March 31, 2022 Comments Off on Journal of Trauma & Dissociation – The science and politics of false memories
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation – The science and politics of false memories
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Volume 23, Issue 2 (2022)
The science and politics of false memories
False Memories And The Science Of Credibility: Who Gets To Be Heard?: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
The guest editors are Michael Salter and Ruth Blizard.
False memories and the science of credibility: Who gets to be heard?
Michael Salter and Ruth Blizard
“Consistently, and persistently, theories of false memories have been aptly available for the exculpation of the wealthy and the powerful. This point is illustrated by a brief overview of some of the cases where prominent false memory researcher Professor Elizabeth Loftus has appeared: in the defense of a Bosnian-Croatian soldier for aiding and abetting the rape of a Muslim woman, to exculpate a senior aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney for misleading investigators regarding the leak of the name of a CIA operative, to question the credibility of Professor Christine Blasey-Ford when she complained about an alleged sexual assault as a teenager by current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, for the defense team of the convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and for accused child trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
Most recently, in Australia, allegations of false memories were revived when it emerged that a woman known only as “Kate” (who, sadly, died by suicide in 2019) claimed to have been sexually assaulted by the Australian politician Christian Porter (and, at the time of the allegation, Attorney General) when they were both teenagers (MItchell et al., 2021). Porter, like Kavanaugh, vigorously denied the allegation. There was no court case but instead a journalist speculated that Kate suffered from “recovered memories,” on the basis that she had apparently read Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score prior to her allegations becoming public knowledge (Hardaker, 2021). By this logic, merely reading a book that mentions child sexual abuse could be the trigger for a false allegation; never mind that Kate diarized the alleged assault while still a teenager, or that she had described the incident to friends decades prior to reading van der Kolk.
In a sign of how much has changed since the 1990s, the response to this argument was not agreement but outrage. This outrage was evident across social media but also from within journalism itself. The media outlet who ran the original piece quickly assigned another journalist to cover the story from a more sympathetic angle, while Australian media outlets ran multiple pieces rebutting the false memory proposition. One journalist wrote about his own diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on his capacity to recall traumatic events and correctly label them as harmful (Morton, 2021).
Undoubtedly, the emergence of the false memory movement three decades ago had a negative effect on professional and social understandings of trauma and dissociation. However, it also provoked researchers, practitioners, survivors, and advocates to redouble their efforts to develop the evidence base for trauma therapy. Reinders and Veltman’s recent editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry laid out the cumulative neurobiological evidence for the trauma model of DID. The diagnosis that the FMSF insisted, a quarter century ago, was a passing fad with no scientific foundation is now out of the shadows (Reinders & Veltman, 2021). Meanwhile, the forms of betrayal, abuse, and violation that false memory syndrome sought to explain away as mere confabulations are now recurrent features of media and policy commentary. Multiple criminal cases and public inquiries have substantiated the seriousness of child sexual abuse and exploitation, institutional tendencies toward denial and cover-up, and the inadequacies of the current policy response.”
The Power of False Memory Rhetoric
Hyping Hypnosis: The Myth that Made Capturing the Friedmans Persuasive
The Policy Alignment of the British False Memory Society and the British Psychological Society
Ashley Conway and David Pilgrim
The history and politics of ‘false memories’: The Australian Experience
Kate McMaugh and Warwick Middleton
Attachment and Memory Stability
Paula Thomson and S. Victoria Jacque
“The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried.”
—Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
Chief Justice John Roberts Accused of ‘Cover Up’ for Sitting on Kavanaugh Misconduct Complaints, FBI’s Kavanaugh review was limited from the start, The New York Times reports
October 7, 2018 Comments Off on Chief Justice John Roberts Accused of ‘Cover Up’ for Sitting on Kavanaugh Misconduct Complaints, FBI’s Kavanaugh review was limited from the start, The New York Times reports
– Chief Justice John Roberts Accused of ‘Cover Up’ for Sitting on Kavanaugh Misconduct Complaints
– FBI’s Kavanaugh review was limited from the start, The New York Times reports
– D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts
– Anti-Kavanaugh protesters keep up the fight, even after he’s confirmed
Chief Justice John Roberts Accused of ‘Cover Up’ for Sitting on Kavanaugh Misconduct Complaints
by Colin Kalmbacher October 6th, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has received over a dozen official judicial misconduct complaints leveled against U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court Judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
So far he has not forwarded the complaints to a proper judicial panel. Now, some critics are calling foul and accusing Roberts of mounting a cover-up in favor of the controversial Supreme Court nominee.
