Ben Carson’s “proof” for story about hoax class is literally parody

Ben Carson spent the end of the week fighting off reports that his compelling personal story is one part embellished and one part made up. While a Politico report on Carson’s account of a meeting with General Westmoreland in 1969 left the Internet parsing the meaning of the words “full scholarship,” the Detroit News pointed out that General Westmoreland wasn’t in Detroit anywhere near the date that Carson says the meeting took place.

Additionally, and perhaps more interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reported that at least two more of Carson’s stories — how he protected his white classmates from rioting black students following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by hiding them in a biology classroom and how he became the “most honest” student at Yale by being the only student to take a nearly-impossible retest — are almost certainly false.

As for the first story:

It is a dramatic account of courage and kindness, and it couldn’t be confirmed in interviews with a half-dozen of Mr. Carson’s classmates and his high school physics teacher. The students all remembered the riot. None recalled hearing about white students hiding in the biology lab, and Mr. Carson couldn’t remember any names of those he sheltered.

And the second:

Ben Carson, screenshot via YouTube

Ben Carson, screenshot via YouTube

In his 1990 autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” Mr. Carson writes of a Yale psychology professor who told Mr. Carson, then a junior, and the other students in the class—identified by Mr. Carson as Perceptions 301—that their final exam papers had “inadvertently burned,” requiring all 150 students to retake it. The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.

“The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Mr. Carson wrote. “ ‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’ ” Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $10 bill.

No photo identifying Mr. Carson as a student ever ran, according to the Yale Daily News archives, and no stories from that era mention a class called Perceptions 301. Yale Librarian Claryn Spies said Friday there was no psychology course by that name or class number during any of Mr. Carson’s years at Yale.

This morning, Carson has posted “proof” of his version of the Yale story on Facebook, sarcastically sniping about a forthcoming apology from the obviously biased media. But the evidence Carson provides for his stories is the opposite of convincing:

On Saturday a reporter with the Wall Street Journal published a story that my account of being the victim of a hoax at…

Posted by Dr. Ben Carson on Sunday, November 8, 2015

Yep. That article, labeled under the header “parody,” is responding to a joke issue of the Yale Record, the college’s humor magazine, where the story about the hoax class first appeared. Carson is treating Yale’s equivalent of The Onion as a matter of historical record.

But he wasn’t done:

Allow me also to do the research for the Wall Street Journal reporter. Here is a syllabus for the class you claim never existed. Still waiting on the apology.

Posted by Dr. Ben Carson on Sunday, November 8, 2015

If you click through to the syllabus Carson is citing as proof that he was enrolled in Perceptions 301 in 1970, you’ll find that the class has a different number — Psychology 323b — and (at least as far as that link goes) was offered in 2002, not 1970.

If Carson wants the media to lay off claims that he plays fast and loose with the facts — particularly for the purposes of constructing a made-for-TV story of Evangelical redemption — this isn’t going to help.

Correction: The article Carson posted is from the Yale Daily News, not the Yale Record. The Daily News was responding to a parody issue of the Record, in which the story about the hoax class originally appeared.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Lindseth Marion

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  • Bonnie

    Jon Green might want to consider writing fiction. He appears to have a talent for it.

  • Bonnie

    Even more ironic was his pointing a finger at anyone else and calling them a liar while he supports Obama! How stupid is that, when we have caught Obama in lie after lie?

  • Snowy

    Yes, because mixing up the name of two campus papers is exactly the same as being the blatant liar that Ben Carson is.

  • Pete Seeger’s Banjo

    Carson’s story is actually pretty vague. The general details line up very well.

  • Pete Seeger’s Banjo

    How do you know the people that put on the hoax didn’t pose it as an honesty test? In any event, most of the details Carson mentioned align with the story told by the guy who was involved with the group that pulled the hoax.

  • razajac

    You do a bit too much honor to that narrative tradition to attach the word “structure” to it….

  • razajac

    What’s funny/interest/scary is to go to Carson’s FB page where he posts this pic and asks for an “apology”.

    If you look at the comments, you’ll see the plain truth: Partisans of Ben are a particular kind of people. They’re people for whom nothing actually means anything. For them, the whole thing is a sort of “light show” that tickles the parts of their brains that take pleasure in a fantasy. It’s a fantasy of a profoundly comforting myth of American success. Carson parlayed that success myth-making into a secondary source of income.

    The simple fact is that, once Carson decided to run for the Presidency, he had a decision to make. He had two clear and clean options to choose from:

    He could have thrown over that honey-glazed, truth-neutral mythic recasting of his life story, repudiating that past to the press, hewing them to primary sources, and beginning a new process of putting him into a cleaner, verifiable narrative context for their product (journalism).

