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Feb 08 2014

A thorough analysis of Woody Allen’s letter in the NYTimes

dylan farrow and woody allenI wrote yesterday about why neutral was an illogical response to Dylan’s accusations, but today I’d like to spend some time with Allen’s response to the allegations.  For the tl;drs out there, the summary is this: Allen spends 2000 words trying to make Mia Farrow sound like a crazy bitch, presenting incomplete and false information, and showing disrespect to his children, especially Dylan.  For those who’d like a point-by-point breakdown, you are in luck.  (EDIT: Here are two excellent statement analyses of Dylan’s letter and Allen’s letter)

TWENTY-ONE years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought.

In the first sentence there are two things that are a bit disturbing.  The first is that Mia Farrow never accused him of child molestation, Dylan Farrow did.  Mia did not even go to the police with it, she went to a pediatrician, who by law was required to contact the police.  Allen is immediately turning this into a narrative of how Mia Farrow is out to get him, rather than a narrative about Dylan Farrow, who should be the focus of his response.

The second thing that bothers me is that he was accused of molestation by a child he was already in therapy for inappropriate behavior towards and who he was not allowed to see alone.  If I was a person wrongly accused of sexual abuse of a child, especially one where there was already damning evidence around me, I would FREAK OUT, but certainly I would give it a second thought.  That he didn’t give it a second thought and that he is comfortable beginning his defense narrative with the fact that he didn’t give it a second thought says to me that he somehow thinks this sort of accusation is not abnormal and a blasé response is perfectly acceptable and normal.

We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy.

We’ve made it to the second sentence, where he continues to present misinformation and attempts to paint Mia Farrow as a stereotypical vindictive woman scorned.  They were involved in an acrimonious breakup, because he’d cheated on her with her daughter, the sister of his children.  But there was no custody battle until after the police were alerted to Dylan’s claims.  He filed suit for custody BECAUSE Dylan made a sexual abuse claim against him — until then, he’d agreed not to even try to get custody.  The suit was ruled to be frivolous and he was forced to pay all of Mia Farrow’s legal fees.  In my opinion, he filed for custody to cast doubt upon Mia Farrow’s role as a mother to divert attention away from Dylan’s claims.

The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.

Again, Mia Farrow did not bring the accusations to the police, the doctor who she took Dylan to was required by law to go to the police.  Again, Allen is trying to pain Mia Farrow as an aggressor — even if she was, this is not an accurate accounting of events. He’s already told a great number of lies in an attempt to make Mia Farrow look bad.

I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct.

Again, Woody Allen was already in therapy for inappropriate behavior towards Dylan.  Allen was already not allowed to be alone with Dylan because of that behavior.  That’s why it was a big deal that people didn’t know where they were for 15 minutes that afternoon, he was already known to be not appropriate with the girl.  So yeah, she had, in fact, suggested things to him and to others about misconduct.  Lying again to paint Mia as a crazy bitch.

Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.

The illogic of the scenario would make it a perfect time to perpetrate an attack, because it wouldn’t be believed.  Furthermore, child abusers and sexual misbehavior is not logical.  And again, his behavior up to this point was clearly grooming for molestation, he’d already embarked on his career long before the incident in the attic.

Notwithstanding, Mia insisted that I had abused Dylan and took her immediately to a doctor to be examined.

Dylan insisted she had been abused and the other people in the house at the time corroborated the story.  Mia, a concerned mother, took her daughter to a doctor to see if she was OK, not to the police to press charges.

Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested.  Mia then took Dylan out for ice cream, and when she came back with her the child had changed her story.

Dylan was uncomfortable telling a stranger about her “privates,” so the doctor asked them to come back another day, so she could become more comfortable with it.

The police began their investigation; a possible indictment hung in the balance. I very willingly took a lie-detector test and of course passed because I had nothing to hide. I asked Mia to take one and she wouldn’t.

The police asked Allen to take a polygraph and he refused — he took it for his own attorneys.  The Connecticut State Police refused to accept it as evidence.  Likewise, Mia Farrow was not asked by police to take a polygraph, only by Allen for his attorneys.  Of course she refused to take a test administered by people working for him.  Furthermore, polygraphs are notoriously unreliable.

Last week a woman named Stacey Nelkin, whom I had dated many years ago, came forward to the press to tell them that when Mia and I first had our custody battle 21 years ago, Mia had wanted her to testify that she had been underage when I was dating her, despite the fact this was untrue. Stacey refused. I include this anecdote so we all know what kind of character we are dealing with here. One can imagine in learning this why she wouldn’t take a lie-detector test.

Stacey Nelkin was a 17-year-old high school student and Woody Allen was decades older than her when they dated.  That is fairly disturbing as part of his pattern (his first wife was 16 when they married), I can understand why Mia wanted her to testify.  And again, the lie-detector test she refused to test was one that would be administered by Woody Allen’s defense team, not by the police.  So is Mia Farrow a crazy bitch, or just seeing a pattern of behavior from Allen and trying to get someone to testify to that effect and refusing to help Allen’s defense team?

Meanwhile the Connecticut police turned for help to a special investigative unit they relied on in such cases, the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. This group of impartial, experienced men and women whom the district attorney looked to for guidance as to whether to prosecute, spent months doing a meticulous investigation, interviewing everyone concerned, and checking every piece of evidence. Finally they wrote their conclusion which I quote here: “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen. Further, we believe that Dylan’s statements on videotape and her statements to us during our evaluation do not refer to actual events that occurred to her on August 4th, 1992… In developing our opinion we considered three hypotheses to explain Dylan’s statements. First, that Dylan’s statements were true and that Mr. Allen had sexually abused her; second, that Dylan’s statements were not true but were made up by an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family and who was responding to the stresses in the family; and third, that Dylan was coached or influenced by her mother, Ms. Farrow. While we can conclude that Dylan was not sexually abused, we can not be definite about whether the second formulation by itself or the third formulation by itself is true. We believe that it is more likely that a combination of these two formulations best explains Dylan’s allegations of sexual abuse.”

Could it be any clearer? Mr. Allen did not abuse Dylan; most likely a vulnerable, stressed-out 7-year-old was coached by Mia Farrow. This conclusion disappointed a number of people. The district attorney was champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case, and Justice Elliott Wilk, the custody judge, wrote a very irresponsible opinion saying when it came to the molestation, “we will probably never know what occurred.”

But we did know because it had been determined and there was no equivocation about the fact that no abuse had taken place.

The investigators did a job that was so terrible that current child abuse experts decry it as a terrible injustice to Dylan and the custody judge dismissed it as not credible because they’d destroyed their notes and refused to testify.  That Allen’s only source is something that even the doctor of the report now agrees was a bad job says a lot about the quality of his argument.

Justice Wilk was quite rough on me and never approved of my relationship with Soon-Yi, Mia’s adopted daughter, who was then in her early 20s.

I hate, hate, hate the way that people interpret “adopted” as “not her real.” Soon-Yi is Mia’s daughter.  Soon-Yi is the sister of Allen’s children.  And it’s extremely weaselly to define her as in her early 20s, when she was 19 when the affair started.  Justice Wilk was justifiably squicked out by the fact that the man who had been Mia’s consort for 12 years and gone on family vacations for months at a time targeted an isolated girl nearly 40 years younger than him.  Let me quote from the opinion:

Mr. Allen’s deficiencies as a custodial parent are magnified by his affair with Soon-Yi.  As Ms. Farrow’s companion, he was a frequent visitor at Soon-Yi’s home.  He accompanied the Farrow-Previns on extended family vacations and he is the father of Soon-Yi’s siblings, moses, Dylan and Satchel.  The fact that Mr. Allen ignored Soon-Yi for ten years cannot change the nature of the family constellation and does not create a distance sufficient to convert their affair into a benign relationship between two consenting adults.

Mr. Allen admits that he never considered the consequences of his behavior with Soon-Yi.  Dr. Coates and Dr. Brodzinsky testified that Mr. Allen still fails to understand that what he did was wrong.  Having isolated Soon-Yi from her family, he left her with no visible support system.  He had no consideration for the consequences to her, to Ms. Farrow, to the Previn children for whom he cared little, or to his own children for whom he professes love.

Mr. Allen’s response to Dylan’s claim of sexual abuse was an attack upon Ms. Farrow, whose parenting ability and emotional stability he impugned without the support of any significant credible evidence.  His trial strategy has been to separate his children from their brothers and sisters; to turn the children against their mother; to divide adopted children from biological children; to incite the family against their household help; and to set household employees against each other.  His self-absorption, his lack of judgment, and his commitment to the continuation of his divisive assault, thereby impeding the healing of the injuries he has already caused, warrant a careful monitoring of his future contact with the children.

To which Allen says:

He thought of me as an older man exploiting a much younger woman, which outraged Mia as improper despite the fact she had dated a much older Frank Sinatra when she was 19.

Either Allen has terrible reading comprehension skills or still doesn’t understand why people are bothered by his relationship with the sister of his children.  Justice Wilk is not bothered by the fact that Allen was older than Soon-Yi, he is bothered by the fact that Allen seems to think it’s appropriate for a girl to grow up with a man who is her mother’s long term partner and the father of her siblings and for that girl to then be predated on by this adult father-figure while he is still in a relationship with her mother.  That Allen cannot grasp why people are horrified by this speaks to a disrespect for his children, a disrespect for adoption, and an extreme disrespect for cultural norms around behavior around those he was meant to protect, not to exploit.

Furthermore, he is again making it about Mia Farrow’s behavior, which is completely irrelevant to his own.

In fairness to Justice Wilk, the public felt the same dismay over Soon-Yi and myself, but despite what it looked like our feelings were authentic and we’ve been happily married for 16 years with two great kids, both adopted. (Incidentally, coming on the heels of the media circus and false accusations, Soon-Yi and I were extra carefully scrutinized by both the adoption agency and adoption courts, and everyone blessed our adoptions.)

Because there weren’t charges, of course he was allowed to adopt.  That’s an irrelevant piece of data.  Again, it is clear that he doesn’t understand the origin of the dismay.

Mia took custody of the children and we went our separate ways.

No.  Incorrect.  Mia had uninterrupted custody of the children and did not lose it to Allen’s spurious lawsuit.  Mia kept custody of the children.  And she did so because of a lengthy trial and opinion offered by a judge.  Allen was forced to pay Mia’s legal fees, over $1 million, because all of his suits were ridiculous. Again, he is trying to imply that Mia was doing something vindictive.

I was heartbroken. Moses was angry with me. Ronan I didn’t know well because Mia would never let me get close to him from the moment he was born and Dylan, whom I adored and was very close to and about whom Mia called my sister in a rage and said, “He took my daughter, now I’ll take his.” I never saw her again nor was I able to speak with her no matter how hard I tried. I still loved her deeply, and felt guilty that by falling in love with Soon-Yi I had put her in the position of being used as a pawn for revenge.

The custody suit reveals that Allen admitted to having no interest in the children or their lives, despite encouragement from Mia.  Again he is trying to make this about how Mia was upset that Allen, father of her children, was cheating on her with her daughter.  As though that response is irrational or necessitates Mia being vindictive rather than just extremely upset at grotesque behavior taking advantage of her child.

Soon-Yi and I made countless attempts to see Dylan but Mia blocked them all, spitefully knowing how much we both loved her but totally indifferent to the pain and damage she was causing the little girl merely to appease her own vindictiveness.

He and Soon-Yi shouldn’t have been making attempts to see Dylan, who was trying to recover from abuse, or at the very least, believing she was abused.  That he was so persistent in trying to see her rather than allowing her to heal is extremely disturbing.  The pain and damage was being caused by his inability to leave her alone.  Again, he is making it all about Mia.  As though he is not responsible for causing this by beginning an affair with his daughter’s sister.

Here I quote Moses Farrow, 14 at the time: “My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister.” Moses is now 36 years old and a family therapist by profession. “Of course Woody did not molest my sister,” he said. “She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him.” Dylan was 7, Ronan 4, and this was, according to Moses, the steady narrative year after year.

Moses offers the most credible witness here, and I see no reason to doubt his observations.  He could theoretically have ulterior motives, but there’s no reason to assume that.  The judge didn’t see things this way, nor do the other children.  That said, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be a teenager in a house where your father has run off with one sister, and another sister is claiming to have been sexually assaulted, and the mother is extremely upset by both of these.

This also presents the absurd idea that those who are sexually abused do not love their abusers.  That’s one of the most difficult parts of incest, in Dylan’s own words, she just thought it was a thing that fathers did with their daughters.  In fact, abusers often use this exact language to justify what they’ve done.  She might have only been 7, but she clearly enjoyed it and wanted to spend time with me, therefore my behavior wasn’t inappropriate.

And now we get to the only part of the piece that made me absolutely furious.

I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.

This is completely inappropriate and reveals the depths to which Allen doesn’t understand fatherhood, biological and no-biological children, how family works, how to treat children, or basic human decency extended to children.  It doesn’t matter whose sperm created Ronan, Allen is Ronan’s father.  He raised him as his son.  That bond shouldn’t be made irrelevant because of biology — but as we know, he thinks biology makes it OK for him to sleep with his girlfriend’s child.

This is just a further attempt to discredit Mia, but now he’s throwing away his own son in doing so.  And unlike his discussion of Dylan, there’s no indication that he cares at all about Ronan or is sad that his son believes the accusation.  What is wrong with Allen that Ronan’s parentage would allow him to treat him as irrelevant and unimportant except insofar as he might be evidence that Mia is unreliable.  Would Allen really have removed child support for the child he and Mia decided to have together and he raised just because of Mia’s behavior?  Talk about punishing the wrong party.  WHO CARES IF YOU WERE SUPPORTING FRANK’S SON, HE’S YOUR SON TOO.  How immature, petty, and selfish is this man?

I can’t even begin to express how upsetting I find this.  How about the integrity and honesty and decency of Woody Allen?  How about treating your children as more than pawns in your game of destroying Mia?

NOW it’s 21 years later and Dylan has come forward with the accusations that the Yale experts investigated and found false. Plus a few little added creative flourishes that seem to have magically appeared during our 21-year estrangement.

“Creative flourishes” “magically appeared,” way to call her a liar — which he’ll follow up with removing any kind of self-determination from Dylan by saying she believes her own lies.  Is she confused or creative?  Her story hasn’t actually changed in 21 years.

Not that I doubt Dylan hasn’t come to believe she’s been molested, but if from the age of 7 a vulnerable child is taught by a strong mother to hate her father because he is a monster who abused her, is it so inconceivable that after many years of this indoctrination the image of me Mia wanted to establish had taken root? Is it any wonder the experts at Yale had picked up the maternal coaching aspect 21 years ago?

The complaints of improper behavior began when Dylan was a toddler, so she wasn’t taught this from the age of 7, it started well before that.  Again, it’s all Mia’s fault, Dylan, the young woman who is far older than Soon-Yi was when he decided she was adult enough to be his lover, is apparently not capable of knowing her own mind.  When Dylan speaks of what happened to her, she doesn’t use the language of monstrosity, she talks of a relationship with her father that she thought was normal.

Even the venue where the fabricated molestation was supposed to have taken place was poorly chosen but interesting. Mia chose the attic of her country house, a place she should have realized I’d never go to because it is a tiny, cramped, enclosed spot where one can hardly stand up and I’m a major claustrophobe. The one or two times she asked me to come in there to look at something, I did, but quickly had to run out. Undoubtedly the attic idea came to her from the Dory Previn song, “With My Daddy in the Attic.” It was on the same record as the song Dory Previn had written about Mia’s betraying their friendship by insidiously stealing her husband, André, “Beware of Young Girls.”

Mia didn’t introduce the idea of the attic, Dylan did.  And Woody’s story around the attic changed as it became clear that the police had evidence that he’d been in it.  At first he denied having gone in it at all, and then they found hair, so he said he’d peaked in, and then they found fingerprints, and so he said he’d gone in and left quickly.  The rest of this is just more nonsense intended to discredit Mia for her personal relationships and to cast doubt on her fitness as a mother and human being.

One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother? Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother’s shabby agenda? That is to hurt me with a smear. There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan.

Seriously, Allen thinks an independent woman in her late 20s, who has moved on with her life, is passing off her mother’s writing as her own?  Why?  Is this meant to make us think that Allen is incredible paranoid?  How committed is he to the idea that, if he says it enough, people will agree that this is not about Dylan, it’s about Mia Farrow?  To deny her bodily autonomy in her childhood is terrible, to go on denying her autonomy in thought and action as an adult continues to be terrible.

And what shabby agenda is it that he thinks is being undertaken.  It is a woman asking for people to care about what happened to her and believe her.  She didn’t call for a boycott.  There may have been “palpable bitchery,” as Stephen King so nauseatingly described it, but that’s anger, not a demand for a specific behavior against Allen.  As agendas go, it definitely appears to be an agenda of, “Please believe me.”  Hardly spiteful.

After all, if speaking out was really a necessity for Dylan, she had already spoken out months earlier in Vanity Fair.

Allen’s spoken out about this before, how does speaking out on something once make it nonsensical to speak out at further length in the future.  This is just ridiculousness on his part.

Here I quote Moses Farrow again: “Knowing that my mother often used us as pawns, I cannot trust anything that is said or written from anyone in the family.” Finally, does Mia herself really even believe I molested her daughter? Common sense must ask: Would a mother who thought her 7-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a molester (a pretty horrific crime), give consent for a film clip of her to be used to honor the molester at the Golden Globes?

Alright, so she’s a spiteful, vindictive, crazy bitch, but she’s clearly not so vindictive that she’ll refuse to allow clips to be used by others in projects related to Allen, so therefore she is lying.  Got it.  Why wouldn’t she give consent for it to be used?  I don’t even begin to understand this logic?  And what does it have to do with anything?  Why is this about Mia, again?

Of course, I did not molest Dylan.

Finally, he actually denies the accusation.  I believe it’s perfectly possible that Allen believes this to be true, even if he did what Dylan accused him of.  He is clearly incapable of taking responsibility for any of his bad behavior or feeling bad about questionable sexual behavior.

I loved her…

Interesting use of the past tense.

…and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being.

Way to make it about Mia again.  What an awesome dad you are, to not say anything about your daughter before twisting it to be about her mom.  Who is the vindictive one?  The person who cheated Dylan out of a loving father was Allen, the minute he decided to fuck her teenage sister.  Is Allen pathologically unable to accept responsibility for his behavior?

Being taught to hate your father and made to believe he molested you has already taken a psychological toll on this lovely young woman, and Soon-Yi and I are both hoping that one day she will understand who has really made her a victim and reconnect with us, as Moses has, in a loving, productive way.

It is incredibly unhealthy for him to demand that anyone in the family accept his and Soon-Yi relationship.  He violated the family trust in doing so.  Some people will be able to move on from it, but he is the one who betrayed the family and caused the psychological damage.  The fact that he will not own it is reprehensible.

No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)

This entire defense is basically “scorned bitches be crazy.”  If he didn’t do it, why isn’t he more vehemently addressing the charges himself?  Why isn’t he talking about how such behavior is morally repugnant to him?  Why is he blaming everything on Mia Farrow, when his own behavior was so very clearly inappropriate, even without taking into account the attic accusation?  Why isn’t he admitting to the possibility that, knowing his on the record history of inappropriate behavior with Dylan, that she misinterpreted something or came up with the story on her own when exposed to the idea that he was being sexually intimate with her big sister — why does it have to be Mia’s fault?

Because Allen’s entire strategy in light of the accusation has been to try to pain Mia as a terrible person.  It’s an incredibly effective tactic.  By starting a custody battle the minute he was accused, he managed to create enough doubt around the accusations that much of the public just sees it as he-said, she-said, fight for the kids, despite his known behavior.  The tragedy is that he will not make it about Dylan and her happiness and her needs, but only about his own selfish needs.  To him, this is about hurting Mia Farrow, protecting himself, and hurting his own children to accomplish that — not about helping his daughter.

Where’s his public letter reaching out to his children?  Where’s his apology for destroying their family?  None of that exists, because nothing is important to Woody Allen except Woody Allen.

174 comments

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  1. 1
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, ew. That is disgusting.

  2. 2
    sarahmoglia

    In the defense piece of Woody by the guy who made a documentary about him (aka a “completely unbiased source”), he said Woody didn’t care about the allegations at all & told the dude not to care either, and oh isn’t Woody so charming because he only types on an old typewriter & doesn’t even use the internet! If Woody doesn’t care about the allegations at all (when he didn’t even give them a “second thought”), why did he write such a long piece defending himself (or rather, slandering Mia)? Ugh, fuck this guy, he is absolute garbage.

  3. 3
    Al Dente

    Allen doesn’t seem to realize who his accuser is. Woody, here’s a hint: It isn’t Mia Farrow.

  4. 4
    rebecca gavin

    As someone who has been involved professionally in cases like this (well, not that there was ever a case quite like this), I find it bizarre that Mia Farrow remained in a relationship with, let alone wanted to have more children with, someone that she thought behaved inappropriately (with sexual connotations) towards their daughter – so much so that she insisted on therapy. If you think your S.O. is sexually attracted to your child, you get out, you don’t put them in therapy. This entire family relationship sounds so dysfunctional that it is impossible, at this point, to begin to untangle it. Yes, Woody Allen seems like a self-centered jerk. Anybody who would be in relationship with a woman with houseful of children, but not want her children in his life (other than family vacations) is an ass, but then one must ask, why would a woman with that many children agree to be in a relationship on that basis? There is enough cray cray here to fill several Russian novels. This blog piece neglects to mention that the therapist who did work with Dylan and Allen, testified that she did not think that abuse occurred. Why the social workers at Yale destroyed their notes is a question only they can answer, other than the fact that no mental health professional wants to have their notes subpoenaed because initial observations or assessments are not always born out and could leave one vulnerable to law suits. I’ve written many court reports, and I certainly never kept my notes.That would result in folders full of barely legible papers that would simply take up space. They obviously came to the best conclusion that they could, taking into account both what Dylan said to them, and all the information available to them. To try to make this very bizarre case some kind of weather vane for social attitudes towards child sexual abuse is preposterous – there is too much blood in the water to ever see it clearly. Both Woody Allen and Mia Farrow seem nuts in their own way.

  5. 5
    rebecca gavin

    I should add that much is being made of the apparent contradiction between Allen saying Mia went to the police, and the fact that it was the doctor who actually called the police. Now, my first reaction if I thought my child had been molested, would be to take them to a facility that performs S.A.F.E. exams – specially trained professionals schooled in the dynamics of sexual abuse and in techniques for interviewing children about it. Or, perhaps, to call one of the many therapists the family was already involved with. However, Mia Farrow called her lawyer, who suggested taking Dylan to her pediatrician, knowing that the doctor would be mandated to report the allegation, whether or not the doctor thought abuse had occurred. While all child abuse reports are taken seriously and investigated, reports made by doctors are given extra weight. If this lawyer was a divorce lawyer, he/she knew that. And, by the way, for a parent to reach out to a child after circumstances like this, is not inappropriate. To not do so would appear to the child as abandonment. For the child to refuse is perfectly fine, but it is incumbent on the parent to let the child know s/he is there for them. And finally, to imply that Allen, who had no prior (or subsequent) accusations of pedophilia, would actually consciously decide to molest under circumstances that would seem so unlikely, simply because the child would not be believed assumes a mind boggling amount of premeditation. An experienced pedophile might, conceivably think like that, and it is remotely possible that Allen did, but it beggars belief. And where is the mention of the child’s nanny that quit her job because she was being pressured to support a claim she didn’t witness? Lastly, if I seriously thought my child was at risk for molestation by her other parent, I wouldn’t go shopping, I would be right there. If he truly wasn’t supposed to be alone with her, how did someone simply walk by a room and see his head in her lap? I am not defending Woody Allen, I could give a crap about him. I do, however, care about biased speculation about someone’s guilt in a crime, where it is impossible for that person to have an special insight into the case. And I question what it says about our culture that we so thoroughly involve ourselves in the lives of strangers who happen to be famous.

  6. 6
    abear

    @4&5 Rebecca Gavin: Well put.

  7. 7
    Al Dente

    After reading Rebecca Gavin @4 & 5 I’m doing some serious tongue biting.

  8. 8
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I find it bizarre that Mia Farrow remained in a relationship with, let alone wanted to have more children with, someone that she thought behaved inappropriately (with sexual connotations) towards their daughter – so much so that she insisted on therapy. If you think your S.O. is sexually attracted to your child, you get out, you don’t put them in therapy.

    I’m sorry, are you asserting that Mia Farrow was negligent in her duty as a parent to protect her child from abuse, and this makes it less likely that her daughter was molested?

  9. 9
    ludicrous

    Rebecca @5

    “And I question what it says about our culture that we so thoroughly involve ourselves in the lives of strangers who happen to be famous.”

    Well, there is that question, but I think the compelling issue is the simple fact that children are not being sufficiently protected and we need to find ways to increase their security.

    As to your question what do you think it says? Why do we involve ourselves in the lives of the famous. Why do we invest in champions, stars, popes, heroes, gods? We start out with our caregivers whose importance to us is life itself. We don’t servive to repreduce if we don’t obey their warnings not to step on that snake or play in that traffic. The caregivers gradually lose their charm but are replaced by other figures nearby, older relatives, teachers and then by others more remote so that we can imbue them with the characteristics we desire. Then they in turn disappoint, presidents, atheism apologists and so on. I dunno if their is a cure for this neediness.

