The Anatomy of False Accusations: A Skeptical Case Study
February 26, 2014
Some boy-meets-girl stories are charming and romantic; others are chilling and repellent. This is a true story, fully documented in police reports and a handful of brief local news stories. Though this incident occurred at a small Iowa university, other false abduction cases like this happen far more often than most people realize. The relative obscurity of this case suggests its prevalence. This was not an extraordinary, sensational case that made national news, nor was it featured on one of many true-crime shows like Dateline NBC. Instead, it involved two relatively unknown, ordinary people that resulted in extraordinary circumstances.
False accusations are of particular interest to skeptics because skepticism has often been at the forefront of giving voice to the wrongly accused. From the Salem witch trials (in which innocent young women were falsely accused of being witches) to the Satanic Panic moral panic of the 1980s and 1990s (in which dozens of innocent men and women were falsely accused of sexually assaulting children and others) and hundreds of examples in between, skeptics have often been there to remind the public to ask for evidence before rushing to judgment. Indeed, the brilliant CSI Fellow Carol Tavris just recently wrote an e-skeptic piece about this in relation to recent accusations against Woody Allen.
Robin Levitski, an eighteen-year-old student at Clarke University, told police in late 2013 that she had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a man she had met online several months earlier, and who she had dated.
For the details we can look at the police report: "Levitski told Cpl. Welsh that she met a [twenty-year-old man, here named John] on the web site meetme.com in late October and began chatting with him. Levitski said that on October 23, 2013 at approximately 10:30 PM she was at a pumpkin carving event in Clarke's student activities center when she was approached by John. Levitski said that John displayed a knife and told her to leave the center with him. Levitski said that John led her to a waiting vehicle and made her enter it."
She was then driven to "a residence on Rhomberg Avenue. Levitski said that she was led by John at knifepoint to an upstairs bedroom at this residence where she was forced to perform sex acts on John. Levitski added that John was photographing this incident with his telephone. Once John was done sexually assaulting her, Levitski said she was driven back to the Clarke campus... around midnight on October 24. Levitski additionally told Cpl. Welsh that John sent the images he took during the sexual assault to her phone. However Levitski said that her grandmother saw these images on her phone and deleted them."
"Cpl. Welsh then located and interviewed John at his residence on Rhomberg. John said that he met Levitski on meetme.com a couple weeks prior and they started dating. John admitted that Levitski had previously spent the night at his residence but was adamant that she did not stay with him on the night of October 23."
It was a he-said / she-said story-except that the accused man had photographs of their encounter, taken during what Levitski described as a sexual assault. The photos provided independent documentary evidence of what happened between the two of them behind closed doors. The police officer accessed John's cell phone and "recovered images depicting sexual acts between John and Levitski." The police officer, however, immediately detected a problem: "The time date stamp on these images however was October 27 and Levitski could be seen smiling while lying next to John in one photo." Why would a woman be seen smiling next to a man who was sexually assaulting her, and why did the information in the photograph file indicate that the photos were taken on a different date than Levitski claimed?
There were other problems with Levitski's story. For example police "obtained key fob activity reports from Clarke University for Levitski's assigned campus keycard.... during the time of the alleged kidnapping Levitski had used her key at and within Clarke University." Unless Levitski's key fob was stolen and used by someone else-something she denied and never reported-clearly she could not be at an off-campus house being sexually assaulted by John while at the same time being on campus. Furthermore a friend of Levitski's told police that she had been with Levitski at the pumpkin carving event on the night of October 23. Instead of John arriving and abducting Levitski at knifepoint as she claimed, Levitski and her friend left the event together uneventfully.
In order to get to the bottom of the mystery, police re-interviewed Levitski at Clarke University on November 8. "Cpl. Welsh explained to Levitski that she had reported a Class A felony that was punishable by up to life in prison if John were found guilty. Cpl. Welsh asked if she thought this would be a fair punishment for John based upon what she was reporting. Levitski said that she didn't think he needed to serve that long a sentence but he should have to do ‘several years.' Cpl Welsh told Levitski that her honesty was imperative if this investigation were to continue and Levitski was adamant that the details she provided were true and accurate. Cpl. Welsh gave Levitski an opportunity to change or correct her statement if she thought at this time that there was something that may have been misreported. Levitski maintained that her story was accurate."
Police "then presented Levitski with the evidence that they had uncovered which was contrary to her statements. After maintaining that she was telling the truth for approximately thirty minutes Levitski finally admitted that the entire story was fabricated to act as some sort of cover for the images that her grandmother had located on her cell phone. These images being of her and John engaged in sex acts. Levitski admitted that these photos were taken during a consensual sexual encounter between her and John on a date later than October 23, contrary to what she had reported."
A Closer Look
This case is fascinating and offers insight into the rarely-discussed dynamics of a demonstrably false report of abduction and sexual assault. This is not a case in which the circumstances are ambiguous, or authorities concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish the accused person's guilt. This is an open-and-shut case in which all of the evidence, including the alleged victim's statements, clearly demonstrate that the accusation was false.
It also provides insight into how easy it is to make a claim, and how difficult it can be to disprove it. It took Levitski only a few minutes to make her claim to her grandmother, and then perhaps an hour to repeat the accusation to police. Investigators, however, spent many days on the case conducting multiple interviews, researching phone records, analyzing key entry data, and so on. This is as it should be: a thorough investigation into a young woman's serious accusations and a young man's life and liberty were on the line. But it does demonstrate the gross imbalance between the time and effort it takes to make a claim and the time and effort it takes to prove or disprove it. It is much easier to prove that something did happen (a positive claim) than to prove that something did not happen (proving a negative). False reports drain an enormous amount of time and money on police departments-time and money that could have been spent on investigating real crimes, with real victims.
What would make a person think that falsely accusing another person-much less a friend and former lover-of sexual assault and abduction was acceptable? There is no indication that Robin and John had any sort of falling out, or that her accusations were made in retaliation for his infidelity or abuse. It would be comforting to think that Levitski is the rare exception, but there is nothing in the record suggesting that she is aberrant in any way; Robin has no previous criminal record, and appears to be a typical young college student, whose interests include cheerleading, The Big Bang Theory, Kanye West, Kesha, and photography.
