An open letter to NAME

An open letter to the National Association of Medical Examiners

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing this letter on this blog because I have been banned from our professional mailing list for one month following my post critical of Black Lives Matter/Antifa. More important, I know that were I to respond once the temporary ban is over, the ban would be made permanent. So I will respond here.

Note that in the following post, the sections are collapsed. To view the entire section, click on “Show more.”

Aside from the issue of the inappropriate attack on me that this banning represents, it’s important to understand that the issues here are extraordinarily important for Medical Examiners, and represents a real threat to our practice. Because this is a long post, if you want to skip to that, go to point 5.

Within the context of the attacks made on the Minneapolis office after the release of the George Floyd autopsy report, there was a mention of “white supremacy.” Another person spoke up and said the he or she was not a white supremacist. I noted that, according to the people who are criticizing the ME office, he or she certainly was.

Since it is against the NAME rules to quote emails directly, I will paraphrase the points I made:

1) According to these folk, all white people are white supremacists/racists. They exist only in three forms:

a) Those who deny they are white supremacists

a) Those who recognize it and are happy with it

c) Those who recognize it and are appropriately self-loathing

2) This kind of blood libel is identical to the kind of attacks made against Jews in Nazi Germany. I referred to an oncoming Kristallnacht (which if I may note, was surprisingly prescient considering statements and actions of movement leaders since I was banned for saying it).

3) I noted the orthodox Christian tradition that God is not a respecter of race, quoting St. Paul in that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I noted that the position in #3 is rejected and considered a racist statement by the Progressive orthodoxy.

I noted that the current Chief Medical Examiner in Minneapolis will probably be the last in that position for a generation.

For this I was banned, with the statement that I had broken multiple rules, though not stating which rules they were. Since there is nothing personal here, and there were no personal insults, I can only conclude that the “multiple” rules I broke were a proscription on political speech and that on religious speech. It should be noted that the proscription on political speech is supposedly not applied in cases where it is directly relevant to our practice, nor, supposedly is religious speech. Unless, it seems, it triggers the leadership.

After my banning, there was a celebration of my cancellation by some of the Progressive members of NAME. It is telling that the complaint was not that I was incorrect, but that I was insensitive and “minimized” white supremacy. Another complaint was that the orthodox Christian position ignores important differences between people by making them all the same in front of God. That is anathema to modern Progressive segregationists.

In separate posts I will address the anti-religious bigotry now being enforced on the mailinglist, the dismissal of the value of open discourse, and the persecution of conservatives in the profession, and provide some suggestions to conservative and modernist people involved in medicolegal death investigation, and how we can survive in a work environment that is becoming overtly hostile.

1. I did not “minimize” white supremacy, I pointed out the definition used by the group we were discussing.

During the Two Minutes Hate that celebrated my denunciation in absentia on the NAME-L, it was claimed that I was “insensitive” in “minimizing” white supremacy. That is a false accusation. The difference is that I have bothered to read the Antifa and BLM literature, I’ve been to some of the Antifa sites, and I’ve talked to some of the people who have been doing intel on them. I merely pointed out what BLM/Antifa are saying. I was not “belittling” or “mocking” white supremacy, I was reporting what the people who are at this very moment threatening violence to medical examiner offices are saying. Those threats will only get worse in the future.

I will get into the peculiar definitions used by the intersectionalists below, but I want to make this point straight up. I was merely using the definitions used by the people we were discussing in the context of the attacks on the Minneapolis office.

2. BLM/Antifa is founded upon and relies on violent communists at its base.

The core of BLM/Antifa is nothing more (and certainly nothing less) than a Jacobin/Maoist movement. They have the same goals, use the same terminology, and use the same tactics. These tactics have not changed since the 18th century with the rise of the Jacobins and Montagnards.

Let’s start by looking at who is at the bottom of this movement. Black Lives Matter gets its tax-decuctable status through Thousand Currents, a Marxist organization that has a convicted terrorist on its board.

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As one writer notes:

According to an investigative report by the Capital Research Center, the Black Lives Matter organization, officially known as “BLM Global Network Foundation,” is a fiscally-sponsored project of left-wing organization Thousand Currents. Fiscal sponsorship simply means that a non-profit organization, in this case Thousand Currents, offers its legal and tax-exempt status to one of its “projects,” in this case Black Lives Matter, which engages in activities related to the non-profit organization’s mission.

Fundamentally, BLM gets its tax-deductible status through Thousand Currents.

As my colleague Robert Stilson explains here, BLM Global Network Foundation has been a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, since 2016. That means the BLM group, which runs the BlackLivesMatter.com website, does not have its own IRS tax-exempt status but is operating as a “project” of an organization that does. In the case of 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored projects, this allows tax-deductible donations to be made to the project.

The Board of Directors of Thousand Currents, which has now been scrubbed from its website but is archived here, includes Susan Rosenberg, who was a member of the Weather Underground and the May 19th Communist Organization (M19) and was imprisoned for 16 years for terrorist bombings until pardoned by President Clinton.

Rosenberg and another M19 member, Tim Blunk, were arrested in November 1984 in Cherry Hill, NJ, in front of a storage unit containing 740 pounds of unstable dynamite stolen from a Texas construction firm four years earlier. Rosenberg was also wanted in connection with the 1981 Brink’s robbery. She was never charged in those crimes.

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3. BLM/Antifa’s fundamental ideology is that of violent Marxist revolution.

The fundamental mistake of people thinking about BLM/Antifa is that it is an organization primarily oriented towards racial reconciliation. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will discuss their particular view of “whiteness” in a bit, but it’s important first to understand that “race” and racial issues as conventionally defined plays a very small part of this. The purpose of all of this is to divide us in order to foment revolution. Here is a statement by a young lady who lived through exactly this process in Yugoslavia, which resulted in the Bosnian war — a similar goal to that of BLM/Antifa.

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As one founder of BLM noted:

We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk…”

The basic goal of this organization is the complete destruction of society in order to rebuild it from scratch. It includes the destruction of capitalism, of private property, of religious faith, and of the nuclear family. No civic institution, tradition, or force outside of the state can be allowed. It should be noted that the destruction of the nuclear family is a basic Marxist principle, based on 19th century ideas of “family” as a bourgeois business unit.

As noted in Socialist World in its discussion of BLM:

Black Panther leader Fred Hampton summed it up: “You don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.”

Today the world is different. There has been a black President of the US, the most powerful capitalist country on the planet, and many major corporations have, for example, declared their solidarity with the BLM movement. The fundamentals remain the same, however. Racism is intrinsic to capitalism.

Capitalism is a blind, unplanned system driven by maximizing the profits of a few and based on the exploitation of the majority. Today, according to Oxfam, the richest 85 people on earth have more wealth than the poorest half of the world’s population. They include one black African, although white men predominate.

Their role in society, however, does not stem primarily from their colour. They are part of a tiny super-wealthy ruling elite whose interests are completely tied to an inherently racist capitalist system.

As noted in Newsweek:

“Black Lives Matter and other organizations build a strong critique and understanding of racism and white supremacy and sexism and homophobia, transphobia, but we have to have as much hatred or vitriol against capitalism,” said Ratcliff. “Until we start to see capitalism [is] just as nefarious as white supremacy, we will always be struggling.”

The fundamental approach of the BLM/Antifa movement is exactly that advocated by Robespierre, Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot. The socialist/anarchist ideal is that everything in the existing system is so permeated by evil that the only way to solve the problem is to destroy everything and start over. Of greater import, it is necessary to destroy all knowledge of the previous system to keep it from contaminating the present. Because history defines the future, in order to have a new future, you must destroy the past.

As George Orwell (who is now on the cancel-culture chopping block himself – since he, above all must be silenced) noted in his book 1984:

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

In the French Revolution, this was accomplished by restarting the calendar at year 0, decimalization and renaming all of the days of the week, redefinition of the months, removing Christian holidays, exile of priests, nationalization of church property and defining a state sponsored atheistic religion called the Cult of Reason (shortly replaced by the new mandatory “Cult of the Supreme Being” at the insistence of Robespierre).

In the Cultural Revolution under Mao, the purpose was to wash away the “Four Olds,” – old customs, old ideas, old habits, and old culture. This meant renaming all the streets and buildings, destroying statues, changing the definitions and meanings of words, tearing down classical architecture, attacking intellectuals, destruction of books and art, banning genealogy, banning “Western” art such as opera and ballet, etc. in order to “sweep away the old demons” that held back the communist utopia.

The same thing occurred in Pol Pot’s Communist Cambodia, known as the Killing Fields. People know that Pol Pot’s regime engaged in a systematic genocide of all professional people – academics, doctors, engineers, etc. But most don’t understand why. These people embodied the old way of doing things, and the only way to truly start over is to wipe the slate clean. Hence their death. Pol Pot, a student of Mao and supported by him, noted “If you want to kill the grass, you also have to kill the roots,” which justified mass destruction of culture, and execution of families.

