By Onar Åm
Although Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate about her sexual assault allegation, her narrative appears to be falling apart.
First Mark Page and Patrick J. Smyth – people she said were at the party – denied any recollection of the event. Now, her female friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, who supposedly was also present at the party and knew about the incident, said in a statement through her lawyer, Howard Walsh, that “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
If Kavanaugh is innocent, as now seems ever more likely, the question immediately turns to what her motivations are for making such allegations.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
It is not hard to see why the Democratic Party would want to push this case, because to them, it fits in with their “by all necessary means” resistance strategy to fight President Donald Trump. This is a transparent delay tactic, in the hope of postponing the confirmation vote past the midterm election, and hope for a blue wave in the Senate to block Kavanaugh.
Many speculate that Ford has the same political motivation and that she is simply lying, but other theories have also surfaced. One of them is that, in addition to having a political motivation, she may also have a financial one. They have pointed to the fact that she has been an important scientist for the pharmaceutical corporation Corcept, which produces Korlym, that is based on the drug used in abortion pills.
The theory goes that if Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court, Roe vs Wade would fall and in practice make abortion illegal in many states in America. In the Palo Alto University 2015-2016 catalog, Ford is listed as Director of Biostatistics at Corcept Therapeutics (p. 190), and the idea is that she has stake in a company that would lose revenues from such a decision.
On closer inspection this theory seems highly unlikely, because even if Roe vs Wade were rejected, Corcept’s product would still be legal because it is used to treat hyperglycemia in the rare Cushing’s syndrome, not as an abortion pill. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Ford has a major financial stake in the company.
According to Dilbert-creator and trained hypnotist Scott Adams, it is highly unlikely that she is lying. He claims that the most probable explanation is that she is telling the truth as she remembers it, but what she remembers never happened.
False memories are far more common than people think. Just think about how many times you or someone you know remembers the correct event, but misremember who did what, or where or when the event took place. What’s more: False memories feel as real as the real deal.
We don’t know the full details surrounding Ford’s memories, but several subtle signs can be explained with a false memory. First, the name of one of the people she claims was involved is “Judge.” Another of the people she remembers is also a famous judge. What are the odds of two judges being involved in such an episode? If the memory is not real, such a coincidence is what you would expect.
Second, what are the odds that she remembers in vivid detail things that happened while she was drunk but can’t remember vital information such as where and when the party took place, which she surely would have had plenty of time to ponder while sober? Such an out of context memory has a dreamlike quality to it, which is consistent with a false memory.
One should therefore be careful with labeling Ford as a liar. She might just be misremembering, possibly based on fragments of a real event that did not involve the accused Kavanaugh.