Why Make a False Accusation?
Why would a person make it up? Only a person with a truly blinkered moral compass would even think of using a false accusation-much less one as serious as sexual assault-as a tool of revenge or convenient excuse for engaging in consensual sex. There is only one circumstance in which an accusation of sexual assault is appropriate: in the case of a genuine sexual assault. Not as a way to get back at someone you're upset with for other reasons. Not as a way to explain away embarrassing photos to your grandmother. False accusations are also a slap in the face to real victims of sexual assault.
Actually, Levitski's reason is mundane and common: the false report of a sexual assault is often used as cover story for consenting (but illicit) sexual activity. There are any number of reasons why a person might falsely claim to have been sexually assaulted, including revenge, seeking sympathy or attention, or to cover up for some crime, indiscretion, or infraction. Here's a few examples.
In 2007 a thirteen-year-old North Carolina girl told police that she had been abducted from her school bus stop by four Hispanic men in a dark red Ford Explorer, taken to nearby woods, and raped. Police canvassed the neighborhood but found nothing, and no eyewitnesses saw the incident. A medical exam revealed no evidence of any assault. Eventually the girl admitted that she had lied about the abduction and assault because she didn't want to get in trouble for skipping school.
On January 22, 2014, a twelve-year-old girl reported that she was approached by a white male as she was walking home from school; she said the man grabbed her and pulled down her pants before she was able to get away. Police searched the area but found no evidence that anything happened; the following day the girl confessed that she had not been assaulted at all; she had made up the story because she didn't want to get into trouble for missing her school bus. She is fortunate that an innocent man who happened to be in the area and who matched her general description was not pulled over and arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault.
In mid-February 2014 Alexandria Westover, a Florida woman, told police she had been assaulted on the Florida Turnpike after getting a flat tire. She claimed that a man pulled over to help her but eventually raped her. After police spent over 100 man-hours of investigation in a fruitless search for evidence, Westover eventually admitted to having fabricated the story because she didn't want to get in trouble for missing work.
Then there's the tragic case of Darrell Roberson, a Texas man who arrived at his home to find his wife Tracy underneath another man in the back of a pickup truck in their driveway. Tracy Roberson cried that she was being raped, upon which Mr. Roberson pulled out a gun and killed the other man with a shot to the head. It was soon determined that Tracy Roberson and the dead man, Devin LaSalle, had been caught in the middle of a consensual sexual affair. Though most cases do not result in anyone's death, false accusations of sexual assault often stem from an attempt to hide sexual infidelity from a partner.
What these cases have in common is that the person making the false report did not think through the consequences of their accusations. In fact this is a recurring theme in false claims of many serious crimes, including carjackings, robberies, school shootings, and even sexual assaults and kidnappings. When asked by police or reporters why a person made false report of a crime, typical responses are "I didn't realize it would be that big a deal" or "I didn't think it would get this far."
Of course, this is nothing new; people routinely do things without thinking about their consequences. Drunk driving is a classic example: Millions of people drink and drive despite ads and ubiquitous public awareness campaigns warning of the dangers (and the severe penalties) associated with DUIs. It's not that drunk drivers don't know that what they're doing is wrong or illegal, or that they don't know that the consequences can be severe. Instead, the knowledge of what they will have to go through if caught does not act as deterrent because they don't think they will get caught, and they aren't thinking about the consequences of impaired driving. People routinely make decisions about whether to do countless things, from moving to a new state to dating someone new to running a red light, without thinking about the consequences.
What are those consequences? Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this case is Levitski's utter indifference to the consequences of her claims for the man she recently dated. John might have been convicted of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree (Iowa Code §709.3), which as a class B felony would have been punishable by up to 25 years in prison; or Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree (Iowa Code §709.4), which as a class C felony would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000. On abduction charge, he could have faced Kidnapping in the First Degree ("when the person kidnapped...is intentionally subjected to torture or sexual abuse"), which is a Class A felony and is punishable by life imprisonment (Iowa Code §902.9).
When Robin Levitski is told that her statement might imprison an innocent man for life, she hedges a bit and states that such a punishment may be extreme; perhaps only "several years" in federal prison for her abduction and rape would be sufficient to teach him a lesson. The phrase "several years" may roll off Levitski's tongue as a trifling, abstract punishment for something that never happened, but pause for a moment and consider what that really means for the true victim in this case: the innocent man she falsely accused.
It means that the man she slept with is arrested and charged with a crime. His family, friends, co-workers, and others find out, through rumor, gossip, and the local news, that he was arrested for abducting and sexually assaulting a young college woman. His name and mug shot in the local newspaper and on web sites, easily available to anyone with internet access. Once John is arrested he may be disenrolled and banned from campus by the university; what administration needs the negative publicity of allowing a man accused of abducting and raping another student back on their campus?
He loses his job when he goes to prison, if not long before during his arrest and trial. If he is married or has a family, he may lose them too. He and his family may have to pay tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend him-and why wouldn't they? Who wouldn't spend all they have to avoid a conviction and prison time for a crime they did not commit? These legal fees, of course, are non-refundable; even if he was found not guilty, he and his family may be left bankrupt by the accusations. His friends view him with suspicion: in their eyes he is a rapist-human garbage only a step or two removed from murderers and child molesters. John will be subject to the stress and dangers of prison life, possibly including rape or murder.
Because of his conviction and after he has served his "several years" for something he didn't do, he will have to register as a sex offender for years or possibly the rest of his life. Anyone who calls the local police station or looks online can find his name and address, and see that he served a prison sentence for abduction and rape. Think of how you would react if you found that information out about your next door neighbor, how you would treat him from then on, what you might say to warn other neighbors or visiting friends, about the predator next door. That (and much worse) is the reality of what "several years" in prison means. When you don't have to pay-or even think about-the consequences of your accusation it's easy to dismiss or minimize the damage done to an innocent person.