The same process characterized Stalin’s Soviet Union, and even the Socialist revolution in Mexico. This hatred of the past is not limited solely to socialists and communists, of course. It is the foundation of most cultural revolutions (and what distinguishes cultural from political revolutions). Hence the actions of the Taliban and ISIS/ISIL.

This idea of the destruction of the current system is not evolutionary or reformative. It means to engage in complete destruction. This is why it is not enough to tear down statues of Confederate soldiers, or rename bases named after Confederate Generals. The statues of abolitionists must be destroyed or else people might remember that there were good things about the ancien regime. Thus, it is necessary to destroy Lincoln and even Frederick Douglass. In the cultural revolution, there can be no authority outside of the state, hence the need to destroy churches, intimidate churchgoers, and when given authority, bulldoze churches and mosques, forcibly destroy religious culture, and if necessary, kill entire populations in order to remove the contamination of their culture. Hence the desecration and burning of churches, and destruction of religious statues and beheading and defacement of representations of the Virgin Mary. Because that’s what black folk do? I don’t think so. It’s what socialists do.

And Black Lives Matter, derived in part from the work of a white Russian-American Marxist, is an example of this.

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4. BLM/Antifa perverts the definition of “race,” “white,” “black,” “racism”, “white supremacy”, etc to fit this Marxist agenda.

How does one wrap this agenda in the flag of race? By relabeling everything as race.

One of the biggest problems with the baizuo, particularly upper middle class white females, who respond with a moral panic every time race is mentioned is that they aren’t using words in the same way that the BLM/Antifa group is using it. “Race” and “White” and “Black” are terms of art in that community that are directly related to conventional meaning, but also have a distinct ideological meaning.

The BLM/Antifa community use “white” the way that the Nazi’s used “Jew.” It denotes both a biological race (to whatever degree race has biological meaning), but more importantly has an overweening cultural and values meaning. To the Nazis, “Jewish science” not only meant that science was dominated by Jews, but also that there was a particular scientific viewpoint that was championed by Jews – that of an atheistic reductionist mechanical universe. Hence, the Nazi rejection of Einstein’s relativity (at least until late in the war). Similarly, the Soviet Union under Stalin rejected the idea of the scientific method and “capitalist” science, and embraced “socialist” science – which gave rise to Lysenkoism and famine. Orthodox geneticists in the Soviet Union were jailed and killed. Modern genetics was not allowed to be taught in the Soviet Union until the 1960s.

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BLM/Antifa use the term “white” in exactly the same way. It is certainly a race, and when an intersectionalists state that “Some white people may have to die” they mean it in exactly the same way that the Nazis meant it when speaking about Jews. But more important, “white” is defined as the “white” value system – that of individualism, civil liberties, objective truth, the “white” concept of fair play, honor, religion, all of it. The concept of “white supremacy” in that context has little to do with the color of one’s skin, but everything to do with the content of one’s values. A person who believes in “God and country” who is a conventional Christian, who believes in the American ideas of individual liberty and freedom is a “white supremacist” regardless of any beliefs about skin color. Coleman Hughes notes that this redefinition of racism used by modern intersectionalists is distinct from that of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and is something that those civil rights leaders explicity warned against.

This hatred of “whiteness” is absolutely and ontologically necessary, since BLM/Antifa largely define themselves in opposition to whiteness. This is key, because it means that without demonization of the other, there is no basis for their existence. This is also a repeated pattern in history. For instance, Pinochet’s Argentina was notorious for its torture and “disappearing” of its citizens. None of it was necessary in any absolute sense; when Pinochet took power he was generally supported. However, in order justify more authoritarian rule, it was necessary to create an enemy. So, the regime arrested and tortured people who were insufficiently supportive.

This served two goals. The first goal was to define the relationship of the regime with the individual. The regime had absolute control over the individuals body and, by the end of the ordeal, psyche. The second goal was to create a resistance movement that would, in turn, justify further oppression. Without the existence of this resistance movement, the actions of the regime had no justification. Thus, if it did not exist, it must be created.

The same thing is true with BLM/Antifa. These organizations exist in opposition to systemic whiteness that represents oppression. It is fundamentally impossible to acknowledge that this system has made progress, or that its ideals are anything other than oppression. If such an acknowledgment were to be made, then there would be no justification for the actions that are being taken. There would be no justification for the violent overthrow of the system and ensuing carnage. This is why it is necessary that garage door pulls be nooses, that tree swings be nooses, that every picture and symbol be interpreted in a way that makes it oppressive. It’s why people paint swastikas on their own doors and send themselves threatening letters. Without this oppression, they have no self-definition. There can be no give and take. There can be no compromise. There can be no reconciliation.

As Anthony Bradley notes in his critique of James Cone and Black Theology in “Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and Black Experience,”

Perhaps the most significant tragedy of the victimologist’s approach… is that it creates separatism. Separatism is a suspension of moral judgment in the name of racial solidarity that is an integral part of being culturally black in America today. The black experience is the starting point and the final authority of interpreting moral prescriptions, both personally and structurally. Separatist morality is not a deliberate strategy for accruing power; rather it is a cultural thought – a tacit conviction that has imbued the culturally black psyche. Separatism is a direct result of victimology because whites are viewed in eternal opposition to the black experience; black America construes itself (albeit in many ways unintentionally) as a sovereign cultural authority.

Separatism generates a restriction of cultural authority, a narrowing of intellectual inquiry, and the dilution of moral judgment. Mainstream American culture, when refracted through self-righteous indignation in the service of exposing the inadequacies of the “other” (e.g. white person) rather than finding a way forward. The perpetual belief in a racial identity born out of self-loathing and and anxiety often leads to more time spent inventing reasons to cry racism than working towards changing social mores and often inhibits movement towards reconciliation and positive mobility.

[V]ictimology often perpetuates racial tension. Blacks are encouraged by one another to “know your history.” The communicative function of said mantra is not aimed toward knowledge per se but towards remembering oppression and iniquity so it does not happen again. The irony of victimology is its tendency towards revisionist histories and creating and ethos that, a hundred years ago, would have precluded racial equality. Victimology, in other words, is perpetuating problems for black America, not solving them. (page 17)

Thus, racism is not “racism” in this context as most modernist people think. “Whiteness” and “white supremacy” is structure and values (though again, as I will show later, there’s plenty of frank old-timey hatred to go around in this movement).

The vast majority of these people running around calling everybody white supremacists are themselves white. Only approximately 17% of the people tearing down statues and burning buildings are black. This is primarily a white Marxist movement that has hijacked racial issues as a pretext. Of course, there are others who are involved – those who mistakenly see this as a rather conventional protest movement, true anti-white bigots such as this BLM founder, and those who are attempting to exploit the movement for their benefit.

This is the face of Antifa/BLM – a privileged upper middle class white girl lecturing a black cop, and the cop responding with scripture.

And these:

Or this — a white Antifa/BLM protester lecturing a black physician on how he is more black than she is.

Consider what happened recently in Seattle (a city, by the way, named after a Suquamish leader and slave owner) , where white city employees were segregated and taught to hate “white” values. Here is a partial list of “white supremacy:”

“Individualism” is racist. Intellectualism is “racist.” “Objectivity” is racist.

We are all “complicit” to some degree.

All white people are white supremacists – if they aren’t acting like it today, they will tomorrow. Any white person who does not admit to being a white supremacist is in denial:

BLM/Antifa-type intersectionalists have a hierarchy of race that would make a Nazi genealogist green with envy. Are you Jewish? Arab? They’ve got you classified:

Then there’s that evil “white” concept of “cause and effect,” the white supremacist notions of rational thought and metrics, and the truly evil idea of “competition”:

Similarly, here’s another federal document put out by the Smithsonian:

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This abstraction of “white” to mean anything that is western — including belief in objective truth, undermines the fundamental basis of our work as Medical Examiners. It is “western imperialism ” to argue that 2+2 = 4. As one BLM proponent notes:

This gives sophistry a bad name. Apologists for this retreat into blather about numbering systems and partial counting in innumerate cultures. But 2+2=4, even if you say it as 10+10=100 in base 2. A rose by any other name is white supremacy.

Once again, this was seen by Orwell in 1984:

In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?

He noted that this was also a property of Nazi Germany:

Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as “the truth” exists. … The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, “It never happened” – well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five – well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs.

That is the fundamental position of BLM/Antifa. Scientific method and objective truth are the tools of white supremacy.