  10. 10
    chigau (違う)

    rebecca gavin
    Are you still involved professionally in cases like this?

  11. 11
    Edward Gemmer

    This case is almost impervious to any sort of conclusion. There is pretty strong evidence for both sides, which is unusual.

  12. 12
    Steersman

    Actually quite a good analysis of the situation, and I can well sympathize with the tenor of both your arguments and feelings on the issue: there seems to be certainly more than enough evidence to suggest that Allen’s behaviour was “grossly inappropriate” at times if not that he was a complete dickhead or worse.

    However, I question your first point:

    In the first sentence there are two things that are a bit disturbing. The first is that Mia Farrow never accused him of child molestation, Dylan Farrow did.

    But note the following from the court transcript [pg 9] quoted in the HuffPo article:

    In July 1992, Ms. Farrow had a birthday party for Dylan at her Connecticut home. Mr. Allen came and monopolized Dylan’s time and attention. After Mr. Allen retired to the guest room for the night, Ms. Farrow affixed to his bathroom door, a note which called Mr. Allen a child molester. The reference was to his affair with Soon-Yi.

    But at least the “head-in-the-lap” incident, and possibly the attic one, didn’t take place until “August 4, 1992” [pg 10].

    In any case, to reiterate, I can sympathize with the anger at Allen over what might be construed as a miscarriage of justice. However, I can’t help but get the impression – your molestation comment, and your apparent peevishness over differentiating between biological and adopted children being possible cases-in-point – that far too many are engaged in an unseemly “rush to judgement” on the charge of molestation.

  13. 13
    PDX_Greg

    Rebecca @4,5

    “I find it bizarre that Mia Farrow remained in a relationship with, let alone wanted to have more children with, someone that she thought behaved inappropriately (with sexual connotations) towards their daughter – so much so that she insisted on therapy.”

    Yep.

    “Both Woody Allen and Mia Farrow seem nuts in their own way.”

    Gotta agree with you there, but that sort of negates your first point, doesn’t it? A parent with priorities straight should have taken all of the children and run away from the pedophile. If the allegations are true, and there is much evidence to suggest that they might be, there is no excuse for what she did by keeping her children with him. It appears that she let his fame and power and fortune overrule her parental obligation to keep her children absolutely away from a pedophile. The fact that she insisted on therapy means that instead she thought that could cure him while the children still shared a roof over him, which showed criminally poor judgement. I would hope nobody thinks her blameless for that.

    But just in case you missed it, our focus here is on the horrible possible reality that yet another child abuser gets to be considered a great overall person because he has had lots and lots of success making movies and thus must be a terrific person, and his accuser a gets to be labeled a vindictive wretched fame-whore for even mentioning the abuse! How dare she not sick back and quietly admire him and his great success!

    “I am not defending Woody Allen, I could give a crap about him. I do, however, care about biased speculation about someone’s guilt in a crime, where it is impossible for that person to have an special insight into the case.”

    How big of you, although that doesn’t seem to inhibit you in any way from engaging in wordy bouts of biased speculation yourself. This is not a court of law here, and we are not driving him to jail. We are trying to point out how tragic it is that the merits of the case are not even being considered by many because, dang, he is successful and powerful and popular.

  14. 14
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    From the OP:

    Again, Woody Allen was already in therapy for inappropriate behavior towards Dylan. Allen was already not allowed to be alone with Dylan because of that behavior.

    But when we follow the link Ashley provides, here’s what it says:

    “The judge also recounts Farrow’s misgivings regarding Allen’s behavior toward Dylan from the time she was between two and three years old. According to the judge’s decision, Farrow told Allen, “You look at her [Dylan] in a sexual way. You fondled her . . . You don’t give her any breathing room. You look at her when she’s naked.””

    In other words, the original accusation did come from Mia Farrow, and a lot of what is publicly knows is indeed based on what she thought, felt and perceived. Which doesn’t exonerate Allen, obviously, but it makes it a little illogical to accuse him of “making the case all about Mia”.

    I did read the transcript from the judge’s decision. It’s illuminating, and it does paint Woody Allen in a bad light, but maybe not in a simple, clear-cut, black and white way easily summarized by the label “pedophile”. What I found the most interesting was the assertion from various witnesses, and for Mia Farrow herself, that for a long time, Allen had zero interest in children, including Mia’s, refused to see them for years, and was reticent when she wanted to adopt Dylan, because he thought she would have less time for him. It’s like he was jealous in advance of her child. When Dylan was there, his sentiments toward her warmed, but he still wasn’t interested in her brothers and sisters. And then, when Mia became pregnant with their son, she understandably focused on her pregnancy and things cooled a bit between Allen and her, as if he was resenting the time and efforts and affections going to the unborn child. But he lavished attention and affection on Dylan, to the point that Mia became concerned about his relationship to the then 2 or 3 year old child. The way it was described gives the impression that a possible sexualization of the child was only part of the problem, that Allen seemed to want to accaparate the child to a point of emotional suffocation (it’s like he wanted both to be a father figure and an age-mate, and exclude her mother and other siblings from the relationship). All this suggests again egotism and jealousy, not a sexual attraction per se. The fact that he had showed no interest in little children before seems to support this interpretation. Still, it was indeed a very unhealthy relationship for Dylan, and it’s logical that Farrow told Allen to see a shrink to work on a change of behaviours. But it also makes it not very likely that, years later, when the custody procedure was going on, he would suddenly turn to full-blown pedophilia.

    Everybody may be capable of a crime at some time, but not of the same kind of crime.

  15. 15
    Juliana Ewing

    Soooo — when Mia DIDN’T think Woody Allen was a beyond-all-hope pedophile, and treated him as such (suggesting therapy, etc.), she was a neglectful mother. When she DID start believing he was a beyond-all-hope pedophile and treated him as such, she was crazy. Why do I get the feeling she couldn’t win here?

  16. 16
    gworroll

    That defense got me to the point where even if his innocence was irrefutably proven tomorrow, he’s still a horrible person.

  17. 17
    HappyNat

    It’s pretty impressive when a person can write 2,000 words in their own defense and it makes me think they are more guilty than I thought before. Maybe I was wrong about his writing skills. I never doubted Dylan, but reading Woody’s response made it crystal clear he doesn’t get it. as gworroll says, at best he is just a horrible person.

  18. 18
    carlie

    my first reaction if I thought my child had been molested, would be to take them to a facility that performs S.A.F.E. exams – specially trained professionals schooled in the dynamics of sexual abuse and in techniques for interviewing children about it.

    This was in 1992. Were you an adult in 1992? If so, do you remember what that was like? Resources like that simply didn’t exist; at least, not to the extent that people generally knew about them.

  19. 19
    karmacat

    The point now is that Dylan Farrow wrote the letter, not Mia. Yet Woody Allen and Rebecca Gavin throw the focus back on Mia Farrow. We don’t know why Mia did not run away from Woody when she suspected him of inappropriate behavior. Smart people can still engage in denial. It is important to listen to Dylan Farrow and not judge her. Because a lot of sexual abuse victims are not heard and often immediately disbelieved.

    One thing we do know is that Woody Allen has a lot of trouble with boundaries (to put it mildly). He ended up marrying a 19 year old woman he watched growing up, who is a daughter of his partner

  20. 20
    theoreticalgrrrl

    I’ve only seen a few of his movies, didn’t see the ones mentioned in this article in Esquire though.
    Oh god, talk about red flags! No one noticed this before??

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/dylan-farrow-woody-allen-movies?click=smart&kw=ist&src=smart&mag=ESQ&link=http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/dylan-farrow-woody-allen-movies

    Just speechless after reading that…

  21. 21
    Mahwash Badar

    What I found most interesting is this.

    “Seriously, Allen thinks an independent woman in her late 20s, who has moved on with her life, is passing off her mother’s writing as her own? Why? Is this meant to make us think that Allen is incredible paranoid? How committed is he to the idea that, if he says it enough, people will agree that this is not about Dylan, it’s about Mia Farrow? To deny her bodily autonomy in her childhood is terrible, to go on denying her autonomy in thought and action as an adult continues to be terrible.”

    Incidentally, Woody Allen seems to have the same justification for Soon-Yi, “She’s a grown woman and she knows what’s she’s doing by sleeping and marrying a man decades her senior” – but apparently a woman who says she was abused by Allen is being ‘coached’ and brainwashed.

    Hah. Hah I say.

  22. 22
    pete

    regarding Mia Farrow dating Frank Sinatra, it’s being overlooked that Mia Farrow was in the ‘Soon Ye role’ (younger participant) and Woody Allen was in the ‘Frank Sinatra role’ (older participant).

    ie. if this relationship matters at all – and I don’t much see how it does – Mia Farrow is the exploitee and Frank the exploiter.

    WA’s defence seems to rely – apparantly quite effectively – on this not being noticed.

  23. 23
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    It’s classical victim blaming, only that the mother is swapped for the child victim, because apparently even Allan realises that blaming a back then 7 yo is not a viable strategy.
    If Mia Farrow didn’t behave perfectly at all points during the 12 years they were together then it’s clear that he couldn’t have behaved bad at one point.

    I also find it totally believable that Allan himself is completely convinced of his own innocence. Because we all know that people who abuse children are bad people, he isn’t a bad person, therefore he cannot have abused Dylan.
    I come from a physically and emotionally abusive family (thankfully not sexually.) Thing is, my mother actually loves me and she thinks that she is the victim and that I have been indoctrinated by the psychologist I went to in my thirties(!). For years she went on telling one particular incidence of abuse as a funny annecdote about what a difficult child I was and how bad she had it as my mother.

  24. 24
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    pete

    regarding Mia Farrow dating Frank Sinatra, it’s being overlooked that Mia Farrow was in the ‘Soon Ye role’ (younger participant) and Woody Allen was in the ‘Frank Sinatra role’ (older participant).

    ie. if this relationship matters at all – and I don’t much see how it does – Mia Farrow is the exploitee and Frank the exploiter.

    while such relationships are indedd at least something we should treat carefully due to the obvious power imbalance, it’s not the age difference per se but the fact that Soon Ye is the sister of his children and he had known her since she was a child herself
    Maybe you missed it when that was discussed in detail in the OP

  25. 25
    LykeX

    @rebecca gavin
    You seem unaware of the fact that abused people often stay with their abusers long after they should have left, keep giving them the benefit of the doubt, blame themselves and even outright love them, even after they’ve been horribly mistreated.

    The thought of you being involved in a case like this, with your level of clueless, victim-blaming idiocy, is chilling.

  26. 26
    LykeX

    And yes, in this context, I would consider Farrow to be a victim as well (and the other children too, for that matter). This kind of behavior doesn’t just violate the trust of the person directly abused. This kind of thing would put her in a very difficult position and I see no reason why these same dynamics wouldn’t play out in her as well.

  27. 27
    Sheesh

    I don’t understand why Woody can’t comprehend her rage. Or can he, and he doesn’t care? Or thinks it’s irrational?

    If you were fucking me long term, and then started fucking my daughters instead I would straight up flip-out. In fact, that seems like the rational response — to object in the strongest terms. (Daytime talk shows thrive on this objection, right?) Switching to fucking your girlfriend’s kids after a decade or so is not an activity we generally accept. I’m not even sure if I could be cool with a dude that was fucking my mom switching up to fucking my sisters. That would strain my relationship. It seems like a lot of men and boys are socialized to have problems with other dudes fucking their moms and that most people are socialized to have a problem with dudes fucking their moms and sisters concurrently — that probably comes from somewhere. It’s like nobody knows what norms or taboos are, or why we have them, and how they got here.

    Just in case it needs saying: Hey dads out there, don’t fuck your daughters or your daughters’ sisters!

    I don’t care if that cramps your “freeeeeedom!” — which is what a lot of the Woody defenders sound like. “Your societal norms violate my freedom. You can’t tell me what to do! Who cares if I fuck my daughter’s teenage sister?! It’s none of your business!” See, e.g., all the comments saying ‘why do we care’, ‘I couldn’t care less’, ‘creepy dudes can groom and marry whomever they like as long as no laws were broken’, ‘innocent until proven guilty’, etc.

    (That last one is really stupid, which leads me to think some of this is hyperskepticism: “Is it really bad to fuck your daughter’s teenage sister, or even your daughter for that matter, who knows? I’d need to see the evidence. You keep saying incest is creepy or that children can’t consent to sex with their parents, but cite some research or something!”)

  28. 28
    rnilsson

    @ 4-5 rebecca gavin of wall-of-text fame:

    As someone who has been involved professionally in cases like this

    Is this technical term in frequent use in that professional capacity of yours?

    There is enough cray cray here to fill several Russian novels.

    I also noted that you do not mention Dylan as a person here, only as some kind of prop in the drama where those fascinating celebrities revolve.

  29. 29
    Jim E

    So, let me see if I have this straight about Woody Allen:

    Miia hates Woody.

    His daughter accuses him of molesting her.

    Frank’s son hates him.

    Woody runs off with his step-daughter.

    Have I got it straight, so far?

    Yet, Hollyweird types will crawl all over themselves to be in this short-eyes’s movies?

  30. 30
    doubtthat

    That letter from Allen was embarrassing. Nice job of dismantling it.

    I recommend that everyone read the judge’s decision from Woody Allen’s action against Mia Farrow for custody of the kids:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/dam/2014/02/woody-allen-1992-custody-suit.pdf

    As a family law attorney who has worked on a number of abuse cases, here are my obvious and perhaps not so obvious thoughts:

    1) Reading that in its entirety, it is shockingly obvious that Allen either molested his daughter or was in the process of grooming her. It looks close to certain that he actually molested her.

    2) The behavior of the therapist on page 13 is stunning. This Dr. Schultz tells child welfare services that Dylan had not reported being molested to her. A week later, after hiring an attorney, Dr. Schultz “remembers” that Dylan did tell her that Allen molested her. That both 1) strongly supports the abuse case and 2) shows that Allen or someone on his behalf was seriously pressuring people involved in the investigation.

    3) The judge’s decision may not appear as severe as declaring Allen guilty of abuse, but in a family law context he basically said as much. The burden needed to keep a parent from seeing their children is very, very high. Even in cases of physical abuse, there will still often be supervised visitation. The judge orders Allen to stay away from the kids and grants Farrow attorney fees, which is essentially a conclusion that Allen is actively dangerous.

    The discussion of Soon-Yi is also very interesting. It shows that the family court judge was aware of how disturbing that relationship was.

  31. 31
    doubtthat

    @14 Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    In other words, the original accusation did come from Mia Farrow, and a lot of what is publicly knows is indeed based on what she thought, felt and perceived. Which doesn’t exonerate Allen, obviously, but it makes it a little illogical to accuse him of “making the case all about Mia”.

    You say you’ve read the decision, so I’m confused about your argument, here.

    Farrow didn’t launch an “accusation” against Allen in any sort of legal sense at that point. She expressed her concern to Allen and then to a therapist, who agreed with Farrow’s assessment, at least in so far as Allen’s relationship with Dylan was unhealthy. The therapist began treating Allen specifically for that reason, and tried unsuccessfully to create a healthy relationship with all of the children.

    As I said above, one of the most troubling aspects of the court ruling is the strange behavior by the therapists. In addition to the therapist paid by Allen who suddenly remembered Dylan telling her about being molested after the therapist had said the opposite to child protective services, the social workers and mental health experts working on the official report destroyed all of their notes and refused to testify.

    It’s impossible to conclude exactly what was being discussed with Allen in therapy. At that point, Dylan may have been too young and Allen was merely grooming her. In fact, that seems more or less obvious with the laying in bed and letter her suck his thumb…etc.

    So, Farrow expressing her concerns years before the abuse allegations, concerns that were then taken seriously and confirmed by the therapist, hardly gives Allen cause to claim this entire episode is being driven by Farrow.

  32. 32
    doubtthat

    @12 Steersman

    You’re conflating two separate cases: Dylan and Soon-Yi.

    Farrow accused Allen of being a child molester because she discovered nude photos of Soon-Yi in Allen’s apartment. As the judge reasoned in the court decision, Farrow’s accusation in that capacity was a perfectly understandable reaction to the damage Allen’s behavior caused. She was not making a legal statement, as Soon-Yi was above the age of consent.

    That does not change the fact that Farrow did not initiate the criminal investigations concerning Dylan. Unless we’re playing some silly technical game – which, given your history wouldn’t surprise me – Ashley Miller’s statement is correct.

    Furthermore, in the context of Allen’s defense, he is clearly referring to the case involving Dylan, “I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was.”

    As for a “rush to accuse,” I suggest reading the entire court decision. They may not have had enough evidence to convict Allen before a jury, but the judge in that case concluded that he was a danger to those kids, and he disagrees and dismantles the investigation that concluded otherwise. Given the evidence presented and the conclusions of that court, it’s fairly obvious that Allen did some very disturbing things to Dylan.

  33. 33
    doublereed

    Not that this really matters to the actual issue, but I find it hard to believe that Woody Allen actually wrote that. I really have no idea why he would (and from what I’ve seen, he doesn’t give a crap about press). The whole reeks of something a PR person put up and was carelessly approved by Allen.

  34. 34
    Nepenthe

    @doublereed

    I have trouble believing that any PR person, regardless of how incompetent, could write something like this. The writer is either Woody Allen or someone desperately trying to make Woody Allen sound like a pompous, narcissistic child-molester.

  35. 35
    avalon witch

    Quite often a parent of a child who has been molested has also been a victim of molestation his or herself. I do believe Dylan, and Allen’s objectification of her in this letter essentially as a non-person is reprehensible, but what can you expect from psychopaths (and I do think Allen meets the criteria of a psychopath diagnosis).

    In looking at Mia’s life, apparently suspecting Allen early on, and apparently providing witness to Polanski in his trial of child molestation, and a few other known behaviors one would not expect from a healthy mother, I wonder if Mia herself had been a victim of child molestation. It would explain some of her behaviors. Child molestation has certainly run in families. Mother’s who were molested all to often discover the nightmare repeating against one of their own daughters, especially if they have not done the work to address what happened in their past. Sometimes victims who’ve done therapy will STILL re-experience that nightmare discovering their kid is getting molested by somebody, but it’s more likely to happen if the mother (or father as case may be) hasn’t addressed their own victimization. A comparison might be when a woman repeatedly gets involve with partners who batter, or addicts, etc., and their own parents were violent or alcoholic.. Perhaps Mia never was such a victim, but it might be a good thing for her to explore where some of her patterns of protecting molesters came from, Allen not excepted.

    And yes, Allen is a psychopath. The author made an EXCELLENT point that by his relationship and marriage too Soon isolates her from any familial support system should she seek to escape that relationship. She is Allen’s victim, too.

  36. 36
    plutoanimus

    “The second thing that bothers me is that he was accused of molestation by a child he was already in therapy for inappropriate behavior towards and who he was not allowed to see alone.”

    The specific nature of this “inappropriate behavior” would be critical to evaluating its relevance.

    Is there any reason this article fails to include this important information?

    If there isn’t, then it would appear Ms. Miller is trying to deliberately lead people to unwarranted conclusions, which isn’t very honest.

  37. 37
    Ashley F. Miller

    This article contains many links to appropriate references where one can learn that information. It involved him making her suck his thumb and get into bed with him while he was in his underwear and other similar things.

  38. 38
    Juliana Ewing

    “The specific nature of this “inappropriate behavior” would be critical to evaluating its relevance.

    Is there any reason this article fails to include this important information?”

    Er — click on the pretty blue linky-letters?

  39. 39
    Al Dente

    Another hyperskeptic trying to excuse Allen’s molestation of his daughter.

  40. 40
    theoreticalgrrrl

    Allen sounds like is an extreme narcissist. Mia was his “narcissist’s supply” and when she became too busy with a newborn and her other children to give him as much attention as he wanted, he seemed to make Dylan a substitute for that constant, draining attention that narcissists always demand and crave, with no regard to other people’s boundaries or feelings. Even the “affair” with Soon Yi seems like revenge against Mia for daring to limit his access to Dylan as his new form of narc supply.

    Reading that letter, it reminds me of a narcissist I’m related to who physically (not sexually) assaulted me after I stood up to him and started to call him on his manipulative behavior. So I have no doubt Allen wrote that letter, it’s classic NPD behavior. Only a self-absorbed narcissist would have the arrogance to believe what he wrote would actually persuade people. My narcissist relative pulled the same techniques, the gaslighting, denial, twisting the facts, questioning the reliability of my memory. Like Allen, my narc wrote me telling me he wants a reconciliation with me, even though he still hasn’t apologized or even acknowledge what he did. He really expects me to act like nothing every happened, that I would forget the lies and gaslighting and just accept his revisionist history as truth.

    Allen is so used to twisting reality to fit what feeds his ego and sense of entitlement that he actually thinks Dylan would accept this invitation to reconcile.

    Soon-Yi and I are both hoping that one day she will understand who has really made her a victim and reconnect with us, as Moses has, in a loving, productive way.

  41. 41
    plutoanimus

    “Would Allen really have removed child support for the child he and Mia decided to have together and he raised just because of Mia’s behavior? ”

    Did Allen really say that he would have done that?

    Or did you just imagine that he said that, Ms. Miller?

  42. 42
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#32):

    You’re conflating two separate cases: Dylan and Soon-Yi.

    Maybe. Although maybe we’re working on two slightly different meanings of the word “accused”, one a strictly legal charge of criminal activity, the other a broader and more colloquial charge of “wrongdoing”. However Ashley did say “Mia Farrow never accused [Woody] of child molestation, Dylan Farrow did”. Which looks like a rather categorical statement to me which the facts seem to contradict. And, as I expect you can appreciate, if there’s one hole in a story then its reasonable to look for others.

    Farrow accused Allen of being a child molester because she discovered nude photos of Soon-Yi in Allen’s apartment.

    Apart from the fact that that seems to contradict Ashley’s statement as well as your own, one might point out for reference that the nude photos were discovered on January 13 1992, the note on the bathroom door accusing Woody of being a child molester apparently happened sometime in July of 1992 – ergo a colloquial interpretation, and that the head-in-lap and possible molestation happened on August 4 1992. Rather odd, not to say criminally negligent, that, in light of the first two incidents, not to mention many previous ones, Mia would have allowed Woody within the proverbial country mile of Dylan in August.

    In any case, I’m not denying – have conceded the point – that Woody’s actions might reasonably be construed as “grossly inappropriate” at least if not something substantially worse – at the very least he seems to have or have had a bit of a Lolita complex. Although one might point out that that seems rather too common with many problematic consequences, one of which might include the JonBenét Ramsey case.

    However, I wonder at the broader ramifications and implications of the recent accusations and republications of events that happened over 20 years ago. While I can appreciate and quite agree that the incidence of rape and sexual assault in general, and the sexual abuse in families is deplorable if not a serious miscarriage of justice, I wonder what benefits there might be in rehashing all of this – particularly if it doesn’t somehow lead to reducing that incidence. I can’t see that Allen could be charged now, and a focus on penalizing him somehow, particularly when the evidence isn’t particularly credible, looks vindictive and petty if not shading into lynch-mob behaviours, into the moral panic of the satanic child abuse accusations in the eighties and nineties – you may wish, if you can surmount your fear of “cooties”, to take a look at this comment (1) in the SlymePit elaborating on that parallel.

    But all of those types of responses should probably also remind you of the Duke lacrosse case, on which the New York Times published this review (2) of a book detailing the many errors in the handling of the case. A particularly relevant portion:

    Nifong’s sins are now well known, but Taylor and Johnson argue that he was aided and abetted by the news media and the Duke faculty. They are withering about the “lynch mob mentality” (in the words of a defense lawyer) created by bloviating cable news pundits on the left and the right.

    Allowing “judgements” in what is largely if not entirely the kangaroo-court of public opinion to have much credence or weight hardly looks like the behaviour of a civilized society – more like that of a “failed state” of one sort or another. Far better to use such cases as an impetus to change laws and behaviours – you may wish to take a look at this comment (3) of mine in AtheismPlus – before I was banned for “victim blaming” – which suggested one possible solution.

    Unless we’re playing some silly technical game – which, given your history wouldn’t surprise me ….

    Considering your profession I would have thought you wouldn’t have been so averse to being precise. Although maybe that’s only when it is to your advantage. However, regarding “my history”: anything in particular or just a general impression?

    —-
    1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=160042#p160042”;
    2) “_http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/books/review/Rosen-t.html?_r=0”;
    3) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5336”;

  43. 43
    Jacob Schmidt

    Did Allen really say that he would have done that?

    See, you obviously know how questions work, since you openly use them, but you seem incapable of distinguishing a question form an assertion.

  44. 44
    LykeX

    Rather odd, not to say criminally negligent, that, in light of the first two incidents, not to mention many previous ones, Mia would have allowed Woody within the proverbial country mile of Dylan in August.

    We both know that if she had done so, you’d be here criticizing her for that; for over-reacting and keeping Allen away from his children without any hard evidence of criminal wrong-doing.

