Voc Rehab Counselors and their Argument from Ignorance
VA Voc Rehab Counselors consistently argue from weak positions using logical fallacies. One such fallacy I see constantly is the Argument from Ignorance, aka argumentum ad ignorantium in Latin.
Argument from Ignorance basically means a person cannot prove something merely based on the fact that it has not been proven false. Put another way, just because something has not been proven false does not make it true.
Here is a logical fallacy example: God does exist because it has not been proven that there is no God. You cannot make that kind of argument logically. You can in the alternative claim that the lack of proof does not disprove God – it’s a faith thing. That seems reasonable, at least to me.
This kind of logical fallacies falls apart because it results in only black or white type conclusions when in reality there are a whole lot of grey areas. In the above example, God might exist, and maybe not.
(If you are curious, I found a useful breakdown on Wiki about Argument from Ignorance for you to read.)
You will see this fallacy often when Voc Rehab tries to tell a veteran that they are rehabilitated. Rather than basing this decision on any fact or analysis of any kind, they tend to rely on the lack of evidence – evidence that would allow them to conclude you are not able to get a job and therefore not rehabilitated – as being evidence enough that you can find a job and are therefore rehabilitated.
Let me break this down in a hypothetical story.
Let’s say Bill just finished his schooling but he wants another degree. Bill does not apply to jobs, and he instead applies for the next degree. When he asks Voc Rehab to foot the bill, they will say, “NO!” Voc Rehab will likely deny him and claim he is rehabilitated and thus employable. Do not pass go. Do not collect thousands more in educational benefits.
“But how do they know that Bill is rehabbed and employable?” you might ask. They do not know and are instead guessing based on the lack of evidence showing he is not employable.
Here is how to beat their fallacy hands down.
I generally tell veterans to apply to jobs with job titles specifically listed in their IWRP goal. If you do not get hired, then VA will have a tough time denying the claim because you applied to every job you could find and are still unemployed. Be sure to print the applications out and keep them when you go to your next meeting to show you need more training.
Now, what happens if you apply to only a select few jobs that fall within a category? So, for example, let’s say you apply to jobs that are upper management instead of all managerial type jobs. I know from experience that VA Voc Rehab will likely deny you by claiming you did not prove they are not rehabilitated. See the fallacy?
VA Voc Rehab consistently claims that the lack of evidence in contradiction of their conclusion proves their initial claim. It is a logical fallacy. Using logical fallacies against veterans as an intentional roadblock is disgraceful.
Taking this a step further, veterans are supposed to get the benefit of the doubt in their claims based on a preponderance of the evidence. So, in the above example, if the veteran shows he cannot find certain jobs after applying to some, that arguably should be enough to win the day. You should not need to apply to every conceivable job across the board.
However, Voc Rehab Counselors persist in this illogical argument style to wrongly deny veterans across this great country, and it is a shame that Congress allows it to persist.
I will say that when it does come to faith, I believe in God. That kind of faith makes sense to me, and there have been enough signs in my life to lead me to that conclusion.
For those veterans who still have faith in the VA benefits system, I sure wish you the best on that path, but be sure you keep your eyes wide open.
Veterans interested in more insight, tips and tricks related to Voc Rehab should check out our guide on the benefit: The Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans.
What is clear to me from my own experiences with VA Voc. Rehab. and those by Ben here, are that the VA VR&E program is more designed to allow VR counselors to play king of the hill where you never get to reach the top due to their hostile attitude toward veterans who have more ambition than themselves. There are also far too many women VR counselors for the numbers of male veterans who use Voc. Rehab. Though we hear the term “misogynist” applied to men who dislike women, there is an antonym for this word that applied to women who hate men: MISANDRIST. Lesbians are notoriously women that hate or repudiated men. This is well documented fact by many studies.
In 2006-07, I had a LESBIAN Voc. Rehab. counselor, Joy Currie, at the St. Pete, FL VARO, who had the gall to ask me whether I was currently “romantically” involved with anyone. I asked, “What the hell does my personal dating life have to do with Voc. Rehab.?” She replied in defense that the VA “requires” them to ask such questions to get the “proper perspective” of the “whole person.” Meaning of course, the VA wants to know who your sleeping with as part of their overall analysis of your VR goals, etc. Kind of like an institutional voyeurism by creepy VA staff who get their kicks reading such stuff. I was surprised she didn’t ask the brand of condoms I used or if I had sex toys, etc.
This VR counselor then went on to ask me the typical gender-neutral question most practicing male or female homosexuals will ask you: “What is THE (not his or her) person’s name?” Of course, if I had answered with “Rachel,” I was heterosexual, and if with “John,” then I was also homosexual, as she was. She just wanted to KNOW that for herself, to be sure. Gays have a prejudice favoring fellow gays, to sure of that.
That is where I got up and got loud out in the main area of the counseling offices. I demanded to see my counselor’s supervisor, and announced that I was being questioned about my personal dating/sex life. This same Lesbian counselor also made several remarks in parts of my VR file that I later got where she questioned my “stamina” as being sufficient. Isn’t it rather strange that this counselor used typically sexually-oriented terminology when she should have been more focused on “motivation” to succeed?
I suspect this type of anti-heterosexual prejudice goes on in many VA Regional Voc. Rehab. offices where you’ll find an unusual percentage of GAY VR counselors. And, yes, be assured that they do all they can to help fellow Gays get hired into VA VR&E.
A VA cop told me that OVER HALF of the Voc. Rehab. staff at the St. Pete, FL Bay Pines VA Regional office were GAY & LESBIAN. Now imagine how fellow gay veterans fared in the successful completion of their VR programs? And your guess would be in line with the truth about what I just wrote. Of course, we can never find out just how many Gays are employed in VA’s VR&E programs since that would violate “their” Privacy Act rights. Which means that ONLY they can inquire into your sexual orientation, for “official reasons” of course. But you can never inquire into theirs, and whether it may affect your successful graduation from the poor-performing VR&E program. The statistics for successful completion are actually quite LOW, contrary to the propaganda VA cranks out that shows ALL their programs are Successful.
P.S. Ms. Currie’s supervisor at the time was Margarita Cocker (now Devlin). She never answered my written complaints against my counselor. And now she is the head of all VR&E programs at the VA Central Office in DC. Imagine that?
THERE IS SURELY SOME CREDANCE TO THIS ARTICLE, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO TAKE INTO THE EQUATION THOSE FEW “EXCEPTIONS” THAT ARE SET UP AS EXAMPLES AS TO HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS “PROPERLY”. THESE ARE THE CASES THAT ARE ROUTINELY USED TO BACK UP A DENIAL. THE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO “JUSTIFY” A BIG BUDGET THAT PAYS FOR “DELAYS”.(i.e., 30-90 DAYS)
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