Objective truth does not exist. Everything must be in service of the narrative. Here’s a wonderful example of a young lady educated in the world of intersectionality arguing that whether or not a box contains an even versus odd number of objects is just a matter of narrative:

(There’s an introductory ad to click through. It’s a long video and you can skip most of it. You should be taken to 1:53:00. If you don’t go there directly, skip to it – it’s pretty mind-numbing to listen to these guys talk if you are not into discussions about postmodernism. The payoff is at 2:13:30. The commentator sounds like he’s saying “That’s straight Fookoh” He’s referring Paul-Michel Foucalt, one of the founders of the postmodernist movement – in case you don’t recognize it.)

It is extraordinarily important that you listen to this segment of this video. This is the core of the attack of BLM/Antifa/intersectional postmodernism on modernist approaches to Medical Examiner work. But NAME will ban you if you mention it.

These documents about “white values” could have just as easily been written by the KKK. It’s “white” culture that values the scientific method, objective truth, individual achievement, hard work, the nuclear family and Christianity. Black folk, according to BLM/Antifa, reject these ideals. Because they are white. BLM and KKK have the very same attitude regarding African-Americans with respect to these issues. The only difference is whether or not they think it’s a good thing. It is no accident that it was possible to submit Mein Kampf for publication in a social justice journal and have it accepted. The current version of Mein Kampf for social justice warriors, “White Fragilility” notes that the only hope for a white person is to “strive to be less white.” (See also here. )

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According to this group, the only way to destroy “white supremacy” is to destroy western civilization. Or, as Mark Bray wrote in “Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook” in 2017,

“The only long-term solution to the fascist menace is to undermine its pillars of strength in society grounded not only in white supremacy but also in ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy, nationalism, transphobia, class rule, and many others.”

This merging of identarianism and Marxism has profound meaning when it comes to the idea of individual liberty in view of the fungibility of truth. Again, to quote Bradley:

…Marxism does not believe in the validity of certain ideal values, of personality or the ethic of value, or the categorical imperative, or of moral autonomy as established by the Kantians. The individual, then, does not only function as a means to an end but must also view himself as such. The process of traditional ethics, which calls for each individual to make his own ethical choices, becomes obsolete. Marxism radically erases the individuality of the person, even to such an extent that acting in history with the potential to be productive or unproductive, the person must bow his will completely to the community and its objectives. (Bradley, Liberating Black Theology, p 79)

These are the values of BLM/Antifa. This is what NAME banned me for mentioning.

Or, you can listen to this BLM/Antifa leader here.

This is how a fake African American can be a leader in this movement. They have abandoned Martin Luther King for Shaun King. Which brings me to the Kristallnacht statement. Happily, King (the latter, not the former) spoke up to make my point. When asked about attacks on churches and religious symbols, he responded:

Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.

They are a form of white supremacy.

Always have been.

In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?

EGYPT!

Not Denmark.

Tear them down.

Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020

If only there were a word for destroying windows and icons on the basis of religious hatred. It should surprise no-one that BLM/Antifa has taken pleasure in destroying statues of Jesus, saints, and Virgin Mary, and that church burning and vandalism have skyrocketed. Because Christianity is “white supremacy,” as is Judaism. It’s why they attack black people going to church. It’s why they beat Catholics praying the rosary. It’s why they attack children. It’s why they burn bibles. It’s why they call a missionary who served lepers — and died of leprosy because of it — an example of “white supremacist culture.” It’s why one of their key goals, listed on their website, is the destruction of the nuclear family:

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comf

Yes, that damned nuclear family is “white supremacy.”

As Benjamin Kierstein notes:

Over 2,000 years ago, Plato described it in part when he said, “Bad men, when their parents or country have any defects, look on them with malignant joy, and find fault with them and expose and denounce them to others, under the idea that the rest of mankind will be less likely to take themselves to task and accuse them of neglect; and they blame their defects far more than they deserve, in order that the odium which is necessarily incurred by them may be increased.”

The anti-christian and antisemitic roots of BLM/Antifa are open for display. Let’s read what some of their leaders have to say:

“Whiteness is not humxness,”

in fact, white skin is sub-humxn”

White ppl are recessive genetic defects. this is factual,” 

white ppl need white supremacy as a mechanism to protect their survival as a people because all they can do is produce themselves.”

black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”

Or this, by Ignatiev (previously linked):

Eventually white women can breed out, but my feeling is that if you are a white male, you should kill yourself now. If you are a thoughtful person, with a social consciousness who considers himself white, you will consider suicide.”

Or this:

Melanin comes with soul, that we call it soul, we soul brothers and sisters, that’s the melanin that connects us so the people that don’t have it, are, and I’m going to say this carefully, are a little less and where the term actually comes from, and I’m going to bring it back around to Minister Farrakhan, where they may not have the compassion,..

When they were sent to the Mountains of Caucasus, they didn’t have the power of the sun. The sun started to deteriorate them. So, they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem, they’re acting out of deficiency, so therefore the only way they can act is evil,”

They have to rob, steal, rape, kill and fight in order to survive. So these people who didn’t have what we have, and when I say ‘we,’ I speak of the melinated people, they had to be savages, they had to be barbaric because they’re in these Nordic mountains, they’re in these rough torrential environments, so they’re acting as animals, so they’re the ones closer to animals, they’re the ones that are actually the true savages,”

So I say all that to say the context when we speak of ‘Jewish people,’ white people, Europeans, the Illuminati — they were doing that as survival tactics to stay on this planet…

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Here is a letter written by Nicole Hannah-Jones, the founder of the “1619 Project” of the New York Times.

And now, BLM/Antifa is murdering black men for not supporting their Marxist agenda.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I have not immersed my self in black culture. Most of my interactions with African-Americans comes from work, which is a very artificial environment, and church, which attracts a specifically more orthodox and conservative cohort of African-Americans. But at least for the latter, none of them are in the mood to call for the dissolution of the nuclear family and rejection of Christianity. Nor do they, for the most part, want to abandon attempts at reconciliation with a return to segregation, separation, and racial hatred. Nor do they disavow objective truth, science, or personal responsibility. Nor are they incapable of hard work or punctuality. And, of course, many black folk are speaking out against it – though they are called race traitors and tokens for doing it. My impression is that BLM/Antifa does not speak for most folk of any race. But by wrapping their agenda in the flag of race, they are above criticism. NAME believes that they are the voice of African-Americans – and thus we must avoid discussing what they stand for for fear of the moral panic of possible “racism” (however defined).

As Voltaire noted,

Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intellect declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: “You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.” Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly any one who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to commit injustices.” (Questions on Miracles, 11th letter, 1765)

The faith in socialism lead to murdering women because they say all lives matter, murdering police and taunting their families as they mourn, and murdering children, all in the name of suppressing “white supremacy.”

This is no different than the tactics of the Nazis in response to “Jewish science” and “Jewish literature.” As Philip Ball notes in “Serving the Third Reich,”

Anti-Semitism did not just deprive German physics of some of its most valuable researchers. It also threatened to prescribe what kind of physics one could and could not do. For Nazi ideology was not merely a question of who should be allowed to live and work freely in the German state—like a virus, it worked its way into the very fabric of intellectual life. Shortly after the boycott of Jewish businesses at the start of April 1933, the Nazified German Students Association declared that literature should be cleansed of the “un-German spirit”, resulting on 10 May in the ritualistic burning of tens of thousands of books marred by Jewish intellectualism. These included works by Sigmund Freud, Bertolt Brecht, Karl Marx, Stefan Zweig and Walter Benjamin: books full of corrupt, unthinkable ideas. Into some of these pyres, baying students threw the books of Albert Einstein.

Substitute “white” for “Jewish” and this should sound just a tad familiar to you. Burning books? What about “decolonializing” them? “White” music? Can’t have that. “White science?” That’s structural racism. Demonizing white scientists? You bet. Denying even that there is such a thing as western civilization (other than to condemn it)? Of course. Suppressing white artists? Bring it on.

The methods of this kind of thinking are always the same. Only the targets change. I’m “insensitive” if I mention this, and must be banned. Because attacks on objective truth, scientific method, and rational thought have no impact on Medical Examiner work at all.

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5. This has direct implications for our practice as Medical Examiners.

If you think that Medical Examiners are immune, you are wrong. If you think we should embrace this, you are crazy. If you think we can ignore it, you are suicidal.

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But we dare not talk about it. It’s “political” and insensitive and inappropriate to talk about and has nothing to do with being an ME. Except that it threatens our very existence ME offices are under direct attack by the people who push this concept, both in terms of our independence and our ability to make diagnoses at all. What I find even more odd is seeing the EC patting itself on the back for starting to have a conversation about race – though it was me who did it, and I got canceled for it.

