Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Essays by Ilana Mercer and Christopher DeGroot, and Some Comments on the Feminist Beast of the Apocalypse


Today I pass on two essays which you may not have seen. Both are by friends whose writing and work I greatly esteem.

The first is by national columnist Ilana Mercer, and it explores the striking psychological and scientific deceptions present in much of our current age’s dependence on psycho-therapy, in particular, on the idea of “recovered memory” as a reliable factor in any type of sexual abuse situation. This is the kind of detailed data and information that should have been utilized by the Republican senators in their consideration of the Christine Blasey Ford account.

Secondly, I pass on a superb essay by Christopher DeGroot which addresses sexual manipulation and its quite profound and disastrous consequences in our modern society—and its uses as a mechanism to control and dominate.

Thankfully, the Kavanaugh confirmation process is over, indelibly imprinted on our consciousness and forced on us each time we flipped the television switch, or signed on to the Web. As far too many columnists and on air commentators have endlessly expounded, what we have just witnessed is a giant watershed, the fearful emergence of something that has been there, that has been festering culturally and infectiously in our midst for decades, even for more than a century—but that now has surfaced, full-blown, palpably and visibly for all who have eyes to see and half a brain to think.

For mirror imagery none is better than St. John in his Apocalypse (ch. 13):

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…and upon his heads the name of blasphemy….and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies….  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  If any man have an ear, let him hear [vs. 1-9, excerpts]

Indeed, the passage is filled with imagery, and it has been employed in similar fashion in the past each time an immense catastrophe or convulsion seems to threaten the foundations of our civilization and the orthodox beliefs of millions. Were not the challenges of world Communism, or perhaps of Hitler, or even of the French Revolution focused in analogous terms, at least by some authors?

Yet—and I find this to be a significant difference between those cataclysmic assaults on the Christian West and what is transpiring today—each of those previous challenges, including the Communist one, did not, in fact, attempt to overturn and completely negate the moral order of nature, itself. That is, even though proposing—and attempting—to create a new natural order in society, imposing an unnatural egalitarianism and destroying the inherited traditional structure of society, those earlier revolutions left more or less in tact the reality of sexual and functional differentiation and the importance and centrality of the family in their “new orders.”  Of course, lip service was paid to equality and the supposed liberation of the female sex; but the reality was far different, as Joseph Stalin and those commissars reviewing the troops on each May Day in Moscow made crystal clear.

In fact, the new promised egalitarianism in the Soviet spheres meant only that one oligarchy replaced an older one: equality was a fraud and never could exist, even by force.

Today the latest revolutionary fervor, feminism in all its forms and disguises, not only rejects any remnant of the old morality, but is in full and open rebellion against the natural moral order, feverishly seeking its virulent and violent overthrow and the upending of the laws of nature and of physiology. And that includes the submission of men to a new and totalitarian matriarchy, under pain of hounding them out of the workplace or the kind of treatment Brett Kavanaugh received, whether for a Supreme Court nominee or for the guy down the street who stole a kiss from a girl way back in primary school forty years ago.

It makes little difference to today’s fanatics: It is not equality they want or desire; it is authoritarian domination and a control that even Stalin and the radical Jacobin Montagnards of the French Revolution never allowed, for they intuitively realized its destructiveness and insanity.

It manifests its awful face in such statements as the following by a supposedly respected professor of security studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Christine Fair, who declared online: “Look at thus [sic] chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist's arrogated entitlement…All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes….F--k them.” []

But that is where we are: a society ravaged by raving and frenzied Harpies, outside rationality, who have been educated and instructed on what to think in ideologically-extreme hothouses called colleges, conditioned by cult-like psycho-babblers who have replaced the priesthood and pastors as counselors, encouraged and goaded on by a tendentious culturally Marxist media and entertainment conglomerate, and funded by global revolutionaries like George Soros. It may not be a Beast of the Apocalypse, but it surely comes close.
Now, here are the essays by Ilana Mercer and Christopher DeGroot:

Christine Blasey Ford and Her Hippocampus

Ilana Mercer  Posted: Oct 05, 2018 12:00 PM

One of many cringe-making moments in Christine Blasey Ford’s protracted complaint before the Senate Judiciary Committee—and the country—was an affectation-dripping reference to her hippocampus. “Indelible in the hippocampus” was the memory of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her, some 36 years back, asserted Ford.