It's also easy to assume that Levitski's accusations are less serious because the case against the man never would have gone to trial, or that he never would have been convicted. However such faith in the justice system rests on shaky ground; the fact is that innocent men and women have been convicted of serious crimes on the basis of little more than the alleged victim's word. While it is likely that the man Levitsky accused would not have been indicted or convicted, it is far from a certainty-especially if he is poor or underprivileged and must rely on a public defender.
If she would do this to an innocent man who had done her no wrong, who else might she do it to, in response to some real or perceived slight? We like to hope that Levitski has learned her lesson, but maybe not. This seems to be Levitski's first and only false accusation, but the situation is far more grave if the person has a history of making false claims. Once may be chalked up to incredibly poor judgment or remarkable malice. But repeated false accusations against innocent people may be a sign of mental illness, perhaps a dissociative disorder (inability to distinguish truth from fiction); factitious disorder (creating dramatic personal narratives, often of victimhood, for attention or personal gain); or even paranoid schizophrenia (delusions of persecution and paranoia). This does not, of course, excuse the behavior, but it may provide a framework for addressing it and getting help. If left untreated, he or she may not only do extensive damage to those they falsely accuse, but also to their own lives and careers and those of loved ones.
Why We Believe the ‘Victim'
Not just John and Robin's lives have been affected by her lies. What of those who rallied behind Robin Levitski, her family and friends who consoled her and supported her during the investigation, and those who joined her in accusing John? They of course had no reason to doubt Levitski's claims-why in the world would she make it up if it wasn't true?
Even those who knew both Robin and John might not have completely believed all the accusations, but assumed that he must have done something inappropriate to her. Maybe he didn't actually "abduct" her in the usual sense of the word, but maybe he held her against her will despite her repeated requests to leave, and she was scared of him. Even if John hadn't actually abducted or sexually assaulted her, there must surely be something to it; after all, where there's smoke there's fire, and people don't just make up these sorts of serious accusations out of thin air. It was much easier to "believe the victim" and assume that some sexually aggressive college boy had gone too far. No rational, sensible, moral person would falsely accuse an innocent man of abduction and sexual assault-and certainly not to hide the fact that the eighteen-year-old was sexually active. Yet, as bizarre and implausible as it sounds, that is exactly what happened.
Of course, most reports of sexual assault, abduction, and other serious crimes are true. The vast majority of the time when a man says he was carjacked, or a woman says she was assaulted, it really did happen. No one doubts or denies that, and that is part of the reason that victims are believed-as they should be, unless further evidence and investigation reveals that it did not happen. As Alan Dershowitz pointed out during a recent appearance on BBC News, most people who are accused of a crime are in fact guilty. We would not want to live in a world where most people, or even half of the people, who are accused of, or arrested for, a crime were innocent. We give lip service to the presumption of innocence of the accused, but the simple fact that someone in a position of authority took a claim seriously enough to investigate it suggests to many reasonable people there is likely some basis to it.
Most people do not go around accusing other people of things they did not do, and as a result we tend to assume that there must be some reasonable basis for the allegation-even if it ends up being a misunderstanding. A friend of mine noted that part of the reason that sexual harassment and assault claims are believed (on their face, even in the absence of evidence) is that they are so extreme and outrageous that the thought of the accusations being false is itself a violation of social norms. To falsely accuse an innocent man of sexual harassment and assault is so patently unethical and beyond the pale of acceptable behavior that many assume it pretty well must be true. "Why in the world would she make it up if it wasn't true?" is likely the first and only thought needed to accept her claims. No rational, responsible, moral person would do that, and therefore the question is then framed as either the college student who'd never been in trouble before and presumably had no reason to lie is lying, or there is at least some truth to it. We saw this in the decades-old rehash of allegations against Woody Allen in early 2014. The assumption that a grain of truth must exist somewhere amid the claims is a powerful one.
Saul Kassin, a social psychologist who appears in the documentary film The Central Park Five, explains why it is often very difficult for people to change their minds once they have decided that a person is guilty: "The problem is that once you form a strong belief that someone is guilty of a crime, the contradicting details are just that: they are details that don't fundamentally change our belief in their guilt."
It may be hard to sympathize with a man or woman falsely accused of a crime unless you've been in that situation yourself. Many people may assume that they would never be in relationship with a person who would falsely accuse them of something as serious as sexual harassment or sexual assault. However the fact is that any of us could be in that position; the man Levitski accused of abduction and assault was a friend and recent sex partner, who presumably had no idea what she was capable of. Think about how you would feel if this happened to your wife, husband, daughter, son, brother, sister, mother or father.
Not only was Levitski completely indifferent to the damage she did to the man she accused, but perhaps even more shocking was Levitski's adamant refusal to admit that she lied. Over and over, on at least three occasions, police asked if there was anything she wished to admit or correct about her statement. She said no, sticking to her story over and over, denying and denying the truth. The fact that it took nearly half an hour of police questioning before Levitksi finally admitted her lies is a fair measure of how determined she was to stick to her story, regardless of the consequences for John.
Telling the truth and admitting that a person made a false accusation can surely be a terrifying prospect. It requires a person to accept responsibility for their choices and behavior and admit having done a grievous injustice to an innocent person. It can't be easy, but often doing the right thing-even eventually-is not easy. It means giving up the status of victim, admitting mistakes, and trying to undo the damage done. For falsely accusing an innocent man of crimes that could have left him imprisoned for the rest of his life, Robin Levitski was given probation and fined $315 (the minimum allowed by law) plus court costs.
As of January 2014, her meetme.com profile was still active.
* The third sentence has been edited to clarify that "these cases" refers to false abductions specifically.
#1 Susan Gerbic (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 5:51pm
So Sad. She was willing to let him go to prison for a few years huh. If she can’t think of him she should think of herself. Who is ever going to believe her again? I’m not just talking about sexual assault, but with anything that she ever says. Employers, family, future romantic trysts, she is figuratively screwed.
With this flippant accusation she has slapped men and women who truly have been victims of crime in the face, she disgusts me. My hope is that John will sue her into bankruptcy.
#2 Elizabeth K on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 6:07pm
^ What Susan said. There is an amazing series of podcasts about the Innocence Project and exoneration in America… the amount of time people have lost being locked up for crimes they did not commit is heart wrenching. I learned that DNA evidence isn’t really foolproof anymore.