Those official misconduct complaints were forwarded to Roberts by a fellow member of Kavanaugh’s court. While U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland would traditionally have overseen those complaints, Garland chose to recuse himself on the matter, according to Buzzfeed News.
In his stead, U.S. Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson fielded the multiple complaints against Kavanaugh. Judge Henderson dismissed many complaints filed against the Supreme Court nominee as “frivolous,” but found substantial merit in over a dozen of the complaints she reviewed.
According to the Washington Post, Henderson began forwarding the complaints she deemed valid onto Roberts. Henderson sent them to Roberts so that Kavanaugh’s fellow judges on the D.C. Circuit would not have to assess the serious and substantive issues raised against a colleague.
In a statement released early on Saturday afternoon, Judge Henderson noted, “Under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act (28 U.S.C. §§351-364) any person may file a misconduct complaint against a federal judge in the circuit in which the federal judge sits. After the start of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, members of the general public began filing complaints in the D.C. Circuit about statements made during those hearings.”
Henderson’s statement continued, clarifying the conduct at issue. She wrote, “The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge. The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”….
FBI’s Kavanaugh review was limited from the start, The New York Times reports
The FBI’s review of Brett Kavanaugh’s background check was limited from the start, The New York Times reports. Joy Reid and her panel discuss the impact reportedly restricting the investigation’s scope may have had on its findings.
D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts
By Carol D. Leonnig , Ann E. Marimow and Tom Hamburger October 6
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.
A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the court on which Kavanaugh serves — passed on to Roberts a string of complaints the court received starting three weeks ago, said four people familiar with the matter.
That judge, Karen LeCraft Henderson, had dismissed other complaints against Kavanaugh as frivolous, but she concluded that some were substantive enough that they should not be handled by Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. Circuit.
In a statement Saturday, Henderson said the complaints centered on statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Under the law, “any person may file a misconduct complaint in the circuit in which the federal judge sits,” she said in the statement. “The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge. The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”….
People familiar with the matter say the allegations made in the complaints — that Kavanaugh was dishonest and lacked judicial temperament during his Senate testimony — had already been widely discussed in the Senate and in the public realm. Roberts did not see an urgent need for them to be resolved by the judicial branch while he continued to review the incoming complaints, they said.
The situation is highly unusual, said legal experts and several people familiar with the matter. Never before has a Supreme Court nominee been poised to join the court while a fellow judge recommends that misconduct claims against that nominee warrant review.
Roberts’s decision not to immediately refer the cases to another appeals court has caused some concern in the legal community. Now that he has been confirmed, the details of the complaints may not become public and instead may be dismissed, legal experts say. Supreme Court justices are not subject to the misconduct rules governing these claims.
“If Justice Roberts sits on the complaints, then they will reside in a kind of purgatory and will never be adjudicated,” said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University Law School and an expert on Supreme Court ethics. “This is not how the rules anticipated the process would work.”….
Roberts, an appointee of President George W. Bush, has for many years hired Kavanaugh clerks to work for him at the Supreme Court. Bush credits Kavanaugh in his book with helping him choose Roberts for the high court when Kavanaugh was a White House lawyer.
Normally, misconduct complaints are confidential and do not become public until they are fully investigated and concluded.
Most of these complaints center on Kavanaugh’s answers about his work in the Bush administration, according to people familiar with them. They also accuse Kavanaugh of lacking judicial temperament in his partisan comments about Democrats, the people said.
Anti-Kavanaugh protesters keep up the fight, even after he’s confirmed
By Ralph Ellis, CNN Sat October 6, 2018
(CNN)Protesters opposed to Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the US Supreme Court swarmed over Washington on Saturday — massing at the Capitol, disrupting the confirmation vote in the Senate and banging on the Supreme Court building doors when Kavanaugh arrived to be sworn in.