With that, the good “doctor” was making a false appeal to scientific authority. Ford had just planted a falsity in the nation’s collective consciousness. The accuser was demanding that the country believe her and her hippocampus.

All nonsense on stilts. 

We want to believe that our minds record the events of our lives meticulously, and that buried in the permafrost of our brain, perfectly preserved, is the key to our woes. Unfortunately, scientific research negates the notion that forgotten memories exist somewhere in the brain and can be accessed in pristine form.

Granted, we don’t know whether “She Who Must Never Be Questioned” recovered the Judge Kavanaugh memory in therapy. That’s because, well, she must never be questioned. Questioning the left’s latest sacred cow is forbidden. Bovine Republicans blindly obey.

I happened to have covered and thoroughly researched the “recovered memory ruse,” in 1999. Against the prevailing trend, one of my own heroes is not Christine Ford, but a leading world authority on memory, Elizabeth Loftus. Professor Loftus, who straddles two professorships—one in law, the other in psychology—had come to Vancouver, British Columbia, to testify on behalf of a dedicated Richmond educator, a good man, who had endured three trials, the loss of a career and financial ruin because of the Crown's attempts to convict him of sexual assault based on memories recovered in therapy. 

I attended. I was awed. 

Over decades of research, Loftus was able to plant many a false memory in the minds of her research subjects, sometimes with the aid of nothing more than a conversation peppered with some suggestions.  "A tone of voice, a phrasing of a question, subtle non-verbal signals, and expressions of boredom, impatience or fascination"—these are often all it takes to plant suggestions—false memory—in the malleable human mind. 

Loftus does not question the fact of the sexual abuse of children or the existence of traumatic memories. What she questions are memories commonly referred to as repressed: "Memories that did not exist until someone went looking for them."  Suffice it to say, that the memory recovery process is a therapeutic confidence trick that has wreaked havoc in thousands of lives.

Moreover, repression, the sagging concept that props up the recovered memory theory is without any cogent scientific support. The 30-odd studies the recovery movement uses as proof for repression do not make the grade. These studies are retrospective memory studies which rely on self-reports with no independent, factual corroboration of information.  

Sound familiar? Dr. Ford (and her hippocampus), anyone?

Even in the absence of outside influence, memory deteriorates rapidly. "As time goes by," writes Loftus in her seminal book, “The Myth of Repressed Memories,” “the weakened memories are increasingly vulnerable to post-event information." 

What we see on TV, read and hear about events is incorporated into memory to create an unreliable amalgam of fact and fiction.

After an extensive investigation, the British Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a ban prohibiting its members from using any method to recover memories of child abuse. Memory retrieval techniques, say the British guidelines, are dangerous methods of persuasion.  Recovered memories," inveighed Alan Gold, then president of the Canadian Criminal Lawyers Association, "are joining electroshock, lobotomies and other psychiatric malpractice in the historical dustbin." 

Not that you’d know it from the current climate of sexual hysteria, but the courts in the U.S. had responded as well by ruling to suppress the admission of all evidence remembered under therapy. 

Altogether it seems as clear in 2018, as it was in 1999: Memories that have been excavated during therapy have no place in a court of law. Or, for that matter, in a Senate Committee that shapes the very same justice system.


A Story of Sexual Manipulation

by Christopher DeGroot     October 05, 2018

Women should use their beauty to get ahead, says sociologist Catherine Hakim, an advocate for the special value of “erotic capital.” The maverick Camille Paglia agrees. Like Hakim, though in a pungent and polemical manner, she’s long encouraged women to do so. Both women seem refreshing contrasts to feminist scolds.

Good advice for women, you may think, but in the present climate women leveraging their attractiveness to advance in areas where it’s not actually relevant can be bad news for men. For it allows for irresponsible and—even worse—manipulative behavior, which many people, given their deep, unconscious paternalism in favor of women, are unlikely to notice. Nor is justice served by such female privilege and bias against men.

Consider the Harvey Weinstein video that recently went viral. Taken in September 2011, it shows Weinstein and a woman named Melissa Thompson at the Weinstein Company offices in New York. Twenty-eight at the time, Thompson wanted to pitch her tech start-up company’s new video and analytics service to the man, then so powerful. Thompson says she showed up expecting to meet with Weinstein’s marketing team, but it’s unclear why she had that expectation. Did she get it from Weinstein himself? Or did she assume, based on past experience in such situations, that that would happen? As part of the demo, Thompson recorded their meeting.

