Woody sends a guy to rough her up

Now morally superior Woody Allen is sending his lawyer out to go on tv and trash Mia Farrow.

(It’s all very tabloid, isn’t it, very People magazine, very what’s new in Hollywood. But it’s also a classic of power-abuse and celebrity-abuse and men crapping on women. We’re stuck with it for a bit.)

An attorney for Woody Allen said Tuesday that Dylan Farrow was coached by her mother and Allen’s former girlfriend, Mia Farrow, to believe false memories of sexual abuse by Allen.

Elkan Abramowitz said on the Today show that Allen isn’t accusing Farrow of lying. “She was a pawn in a huge fight between him and Mia Farrow years ago, and the idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother, and that memory is never going to go away,” Abramowitz said.

A “huge fight” – over the fact that Allen decided to start fucking Farrow’s daughter 13 years into their relationship. How could anyone possibly think he could ever possibly decide to mess around with another one of her daughters??

Abramowitz said it’s no coincidence that the allegations are resurfacing just as Allen’s career is hitting a new upswing. “The fact that it’s being brought up now is suspect, the timing is suspect,” Abramowitz said. “Nothing’s happened, they haven’t had any relationship in the last 20 years so all of a sudden we’re seeing these allegations surface again and one has to wonder why. I think that it’s a continuation of Mia Farrow’s desire to hurt Woody Allen.”

Well he got a lifetime achievement award, but some of his achievements in the field of daughter-fucking and daughter-fingering were omitted. Somebody has to set the record straight.


  1. Adam S says

    I’m not an expert in neuroscience and maybe someone out there can enlighten me but: without the aid of alien telepathy or a Doctor Evil style “mind ray”. Is it that easy to “implant” a memory? Especially one that would carry an enormous “mass” of emotional trauma?

    I know memories can be influenced, the way a question concerning an event is phrased can influence your recollection of the event. But “implanting” a memory whole sale. Is this Total Recall?

    In short. If even I didn’t think Allen is a despicable person trying to cover his ass, I’d still call Bullshit on this.

  2. says

    It can be quite easy to create a memory. Elizabeth Loftus found this in her research. On the other hand it was a trivial “memory” about a relatively minor incident. I don’t know if it’s harder to create more dramatic memories.

  3. Adam S says


    Loftus’ research is what I was thinking off regarding effecting memories through phrasing of questions. It’s been a long time since I took psych but my recollection was that it is possible to influence someones memories, such as making them think a car hit harder than the film showed, but it couldn’t make someone remember a car crash they never saw.

    That said. I’m probably missing a lot of the relevant work so I should revisit the studies, so thanks for the tip.

    I still doubt that someone could turn “My dad sat with me and played trains” into “My dad molested me whilst I looked at trains.”

  4. noastronomer says

    I don’t think Allen is winning any points in the “court of public opinion” (that’s the point of this, right?) by dragging this out and quite frankly the longer he drags it out the more likely it is that some enterprising journalist decides there’s a name to be had in bringing all the pieces together. I guess Allen’s ego is to big to let this go.


  5. says

    I’m not an expert in neuroscience and maybe someone out there can enlighten me but: without the aid of alien telepathy or a Doctor Evil style “mind ray”. Is it that easy to “implant” a memory? Especially one that would carry an enormous “mass” of emotional trauma?

    Yes. I’ve experimented with hypnosis with a couple of friends who were good enough to trust me. It’s hard to design a good control or not, but what I did was wrote down two possible “memories” I was going to give them, sealed them in an envelope and gave them to them, let them take them home and stash them someplace, then – a couple weeks later – did an induction and “painted” the memory as a vivid picture with plenty of detail and broke them from the trace and, a couple weeks after that, triggered the memory with a neutral question. E.g.: “Do you remember telling me about the goldfish you had when you were a kid?” In one case my volunteer rolled forward exactly down the script “Yes, we named it after my father because it looked like him.” Then I had her open the envelope.

    I’m still on the fence about hypnosis and the relationship between subconscious and memory, as well as peer pressure – but those are also all factors in “induced” false memories: a child wants to please a parent, or a psychiatrist, or whatever. It appears to me that what happens (when hypnosis is successful) is that a memory gets stored and then triggered. In my game I played with my friends, I tried it two different ways. In one way, my painting of the induced memory was very programmed, “You told me about a goldfish you had when you were a kid, and how you named it after your father because it looked like him” – one theory might be that the memory will trigger better if you use more or less the same sentence structure when you’re triggering it as when you induced it. “Tell me about goldfish” might be less likely to trigger the response. It’s been really interesting playing with this stuff and I’m grateful to my two friends who’ve trusted me to let me talk to their subconscious – it’s served to convince me that the cognitive models where memory and language appear to be interdependent (here’s a question, if you have anomia, can you remember details about the thing you can no longer name? it turns out that, yes, you can, but it’s harder) I’d say Chomsky is at least half right, and Plato was all wrong.

