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International Graphoanalysis Society

IGAS is the abreviation for International Graphoanalysis Society. The organization is far more commonly referred to by its initials than the full name.

IGAS unofficially closed in December 2002. On 16 January 2003 the only official announcement that is was closed was made via a letter to its members.

IGAS traces its beginnings back to 1929, when Milton N. Bunker formed The American Grapho Analysis Society. Around 1957, that organization was replaced by The International Graphoanalysis Society, which was run by V. Peter Ferrara. Upon V. Peter Ferrara's death, ownership of the company fell to Kathleen Kusta.

From the early seventies through the early eighties, the organization put energy into graphological research, the most important being Crumbaugh & Stockholm (1977) and Stockholm (1980), (1983).

Table of contents

Members

IGAS was a privately held corporation. As such, information about its finances, membership numbers, actual number of graduates, and related items are not known; other than what was published in the masthead of the monthly newsletter, The Journal of Graphoanalysis.

At its demise IGAS had roughly 30 chapters, covering the United States, parts of Canada, the UK, and South Africa. Chapter leaders are currently looking at options to revive IGAS.

The highest reported number of members issued to a student of Graphoanalysis was just over 50,000. The number of students has had varied greatly, but appears to have been at its peak during the seventies.

The Courses

Eight Basic Steps in Graphoanalysis was the begining course that many members taught people interested in handwriting analysis.

The General Course of Graphoanalysis was the course taught by IGAS. Graduates of that course were awarded the designation Certified Graphoanalysts, more commonly referred to as CGA.

Graduates of The Advanced Course of Graphoanalysis were awarded the designation of Master Graphoanalyst or MGA.

Attendees of the annual congress would be awarded Three Year Study Certificates, or Six Year Study Certificates, upon attending the Congress the appropriate number of times.

The monthly study packet was originally a four-page lesson that challenged members to improve their ability to analyze handwriting. Beginning in the early-90s, the monthly study packet was incorporated into the IGAS's monthly journal publication.

The Dissenters

Because of the tight control that IGAS had on its members, the field of handwriting analysis was functionally divided into two groups -- Graphoanalysts, and Graphologists.

A clause that was responsible for the expulsion of hundreds of members of IGAS between 1970 and 1990 was: Further, I will not affiliate with any group of handwriting analysts not sanctioned by the International Graphoanalysis Society, Inc. was the last clause of the 1980 Code of Ethics of IGAS.'

In 1957, Charlie Cole set up a series of graphology lectures, which evolved into The American Handwriting Analysis Foundation[?]. The lectures were intended for graduates of the MGA program only. Klara G. Roman gave the first series of lectures. Later lectures were given by other Holistic Graphologers. As a result of that study, Charlie Cole, and most of the people that attended that lecture series, were expelled from IGAS.

Handwriting Analysts of Minnesota was another group that was started as a direct result of the entire chapter being expelled for the unethical conduct of having a Holistic Graphologer lecture at their quarterly meeting.

The list of people who were thus expelled goes on and on. The net result of this is that the majority of currently active organizations of handwriting analysts in the United States were formed due to this wall of separation that IGAS required its members to keep.

The tragedy can be seen in cases such as Carroll v. State (276 Ark 160, 634 SW 2d 99, 101-102 (1982)), where both sides argue that the other side has no scientific basis for their beliefs, but that their side has a plethora of scientific evidence to support their conclusions.

See Also

Graphoanalysis
Graphology

Reference Texts

Crumbaugh, James C & Stockholm, Emilie (1977)
Validation of Graphoanalysis by 'Global' or 'Holistic' Method.
Perceptual And Motor Skills
April 1977, 44(2), 403-410.

Stockholm, Emile (1980)
Statistical Data For Basic Traits of Graphoanalysis: IGAS Trait Norm Project.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1980, 51, 220-222

Stockholm, Emile (1983)
Research Department releases findings of new reliability study
Journal of Graphoanalysis , December 1983, 3-4

There are a few histories of handwriting analysis in the United States. None of them are from a NPOV perspective.

The Canadian Analyst published by Alex Sjoberg was the longest running graphological periodical in North America. ( Need to add date it started and date it finished publication.)

The Journal of Graphoanalysis was published by IGAS, from 1956(?) to 2002.

Anybody who wants to write something from a NPOV could find no better a starting point than those two journals.

The next step would a trip to the Handwriting Analysis Research Library In Greenfield, MA. Robert Backman is the curator. Appointments are required to visit the library.



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