  45. 45
    Steersman

    LykeX (#44):

    We both know that if she had done so, you’d be here criticizing her for that; for over-reacting and keeping Allen away from his children without any hard evidence of criminal wrong-doing.

    Riiiight. Win-win.

    Someone might have done that, but a stretch to suggest that I personally would have been doing so. For one thing, the ruling by Justice Elliott Wilk (1), even without the supposed molestation, suggests Allen’s prior behaviour towards Dylan, Mia, and Soon-Yi were substantially less than exemplary. One would have thought that that would have been sufficient for Mia to get whatever separation she would have wanted.

    But I’m certainly not arguing that whatever failings Mia exhibited lets Woody off the hook. Nor was Justice Wilk.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-shea/heres-the-1993-woody-alle_b_4746866.html”

  46. 46
    Stacy

    the nude photos were discovered on January 13 1992, the note on the bathroom door accusing Woody of being a child molester apparently happened sometime in July of 1992 ,and that the head-in-lap and possible molestation happened on August 4 1992

    Fucking your partner’s daughter who is in her late teens is quite different behavior from molesting a young child.

    It is true that Allen was in therapy for inappropriate behavior around Dylan two years before the events of 1992 (and IIRC the behavior had been noticed even earlier.)

    But for those who are wondering why Mia Farrow stayed with Allen and went on to allow him to adopt Dylan (despite the “he’s not allowed to be alone with her” rule):

    I remember reading–forgive me for not linking but I’ve read so much it’s hard to keep track at this point–that Susan Coates, the psychologist who witnessed the inappropriate behavior and agreed that it was unhealthy–went on to claim that Allen’s interest in the little girl, though unhealthy, was not “sexual.” She testified to as much during the trial (for Woody’s defense, yet.)

    Allen himself reportedly told Farrow that he was just being “warm” towards the little girl and that she (Mia) was imagining things.

    Doesn’t excuse Mia, but often people really don’t want to believe the worst.

    It seems to me that an awful lot of bending-over-backward-to-give-Allen-the-benefit-of-the-doubt went on, and continues to go on. Is that surprising, given that we’re talking about a wealthy, famous, well-respected man, who has always presented himself as a person deeply concerned with morality?

  47. 47
    Steersman

    Stacy (#46):

    Fucking your partner’s daughter who is in her late teens is quite different behavior from molesting a young child.

    Yes, I’ll quite agree; there is a very substantial difference: one is an accepted fact, the other is merely supposition and conjecture. Many seem to have some difficulty with that distinction.

    It seems to me that an awful lot of bending-over-backward-to-give-Allen-the-benefit-of-the-doubt went on ….

    I think it’s called innocent until proven guilty, a fairly important principle of jurisprudence if I’m not mistaken. At least in most civilized countries.

    Is that surprising, given that we’re talking about a wealthy, famous, well-respected man ….

    Nice bit of innuendo there Stacy. What about the guys in the Duke lacrosse case? Were they “wealthy, famous, well-respected”? Or was that not simply a case of honest people insisting that justice should be served, not the rabid savagery of a lynch mob pandered to by “bloviating cable news pundits on the left and the right” (1). You might want to consider the analogous aspects of the two cases.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/books/review/Rosen-t.html?_r=0”;

  48. 48
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    theoreticalgrrrl

    Allen sounds like is an extreme narcissist. Mia was his “narcissist’s supply” and when she became too busy with a newborn and her other children to give him as much attention as he wanted, he seemed to make Dylan a substitute for that constant, draining attention that narcissists always demand and crave, with no regard to other people’s boundaries or feelings. Even the “affair” with Soon Yi seems like revenge against Mia for daring to limit his access to Dylan as his new form of narc supply.

    I understand what you’re saying, but please don’t.
    We shouldn’t armchair diagnose people, especially not those we never met.
    It also smells a lot like “crazy monster” theory to me

  49. 49
    Stacy

    testing

  50. 50
    Stacy

    @Steersman #47

    Yes, I’ll quite agree; there is a very substantial difference: one is an accepted fact, the other is merely supposition and conjecture.

    I was addressing the point (made by Doubtthat) that Farrow accused Allen of being a child molester because of his relationship with Soon Yi. Which you know; you addressed it in the very comment from which I quoted.

    So now you’re blatantly changing the context in order to argue another point entirely.

    Whether you do this sort of thing out of dishonesty or stupidity I cannot know.

    It seems to me that an awful lot of bending-over-backward-to-give-Allen-the-benefit-of-the-doubt went on ….

    I think it’s called innocent until proven guilty, a fairly important principle of jurisprudence if I’m not mistaken. At least in most civilized countries.

    So you fault Mia Farrow for letting Allen have (limited) access to Dylan despite her suspicions, yet at the same time you think Allen should be afforded the presumption of innocence outside the courtroom. Gee, guess there’s no way she could win in your book.

    And the fact that presumption of innocence is a legal standard has been pointed out to you before. You.Dishonest.Shit.

    Nice bit of innuendo there Stacy.

    This one’s really odd. Innuendo. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    I was addressing the case at hand and not any other. I made a clear and unambiguous point about Woody Allen and the way people–from Mia herself on down–have responded to him.

    Seriously, Steersman, this game you play? It’s propaganda, not rational argument.

    To think I actually addressed you civilly. My bad. Fuck off.

  51. 51
    doublereed

    @34 Nepenthe

    I have trouble believing that any PR person, regardless of how incompetent, could write something like this. The writer is either Woody Allen or someone desperately trying to make Woody Allen sound like a pompous, narcissistic child-molester.

    And what is a PR person supposed to do to defend Allen? How would you write it? The article does everything a PR person would try: smears Mia Farrow, implies brainwashing, misrepresenting some unsavory facts, etc. etc. You’re looking through the lens of someone who already thinks Woody Allen is guilty and already knows facts about the situation. To someone who is doesn’t, it confirms their doubts about the case. Which is really all the letter is trying to do.

    I suppose I’m still giving Woody Allen the benefit of the doubt, even though I do think he molested his daughter. The writer is clearly speaking unemotionally and dispassionately about something that very much seems to affect Woody Allen is very personal ways. The whole letter sounds like something that doesn’t affect the writer. That, coupled with the fact that Woody Allen almost never deals with the press in this way, makes me think that this is just some PR person who convinced Woody Allen that a response was necessary.

  52. 52
    doublereed

    Again, minor detail. It’s not like a psychopathic pedophile would be that surprising to me. It’s a pretty vile letter.

  53. 53
    Louis Proyect

    I refer you to the NY Times article on the testimony of psychologist Sandra Coates. I should add that it is unclear from the article whether she advised against Woody Allen being alone with Dylan. The Custody Ruling report makes no reference to her issuing such instructions.

    Leaving that matter aside, Coates stated under oath that there was nothing sexual about Allen’s interest in Dylan, number one, and number two that she found the girl easily “taken over by fantasy” when asked to describe something as simple as an apple tree.

    I deal with all this here: http://louisproyect.org/2014/02/09/maureen-orths-reporting-on-the-allen-farrow-controversy/

  54. 54
    Trophy

    @ Louis Proyect:

    Dude, read your source again. The Dr Coates is definitely not an unbiased source and has plenty of conflict of interest. From YOUR own New York times article:

    Dr. Coates, who had continued to see Mr. Allen as part of Satchel’s therapy, broke the news to Mr. Allen of Dylan’s allegations a few days later. She described it as “one of the worst moments of my whole life.”

    “He sat on the edge of his chair and his eyes were very wide,” Dr. Coates recalled. “He said, ‘I’m completely flabbergasted. I’m completely flabbergasted.’ He said it over and over again.”

    The psychologist testified that she first met with Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow in 1990, as part of her preliminary evaluation of Satchel, whom she said was alienated from Mr. Allen at the time. She said the parents’ own relationship was “in considerable trouble,” with the two of them unable to agree on issues as small as whether or not Ms. Farrow should keep a child’s thermometer in the house.

    That’s a completely biased source.

  55. 55
    doubtthat

    @42 Steerman

    Oh boy, here we go again…

    Maybe. Although maybe we’re working on two slightly different meanings of the word “accused”, one a strictly legal charge of criminal activity, the other a broader and more colloquial charge of “wrongdoing”.

    Your habit of tediously explaining concepts as though only you have given them consideration when they happen to be the exact point of the post to which you respond is amusing. Yes, that’s exactly the point. You’re using an equivocation over the word “accuse” to argue that Ashley Miller was not accurate in her statement. Allen is specifically talking about the accusations revolving around Dylan, as he states clearly a few sentences later, so your discussion of Soon-Yi is irrelevant to that specific point. You made a spurious criticism.

    However Ashley did say “Mia Farrow never accused [Woody] of child molestation, Dylan Farrow did”. Which looks like a rather categorical statement to me which the facts seem to contradict. And, as I expect you can appreciate, if there’s one hole in a story then its reasonable to look for others.

    Again, this is the equivocation. Farrow, with respect to the Soon-Yi situation, was clearly using
    “child molester” in a non-legal sense. Soon-Yi was not legally a child, though within the context of that family dynamic, it is fairly obvious what Farrow meant. Allen abused his “child,” and is therefore a “child molester.”

    Now, fair enough, perhaps you are legitimately confused over the way language works. Your innocent posture would be more believable had you addressed the problem as a question or request for clarification rather than a criticism.

    Apart from the fact that that seems to contradict Ashley’s statement as well as your own, one might point out for reference that the nude photos were discovered on January 13 1992, the note on the bathroom door accusing Woody of being a child molester apparently happened sometime in July of 1992 – ergo a colloquial interpretation, and that the head-in-lap and possible molestation happened on August 4 1992. Rather odd, not to say criminally negligent, that, in light of the first two incidents, not to mention many previous ones, Mia would have allowed Woody within the proverbial country mile of Dylan in August.

    This is comical gibberish.

    First, after seeming to realize that the source of your objection involves what is meant by the word “accused,” and before that “sincere” inquiry has been answered by Ashley Miller, you move on ahead basing a new argument on the very equivocation you seemed, only moments earlier, to understand. Amazing.

    As for the timing, the relevant dates are (1) the date on which Mia Farrow left the note, and (2) the date on which the abuse occurred. As you seem to realize, the note was pinned to the door in July, the molestation occurred in August. This more or less destroys any possibility that Mia Farrow could have been referring to Dylan with the note.

    As for the shitty little jab at Farrow, she instructed the staff to make sure Allen wasn’t alone with Dylan. If you’re trying to argue that Farrow didn’t actually believe Allen was dangerous, that would seem to contradict this position, and the disgusting behavior with Soon-Yi doesn’t necessarily imply that Allen is dangerous to a 7 year old. Nevertheless, Farrow, in an insanely difficult position, seemed convinced that Allen was a threat, and the therapist agreed — though perhaps didn’t believe molestation was the danger.

    I wonder what benefits there might be in rehashing all of this – particularly if it doesn’t somehow lead to reducing that incidence.

    Perhaps Dylan finally had her fill of Hollywood and society at large accepting the prominence of the man who molested her. He is winning lifetime achievement awards and his latest film is up for Oscars. It seems like a decent time to remind people that they are smiling at, thanking, and working with a deeply disturbed person.

    I can’t see that Allen could be charged now, and a focus on penalizing him somehow, particularly when the evidence isn’t particularly credible, looks vindictive and petty if not shading into lynch-mob behaviours, into the moral panic of the satanic child abuse accusations in the eighties and nineties

    This statement could only be made by someone who (1) hasn’t read the court transcript in its entirety (2) is incredibly ignorant of family law and custody battles in court (3) doesn’t really understand what “evidence” means in a legal sense or (4) is some combination of the above.

    That court transcript, for the reasons I specifically gave above, constitutes an astonishingly damning summation of the evidence against Allen. The judge in that case was convinced by the evidence and arrived at a ruling that essentially marked Allen as someone incredibly dangerous to the kids. It is simply incorrect to say the evidence was not credible. Were that the case, that ruling would have been appealed and overturned.

    The evidence was presented in court, and Allen was essentially found to be abusive — it was not that court’s duty to declare him a molester, and the judge specifically says that he believes there is good reason to think he was. That judge heard the evidence. The case was appealed. The Appellate court reviewed the evidence and ruled in Farrow’s favor.

    This is simply not a situation where there was no credible evidence. Even the ridiculous courtroom standards that you knuckleheads like to impose on public discussions is met.

    The rest of your rambling bullshit just made me laugh. Duke Lacross? I see your Duke LaCross and raise you Penn State Football and two thousand years of ghoulish Catholic pedophiles in robes. Look, because something happened in the past, we can therefore draw conclusions about a specific case.

    Again, please show me the court documents where a judge found the Duke Lacross team to be a danger to children.

    And this:

    Allowing “judgements” in what is largely if not entirely the kangaroo-court of public opinion to have much credence or weight hardly looks like the behaviour of a civilized society – more like that of a “failed state” of one sort or another.

    Is pure bullshit gold. Again, there’s a court case, bruh, and public opinion is not nor should it be governed by the same burdens as a court of law. Allen is just as guilty as OJ Simpson. They are both people who escaped criminal prosecution but were smacked down by the civil court system.

    Such ignorant babble. It is what I’m used to from you folks.

  56. 56
    doubtthat

    247 Steersman

    I think it’s called innocent until proven guilty, a fairly important principle of jurisprudence if I’m not mistaken. At least in most civilized countries.

    Another characteristic of civilized countries is a function judiciary. Ours spoke quite clearly on the Allen case. If anything, Allen has been treated infinitely better by public opinion than he has been by the court system.

    This is the judge’s ruling:

    I agree with Dr. Herman and Dr. Brodinsky that we will probably never know what occurred on August 4, 1992. The credible testimony of Ms. Farrow, Dr. Coates, Dr. Leventhal and Mr. Allen does, however, prove that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.

    “Measure must be taken to protect her.” Read that paragraph. That judge essentially stated that though they may not be able to convict him, he is a danger to the kids.

    That’s the multimillionaire film maker for whom you express such concern.

  57. 57
    Steersman

    Giliell (#48):

    I understand what you’re saying, but please don’t.

    Kind of nice to see that you at least aren’t part of the lynch-mob, or that you’re at least a little more circumspect in your responses. However, I might suggest, as the Wikipedia article (1) on stereotyping points out, that stereotypes “may or may not accurately reflect reality”, that they may actually apply to some individuals in the populations referred to: there are, or seem to be, “narcissistic personalities” but a moot point whether Allen so qualifies – or it should be to any who want to have a credible claim to the label “skeptic”.

    But rather analogous, one might suggest apropos of nothing in particular, to Don Kane’s “simple observation that women are in church more than men” (2). Which I note with some amusement led to some impressive “femsplaining” by Sally Strange and Caine/Inaji – who has to hold the record for the fastest unsticking of a flounce – an incident that hardly qualifies as Pharyngula’s “finest hour”. In any case, while I might quibble with Kane’s phrasing there – rather ridiculous to suggest that, for instance, any individual woman is more in church than any individual man (you have a leg and an arm inside; I only a foot) – his implication that there are more women in church than there are men seems quite sound, and well supported by the statistical evidence. Although that seems a distinction that you also seem to have some difficulty with. At least in light of your apparent inability to see that my “[criminality], it’s more of a guy thing” (3) was not an accusation that all men – each and every man – was more criminal than all women – each and every woman – but was only an assertion that there are more men who happen to be criminals than there are women. Very different kettles of fish.

    So – stereotypes do have some utility, but they do need to be used with some care, with some attention to the fact that they don’t necessarily apply to every member of a population.


    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype”;
    2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/09/27/atheism-has-a-sexism-problem/comment-page-2/#comment-76176”;
    3) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=158277#p158277”;

  58. 58
    Steersman

    Stacy (#):

    Steersman: Yes, I’ll quite agree; there is a very substantial difference: one is an accepted fact, the other is merely supposition and conjecture.

    Stacy: I was addressing the point (made by Doubtthat) that Farrow accused Allen of being a child molester because of his relationship with Soon Yi. ….

    In #46 you quoted my thumbnail sketch of the timeline and then immediately thereafter made your assertion about the difference between “fucking your partner’s [teenage] daughter” and “molesting a young child” which looked rather like you were addressing my point and not Doubtthat’s. You might want to be a little more explicit in what you’re referring to, or be a little more careful about changing directions without signaling your intent – women drivers [just kidding].

    Whether you do this sort of thing out of dishonesty or stupidity I cannot know.

    Or maybe you’re incoherent in advancing your arguments, although I’ll concede the issues and discussions can get convoluted. Or – I hate to break this to you – you might even be wrong.

    And the fact that presumption of innocence is a legal standard has been pointed out to you before. You.Dishonest.Shit.

    True, although it seems that it might be the better part of wisdom to use it in broader venues. And one might point out that many from your rather benighted neck of the woods have a very tenuous grasp of the principle in the first place even as a legal standard – for instance, as manifested by the “believe the victim” cry. YouIgnorantTwat.

    So you fault Mia Farrow for letting Allen have (limited) access to Dylan despite her suspicions, yet at the same time you think Allen should be afforded the presumption of innocence outside the courtroom.

    Christ in a sidecar. Sure would like to see the glasses you’re wearing as you sure do manage to read far more between the lines than I can possibly see. There are two completely different events there: (A) Allen’s reasonably well-documented “grossly inappropriate” behaviour(s), and (B) Allen’s supposed molestation of Dylan in the attic. The first well justifies the limited access and probably could have justified even greater limitations or more draconian responses, although that is from the benefit of hindsight; the hypothetical and unevidenced nature of the second didn’t justify a charge 20 years ago, and hardly justifies lynch-mob behaviour now. Do try focusing on those differences.

    This one’s really odd. Innuendo. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    That was in response to your “wealthy, famous, well-respected man”, as if to imply, as if to advance the “derogatory implication or insinuation” (1), that all defenses of Allen were predicated only on those attributes rather than a committment to the principles of justice and fair-play. Rather like Ally Fogg’s (2) quite justifiable exasperation with the charge (mostly) from various MRA types that he was defending “feminism” or individual women “only in the hope of getting laid”; a meme that is, as he put it, “so full of stupid it feels almost unfair to pick it up and rattle it until all the stupid falls out – like squeezing a puppy until it poops itself or something”.

    To think I actually addressed you civilly. My bad. Fuck off.

    Up yours. Unless you’ve been appointed enforcer here such imperious commands look to be little more than the petulance of twarted grade-school lunch-room monitors, like you’re just blowing smoke out of your ass. That might carry a bit of weight on Pharyngula and other FftB sites – where the aversion to views which might contradict the prevailing “conventional wisdom” engenders only echochambers and Internet Silos (3) – but on the more sensible and rational sites on the network – few and far between – such as this one, Ally Fogg’s and Ed Brayton’s, that behaviour and language only makes those who exhibit it look silly and childish. Really rather remarkable the number of blog owners on the FTB network, and the number of commenters in their commentatiats who are so narrow minded that – as the song had it – if they fell on a pin they would be blind in both eyes.


    1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/innuendo”;
    2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/01/11/im-only-writing-this-to-get-laid-or-am-i/”;
    3) “_http://www.edge.org/response-detail/23777”;

  59. 59
    Ashley F. Miller

    So, where you lose me is in this repeated “Lynch Mob” complaint. I realize you are meaning it colloquially, but even so, who is calling for anything remotely like lynching to happen to Woody Allen? If you’re just talking about the mentality, are you trying to say that everyone who thinks Allen is guilty and/or that Dylan Farrow should be believed is somehow not thinking about the issue? Or that they are just hyper-defensive when commenters come in and argue for Allen’s innocence? Are you just trying to say that people care and are quite vocal about declaring their opinion that Allen’s behavior has been bad and Dylan deserves the benefit of the doubt… and that is lynchmobbing because we shouldn’t care?

    I ask partially for clarification and partially because I think that labeling it Lynch Mob undermines and obfuscates your points and complaints — it is an assumption of bad faith on the other parties, which is quite insulting. As you say it is a sensible/rational site here, I think you’d be better off trying to make your arguments for their own sake without insulting the people on the other side of it as either interested in hurting Allen or incapable of listening to the other side. It may well be that they don’t listen anyway, but it’s almost impossible for them to listen to someone sitting here accusing (presumably) me and them of being violent, arguing in bad faith, and ignorant.

  60. 60
    theoreticalgrrrl

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yes, you’re right. I was speculating after reading the court documents that talked in length about the behavior witnessed. I’ve been reading a lot about Narcissistic Personality Disorder due to the problems with my family and I know many of the symptoms, but I’m not a psychologist so I can’t really say anything about anyone else. I don’t believe in the “crazy monster” label, though.

    @Steersman, please stop with this “lynch mob” nonsense. It’s kind of like the “crazy monster” label in reverse.

  61. 61
    Steersman

    Ashley (#59):

    So, where you lose me is in this repeated “Lynch Mob” complaint. I realize you are meaning it colloquially, but even so, who is calling for anything remotely like lynching to happen to Woody Allen?

    A fair question, and maybe I’m letting my own exasperation get the better of me, and I’ll concede that the “lynch mob” accusation is based on an impression from a number of incidents or statements, some from other locations, and not all of which may be particularly valid or relevant in this particular case. However, consider these statements just in this thread:

    Doubtthat (#56): That’s the multimillionaire film maker for whom you express such concern.

    Steersman: I wonder what benefits there might be in rehashing all of this – particularly if it doesn’t somehow lead to reducing that incidence.
    —-
    Doubtthat (#55): Perhaps Dylan finally had her fill of Hollywood and society at large accepting the prominence of the man who molested her. He is winning lifetime achievement awards and his latest film is up for Oscars. It seems like a decent time to remind people that they are smiling at, thanking, and working with a deeply disturbed person.

    Stacy (#46): It seems to me that an awful lot of bending-over-backward-to-give-Allen-the-benefit-of-the-doubt went on, and continues to go on. Is that surprising, given that we’re talking about a wealthy, famous, well-respected man ….

    PDX_Greg (#13): But just in case you missed it, our focus here is on the horrible possible reality that yet another child abuser gets to be considered a great overall person because he has had lots and lots of success making movies ….

    Pray tell, how is Allen’s “success at making movies”, how is his “fame” and pending “lifetime achievement award” particularly relevant to the highly questionable accusation that some 20 years ago he supposedly molested a child? Is it not likely that there’s some significant level of personal animus motivating several of the main characters in this drama, even if there may be some justification for it? (1) One which, as several here have pointed to, raises the question about why “we so thoroughly involve ourselves in the lives of strangers who happen to be famous”. Maybe there’s some kind of a “proxy fight” involved here whereby the events of 20 years ago and its recent “recrudescence” have been merely the trigger to unlease all of the questionable emotions and arguments surrounding a whole slew of other issues. All of which, one might reasonably argue at least as a tentative hypothesis, makes Allen some kind of a scapegoat in some Greek Tragedy (2) if not in some barbaric Old Testament morality play.

    But, as a case in point, consider this comment (3) from “Nepenthe”, who has commented here, on the question of rape, and my response to her on Ed Brayton’s blog:

    Nepenthe: Of all the people who have raped me, raped people I love, … not a single one has ever suffered a moment of consequence.
    —-
    Steersman: I am truly sorry to hear that you, and others, have been subjected to those experiences. As I have argued or suggested elsewhere many times, it is truly horrific and an egregious miscarriage of justice that there are, apparently, some 200,000 cases of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. every year. However, I’m not sure that it is particularly credible, wise or edifying for many to be attempting, apparently, to make Woody Allen the scapegoat for all of those other crimes. And on very questionable evidence.

    Rather looked to me like there was a whole pile of baggage that she was bringing to the discussion, and it hardly seems like she was unique in that regard.

    But that was in the context of a discussion about “hyper-feminist” Amanda Marcotte’s “views” (4) on whether, as Nepenthe succinctly paraphrased them, “suggesting that someone ought not be celebrated, honored, and invited to all the right parties” was beyond the pale or not. Now I will concede that Marcotte was, for a change, somewhat more balanced than she was during the Duke fiasco, and that there is, as she suggests, some justification for looking at the issue from the “preponderance of evidence” perspective. However, even there in that perspective or her view on it there seems to be the rather problematic elision of the fact that that still takes place in a court of law, and not in the kangaroo-courts of public opinion.

    Although I will readily admit that I still sympathize with her conclusion that “leaving most victims [of rape and sexual assault] adrift and afraid just isn’t working”. But, absent some sincere efforts to address the causes, as well as some possible practical solutions thereto, all of the “sound and fury” looks like it consists mostly of much venting of spleen, and the pandering to emotions that don’t look all that credible or edifying, and not normally found outside of lynch mobs at least in their ubiquity. Or outside of Jehovah Witnesses “disfellowshipping” apostates, or of Scientologists’ responses to “suppressive persons”.


    1) “_http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/07/mia-farrow-valentines-day-card-woody-allen_n_4745097.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular”;
    2) “_http://nypost.com/2014/02/08/woody-mia-a-greek-tragedy/”;
    3) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2014/01/30/marcotte-pretty-much-destroys-hannity/#comment-299965”;
    4) “_http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/04/in-the-court-of-public-opinion-lets-try-preponderance-of-evidence-as-the-standard/”;

  62. 62
    doubtthat

    @Steersman

    I do realize that talking to you is like talking to a brick wall…that then talks back with exhausting, simplistic nonsense, but I can’t help myself.