About 5:45 p.m. ET Saturday, a large crowd of protesters surged onto the front steps of the Supreme Court, chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go.”
After police pushed them back from the doors, the demonstrators held signs and chanted, “No justice, no peace,” and “We believe Anita Hill,” a reference to the woman who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of misconduct.
It’s not known if Kavanaugh heard the protesters. Police cleared the steps of the court about 6:15 p.m. and set up barriers.
Protesters stood one by one in different sections of the gallery, most with their fists raised, and yelled “I will not consent.”
“The sergeant-at-arms will restore order in the gallery,” the presiding officer, Vice President Mike Pence, said several times.
Police forcibly removed the protesters, with one person dragged out by their arms and legs. They kept screaming as they were pulled into the hallway.
Crowds started forming around 9 a.m. ET outside the Capitol building and the Supreme Court building and grew through the morning.
Protesters occupied the Rotunda Steps on the East Front of the US Capitol early Saturday afternoon, with about 150 of them being arrested, Capitol Police said in a news release. Video showed them lined up, with wrists cuffed behind their backs on the Capitol lawn. Police cleared the steps and the Capitol Plaza, and the protesters headed back to the Supreme Court….
A demonstration scheduled for Saturday outside Collins’ office in Portland, Maine, was canceled.
A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.
“It’s just this feeling of being utterly ignored,” Jenny O’Connell of Portland told WGME on Friday. “Susan Collins just made a huge choice to ignore her constituents and survivors (of sexual assault).” https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/06/politics/kavanaugh-protests/index.html
A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh
October 5, 2018 § Leave a comment
– A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
– Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face
– FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says
A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
This is why we haven’t heard more from Kavanaugh’s high school peers.
Pema Levy October 4, 2018
When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court in July, his high school social network had his back. Within 24 hours, more than 100 alumni of Georgetown Prep, the elite Jesuit high school outside Washington, DC, that Kavanaugh attended from 1979 to 1983, had signed a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm him.
“The network itself starts when you’re in school,” Paul Murray, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who organized the letter, explained the next day to WAMU, the Washington-area NPR affiliate. “It’s a close-knit school. We are tight classes. Friendships lead to business, and so you have a lot of people that have been successful.” Murray added, “Most people, if they had 150 of their high school friends when they’re 53 years old stand behind you, I think that says a lot.”
Murray’s comments were clearly meant as praise to both Kavanaugh and the school they attended.
But in light of the sexual assault claims now leveled against the Supreme Court nominee, they expose a dark reality of the elite prep-school world in which boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations. It helps explain why several women who went to sister schools in the 1980s have come forward to describe the rape culture that pervaded the prep-school scene in the Washington area, but exceedingly few men have gone on the record with similar recollections. It also helps explain why Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates have been willing to speak to the press (and presumably the FBI) when they believed Kavanaugh was whitewashing his past as a hard partier in college, while very few of his high school classmates have stepped forward to describe Kavanaugh as anything but a Boy Scout who had the occasional beer, the same image he presented to the public and the Senate.
“I think we can legitimately ask why more men aren’t coming forward, especially on behalf of the women they knew,” says Alexandra Lescaze, a 1988 graduate of the all-girls National Cathedral School in a wealthy neighborhood of Washington, DC. “I think that many men are afraid. I think they are all considering their past actions and wondering whether they ever could be accused of something. I think they want to stay on the down low and not put themselves out there.”
After Julie Swetnick accused Kavanaugh of hanging around boys who spiked punch at parties and gang raped inebriated girls, some of his classmates and alumni of other local high schools sent a second letter to the Judiciary Committee calling her accusations nonsense. “We never witnessed any behavior that even approaches what is described in this allegation,” they wrote.