The Karenwaffe in NAME were “appalled” by my post. Fine. Let’s pretend everything is great – until the Maoists come for the rest of the big city offices like they are coming for some already and then you can try to find out what the hell they are talking about – though everyone will be afraid to speak out loud by then. The interesting thing is that these Maoists hate liberals even more than they hate me. I am an enemy, but you are a traitor. Never forget this little bit of Antifa/BLM literature:

I’m sure they mean it in the best possible way, though. But remember, the Bolsheviks first went after the Mensheviks. The Montgnards went after the Girandins. The Nazis cleaned up the SA when they were no longer of use. And BLM/Antifa will take care of their white middle class liberals when they are no longer of use.

The BLM/Antifa attack on the Medical Examiner community is more than just threatening to kill Medical Examiners who don’t make the right diagnoses or burn down offices that make diagnoses that don’t support their narrative. It’s much more dangerous and invasive than that.

As many will remember, just under a decade ago, there burst on the scene a number of “cognitive scientists,” who, with the aid of members of the legal community such as the Innocence Project, decided that the forensic science community should address the “crisis” of “cognitive bias” in forensic pathology. The issue arose full fledged with coordinated attacks on our profession, to the point of having a plenary session at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences with the theme of attacking forensic pathology practice – and without even inviting a forensic pathologist to speak, until the section complained and demanded a voice (a role admirably filled Dr. Andy Baker).

Over the ensuing 10 years, it became clear that the “crisis” of “cognitive bias” actually had nothing to do with error rates, or mistakes made on the basis of bias, or any of the traditional metrics of defining this as a significant problem. Every time we pushed for some sort of demonstration that this was a problem that resulted in significant error, nothing was provided. Instead, the crisis of cognitive bias was asserted on a purely theoretical basis. When pushed, those who shouted the loudest played the dissembling game of “if you don’t agree that it’s a crisis, then you are claiming it doesn’t exist.” Then, finally, proponents explicitly stated that this had nothing to do with error and nothing to do with traditional “science” of cognitive science. Instead, it had to do with the fact that this consortium of interests did not believe it was the role of forensic pathologists to practice traditional diagnosis. Instead, that role should be taken by others, and forensic pathologists should only provide data for diagnoses to be made by lawyers, laymen and other stakeholders.

All of this dissembling about “cognitive science” was a scam that allowed people with a social engineering agendas to push those agendas using the terms and implied authority of “science,” but had no true “scientific” basis at all.

The same kind of process, though much more malignant, is the BLM/Antifa scam. They are using accusations of structural white supremacy in an attempt to destroy the civil basis our work as medical examiners, and insert Soviet and Maoist-style political determinations. By wrapping a Jacobite/Maoist agenda in the false flag of race, they become above criticism. But their proposition is much worse, and much more dangerous, because they are attacking the very idea of objective truth. BLM/Antifa explicitly want to replace modernist ideas of objective truth with the idea that “truth” exists only in service to an agenda. It is the old Soviet science of Lysenko. The BLM/Antifa hatred for “white” science is no different than the old Nazi distaste for “Jewish” science.

It’s no accident that “implicit” bias is a part of the mandate of the new Diversity Committee that NAME is establishing. It’s the same attack wrapped in a different flag. Only this time we are going to embrace it, and cancel anybody who questions it. Already, Medical Examiners are making public statements that we should edit our reports to serve social agendas. And NAME is fine with that. And when the next pretext for violence occurs, we will again be paralyzed by moral panic and give them whatever they want.

Nothing to see here, folks. Don’t be insensitive. Shut up and accept it. Objective truth is a dead issue. The only true morality is inoffensiveness, and we must always bow to those who are offended.

As Dostoevsky wrote in the Brothers Karamazov:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than any one. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill–he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.”

When a Medical Examiner is finally killed, or an office burned to the ground, at least NAME will be able to comfort itself with the fact that it squashed possibly offensive speech, and was able to get out a position paper on second autopsies. Because the real problem here is Mike Baden.

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6. Why I’m stepping back.

One respondent was kind enough to send me his post directly. I am including my response to him below, somewhat redacted for anonymity and clarity. I will never be able to post it to NAME-L because it talks about how my faith informs what I wrote. I can’t post it, not just because I am temporarily banned, but because the very mention of why I believe what I believe causes the heads of the anti-christian bigots on the list to explode; they will demand my permanent cancellation. There’s no place for my kind of thinking there any more.

So let me move on to why I have dropped my participation in committees and why I will no longer be a highly active NAME member. Some of you have written me and said you valued my contributions in the past. That is important to me, and it is gratifying. However, with the growing cancel culture in the United States and the increasing appeal of Maoist Cultural Revolution tactics, the authoritarian approach by the EC, and the demands that people like me be canceled will only increase. There is no place for me in a woke NAME. I, like Bill Rodriquez, am a perfect target because I will not pretend to values I do not have. I have no desire to end up being completely canceled, so my only choice is to draw back.

Unfortunately, the cancel culture will only become more demanding in the next few years, not less, and will do its best to make life unbearable for individualists like me (after all, individualism is the hallmark of white supremacy). In a society where the cancel culture mob is searching tweets that are decades old looking for something to be outraged at, people like me simply have to hide to survive. Years ago, I had to delete most of my blog posts. I will eventually have to delete activities on my website (including this post) that will increase my exposure to woke vandals who spend their time attacking sites such as mine (and I am already attacked seriously about 10 times a day). That includes the NAME-related activities. No matter how much you try to appease them, it will never be enough. As WOPR discovered in War Games, “The only winning move is not to play.

To the group at large, I have enjoyed working with you all, and I will always value the interactions I have had with you. I consider you dear friends, however much we disagree on the threat of Maoism and identarian tribalism. But it is clear that the culture at NAME has changed – I am not particularly different than I was 20 years ago, but the NAME culture certainly is. It is simply not safe for a person like me. If I continue there’s a good chance I’ll lose more than the privilege of doing so. I can lose my house, my livelihood, and my health. And it’s just not worth it. I’m not angry, though I am certainly saddened and disappointed – but that’s different. And if we ever have a chance to get together for a beer, I’d love to do it. So, this isn’t a divorce; it’s a, what do they call it in Hollywood? “Conscious uncoupling.”

Please don’t think that I am rejecting you personally in doing this. It’s a matter of attention focus. There is a profound book written by Winifred Gallagher called “Rapt,” that talks about it (for a review, see here). She points out that one’s life is built around what one pays attention to. The world is chaotic and hits us with much more information than we can process. We deal with that by selectively filtering that input, and building a world view and our experience from what we decide to focus on. In a different work, she sums it up as: Few things are as important to your quality of life as your choices about how to spend the precious resource of your free time. People often ask me how I can do all the things I do. The answer is that I manage my attention as much as I do my time.

I have in the past chosen to spend a part of that resource to the benefit (I hope) of NAME and my profession. And I think that this has contributed both to the profession and to the quality of my life. But now, neither condition can hold, because the conditions upon which the profession will accept my labor demands that it be done in a way that degrades the quality of my life, and that my attention be more focused on what I can say or do without censure rather than what I can say or do to accomplish good. I cannot spend the precious resource of my free time in an activity that will only accept it if I place myself in intellectual, spiritual, and emotional shackles. As Jesus told us: If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. So I shall, for the moment, leave this town. Perhaps God will lead me to return, perhaps not.

And that’s fine. I’m at the end of my career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still guardedly optimistic about the future – for a decent summary that is close to my view, see this piece on “Remodernism”, though I warn you that there’s some badthink in it. But for now, it’s time that someone with a world view more valued by NAME takes my place else I become a distraction. I am sure that somewhere among the baizuo who cheered my cancellation will be someone who can deal with issues in a way that is more emotionally in tune with the times, and whose opinions you will not find so appalling. And you better listen to them, because we don’t do the tolerance thing around here any more. Good luck to you all, and be careful what you say.

billo

My response to the respondent who shared his letter with me:

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Dr. <name redacted>,

You misapprehend my statement. I understand how this is possible, so let me respond directly.

First, I did not call 80-90% of the listserv white supremacists. What I did was criticize critical race theory, which states it.

I’ll tell you what, I’ll treat you as an individual, deserving individual respect, and I’ll assume you do the same to me. It turns out that not all black folk are all the same, and not all white folk are all the same. It is my preference that people talk as individuals, not as representatives of some identity group.

So, let’s look at what I said. I wrote in the context of the BLM/Antifa movement. This is a specific subset of folk, and, in fact, represent a small minority of the African-American community and the white community. In particular, they represent a specific militant anti-theist Maoist/Leninist political movement that wraps it’s primarily political agenda in the flag of racial justice. This group has strong support among the Progressive left and Academe (though I repeat myself) representing a convergence of intersectional racial theory, critical race theory, and primarily Maoist communist theory. This is particularly notable if you look at Antifa, which consists primarily of upper-middle-class whites who, in my opinion, are using and perverting BLM for their purpose.