    Pray tell, how is Allen’s “success at making movies”, how is his “fame” and pending “lifetime achievement award” particularly relevant to the highly questionable accusation that some 20 years ago he supposedly molested a child?

    First, it isn’t “highly questionable.” It’s pretty likely. It was likely enough that a judge decided to protect a child from him. You just keep inserting different nouns into your “Scattegories: Harrassers, molesters, and Rapists apology edition.”

    Second, Dylan raised the issue after 20 years of silence because Allen is being treated like a hero. His acceptance and prominence is what likely drove her to speak up, and that choice is hers. Once she shared her story, we, like you, evaluated. We just used reason as opposed to a reflexive instinct to defend a scumbag because he happens to be a man.

    If Jerry Sandusky had never been exposed and convicted, I’d imagine one of his victims would feel an urge to speak up were he to win awards and have people gush about what a great man he was. This is very normal and understandable, which makes me question, once again, whether you’re just pretending to be dense or are really that incapable of understanding something so simple.

    And finally, you are the one whining about a “lynch mob,” but the public has been incredibly kind to Allen. The public has been far kinder than the court system, which you seem to lionize when it suits you – “innocent until proven guilty” – but then take great pains to pretend doesn’t exist when they engage in a thorough examination and derive conclusions that contradict your vapid musings.

    raises the question about why “we so thoroughly involve ourselves in the lives of strangers who happen to be famous”.

    Woody Allen is a man who has become enormously wealthy by selling products to the American public. As consumers, we have the right to choose to spend our money on the products of less vile people, even if the product happens to be good.

    If I found out that the CEO of Google was a Klansman, I’d probably stop using their services even though I like them. It’s a free country.

    However, even there in that perspective or her view on it there seems to be the rather problematic elision of the fact that that still takes place in a court of law, and not in the kangaroo-courts of public opinion.

    You say this over and over, yet seem to ignore that this issue was litigated in an actual court of law. That decision was appealed, meaning that two levels of the judicial system dealt with the evidence and found that Allen was dangerous to Dylan.

    The “kangaroo-court” has been MUCH more on Allen’s side than actual court. My guess is that this popular sentiment is largely behind the recent efforts by the children to speak out.

    But, absent some sincere efforts to address the causes, as well as some possible practical solutions thereto, all of the “sound and fury” looks like it consists mostly of much venting of spleen, and the pandering to emotions that don’t look all that credible or edifying, and not normally found outside of lynch mobs at least in their ubiquity.

    First of all, haha, that’s some of our best work. Sanctimony, check. Feigned sincerity, check. Make-believe concern, check. Poorly written gibberish, check. This goes on your “best of” reel.

    Practical solutions? How about public disdain for child abusers? Public sentiment is actual a very powerful tool for initiating improvement. Just as shifting public attitude in favor of gay rights has lead to radical legal restructuring, public shaming and shunning child abusers (of which Allen is definitely one, more than likely a molester, but definitely an abuser), and not simply letting them be celebrated and ignoring the history, is not meaningless.

  63. 63
    doubtthat

    Let me just add, that if you, Steersman, can get together a lynch mob that showers me with adulation, millions of dollars, and professional respect for two decades, I will provide the oil for the torches.

  64. 64
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#62):

    I do realize that talking to you is like talking to a brick wall … but I can’t help myself.

    The debil made me do it.

    Steersman: … how is [Allen’s] “fame” … particularly relevant to the highly questionable accusation ….?

    Doubtthat: First, it isn’t “highly questionable.” It’s pretty likely. It was likely enough that a judge decided to protect a child from him.

    But it wasn’t “likely” enough to charge him 20 years ago, and it was the other factual information that led to the protection, not the supposed molestation. But how “likely” do you think it is that he could be convicted today in a civil court – as with O.J. Simpson – under a “preponderance of evidence” framework, even assuming that it isn’t past some statute of limitations?

    Absent that other solution, angling for or trying to promote some “extrajudicial” penalty looks rather vindictive: “disposed to seek vengeance”; “characterized by spite or rancour”. Classy.

    Once [Dylan] shared her story, we, like you, evaluated.

    And we reach very different conclusions based on different sets of data, and on different interpretations of it. And my impression is that you and many others are rather cavalier in discounting the possibility, the hypothesis, that salient elements of Dylan’s testimony were a result of coaching by Mia. You may wish to, although I somehow doubt you will, take a look at this comment (1) that a Pit member attempted to post on Ophelia Benson’s blog here (2), but which she apparently deigned not to publish – ah, “FreethoughtBlogs”, a term destined to become a paradigmatic oxymoron. But a salient element of that comment:

    Dwyer (1986) reports similar statistics. She states that 77% of the divorce-linked allegations of sex abuse cases coming to the Human Sexuality Program at the University of Minnesota have turned out to be “hoax” cases. This was based upon the opinion reached by the agency staff that the allegations were not accurate.

    Now we could quibble until the cows come home over accuracy and percentages and biases and methodological failings or limitations. But it seems there is more than enough “smoke” to suggest a “fire” somewhere, that it is a plausible hypothesis in many situations, including the Dylan-Allen case. While I will readily agree – as I have already done here several times – that Allen was apparently rather much of dickhead and acted towards Dylan in a “grossly inappropriate” manner, it still seems, in light of that possibility, rather unseemly – to say the least – to insist that he actually molested her. Or to act as if it were true.

    If Jerry Sandusky had never been exposed and convicted, I’d imagine one of his victims would feel an urge to speak up were he to win awards ….

    Probably. But, if I’m not mistaken, the amount and nature of the evidence in that case was substantially more persuasive than that in the Allen case; rather unlikely that the scene you envision could have ever taken place.

    First of all, haha, that’s some of our best work. Sanctimony, check. Feigned sincerity, check. Make-believe concern, check. Poorly written gibberish, check. This goes on your “best of” reel.

    I’m flattered; I hope I’ll get a cut of whatever proceeds you might obtain as a result. Although maybe I should just consider your apparent suggestion that I’m “arguing in bad faith” as being “quite insulting”.

    Practical solutions? How about public disdain for child abusers? Public sentiment is [actually] a very powerful tool for initiating improvement.

    Hey, why don’t you go whole-hog and bring back public stocks (3)? Or maybe you could implement some “Struggle Sessions” (4) wherein the victim, err, defendant will be “forced to admit to various crimes before a crowd of people who would verbally and physically abuse the victim until he or she confessed” since, if I’m not mistaken, that is consistent with your political philosophy.

    —-
    1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=159266#p159266”;
    2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/02/creating-false-memories/”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_stocks”;
    4) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session”;

  65. 65
    Minow

    Lastly, if I seriously thought my child was at risk for molestation by her other parent, I wouldn’t go shopping, I would be right there.

    That is strange behaviour, but not as strange as allowing the man you think is a possible paedophile predator to adopt your child, which Farrow did. I am not saying that proves anything, but I find it very hard to understand.

    Another detail that seemed odd to me in all this is that when Soon Yi Previn admitted her affair with Allen to Farrow, Farrow’s reaction was to slap Soon Yin in the face. That strikes me as the reaction of an angry, betrayed lover faced by a rival, not a concerned parent. I cannot imagine my child telling me about something that I considered to sexual abuse and reacting by hitting her.

  66. 66
    LykeX

    That strikes me as the reaction of an angry, betrayed lover faced by a rival, not a concerned parent.

    Can’t it be both? In a situation as thoroughly fucked up as that, do you really expect people to react rationally or without conflicting emotions?

  67. 67
    Minow

    It could be both and human feelings and reactions are often more complex and murky than we imagine, but iit does seem odd to me as a reaction. I just can’t see myself hitting any child because someone had sexually exploited her. It casts a bit of a shadow on Farrow’s motivations, I think.

  68. 68
    LykeX

    It casts a bit of a shadow on Farrow’s motivations, I think.

    And that’s really the important thing, isn’t it.

  69. 69
    theoreticalgrrrl

    “Dwyer (1986) reports similar statistics. She states that 77% of the divorce-linked allegations of sex abuse cases coming to the Human Sexuality Program at the University of Minnesota have turned out to be “hoax” cases. This was based upon the opinion reached by the agency staff that the allegations were not accurate.”

    There was no divorce case, and W. Allen sued for custody AFTER he found out about Dylan’s accusation that he molested her. Both Mia and Woody agreed before this that should they separate in the future, Woody wouldn’t try for custody. Read the court transcript if you are interested in the facts.

    And Minow, no one was adopted after the sexual abuse allegations. Get your facts straight.

  70. 70
    Minow

    And Minow, no one was adopted after the sexual abuse allegations. Get your facts straight.

    Not after the allegations of sexual assault were made but, according to Farrow, after she had come to believe that Allen showed an inappropriate sexual interest in the girl to an extent that she felt the child had to be protected from him. That is strange. I cannot imagine allowing someone I did not trust to be alone with my child for fear of sexual molestation to adopt that child. In fact, in the UK, this would not be possible.

  71. 71
    Sam the Sam

    Ashley F. Miller wrote:

    “In the first sentence there are two things that are a bit disturbing. The first is that Mia Farrow never accused him of child molestation, Dylan Farrow did. ”

    Please, read Mia Farrows book “What Falls Away” and you’ll find that your claim doesn’t hold water. Which isn’t a good way to start your… thorough analysis.

  72. 72
    closedmyaccount

    The illogic of the scenario would make it a perfect time to perpetrate an attack, because it wouldn’t be believed

    +

    The police asked Allen to take a polygraph and he refused — he took it for his own attorneys. The Connecticut State Police refused to accept it as evidence. Likewise, Mia Farrow was not asked by police to take a polygraph, only by Allen for his attorneys. Of course she refused to take a test administered by people working for him. Furthermore, polygraphs are notoriously unreliable.

    Method of deployment : Heads, I win – Tails, you lose.
    This is not an analysis, this is dreck.

  73. 73
    theoreticalgrrrl

    @Minow, she thought his relationship with Dylan was too intense, not that it was a sexual interest. He agreed with her request to go to therapy to work on his relationship with Dylan. When Mia wanted to adopt Satchel, Allen said he would agree to it only if Mia sponsored his adoption of Moses and Dylan. Mia agreed when Woody assured her that he would not take Dylan over to his apartment for sleep-overs unless she was there and that “God forbid, if anything should happen to our relationship, he would never seek custody.”
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/205403621/Allen-v-Farrow-Custody-Ruling-June-7-1993

  74. 74
    Minow

    @Minow, she thought his relationship with Dylan was too intense, not that it was a sexual interest.

    Not according to her testimony. She claimed that he looked at the child ‘in a sexual way and that she was so concerned for the child’s safety that she would not allow Allen too be alone with the child. Nevertheless she agreed that he should adopt her. That is strange behaviour, it doesn’t prove anything but it is suggestive. I cannot imagine agreeing to the adoption of my child if I suspected that the adopter might have a a sexual interest in her and that he was too dangerous to be left alone with her. It is true that the family therapist did not see any sexual aspect to Allen’s interest in the child, but then neither have any of the other medical or social care professionals involved in the case. But Farrow did.

  75. 75
    Sheryl

    Go, Wood Head, GO!! Fuck with all the facts!!!!

  76. 76
    Minow

    Who do you mean Sheryl? If you mean me, I think those are the facts. Which ones would you argue with?

  77. 77
    doubtthat

    @ Steersman

    But it wasn’t “likely” enough to charge him 20 years ago

    This is incorrect. The reason the prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges was the likely trauma it would cause Dylan, who had already been subjected to a fiasco of an investigation. The Yale-New Haven team did an absolutely terrible job that likely caused additional trauma to Dylan. The judge discusses this in his decision.

    Had this situation occurred today, there is a close to 100% chance that Allen would have been prosecuted. Involved authorities from pediatricians to therapists to social workers are all better trained in how to handle this sort of case, and the mess of the early 90′s would have been avoided.

    And my impression is that you and many others are rather cavalier in discounting the possibility, the hypothesis, that salient elements of Dylan’s testimony were a result of coaching by Mia…

    This theory was advanced and argued in detail during the custody battle. The judge, after listening to sworn testimony and evaluating the reports of various therapists and evaluators, found this unconvincing.

    Again, you and your kangaroo court are the ones doing a horseshit job of evaluating the evidence. The court system dealt with your groundbreaking theories 20 years ago and found them as laughable as we do here. And, of course, the judge’s conclusion that Allen was a threat to the children was not based on the veracity of the molestation complaint. He found more than adequate evidence to support the contention that Allen was an abuser.

    Probably. But, if I’m not mistaken, the amount and nature of the evidence in that case was substantially more persuasive than that in the Allen case; rather unlikely that the scene you envision could have ever taken place.

    You have a fantastic talent for arguing against an analogy based on a notion for which it was not used.

    Yes, there are differences in the case. The salient issue is why this has flared up again. I’m giving you an explanation. None of your tedious nonsense remotely applies to that point.

    Although maybe I should just consider your apparent suggestion that I’m “arguing in bad faith” as being “quite insulting”.

    Were I you, I would find the suggestion that these arguments were genuine much more insulting.

    Hey, why don’t you go whole-hog and bring back public stocks

    This is the reason I find you disingenuous. Please explain how Woody Allen has been harmed by any of this.

    Once again, you and your kangaroo cohort defending Allen and trying (pathetically) to explain away the court ruling (or, more accurately, just ignoring the court) are the effective public dynamic. In fact, it’s the mass of public support and acclaim for Allen that motivated Dylan to bring this up.

    In a court of law, Allen was smashed and found to be a child abuser. In your kangaroo court NOTHING CAN BE KNOWN. It’s all a big mystery and Mia Farrow is crazy…blah blah. The gap between these two realities should cause you to reflect on how you, having access to exactly 0% of the court testimony and reports, are so defensive of Allen, where a judge and appellate panel did not hesitate to demolish the same shitty arguments you’re now using.

  78. 78
    doubtthat

    @74 Minow

    Not according to her testimony. She claimed that he looked at the child ‘in a sexual way and that she was so concerned for the child’s safety that she would not allow Allen too be alone with the child. Nevertheless she agreed that he should adopt her. That is strange behaviour, it doesn’t prove anything but it is suggestive.

    It certainly is strange if you remove those facts from all context and ignore what was actually happening.

    Farrow became concerned because after ignoring all of the children for years, all of a sudden Woody Allen fixated on this one child so intently that he was basically suffocating her. She took her concerns to a therapist (one bought and paid for by Allen, as subsequent investigation revealed) and he agreed. He began treating Allen to help him develop a relationship with all of the children.

    The combination of the therapy and Allen’s stated commitment to being a part of the family is what lead Farrow to think the adoption would work. It subsequently fell apart when Allen began an affair with one of the children and then molested Dylan.

    This is suggestive of nothing save for how terrifying and confusion abusers are. Farrow had her suspicions and acted accordingly, but she had no certainty until the Soon-Yi/Dylan situations came to light.

    It turns out that Allen’s therapist was a bit of a mess, and he was an essential element of the adoption process as he would have to give his opinion and recommendation to the agency. The degree to which Farrow tried to involve Allen in that family, until it was obvious that he was a disgusting menace, single-handedly rebukes the notion that this was a plot by her. Remember, the custody case was filed by Allen, not Farrow.

  79. 79
    Minow

    doubthatt, I don’t think we will agree on this, but the facts are that Farrow agreed to let a man adopt her daughter while believing he was a danger to her in some sense. This seems very strange to me. Negligent at best. The internet narrative has been much stronger, however, much has been made of the ‘rule’ that Allen was forbidden from being alone with Allen and the implicit suggestion that this was because of his supposed sexual interest in her. When the alleged abuse incident took place, for example, Allen is said to have sneaked off with the girl (although this is denied by some of the staff present) and that this was a cause of alarm. I cannot see what the cause for alarm would be if the ‘danger’ was only that he would ‘stifle’ the child by monopolizing her attention for 15 minutes. If it is not the case that Allen was long suspected by Farrow as being a sexual threat to her daughter, people should really stop mentioning it as if it is a salient and particularly damning point, if it is the case that Farrow thought Allen was a sexual danger, she has behaved extremely strangely to say the least.

  80. 80
    Minow

    That first sentence should read ‘ … the facts are that, according to her testimony and the anonymous testimony of many supproters in Vanity Fair, …’

  81. 81
    doubtthat

    @79

    I don’t think we will agree on this, but the facts are that Farrow agreed to let a man adopt her daughter while believing he was a danger to her in some sense.

    You’re pushing everything together in time such that appears these things were more closely related.

    Dylan is adopted in 1986. Around the time of the birth of Satchel, 1987, is when Farrow expresses her concern about the relationship. Recall, also, that Allen is only around sporadically and maintains a separate residence. He is not ever caring for the kids on his own.

    Around 1990 the kids are taken in for evaluation, and Allen starts seeing the doctor after Farrow expresses her concerns.

    Now, the important point is the following quote from the court transcript:

    In 1991, Farrow expressed a desire to adopt another child. Mr. Allen, who had begun to believe that Ms. Farrow was growing more remote from him and that she might discontinue his access to Dylan, said that he would not take ‘a lousy attitude towards it’ if, in return, Ms. Farrow would sponsor his adoption of Dylan and Moses. She said that she agreed after Mr. Allen assured her that ‘he would not take Dylan for sleep-overs…unless I was there. And that if, God forbid, anything should happen to our relationship, that he would never seek custody.’

    So we have Allen manipulating the situation to maintain access to Dylan, and Farrow attempting to ensure that the child isn’t alone with him. Recall that at this point, all Farrow has is her suspicions, and Allen is in therapy. The therapist, who later turns out to not be reliable, does not believe the relationship between Allen and Dylan is sexual, just disturbingly focused.

    As I said earlier, I am a family law attorney. I have worked with countless clients who are in a very similar position: they fear that the opposing party is harming the child but they have no solid evidence and the experts aren’t giving strong enough opinions to make litigation a viable option.

    In this case, there is also the fact that the parties are celebrities. If Farrow pushes to exclude Allen from access to the kids, this immediately becomes a national story. If Farrow unilaterally restricts Allen’s access to the kids, you can bet he would file for visitation, so the stakes are incredibly high.

    The reason Farrow’s suspicions are important is that they become valid in retrospect. At the time, it was incredibly unclear, even to the experts, whether or not Allen was dangerous. If you’re trying to base a defense of Allen on Farrow’s behavior, you’re simply inserting a totally baseless opinion and sound no different that people who fantasize about how they would have tackled the hijackers on 9-11.

    These situations never have clarity until it’s too late, and Farrow did take steps to protect the kids within the parameters of what she could reasonably do at the time.

  82. 82
    Minow

    As I said earlier, I am a family law attorney. I have worked with countless clients who are in a very similar position: they fear that the opposing party is harming the child but they have no solid evidence and the experts aren’t giving strong enough opinions to make litigation a viable option.

    And in how many of those situations have your clients decided that the suspected abuser can adopt their children? The situation is not at all similar.

    If Farrow has sought to prevent Allen seeing her daughter, there is really nothing he could have done about it.He has no rights at all over her, you must know that as a family lawyer. You cannot file for visitation rights to the children of your girlfriend. And the idea that she was willing to put her child at risk in order to make it easier to adopt another child does her no favours.

  83. 83
    Raging Bee

    It could be both and human feelings and reactions are often more complex and murky than we imagine, but iit does seem odd to me as a reaction.

    That, Minnow, only shows how totally fucking ignorant you are of how real people function in the real world.

    And the fact that you would display your ignorance by making such a lazy comment in response to a post about a man molesting his kids shows that you’re incredibly small-mided as well as stupid.

  84. 84
    Minow

    Raging bee, calm down, if you rage a bit less you may find that you can think a bit more.

  85. 85
    Raging Bee

    Minow, I’ve given your comments all the thought they deserve. Either prove I’m wrong or admit I’m right.

  86. 86
    doubtthat

    @82 Minow

    And in how many of those situations have your clients decided that the suspected abuser can adopt their children? The situation is not at all similar.

    This is the voice of total ignorance.

    Many, many times, the suspicious party has to arrive at a custody agreement that allows access to the kids. Believe me, the argument, “If you thought he/she was so bad, why did you agree to let them have visitation,” is a constant argument raised in court.

    If Farrow has sought to prevent Allen seeing her daughter, there is really nothing he could have done about it.He has no rights at all over her, you must know that as a family lawyer. ou cannot file for visitation rights to the children of your girlfriend.

    Jesus. I enjoy that you’re lecturing me on the law. You don’t even realize how little you know.

    First, Farrow clearly need Allen’s cooperation on the new adoption, that gave him leverage. Second, he most certainly could have filed a suit to have access to the kids, especially Dylan, based on the argument that he was serving in the role of the father, and even though the child wasn’t legally adopted at that point, cutting the child away from the figure that served as a father would not be in the child’s best interest. At that point the very public, very messy trial begins and Farrow has only therapists that would give tepid opinions mostly supporting Allen.

    I don’t practice in New York, but a quick search reveals that third party visitation and custody is allowed in New York. Obviously the burden is in favor of the natural parent, but it would not be surprising for the court to order some visitation should he bring a suit. The extraordinary circumstance is Allen’s role as a father. This is not an uncommon situation in the modern world (just the notion of a third party serving in the role of parent).

    And the idea that she was willing to put her child at risk in order to make it easier to adopt another child does her no favors.

    This is just after-the-fact reasoning. The allegations of abuse and the sick relationship with Soon-Yi was not known at the time. You’re playing make-believe based on your knowledge of what ultimately happened, not attempting to understand what was known contemporaneously with the decisions made.

    You’re also totally ignorant of the law. This is generally not a good combination for a strong argument.

  87. 87
    Minow

    Raging Bee, you forgot the third option: ignore your whining until you go away.

  88. 88
    Minow

    Many, many times, the suspicious party has to arrive at a custody agreement that allows access to the kids. Believe me, the argument, “If you thought he/she was so bad, why did you agree to let them have visitation,” is a constant argument raised in court.

    But that is not at all a similar situation. We are talking about the suspicious party allowing the person they are suspicious of to adopt their daughter despite their suspicions. Have you ever seen that happen?

    I don’t practice in New York, but a quick search reveals that third party visitation and custody is allowed in New York. Obviously the burden is in favor of the natural parent, but it would not be surprising for the court to order some visitation should he bring a suit.

    It would be very surprising if the court allowed visitation rights to a woman’s boyfriend who had never lived in the same house as the child against the mothers wishes and in the face of her suspicions that he is a paedophile. You must know this. Third person visitation rights are nearly always awarded to grandparents or other relations of the child. Again,I think you know that.

    This just leaves you with the idea that Farrow was willing to risk the sexual abuse of Dylan in order to adopt another child without the opposition of Allen. I find that unlikely but if it were true it wouldn’t cast Farrow in a good light.She had other options, she could just have left him (left the man she suspected of being sexually interested in her seven year old daughter if her testimony is to be believed).

    This is just after-the-fact reasoning. The allegations of abuse and the sick relationship with Soon-Yi was not known at the time.

    The allegation of abuse was made later, but Farrow claims she first became suspicious when Dylan was two years old and was so concerned that there was a rule that Allen should not be alone with the child. Much has been made of this because it is thought to lend credence to the later allegation of abuse. As to the relationship with Soon Yi, you may think that ‘sick’ but that is neither here nor there. It has no bearing. An interest in 22 year old women (one 22 year old woman who he married and stayed with for over 16 years) does not indicate a predeliction for seven year old girls.

    And you make the lawyer’s mistake of imaging that only people who get paid for it can understand the law. I have known enough lawyers to have a pretty low opinion of their grasp on these things in general.

  89. 89
    Minow

    I am no expert on NY family law Doubtthat, but I think this is the relevant bit:

    N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law 72 (Supp. 1996) (granting visitation rights to third parties under extraordinary circumstances). Because you are 1) a blood relative, and 2) involved in her life, and 3) being kept from your family member by a non-blood relative, you would have standing to apply for visitation rights.

    I would be interested in your legal opinion as to how Allen would have met those criteria.

    That is all free, by the way. No charge. Gratis

  90. 90
    doubtthat

    @88 Minow

    But that is not at all a similar situation. We are talking about the suspicious party allowing the person they are suspicious of to adopt their daughter despite their suspicions. Have you ever seen that happen?

    Adoptions are fairly rare, but that’s a superficial distinction. The issue is custody and visitation, and Allen was using his leverage to assert himself into the children’s lives. It is not unusual for someone to allow access to children under certain conditions to allow the other party to obtain what they want. Again, at this point Allen is in therapy and the therapist does not believe the relationship is sexual.

    It would be very surprising if the court allowed visitation rights to a woman’s boyfriend who had never lived in the same house as the child against the mothers wishes and in the face of her suspicions that he is a paedophile. You must know this

    This is you talking completely out of your ass. An order of some visitation would not be at all surprising if the court determined that Allen was acting in the role of father.

    I watched a court order a man to pay child support for two kids who weren’t his because he had sent them birthday cards and signed them “Daddy.” The court determined that he was asserting himself in the role of father, and that it was in the best interests of the kids that he continue to support them.