Swetnick’s allegations remain unconfirmed, but it’s unlikely none of those signatories saw behavior similar to what she described. Two days before Swetnick’s allegations were made public, Lescaze, now the executive director of the Hillman Foundation and a documentary filmmaker, recalled similar behavior in an article in Slate:
I distinctly remember being at a Beach Week party with my then-boyfriend when it dawned on us that there was a drunk girl in a room down the hall, and boys were “lining up” to go in there and, presumably, have their way with her. We didn’t know for sure, but my boyfriend and my friend’s boyfriend went to interrupt it and sent her on her way down the stairs. All I remember about her is that she was in the class above us and had dark hair. My friend has told me she remembers boys saying, “I’m next,” which was why our boyfriends went to stop it. That was the only time I can clearly remember a situation that was so obviously a “lineup,” as it was referred to by some at school. My friend remembers witnessing another, and though there weren’t lineups of this nature at every party, they happened often enough that we had a term. We didn’t call it rape.
It was not always so formal a queue. I remember another time when boys were sitting in kind of a campfire circle that could have started as a game of spin the bottle. But by the time I walked through the room there was a girl who was drunk and in the center of the circle, and the boys were taking turns putting their hands up her skirt instead of kissing her.
Women who endured this 1980s prep-school scene recall a specific power structure to explain how the boys got away with aggressive sexual behavior and why the women stayed silent about it. Today, the women are increasingly coming forward to share their memories, including personal stories of assault. “I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve heard from,” says Lescaze of the notes she received following her Slate article. “It makes me shaky. I just can’t believe how many people have been holding this for so long. It’s just like another collective #MeToo scream that’s happening in unison here.” She’s heard from a few men as well, she says, but far fewer. “They know these things happened,” she says, “but we are not seeing enough men stand up and speak.”
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s high school friends are sticking with him. A few have defended him publicly, though most have remained out of the press. One spoke anonymously to the New Yorker, after the FBI declined to interview him, and described Kavanaugh as a member of group that preyed on Georgetown Prep classmates and girls at other schools.
The paucity of male voices from the prep-school world is “a key indicator of the culture of secrecy and the code of what it means to go to that prep school,” says Deirdre Bowen, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law who attended Georgetown Prep’s sister school, Academy of the Holy Cross, while Kavanaugh was at Georgetown Prep.* “You count on everybody to keep your secrets, and you also know that if you were not to keep someone’s secrets, there’s retribution.”
In the elite prep-school world, boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations.
Bowen didn’t know Kavanaugh in high school, but she knew some of his friends, and she knew the culture of their elite world. (Bowen did note there were a number of students receiving financial aid who did not have an upper-class background.) The boys would band together, promote each other, and protect each other. “In the 1980s, males all knew that they were going to go to college and that the doors were open for them in a predictable future,” she recalls. “Who you knew and what your reputation was was the most crucial part.” The crew that Kavanaugh was part of, a group that included jocks, knew their futures were guaranteed if they stuck together. The more they showed off their masculinity to each other, she says, the closer the group was—and the more need for secrecy about what went on.
For women, there was an entirely different reason to stay silent about the culture of assault: Their reputations would depend on not falling prey to the boys. “Our concern was not about engaging in bad behavior and making sure that everybody kept our secret,” Bowen says. “It was protecting ourselves and our reputation because those secrets wouldn’t be kept by the boys. They would be made fun of by the boys, or information would be spread about us as to who is easy access and who is not.”
One example is the well-known Renate Alumnius entries by multiple boys in Georgetown Prep’s 1983 yearbook, including Kavanaugh, who appeared to be bragging about their alleged sexual exploits with a girl they sometimes mocked as easy. Girls who were assaulted were also objects of scorn. “The girls that this did happen to were called sluts, absolutely,” says Lescaze, referring to victims of rape and abuse. “And they made up nicknames for them that sort of everybody knew. And they were not nice nicknames. And often, those are the ones that those boys put in their yearbook pages.” She recalls one nickname in particular that made reference to a girl’s genitals….
Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face
By Alyssa Milano Tue October 2, 2018
(CNN) If professor Christine Blasey Ford is to be believed, and I believe she is, Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator.
If any number of women are to be believed, and I believe they are, Donald Trump is a sexual predator.
Both Kavanaugh and Trump have denied allegations against them. I wish so deeply that the alleged sexual violence — and overall cruelty toward those who are vulnerable — committed by those who wear the mantle of our nation’s government began and ended with these two men. It does not. It exists at every level of our national institutions, and even at agencies working on behalf of our government who are tasked with the sacred duty of caring for children.