It says Elizabeth K - but it’s me, Wendy
#3 Astrokid on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 6:13pm
Good article, but I wished you had pulled in more information as to why false allegations are a problem. Our judicial system is capable of meting out justice via its due process right, so cases like Brian Banks Former Football Star Brian Banks Exonerated in Rape Case BY FALSE ACCUSER WANETTA GIBSON should not happen right?
The Prosecution should not railroad men on no evidence, right? The Jury should not railroad men on no evidence right?
A cognitive bias that doesnt get enough attention is the ‘Women are wonderful’ effect, that makes both men and women believe women more. From Wikipedia
The “women are wonderful” effect is the phenomenon found in psychological research which suggests that people associate more positive attributes with the general social category of women compared to men. Related to ambivalent sexism, this effect reflects an emotional bias toward the female gender as a general case. The phrase was coined by Eagly & Mladinic (1994) after finding that both male and female participants tend to assign exceptionally positive traits to the female gender (males are also viewed positively, though not quite as positively), with female participants showing a far more pronounced bias. The authors supposed that the positive general evaluation of women might derive from the association between women and nurturing characteristics
Once you start looking, there is no shortage of evidence for female successful manipulation of the Justice System.
Woman admits lying about domestic violence sending innocent husband to 10 months in jail
Especially scary is the fact that even when ALL the evidence incontrovertibly clears the men, there are well-funded organizations that back the women and demonize the men, such as this Ottawa case of two women accusing two men of rape, investigated and cleared by policewomen
#4 Benjamin Radford on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 6:16pm
I agree, Susan.
As I noted, the vast majority of the time when a woman says she was assaulted, it unquestionably did happen. False reports and accusations are very rare, but they do occur, and they deserve analysis.
There’s a lot of skeptical material about false accusations in other contexts, but very little about modern false crime reports. This is a crystal-clear, airtight case where the accusation was provably false, and because of that (and the fact that so much original information was available in the police report) I thought it would be an excellent in-depth case study. I’ve previously written a lot about false claims of diseases, like when a person claims to have cancer but doesn’t. It’s really interesting.
#5 Benjamin Radford on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 6:21pm
Good points, Astrokid.
This case just happened to be a female “victim,” but I don’t think it’s really a gender issue. In my research, men are just as likely to make false accusations, but they tend to report different crimes, typically physical assaults and robberies and car theft (for insurance scams).
Also, there are an awful lot of false reports by police officers! I’ve seen dozens of cases where a police officer shot himself in the leg or in the arm being careless, and was too embarrassed to admit it so he made up a story of being the victim of a random drive-by!
#6 Ozmanda on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 6:41pm
This is such an important story, because it is easy for people to throw out accusations.
Even if at the end it is found to be false - a lot of damage is done, both financially, time wise as well as for the person accused and the loved ones. I sincerly hope this individual is both sued and criminally charged.
#7 Astrokid on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 7:19pm
We will know whether gender matters ONLY after the analysis is done by experts.
I am very much convinced by psychologist Roy Baumeister’s theory of two spheres of evolution. I have no reason to think that evolution has shaped men and women psychologically similar in these matters. The evidence against it has piled on over the decades.
Of course, men also make numerous false accusations like the ones you mentioned, especially noticing the difference in nature.. they are all in matters of the public sphere. Male villainy is out in the open and common knowledge for millenia, and our criminal system is geared for that. for eg the cop who shot himself in the leg leaves ample evidence out there.
Private sphere stuff like sexual assault is trickier, esp when it starts consensually. Female villiany is not out in the open, and there is no reason to assume its symmetric to male villainy. There is no symmetry in several areas. for e.g Bullying is overt in males and covert in females (Relational aggression).
You mentioned how Robin Levitski was given probation and fined $315. Would a man who committed an equivalent villiany (accusation of car theft say), get away with just a slap on the wrist?
In fact, the same villiany of sexual assault is treated differently by society based on whether the perpetrator is man or woman. Just yesterday I saw this
KHOU 11 News Houston Texas takes on the double standard of female teacher molesters.
This has also been noted historically.
►1922 – Judge Florence E. Allen – First Criminal Court Judge, in 1922 Elected to Ohio Supreme Court
“Men have always sit on juries and men instinctively shrink from holding women strictly accountable for their misdeeds. Now that women sit on juries I expect the percentage of convictions in cases of women to be greater. Women are more clever than men in arousing sympathy. I had on a woman, a hardened criminal, stage a terrific fainting spell in my courtroom after the jury found her guilty. It took four men to carry her to jail. She continued having these spell, so long that I had to defer pronouncing sentence. Finally I sent her word that the longer she acted so, the longer she would be in jail. Within a few moments she sent up word that, she would be good and received her sentence meekly, with no trace of feeling”
I have ample reason to think justice is better served with an understanding of gender differences in this matter.
#8 D4M10N on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 7:25pm
Where in any of Eagly’s work were women found more to be more *credible* than men as eyewitnesses?
#9 Astrokid on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 7:34pm
I didnt make that claim.
I have provided a few samples where female emotional bias has mattered, provided one amongst many observations from history, and argued that We will know whether gender matters ONLY after the analysis is done by experts.
#10 Benjamin Radford on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 7:37pm
“You mentioned how Robin Levitski was given probation and fined $315. Would a man who committed an equivalent villiany (accusation of car theft say), get away with just a slap on the wrist?”
That’s a fair question. In my research, most people who file false reports, whether male or female, get off very lightly. I have seen some cases where young male kids have falsely claimed to have been the victims of abductions or attempted abductions, and they were let off with nothing more than a warning.
The Levitski case is a bit different because she’s an adult, and she specifically named someone who she said abducted and assaulted her, so it’s more serious. I chose to research and write about her false accusations not because she’s a female, but instead because it was indisputably false and malicious, and because there was so much detailed information available in the police report.
So it’s possible that she got off more lightly than a man would have, but not necessarily. Overall our culture is remarkably forgiving of false reports, regardless of who makes them or why.
