The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Facts Matter

Posted on | April 8, 2015 | 30 Comments

“Bad causes attract bad people,” I observed in 2013, when explaining why deranged, dishonest and deviant personalities had been attracted to the “Free Kate” banner, supporting teenage sex offender Kaitlyn Hunt.


Honest, sane, normal people would never associate themselves with such a bad cause, and so bad behavior by Kaitlyn Hunt’s supporters — including death threats against the parents of Hunt’s victim — was not really surprising. When the Hunt case first made national headlines, however, some well-meaning people were deceived into believing that this criminal was in fact a victim. By misrepresenting a few key facts (especially the ages of Hunt and her victim), Kaitlyn Hunt’s family promoted the idea that she had been unfairly targeted for prosecution because of homophobic prejudice. Once the true facts of the case became known, however, much of the original “Free Kate” support disappeared. Decent people were offended at the deliberate deceptions involved in this campaign, and realized that real victims don’t need to lie. What this left behind as the rotten core of the “Free Kate” gang was a comparative handful of immoral or emotionally disturbed people who simply don’t give a damn about truth. Such people are dangerous.

“Whatever chance that Hunt might avoid punishment seemed to evaporate in August [2013], when prosecutors filed a petition notifying Judge Robert Pegg that Hunt had violated the court’s order for her not to contact the victim in the case. Prosecutors said that before Hunt was expelled from high school in March, she gave the younger girl an iPod, which enabled her to receive messages Hunt sent her. Over the course of the next five months, prosecutors said, Hunt sent the girl some 20,000 text messages, about 25 ‘lewd’ photographs, and an ‘explicit’ video in which Hunt recorded herself masturbating and moaning. This led to a new felony charge of ‘transmitting harmful materials to a minor’ against Hunt. The content of several text messages indicated that Hunt and her mother encouraged the younger girl to conceal this illicit breach of the no-contact order, and also tried to convince the girl to lie about the original charges in the case.”
“Kaitlyn Hunt Takes Plea Deal in Florida Teen Sex Crime Case,” Oct. 3, 2013

Facts matter. If someone who claims to be a victim has a proven habit of dishonesty, we can infer that their claim of victimhood is likely a lie.

Dysfunctional personalities do not want to admit they are the cause of their own problems. Bad people do not want to accept responsibility for their wrongdoing. Liars do not want to admit they have lied. And phony claims of victimhood are one way that such people try to avoid blame for the harm they cause others. What I call the “Accuse the Accuser” strategy (the liar’s attempt to discredit truth-tellers) is often part of this pattern of behavior. A psychologist has named this strategy DARVO — Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender:

DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender. . . .
It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt. However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.
I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases. Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.
The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.

You can read the whole thing. (Hat-tip: GraceGabriel51 on Twitter.)

Facts matter. Because wrongdoers may dishonestly attempt to portray themselves as victims, when we encounter this type of conflict — people pointing accusatory fingers at each other — we must closely examine the facts. What do we actually know about this dispute? How did it begin? Who is telling the truth? Why would either party have a motive to lie?

What very often happens in online political conflicts of this type is that the person engaged in DARVO (or “Accuse the Accuser”) will try to depict their accuser as guilty of ideological error. A liberal accused of wrongdoing can discredit his antagonist (at least in the eyes of his liberal allies) by claiming to be the victim of a “right-wing smear” perpetrated by “racists,” etc. Anyone familiar with Soviet history knows how, during the purges of the 1930s, the victims of Stalin’s paranoia were always accused of “Trotskyism” or some such phony political deviation.

Facts matter. If you think you cannot be deceived by these kinds of tactics, your confidence in your judgment — the fanatical certainty with which you cling to your political ideology — is a weapon the liar can use to manipulate you.

When feminists create a false narrative about a campus “rape epidemic” that does not actually exist, they seek to make belief in this narrative a test of political commitment. Loyalty to the cause requires that every feminist support this campaign, and any feminist who expresses skepticism will be accused of betraying the movement, giving aid and comfort to the male enemy. This feminist narrative is about “systems of oppression,” as Elizabeth Bruenig said, so that admitting that the narrative is false would require you to ask if women’s “oppression” under male supremacy is as real and systematic as feminist ideology claims.