Until we root out the institutionalization of sexual violence and child abuse in our government, too many will continue to be victims — some in our name, under the false premise of protecting our borders.
Hidden behind the glare of the cameras pointed at Judge Kavanaugh is the ongoing plight of immigrant children in the United States. A New York Times article recently told the tale of hundreds of immigrant children from around the country being moved to a government-run tent city in Texas under the cover of darkness. There are no schools. There is limited access to legal services, and the children are frequently forced to represent themselves in immigration court….
FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says
Attorney forwards sworn statement to FBI of Kavanaugh suitemate who volunteered to be interviewed
By The Denver Post October 4, 2018
The FBI, or those overseeing its investigation, “did not want to learn the truth” behind Deborah Ramirez’s allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Boulder woman’s attorney alleged in a letter to the bureau’s director.
Washington, D.C.-based attorney William Pittard wrote in a two-page letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray released Thursday morning that the bureau ended its probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh in four days “without permitting its agents to investigate.”
Following the FBI’s interview of Ramirez in Boulder last weekend, her attorneys provided a list of 20 witnesses believed to have additional information that could corroborate her account. Ramirez’s attorneys previously have said they don’t believe the FBI contacted any of those people.
“We are deeply disappointed by this failure,” Pittard wrote. “We can only conclude that the FBI — or those controlling its investigation — did not want to learn the truth behind Ms. Ramirez’s allegations.”
Kavanaugh repeatedly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Pittard attached a sworn statement by Richard Oh, a California emergency room doctor who was one of Kavanaugh’s suitemates at Yale University. Oh, who said he told the FBI he was willing to be interviewed, recalled a female student who “emotionally reported” an incident similar to the one described by Ramirez.
Later Thursday, Pittard sent a second letter to Wray with another statement from a witnesses Ramirez named who wasn’t interviewed by the FBI. That person, whose name is redacted, said Ramirez in 1991 or 1992 recounted an incident that occurred at Yale involving “a male classmate (who) exposed his penis to her without her consent.”
“The information provided by Ms. Ramirez is corroborated, and your agents should have been permitted to develop that information,” Pittard wrote in the second letter. “Both Ms. Ramirez and the search for the truth have been ill-served.”
Ramirez, who works for Boulder County, told the The New Yorker in an article published Sept. 23, that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his genitalia in her face during a party in a dorm room at Yale University when they were both students in the early ’80s. Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the alleged incident ever happened….
Yale roommate says Kavanaugh lied under oath about drinking and yearbook, How Trauma Affects Memory, More Believe Ford Than Kavanaugh, A Cultural Shift From 1991
October 4, 2018 Comments Off on Yale roommate says Kavanaugh lied under oath about drinking and yearbook, How Trauma Affects Memory, More Believe Ford Than Kavanaugh, A Cultural Shift From 1991
– Yale roommate says Kavanaugh lied under oath about drinking and yearbook
– Kavanaugh’s college roommate: He was lying (interview)
– How Trauma Affects Memory: Scientists Weigh In On The Kavanaugh Hearing
– Poll: More Believe Ford Than Kavanaugh, A Cultural Shift From 1991
Yale roommate says Kavanaugh lied under oath about drinking and yearbook
By Kate Sullivan, CNN Wed October 3, 2018
Washington (CNN)James Roche, one of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s freshman year roommates at Yale, said Wednesday that Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking and about the meaning of his yearbook entries.
In an op-ed for Slate, Roche writes, “Brett Kavanaugh stood up under oath and lied about his drinking and about the meaning of words in his yearbook. He did so baldly, without hesitation or reservation.”
“In his words and his behavior, Judge Kavanaugh has shown contempt for the truth, for the process, for the rule of law, and for accountability,” Roche added. “His willingness to lie to avoid embarrassment throws doubt on his denials about the larger questions of sexual assault.”
Kavanaugh testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he has never been blackout drunk. He was appearing before senators to answer an accusation from California professor Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh denies the allegation and says he has no memory of the party where Ford says the incident happened.
Roche says he believes his friend Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a college dorm party.