#11 D4M10N on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 7:39pm
When it comes to false accusations, gender bias doesn’t matter at all if it is not demonstrably related to witness credibility.
#12 Steersman on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 9:07pm
Interesting, and very fortunate for the guy, that he had had the good fortune or foresight to have taken a few pictures for posterity. Maybe there’s a market for something like an iPhone App that could protect both parties, either from rape or false accusations thereof ….
#13 Laurie (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 9:11pm
This is such a tragic case. It is very sad that she decided to lie and falsely accuse him. She has basically ruined both of their lives. She will always be the girl who cried rape, and it will be hard for anyone to believe her again. He will always have to deal with the emotional and social effects of having people believe he was capable of something so awful, even if later they changed their minds. It is insidious to falsely accuse someone of sexual assault.
#14 Susan Gerbic (Guest) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 11:59pm
Just imagine what would have happened to John if he had priors.
#15 SallyStrange (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 9:05am
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#16 TooManyJens (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 12:07pm
“The vast majority of the time when a man says he was carjacked, or a woman says she was assaulted, it really did happen. No one doubts or denies that.”
On the contrary, lots of people doubt and deny that when it comes to rape. Carjacking’s not really in the news a lot, but when it is, do you ever hear “but what if drivers are just making it up because they decided to skip work?” It would never occur to most people to say that, and they’d find it very weird for someone to bring up out of the blue. But just try having a conversation about rape without it degenerating into “But what if she’s lying? Sometimes women just cry rape when they have sex that they regret in the morning.”
#17 erique (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 12:24pm
What gets me is the double standards, people look up and say that only some women lie and make false allegations, impinge that the other 90% or so are all kosher and on the level.
Yet we have a vociferous bunch who believe all men are rapists, and there is no smoke without fire.
In the UK we’ve had some high-profile celebrity cases tried recently, many of them ‘historic’ accusations. There was an actor who was found completely innocent at his trial, but on Twitter, the Twitterati were saying crap like: “Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it” and “Doesn’t mean she was lying” etc
I can remember years ago a UK celebrity set up a phone line service for victims of paedophiles, she said that all child accusations must be taken seriously because children don’t lie about this kind of thing. Not long after her a dive line was set up two children called it and stated they were abducted etc Turned out, that they forgot the time, were late, and knew mum and dad would give them merry hell, so they made up the excuse AFTER watching some of the crap she used to spout on TV.
I’ve known both victims of rape / sexual assault, and I’ve also known two guys, on separate occasions, who were accused and were completely innocent…that didn’t stop the: “No smoke without fire…all penis owners are rapists” brigade. Both are absolutely abhorrent events, whether the raped or the innocent accused.
What happened to the good old days when everyone was innocent until PROVEN guilty?
In the UK we have the ridiculous situation now where people are coming out of the woodwork saying that penis-owning celebrity “A” raped/sexually assaulted me 25 years ago, with no other witnesses and the length of time, how the heck do you even have a case, let alone a successful prosecution?
I feel the world is on crazy pills…
#18 Tigzy (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 1:37pm
Actually, it’s not all that unusual for people to have some doubts about victims of car theft. If the car was old, with a poor resale or scrap value, then a few knowing eyebrows will tend to get raised by the notion that it may have been an ‘arranged theft’ for the purposes of claiming insurance money.
#19 Pitchguest (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 1:59pm
***This portion of this comment has been removed by CFI staff for violation of our comments policy***
Most of this ‘believing the victim no matter what’ nonsense would be alleviated if they changed the language to ‘take them seriously.’ That removes having to choose sides without lacking for moral imperative. When you’re confronted with people claiming to have been raped, then obviously the ideal thing you’d like to say is, ‘I believe you.’ But you can’t. It isn’t that simple and the world isn’t ideal. For one, from an ethical standpoint, saying ‘I believe you’ is indirectly making a judgment call on the accused which is never right. And for another, it’s abandoning the most basic principle of science: never rush to conclusions. However if you instead replace ‘I believe you’ with ‘I take you seriously’, then at least that offers the benefit of the doubt.
#20 Pitchguest (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 3:31pm
To Ophelia Benson (who might be reading this):
Just because you don’t mention something doesn’t mean you don’t care. I honestly thought you of all people understood this distinction, but I guess not. However, it *is* amusing that you’ve chosen to form the kind of “Dear Muslima” argument that you so despise when it comes from the other “side.” Shows how principled you are. Ta.
#21 Pitchguest (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 3:39pm
Oop, turns out I’ve been ninjaed. Tabby, take it away:
While Radford and Tavris are full of rape culture bullshit, we need to be careful not to tread into “Dear Muslima” territory.
Oh dear. Seems Tabby unintentionally realised just why ‘rape culture’ is so difficult to come to terms with, though I think he (or she) had a different meaning in mind. Oh, if only people could decide on a definition of ‘rape culture’ that wasn’t all over the place, maybe we could actually have a point of reference of which to debate. Alas.
#22 Mykeru (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 4:06pm
I’ve seen you speak at NCAS meetings and I have nothing but respect for your methods, your integrity and your skeptical cred.
That said, welcome to the party, because the woo-peddling social justice carpet-baggers are going to trash you, up to an including misrepresentation, uncharitable interpretation, outright lies and, failing that, your very own false accusation.
For example, you have probably notice that, although you said directly that most accusation are undoubtedly true, the threat narrative they peddle necessitates their claiming you claim “women lie about rape”. Somewhere in the mix will come an email claim where someone heard someone else claim they knew a person who said you were a rapist. And that will be enough.
Don’t let them grind you down
#23 Don (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 5:46pm
This is clearly a case of narcissistic behavior. Robin Levitski was much more concerned with her grandmother’s perception of her, and once caught in yet another lie, the perception that she was an honest believable person, than any consequences others might suffer. Her’s is a life most likely dominated by lies and delusion.
#24 jacques cuze on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 6:23pm
On a weekly, if not daily, basis, the bloggers at The Community of the Wrongly Accused, http://cotwa.info, detail current false accusations in the news.
It is a myth, and it should be soundly rejected, that false accusations are rare.
