The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 23–31 | Cite as

The X Club and the Secret Ring: Lessons on How Behavior Analysis Can Take Over Psychology

  • Bruce A. Thyer


In 1864 Thomas Huxley and eight fellow scientists formed a secret organization called the X Club, dedicated to the promotion of Darwinian theory and naturalistic science. Its members active for almost 40 years, the X Club acted as the “power behind the throne” with respect to the governance of the Royal Society and other British scientific groups. In 1914 Sigmund Freud formed the Secret Ring with six other psychoanalysts, dedicated to the covert promotion of their field and to the removal of impediments (persons and policies) to the acceptance of psychoanalysis. After over 20 years of existence, the Secret Ring disbanded, having succeeded in its mission. It is suggested that behavior analysis should adopt a similar arrangement, whereby a group of distinguished scholars quietly but systematically promotes the persons and practices of our field within psychology, with respect to awards, elected and appointed office, and governance.

Key words

history of science history of psychology behavior analysis 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce A. Thyer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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