This leads to two points I want to emphasize.

The first is that these are a very small minority of both African-Americans and European-Americans. Because I am a theologically conservative Christian, my personal interactions with African-Americans are primarily related to faith-based activities. The particular subset of African-Americans that I spend time with is not particularly sympathetic to the anti-christian agenda of the Maoist/Leninist activists, who hold faith in contempt. My personal experience, and it may well not be generalizable, is that the “disease” of racial and other identarian conflicts are often best “treated” by finding things that we hold in common. My black friends and I differ on many things, but we hold our faith in common, and from that, we can gain better understanding of each other. Similarly, I have other friends of color who share bonds of loyalty to the country. It is certainly true that the United States has not fulfilled its promise to African-Americans, but those African-Americans who recognize that the *ideals* of the country, while not achieved, do work in that direction again find a common ground with me.

This is in contrast to the approach taken by Antifa/BLM, where identarian tribalism and blood libel are the currency of interaction. It is *that* group that explicitly holds the opinion that all white folk are necessarily racist by the mere fact of being white, and that all white people are white supremacists because of their lack of rejection of the American ideals. That *is* critical race theory — that white people are racist no matter what they do. This is a classic example of blood libel. Hence references to “white” science, and the rejection of objective truth.

Shelby Steele, in his book “White Guilt” points out the difference. He notes that Western Civilization in general, and Americanism in particular has often failed in achieving the goals and ideals it has set for itself. It has worked towards those ideals — in fits and starts, and with movement forwards and backwards — but those ideals have remained. This has lead to two primary approaches to dealing with those failures. One approach is to work to make the American system align more closely with the ideals that it claims to espouse. The second is to believe that because it has not yet reached perfection, it is fundamentally flawed. If you take the latter approach, then everything needs to be burned to the ground. Traditional morality, faith, traditional beliefs in truth, all of it must be burned to the ground, and a utopia will arise from the ashes.

This latter approach is that of BLM/Antifa. I oppose it with every breath I take. I oppose it because it believes in a secular morality that does not exist, and because it espouses the classic socialist/communist belief in the perfectibility of man. Neither of these beliefs are true — which is why every time it is tried it ends in mass death.

Second, I do not minimize or reject the concept of white supremacy. Quite the opposite. I have known Klansmen, I have known members of the Aryan Brotherhood. For awhile, in my youth, I was a pagan, and got to know some members of an Odinist group (though I was a Crowleyist at the time, and thus antithetical). I am probably the only person you know who has invoked magick for the damnation of an Odinist in order to obstruct his spiritual battle against a black family (this was before I became a committed Christian, of course). That’s probably nonsensical to you, but was meaningful to me at the time — though I have abjured such practices now.

In fact, my perspective is the opposite of yours. Having known real white supremacists, some of which have openly advocated the death of African-Americans, I am not only very aware, but profoundly frightened of them. I know of at least one who has denounced me as a race traitor. And that’s really the problem I have with this bullshit put out by BLM/Antifa. By calling everybody racist and everybody a white supremacist, they cheapen the term. It’s a little like feminists who call dirty jokes the equivalent of rape. Rape is a real and horrible thing. And those feminists who try to wrap their pet peeves in it don’t really achieve much more than minimizing the meaning of rape. The same thing is true with the BLM/Antifa types who go around calling every body a white supremacist and a fascist. White supremacism and fascism are real and horrible things — I believe they are Satanic — and when they try to use that for their identarian political purposes, it is *they* who diminish it.

Third, it is absolutely untrue that having a Christian approach to race relations means that I don’t see the difference between people. In fact, if you look at the way that Paul and Peter dealt with the problem it was just the opposite. Let me remind you of the controversy in the early Church. Christianity began as a cult within Judaism, and Jewish Christians firmly believed that they should follow the Laws of Moses. In contrast, Paul as the missionary to the Gentiles, taught that this was not necessary. When Paul and Peter met and discussed this, they decided that, in fact, Christianity could handle both approaches. They basically agreed to disagree, with the Israelite Christians following the law, and the Gentile Christians following a different set of rules (following what is called the Noahide Covenant). While they criticized each other, sometimes viciously, their ultimate faith in the Christ meant that they could both maintain their differences and *still* commune as Christians. Similarly, the Apostle Paul notes that different people have different attitudes about different things, but are still brought together in Christ. For instance, in Romans 14, Paul writes:

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

That is my philosophy. It does not deny differences, and it does not minimize them. What is says is that, at least if we want to, we hold things in common that both transcend and allow those differences, and permit us fellowship by recognizing that commonality. Of course I recognize and, in fact, celebrate the differences between people — the world would be very bland without them.

Fourth, I never said “get over it,” with respect to the severe failings of racism in the United States. What I believe is that, if we focus on what brings us together rather than what separates us, we can get *through* it, and we can make it better. But the BLM/Antifa policy of tribalism, balkanism, and identarian cathartic rage is not the solution. And the blood libel of calling all whites racists and white supremacists makes the problem worse, not better.

God bless you, <redacted>. It’s unfortunate that you misrepresented my position on the listserv, but I know that listserv posts are poor means of communication. We would likely find that we had much more in common than we have in opposition. And it is unfortunate that I am not given the opportunity to defend or explain myself publicly. Interestingly, while I can write this to you, the leadership will not allow me to post this. It is clear that the current leadership has been looking for an excuse to do this, so it’s not surprising (and it’s certainly not your fault).

But that being said, I refuse to “take responsibility” for things that I am not responsible for. I refuse to apologize for things I have not done. And, most of all, I kneel only before my Lord Jesus Christ.

billo

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Rape accusations are not rare: redux

About a decade ago I posted a refutation of the common claim that false rape accusations are rare – that they make up about 2% of the accusations. At the time, the literature seemed to support a false accusation rate of about 40%. Because of some technical issues, followed by a move to another state with another server, I took my blog down. I brought it back up about a year ago, but have not been posting much – my new job eats up a lot of time. However, after watching the Kavanaugh debacle, I thought I would review the literature again to see if it has changed.

First, a personal story of why this became an interest to me. Some details are changed from the actual stories, both for confidentiality and because memory is faulty after many years. I am a forensic pathologist, but I also have an interest in computer science and image processing. While I was in the military, one of my jobs was to do analysis of imagery with forensic and operational interest from a forensic pathology point of view.

One such case was that of a young male sailor who was charged with raping a young female sailor (who was serving on a different ship) while on liberty at a port in the middle east. The young man had met the young woman in a bar and, young service folk being the way they sometimes are, they ended up having sex. The next evening, the young man went to the woman’s ship to ask her out again. The NCO on deck said he’d check to see if she was available. Then, a few minutes later, the young man was surrounded by Shore Patrol and taken into custody.

The young woman had made the charge of rape. I was asked to do an evaluation of what appeared to be some patterned injuries on her neck, one of which she claimed was a “hickey” that the young man had forced upon her. After a bit of evaluation, I came to the conclusion that this was more likely something machined rather than organic, because of its regular geometry. I thought perhaps the assailant had pressed a piece of jewelry into her neck, leaving a mark – perhaps while throttling her with his hands.

So, I went to the NCIS agents and asked them if they could get the jewelry she had been wearing during the attack. They came back and said it was not available. The young lady claimed that she was so upset at the attack that she had thrown all her jewelry into the sea.

Then I looked at another mark on the victim’s neck. It looked like a series of vertical lines with a textile pattern – something that you can see with a tight knitted turtle neck sweater. So I went to the NCIS and asked them for photos of the clothing that the young lady had been wearing. Alas, the young lady indicated that she had destroyed all of her clothes as well.

So, I wrote my report saying that there were clearly marks on the neck, but they were not classic “hickeys,” and were likely made by machined parts or textiles. I signed off on the case and forgot about it, until I ran into one of the NCIS agents at a meeting. I asked whatever happened with that case, and was told that the young lady had recanted.

It turned out that she had gone out with the young man, had consensual sex, and that was that. Unfortunately for the young man, when he went to the woman’s ship to ask her out again, the NCO he talked to was the woman’s fiancee. As one might expect, the fiancee was concerned when a strange man told him that he dated his future bride. When he confronted the woman, she panicked and claimed rape.

Unfortunately, by the time the young man was exonerated, his career had been ruined. The entire process took about 18 months, during which time he was imprisoned, and had been denied training and duties. In the military, there is a rather strict timetable for getting various training done, getting tickets punched, etc. in order to be promoted. Worse, the military is in part a pyramid system, and if you don’t get promoted within a certain time period, you are released. This man was now so far behind in this process, there was no way he could save his career. So he left the military, which had, until then, been his career choice.