While they discuss business each flirts with the other, the man leading the way, as is usually the case between the sexes. According to Thompson, who is suing Weinstein, after the initial meeting they met later that night at the Tribeca Grand Hotel lobby. She went back to his room with him and, once inside, Weinstein raped her, she claims. Weinstein denies all nonconsensual sexual contact, his lawyer describing Thompson as a cynical opportunist.

Writing for Sky News about the video, Hannah Thomas-Peter reports:

There are…exchanges when she engages with Weinstein, leans towards him, touches or play punches his shoulder and arm, and responds to questions about her personal life. During one interaction they are talking about the video platform and Ms Thompson says to Weinstein: “Data’s so hot right?”Asked by Thomas-Peter whether she had led Weinstein on, Thompson said: “I don’t think I purposely encouraged him.”

The italics are mine, because here the key word—so psychologically revealing—is “purposely,” suggesting as it does that Thompson was never honest with herself in the first place about her own manipulative intent. We are to believe, evidently, that an external force—perhaps some phallogocentric phantom—came over her when she flirted with Weinstein both physically and verbally. Twenty-eight years old and having her own company, Melissa Thompson, but in eros as clueless and helpless as a child. She did not “purposely” lead Weinstein on. She did not “purposely” repeatedly tell him he can flirt with her—one of the earliest topics of their conservation—nor did she “purposely” let him run his hand up her leg under her dress and caress her shoulders. It all just, like, happened, like, you know.

Needless to say, Harvey Weinstein is a creep and I’ve no desire to defend his behavior in general. It must be said, though, that this rape allegation seems rather dubious. Maybe Weinstein did rape Thompson, but in any event she flirted with him and allowed him to do the same when they were alone together earlier in his office. If Thompson didn’t want to be intimate with Weinstein, she shouldn’t have gone back to his room.

Simple, isn’t it? “No, Harvey, I’m not interested in that.”

“But she wanted him to become her client,” some will say.

Once again: “No, Harvey, I’m not interested in that.”

Not every client is worth having; not every compromise is worth making.

The fair sex, to be sure, is often wrongly pressured by men to compromise themselves. But if they don’t want to play the dirty game, then they must not play it. In a perfect world there wouldn’t be any Weinsteins, but in our world there are Weinsteins, lots of them.

Nor are men alone a problem. For what many women want, it’s clear, is to manipulate men like Weinstein without actually having sex. So it is with Thompson. She wanted to use teasing deception to obtain her ends. She wanted to obtain a good—Weinstein, with all his connections, as a client—without actually doing the deed with the man.

Doubtless Weinstein, ever seeking to leverage his power, wanted to use Thompson just as he had many other women. Yet in this crass instrumentalism—hardly unusual in eros now—he and Thompson are very much alike, and the following statement of hers smacks of projection:

I think [he] was playing a cat-and-mouse game from the very beginning to see how far he could push me, and what my reactions might be, so that he could gauge…how he would play me; where my levers where, what were my vulnerabilities.

Behold Thompson’s self-delusion. How oblivious, this woman, to her own cat-and-mouse game, as if she weren’t trying to play him, too. It’s more accurate, even, to call hers a bait-and-switch game. For having baited Weinstein with the idea of sex in order to get his business, she now switches her story, and indeed with a lawsuit in view. Aided by selective memory, she affects to be innocent. Out comes Thompson’s tape—seven years after it was recorded. What took so long? Here fill in the mind-numbingly predictable talking points, as reliable as the ending of a Lifetime movie: “I saw that other brave women had broken their silence. I didn’t want to be complicit in letting this happen again. If I didn’t take a stand…”

I don’t doubt Thompson’s sincerity. But I believe her account of what transpired is inaccurate, an effect of self-deception. She’s a true believer, Thompson—that is to say, truly self-deceived. For she doesn’t want to face her own manipulative intent, and in her hurt feelings, in her accurate awareness of having been used, she’s turned Weinstein’s manipulation of her into rape. Such mental gymnastics are far more common than people realize, and correlate closely to the loss of traditional mores since the sexual revolution. Men and women are now freer than ever before to exploit one another, and so, in their different ways, they do.