A couple of years ago, Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions of the Crown Prosecution Service wrote a report detailing the problem of false accusations that the CPS sees. He wrote:
At the outset it is important that we acknowledge the very damaging impact that a false allegation of rape or sexual assault – be it either malicious or misguided – can have on the person falsely accused. Reputations can be ruined and lives can be devastated as a result. Such cases will be dealt with robustly and those falsely accused should feel confident that the Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute these cases wherever there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.
Feminists took his report and wrote articles in the guardian and on blogs that inverted that and claimed the report was saying that we can and should ignore false rape accusations because they are so rare and focus on rape victims.
The BBCnewsbeat article does exactly what Keir Starmer, the chief prosecutor, warns against . The article turns the focus away from rape victims and onto the much rarer false allegations and how devastating they can be for those falsely accused, whilst largely ignoring the larger message that rape is widespread and under punished and that the misconception that false accusations are rife can deter women from reporting.
It is high time that Skeptical Societies loudly take Contemporary Feminism on the same as they would any woo meister, any religion, any conspiracy theorist.
The failure of skeptics to take feminism on full force indicates a moral cowardice and a lack of awareness and intelligence on the part of those societies. And it indicates just how far down the rabbits hole feminism has taken us.
A more complete detailing of the Keir Starmer report (which was not all good, and was not all bad) that details the political motivations behind it, and demonstrates BOTH the many types of false accusations they receive and their motivations as well as the enormous percentage of time they refuse to charge false accusations when the perpetrators are women because they feel that is not in the public interest can be found here:
#25 THE Commander Tuvok (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 6:39pm
Please ignore SallyStrange (comment #15).
She is a known troll from another blog.
#26 John C. Welch (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 7:09pm
when a comment consists of laughter and a version of “you suck” there’s nothing there to do anything with but ignore.
I think Pitchguest hit on a good point there, (one I’ve made for some time.) Regardless of the various definitions of the word “belief”, it does come with some baggage in that it is usually meant to imply unquestioning acceptance. That’s not inherently good or bad, but it does create problems for “believe the victim”.
I think remolding the concept around “take the victim seriously” removes that, but leaves in place the good parts. I don’t know I’d use those words specifically, they’re a bit awkward, but the thought behind them is good. “How can I help” is my usual response.
Taking the victim seriously doesn’t require some all or nothing stance. It doesn’t force you to barely hold yourself back from some fool vigilante ride, nor does it require you to question the person like you’re some reincarnation of Perry Mason. It lets you do the “right” thing, i.e. offer the simple, human support and caring anyone would want in that situation, without passing judgement.
That’s always an option in these cases: not passing judgement. I fail to understand why that’s some kind of odd requirement. There’s enough people out there who will do that, professional and amateur alike. I see no need to require it of everyone. Resisting the temptation to pass judgement tends to remove a lot of problems from life pretty well.
It also keeps us from the ridiculous binary of “if you don’t BELIEEEEVE the victim, you MUST think they are lying.” What a load of utter nonsense that is. I don’t think the kids in the daycare scares of some decades ago were lying. I think by the end of it, they believed what they were saying is true. They were just incorrect. I don’t think Jennifer Thompson was lying when she twice named Ronald Cotton as her rapist. But she was wrong:
#27 Ethel Merman (Guest) on Thursday February 27, 2014 at 8:49pm
This is my favorite MRA site. At CFI’s blog, you can read about a real and tragic case, written by someone (Ben Radford) who has himself been accused of sexual harassment, with the implication that his accuser (Dr. Karen Stollznow) is a liar.
I LOVE MRA sites! Will there be features on skirt length soon? Please keep me posted!
#28 Ozmanda on Friday February 28, 2014 at 1:40am
Ethel - So rather then discuss the article itself and conduct a semi intelligence discourse you decide to hop on the harpy bandwagon and conduct a bit of poisoning the well. And you display the lack of courage by hiding behind a false name.
Do us a favour and go away - your unproductive vitriol is not required.
#29 The Commander Tuvok (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 7:54am
“This is my favorite MRA site. At CFI’s blog, you can read about a real and tragic case, written by someone (Ben Radford) who has himself been accused of sexual harassment, with the implication that his accuser (Dr. Karen Stollznow) is a liar.”
Same goes for Pharyngula (PZ Myers) and Lousy Canuck (Jason Thibeault), both of whom have had accusations of sexual harassment (or worse) made against them. Sorry, what was that, Ethel….you’ve gone a bit quiet! Are their accusers liars as well? Lost your voice, have you, Ethel?
Oh, and don’t forget that the Pharyngulites have all rallied around a poster who has confessed to being a rapist. What was his name? Ogvorbis, or something? What was that, again, Ethel? You’ve gone very quiet again.
In summary, Ethel, you cart off back to the playground of offenders that is FreeThoughtBlogs, and then, when you drain your hypocrisy from your system, you might be able to express yourself in an adult manner.
#30 MinM (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 8:57am
“We give lip service to the presumption of innocence of the accused, but the simple fact that someone in a position of authority took a claim seriously enough to investigate it suggests to many reasonable people there is likely some basis to it.”
Well, No - The police investigate complaints or suspicious activity. An investigation is not presumption of guilt, it is an investigation. A COURT needs sufficient evidence to convict someone of a crime. It’s true that some people are falsely accused. But it’s also true that some people who may have committed the crime are not convinced due to insufficient evidence. How is that lip service to presumption of innocence?
Whether an individual assumed (without trial) that a person is guilty or innocence is multi-factoral. I have heard many people claim that convicted rapists, didn’t really do it…they were set up by the woman (Mike Tyson is an example). I would say, decisions without evidence often come down to personal bias or which party you identify with more, rather than presumption of guilt. But that is just observational, I don’t have statistics.
#31 zenbabe (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 9:37am
In the many years between my time in high school English classes and now, did they yank To Kill A Mockingbird from the curriculum?
The false accuser in that book was a (highly) sympathetic character, but nonetheless clearly in the wrong.
Course, Atticus and Finch were heroic because neither allowed irrational fears dictate reality, no matter the pressure to give into them. Finch woke up to the truth that Boo was innocent of her own superstitious assumptions about him, and her dad held to the truth that the man who’d been accused of rape was innocent.