Facts matter. The exposure of the rape hoax Rolling Stone perpetrated at the University of Virginia is an important fact.

Do not be deceived. People who are willing to lie about rape will lie about anything. Bad causes attract bad people.



30 Responses to “Why Facts Matter”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

    Facts matter in everything. From police shootings, to alleged rapes, to medical treatment and vaccines, to legislation, to criminal charges.

  2. Vaccine Truther Robert Kennedy Jr. | Batshit Crazy News
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

    […] Why is the 21st Century not turning out as hoped? TOM: Why facts matter bad causes attract bad […]

  3. Adobe_Walls
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:46 pm

    People who are habituated to lying are liars. How does one trust them in matters that aren’t overtly ideological or political?

  4. Fertility Delayed Is Fetility Denied…what could go wrong? | Batshit Crazy News
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:53 pm

    […] WSJ: More women going childless TOM: Why facts matter […]

  5. South Carolina: White police officer charged with murder after shooting black man after traffic stop | Batshit Crazy News
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

    […] TOM: Why facts matter […]

  6. Hitler reacts to denied #GayWeddingCake | Batshit Crazy News
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

    […] American Power Blog: Obama is an asshat and Truth Revolt link Instapundit: Sabrina Rubin Erdely is a deeply dishonest reporter AoSHQ: Blistering take on Erdely and Rolling Stone TOM: Why facts matter […]

  7. The Media Cannot Be Trusted: Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone and UVA lies | Batshit Crazy News
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    […] More from American Power Blog And as usual Amanda Marcotte misses the point entirely Instapundit: Slandered and libeled fraternity pursues damages from Rolling Stone and UVA, from Watergate to the Pizza Wars, the curtain is pulled back, and to the left narratives matter way more than facts (even if it later blows up on them). Legal Insurrection: Students smeared by Rolling Stone and Jackie speak out Rush Limbaugh Instapundit: The only clear victims were the accused and Columbia Dean: get both sides of the story! TOM: News Flash: Liberals Hate Christianity, the Joyce Trebilcot Award Nominee, and John Nolte’s Right The Camp of the Saints: Over, Under, Sideways, Down: You were warned… American Power Blog: Obama is an asshat and Truth Revolt link TOM: Why facts matter […]

  8. RS
    April 8th, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

    Facts only matter to those for whom Truth is something worth discovering. Alas, in our Postmodern Age, Truth has been redefined to be merely a set of subjective beliefs held by individuals and incapable of disproof. The problem is philosophical and will not be solved unless and until the current philosophical underpinnings of our discourse are discarded. Alas, I fear the likelihood of that is minimal, inasmuch as subjective “truth” is the way to power and there are too many humans who covet power over their fellows to return to the Age of Reason.

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

    Subjective truth is just initial emotional reactions. What you describe is better described as lies to achieve power.

  10. RS
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:36 pm

    The problem is the Bruenings and Erdelys of the world to not think they are lying. The have constructed a subjective Truth–their own reality. That reality informs their view of the world and they see what they wish to see and believe it to be real. Are there sociopaths who lie deliberately? Of course. But the vast majority of the Progressive rank and file have been seduced by a philosophy in which objective evidence is irrelevant. When we speak of “narratives,” that’s what we mean. And those who subscribe to them–having eyes but not seeing and ears but not hearing–are merely the dupes who are used by the sociopaths as footsoldiers on their way to power.

  11. Jeanette Victoria
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

    We have a whole generation of people who now believe what they feel is far more important than facts. It why so many people think it is OK to harass lie and completely destroy someone life because that person made them feel bad. Truth be damned

  12. Jeanette Victoria
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

    Cluster B folks believe a lot of their own lies

  13. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

    Most progressives/leftists are delusional, so in their own minds they are not lying.