But though Thompson has fooled herself, why should she expect to fool us? The reason is that self-delusion, by its very nature, entails a willful misunderstanding of events, with the result that they subsequently appear to you other than they actually were. The truth thus obscured, you cannot but expect others to perceive as you do. Alas for the pretender, the discordance with reality gives the game away to others. “It may justly be concluded,” said Dr. Johnson, “that it is not easy for a man to know himself, for wheresoever we turn our view, we shall find almost all with whom we converse so nearly as to judge of their sentiments, indulging more favorable conceptions of their own virtue than they have been able to impress upon others, and congratulating themselves upon degrees of excellence.”

What men see as mixed signals, women experience as reality itself as they surf hypergamy’s whimsical waves. Older women used to teach young women that certain actions have a symbolic meaning. From them young women would learn to set firm boundaries, and not to tease a man if you don’t want him to come on to you. Not going back to a man’s room when sex is not desired—this was common sense. Today anything goes. Today traditional good sense, according to feminist obtuseness, is considered “blaming the victim.” “Where’s my cake, wicked patriarch?! What?! I can’t have it and eat it, too?!

Women from outside of the Western world, their minds not ruined by other women, but used to following customs created by men, tend to find facile talk about “blaming the victim” bizarre, and I have met many who regard it with contempt. “How silly, how childish are these feminist women,” they think. And it’s constantly lost on feminists, the irony that by failing to take responsibility for their behavior, women only reveal that they are not really serious about “gender equality,” but rather want special treatment. Indeed, they want chivalry smuggled in under equality’s name.

Thus feminists show that all along their feminism was motivated by mere status envy: They want the same worldly esteem men get—and who can blame them?—but are unfit to navigate the sexual jungle. Well, that’s certainly disappointing for feminists—all stunners forever in demand—but perhaps Rosie O’Donnell, Hillary Clinton, or some other national sage can lead a quilt-making revival: Diversion, after all, is as good as it gets in this world.

Watching the two videos—Thompson’s meeting with Weinstein and her subsequent commentary on it to Hannah Thomas-Peter—the woman seems to be two different people. Seven years later, she’s now overweight, her hair short, wearing schoolmarm glasses. It’s as if she was given a makeover by the Women’s Studies department at Berkeley! Is Thompson taking revenge, at bottom, on her own declining sexual market value?

Whatever actually happened between her and Harvey Weinstein, Melissa Thompson might have learned a lesson about the need for responsible, adult behavior in the sexual domain. Instead, she’s gone the familiar feminist route, a partisan of moralistic banalities:

We don’t have to live with things that are illegal and abusive.

We don’t have to live with being raped when we think we are going to a business meeting.

Pass the chocolate cake, big sister—#MeToo!

As ever, the media is happy to cash in. Notice that, despite having published a video that, if anything, would seem to discredit Thompson, Sky News nevertheless gives us the clickbait headlines: “Video shows Harvey Weinstein behaving inappropriately with businesswoman,” and “The producer is heard telling Melissa Thompson he wants to ‘have a little part’ of her in a meeting to discuss her tech firm.” Nothing here about Thompson’s own manipulation and mixed signals. The more damsels in distress, the better for advertisers.

In the present climate, of course, it is perfectly acceptable to talk about the many bad things that men do. For progressives, in fact, doing so appears to be a sign of moral sophistication, what intelligent and educated and, above all, good people do. It is not so with women. Their evils are unspeakable, even if the manipulations of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Christine Ford, and her attorney Debra Katz would have cost Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court. For again, when it comes to women’s culpability, paternal bias toward them hinders objective thought, and quite unawares. Thus, sex and romance, though endlessly complex, are made to seem rather simple: All will be well if only those horrible men get in line.

The simplification of eros goes on in the age of unfettered sexuality, when even eminent scholars like Catherine Hakim and Camille Paglia counsel women, in so many words: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Man is to be enticed by his greatest pleasure, yet one false slip, or false accusation, and God help him. And all the while, owing to paternalist bias toward women, everybody is supposed to believe the #MeToo movement is altogether pure. That it is—like so many things human—rather mixed, nobody is supposed to acknowledge.

Anyway, if we really care about equality, we must be willing to make both sexes accountable for their behavior. We must be willing to accept that sex is darkly complex. Otherwise we are merely hypocrites, women shall have a license to perpetual childhood, and no man will be safe from false accusations.

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