I can’t imagine anyone reading that book, comprehending it, and then choosing to play the role of the villain, either taking on the mantle of the false accuser or willingly being a member of the closed minded, angry, fearful jury and townsfolk.
#32 johngreg (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 11:34am
Um, zenbabe, just for clarification, the central protagonist’s name was Atticus Finch. There were not two people named, respectively, Atticus, and Finch.
Atticus Finch was the father/lawyer, his kids were Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch.
#33 zenbabe (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 12:03pm
Dammit dammit dammit.
#34 mrs A.S. (Guest) on Friday February 28, 2014 at 1:13pm
Outrage is outrage no matter what “side” someone is on. No, John, should not sue Robin. It will only serve to make John look like a vengeful, vindictive person thereby making it appear that perhaps Robin’s accusation did have a bit of merit because deep done inside John is really not a decent guy. As difficult as it is for John to have been falsely accused of rape, he needs to rise above this ugly accusation and move on. Spending the months or years it could require to take legal action against Robin, an 18 year old college student who very likely has no monetary assets to sue for, wouldn’t serve any useful purpose.
And, the spitting matches transpiring in this comment section are outrageous as well. Not a good look for people who claim to be skeptics to be taking verbal potshots at one another on a site who’s mission is to promote skepticism.
#35 Astrokid on Friday February 28, 2014 at 1:23pm
Perhaps Ben (and others like me) worry too much.
Cover Stories Behavior: When Is It RAPE? - TIME By NANCY GIBBS Sunday, June 24, 2001[/url]
This line of reasoning has led some women, especially radicalized victims, to justify flinging around the term rape as a political weapon, referring to everything from violent sexual assaults to inappropriate innuendos. Ginny, a college senior who was really raped when she was 16, suggests that false accusations of rape can serve a useful purpose. “Penetration is not the only form of violation,” she explains. In her view, rape is a subjective term, one that women must use to draw attention to other, nonviolent, even nonsexual forms of oppression. “If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape, she may have had reasons to,” Ginny says. “Maybe she wasn’t raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.”
Catherine Comins, assistant dean of student life at Vassar, also sees some value in this loose use of “rape.” She says angry victims of various forms of sexual intimidation cry rape to regain their sense of power. “To use the word carefully would be to be careful for the sake of the violator, and the survivors don’t care a hoot about him.” Comins argues that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience. “They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’ Those are good questions.”
#36 SallyStrange (Guest) on Saturday March 01, 2014 at 9:42pm
Gosh, I’m so sorry I violated the terms of commenting. Of course. No personal attacks. Calling Ben Radford a terrible person qualifies as a personal attack.
Okay, I’ll spell it out: the claim that nobody questions rape victims’ accounts when they report is laughable. This belief is widely held, but it is at odds with reality, and that tension does damage to rape victims, who often are accused of lying by people who appear to believe that accusing rape victims of lying is a novel approach. Perpetuating this belief is ethically questionable.
#37 johngreg (Guest) on Sunday March 02, 2014 at 10:05am
Sally, Sally, Sally, stop playing your SJL Rage Privilege card so hard.
As is typical of the doolally raging SJL Rage Liberation Front, you have either misunderstood, or are intentionally misrepresenting, or have failed in your reading comprehension.
Perhaps all of the above.
To paraphrase and shorten the original claim that you are flinging your rage tears about, about, would be to say:
“No one doubts or denies that most reports of sexual assault, abduction, and other serious crimes are true.”
Please note the all-important qualifier: “most reports”. Not ALL reports, “most reports”.
For your claim that he said “the claim that nobody questions rape victims’ accounts when they report” to be valid would require him to have said “nobody questions rape victims’ accounts when they report”, or “No one doubts or denies that ALL reports of sexual assault, abduction, and other serious crimes are true.” Neither of which he he did.
Sally, try “Reading Comprehension 101 Remedial for Raging SJWs”. It can only help.
By-the-by, Ben, or whomever, where is/are the commenting rules? I cannae find ‘em.
#38 Zenlike (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 3:20am
So Commander Tuvok, where can I find those accusations of sexual harassment (or worse) made against PZ Myers and Jason Thibeault? And no, a post at your beloved slymepit doesn’t count.
And shut the fuck up about Ogvorbis, he was a victim you moron, not a rapist.
I find it funny that SallyStrange’s post has been taken down because of ‘personal attacks’, but your post accusing others of being sexual harassers or rapists remains standing. Points out what CFI’s priorities are.
#39 Mykeru (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 3:53am
@ #38 Zenlike. You seem to be as well-informed as any of the FTB apologists. Which is to say not at all.
Jason Thibeault, by Jason Thibeault, on Freethought Blogs. Hope this meets your standards
“When I was 16, my first girlfriend accused me of rape in order to preempt any acrimony over her sleeping with someone else, and the only things that saved me — unpopular kid as I was — were the facts that she’d repeatedly and demonstrably lied to a lot of people about a lot of things very often, eroding anyone’s trust in her, and because she happened to tell a lie integral to her accusation that I could disprove.
“Her accusation ruined her own reputation amongst her then circle of friends, but she moved on, built new trusts, violated them as well, and generally made a wreck of her life as far as I cared to follow.”
#40 Mykeru (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 3:57am
#41 Mykeru (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 4:03am
Well, I can see the benefit of demanding citations if these comment forms can’t handle even a shortened url.
The first quote is from Lousy Canuck, August 10, 2013
So then, again, just the second quote from Jason Thibeault:
“Getting off the bus that day, I was jumped by one of the kids that got off at my stop. I didn’t know why it had happened, but I fought back for every pound of my scrawny frame and battled the asshole to a stalemate (with the help of another, older kid, who kept the inevitable pile-ons from joining in while we wrestled). A car approached and the event broke up when the driver stopped and threatened to get out and drag us all to the cops or worse, our parents — as though this random guy actually knew who any of us was. At least, he didn’t know me.