  14. Daniel Freeman
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:45 pm

    Dr. T is great. One of my mental models for modern feminism is as a form of BPD (or cluster B in general) writ large. I may have linked this before, but if you have an hour to spare, you may appreciate this discussion of the Big Five fears of borderlines and how to use them.

  15. Virginia SoCon
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

    “Bad causes attract bad people.” “Facts matter. If someone who claims to be a victim has a proven
    habit of dishonesty, we can infer that their claim of victimhood is
    likely a lie.” “DARVO”

    If I didn’t read the whole post, I would have thought that this post was about Brett and Team Kimberlin.

  16. Finrod Felagund
    April 8th, 2015 @ 3:48 pm

    Just be sure to keep in mind who the Father Of Lies is. (John 8:44)

  17. Daniel Freeman
    April 8th, 2015 @ 4:01 pm

    You can’t. Everything that you think and do, changes you. Neural pathways are reinforced and become stronger, much like exercising a muscle.

    That is why I oppose the genderfication of sex. I have nothing against those individuals with gender dysphoria. At the same time, buying into their pretense and playing along with it is practice for both gullibility and deceit.

    It would be absurd for us to corrode our souls for anyone, and that goes double for such a miniscule population that you can’t even make a “greater good” argument for promoting social order.

  18. Adobe_Walls
    April 8th, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

    While you are correct as far as run of the mill lefties go, I disagree as to the more ranking members of the cult. Erdely’s deception was conscious and deliberate.

  19. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 8th, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

    While the left is delusional, many of them know in their hearts what is the truth. They will answer for it in the end.

  20. DeadMessenger
    April 8th, 2015 @ 5:41 pm

    I’d say that about sums it up.

  21. Nan
    April 8th, 2015 @ 5:59 pm

    This isn’t the story I came looking for. Where’s the one about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fan club being distraught at his conviction on account of “he’s so cuuuuute!”?

  22. robertstacymccain
    April 8th, 2015 @ 6:05 pm

    There was no need to mention him, you see. People who know Brett Kimberlin will understand how it applies to him, i.e., perfectly.

  23. Wes Fulton
    April 8th, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

    Gotta admit, Stacy called this one right, and I got it wrong. I was originally quite sympathetic to the whole “Free Kate” thing until I became aware of all the facts. Since then I’ve made a greater effort to avoid getting onboard with “viral” stuff like this, regardless of where it comes from, because I tend to assume someone, somewhere has an angle they’re trying to play.

  24. Quartermaster
    April 8th, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    We at least have positive evidence that what RFK Jr. is talking about is at least possible. Look at what vaccines did to him.

  25. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 8th, 2015 @ 9:28 pm

    Vaccine? Is that what they called it when Uncle Teddy got drunk and stumbled into RFK Jr’s room when he was a guest at Hyannisport (aka any port in a storm).

  26. Southern Air Pirate
    April 9th, 2015 @ 6:24 am

    Hey even when facts matter at times some of these folks are turned into media superstars.
    I would almost say that there is a double-standard since a man would still be in jail and he would be “creepy” for getting married to his 31 yr old student.

  27. trangbang68
    April 9th, 2015 @ 9:58 am

    Kate’s mom and Bozo the Stepdad are some of the worst people around. Just their picture is revolting.

  28. The original Mr. X
    April 9th, 2015 @ 10:24 am

    That’s also why the progressive movement is full of such hypocrisy. Being told you can’t do something feels different to telling someone else they can’t do something, so the average progressive treats them differently, even if, objectively speaking, the cases are the same.

  29. Crazy People Are Dangerous : The Other McCain
    April 12th, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

    […] We have discussed DARVO syndrome before. It is most typical of sexual perverts, who make accusations of wrongdoing against others in an effort to discredit their accusers and elicit sympathy for themselves. […]

  30. Maggie's Farm
    April 14th, 2015 @ 2:36 pm


    DARVO is a common maneuver for liars and wrong-doers of any sort: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender We were introduced to this handy term by the McCain website.