In a second event, another man I knew in the military was going through a difficult divorce. As part of that divorce, his wife claimed that he abused his infant. To prove this, she took the infant to the hospital and documented numerous injuries supposedly inflicted by the father. Again, the assumption was guilty until proven innocent, and he was looking at the destruction of his career. In this case, however, the military had tapped his phone as part of the investigation, and the wife called and bragged to the father about harming the child in order to set him up with a false complaint. He was exonerated, but again left the military not too long afterwards.

While I have been the victim of false accusation, I have never been the victim of serious criminal accusations such as these. These experiences early in my career made me a bit leery about accepting them uncritically. And, having now had about 33 years of experience in forensics, I have found demonstrably false statements in investigations, about all sorts of things, to be fairly common.

So, let’s look at a few things. First, where does this claim that only 2% of rape accusations are false come from? Well, it turns out that the literature on the subject has an extraordinarily wide range of estimates, basically from near zero to almost all. Why? Because in most cases nobody has a clue, since in the majority of cases a court finding is not achieved. In order to come up with a number, then it is necessary to subjectively assess (or subjectively create checklists of criteria that then are “objectively” applied). If you are skeptical, then the number of false accusations is high. If you “believe the woman” then the number of false accusations is low.

Here’s a list of references from a table in Rumney, written in 2006 (Rumney 2006). It’s as good as any:

  • Source %
  • Theilade1986                    1.5-10%
  • NY1974                                2%
  • Hursch1974                        2%
  • Kelly2005                             3-22%
  • Geis1978                               3-31%
  • Smith1989                            3.8%
  • Greenfield1997                   8-15%
  • Clark1977                              10.3%
  • Harris1999                           10.9-25%
  • Lea2003                                 11%
  • HMCPSI2002                        11.8%
  • McCahill1979                       18.2
  • Philadelphia1968                20%
  • Chambers1983                     22.4%
  • Grace1992                             24%
  • Jordan2004                          38-41%
  • Kanin1994                            41%
  • Gregory1996                        45%
  • MacLean                                 47%
  • Stewart1981                         90%

In addition, here’s a few more, taken largely from McGrath2018

  • Lisak2010                      5.9%
  • Lonsway2009              7.1%
  • Brown1997                   13%
  • MacDonald1973          18-25%
  • Kennedy2000               32%

You get the idea. Now, I have to be up front and admit that I’ve only found and read about half of these, but the pattern is clear. It’s all in the assumptions about the cases you just don’t know about. A bunch of these have documents online, though if you want to check them out – the links are in the references section.

A perhaps more important issue is that there is a conflation of cases where the entire situation is fabricated and where an innocent person is accused. In other words, people conflate “false accusations” with “false reports.” A “false report” means that nothing at all happened. A “false accusation” means that an innocent person is accused of a crime. In conversations about accusations, such as the recent Kavanaugh hearing, it seems that those who cite the 2% statistic almost invariably seem to be using the former to imply the latter. As an example of the difference, in the Home Office report Kelly2005, of 2643 cases reviewed, 83 were found to be “false reports,” 216 were found to be “false allegations., ” 386 were found to be of “insufficient evidence.,” and 662 did not proceed to trial because of “evidential difficulties.”

The other issue is that some of these articles look at rape and others at sexual assault. They are not the same, but this seems to be conflated in most discussions as well.

To show you how this works, I’m going to critically evaluate one of the “2%” articles. I’ve chosen this one because it’s the one that is currently referenced in the Wikipedia article that claims that there is a general consensus that the rate of false accusations is 2% (though when I looked today, it had been edited to the more correct 2-10% – Wikipedia is a moving target).

The article referenced is by Lisak, et al. 2010 (Lisak 2010), who looked at sexual assault (not just rape) allegations at a major university. They found that 5.9% of the accusations were proven false, and concluded that a reasonable range would be 2%-10%.

But let’s look at how they got this number. Lisak et al., looked at 136 cases of reported sexual assault accusations at a large university over a 10 year period. The categorized these as follows:

False report: These are demonstrably fabricated cases in which no attack occurred. This was 5.9%, or 8 of 136 cases.

Case did not proceed: These are cases did not result in “referral for prosecution or disciplinary action” because:
1) there was insufficient evidence of an attack, or
2) the victim withdrew from the process
3) no perpetrator was identified
4) because an incident occurred but it was not legally sexual assault

This was 61 cases or 44.9%

Case proceeded: After investigation, the case was referred for prosecution or there was some administrative action (e.g. the alleged perpetrator being barred from a building). This was 48 cases or 35.3%

Insufficient information: There was not enough information to come to any conclusion (e.g. the case file was incomplete or missing). This was 19 cases or 13.9% of cases.

Based on these criteria the conclusion of the authors was that there were 5.9% false reports, with a range of 2-10%.

So, let’s look at this. As someone who has done a few studies and published in peer reviewed literature in the field of forensic medicine rather than sociology, there is one problem that jumps to the front without any other investigation. The authors included no-data cases, which artificially lowers the rate of false reports. If I were to do an autopsy study of, say, whether or not people who are under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of death tend to have enlarged hearts, I would end up with three categories of people: 1) those who have methamphetamine in their blood on toxicologic analysis, 2) those who do not have methamphetamine in their blood, and 3) those who were not tested.

The correct thing to do is to exclude the cases where no test was done, because it is almost certain that some of these cases will, in fact have methamphetamine on board, and some will not. If I were to assume that simply not doing the test means that no drugs were present, it would be wrong and would bias the result.

That’s what happened here. Almost 14% of cases in the Lisak study should have been excluded, and the evaluation done only on the cases where a determination cold be made. The effect of this is to artificially lower the percentage of false reports. Only 117 of the 136 cases should have been used for statistical analysis. The no-data cases are exactly that – no-data. Thus even using the data of Lisak uncritically, the rate of false reports should have been 8/117= 6.8%, not 8/136=5.9%.


I’ll also point out that the range of 2-10% is not an actual statistical estimation of variance.  It’s just a guestimate based on reviewing some other articles in comparison with theirs.

but back to the data.  Using actual data instead of including no-data cases, the classification should have been:

False reports: 6.8%
Case did not proceed: 52%
Case proceeded: 41%

Without even critically looking at these categories, 6.8% doesn’t really seem all that much like 2% to me. But I’m not a social scientist.

But it gets worse. Let’s look at the category of “case proceeded.” Remember that this category simply means that the case was referred for prosecution or an administrative action was taken. It is assumed by the authors that none of these were false reports, much less false accusations. Using this categorization, the Duke Lacrosse case would not be a false report (since it was referred for prosecution). It is not clear whether the UVA case would be classified as “case proceeded” since there was administrative action (suspension of the accused fraternity). Further, of course, “administrative action” does not require due process, or in fact, much of an investigation, as numerous successful lawsuits and settlements by people wrongly accused have demonstrated. Clearly, a nontrivial number of these “case proceeded” cases are false reports, and more are false accusations. But in this study they are not

Let’s assume, though that not only are all of these “case proceeded” cases viable, but let’s go further and assume that they all either resulted in conviction, or would have had they gone to court. Well, there’s been a fair amount of work done on the rate of false convictions in these cases. The authors assume that false convictions do not occur, but they do. In one study of convictions in Virginia by The Urban Institute, funded by the National Institute of Justice in 2012, Roman et. al. (Roman 2012) found that in cases of conviction of sexual assault where DNA evidence was still available, evaluation of DNA exonerated the convicted defendant in approximately 15% of cases.

Now, of course, these exonerations occurred only because DNA evidence was still available, which itself is evidence of some sort of minimal quality of the investigation. In fact, of 634 cases with conviction that met criteria for study, only 230 had DNA. Obviously I can’t prove it, but my personal interactions with investigations over the past 32 years leads me to believe that those cases with less physical evidence are more likely to be false convictions, which would suggest that of the 404 cases without evidence, the false conviction rate would likely be even higher – but that’s speculation.

In a study performed by the Center for Prosecutor Integrity (CPI 2016), a review of the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE) was performed. The NRE tracks confirmed exonerations. They reviewed the database looking for all cases of sexual assault between 1989 to 2015. Of 1,575 total exonerations for all crimes, 269 were for sexual assault. Of these exonerations, 15..6% were for “no crime,” meaning that it turned out that no sexual assault had occurred at all.

There are a number of different estimates of the rate of false conviction, and the Roman article provides a bibilography and review for those interested. But let’s use their number for the Lisak article data as a lower bound.

The increasing plea bargaining rate and decreasing trial rate for all crimes has been an growing problem for years, but let’s assume a conviction/plea rate somewhere between half and all cases, and assume that in half of the non-convictions the defendant is guilty. That seems pretty generous. Let’s use that as an upper bound.