He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night that “there is zero chance that she is making up this story.”
Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez’s allegation. CNN has reached out to the White House for reaction to Roche’s comments.
Roche told CNN, “I saw him both what I would consider blackout drunk and also dealing with the repercussions of that in the morning.”
“I didn’t socialize with Brett,” Roche said. “He would come home and he was incoherent, stumbling, he would sometimes be singing, he occasionally would wear this — I think it was an old leather football helmet — and he would throw up, and then in the morning would have a lot of trouble getting out of bed.”….
Roche writes he does not know if Kavanaugh attacked Ford in high school or exposed himself to Ramirez in college, “But I can say that he lied under oath.”
In Roche’s appearance on “Anderson Cooper 360,” he said he was “shocked” when he heard Kavanaugh say “boofing” meant flatulence and “Devil’s Triangle” was a drinking game, “because those words were commonly used and they were references to sexual activities. … I heard them talking about it regularly. I think that contributed to some of my feelings about the fact that these guys treated women in a way that I didn’t like.”
“We were in a room together — our beds were 10 feet apart for a couple of months,” Roche told Cooper. “And what struck me and made me more interested in speaking out about it is not only did I know that he wasn’t telling, you know, the truth, I knew that he knew that he wasn’t telling the truth.”
Roche told CNN his memory of Kavanaugh is that “he was on the far edge of this — he was notably heavier in his drinking than other people.”….
Kavanaugh’s college roommate: He was lying
CNN Published on Oct 3, 2018
James Roche, the college roommate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, speaks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about his experience with Kavanaugh at Yale.
How Trauma Affects Memory: Scientists Weigh In On The Kavanaugh Hearing
September 28, 2018 Rhitu Chatterjee
In Thursday’s testimony at Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Christine Blasey Ford alleged Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982, when she was 15 years old and he was 17.
Kavanaugh staunchly denied these allegations.
But memory is fallible. A question on many people’s minds is, how well can anyone recall something that happened over 35 years ago?
Pretty well, say scientists, if the memory is of a traumatic event. That’s because of the key role emotions play in making and storing memories.
On any given day, our brains store or “encode” only some of the things we experience. “What we pay attention to is what’s more likely to get encoded,” says Jim Hopper, a teaching associate in psychology at Harvard University and a consultant on sexual assault and trauma.
A region of the brain called the hippocampus plays an important role in this process. Ford referred to the hippocampus when questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., about how she was so sure that Kavanaugh was the perpetrator of the alleged assault.
“The hippocampus certainly plays a role in taking things into short-term memory and then transferring them and consolidating them into long-term memories,” says Hopper.
If an event elicits an emotional reaction in us, then it’s more likely to make it into our memory. “Things that have more emotional significance tend to get more encoded,” he says.
And when something elicits an intense negative emotion, like a trauma, it’s even more likely to be encoded in the brain….
That’s because a high-stress state “alters the function of the hippocampus and puts it into a super-encoding mode,” says Hopper, especially early on during an event. And “the central details [of the event] get burned into their memory and they may never forget them.”….
However, this doesn’t mean that these memories include every detail of the event. The brain holds on to the most important stuff at the expense of the peripheral details….
Another factor that affects how memories are stored is alcohol use.
“Generally alcohol can make people forget things,” says Mary Beth Miller, a clinical psychologist at the University of Missouri, Columbia who has studied the impact of alcohol consumption on making and retrieving memories.
Earlier this month, Ford told The Washington Post that she remembers Kavanaugh being “stumbling drunk” whereas she recalls having one beer that night.
Other accusers who did not testify Thursday have also suggested Kavanaugh was part of a group of friends who indulged in heavy drinking in the 1980s….
Poll: More Believe Ford Than Kavanaugh, A Cultural Shift From 1991
October 3, 2018 Domenico Montanaro
After a day of wrenching testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford — who has accused him of sexual assault in high school — more Americans say they believe Ford’s account over Kavanaugh’s denials, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday.
In choosing who is telling the truth, 45 percent said Ford is, up from 32 percent ahead of her Sept. 27 testimony. A third (33 percent) said Kavanaugh is the one telling the truth, up slightly from 26 percent before he testified but not as much of a rise as for Ford.