    If had wanted to take on that responsibility, the court would have gladly allowed him the chance.

    Third person visitation rights are nearly always awarded to grandparents or other relations of the child. Again,I think you know that.

    That has nothing to do with anything. Grandparents are the most likely party to be taking on the role of parent with the natural parents are incapable of caring for the child. That fact has no bearing on whether a different third party -Aunt or uncle, cousin, boyfriend/girlfriend– would obtain visitation rights. The standard is the relationship between the third party and the child.

    If a non-relative was raising a child, they would have a claim to third party custody/visitation. My state doesn’t allow third party custody unless the natural parent is unfit. New York has more liberal laws in that regard.

    Farrow claims she first became suspicious when Dylan was two years old and was so concerned that there was a rule that Allen should not be alone with the child. Much has been made of this because it is thought to lend credence to the later allegation of abuse.

    It does, in retrospect. The therapist involved believed that it wasn’t sexual in nature, just disturbingly intense. After Dylan revealed the molestation, then that “closeness” appears to be grooming rather than something else.

    As to the relationship with Soon Yi, you may think that ‘sick’ but that is neither here nor there. It has no bearing. An interest in 22 year old women (one 22 year old woman who he married and stayed with for over 16 years) does not indicate a predeliction for seven year old girls.

    Goddamn. You need to read the actual court case. The judge goes into detail in his decision about why that relationship was so sick and destructive.

    The point is that when Farrow allowed the adoption, she was not aware of the most destructive, disturbing aspects of Allen’s behavior. I think it’s safe to say that there is no way she would have agreed to the adoption after learning about Soon-Yi, which is the point.

    And you make the lawyer’s mistake of imaging that only people who get paid for it can understand the law. I have known enough lawyers to have a pretty low opinion of their grasp on these things in general.

    And yet every single statement you’ve made about the law has been completely incorrect. The level of confidence and ignorance is astonishing.

  91. 91
    doubtthat

    @89 Minow

    A stepparent, gay or lesbian partner, or other third party can sue for custody in New York. They will need to prove extraordinary circumstances to obtain custody from the natural parent. Visitation is generally limited to blood relatives, though that isn’t an inviolable rule.

    The devil lies in what constitutes “extraordinary circumstances.” You can be that Allen and his attorneys would have used the same arguments presented in the custody case to argue that Farrow was unfit. Farrow not wanting to submit all of this to a very public trial is not irrational, especially given what was known about Allen’s behavior at the time.

  92. 92
    Minow

    Adoptions are fairly rare

    Women alllowing men they think are sexualpredators to adopt teir daughters are only failry rare? Can you give a value to ‘failry’? I mena, have you every seen a case like tha?

    but that’s a superficial distinction. The issue is custody and visitation

    It is not a superficial distinction at all.By allowing someone to adopt your child you give them important rights over that child they would not otherwise have. It is not at all like trying to contest the visitation rights that already accrue.

    It is not unusual for someone to allow access to children under certain conditions to allow the other party to obtain what they want. Again, at this point Allen is in therapy and the therapist does not believe the relationship is sexual.

    Not access but adoption. that is massively different. I allow access to my children to many people who I would never consider allowing to adopt!

    This is you talking completely out of your ass. An order of some visitation would not be at all surprising if the court determined that Allen was acting in the role of father.

    My point was that it is vanishingly unlikely that the court would consider Allen to be in the role of father if he had never lived with the child,was opposed by the other, and was suspected of being a sexual predator.

    I watched a court order a man to pay child support for two kids who weren’t his because he had sent them birthday cards and signed them “Daddy.”

    Paying support and having access are not the same thing. They are not even the same sort of thing. You must know this.I know a number of people who are required to pay maintenance to children they cannot see.

    The standard is the relationship between the third party and the child.

    And yet the courts never seem to allow rights to boyfriends. I have never seen a case where this has happened.

    If a non-relative was raising a child, they would have a claim to third party custody/visitation. My state doesn’t allow third party custody unless the natural parent is unfit. New York has more liberal laws in that regard.

    But in this case Allen was not raising the child and nor did he have a blood relation. It is inconceivable that he would have been awarded access. I understand why a lawyer might advise him to have a go,but that’s lawyers for you.

    It does, in retrospect. The therapist involved believed that it wasn’t sexual in nature, just disturbingly intense. After Dylan revealed the molestation, then that “closeness” appears to be grooming rather than something else.

    You have inserted that ‘disturbingly’, but you are right that neither therapist (or any other health or social professionals involved) saw any evidence of a sexual interest from Allen. But Farrow did think it was sexual or so she claims and that is the point. She says she was so concerned she banned Allen from being alone with the girl (and anonymous sources told the same story to Vanity Fair). If she is being honest, she agreed for a man that she believed was a potential molester to adopt her child, it is beside the point that others did not think he was a danger, Farrow did, according to her testimon,y and that makes her actions strange.

    Goddamn. You need to read the actual court case. The judge goes into detail in his decision about why that relationship was so sick and destructive.

    The relationship damaged the family buts seems to have been healthy and happy for Allen and Soon-Yi. Judges find many things sick that don’t bother me at all. Not long ago they were denouncing interracial sex and homosexual realations as sick too. I wouldn’t put too much store in the opinion of a judge on matters sexual.

    The point is that when Farrow allowed the adoption, she was not aware of the most destructive, disturbing aspects of Allen’s behavior. I think it’s safe to say that there is no way she would have agreed to the adoption after learning about Soon-Yi, which is the point.

    Again, she says she was. But the Soon-Yi case has no bearing, that was a consensual affair between adults.

    And yet every single statement you’ve made about the law has been completely incorrect. The level of confidence and ignorance is astonishing.

    And being a lawyer you can no doubt point out were I am wrong? Or only on the clock?

  93. 93
    Raging Bee

    And being a lawyer you can no doubt point out were I am wrong?

    Several commenters have pointed out where you’re wrong. Your willful ignorance once again shows what a dishonest and uncaring troll you are.

  94. 94
    doubtthat

    @92 Minow

    Women alllowing men they think are sexualpredators to adopt teir daughters are only failry rare? Can you give a value to ‘failry’? I mena, have you every seen a case like the?

    Good lord, are you even reading what I write?

    1) You are drastically overestimating Farrow and other parents’ certainty in all of this. Farrow though the behavior was troubling, a mental health expert was involved who said it wasn’t sexual. Farrow still took steps to keep Allen away from Dylan in a one on one capacity.

    2) The very point of explaining that adoptions are rare was to explain why i hadn’t seen that exact fact pattern. I’m sure if you get on WestLaw you’ll be able to find a similar case.

    It is not a superficial distinction at all.By allowing someone to adopt your child you give them important rights over that child they would not otherwise have. It is not at all like trying to contest the visitation rights that already accrue…

    Not access but adoption. that is massively different. I allow access to my children to many people who I would never consider allowing to adopt!

    A similar thing happens when people drop protective orders or consent to paternity suits for child support and plenty of other scenarios where one party gains power. Farrow also gained rights, like the right to child support and the right of the children to inherent from Allen. Who knows how important that was given their particular situation, but you are acting like there was only one variable in their lives. This is silly and doesn’t support whatever point you’re trying to imply about the molestation case based on your frivolous scrutiny of Farrow’s behavior.

    My point was that it is vanishingly unlikely that the court would consider Allen to be in the role of father if he had never lived with the child,was opposed by the other, and was suspected of being a sexual predator.

    1) If true, that wouldn’t stop Allen from filing as he made the same argument for Farrow’s unfitness when there was much more evidence against him.

    2) At that point there was nothing to support the notion that he was a predator save an inchoate feeling from Farrow. The therapist working with Allen did not believe he was sexually molesting the child.

    And yet the courts never seem to allow rights to boyfriends. I have never seen a case where this has happened.

    I have. Many, many times (boyfriends and girlfriends). It happens in the context of child in need of care cases where the unfitness of the natural parent is established. This is the very argument Allen tried to make in a multi-million dollar litigation in 1992-1993. I don’t know why you think he wouldn’t have filed the exact same case earlier prior to Soon-Yi and the molestation.

    But in this case Allen was not raising the child and nor did he have a blood relation. It is inconceivable that he would have been awarded access. I understand why a lawyer might advise him to have a go,but that’s lawyers for you.

    Good lord. If you understand that, why are you arguing with me? That’s more or less the point. Regardless of his perceived chance of success — the court smack down in 1993 shows what little real chance he had — Allen easily could have caused a great deal of pain within the family (still trying to be held together before the Soon-Yi affair), cost millions of dollars, spread all the intricacies of their relationship to the public, and Farrow did not have anything definite to take into court with her.

    The point is not that Allen would have won, but that the shit he could have stirred served as a significant enough negotiating piece that Farrow made decisions based on that threat.

    The relationship damaged the family buts seems to have been healthy and happy for Allen and Soon-Yi. Judges find many things sick that don’t bother me at all. Not long ago they were denouncing interracial sex and homosexual realations as sick too. I wouldn’t put too much store in the opinion of a judge on matters sexual.

    Is this really how you reason? The opinion was not good because it was written by the judge, it’s a good opinion because the judge evinces a depth of knowledge about family dynamics that would be instructive for folks like you. He targets exactly how Allen’s relationship was destructive to the other children and how deeply troubling Allen’s lack of cognition of this fact actually was.

    As for the happiness and healthiness of Allen and Soon-Yi…if you’re going by how they appear at basketball games, I doubt you’re getting the full story, but it is more than obvious that the relationship caused severe trauma to the other children in that family.

    Again, she says she was. But the Soon-Yi case has no bearing, that was a consensual affair between adults.

    This statement once again betrays your total ignorance of family law and family health, in general. Again, read the court ruling. It does an excellent job of placing that situation in context and showing how Allen’s behavior towards Soon-Yi is significant factor in determining whether he was a healthy influence on the other children.

    And being a lawyer you can no doubt point out were I am wrong? Or only on the clock?

    I have. Over and over. That you ignore this and continue to spew forth ignorant nonsense is not for a failure of corrective statements from me and others.

  95. 95
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#77):

    This is incorrect. The reason the prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges was the likely trauma …. The judge discusses this in his decision.

    Not sure of this but my impression is that the judge made that assertion of lack of evidence prior to the prosecutor making that decision.

    The court system dealt with your groundbreaking theories [of coaching and brainwashing] 20 years ago and found them as laughable as we do here.

    I’ll concede that that hypothesis might be a stretch in this case, although that sort of depends on the veracity of various “eye-witnesses” which you should know is justifiably suspect in many cases. However, I would say that the “moral panic” surrounding claims of “satanic ritual abuse” (1) in the 1980s and 1990s is hardly a “laughing” matter, and is rather analogous to what might happen in custody battles. Or maybe you think all of those satanic abuse claims were justified?

    You have a fantastic talent for arguing against an analogy based on a notion for which it was not used.

    Practice makes perfect. Although I might suggest that that is a little disingenuous of you as well, if not evidence of being somewhat unclear on the concept of analogies in the first place, as your “notion” seems predicated on an assumption of similar levels of guilt that is very much in question.

    Were I you, I would find the suggestion that these arguments were genuine much more insulting.

    Which is also predicated on the assumption that you’re right. Which is the point in question.

    Steersman: Hey, why don’t you go whole-hog and bring back public stocks …

    Doubtthat: This is the reason I find you disingenuous. Please explain how Woody Allen has been harmed by any of this.

    Not at all sure what thought-processes you went through to arrive at that request, but to answer it, one would think that his reputation is likely to suffer, and it seems that that was Dylan’s intent, and that of many of those who defend her argument. And while it might be moot whether all of that justifies a charge of libel, it is still the case that the legal system does give some credence to the view that “a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual …” is actionable precisely because of that harm.

    In fact, it’s the mass of public support and acclaim for Allen that motivated Dylan to bring this up.

    Seems like someone and even many someones are conflating “public support and acclaim” for his talents as a filmmaker with the supposed support for his supposed molestation. Different kettles of fish.

    The gap between these two realities should cause you to reflect on how you, having access to exactly 0% of the court testimony and reports, are so defensive of Allen, where a judge and appellate panel did not hesitate to demolish the same shitty arguments you’re now using.

    I’ve read much of the Vanity Fair PDF on Justice Wilk’s ruling that you linked to earlier. And while I will readily concede, as I have done several times already even though your blinders seem to preclude you seeing that concession, that it is quite probable that he acted in a “grossly inappropriate manner” towards Dylan, and that there is some degree of probability that he did molest her in some way, the “defense of Allen” is hardly a case of defending those behaviours, and more one, I think, of defending his right to a fair trial – even in the proverbial court-of-public-opinion – and to some protection against that conflation.

    Seems there have been any number of individuals who have made significant contributions to our “commonwealth” while still exhibiting questionable positions or behaviours – the physicist and Nobel Laureate William Schockley, for example; I wonder whether you would think it appropriate to deprive such people of those types of awards and honours for those types of behaviours.


    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse”;

  96. 96
    David Raphael Israel

    The laconic remark from Edward Gemmer (comment #11) fairly sums up my experience as reader:

    “This case is almost impervious to any sort of conclusion. There is pretty strong evidence for both sides, which is unusual.”

    This puts me in mind of a Sufi story . . .

    [quote]
    He was deeply impressed by the eloquence of the plaintiff, and after hearing his evidence he exclaimed, “I believe you are right!”

    The clerk of the court explained that he should make no such comment until he had heard the case for the defence. Having done so, Nasruddin cried out, “I believe you are right!”

    “But they can’t both be right,” expostulated the clerk.

    “I believe you are right,” said the Mulla.
    [unquote]

  97. 97
    doubtthat

    @95 Steersman

    Not sure of this but my impression is that the judge made that assertion of lack of evidence prior to the prosecutor making that decision.

    That is an incoherent statement. If the prosecutor declined to move forward with the case, a judge never would have made a statement. If you’re talking about the jude in the civil case, he very much thought Allen’s guilt was possible perhaps likely given his ruling, but he based his decision on factors beyond the August 4th incident.

    I’ll concede that that hypothesis might be a stretch in this case, although that sort of depends on the veracity of various “eye-witnesses” which you should know is justifiably suspect in many cases. However, I would say that the “moral panic” surrounding claims of “satanic ritual abuse” (1) in the 1980s and 1990s is hardly a “laughing” matter, and is rather analogous to what might happen in custody battles. Or maybe you think all of those satanic abuse claims were justified?

    Haha, what? This Chicken Little attitude is hilarious. You’re like the worst first year law student on steroids. As near as I can tell, your argument is some sort of “slippery slope” concern that dealing with abuse allegations in a court of law will lead to Salem. Do you realize how many of these cases occur on a daily basis in this country? Do you realize how many similar cases that particular judge must have sat through?

    Your refusal to read the actual court case causes you to make simple errors over and over. There was a great deal of evidence beyond eyewitness testimony, including multiple reports from various experts and Allen’s own statements. What, specifically, in that court transcript leads you to believe that some “mass hysteria” took hold of the judge? What the hell are you talking about?

    Practice makes perfect. Although I might suggest that that is a little disingenuous of you as well, if not evidence of being somewhat unclear on the concept of analogies in the first place, as your “notion” seems predicated on an assumption of similar levels of guilt that is very much in question.

    The analogy was in no way, whatsoever, based on the “levels of guilt,” though it must be stated that you have absolutely no idea whether Allen is guilty or not. They could have the exact same level of guilt, namely 100%.

    Sandusky was convicted on eyewitness testimony, as well. Somehow that was ok, but the eyewitnesses testifying in the Allen/Farrow case can’t be trusted. Solid points.

    Not at all sure what thought-processes you went through to arrive at that request, but to answer it, one would think that his reputation is likely to suffer, and it seems that that was Dylan’s intent, and that of many of those who defend her argument. And while it might be moot whether all of that justifies a charge of libel, it is still the case that the legal system does give some credence to the view that “a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual …” is actionable precisely because of that harm.

    Let’s see who gets around to filing that libel suit faster, Shermer or Allen.

    If the statement is true, libel it ain’t. But you’ve once again evaded the point: you are comically whining about witch hunts and lynch mobs, when Woody Allen has been celebrated by the public. It’s hard to understand what you’re whining about.

    Lynch mobs killed people. What is the punishment for Allen? Harm to his reputation? That’s the worst that will happen to him, and it’s fully justified. There is a court ruling that declares him to be a dangerous abuser of children. His undeniable relationship with Soon-Yi was an insanely destructive action. He shouldn’t have a good reputation.

    Seems like someone and even many someones are conflating “public support and acclaim” for his talents as a filmmaker with the supposed support for his supposed molestation. Different kettles of fish.

    Go ahead and make that argument, then, instead of spewing out a squid-ink cloud of shitty apologetics. If you think his behavior towards his children is irrelevant to him being a filmmaker, then by all means, continue spending your money on his projects, but surely you can understand why others would choose a different course.

    I would argue that failing to acknowledge Allen’s dangerous behavior, tacitly normalizing his disturbing relationship with Soon-Yi, and simply deciding to ignore the person is acting by omission.

    I think, of defending his right to a fair trial – even in the proverbial court-of-public-opinion – and to some protection against that conflation.

    It’s so baffling to try and have a conversation with you. In one sentence you acknowledge reading the court transcript, then you defend his right to a free trial. What the fuck do you think the transcript was from? There was a trial, and the judge delivered a verdict that was a total slap down to Allen. This court of public opinion that gives you such consternation has accepted and celebrated Allen. What are you whining about?

    But what does a fair trial in the court of public opinion look like to you? Explain what should be done differently. I’m reading a court transcript and the statements of the accuser and drawing an opinion. The judge listened to multiple therapists and mental health professionals and listen to the sworn testimony of the parties. Is your rule that I can simply never have an opinion on that data? Give a specific example of what I’m doing wrong, procedurally. What should I be doing that I’m not.

    Seems there have been any number of individuals who have made significant contributions to our “commonwealth” while still exhibiting questionable positions or behaviours – the physicist and Nobel Laureate William Schockley, for example; I wonder whether you would think it appropriate to deprive such people of those types of awards and honours for those types of behaviors.

    People can make the decisions they want to make. Some people hire Charlie Sheen. Some people, including Mia Farrow, continue to work with and celebrate Roman Polanski. Folks still go to Catholic services.

    You seem to have this strange idea that somehow people want to put an embargo on Woody Allen and his movies. Groups can support or criticize Allen as they see fit.

  98. 98
    Marilyn

    Thank you for this analysis. I have read so much on this subject and saved so many links. Your post makes further reading unnecessary since it covers so much. When I learned that WA was going to have a page in the NYT OpEd I thought it would give him a chance to further incriminate himself, and it did. There is another shoe to drop I suspect. For now, I feel that the child victim now grown up has received a measure of justice that was denied to her 21 years ago. I wish her the very best.

  99. 99
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#97):

    Steersman: Not sure of this but my impression is that the judge made that assertion of lack of evidence prior to the prosecutor making that decision.
    —-
    That is an incoherent statement. If the prosecutor declined to move forward with the case, a judge never would have made a statement.

    Ergo the judge made that statement prior to the prosecutor’s decision which means it couldn’t have influenced the judge. Which makes your earlier “the reason the prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges was the likely trauma it would cause Dylan” a bit of a red herring, being charitable: whatever “trauma” that Dylan might have been subjected to had dick-all to do with or contribute to the untenable nature of the case.

    Do you realize how many of these cases occur on a daily basis in this country?

    No, but a sad state of affairs that your comment suggests so many.

    There was a great deal of evidence beyond eyewitness testimony, including multiple reports from various experts ….

    Who might well have been “leading the witness” [Dylan] – I note that the “satanic abuse” article criticized the now discredited procedures that were apparently common then – at the same time as the events in question:

    The panic was influenced to a large extent by testimony of children and adults that were obtained using therapeutic and interrogation techniques now considered discredited.

    In addition, I note that the only witness, apart from Dylan, only saw the “head-in-the-lap” incident – problematic enough – and not the even more egregious supposed “touching of privates”.

    The analogy was in no way, whatsoever, based on the “levels of guilt” ….

    Maybe that was poorly phrased; what I meant and probably should have said was “credibility of evidence” or some such – we “first year law students” are still learning the lingo…. But I would say that multiple teenagers are likely to carry more weight in a court of law than a single seven year old.

    If the statement is true, libel it ain’t.

    True. But one might wonder at the instructions to the jury in that case about Justice Wilk’s assertion that there was no evidence of sexual molestation.

    But you’ve once again evaded the point: you are comically whining about witch hunts and lynch mobs, when Woody Allen has been celebrated by the public.

    Which kind of proves my point about the conflation of his talents as a filmmaker with his questionable behaviour as a parent.

    Lynch mobs killed people. What is the punishment for Allen? Harm to his reputation? That’s the worst that will happen to him, and it’s fully justified.

    You might note that even Ashley – apparently no particular friend of Allen’s – acknowledges (#59) that “lynch mobs” is metaphorical, an analogy; a usage that is hardly unheard of. But harm to what reputation? That as a filmmaker or as a parent?

    But what does a fair trial in the court of public opinion look like to you? …. Is your rule that I can simply never have an opinion on that data? Give a specific example of what I’m doing wrong, procedurally. What should I be doing that I’m not.

    Fair questions and demands which I’m somewhat at a loss to answer – in part because I’m running out of time to spend on the topic – as the whole issue is a bit of a dog’s breakfast, a can of worms. Maybe my argument, such as it is, is somewhat untenable, but it still seems that there is a bit of a problematic “piling-on” happening here, motivated, in part, by some questionable emotions and issues that are largely extraneous to the actual case.

    In addition, there still seems – as a “specific example” – to be a bit of a “thumb-on-the-scales” approach to the evidence, notably on the “divorce-linked allegations of sex abuse cases” that I mentioned earlier (#64) which, if I’m not mistaken, you haven’t credibly refuted. Seems to me that if there have been, say, 10,000 such cases and that 2,000 have turned out to be hoaxes then, logically speaking at least, there is a 20% chance that that has happened in the Allen-Farrow case, either by intent or inadvertently; as you may have noticed and as Robert Trivers and Richard Feynman have argued, people do have a tendency to fool themselves.

    But all of that is, I think, kind of related to the ongoing discussion around the concept of “believe the victim” which has been roiling the waters of the atheist-skeptic community for some time now, something which has even shown up recently on the pages of the Wall Street Journal (1). But a topic for another day.

    Thanks for the discussion though.

    —-
    1) “_http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304558804579374844067975558”;

  100. 100
    rnilsson

    Maybe my argument, such as it is, is somewhat untenable, but it still seems that there is a bit of a problematic “piling-on” happening here, motivated, in part, by some questionable emotions and issues that are largely extraneous to the actual case.

    I think that is exactly right. At last. In comment # 99. Thank you so much, pile driver!

  101. 101
    theoreticalgrrrl

    This isn’t a case of allegations of child abuse during a divorce or custody battle, as Allen is very dishonestly trying to paint it.

    Allen and Farrow were not married, and Allen agreed in the past not try for custody of their adopted kids if they ever split as a couple. Allen only tried to sue for custody after the allegations of sexual abuse by Dylan.

    Allen’s own films show a pattern of minimizing or even celebrating pedophilia. From Esquire Magazine article:
    Re-Watching Woody Allen
    The newly-chilling themes that you can see throughout his movies
    By Stephen Marche on February 4, 2014

    “…what are we to make of the scene in Love and Death (1975), in which the wise Father Andre tells the Allen character, “I have lived many years and, after many trials and tribulations, I have come to the conclusion that the best thing is…blond twelve-year-old girls. Two of them, whenever possible”? Or this exchange from Stardust Memories (1980), in which the Allen character, Sandy, hints at incest when talking with his lover Dorrie about her father?

    SANDY:
    What about you? Did you have a little crush on him? You can admit this to me if you like.
    DORRIE:
    Sure, we had a little flirting.
    SANDY:
    A little small flirt? Mother away getting shock treatment, and the only beautiful daughter home. Long lingering breakfasts with Dad.

    In a later scene, Sandy and Dorrie have the following argument, while in the background a large newspaper headline on a wall reads “Incest between father’s…”

    SANDY:
    I’m not attracted to her. What are you talking about?
    DORRIE:
    Staring at her all through dinner. Giving each other looks.
    SANDY:
    Stop it. She’s fourteen. She’s not even fourteen. She’s thirteen and a half.
    DORRIE:
    I don’t care. I used to play those games with my father, so I know. I’ve been through all that.
    SANDY:
    What games? You think I’m flirting with your kid cousin?
    DORRIE:
    You smile at her.
    SANDY:
    Yeah, I smile at her. I’m a friendly person. What do you want? She’s a kid. This is stupid. I don’t want to have this conversation.
    DORRIE:
    Don’t tell me it’s stupid. I used to do that with my father across the table. All those private jokes. I know.

    (An early scene in Hannah and Her Sisters):

    MICKEY:
    Why all of a sudden is the sketch dirty?
    ED:
    Child molestation is a touchy subject, and the affiliates…
    MICKEY:
    Read the papers, half the country’s doing it!
    ED:
    Yes, but you name names.