That would mean that in the most stringent view of Lisak’s data, of the 35.3% of cases that ‘proceeded”(using Lisak’s decisioin to include no-data case in the count), all were convictions or pleas, and of those about 15% were false convictions, or 35.3% * 15% = 5.3% of total cases being “false accusations” (with about 1% being “false reports”using the CPI data).

In the least stringent, of the 35.3% that “proceeded” , 17.7% were convictions and 17.6% were findings of not guilty, which would mean (using the same 15% false conviction rate), 2.7% of the total were false convictions. If 50% of those found not guilty were actually not guilty, then that’s another 8.8%, for a total of 11.5% false accusations, with 1.8% being “false reports” .

So, the “case proceeded” category almost certainly includes between 5.3%-11.4% false accusations, and 1%-1.8% false reports. So, now that 5.9% becomes 6.9% – 7.7% for false reports, and 11.2% – 17.4% false accusations. And that’s lowballing it.

Let’s move on to the next group, that of “cases did not proceed.” Remember that these are not just cases where people didn’t think they could get a conviction, but also includes cases where there was insufficient evidence to prove an assault happened – or didn’t happen. Thus it wasn’t proven or disproven, but it might be a “false report” in a real-world sense.

Clearly the rate of false accusations and false reports would be higher in these cases than in those cases where a decision to proceed had occurred. Thus, a low estimate would be to use Lisak’s own estimation that 5.9% are false reports. That would add another 2.6% false reports. If we use the 15% exoneration rate for false accusations, that would give an additional 6.7% false accusation rate.

That would raise the false report rate in Lisak’s data to 9.5%-10.3%, and the false accusation rate to 17.9%-24.1%.

But, really, using the 15% exoneration rate is lowballing it a lot. In cases where there is no evidence that a crime was committed, the probability that no crime was committed or of a false accusation is probably greater than when a conviction is achieved, right? You’d have to be a pretty committed feminist to believe otherwise. But how much? Who knows. Since this is an academic institution, and there’s not a lot of respect for due process, it seems, I personally suspect that it’s a lot greater. What to do? Double it? I’m not going to make up a number, but it means that the number above gets an asterisk.

And, finally, there were 13.9% with “insufficient information.” There’s no real reason to believe that these cases are all that different from the cases in which there was information, so you can assume the same breakdown. So, we can just divvy them up and distribute them as if they were of the same percentages as the cases with data (which is essentially the equivalent of removing them when it comes to percentages). That would give a total of :

11.0%-12% false reports
20.7%-28% fase accusations

with the “asterisk” that it’s probably at least 20% higher for the “case did not proceed” category.

And all you have to do to get this increase is assume that the Duke Lacrosse students were not guilty.

In order to claim this “2% to 10%” false accusation rate, it is necessary to pretend that there are no false convictions, that in all cases where there is insufficient evidence for conviction the accused is truly guilty, and that in all cases where there is no information to judge, the accused is guilty. Sounds like a progressive Democrat wrote this article.

This is particularly apropos with respect to the circus surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation. The question is not whether or not Ford was assaulted in some way (a “false report”). The question is whether or not the accusation against Kavanaugh is false (a “false accusation”) . The 2% claim, even if it were not false on it’s statistical face, has nothing to do with this kind of issue – it has nothing to do with whether or not an innocent man is accused falsely.

As McGrath, et al, 2018 (McGrath2018) write:

There is no shortage of politicians, victim’s advocates, and news articles claiming that the nationwide false report rate for rape and sexual assault is almost nonexistent, presenting a figure of around 2%. This figure is not only inaccurate, but also it has no basis in reality. Reporting it publicly as a valid frequency rate with any empirical basis is either scientifically negligent or fraudulent.

I have disagreed with some of the authors of that chapter on a few things over the years – but they are spot on with this.

References:

Brown1997: Brown, C., Crowley, S., Peck, R., & Slaughter, L. Patterns of genital injury in female sexual assault victims. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1997 176:609–616.

Chambers1983: G. Chambers and A. Millar, Investigating Sexual Assault (Edinburgh 1983), 38–42. Citation copied from Rumney2006. I could not find this to download it.

Clark L, Lewis D. Rape: The price of coercive sexuality. 1977. Toronto, Ontario. Womens’ Press. I did not buy and read this book. Included from Rumney’s list. Haven’t read it myself.

CPI 2016: _, Wronful convictions of sexual assault: An untold story of systematic injustice. White paper 2016. http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Wrongful-Convictions-of-Sexual-Assault.pdf last accessed 28 SEP 2018

Geis1978: R. Geis et al., ‘‘Police Surgeons and Rape: A Questionnaire Survey’’ (1978) Police Surgeon 7,
cited in Taylor, note 4 above. Geis questioned police surgeons on how many false complaints
they believed they had dealt with in their careers. I was not able to find this article to read either.

Grace1992: S. Grace et al., Rape: From Recording to Conviction (London 1992), 6. http://library.college.police.uk/docs/horpu/rup071.pdf last accessed 1 OCT 2018

Greenfield1997: Greenfield, L. A. An analysis of data on rape and sexual assault: Sexual offenses and offenders 1997 . [NCJ-163392]. US DOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Gregory1996: Gregory J, Lees S. Attrition and Rape in Sexual Assault Cases. British
Journal of Criminology 1996 36:4–5.

Harris1999: Harris J,. Grace S. A Question of Evidence? Investigating and Prosecuting Rape in the
1990s . 1999 Home Office Research Studies http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110218144322/http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hors196.pdf last accessed 2 OCT 2018

HMCP2002: Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate/Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. A report on the joint inspection into the investigation and prosecution of cases involving https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/media/joint-inspection-into-the-investigation-and-prosecution-of-cases-involving-allegations-of-rape-20020401.pdf last accessed 2 OCT 2018

Hursch1974 : C.J. Hursch and J. Selkin, Rape Prevention Research Project Mimeographed Annual Report of
the Violence Research Unit, Division of Psychiatric Service, Department of Health and
Hospitals, Denver, 1974, cited in S. Katz and M.A. Mazur, Understanding the Rape Victim: A
Synthesis of Research Findings (New York 1979) ch. 13. This is another citation from Rumney2006 that I could not find to read myself.

Jordan2004: Jordan, J. Beyond belief? Police, rape and women’s credibility. Criminal Justice: International Journal of Policy and Practice 2004 4 (1):29–59

Kanin 1994: Kanin EJ. False rape accusations. Archicves of sexual behavior. 1994 23:81-92 doi:10.1007/BF01541619

Kelly2005: Kelly et al., A gap or a chasm? Attrition in Reported Rape Cases, Home Office Research
Study 293 (London 2005), 46–47. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110218141141/http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hors293.pdf last accessed 2 OCT 2018

Kennedy2000: Kennedy, D., Witkowski, M. . False allegations of rape revisited: A replication of the Kanin study. Journal of Security Administration 2000 23:41–46.

Lea2003:Lea, S. J., Lanvers, U.,Shaw, S. Attrition in rape cases. British Journal of Criminology 2003 43:583–599.

Lisak2010: Lisak, D, Gardiner L, Nicksa SC, Cote A. “False allegations of sexual assault:An analysis of ten years of reported cases. Violence against women 2010 16(12):1318-1334.s

Lonsway2009: Lonsway, K., Archambault, J., Lisak, D. False reports: Moving beyond the issue to successfully investigate and prosecute non-stranger sexual assault. 2009 The Voice 3(1) :1–11.

MacLean 1979: MacLean NM, Rape and false accusations of rape. Police Surgeon 1979 Issue 15:29-40 (abstract only reviewed, could not find full paper).

MacDonald1973: MacDonald, J. False accusations of rape. 1973 Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality 7:170–194

McCahill1979: McCahill TW et al., The Aftermath of Rape (Lexington 1979), p. 115. From Rumney. I could not find and read it myself.

McGrath2018: McGrath M, Savino JO, Turvey BE. False allegations of sexual assault. False Allegations: Investigative and forensic issues in fraudulent reports. Chapter 9. Academic Press 2018 191-223

NY1974: ‘‘Remarks of Lawrence H. Cooke, Appellate Division Justice, Before the Association of the
Bar of the City of New York’’, 16 January 1974 (mimeo) p. 6, cited in S. Brownmiller, (this citation taken directly from Rumney2006. I can’t find it.)

