A Wrinkle in the Memory Discussion

As readers know, I've been entertaining the hypothesis of false memory since the revelation that Dr. Ford's memories first were attested long after the alleged fact in a psychotherapy session. While not proven, the hypothesis' probability of being true was considerably strengthened in my view when literally all of the people she remembered as present denied that the event had ever happened -- including a life long female friend. The basic form of the memory, a life-altering trauma occurring early in life but first attested years later in therapy, fits a well-known phenomenon.

Now the Federalist has uncovered a study that Dr. Ford participated in, indeed co-authored, on the use of hypnosis to 'retrieve' memories as well as to "create artificial situations that would permit the client to express ego-dystonic emotions in a safe manner." While Dr. Ford is a statistician, and thus was professionally most likely involved in the quantitative work, we know now that she was familiar with these techniques. It would be fair to ask whether or not she has used them in this matter.

UPDATE: The Federalist is now also publishing a piece based allegedly on a sworn statement from an old boyfriend that claims Ford perjured herself in her testimony about lie detector tests. I'm not sure if this means that the Federalist is running hit pieces on her, which would demean the quality of the previous citation; or if it means that Ford is going to prove to be generally unreliable.


douglas said...

I think that is simply adding to the pile of reasons to question her veracity.

My gut said early on that she wasn't trustworthy, but I held out the courtesy that she may have been a victim who simply had a fallible memory, but too many things now have convinced me that my initial gut feeling was correct.

A partial list:
-What girl leaves her friend in potential danger and what girlfriend doesn't have a word later with the friend that ditched her and left her alone (thus likely making it a memorable event)?
-Inexplicable inconsistencies regarding sound and being able to hear from the upstairs rooms.
-Not knowing the year (in a part of your life where each year is conveniently labelled "Sophomore" or "Junior".
-Taking a lie detector test in advance.
-The notes used for the lie detector test and the 'corrections' seem awfully suspicious.
-Her vocal tone and style seemed an incredibly made to order voice for eliciting sympathy and vulnerability.
-her 'fear of flying', even before the ex-boyfriend's attestation.
-Her claim she greeted a boy she claimed was accessory to her assault at the grocery store when she happened upon him. Also, the convenience of the fact that the few 'memories' she did retain could be found in Mark Judge's book.
-Two front doors because of her 'claustrophobia'. There would be no reason that the extra door would have to be in the front of the house. I've yet to see a house where the Master Suite isn't at a corner, and as an architect, I would find a better solution. Since the hearing, more evidence has come out that supports that this is bogus.

That's plenty, and there's still more.
She's part of a set up, I'm willing to say at this point.

J Melcher said...


Regarding memories ...

The two stories from, and about, a vulnerable teenager -- Emir Kamenica -- a
young teacher -- Lauren Ames -- and two wildly divergent memories, and tales, about what happened between them decades ago. And where it happened, and why it happened, and what kind of school it happened in ...

Divergent. Not by that, dishonest. Exactly.

douglas said...

Great piece.
The thing with her is that the front door issue, for instance, can't be a case of memory error in that fashion, because of the timing, because it's pretty clear that it wasn't for her 'issues' but for renting a part of the house out and giving them independent access. That's just straight up lying.