    Read more: Child Molestation References in Woody Allen Movies – Esquire
    at Esquire.com

  102. 102
    doubtthat

    @99 Steersman

    Ergo the judge made that statement prior to the prosecutor’s decision which means it couldn’t have influenced the judge. Which makes your earlier “the reason the prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges was the likely trauma it would cause Dylan” a bit of a red herring, being charitable: whatever “trauma” that Dylan might have been subjected to had dick-all to do with or contribute to the untenable nature of the case.

    Holy shit, what the hell are you talking about?

    The PROSECUTOR, not a judge, decides whether to pursue the case. This prosecutor believed he had probably cause to bring charges but declined to pursue the action because of Dylan’s vulnerability. No judge ever made a statement on the criminal case because it was never pursued.

    When you say “the judge” are you referring to the judge in the civil case? That judge made no comment on the tenability of the criminal case and disagreed with the Yale-New Haven investigation as he believed it was possible Allen molested the child.

    Your statement is such gibberish that I can’t even figure out what you’re trying to say. No prosecutor or judge ever made a statement indicating that the case against Allen wasn’t tenable.

    Who might well have been “leading the witness” [Dylan] – I note that the “satanic abuse” article criticized the now discredited procedures that were apparently common then – at the same time as the events in question

    1) Dylan didn’t testify.
    2) The judge specifically dealt with that argument and found it spurious.
    3) The questionable procedure came from the Yale-New Haven folks. Destroying their notes, refusing to testify.
    4) What evidence do you have that the judge or multiple mental health experts in the case were gathered up in some storm of overreaction? They analyzed the evidence from Dylan in an incredibly thorough and professional manner. Cite some specific portion of the case, rather than relying on your unhinged paranoia.

    In addition, I note that the only witness, apart from Dylan, only saw the “head-in-the-lap” incident – problematic enough – and not the even more egregious supposed “touching of privates”.</blockquote.

    This is almost always true with pedophiles. The molestation was only one aspect of Allen's behavior that made him undeniably dangerous to the children. Given the context of this behavior, I find it incredibly likely that Dylan is telling the truth, but nothing in my assessment of Allen – nor the judge's for that matter – depend on the veracity of that specific incident.

    Maybe that was poorly phrased; what I meant and probably should have said was “credibility of evidence” or some such – we “first year law students” are still learning the lingo…. But I would say that multiple teenagers are likely to carry more weight in a court of law than a single seven year old.

    Jesus. Look, this issue came up in the context of your bafflement about why this issue is being raised now. I pointed out that Dylan may have been driven to speak up because of Allen’s recent acclaim.

    I then referred to the Sandusky matter SPECIFICALLY because his guilt is not in question. If he was never prosecuted and was winning awards, it would understandable that his victims would come forward and raise their concerns. Likewise, it’s perfectly understandable why Dylan would be speaking up now. Clearly Dylan believes something happened, which is all that’s necessary to explain the recent flair up.

    Referring to the Sandusky case would be a totally useless act if the point of the analogy was to compare their guilt. Again, it was the clarity of Sandusky’s guilt that was used to illuminate motivations in the Allen case. I’m not sure why you’re having so much trouble with this.

    True. But one might wonder at the instructions to the jury in that case about Justice Wilk’s assertion that there was no evidence of sexual molestation.

    What are you talking about? Will never said there was no evidence of molestation. What are you reading?

    Which kind of proves my point about the conflation of his talents as a filmmaker with his questionable behaviour as a parent.

    Who is “conflating” the two? The issue is whether anyone should be supported by a public paying for their products when they happen to be a terrible person. Different people will answer this differently, which is fine, but you seem to be arguing that absent a criminal conviction we all have to pretend as though nothing happened.

    This is bizarre.

    You might note that even Ashley – apparently no particular friend of Allen’s – acknowledges (#59) that “lynch mobs” is metaphorical, an analogy; a usage that is hardly unheard of. But harm to what reputation? That as a filmmaker or as a parent?

    Haha, of course it’s an analogy. If you read my post I point out just as much. But thank you for the tedious, pedantic point that ignores the thrust of the disagreement.

    it’s a silly, hyperbolic analogy that fails on its face. It’s no different than listening to some vapid right winger compare Obama to Hitler because of the ACA. You’re trying to charge people discussing the case with violent hysteria when the discussion is neither violent nor hysterical nor is there any damage to Woody Allen, save some inchoate harm to his reputation, of which he takes great pains to assert he cares very little about.

    Did you read Allen’s letter or the defense by the fellow that made a documentary about him? Allen made it through the Soon-Yi embarrassment, I don’t think he’s curled up in a ball over this latest exchange.

    …but it still seems that there is a bit of a problematic “piling-on” happening here, motivated, in part, by some questionable emotions and issues that are largely extraneous to the actual case.

    Once again, no one in the public discussion has chastised Allen or done as much damage to him as the actual judge in the actual court case. This is the fundamental point that you seem to evade over and over. What is the “piling on?” That many people are convinced by the available evidence that Allen is likely a molester and undeniably a family destroyer and child abuser? That’s simply what a judge said in a court of law.

    Again, a negative assessment of Allen is completely supportable without reference to the molestation issue. That’s how the judge ruled, that’s how I base my judgment. Given the available facts, the statements of the judge, mental health experts and prosecutors as well as the disturbingly unapologetic and frankly bizarre defense Allen presented combined with the very clear statements by Dylan, I find the accuser much more believable in this case. That doesn’t apply to all cases, but pretending as though all we have in this situation is a single accusation is to behave in a completely irrational manner. It’s denialism not skepticism.

  103. 103
    Ayesha Benner

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    Since they have similar features, it typically ends up being
    really tough to tell the ladies apart physically. African American women
    are kids of previous servants who were brought in from Africa,
    several years earlier. They have a long history of battle and last victory.
    The black community in America has actually needed to battle numerous fights just
    to be heard.

  104. 104
    layanan adwrods

    Amazing things here. I’m very happy to peer your article.
    Thanks so much and I am having a look ahead to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  105. 105
    rnilsson

    Thank you, Ayesha.
    But what does all that have to do with the eternal struggle of being Woody Allen?
    For one thing, he appears to prefer blondes and minors, if possible.

  106. 106
    rnilsson

    Perhaps a reinstatement of the spamtrap is called for?
    ^ adwrods above rings a bell.

  107. 107
    Jordan Kimball

    This is the problem with feminists. I have no respect for any of them. No one knows what happened. Thats all there is to it yet every fembot jumps on the girls side when the only people that know are the individuals involved.

  108. 108
    LykeX

    @Jordan Kimball
    That’s funny. You refuse to draw conclusion about this case because you don’t know what happened, yet you’re willing to draw conclusions about all feminists based on your contact with a small subset.

  109. 109
    Sam the Sam

    Doubtthat,

    What you are doing is cherry-picking and omitting of issues same way as Judge Wilk. I’ll give an example, related to the issue of when Mia Farrow first time suggested, called (or “accused”, in non-legal or whatever sense) that Mr. Allen is a child molester.

    Judge Wilk wrote: “After Mr. Allen retired to the guest room for the night, Ms. Farrow affixed to his bedroom door a note which called Mr. Allen a child molester. The reference was to his affair with Soon-Yi.”

    Here Judge Wilk omitted the latter part of that note, that in its entirety reads “Child molester at birthday party! Molded, then abused one sister; now focused on youngest sister. Family disgusted.”

    And you, doutthat, write in your reply (number 55) to Steersman: “As you seem to realize, the note was pinned to the door in July, the molestation occurred in August. This more or less destroys any possibility that Mia Farrow could have been referring to Dylan with the note.”

    You both omit the fact (yes, a real fact now) that Farrows note not only refers to Mr. Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi, but also to Mr. Allen’s relation to Dylan. So your sentence “This more or less destroys any possibility that Mia Farrow could have been referring to Dylan with the note” is a willfully twisted claim. I’d say a typical maneuver of a lawyer. A maneuver that can be seen as an intention to wipe away the view that Mia Farrow was planning a plot, planning to accuse Mr. Allen molesting Dylan.

  110. 110
    Jordan Kimball

    no Lyke its a conclusion drawn from feminists always making fools of themselves. gotta be the most ignorant subset of people that for some reason gain credibility cause they piggyback on free thinkers and skeptics

  111. 111
    Larue

    Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have
    truly loved browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing
    to your rss feed and I am hoping you write
    once more soon!

  112. 112
    Jacob Schmidt

    Sam the sam

    You both omit the fact (yes, a real fact now) that Farrows note not only refers to Mr. Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi, but also to Mr. Allen’s relation to Dylan.

    To which incident was “child molester” referring? As you note yourself, Farrow accuses Allen of abusing 1 sister, while merely being focused on the other. Which sister is which, I wonder? Could “abused” and “molester” refer to the sister Allen had already slept with, while “focused” referred to the sister for whom Allen’s “intense focus” had landed him in therapy?

    A maneuver that can be seen as an intention to wipe away the view that Mia Farrow was planning a plot, planning to accuse Mr. Allen molesting Dylan.

    There’s nothing to wipe away. It’s unsubstantiated bullshit; a knee-jerk reaction made in the arbitrary defense of the accused; a nonsense conspiracy theory built on rumour, falsity, and the pretence that Mia Farrows anger at Allen’s behaviour with Soon Yi invalidates the accusation Dylan Farrow (a different person, peopel seem to forget) has levied at Allen.

    Jordan

    no Lyke its a conclusion drawn from feminists always making fools of themselves. gotta be the most ignorant subset of people that for some reason gain credibility cause they piggyback on free thinkers and skeptics

    Are you capable of anything other than posturing?

  113. 113
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#102):

    Your statement is such gibberish that I can’t even figure out what you’re trying to say.

    Maybe because you have your head up your arse, and your thumb on the scales of justice?

    No prosecutor or judge ever made a statement indicating that the case against Allen wasn’t tenable.

    Christ in a sidecar. Justice Wilk in the New York Supreme Court said, in the documents you castigate me for not reading, that (1):

    Mr. Allen’s relationship with Dylan remains unresolved. The evidence suggests that it is unlikely that he could be successfully prosecuted for sexual abuse. [pg 22, section (C) Dylan Farrow]

    Or are you going to argue that “unlikely that he could be successfully prosecuted for sexual abuse” doesn’t qualify as stating the case “wasn’t tenable”? Obviously not precisely the same words, but I would say that anyone whose first language is English – and who doesn’t have an axe to grind – is likely to think both statements are saying the same thing. Maybe you think “tenable” means “unlikely to be successfully prosecuted”; maybe a good way of drumming up business. Maybe that conclusion is why the prosecutor later made that decision? Just a thought.

    Steersman: Who might well have been “leading the witness” [Dylan] ….

    Doubtthat: Dylan didn’t testify. …. Cite some specific portion of the case, rather than relying on your unhinged paranoia.

    You might note the quote marks surrounding the phrase and consider taking your lawyer’s hat off long enough to realize that I didn’t say that she “testified”; it was an allusion to the fact, as stated by Justice Wilk (pg 21), that Mia’s “decision to videotape Dylan’s statements, although inadvertently compromising the sexual abuse investigation, was understandable”. And why would he have made that statement unless it opened up the possibility that Mia had “coached” Dylan, that she was “leading” her? Just a thought.

    Steersman: You might note that even Ashley …acknowledges (#59) that “lynch mobs” is metaphorical, an analogy….

    Doubtthat: Haha, of course it’s an analogy.

    So why did you say “Lynch mobs killed people”? A bit of “poisoning the well” in your spare time?

    What is the “piling on?” That many people are convinced by the available evidence that Allen is likely a molester and undeniably a family destroyer and child abuser?

    Presumably they were convinced of that 20 years ago. One might argue the “piling on” is rehashing the case – or maybe you think that even if the crime was momentary the punishment should be eternal. But I’ll concede that he was “likely” a molester or, at least, someone whose “affection” for little girls “outsteps the bounds of propriety” [The God Delusion].

    P.S. You might want to try using the Preview function more often.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.vanityfair.com/dam/2014/02/woody-allen-1992-custody-suit.pdf”;

  114. 114
    Jordan Kimball

    no jacob. Why don’t you use your brain and then you will see the inconsistencies with the claims that Woody raped her. We don’t know but false info makes by feminists is disgusting and it shows that they are indeed not skeptics. so yea Ill keep “posturing” since you seem to think it means pointing out stupidity for taking any side with such certainty. But then again I am rational.

  115. 115
    Steersman

    Rnilsson (#100):

    Steersman: Maybe my argument, such as it is, is somewhat untenable, but it still seems that there is a bit of a problematic “piling-on” happening here, motivated, in part, by some questionable emotions and issues that are largely extraneous to the actual case.
    —-
    Rnilsson: I think that is exactly right. At last. In comment # 99. Thank you so much, pile driver!

    Uh, thanks Mr./Ms. Nilsson; I guess. Though I’m not sure, from your bolding, whether you think, or think that I think, that my argument is untenable because of those emotions and issues. But, considering, as mentioned earlier, Nepenthe’s use of her own experiences of rape, and Amanda Marcotte’s “opinions” on the matter, I would say it is rather clear that no few are bringing more to the table than just what took place 20 years ago.

    In addition, I should maybe have clarified that my argument, or the relevant portion of it, was the idea of “lynch mobs”. However, one might still suggest that in the efforts of people to penalize Allen for something that wasn’t proven 20 years ago there is the same “extrajudicial” element that at the very least tends to bring the law into some disrepute: what is the point of a legal system if the public is going to act contrary to the decisions therein?

  116. 116
    Jacob Schmidt

    no jacob.[1] Why don’t you use your brain and then you will see the inconsistencies with the claims that Woody raped her.[2] We don’t know but false info makes by feminists is disgusting and it shows that they are indeed not skeptics. so yea Ill keep “posturing” since you seem to think it means pointing out stupidity for taking any side with such certainty. But then again I am rational.[3]

    1) I thought as much. But then, it was a rhetorical question.

    2) Assuming by “rape” you mean “digitally penetrate,” what inconsistencies? Do bear in mind that many of the more common supposed inconsistencies have been dealt with by Ashley Miller.

    3) Beginning with some arbitrary axiom, I’m sure you are. Whether or not that initial presupposition has any bearing in reality is another matter.

    So why did you say “Lynch mobs killed people”?

    This has been answered already: “it’s a silly, hyperbolic analogy that fails on its face. It’s no different than listening to some vapid right winger compare Obama to Hitler because of the ACA.

    One might argue the “piling on” is rehashing the case…

    If one were attempting to be foolish, then yes, one might.

  117. 117
    Jordan Kimball

    yup figured as much jacob. you prefer trolling to thinking

  118. 118
    Jacob Schmidt

    yup figured as much jacob. you prefer trolling to thinking

    Gods you’re adorable.

  119. 119
    Sam the Sam

    @Jacob,

    “[...] abused one sister; now focused on youngest sister.”

    It’s clear that

    1) “one sister” stands for Soon-Yi and “youngest sister” stands for Dylan;
    2) the whole sentence in intended to suggest that what Mr. Allen did to Soon-Yi (in Farrow’s words “abused” her) he plans next to do to Dylan. Or do we really disagree on this?

    You write, about the possibility that Mia Farrow coached Dylan: “It’s unsubstantiated bullshit; a knee-jerk reaction made in the arbitrary defense of the accused; a nonsense conspiracy theory built on rumour, falsity, [...].”

    You mean the Yale team created this conspiracy theory? On rumour and falsity? In the defence of Mr. Allen? Well, in case Mr. Allen is an abuser, he must have paid the team members big money.

  120. 120
    Jacob Schmidt

    You mean the Yale team created this conspiracy theory? On rumour and falsity? In the defence of Mr. Allen? Well, in case Mr. Allen is an abuser, he must have paid the team members big money.

    You know, you could follow the links in the article, such as the link about the Yale teams findings:

    The state prosecutor, Frank Maco, engaged the Yale-New Haven team to determine whether Dylan would be able to perceive facts correctly and be able to repeat her story on the witness stand. The panel consisted of two social workers and a pediatrician, Dr. John Leventhal, who signed off on the report but who never saw Dylan or Mia Farrow. No psychologists or psychiatrists were on the panel. The social workers never testified; the hospital team only presented a sworn deposition by Dr. Leventhal, who did not examine Dylan.

    All the notes from the report were destroyed. Her confidentiality was then violated, and Allen held a news conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the results of the case. The report concluded Dylan had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. (For example, she had told them there were “dead heads” in the attic and called sunset “the magic hour.” In fact, Mia kept wigs from her movies on styrofoam blocks in a trunk in the attic.) The doctor subsequently backed down from his contention.

    I don’t believe the Yale team created a conspiracy theory; I believe they were incompetent and not an authority worth citing. It’s also worth noting (again, one could simply read the OP to learn this) that the Yale teams methods do not fit modern methods, and the findings were considered not credible by those that commissioned the investigation.

    I note that the unsubstantiated, discredited, and, at least in part, retracted findings of the Yale team have been used to prop up a conspiracy theory; one that has also been found to be unsubstantiated and not credible by the judge overseeing the custody case.

    the whole sentence in intended to suggest that what Mr. Allen did to Soon-Yi (in Farrow’s words “abused” her) he plans next to do to Dylan. Or do we really disagree on this?

    1: The language used mimics the language used in regards to Allen behaviour towards Dylan prior to the molestation allegations (i.e. “focused” referred to the sister for whom Allen’s “intense focus” had landed him in therapy).

    2: Whether or not she did does not cast aspersions on Dylan’s testimony.

  121. 121
    Jordan Kimball

    Thats ok Jacob. Don’t be upset because Im a skeptic and you are a fembot. See I need evidence before chastising someone unlike fems like you that can’t think because all your blood rushes to your bleeding vagina. Its not too late for you though to become rational

  122. 122
    Jacob Schmidt

    Don’t be upset because Im a skeptic and you are a fembot.[1] See I need evidence before chastising someone unlike fems like you that can’t think because all your blood rushes to your bleeding vagina.[2] Its not too late for you though to become rational[3]

    1) I’m deeply sorry that I’ve missed your intelligent, thoughtful and well evinced arguments in this thread.

    2) My apologies; I am, unfortunately forced to work within the physical limitations you imagine I have.

    3) You contradict yourself; imaginary physical limitations are not so easily circumvented.

    (On an unrelated note, I may be temporarily out of sarcasm)

  123. 123
    Jordan Kimball

    lol you showed that you have no idea how to do something I like to call learning. If I listened to your argument I would think that you can’t learn more about things you don’t know. Wow. glad Im not as ignorant as you

  124. 124
    Steersman

    Jordan Kimball (#114):

    no jacob. Why don’t you use your brain and then you will see the inconsistencies with the claims that Woody raped her. We don’t know but false info makes by feminists is disgusting and it shows that they are indeed not skeptics.

    Seems to me that LykeX had a point (#108) when he said that “you’re willing to draw conclusions about all feminists based on your contact with a small subset”. Seems to me that you’re trying to tar all feminists with a brush that is only applicable to a small if problematic portion of them. You might wish to take a look at this Wikipedia article on “Feminist movements and ideologies” (1) which lists some 18 different variations, some of which are more questionable if not odious than others.

    But, somewhat interestingly, that type of misjudging also seems characteristic of the views of many, including many feminists, on the “mens’ human rights movement” [MHRM]: some portions of that have some credibility, others substantially less. For instance, you might note this comment (2) in a post from A Voice for Men which highlights that difference:

    The demise of the MGTOW Forums] is a lesson in many ways. The primary one is that misandry, and yes goddammit, misogyny is a piss poor way to build cooperation between men.

    When Paul Elam himself acknowledges – better late than never – that misogny has been what has fueled significant portions of the MHRM then you might want to consider there’s some truth to the claim.

    Seems there is no small amount of misandry that is fuelling portions of “feminism”, and likewise with misogyny and the MHRM; seems the better part of wisdom to note and consider the differences between those segments and the more credible mainstream portions.

    —–
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_movements_and_ideologies”;
    2) “_http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/m-g-t-o-w/mgtow-forums-pulls-the-plug/”;

  125. 125
    Jordan Kimball

    Feminists are making a bad name for skeptics and atheists. are all of them like this. of course not. You have to be stupid if you think that is what Im arguing but you are proving my point when you react like this. Always wanting to get offended. however, and I’m gonna make up this figure but I would say that only 1 out of 10 are worth listening to. Its just that they have nothing of any worth to say. To busy jumping to conclusions like the author of this sorry excuse for an article and man hating. thats all there is to it. maybe once feminists actually start adding something to the conversation I might start to listen until then they should stay in the kitchen

  126. 126
    Jordan Kimball

    Feminists always try to see the worst side of things and as soon as you criticize the movement they say stuff like. you hate all women. you think all women are stupid. you are stupid if you think that I implied that. but being a feminist I can tell that you love to make fake controversy. no the movement is stupid though. not really adding anything to society.

  127. 127
    doubtthat

    @113 Steersman

    First, compare these two statements:

    But one might wonder at the instructions to the jury in that case about Justice Wilk’s assertion that there was no evidence of sexual molestation.

    The evidence suggests that it is unlikely that he could be successfully prosecuted for sexual abuse.

    First of all, WIlk’s statement would not be admissible in a criminal trial and second, surely you can admit that you were just wrong in claiming that Wilk asserted that there was “no evidence of sexual molestation.” He says the opposite in the next sentence after the excerpt you used:

    I am less certain, however, than is the Yale-New Haven team, that the evidence proves conclusively that there was no sexual abuse

    Read in the context of Wilk’s destruction of that Yale-New Haven team, that assertion is very much understated.

    Or are you going to argue that “unlikely that he could be successfully prosecuted for sexual abuse” doesn’t qualify as stating the case “wasn’t tenable”? Obviously not precisely the same words, but I would say that anyone whose first language is English – and who doesn’t have an axe to grind – is likely to think both statements are saying the same thing. Maybe you think “tenable” means “unlikely to be successfully prosecuted”; maybe a good way of drumming up business. Maybe that conclusion is why the prosecutor later made that decision? Just a thought.

    I do think there’s a difference in those claims. A case not being “tenable” implies that it lacks probable cause or the basic substance to move past summary judgment. But to preview an issue farther down, one of the reasons that it is not a trivial distinction to point out that Dylan didn’t testify is that in a criminal case, she would have. The quality of her testimony in that case would be the deciding factor.

    It’s even more obnoxious that you’re imagining reasons why the prosecutor didn’t move forward when he has explained them in detail:

    But in a controversial move, state’s attorney Frank S. Maco announced in 1993 that while he found “probable cause” to prosecute Allen, he was dropping the case because Dylan was too “fragile” to deal with a trial. Mia agreed with the decision, he said.

    Dylan was “traumatized to the extent that I did not have a confident witness to testify in any court setting, whether that’s a closed courtroom or an open courtroom,”

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20782501,00.html

    Unless an individual has an “axe to grind,” surely they would have no reason to hypothesize that the prosecutor was flat out lying about his reasons for declining to prosecute Allen. Why make up explanations when we have perfectly adequate ones from the people involved?

    You might note the quote marks surrounding the phrase and consider taking your lawyer’s hat off long enough to realize that I didn’t say that she “testified”; it was an allusion to the fact, as stated by Justice Wilk (pg 21), that Mia’s “decision to videotape Dylan’s statements, although inadvertently compromising the sexual abuse investigation, was understandable”. And why would he have made that statement unless it opened up the possibility that Mia had “coached” Dylan, that she was “leading” her? Just a thought.

    This is, again, a non-trivial distinction. Wilk’s ruling was not based on Dylan’s testimony.

    Your reading of Wilk’s statement is astonishingly bizarre. Why did he make the statement that the taping was understandable? Because Allen was arguing she created the video tape and coached Dylan. Here’s what the judge stated about that possibility:

    There is no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi. Mr. Allen’s resort to the stereotypical “woman scorned” defense is an injudicious attempt to divert attention from his failure to act as a responsible parent and adult.

    Earlier you had a great deal of difficulty with the distinction between “no evidence” and “not enough evidence to successfully prosecute.” This is an example of the former. The judge recognizes that what may cause “reasonable doubt” in a criminal trial is not necessarily relevant to the family law proceedings. Wilk quite clearly states that coaching was not supported by the evidence.

    So why did you say “Lynch mobs killed people”? A bit of “poisoning the well” in your spare time?

    I hope the irony of the guy throwing around the term “lynch mob” sanctimoniously lecturing me on “poisoning the well” is not lost on readers.

    As Jacob pointed out, I’ve already answered this question. If someone says, “Obama is like Hitler,” surely you can understand how “it’s just an analogy” is not much of a defense. Either you’re not smart enough to realize how analogizing people discussing a court case and victim statement is not much at all like a “lynch mob,” or you were actually trying to poison the well. i sincerely can’t tell which would properly apply.

    Presumably they were convinced of that 20 years ago. One might argue the “piling on” is rehashing the case – or maybe you think that even if the crime was momentary the punishment should be eternal. But I’ll concede that he was “likely” a molester or, at least, someone whose “affection” for little girls “outsteps the bounds of propriety” [The God Delusion].

    I hope that for all of your tedious sanctimony and disingenuous concern trolling somewhere you can understand that you and I went through the same process with this case and came to roughly the same conclusion. What did I do differently than you?