Philadelphia1968: ‘‘Police Discretion and the Judgement that a Crime Has Been Committed—Rape in
Philadelphia’’ (1968) 117 University of Pennsylvania Law Review p. 277, 284. https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=6074&context=penn_law_review last accessed 1 OCT 2018

Roman 2012: Roman J, Walsh K, Lachman P, Yahner J. Post conviction DNA testing and wrongful conviction. 2012 Research report. NIJ contract 2008F-08165 https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/25506/412589-Post-Conviction-DNA-Testing-and-Wrongful-Conviction.PDF last accessed 28 SEP 2018

Rumney2006: Rumney, PNS. False allegations of rape. The Cambridge Law Journal 2006, 65(1):128 – 158

Smith1989: In L.J.F. Smith, Concerns About Rape, Home Office Research Study 106
(London 1989), 8. This is another citation from Rumney I couldn’t find. I could only find the abstract, which can be found at: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=119032

Stewart1981 Stewart CH. A Retrospective Survey of Alleged Sexual Assault Cases’. Police
Surgeon 1981 28, 32. (couldn’t find this one to read, either)

Theilade P, Thomsen JL. False Allegations of Rape Police Surgeon 1986 30:17-22. (could not find this one to read).

A bear playing tetherball…

The wife and I went on vacation to Reno a month or so ago and had a great time.   There’s a little place there called “The Animal Ark” that rehabilitates orphaned and hurt wildlife for return to the wild.  They had one bear, however, who was not a candidate for return, since it had been kept (and neglected) too long as a cub.    So, they named him Eli, and he became a permanent resident.   He loves to play tetherball, apparently, and amuses himself for hours at it…

Why I’m not a Methodist.

Today I read an interesting report of a Methodist minister who preached that Jesus was a “bigot.”  It reminded me of why I’m not a Methodist, and represents the end stage of the death of the denomination.  Not in membership, of course, but in theology.  It’s gone.

When I first got married, my wife was a Methodist, and I was raised a Baptist.  We all know the famous adage “Happy wife, happy life,” so I decided that I could just as easily be a bad Methodist as I was a bad Baptist.

So, we became Methodists.  We joined a Methodist church near our home, and it worked fine.  For awhile.

One of the things I noticed early on was that our pastor didn’t really care for much of the scripture.  Sure he loved *most* of the beatitudes, but pretty much ignored the hard stuff — the reality of the death and resurrection, the reality of sin, the need for redemption, original sin, etc.  It was all pretty much liberal feel good talking points wrapped in the flag of Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong.  Our paster really believed what he believed, but it was clear that he kid of edited out what he didn’t like.  This became most apparent during a “Discipleship” class my wife and I took.  While not exactly part of the curriculum, the assistant pastor, who was leading the class, started teaching us about acceptance of homosexuality, and how Jesus wouldn’t have wanted us to be all judgmental and such.  I asked about all of the scriptures that noted that marriage was between a man and a woman, the condemnation of homosexuality as a sin, etc.  His answer was that we should view the people in the Bible within their historical context and understand that they were limited by the world they lived in.  Instead of focusing on particular commands, we should look at the broader themes and apply them to our current situation.  Thus, for instance, the insistance of Paul and Jesus that we not judge others should have more weight than those statements that indicated that we *should* judge things within the context of our faith, that marriage was between a man and a woman, and that homosexuality was a sin.

I asked how we were to discern which scruptures to keep and which ones to jettison.  He that it should be obvious within the context of the broader themes of the scripture.  He asked me why I felt obligated to accept *everything* that was in the scripture.  I answered that I am not so arrogant that I can simply decide what to keep and what to discard.  He was shocked that I called his approach arrogant, since he considered it the height of humility to be unsure about his interpretation of everything.

But that’s a wrong.  This idea that we really know nothing, and we really have no guide other than platitudes leads to disaster.  And the Methodist church has been going down this path a long time.  The end stage of this disease, of course, would be for the church of Jesus to deny Jesus.  And, finally, the Methodist church has reached that point.  A recent article describes a Methodist minister calling Jesus a bigot and basically wrong in His attitudes.  Clearly, in this interpretation, Jesus is just a man with some good ideas who started off wrong, but got a little better as time went on.

But this is just a sign of the cancer that that has eaten the Methodist church.  In my opinion, of course.  Many congregants are still believers, but it is clear that the hierarchy is not.  Back when I was a member, this came to the front with the Elian Gonzalez case, back in 1993.s  For those that do not remember, Elian Gonzalez was a young boy from Cuba whose mother tried to make the crossing to the United States and freedom.  Mr Gonzalez had an extended family in the US.  Unfortunately, the mother died in her attempt to gain freedom, but her son survived.  Cuba demanded the child back on the basis of the father’s property rights.  Bill Clinton was President, and agreed.  The US government took the child at gunpoint (resulting in this famous image), and returned the child to Cuba to be raised as a propaganda tool for socialist utopianism.

There are may interesting political perspectives from which to view this decision.  But, interestingly, there is really only one “real” Christian theological perspective (and by “real” I mean “real” in the sense of Wilberforce’s “Real Christianity”).  From the perspective of a “real” Christian, defined as someone who actually believes in the real divinity of the Christ, the real death and resurrection of the Christ, the atonement of sins through salvation by the Christ, and the reality of sin, heaven and hell, there is only one consideration:  the soul of the child.  The choice was simple.  He could either stay in the US and be raised in a Christian family — and likely become a follower of the Christ and saved for eternity — or he could be raised as an atheist and most likely be damned for eternity.

When viewed in those terms, the choice was straightforward, and most “real” Christians were adamant that Mr. Gonzalez be raised as a Christian.  The Methodist church, however, took the opposite view, and focused on the property rights of the father as the surviving next of kin.  Those paternal rights trumped everything else, and it was an opportunity to opine about American imperialism and the superiority of socialist societies such as Cuba over evil capitalistic societies such as the US.  The child’s soul was unimportant within the broader political context of supporting international socialism.  It was better that the child be damned than Castro be embarrassed.  And so the Methodist church spent millions of dollars to ensure that Mr. Gonzalez was raised an atheist and that he be damned to hell for all eternity.

But it seems clear that the Methodist heirarchy simply does not believe in “real” Christianity in the Wilberforce sense.  It believes in a social Christianity that simply does not need the numinous.  It believes in a liberation theology that works towards the establishment of an authoriarian socialist state, and has worked tirelessly to advance that Progressive agenda.

While I, as a person who believes in individual liberty, have profound problem with this political view, that’s not such a big deal.  I’m no fan of a lot of groups with political views different than mine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.  After all, I’m not a Progressive.  But the theological issue is different and is brutal.  It’s the same issue that caused Martin Luther to separate from the church when he heard the priests at the Vatican performing mass and saying “This is bread and bread it shall remain; this is wine and wine it shall remain,” and laughing in contempt at those who they gave the host to.  So it is with the leadership of the Methodist church and it’s relationship to its congregants.  Or so it seemed to me then.

And I left.  As have people been abandoning the Methodist church for some time.  The problem is that once you abaondon the basics of Christianity, you are really left with nothing.  Just a hollow shell.

CS Lewis noted this.  In his discussions, he noted that it’s intellectually incoherent to believe both that Jesus held to a number of universal truths and that we must all listen to Him, but that He was just bullshitting when he made His claims about His divinity and His relationship to God.  Either He was the true Son of God and was divine, or He was a madman.  There is no in-between.  Paul noted the same thing, when he wrote “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless.” (I Cor 15:17).  Peter notes that our hope lies in the resurrection in his letters.    If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then our faith is a mockery, and a joke.  As one Episcopalian priest told the well-known atheist Richard Dawkins “I don’t believe in the God you don’t believe in, either.”

This has been a problem for years with “mainline” churches who don’t really believe any of this.  And people can feel it.  There’s no there there.  If an Anglican priest can say that she’s both “Moslem and Christsian” and a Methodist minister can claim that Jesus was an ignorant bigot, then their faith is empty.    If Christianity is simply a metaphor for some sort of ever-changing consensus about morality, it is nothing.  That’s why the Methodist church has been hemorrhaging members for decades.  And what is the answer of the Methodist church?  To become more and more inclusive, and by doing so, by standing for less and less.  Their solution is the disease.  Ifhttps://goodnewsmag.org/2015/11/u-s-membership-decline-continues/ everybody is welcome, regardless of their belief, then they don’t believe in anything.  And when you don’t believe in anything, it’s hard to pretend you do — and it *is* recognized as pretense.

There will always be these empty denominations.  There are people who will want to wrap themselves in the flag of faith without actually having to *believe* all that icky stuff about sin and  heaven and hell.  State religions have often been filled with such people.  But Christ is not there.  And I’m glad I’m out.

New billoblog site is under construction

My server went down a couple of weeks ago, and I had to migrate to a new machine.  Unfortunately, the database for this blog, which had been up since 2005, is defunct.

So, I’m starting over.

New content and new theme should start showing up in the next week or so