Wayne Oldford, Professor of Statistics, University of Waterloo

73.           Julie Ponesse, PhD, Independent Scholar, Brownstone Institute Fellow 2023

74.            David Millard Haskell, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University

75.           John Turri, Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of Waterloo

cc: Rick Morris, Executive Director