Trauma is a terrible thing. It can be devastating and its effects should never be played down in the public mind.
However the phenomena of introducing false memories, or manipulating memories of those who have experienced trauma, is a subject that has been treated with kid gloves in the mental health field for decades.
Fast forward to present day and the Senate Judiciary Committee’s increasingly ugly confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The news cycle has focused on nothing else but Christine Blasey Ford and her accusations that a young Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party during their high school years.
That’s how she remembers it, or so she said to Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
CNN reported her testimony: “Ford’s voice sometimes trembled as she recalled how Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, shoved her into a bedroom at a high school party when she was 15, and Kavanaugh held her down on the bed as he attempted to remove her clothing. She described her terror when Kavanaugh clapped his hand over her mouth as she tried to scream—a moment where she said it was so hard to breathe that she thought he might accidentally kill her.”
“Faced with Kavanaugh’s unequivocal denial that the incident occurred, Ford was pressed on whether she was absolutely sure that Kavanaugh was her assailant. ‘100 percent’ she replied.”
There has been a lot of speculation that Ford may be lying, or just not accurately remembering the account of the evening 36 years ago. And maybe with good reason.
Would it be more than fair to speculate that Ford was manufacturing this memory? Even according to her own research, I would dare say it is.
Ford is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California and a research psychologist at Stanford University. She’s certainly affiliated with some pretty prestigious academic credentials.
So maybe it’s also fair to give a second look to a paper she has co-authored on the effects of various therapies on depression.
Why? Because she discusses within the paper how to retrieve memories and create artificial situations.
BREAKING: This is HUGE (waiting for permission to h/t): One of Christine Ford Blasey's research articles in 2008 included a study in which participants were TAUGHT SELF-HYPNOSIS & noted hypnosis is used to retrieve important memories "AND CREATE ARTIFICAL SITUATIONS." pic.twitter.com/11n1JVnArM
— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) October 1, 2018
In the paper titled, “Meditation With Yoga, Group Therapy With Hypnosis, And Psycho-education For Long Term Depressed Mood,” Ford and her co-authors wrote: “Hypnosis has also been widely and successfully used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety and psychological aspects of pain. Hypnosis is a form of highly focused attention with a relative constriction of peripheral awareness and has been used successfully as an adjunct to therapy for depression. In 1964, Abrams suggested that hypnosis could be used to improve rapport in the therapeutic relationship, assist in the retrieval of important memories, and create artificial situations that would permit the client to express ego-dystonic emotions in a safe manner.”
Here’s a screen shot of that paragraph touting the benefits of hypnosis and the “retrieval of important memories”:
And here’s a screen shot of a passage about self-hypnosis:
The left isn’t gong to like this, but in 1997 The New York Times published the findings of a study that found hypnosis could cause false memories:
“HYPNOSIS, even self-hypnosis, can sometimes result in the creation of false memories — the belief that something happened even though it never did. A psychologist at Ohio State University in Lima and fellow researchers found that even when people were warned about the possibility of acquiring pseudo-memories under hypnosis, more than a quarter of them did anyway.”
And in 2012, Psychology Today said pretty much the same thing:
“To be fair, Dr. Loftus also pointed out that Hillary Clinton was guilty of a similar memory malfunction when, during the 2008 presidential campaign, she described a visit to Bosnia during the civil war when she faced enemy snipers. Based on the recollections of the others who went with her to Bosnia (including her daughter, Chelsea), none of her vivid recollections of ducking gunfire actually happened. Confronted with this evidence, Senator Clinton denied lying about the incident. Clinton said, “I made a mistake. I had a different memory. That proves I’m human which for some people is a revelation.”
Could Ford have experimented with these techniques in a therapy setting at some earlier point in her life?
We may never know the answer to that question, but there is certainly more than enough counter testimony out there to refute her claims thats a young Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school — starting with the fact that none of the witnesses she’s named remember the incident the way she does.
Conservative Tribune reported that Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor who questioned Ford, found her not at all credible. Ford’s memories, or lack thereof, didn’t serve her well as she tried to portray herself as a credible witness.
“In a memo released late Sunday, Rachel Mitchell questioned Ford’s version of events, including the shifting timeline of when the attack occurred, Ford’s inability to remember how she got home, the ambiguity of her willingness to remain anonymous, and the failure of other witnesses to back up her story.”
As time goes by, this story gets weaker and weaker. Isn’t it just too bad that Democrats don’t realize how they’re galvanizing their political opponents with their smear efforts.
They should be embarrassed at the way they have pushed this woman into the spotlight for their own selfish gains.
If Ford truly suffers from depression or trauma they are abusing her. If she doesn’t then it’s very possible she’s just lying, or brutally, badly mistaken.
None of those answers is good for the left. But the truth rarely is.
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