The daylong hearing appears to have been influential in helping people decide who was telling the truth. Before the hearing, 42 percent said they were unsure whom to believe. Now, just 22 percent are unsure.
The results represent a shift from 1991, when more people said they believed then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill. Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment in the workplace. A 1991 CBS/New York Times poll, also conducted days after their dramatic, televised Capitol Hill testimonies, found that 58 percent believed Thomas more, as opposed to just 24 percent who said Hill.
“If it remains ‘he said, she said,’ the benefit of the doubt is very different than 1991, and it goes to Ford not Kavanaugh,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. “It shows the reaction to the testimony and does show an underlying change in attitude than 27 years ago.”….
September 25, 2018 § Leave a comment
Avenatti: New client will go public with Kavanaugh accusations by Wednesday
By Emily Birnbaum – 09/24/18
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who says he has “credible information” about more sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said Monday that he expects his new client will appear for an on-camera interview within the next 48 hours.
Avenatti told The Hill that he anticipates his client will go public with her accusation against Kavanaugh in a television interview within the next two days.
“We anticipate that that is what is going to occur,” Avenatti said, confirming an earlier report from Politico.
He said he does not know which media outlet she will appear on, adding, “We have not finalized the details.”….
Avenatti on Sunday tweeted a screenshot of an email he sent to Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the email, Avenatti said he is “aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the early 1980s, during which Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”
“There are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly,” Avenatti wrote.
Avenatti has declined to disclose most of the details about his client, though he told Politico that “she’s had multiple security clearances over the years, including public trust and secret security clearance.”
Avenatti’s client would be the third woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct….
Avenatti promises new Kavanaugh accuser to come forward in next 48 hours
Sophie Tatum By Sophie Tatum, CNN Mon September 24, 2018
Michael Avenatti said Monday night that he has new information regarding allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Avenatti, the lawyer also representing adult film star Stormy Daniels who is suing President Donald Trump, said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that he has multiple clients and “at least one” is prepared to come forward publicly within the next 48 hours.
“At this point, Chris, it’s clients. We’re going to make a public disclosure within the next 48 hours of detailed allegations, as well as the identity of at least one of my clients relating to what she witnessed and experienced concerning Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, and ultimately we’re going to let the American public decide who’s telling the truth,” Avenatti told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Avenatti had previously alluded to representing an additional accuser who would be coming forward soon. In an interview with Fox News earlier Monday, Kavanaugh vehemently denied allegations Avenatti alluded to on Twitter.
….Despite Republican efforts to keep Kavanaugh’s confirmation on track, the process continues to be a slog following accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate sexual behavior from two women who have come forward on the record.
In the first alleged instance, the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were at a party during their high school years. She said Judge was in the room when the alleged assault happened. Judge has denied the allegation.
The second alleged incident took place while Kavanaugh and that accuser, Deborah Ramirez, were attending Yale. Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college party.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.
September 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years
By Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer September 23, 2018
As Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”
The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty.
After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.
In a statement, Kavanaugh wrote, “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.”….
Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)
A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
Ramirez acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening, and that, if she ever presents her story to the F.B.I. or members of the Senate, she will inevitably be pressed on her motivation for coming forward after so many years, and questioned about her memory, given her drinking at the party.
And yet, after several days of considering the matter carefully, she said, “I’m confident about the pants coming up, and I’m confident about Brett being there.” Ramirez said that what has stayed with her most forcefully is the memory of laughter at her expense from Kavanaugh and the other students. “It was kind of a joke,” she recalled. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”….
A classmate of Ramirez’s, who declined to be identified because of the partisan battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two. The classmate said that he is “one-hundred-per-cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He independently recalled many of the same details offered by Ramirez, including that a male student had encouraged Kavanaugh as he exposed himself.
The classmate, like Ramirez, recalled that the party took place in a common room on the first floor in Entryway B of Lawrance Hall, during their freshman year. “I’ve known this all along,” he said. “It’s been on my mind all these years when his name came up. It was a big deal.” The story stayed with him, he said, because it was disturbing and seemed outside the bounds of typically acceptable behavior, even during heavy drinking at parties on campus. The classmate said that he had been shocked, but not necessarily surprised, because the social group to which Kavanaugh belonged often drank to excess. He recalled Kavanaugh as “relatively shy” until he drank, at which point he said that Kavanaugh could become “aggressive and even belligerent.”