This wasn’t terribly manly of me, managing only barely to fight off an attacker and only because of two intercedents. But it snapped me back out of my daze. I didn’t know what was going on until the next day, when I discovered that the rumor was spreading that I had raped my then-ex girlfriend. I also discovered that same day that she and another boy had been liaising for at least a week before she dumped me, and betrayed as I was, I don’t think I fully grasped the severity of the situation — in the other kids eyes, I was guilty at the merest accusation. Worse, I had to lie to my parents about us ever having sex, out of some twisted sense that admitting we’d been hiding that fact would just compound the situation, and I kept lying about it to everyone for years afterward.”
—Lousy Canuck, May. 22, 2009
#42 Mykeru (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 4:19am
Oh, can post URLs if registered. Let’s try it.
Aw, Zenlike, did you run back to the echo chamber and complain about poor Sally Strange’s “Freeze Peach”?
#43 Tigzy (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 5:01am
Further to Mykeru’s response to Zenlike, here’s PZ Myers in his own words, detailing the accusation of rape made against him:
May 15, 2010
That’s not just a gay thing, MAJeff. I won’t meet privately with students either — I always keep my office door wide open, and when I’m working with students in the lab, I find excuses to move out and let them work on their own if it turns into a one-on-one event. I just can’t afford the risk.
I was also subject to accusations of harassment, once upon a time. A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there.
Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation. I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.
I was in a total panic, knowing full well how damaging that kind of accusation can be. Fortunately, I’d done the right thing by blowing it all wide open at the first hint of a threat, and getting witnesses on the spot.’
(From the Scienceblogs Pharyngula entry ‘Bat sex is not protected by academic freedom’, May 15 2010, posted in the comments section)
He refers to the incident as actually involving a rape allegation here:
‘Wait…she listened, & all she took from it was 1 or 2 sentences which she then misinterprets to mean I’m forever denying the possibility that a woman might make a false accusation? Nonsense. I’ve been threatened with a false rape accusation, one that could have totally destroyed my career.
I took it very seriously and moved quickly to provide evidence that it was false.
But of course we have to accept the personal testimony of women’s experiences. In that case, it would have been totally injust to simply say, “oh, she’s a woman, therefore she’s lying”. Most rape accusations are not false, so a priori dismissals are inappropriate, and if that woman had gone to the authorities (she didn’t, because I immediately brought in witnesses to make her effort futile) I would sure as hell hope they’d treat both of our positions with equal seriousness.’
(from the FTB Lousy Canuck post ‘Defamation is not Disagreement’ March 30 2013, posted in the comments section)
It is odd that while PZ Myers demands that we must always believe the women in these situations - ostensibly because false rape allegations are so rare as to barely warrant any consideration at all - PZ Myers keeps his lab door open and won’t meet students one-on-one because, in his own words, he ‘just can’t afford the risk’.
Why, the man’s a veritable MRA!
#44 Mykeru on Monday March 03, 2014 at 5:40am
“I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.”
Everything Myers says about OTHER PEOPLE accused should be weighed with his attitude when HE is the one accused.
Got anything else, Pharyngulates?
#45 johngreg (Guest) on Monday March 03, 2014 at 12:10pm
“And shut the fuck up about Ogvorbis, he was a victim you moron, not a rapist.”
Zenlike, Ogvorbis’s own words:
“... I didn’t stop before raping three young girls (all were, give or take, the same age as ‘S’, the girl I was forced to abuse while a scout). I was older. The age difference was even greater. I knew it was wrong even as I joined in and I still did it because it may be wrong but its what I was used to.”
Oggie’s own words, Zenlike; his own words—and he emphasizes that he was not pushed or forced into draping the kids.
And you can try it if you like, but the implied claim that you and many other FTB Oggie supporters make, which is that Oggie was not responsible nor guilty for his actions because he was, several years earlier, a rape victim too, has been debunked time after time after time. Most victims of sexual abuse DO NOT themselves become abusers, and even if they did, that is not a get out of jail free card.
And, not to mention the simple fact that most of Oggie’s many and varied confessions are mostly predicated on the fully debunked “theory” of recovered memory.
And, lastly, the simple fact that Oggie’s behaviour and postings at FTB absolutely reeek of the Catholic confessional and revival tent screamers who confess, not because they’ve ever actually done anything wrong, but because it’s the only method they know to garner friends and wallow in their brief moment in the social spotlight.
#46 Steersman on Monday March 03, 2014 at 1:39pm
Bears repeating: “I had to work fast, because … [it could] easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.” -P.Z. Myers
The way to include links is the same way as on FTB – check the posting forms for any of the sites to see the details.
But, to include a link, here’s the one to Myer’s comment on ScienceBlogs.
In any case, just to throw out an idea, considering that, at “best”, the percentage of false rape accusations is in the area of 10% which means that 90% of the accusations are true, and that it is very difficult to decide who is telling the truth, maybe we should change the justice system to a different model, at least for rape cases: take a roulette wheel, paint 32 of the numbers black and 4 of them red – leave the zero and double-zero ones green – and spin the wheel to decide guilt or innocence; if the ball lands on a black then the guy – normally – is sent to the slammer for 10 to 20, and if it lands on a red then the accuser – normally a gal – is sent to the slammer for 1 to 2 ….
#47 Mykeru on Monday March 03, 2014 at 2:48pm
No, Steersman. What you have to do is be registered to do links, bare or with tags. That was the problem, not my inability to understand basic HTML-derived code.
#48 Steersman on Monday March 03, 2014 at 3:10pm
Ok – didn’t notice that your #42 was as a guest but that your #44 was, presumably, while registered – which I notice didn’t include the link to what you were quoting. Hence my incorrect inference that you didn’t know the details – it is, of course, different from the Pit in that regard.
In any case, I thought it an opportunity to point out the technique to any others who wish to provide links to factual materials to those who are apparently hyperskeptics when it comes to their own “in-group”, but who appear to be born-again believers when it comes to accusations against the “out-group” ….
#49 Mykeru on Monday March 03, 2014 at 3:46pm
Just shut the hell up, why don’t you?
#50 Steersman on Monday March 03, 2014 at 4:04pm
Chuck you Farley. But why? My comments not being well-received in Party Headquarters? Or you just have a bee in your bonnet?