    You read it and conclude he’s probably a child molester. I read it and conclude he’s probably a child molester. Somehow I’m the member of a metaphoric lynch mob while you are some sort of high-minded hero.

    What utter nonsense.

  128. 128
    Steersman

    Jordan Kimball (#125):

    You have to be stupid if you think that is what I’m arguing but you are proving my point when you react like this. Always wanting to get offended.

    I’m hardly offended, but it seems that you’re proving the point of many “feminists” that many in the MHRM insist on seeing things in black and white, are unable to differentiate between a few bad apples and the whole barrel, and are unable to see beyond the ends of their noses. Or their dicks as the case may be.

    But since you seem to have your mind made up – commonly called dogmatic or bigoted – and since you apparently haven’t read the articles I referred to, you might want to at least take a look at this blog post (1) from a self styled feminist who has, quite credibly, asked, “How about some evidence-based feminism?” While, as the author suggests, there is frequently a dearth of evidence in the claims of many feminists, that is hardly the case for all of it. You may wish to do a little digging to be able to tell the difference.

    You may also wish to consider indicating who you’re responding to and which comment of theirs.

    —–
    1) “_http://clairelehmann.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/how-about-some-evidence-based-feminism/”;

  129. 129
    Jordan Kimball

    lol thanks for making my point steer. you are stupid. I never said all feminists. learn to read and it does seem that you got a little offend. And I don’t know what this MHRN thing is. sounds like something a feminist made up to hate men. once you have something to add Ill let you consider yourself a part of the skeptic community until then I will continue to laugh at you. If you had something of value then you would be invited to skeptic conferences. Y’all have something to say up until you talk about feminism. dumbass.

  130. 130
    Jordan Kimball

    steer don’t take it so badly though. I know you can’t read. you show how moronic you are when you say stuff like men think all women and black and white. not dogmatic dumbass. its called skeptical. quite the opposite

  131. 131
    Steersman

    Jacob Schmidt (#116):

    Steersman: So why did you say “Lynch mobs killed people”?
    —-
    Jacob: This has been answered already: “it’s a silly, hyperbolic analogy that fails on its face. ….

    I think you’re missing the point. But maybe that’s because you, like many bloggers and commenters within the FTB ghetto (with the exception of a few notable outposts of sanity, rationality, and fair-dealing), seem to have some aversion to having recourse to the dictionary, and who, in extreme cases as with one “Jennifer Phillips” (1), seem to think that there should be “some internet law, á lá Godwin and Scopie, whereby invoking a dictionary definition as part of your argument results in forfeit”. Maybe all your mothers were frightened by a dictionary salesman while you were still in their wombs. In any case, consider the specifics:

    lynch mob (2): a group of people who want to attack [to try to hurt or defeat using extreme force] someone who they think has committed a serious crime;

    lynch mob (3): a group of people who criticize someone severely and try to bring about the person’s downfall. It is in the public interest that sleaze is exposed. But it’s time to call off the lynch mob.

    While we might quibble for hours over whether or not what is happening is an attempt to “bring about [a] person’s downfall”, I would say the evidence is quite clear – in black and white – that the phrase has some utility and applicability outside of a description of race relations (4) in the Cotton Belt in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    —–
    1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/01/17/shermer-and-the-myth-of-feminist-persecution/#comment-212581”;
    2) “_http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/lynch-mob”;
    3) “_http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/lynch-mob”;
    4) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching#United_States”;

  132. 132
    Jordan Kimball

    This is my point steer. y’all feminists argue about nothing and wonder why you aren’t taken seriously. make some points and we will listen. I change my estimate to 1 in 10 to 1 in 20. see not dogmatic at all

  133. 133
    Steersman

    Jerk Dimbulb (#129):

    lol thanks for making my point [Steersman]. you are stupid. I never said all feminists.

    What an ignorant dickhead, and a dishonest one to boot, talking out of both sides of your mouth if not your arse. You said (#114):

    We don’t know but false info [made] by feminists is disgusting and it shows that they are indeed not skeptics.

    Absent a qualifier – an adjective like “some”, or a phrase like “like feminists X, Y & Z” – the rather clear implication is that you’re referring to all of them. A point which is corroborated by your earlier (#107):

    This is the problem with feminists. I have no respect for any of them.

    All of which makes it fairly clear that you’re probably an ignorant bigot and a misogynist – a hate-on for women just because they’re women.

  134. 134
    Jordan Kimball

    heteronormatice patriarchy seems to have a rational opinion on it. O and look its written by a woman. That doesn’t happen much.

  135. 135
    Flewellyn

    Wait…do my eyes deceive me, or has someone mistaken STEERSMAN for a feminist? And further, that someone makes Steersman look reasonable!

    Stop the world, I want off.

  136. 136
    Jordan Kimball

    keep making my point for me steer. you are quite the cheerleader. but then again women are good at standing on the sideline and pointing out how they could do it better while not contributing themselves. Then I point out a woman that has actually thought about the issue unlike you. But feminists like to only look at examples they like I guess. lol I guess I shouldn’t be mad. men do have bigger brains. its science bitch

  137. 137
    Jordan Kimball

    I can tell that all these feminists are mad that no one will take them seriously. O wait but I didn’t qualify that statement. O wait I need to be politically correct. Well lets go. There are No feminists that are taken seriously in the atheist or skeptic community. In fact at the last TAM there was more about how it is poisoning the movement then anything. Don’t get mad. Bring something to the conversation instead of stuff like men suck. they are mean. Im taking a woman’s side every time. Glad to see that skeptics don’t even think of you as part of their group. We are too rational for ya. lol

  138. 138
    Jordan Kimball

    What have women done. They can’t reason. They aren’t in any positions of power. Can only think of one director thats a woman. Can’t play sports. what can they do other than cook and pop out kids? I do know some that are funny though. Well those are jews and dikes and that is the extent of their humor. Keep it up girls y’all are so cute

  139. 139
    chigau (違う)

    Jordan Kimball
    So you only like guys?

  140. 140
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (127):

    Doubtthat: … surely you can admit that you were just wrong in claiming that Wilk asserted that there was “no evidence of sexual molestation.” He says the opposite in the next sentence after the excerpt you used:

    Wilk: I am less certain, however, than is the Yale-New Haven team, that the evidence proves conclusively that there was no sexual abuse ….

    I thought you might refer to that following sentence. But that comment about “sexual molestation” looks like it is taking what I said out of context, or it is a misinterpretation of what I had said. Which apparently was:

    True. But one might wonder at the instructions to the jury in that case about Justice Wilk’s assertion that there was no evidence of sexual molestation.

    Which was, apparently, a reference to or a paraphrase of Wilk’s statement [pg 11] that “A medical examination conducted on August 9 showed no physical evidence of sexual abuse.” Which, I might emphasize, is in Wilk’s “Findings of Fact” section which is prefaced with his “Where statements or observations are attributed to witnesses, they are adopted by me as findings of fact.”

    Seems pretty clear to me that if he is “adopting as fact” the results of a medical examination – presumably something that would have been “attributed to witnesses” – that “showed no physical evidence of sexual abuse” then that is equivalent to him asserting that there is “no evidence of sexual molestation”.

    But I also think that you’re badly misinterpreting what he said in that next sentence. He said he was “less certain .. that there was no sexual abuse”, but that is most definitely not the same as saying that there was evidence of sexual abuse. He was being honest, apparently, and noncommital in acknowledging that there was no clear evidence either for sexual abuse or for the absence of sexual abuse. Yet you and, apparently, no few others seem to want to take that noncommital stance as proof-positive that sexual abuse did take place. One might suggest, at least, a tendency to black-and-white thinking with no willingness to consider shades of grey. Perchance a case of “motivated reasoning”? (1)

    Unless an individual has an “axe to grind,” surely they would have no reason to hypothesize that the prosecutor was flat out lying about his reasons for declining to prosecute Allen.

    Where did I say or even hypothesize that he was “flat out lying”? What I said was, “Maybe that conclusion is why the prosecutor later made that decision?” It seems that that link you provided was to a recent story in response to Dylan’s own, and it isn’t clear when the prosecutor made that statement relative to Wilk’s judgement. But it seems we have agreed that it occurred after Wilk’s statement in which case I would find it hard to believe that the prosecutor, Maco, hadn’t read and been influenced by it.

    You read it and conclude he’s probably a child molester. I read it and conclude he’s probably a child molester. Somehow I’m the member of a metaphoric lynch mob while you are some sort of high-minded hero.

    Isn’t that the way it works? Sort of like one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter; context tends to colour things rather substantially if not profoundly.

    But I’ll agree that we more or less reach the same conclusion, although I think your view on some of the evidence is somewhat biased and unjustified. However, I think the biggest and most problematic difference is the objective in all this process. And, as I’ve endeavored to emphasize many times and as I’ve attempted to show, I think there are a number of not particularly credible or edifying reasons for all of that “sound and fury”. Which suggests less a dispassionate interest in finding the truth of the matter than in attempting to “bring about [a] person’s downfall”, i.e., the actions of a lynch mob.

    But I will concede that there appear to be a few more credible reasons for some of the “spilt ink”, although I will note that almost no one, with the notable exception of Amanda Marcotte, seems willing to address those.

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivated_reasoning”;

  141. 141
    Steersman

    Flewellyn (#135):

    Wait…do my eyes deceive me, or has someone mistaken STEERSMAN for a feminist? And further, that someone makes Steersman look reasonable!

    :-) “It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good” ….

  142. 142
    Steersman

    Jerk Dimbulb (#136):

    but then again women are good at standing on the sideline and pointing out how they could do it better while not contributing themselves.

    What a fucking laugh and proof-positive that you have your head buried in the sand or someplace else where the sun don’t shine.

    I expect it’s unlikely that much will get through your rather thick skull, but you might try reading, if you’re capable of that, something on this page (1) of women mathematicians over the centuries, most of whom, I expect, could and did think rings around the both of us and, probably, a significant percentage of all other men.

    And that is one discipline. You might want to consider that many disparities are less a question of ability than one of interest or of the historical demands of child-bearing. But that’s probably too much for you to wrap your rather narrow-minded head around.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/chronol.htm”;

  143. 143
    Steersman

    Ashley:

    Care to specify any significant points made by others, or “errors in my arguments”, that you feel I haven’t acknowledged or conceded the correctness of?

    Seems to me that some of them might be a case of me thinking that they weren’t particularly relevant to the general direction of the convesation, or that they were too convoluted for me to parse or to respond to.

    And you might ask Sally Strange where she gets that “previous relationship with a WOC” from?

    And you could point out to Jade Hawk that if she didn’t insult me I wouldn’t be obliged to return the favour; rather chickenshit to allow some insults that rolls off her back while anathematizing ones that are suitable rejoinders. And you could point out to her that belief in determinism is still belief; it’s not the object that’s the problem but the process.

    And, relative to the foregoing and the other comments, you might note the recent discussion in the Pit and on Jason’s blog relative to the process of “myth-making”, and that I’ve argued that that process is all too common and leads to any number of problematic, if amusing, comedies of errors.

    But y’all might want to stop in at the Pit instead of just lurking.

  144. 144
    Jacob Schmidt

    While we might quibble for hours over whether or not what is happening is an attempt to “bring about [a] person’s downfall”, I would say the evidence is quite clear – in black and white – that the phrase has some utility and applicability outside of a description of race relations (4) in the Cotton Belt in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    Indeed it does. It functions well as an analogy, per your own words.

    It’s still a ridiculously hyperbolic analogy, in this instance. That is something you failed to address, which is odd considering that was the criticism at hand.

  145. 145
    Jordan Kimball

    So there we go. I make a point the only rebuttal Steer has is no no there are women mathematician. Seems like the rest was correct and more fembots jump on to attack my sexuality I guess. Nope women are useful to fuck but still cannot demonstrate how feminists are skeptical in the least and no attacks on my actual argument. That shows how weak you are. lol what a bunch of jokers

  146. 146
    doubtthat

    @140 Steersman

    Which was, apparently, a reference to or a paraphrase of Wilk’s statement [pg 11] that “A medical examination conducted on August 9 showed no physical evidence of sexual abuse.” Which, I might emphasize, is in Wilk’s “Findings of Fact” section which is prefaced with his “Where statements or observations are attributed to witnesses, they are adopted by me as findings of fact.”

    Your sophistry is impressive. “Paraphrase?” Haha.

    No, you either intentionally or unintentionally completely misrepresented the judge’s view. It is not unusual for there to be no physical evidence in a situation like that. That doesn’t mean there is no evidence.

    Seems pretty clear to me that if he is “adopting as fact” the results of a medical examination – presumably something that would have been “attributed to witnesses” – that “showed no physical evidence of sexual abuse” then that is equivalent to him asserting that there is “no evidence of sexual molestation”.

    No, it’s not. It’s an assertion that the physical examination did not reveal any evidence. Again, this is not unusual. There were, for example, no physical examinations of the victims in the Sandusky case. Because they waited to come forward, there was not a chance to gather that sort of evidence. Now, that’s obviously different than an actual examination that reveals no evidence, but give the description of the molestation, it’s not unusual that there would be nothing to discover in that physical investigation.

    Stating that there is “no evidence” without explaining that you were discussing the physical examination is once again either really sloppy or really sneaky. I’m guessing sloppiness in this situation.

    But I also think that you’re badly misinterpreting what he said in that next sentence. He said he was “less certain .. that there was no sexual abuse”, but that is most definitely not the same as saying that there was evidence of sexual abuse.

    Sure, but he didn’t dig into those allegations, and the investigation that was tasked with the job was an awesome failure. The judge was not in a position to have the best evidence available, and rather than ordering more testing and more investigation, he states that he has enough information to conclude that Allen is dangerous to the children.

    So too did the prosecutor decline to put a traumatized young girl through another battery of psychological evaluations. The prosecutor stated that there was “probable cause.” That means there was evidence to move forward.

    Yet you and, apparently, no few others seem to want to take that noncommital stance as proof-positive that sexual abuse did take place. One might suggest, at least, a tendency to black-and-white thinking with no willingness to consider shades of grey. Perchance a case of “motivated reasoning”?

    Bullshit. I’ve stated my opinion on this multiple times. Allen was confirmed child abuser and most probably molested Dylan in the exact way she described. As the judge said, we will never know whether the molestation happened with any certainty, but placed in the context of the disgusting, destructive behavior that is not in doubt, that’s enough for me to stay away from Woody Allen productions.

    Where did I say or even hypothesize that he was “flat out lying”? What I said was, “Maybe that conclusion is why the prosecutor later made that decision?” It seems that that link you provided was to a recent story in response to Dylan’s own, and it isn’t clear when the prosecutor made that statement relative to Wilk’s judgement. But it seems we have agreed that it occurred after Wilk’s statement in which case I would find it hard to believe that the prosecutor, Maco, hadn’t read and been influenced by it.

    The link provided recounts his statements at the time and asks him to reflect on his reasons in light of the recent revelations. It doesn’t matter when the prosecutor made that statement relative to Wilk because in his reasoning he does not reference the family law case nor Wilk’s decision. Once again, why are you making up reasons when the reasons were given to you? Why do you think the prosecutor’s explanation of his motivation was insufficient?

    You are simply making up a story where Wilk’s statement was the deciding factor. This is pure fabrication and totally unnecessary.

    Isn’t that the way it works? Sort of like one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter; context tends to colour things rather substantially if not profoundly.

    It’s obviously how it happened, but it makes your rambling sophistry all the more frivolous. You are chastising me for doing exactly what you did and arriving at more or less the exact same conclusion. This makes you look like a clown.

    Defending this ridiculous effort by reference to humanity’s collective ability act with stunning hypocrisy is not impressive.

    I think the biggest and most problematic difference is the objective in all this process. And, as I’ve endeavored to emphasize many times and as I’ve attempted to show, I think there are a number of not particularly credible or edifying reasons for all of that “sound and fury”. Which suggests less a dispassionate interest in finding the truth of the matter than in attempting to “bring about [a] person’s downfall”, i.e., the actions of a lynch mob.

    And all they mean is that Obama is a passionate public speaker…riiiiight.

    But I will concede that there appear to be a few more credible reasons for some of the “spilt ink”, although I will note that almost no one, with the notable exception of Amanda Marcotte, seems willing to address those.

    God damn, you really are the most self-righteous sort of asshole. After all of your “sound and fury” you’re left with this tepid procedural objection largely based on your image of yourself as a dispassionate, reasoned philosopher. I’ll note that a huge percentage of our disagreement concerning the substance of the case involves your procedural ignorance and general lack of knowledge about criminal molestation case. This should not be a badge of honor, but somehow you’ve managed to convince yourself that your confusion is actual considered reflection.

    My motivation is that I don’t approve of child abusers and child molesters. I also find it obnoxious when such people are celebrated in public. I’ll not participate in that. If you do, fine, but at least do so knowingly.

  147. 147
    Jordan Kimball

    The only reason ashley should be allowed on this site is cause her ideas are free of though

  148. 148
    Steersman

    Jacob Schmidt (#144):

    It’s still a ridiculously hyperbolic analogy, in this instance.

    Maybe. But it is not ridiculous “on its face” which is what your original charge was.

    As for whether it is applicable in this case, you might want to read or re-read my response to Ashley in (#61) where I provided some evidence that the apparent motivations of several people for the criticisms of Allen had a substantial personal element to them – which gives some credence to the suggestion that some people are motivated less by a dispassionate interest in finding the truth of the matter than in attempting to “bring about [a] person’s downfall”, i.e., a salient feature in the actions of a lynch mob.

    In addition you might note some recent discussions and references to other articles (1, 2) in the Pit, including one by Cathy Young (1) which gives some details on the incidence of false claims of sexual abuse in custody battles. A salient point:

    But these claims are contradicted by a major Canadian study that tracked more than 11,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Canada in 2003. While reports of sexual abuse made during custody or visitation conflicts are fairly rare — the study identified 69 such cases — they are also quite likely to prove unfounded. Child protection workers substantiated just 11% of these charges, while 34% were “suspected” to be valid but not fully confirmed; 36% were classified as unsubstantiated but made “in good faith,” and 18% as deliberately false. By contrast, the rate of false allegations for all child sexual abuse reports was 5%.

    I wouldn’t necessarily argue that that is the case with Dylan as she, despite some claims that she had a tendency to fantasy – not surprising in a seven-year old but not something that should be dismissed, gave some evidence of being a credible witness. However, the rather notable reluctance of many – including Doubtthat – to actually address that possibility leads one to be at least somewhat apprehensive that that desire to “bring about [a] person’s downfall” is playing too large a role in these discussions.


    1) “_http://www.saveservices.org/2014/02/woody-allen-feminism-and-believing-the-survivor/”;
    2) “_http://judgybitch.com/2014/02/12/woody-allen-and-the-court-of-public-opinion/”;

  149. 149
    Steersman

    Doubtthat (#146):

    My motivation is that I don’t approve of child abusers and child molesters. I also find it obnoxious when such people are celebrated in public.

    He’s being celebrated for his talents as a film-maker, not for his “abilities” as a parent or for his morals. That you apparently find some difficulty in being able to differentiate between those suggests some less than credible motivations to your actions.

    But I will concede that my knowledge of legal procedures is substantially less than yours, although one might suggest you’re putting too much weight on that.

  150. 150
    doubtthat

    @149 Steersman

    He’s being celebrated for his talents as a film-maker, not for his “abilities” as a parent or for his morals. That you apparently find some difficulty in being able to differentiate between those suggests some less than credible motivations to your actions.

    This is such a silly distinction. When I buy a movie ticket, the money goes equally to the filmmaker and the child abuser. When we, as a society, decide to set aside someone’s terrible, disturbing treatment of their kids and allow them to go about their business without criticism, that establishes how important we think the treatment of children is.

    Do you think Woody Allen would have a career if someone had a picture of him at a Klan rally? Look at what happened to Mel Gibson. Gibson’s crimes are much less severe than Allen’s, so by ostracizing Gibson – who unlike Allen has at least recognized and apologized for his behavior, however sincere – a clear hierarchy is established: go ahead and destroy the lives of your children, but don’t say anything anti-semetic.

    And again, Allen is totally unapologetic. His destructive relationship with Soon-Yi has been normalized.

    Now, if you don’t care about any of that and want to keep watching his films, fine, but I made a different decision. No one is trying to pass a law to make it illegal for Netflix to have “Manhattan” in its archives. This is, again, why your ridiculous “lynch mob” discussion falls so flat. First, you’ve failed to prove that the discussion contained the necessary amount of unreasonable reaction – you yourself engaged in the same process and arrived at the same conclusion – and you’ve also failed to include the part about the bad stuff that happens to Allen. You know, the “lynch” in lynch mob.

    But I will concede that my knowledge of legal procedures is substantially less than yours, although one might suggest you’re putting too much weight on that.

    If only I had some inclination of who that “one” might be. Take away your procedural confusion and your assessment of the case barely differs from mine. It’s amusing to watch you slowly come to terms with that fact while still trying to continue your sanctimonious lecturing.

    Now you and I have caused Woody Allen the same amount of damage: we’ve both stated that he’s likely a child molester on the internet. Welcome to the mob!

  151. 151
    Sam the Sam

    doubtthat wrote: “Allen was confirmed child abuser [...].”

    Is that meant in non-legal sense, as an opinion or belief, or as an established and proven fact?

    What utterly disturbs me in doubtthat’s writings is that he/she lectures us of court and law procedures, and at the same time takes liberties to cherry-pick issues for establishing facts and judgements, without applying strict standards to evidence, as required by the courts. Clearly he/she isn’t bound by the confines of justice system.

    Well, that said, this kind of behaviour can unfortunately be observed in courts, too, everyday.

  152. 152
    Jacob Schmidt

    What utterly disturbs me in doubtthat’s writings is that he/she lectures us of court and law procedures, and at the same time takes liberties to cherry-pick issues for establishing facts and judgements, without applying strict standards to evidence, as required by the courts.

    You are aware it was the courts themselves that found him to be abusive, yes?

  153. 153
    Sam the Sam

    @Jacob

    Yep, that’s why I added “Well, that said, this kind of behaviour can unfortunately be observed in courts, too, everyday”. Especially since word “abusive” describes a person who is characterized by habitual cruelty and violence and being offensive in the extreme. And this done by court judge with inconclusive evidence, still open to questions.

  154. 154
    doubtthat

    @151 Sam the Sam

    Is that meant in non-legal sense, as an opinion or belief, or as an established and proven fact?

    That was the court ruling. The judge stated that regardless of whether the specific act of molestation occurred on August 4, 1992, the evidence showed convincingly that Allen was a danger to the children and steps had to be taken to protect them. This means he abused those children. Whether he did so sexually is not confirmed, which is why I was clear to make that distinction.

    The judge points out that even if you just consider the statements and facts acknowledged by Allen, he was a deeply destructive force in those children’s lives.

    What utterly disturbs me in doubtthat’s writings is that he/she lectures us of court and law procedures, and at the same time takes liberties to cherry-pick issues for establishing facts and judgements, without applying strict standards to evidence, as required by the courts. Clearly he/she isn’t bound by the confines of justice system.

    This is a bizarre statement as I’m simply repeating the ruling of the court. Here are some statements from the judge:

    The credible testimony of Ms. Farrow, Dr. Coates, Dr. Leventhal and Mr. Allen does, however, prove that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.

    [...]

    The common theme of the testimony by the mental health witnesses is that Mr. Allen has inflicted serious damage on the children and that healing is necessary…what is clear is that Mr. Allen’s lack of judgment, insight and impulse control make normal noncustodial visitation with Dylan and Satchel too risky to the children’s well-being to be permitted at this time.

    [...]

    I do not condition visitation out of concern for Satchel’s physical safety. My caution is the product of Mr. Allen’s demonstrated inability to understand the impact this words and deeds have upon the emotional well being of his children.

    I believe that Mr. Allen will use Satchel in an attempt to gain information about Dylan and to insinuate himself into her good graces. I believe that Mr. Allen will, if unsupervised, attempt to turn Satchel against the other members of his family. I believe Mr. Allen to be desirous of introducing Soon-Yi into the visitation arrangement without concern for the effect on Satchel, Soon-Yi or the other members of the Farrow family. In short, I believe Mr. Allen to be so self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive, that he should not be permitted to see Satchel without appropriate professional supervision until Mr. Allen demonstrates that supervision is no longer necessary.

    Please explain what the children needed to be protected from if not abuse? The judge wasn’t worried about physical abuse with regard to Satchel, but stated quite directly that whether or not Allen molested or otherwise physically harmed Dylan, he was a threat in her presence. Once again, whatever the difference is between someone who seriously harms a child to the point that they cannot be in their presence without a mental health professional and an “abuser” seems superficial, at best.

    Yep, that’s why I added “Well, that said, this kind of behaviour can unfortunately be observed in courts, too, everyday”. Especially since word “abusive” describes a person who is characterized by habitual cruelty and violence and being offensive in the extreme. And this done by court judge with inconclusive evidence, still open to questions.

    That describes Allen pretty accurately. You seem to be fixated on the idea that “abuse” can only be of the physical or sexual variety, but this is obviously not true. it’s like that Allen sexually abused Dylan, it’s 100% that he mentally and emotionally abused the children in that family. He is an abuser of children.

