A PMA is simply a form of a Private Association. These are commonly known as a Private Association, Health Association, or Private Membership Association.  PMAs can also be referred to as Unincorporated Associations.

A Private Membership Association (“PMA”) is men and woman collectively asserting and standing upon their rights to determine what devices, products, procedures, or services will be used by them to maintain the health of their own body, mind or spirit; and Men and women collectively asserting and standing upon their right to Provide and share, legal and lawful services, procedures, advice, counsel, tips and any other information or services which may be deemed beneficial to Association members and freely share, discuss, and obtain, exchange, view and/or use information and services by members of the Association, and the right to determine for ourselves which products, services, tips, advice, and counsel is most beneficial to us without the information being censored through regulation or restriction upon these rights.

A PMA is like a private family (PMA creator = the head of the family; PMA members = family members). Just like in a close family, what is communicated or happens inside a family’s private home, among only family members are private matters generally immune from and not subject to censorship/control by any administrative agency of any government.

PMAs have an established history and maintain a significant and unique standing in law; they are generally immune from most, if not all, state and federal Public Laws. The exception would be if the activities of the association present a “clear and present danger of a substantial evil”.

Why are they immune from public laws? They are private, not public. The ability to form a PMA and the protections afforded by a properly formed PMA seem to be new information to many people but they are not a new concept. You have the right to assemble and to associate. That right has always been there. Private Membership Associations have been around for a very long time.

NOTE: The level of protections will always be determined by your founding documents. If your association is properly formed, the establishing documents will define who has the authority to determine all matters of association business and which tribunals and authorities have the jurisdiction to get involved. This will always be determined by the founder or their appointees. If the founding documents, including the articles of association, are created in statutory compliance the courts maintain their jurisdiction, even if that jurisdiction is limited.

It’s PMA-Power’s opinion that the courts should always be kept out of association business but most associations, within their founding documents, either include submitting to the statutes of the laws of the State, or are filed under the authority of the state (such as the Secretary of State).

What are some examples of a Private Membership Association?

Drinking is allowed inside “private clubs” in “dry counties” in states of The United States of America where the sale of alcohol to the public is restricted or illegal; smoking is allowed inside “cigar bars” or “private clubs” in states having public laws prohibiting smoking in government buildings and in buildings open to the public; membership is restricted and only private rules apply inside private golf, baseball, football, soccer and other sports clubs; Men’s, Women’s, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs; the Cub, Brownie, Boy and Girl Scouts of America; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.); the American Medical Association; and, even the local, state and federal BAR Associations, all of which are various forms of a PMA, generally follow only their own rules, not public law.

If they have these protections in place, shouldn’t we? The biggest part of the case law that keeps the government restriction and intrusion out of your business comes from court decisions starting in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Prior to that, there wasn’t much effort on the part of government to over step their boundaries when it comes to a private association so there wasn’t a need to involve the courts. Since that time, there have been very few cases of government being able to successfully challenge the operation of a PMA and the few that fall into that category were only successful because the PMA was formed in statutory compliance giving government the authority to intervene from the founding of the association.

The protections of a Properly Established Private Association have been known, and widely used, throughout the natural healthcare industry for a long time but most people never had a need to know about it.

What Type of PMA Should I Join?

This is sort of a misleading tactic for those who aren’t yet “in-the-know”. The truth is that there are established Natural Healthcare PMA’s which are perhaps very large, and offer “benefits” such as insurance and licensing to operate under their PMA, in exchange for paying their membership dues. PLEASE Keep in mind; Your own PMA will offer you the most protection. You don’t need licensing from someone else’s PMA. If you get their license you are operating under their rules and they can change those rules anytime they choose. NOTE: Most of them are established as Statutory PMA’s to begin with, so you’re still paying for limited protection and required to follow someone else’s rules to maintain the “License”.

Recommendation: ignore the hype and marketing of someone else’s Association and put your own protections in place. The choice is yours. POWERFUL EXAMPLE: Within your own PMA, you can practice natural medicine without the government agencies having jurisdiction or worrying about intrusion or confiscation by the FDA.

All PMAs Are Not Created Equal. Make Sure your PMA is a Properly Formed PMA.

A properly formed PMA should be created in a manner to ensure, and invoke, your rights, including the ability to keep your business within the private domain and outside of the jurisdiction of Public Law. A properly formed PMA should never be founded in a manner as to be statutory compliant. A statutory compliant PMA puts you directly under the jurisdiction of the statutory court and removes your protections.

Unfortunately, some folks out there are happy to price gouge their fellows, and charge between $10k- $25k plus for assistance in founding a PMA, with the end result being a statutory compliant PMA and in our mind, this is straight up extortion, and still doesn’t get the “job done”.

I Already Have an Established Business or Corporation.

No worries.An existing business or corporation can be restructured as a properly formed PMA. Depending upon the size of the business or corporation, this may require a lot more work preparing your founding documentation but only you can decide if restructuring and removing your business from the jurisdiction of public law and state regulation is the right decision for you and your business.

Nowadays, we see government continually seeking new ways to license, regulate, or interfere in people’s business, so the need for the protections of a PMA are becoming much more important and, truthfully: a necessity. Their expanding list of required licensing, regulation, and intrusion generates HUGE revenue for “government,” and increases the cost of people’s business: that’s a big reason why we are seeing people want to learn more about the PMA and how to use their own PMA to protect themselves. It’s not a new concept, only a new necessity, at least for most.

D. Edwards