Another classmate, Richard Oh, an emergency-room doctor in California, recalled overhearing, soon after the party, a female student tearfully recounting to another student an incident at a party involving a gag with a fake penis, followed by a male student exposing himself. Oh is not certain of the identity of the female student. Ramirez told her mother and sister about an upsetting incident at the time, but did not describe the details to either due to her embarrassment.
Mark Krasberg, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico who was also a member of Kavanaugh and Ramirez’s class at Yale, said Kavanaugh’s college behavior had become a topic of discussion among former Yale students soon after Kavanaugh’s nomination. In one e-mail that Krasberg received in September, the classmate who recalled hearing about the incident with Ramirez alluded to the allegation and wrote that it “would qualify as a sexual assault,” he speculated, “if it’s true.”….
Several other classmates said that they believed Ramirez to be credible and honest, and vouched for her integrity. James Roche was roommates with Kavanaugh at the time of the alleged incident and is now the C.E.O. of a software company in San Francisco. “Debbie and I became close friends shortly after we both arrived at Yale,” he said. “She stood out as being exceptionally honest and gentle. I cannot imagine her making this up.” He said that he never witnessed Kavanaugh engage in any sexual misconduct, but did recall him being “frequently, incoherently drunk.” He described Ramirez as a vulnerable outsider. “Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely. Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.” Another acquaintance from college, Jennifer Klaus, similarly said that she considered the allegation plausible, adding, “Debbie’s always been a very truthful, kind—almost to the point of being selfless—individual.” A third classmate, who Ramirez thought had attended the party, said that she was not present at the incident. The former student, who asked not to be named, said that she also found Ramirez credible….
While at Yale, Kavanaugh became a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, or “DKE,” which several students said was known for its wild and, in the view of some critics, misogynistic parties. Kavanaugh was also a member of an all-male secret society, Truth and Courage, which was popularly known by the nickname “Tit and Clit.”….
Her attorney, Garnett, said that he and Ramirez had not yet decided when and how she would convey the details of her allegation to the Senate Judiciary Committee and whether new counsel would represent her in Washington. “We’re carefully evaluating what the appropriate next steps would be,” he said. They both said that an F.B.I. investigation of the matter was merited. “I do believe an F.B.I. investigation of this kind of character-related information would be appropriate, and would be an effective way to relay the information to the committee,” Garnett said. Of Ramirez, he added, “She’s as careful and credible a witness as I’ve encountered in thirty-six years of practicing law.” Ramirez said that she hoped an investigation could be carried out before the committee voted on Kavanaugh’s nomination. “At least look at it,” she said of her claim. “At least check it out.”
Kavanaugh Denies Fresh Harassment Allegations From College Classmate
September 23, 2018 Kelsey Snell, Brett Neely
Days before the Senate is set to hear from a woman who alleges Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her while in high school, Kavanaugh is denying fresh accusations from a college classmate who also alleges he acted inappropriately towards her.
In a story published Sunday evening by The New Yorker, Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party while both were first year students at Yale University.
“It was kind of a joke,” Ramirez told the magazine. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”
Kavanaugh denied the allegation in a statement released by the White House.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh said. “The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple.”
The fresh allegation comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to hear testimony from another woman, Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party more than 30 years ago. The two incidents are alleged to have occurred within just a few years of one another.
Kavanaugh also denies those allegations.
Ford is set to testify before the Judiciary Committee about her allegation on Thursday. The politically charged hearing has already been criticized by Democrats who are calling for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s conduct.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, sent a letter to committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sunday evening asking that all proceedings related to Kavanaugh’s nomination be suspended….
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Articles by Neil Brick http://neilbrick.com
Professor groomed female clerks for Kavanaugh, Accuser offers to testify to Senate, Doesn’t want to be in same room, ‘Zero chance’ I would confuse Kavanaugh with other student
September 21, 2018 § Leave a comment