    I’ve been extremely careful to not do anything that might entertwine fake memories or triggers with real memories or triggers. Which, if you think about it, is difficult. You can’t ask your friend “did you have pets when you were a kid?” the day before you try to implant a memory because you’re actually stimulating them to recall those memories and studies of memory recall indicate that if a memory is “primed” it is easier to recall again; apparently remembering a memory reinforces the memory. If you think about that for a moment, it makes sense (BTW, that’s sort of how google’s search algorithms work – the more times it’s asked about something in a certain way the more likely it is to offer you answers that generated click-throughs when it was asked in that same way before)

  6. says

    my recollection was that it is possible to influence someones memories, such as making them think a car hit harder than the film showed, but it couldn’t make someone remember a car crash they never saw.

    One place that does a lot of informal study on this stuff is marketing (that should scare you) and I think that the effectiveness of marketing in some cases relies on trigger-laden words. If I were asking you to remember an automobile accident, you might remember it as more severe if I asked you “tell me about the car crash you were in when you were 5?” as opposed to “do you remember anything about a fender-bender that happened when you were a kid?”

    Just the right amount of extraneous detail seems to make a memory (or a “candidate memory” – somethjng you’re not sure you remember) more credible – probably because the details are going to activate other memories if they score “hits”. So, if you’re implanting the childhood memory of a goldfish, you might do it by saying “when you were 5 you won a goldfish at the county fair. your dad was really upset because he didn’t want you to have it but you had to take it home because you couldn’t throw it away. your dad’s bugged-out expression when he saw the fish looked remarkably like the fish’s expression, and you named the fish after him and never told him why.” So, you’re triggering (maybe) other plausible childhood memories and it might just slip in there and become “truth” along with the other true memories it’s triggering. I’d love to have a whole bunch of subjects because I suspect that a great deal of what sets the memory is the confidence of the delivery during the induction. You have to be careful not to ask questions or say anything that will trigger the subject trying to get creative on their own. Which means keeping things simple, believable, confident and clear, not asking questions – everything is delivered as simple statements that sound very factual. Think about your experience of remembering going to the fair with a childhood friend, and what you’d say to remind them about something that happened, i.e.: “in the summer when we were 13, we went to the county fair and I remember telling you that mosquitoes didn’t like sugar and I convinced you to put wads of cotton candy on your neck. we both thought it was hysterical, but your mom wouldn’t let you play with me for a month after that.” is more likely to work that “do you remember when we were 13? and we went to the fair? the mosquitoes were bothering you, so I suggested you put cotton candy on your neck. do you remember that?”

    It’d be fun to try to do real studies of this kind of stuff but I wouldn’t do that unless I was doing it in the context of having a human subjects board review and a much better understanding of the current state of neuropsychology than I have. So I wouldn’t call what I did anything more than “entertaining” and perhaps interesting.

  7. says

    I’ve spent the better part of a year independently investigating a series of malpractice suits against a St. Louis eating disorder clinic alleging the implantation of false memories, specifically those involving sexual abuse.

    In these suits, the plaintiffs claim they were subjected to invasive therapy sessions where they were forced to either confront their repressed memories or never get better, and that it was only after leaving the center that they realized these memories were complete fabrications (two of the women specifically mention being made to believe they were past victims of a Satanic cult). I’ve also spoken to other past clients of the clinic who talk about group sessions centered around ritualistic cults as well as close relatives who were accused of abuse based entirely off memories obtained through dream interpretations. It’s a huge mental health scandal that had received surprisingly little play in the public eye. So yes, there are and have been horrific cases where people are essentially brainwashed into falsely believing they were abused as children.

    And yet, that is an INCREDIBLY small subset of all reported abuses to ever reach official channels. The circumstances behind those cases are so convoluted, unique and nonrepresentative that to see Allen’s lackeys (and I’ve seen the same reasoning from others) attempt to co-opt that excuse is sickening. Farrow never recovered her memories, and while she did change details of her abuse in between tellings- a very common occurrence among victims – she never changed her mind about what Allen did to her. Now or then.

  8. johnthedrunkard says

    Yes, memories can be implanted. It is possible, by scripting questions, to lead people to ‘remember’ seeing Bugs Bunny at Disneyland etc. Police questioning techniques are known to lead to false IDs etc. etc. etc.

    The worst of it is, that Allen may be entirely guilty, AND Dylan’s memories may be entirely false, at the same time.

  9. Sili says

    my recollection was that it is possible to influence someones memories, such as making them think a car hit harder than the film showed, but it couldn’t make someone remember a car crash they never saw.

    Plenty of people recall seing CCTV footage of the suicide bomber blowing up a bus as part of the 7/7 London tube bombings.

    But no such footage exists.

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