  155. 155
    Sam the Sam

    @doubtthat

    True, so was the court ruling.

    And yes, children must be protected from any abuse.

    Judge Wilk: “My caution is the product of Mr. Allen’s demonstrated inability to understand the impact his words and deeds have upon the emotional well being of his children.”

    When did Mr. Allen start mentally and emotionally abuse children in the family? In the very beginning of his and Mia Farrows relation? Or some time later? Since Ms. Farrow considered that Mr. Allen was watching Dylan in sexual manner?

    And if he did abuse children mentally and emotionally, especially longer period, was he anyway considered as father by the children, and also by the Previn children?

    How much did Mr. Allen spend time with children? Was is as Judge Wilk says “as Ms. Farrow’s companion, he was a frequent visitor at Soon-Yi’s home”, or as you state: “Allen is only around sporadically and maintains a separate residence. He is not ever caring for the kids on his own”? Anyway you present Mr. Allen as the father figure of the children.

    Wilk descibes Mr. Allen as “Ms. Farrow’s companion” and “visitor at Soon-Yi’s home” when it suits his one agenda, and then a “father figure” when he needs to explain another of his views.

  156. 156
    doubtthat

    @155 Sam the Sam

    Do you have a point to make or are you just asking silly questions (most of which are directly answered in the court ruling) in a futile hope that their suggestive nature will fool people into thinking you have an actual argument?

    Are we just going to have an endless back and forth where you make spurious and frivolous arguments then ignore the response to ask more irrelevant questions?

    And if he did abuse children mentally and emotionally, especially longer period, was he anyway considered as father by the children, and also by the Previn children?

    Why would being an abuser be mutually exclusive from being a father figure?

    How much did Mr. Allen spend time with children? Was is as Judge Wilk says “as Ms. Farrow’s companion, he was a frequent visitor at Soon-Yi’s home”, or as you state: “Allen is only around sporadically and maintains a separate residence. He is not ever caring for the kids on his own”? Anyway you present Mr. Allen as the father figure of the children.

    You’re having trouble with pronouns. The judge stated he was around sporadically based on testimony, including that of Allen, himself. Once again, being the father figure is not contradicted by not being present.

    Wilk descibes Mr. Allen as “Ms. Farrow’s companion” and “visitor at Soon-Yi’s home” when it suits his one agenda, and then a “father figure” when he needs to explain another of his views.

    He was her father figure, then he was her companion. You’re going to have to quote those portions in context for anyone to take you seriously.

    The judge does an excellent job explaining the exact problem with the Soon-Yi situation.

  157. 157
    LykeX

    Clearly, unless we can determine the exact instance at which Allen went from non-father figure to father figure, we can’t possible use this in any kind of argument. Luckily, we have precise and objective methods for determining this: If you’re not living permanently in the same home as a child, you’re not a parent figure.

    Likewise, abuse is a simple matter of either-or. There’s no gray area, or room for disagreement or doubt. Really, sometimes I wonder why we don’t simply ban abusive people from contact with children, seeing how easy it is to recognize these people and see how their behavior will develop in the future. Of course, this is only an issue with adoption, as biological parents are never distant or emotionally unavailable.

    Maybe we could just have a simple hotline where children can call in if they’re being abused. After all, this is a matter where there’s no emotional ambiguity at all; a person is either an intentionally vicious, abusive predator, or a loving, nurturing caregiver. Consequently, if the children don’t call, we can conclude that they must be perfectly happy and well-cared for.

    Thankfully, people who are abused certainly never blame themselves or make any excuses for the abuser, just as the abuser would never think to try to emotionally manipulate the victims into accepting such a dysfunctional relationship as normal.

    I’m glad we’ve got all that settled. I can see that we were really concerned about nothing.

    *May contain traces of nuts and sarcasm*

  158. 158
    Nepenthe

    @Steersman

    You can take your fake sympathy and shove it. As far as I can tell, you couldn’t give a shit and a half about victims of rape and abuse. Even when you concede after days of teeth pulling that someone has probably been abused, saying mean things about the person who raped her seven-year-old self is way more important to you than what they did to her.

    And yeah, I clearly don’t have credible reasons for wanting rapists and abusers punished, sort of like how the men and women who lived under the threat of actual lynch mobs didn’t have credible reasons for wanting justice. People like you are the reason we will never have even the sniff of justice. Because there’s never enough evidence to justify even the most trivial consequence.

  159. 159
    Raging Bee

    This is, again, why your ridiculous “lynch mob” discussion falls so flat…

    Another reason the “lynch mob” blither-point falls flat is the blatant hypocricy: taking credible accusations against Woody Allen seriously makes us a “lynch mob” — but when Allen tries to trash Mia Farrow as an evil hateful vindictive man-hating reputation-destroying harpy, the people who pretend to care about “lynch mobs” don’t utter a peep of complaint. Funny how that works, innit?

  160. 160
    Raging Bee

    So there we go. I make a point the only rebuttal Steer has is no no there are women mathematician. Seems like the rest was correct and more fembots jump on to attack my sexuality I guess. Nope women are useful to fuck but still cannot demonstrate how feminists are skeptical in the least and no attacks on my actual argument. That shows how weak you are. lol what a bunch of jokers

    Kimball, you’re not just incoherent, you’re downright childish. My friends and I were talking more coherently in sixth fucking grade. Fuck off to bed and stop pestering the grownups.

  161. 161
    Steersman

    Nepenthe (#158):

    @Steersman: You can take your fake sympathy and shove it. As far as I can tell, you couldn’t give a shit and a half about victims of rape and abuse ….

    Tsk, tsk there Nepenthe; such language. And as far as I can tell, I would say you haven’t looked very far into what I’ve said on the topic, and that in spite of me earlier (#42) pointing to an “Anti-Rape iPhone App” (1) that I’ve proposed and been trying to promote. While it is an imperfect and problematic solution, it might still be of some value – I’ve even broached the topic with several current and past prostitutes on the web (xxxild and the Honest Courtesan) who thought it might have some merit.

    Seems to me that those types of practical solutions have far more utility than a bunch of hand wringing accompanied by bogus cries that those constitute “victim blaming”; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – unless you think that broadcasting a plea to robbers to cease and desist is likely to have much effect.

    But I really don’t know where the heads of those crying that are at, but it sure looks like it’s some place where there’s not much illumination; dogma does tend to cloud the mind.

    —-
    1) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5336”;

  162. 162
    Steersman

    And again, Allen is totally unapologetic. His destructive relationship with Soon-Yi has been normalized.

    That he apparently hasn’t apologized for his “grossly inappropriate” behaviour certainly doesn’t look particularly commendable. But it looks like you’re being rather judgemental about his relationship with Soon-Yi: she was, apparently, over the age of consent; he wasn’t committing incest; and the age difference, and consequences, were not much different from those in the case of Mia and Previn.

    This is, again, why your ridiculous “lynch mob” discussion falls so flat. First, you’ve failed to prove that the discussion contained the necessary amount of unreasonable reaction – you yourself engaged in the same process and arrived at the same conclusion – and you’ve also failed to include the part about the bad stuff that happens to Allen. You know, the “lynch” in lynch mob.

    Care to take a stab at quantifying “amount of unreasonable reaction”?

    But I’m not sure you can say that I’ve arrived at the same conclusion. I’ll concede, as I’ve mentioned several times, that he’s apparently guilty of “grossly inappropriate behaviour”, and I’ll even concede that there’s some probability that he’s guilty of molesting Dylan. But you apparently go the extra mile and actually insist that he is guilty of that, and insist on treating him as if he had been so charged and convicted. Kind of an important difference. As “Judgy Bitch” (1) put it:

    And until Woody Allen is convicted in a court of law, I will not call him a child molester.

    And in that difference is where that “bad stuff” happens.

    —-
    1) “_http://judgybitch.com/2014/02/12/woody-allen-and-the-court-of-public-opinion/”;

  163. 163
    Steersman

    Oops; #162 is in response to Doubtthat:
    Doubtthat (#150):

    And again, Allen is totally unapologetic. His destructive relationship with Soon-Yi has been normalized.

    …..

    And in that difference is where that “bad stuff” happens.

    —-
    1) “_http://judgybitch.com/2014/02/12/woody-allen-and-the-court-of-public-opinion/”;

  164. 164
    doubtthat

    @162 Steersman

    That he apparently hasn’t apologized for his “grossly inappropriate” behaviour certainly doesn’t look particularly commendable. But it looks like you’re being rather judgemental about his relationship with Soon-Yi: she was, apparently, over the age of consent; he wasn’t committing incest; and the age difference, and consequences, were not much different from those in the case of Mia and Previn.

    No more judgmental than Wilk who heard sworn testimony and reviewed the various reports from experts.

    Set aside Soon-Yi, herself, for a moment. Regardless of how you feel about a older man commencing an affair with the 19 or 21 year old sister of his children, the relationship devastated the family and significantly traumatized the children. As Wilk states very clearly, Allen’s inability or unwillingness to understand how destructive and painful that act was to his children is one of the primary reasons he couldn’t be trusted to keep them safe and healthy.

    Now, for Soon-Yi, herself, I don’t find myself particularly convinced by Allen and others arguing that this was a purely consensual affair that began spontaneously with no grooming by Allen. I have no evidence of this, just a suspicion based on the totality of his actions, so I don’t base my judgment of Allen on that aspect of the relationship. There is plenty of inappropriateness, damage, and emotional trauma caused if we simply assume that Allen and Soon-Yi were eager, consenting adults.

    Care to take a stab at quantifying “amount of unreasonable reaction”?

    Yes: people here are reviewing a court transcript, the statements of the victim, and the flimsy, malicious defense offered by Allen, himself. This is exactly what you are doing, and despite your efforts to split hairs, your conclusion differs only superficially (perhaps, semantically is more appropriate) from that of most people posting. It’s not as though people are bringing up Allen’s situation for no reason or based on rumor and innuendo. There was a court case. It’s no different than discussing OJ Simpson.

    Reasonable reaction to substantial evidence is not “lynch mob”-esque.

    But I’m not sure you can say that I’ve arrived at the same conclusion. I’ll concede, as I’ve mentioned several times, that he’s apparently guilty of “grossly inappropriate behaviour”, and I’ll even concede that there’s some probability that he’s guilty of molesting Dylan. But you apparently go the extra mile and actually insist that he is guilty of that, and insist on treating him as if he had been so charged and convicted. Kind of an important difference.

    Please find the point at which I stated that he is guilty of child molestation beyond a reasonable doubt? The criminal case never began, so it’s impossible to state with any degree of certainty whether or not he actually molested Dylan. I find it probable; more likely than not, but were I on a jury with only the evidence that we have access to right now, I’m not sure I could convict him based on criminal standards.

    What he is undoubtedly guilty of is abusing those children. That would be the “grossly inappropriate behavior.” It’s obvious from the transcript that serious emotional trauma was inflicted on all of the kids, most directly Satchel and Dylan.

    Like Judge Wilk, I don’t need to arrive at a certain conclusion about that specific allegation of molestation to conclude that Allen was a deeply destructive and harmful influence on his children. I find that reprehensible, and his total lack of contrition is disturbing.

  165. 165
    hoary puccoon

    Steersman–

    May I point out, in a spirit of constructive criticism, that you’re not actually obliged to insult Jadehawk or anyone else. Doing so does make you look a little immature (in the spirit of “but, Mommy, Jimmy called me poopyhead first.”) It also undercuts your logical points, which you are clearly trying to make here in a constructive way.

    Also, I, personally, am made very uncomfortable by the term lynch mob. I’ve lived in the South, and I’m painfully aware that the prime reason people were lynched was their skin color. Using the term to refer to criticizing someone on the Internet seems to me insensitive to the people whose forebears really were lynched.

    As far as Woody Allen is concerned, I haven’t followed the issue closely. I stopped watching his movies years ago because, frankly, his protagonists came across to me as creepily self-impressed, self-absorbed jerks. Exactly the kind of men who might abuse a child and convince themselves that was perfectly okay. That doesn’t mean Dylan was (or wasn’t) molested. But it does make me uncomfortable with the efforts of so many people to absolve Allen of all guilt. I’m not referring to your defense of him here; you are certainly entitled to form and express your opinion. I’m referring to more well-known people who could sway a certain number of readers simply by virtue of their celebrity. If it isn’t fair to try Woody Allen in the court of public opinion, it certainly isn’t fair to do that to Dylan Farrow.

  166. 166
    Steersman

    hoary puccoon (#165):

    May I point out, in a spirit of constructive criticism, that you’re not actually obliged to insult Jadehawk or anyone else.

    They say – Hilary Clinton has said – that it takes a village to raise a child. And children generally seem unable to appreciate the finer nuances of reason and morality which generally requires a more direct approach. And in this case that means an object lesson and an illustration or a suggestion that if one doesn’t want to be insulted then one should probably be a little more circumspect about insulting others – particularly where one is more vulnerable to an inevitable rejoinder if not to “the nuclear option”. You may wish to peruse the relevant article on the topic of “tit for tat” (1) and a related one on game theory (2).

    Also, I, personally, am made very uncomfortable by the term lynch mob. I’ve lived in the South, and I’m painfully aware that the prime reason people were lynched was their skin color.

    So you’re saying that I’m guilty of “cultural misapproriation”? That we can’t talk about WW2 – or any war for that matter – because some will have lost friends and relatives therein? That we can’t talk of McCarthyist “witch-hunts” (3) because some of our forebears might have been burned at the stake for that “crime”? I can well appreciate that the images are likely to be more immediate and painful for some than for others, but I can’t see that it is particularly wise to sanitize those events to the point that we’re no longer able to derive any corrective or edifying benefits from them: those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past and all that.

    I stopped watching his movies years ago because, frankly, his protagonists came across to me as creepily self-impressed, self-absorbed jerks.

    There is maybe some justification for that perspective. However, I find that the best of his movies exhibit the self-deprecating humour that Jews are generally known and justly celebrated for (4). And in that process or perspective is, I think, its power and its claim to fame: if a comedian and a culture are able to laugh at themselves then it becomes much easier for others to see the same problematic or amusing aspects in themselves. Which has, I think, any number of salutary effects.

    But it does make me uncomfortable with the efforts of so many people to absolve Allen of all guilt. I’m not referring to your defense of him here; you are certainly entitled to form and express your opinion.

    I appreciate that you’ve made some effort to apparently put some distance between those who supposedly wish to “absolve Allen of all guilt” and my supposed “defense” of him. However, I don’t see all that many people – very few if any – who actually wish to do the former. And my “defense”, and that of many others, seems predicated more on allowing the law itself to mete out whatever punishment is appropriate rather than allowing a virtual mob to virtually or metaphorically take the law into its own hands. Allen may well be a serious creep when it comes to parenting, and might well be guilty of having molested Dylan. But while if I had any young daughters I probably wouldn’t ask him to babysit them – although others might be more forgiving or tolerant in that regard – I and many others are not about to act as if some actual trial charging and convicting him of that crime is already a fait accompli.

    ——
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat”;
    2) “_http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/game-theory/”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_hunt#Metaphorical_usage”;
    4) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_humour”;

  167. 167
    hoary puccoon

    Steersman–

    To repeat, I have no problem with you expressing your position vis a vis Allen. And if you enjoy his movies, happy movie-going to you. There do seem to be people within the entertainment community, however, who are willing to absolve Allen of any and all guilt for the problems in the tangled Farrow-Allen situation simply because they like his movies. (Since you enjoy social science terminology, you might remember that’s called the halo effect.)

    I pointed out that slinging insults back weakens you position and makes you look immature simply because that’s how it does come across to me, and, I suspect, to others. Obviously, if you enjoy slinging insults and don’t care if people think you’re childish, it’s your prerogative to sling away. You don’t need complicated explanations from game theory to justify it. (Nor, I’m afraid, do complicated explanations actually make you look less childish– only more pedantic.)

    Your justification for using the term lynch mob still strikes me as weak. I’m just barely old enough to remember the McCarthy era. And I mostly remember that my parents, who were registered Republicans and not much interested in politics beyond the local school board elections, were genuinely afraid of McCarthy. Although he wasn’t literally burning anyone at the stake, he really was going after innocent people and trying to ruin their careers and lives. So the term witch hunt wasn’t much hyperbole. It’s more a matter of balance, whether you use fraught terms, than a hard-and-fast rule.

    I am assuming you will come back with an argument, which is fine. I’m not particularly trying to win anything here, or even to score any points. I find it somewhat frustrating to watch you argue cogently on a point– and then undercut your own persuasive arguments with tactics you don’t even need. Something to think about?

  168. 168
    splen

    But while if I had any young daughters I probably wouldn’t ask him to babysit them – although others might be more forgiving or tolerant in that regard – I and many others are not about to act as if some actual trial charging and convicting him of that crime is already a fait accompli.

    Why not Steersman? Aren’t you unjustly punishing hypothetical-babysitter-Woody-Allen. More to the point, what does it say about the real Woody Allen that you wouldn’t invite him to babysit your children? You couldn’t be, *gasp* personally judging him outside of a court of law, could you?

  169. 169
    Steersman

    hoary puccoon (#167):

    There do seem to be people within the entertainment community, however, who are willing to absolve Allen of any and all guilt for the problems in the tangled Farrow-Allen situation ….

    Ok, maybe that is true, but you haven’t given any evidence that that is the case. Nor do I see how that is of any particular relevance, particularly as you’ve apparently conceded that I myself am not guilty of that. In addition, you haven’t actually proven that Allen is himself guilty of anything more than, as the judge put, “grossly inappropriate behaviour”; a long stretch from that to actually being guilty of the sexual molestation charge that is being bandied about.

    I pointed out that slinging insults back weakens you position and makes you look immature simply because that’s how it does come across to me, and, I suspect, to others.

    Ok, you’re welcome and entitled to have that opinion. But you should realize that it, for one thing, seems predicated on an assumption about my intent. I don’t particularly enjoy returning insults, but, as with parents discipling children or with society disciplining various miscreants, there is sometimes a necessity for them. And for the wilfully obtuse, a dose of their own medicine is precisely what the doctor ordered. Turning the other cheek only works so many times – two or three if the offending person is lucky; after that they can or should expect to get unloaded on.

    I find it somewhat frustrating to watch you argue cogently on a point– and then undercut your own persuasive arguments with tactics you don’t even need. Something to think about?

    Maybe, although I appreciate the implied compliment. But the “point” is, I think, substantially larger than just some “extrajudicial” penalties that some wish to see meted out to Allen, and includes questions about the use of “civil” language which seems integral to civilization. And, as suggested by the recent furor at Skepchick (1) over the use of “ableist” terms such as “stupid” and “idiot” – which I might point out were precisely the ones used by Jadehawk against me (2), and likewise by that paragon of virtue, one “Flewellyn” (3) – it seems that the use of gratuitous insults is far too common and rather problematic. But if you’re going to allow some then you pretty well have to allow them all – and rely on people understanding that “mutual assured destruction” is the order of the day and to govern themselves accordingly.

    —-
    1) “_http://skepchick.org/2014/02/insults-slurs-and-stupidity/”;
    2) “_http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/a-collection-of-reading-comprehension-fails/”;
    3) “_http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/a-collection-of-reading-comprehension-fails/#comment-3295”;

  170. 170
    Steersman

    Splen (#168):

    Why not Steersman? Aren’t you unjustly punishing hypothetical-babysitter-Woody-Allen. More to the point, what does it say about the real Woody Allen that you wouldn’t invite him to babysit your children? You couldn’t be, *gasp* personally judging him outside of a court of law, could you?

    I’ll concede that that is – at least “on its face” – not a bad point. However, apart from suggesting that that analogy was a bit of a shot at some questionable moralizing over in the Pharyngulag, I might suggest that the two cases – the “hypothetical-babysitter-Allen”, and the “to-be-honoured-filmaker-Allen” – aren’t really all that particularly analogous, that there are some very significant differences that would justify different responses. Many of us are probably prepared, periodically at least, to put a buck or two on a weekly lottery, but most would, I expect, draw the line well before betting the whole farm on the roll of the dice; likewise with the difference cases with Allen: one has to assess the benefits and potential costs and the probabilities of each outcome.

  171. 171
    Alexa

    Does anyone have information on the legitimacy of statement analysis (SCAN)?

    Ashley, I followed your statement analyses source that you linked at the beginning of your post and read both the analyzed versions of Dylan and Woody’s letters. It was really interesting; I went on to read about Patsy Ramsey’s interviews and some missing children’s cases, becoming totally fascinated with the process of statement analysis. But I hit a wall: in one of the letters (a suicide note by a pedophile), the analyst (Peter Hyatt?) suddenly suggested the reason why children found molestation troubling/traumatic was because they were created in the image of god. I read it over and over again, but I don’t think I misinterpreted. Even now, part of me hopes that I’m reading it wrong. If you want to read the analysis, it’s here: http://goo.gl/s5Msxe Disturbing. After that, I did some digging on SCAN (scientific content analysis) and found it was flagged as junk science. Just thought I’d put that out there in case you didn’t know (or maybe I’m under some misapprehension).

    All that aside, I enjoyed reading your blog post. At the end of the day, I side with Dylan. I wish I could say I find all this controversy surprising, but I don’t :( After Steubenville, I threw up my hands and gave up hoping things would change.

  172. 172
    LMS

    At the end of the day, I side with Woody. This is an easy case for anyone who doesn’t have a gender bias, as this feminist, Ashley Miller, obviously has. Let me break it down for you.

    1. Dylan didn’t even write that open letter. Mia Farrow obviously did. Why would Dylan namecheck all those actors/actresses? I’ll tell you why. Because Mia Farrow hates those people who continue to work with, and get awards for, their work with Woody Allen.

    2. Mia Farrow IS crazy.

    3. Mia Farrow took Dylan to a doctor, and Dylan said Woody touched her shoulder. Only days later did she take Dylan to another doctor (after days of coaching), and only then did Dylan say she was touched/pentrated or whatever.

    4. On physical examination, there was absolutely no damage at all, despite the claim that Woody stuck a finger in her vagina and she screamed ‘daddy it hurts.’

    5. A group of independent chld abuse experts concluded no abuse took place and Dylan was making it up or forced to tell the story because of her mother. They even viewed the videotape as being rehearsed and staged. These were experts who had investigated 1500+ cases prior… that’s why police referred the case to them in the first place.

    6. The allegations only happened after Mia found out about Woody/Soon-Yi having a relationship. She was scorned.

    7. A month before the molestation, during Dylan’s July 11 birthday party, Mia Farrow left Woody a note on his bedroom door that read ‘Child molestor at birthday party. Groomed one sister. Now focused on the youngest.’
    Then suddenly a month later, Mia allows Woody to visit Dylan, while Mia is out shopping (lol), and the molestation actually takes place? Please.

    8. Woody Allen had never before or since been accused of molestation. Most are serial molesters.

    9. No charges were ever brought against him.

    10. Mia’s own brother is in jail for child molestation, and her other brother was bipolar and commited suicide.

  173. 173
    rnilsson

    At the end of the day, I side with Woody. This is an easy case for anyone who doesn’t have a gender bias, as this feminist, Ashley Miller, obviously has.

    Did you mean, “at the end of five weeks”? So your clock is slow, too.

    No, the easy case here is flagging anyone who uses “feminist” as a pejorative as belonging to the group of people who do have a gender bias.

  174. 174
    Alexa

    Soooo… no one has any info on the legitimacy of SCAN? <- this was my main concern and the first question I posed, but hey, whatever.

  1. 175
    The self-serving transparency » Butterflies and Wheels

    […] for the very bad thing: Woody Allen’s letter to the New York Times. Ashley has a thorough takedown analysis, which is how I learned there was a letter. There’s no need for me to add anything but I […]

  2. 176
    Woody Allen: cradle-robbing android, or psychopathic liar? » Pharyngula

    […] Ashley Miller has dissected Allen’s letter in detail, and not only was my impression correct, but Allen is lying throughout. Bleh. Gotta go take a […]

  3. 177
    Cleverly Named Bunch o’ Links 2/8/14 | Gravity's Wings

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  4. 178
    The Reading List 2/10/2014 » Almost Diamonds

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  5. 179
    Seriously flawed artists: the case of Woody Allen » Mano Singham

    […] disturbing pattern. Ashley Miller has tried to thread her way through that minefield (see here and here) by arguing that while we may never know the truth, we can believe one party or the other based on […]

  6. 180
    Linkspam: 02/14/14 — The Radish.

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  7. 181
    Sadly, No! » Trigger Warning: Child Rape Apologetics Ahead

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  8. 182
    If you think Dylan Farrow is a delusional liar and that the real victim is Woody Allen, there is a 1000% chance that I hate you. | Dissent of a Woman

    […] You Need To Read About The Woody Allen Allegations Is Right Here (which is actually true!) and A thorough analysis of Woody Allen’s letter in the NYTimes, written after he finally responded to the reappearance of these […]

  9. 183
    How the Media Portrays CSA: a look at the Woody Allen case – Ruth Dsouza Prabhu | CSA Awareness Month

    […] you want an analysis of Woody Allen’s letter in response to Dylan’s then just read this piece which gives you […]

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