    But that’s not what he decided to do. He chose the short-term easier (and long-term rockier) path. He expected the press to do his dirty work for him, shoehorning his ghostwritten mythology into their product.

    Well, that’s going to rankle with honest press people, and that’s that.

    And that’s what you’re seeing lately.

  • And, oh, yeah, which part of “I’m no fan of Carson” did you not understand?

  • Nice point. I didn’t know about 1990.

    So….

    Please describe for me exactly what you were doing on May 17, 1995. Make sure you get every detail absolutely correct.

    Which is my way of saying – Wow, talk about completely missing the point.

    The issue is not about candidates being vetted. The issue is with silly biased journalist spouting bullshit based on the obviously absurd premise that people remember things with absolute clarity and detail many, many years after the fact. Oh, yeah, and making a stupid argument like ‘We can’t find documentation of this, therefore we’re going to say it never happened, and say you are lying about it, you just made it up, and unless you can produce documentation from forty years then you are lying, and it doesn’t matter to us that in fact the vast majority of things that happen in our lives never have any documentation at all.’

    The other issue is with equally silly people thinking exactly like those silly journalists.

  • bobbobitybob

    “Evangelical devotion to Marxism”. Lol.

  • bobbobitybob

    No, the interesting thing about Carson isn’t that he says “Meh, yeah, the details are vague, but something like that happened.” He says “It is correct! I am an honest man! You are unfairly attacking me.” The stories he tells make no sense in their details. This possible ‘hoax’ was not about ‘honesty’. No robber entering a fast food place can’t figure out who works there and who’s a customer. No knife breaks on a belt buckle. The stories may be in some way based on real experiences, but they’re not sense-checked. They are fantasy versions of things that may have happened. But instead of reconciling the stories so they fit what is at least possible, Carson ‘doubles down’ on absurdity and claims victimhood. That’s a problem, and it’s a problem with his today character, not something about who he was 40 years ago.

  • bobbobitybob

    It couldn’t be like Carson’s story, because Carson’s story makes no sense. He claims that the students were incited to improbable outrage (students don’t jump up and storm out) and that St Ben, remaining behind, was determined to be “most honest”. The test, in his version, shows something about temper, or independence, or meekness. It has nothing to do with honesty.

    This kind of “honesty test” is the “matrix experiment”, where the professor pretends to have lost the papers and the students supply their own marks, The tester than compares real marks to self-reported marks to see who is honest and who has cheated. Usually about 30% of the group is honest even though they believe they can’t be caught if they lie.

    Carson may have been involved in some kind of a ‘hoax’ of this kind – the matrix experiment was in the news, as it were, at that time. But his memory of it isn’t accurate, or even coherent. And the result was not that he was the best person in the room, for which he got a tip.

  • bobbobitybob

    No, there is no irony in making a minor error and then correcting it. It would be ‘ironic’ if the writer insisted that he was correct about the name of the paper, and then offered some irrelevant item – a random story from the Record to prove that it exists – to show hat he was correct. And then whined about how he was picked on, and claimed that some other blogger was never subjected to that level of scrutiny.

  • Lea Kane

    You need to do your research. It came out in the students University paper. Read more. Condemn less.

  • Jeepers

    You really believe that? Sad.

  • Jeepers

    Huh? I conceded nothing; you are confusing my response with someone else. But yes, you are right; besides talking to the elderly about dying (before their time– not in hospital setting necessarily) are also bound by the rationing, cost-cutting panel, the IPAB. As former head of Democrats, Howard Dean said about the IPAB, “”What ends up happening in these schemes is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients.” Fascinating he calls the Democrat’s ACA a “scheme”! And I’ve been told over and over health care is supposed to be between the doctor and patient! Or does that only apply to women? Please respond to Howard Dean.

  • Moderator3

    I edited your racist comment. Bye.

  • Pazuzu

    So, in other words, you concede that nobody’s going to jail for not getting Obamacare? Thanks — that’s mighty white of you!

    As for the death panels, you didn’t really read beyond the headline of that article, did you? Be honest now! Here’s a quote from the article itself: “The Obama administration has revived a proposal to reimburse physicians for talking with their Medicare patients about how patients want to be cared for as they near death.” It then goes on to say that this might revive the GOP’s malarial fever-dream about “death panels.” Imagine that, physicians being reimbursed for talking with their patients about how they want to be cared for as they near death — how monstrous! That’s the exact same thing as some “panel” deciding who lives or dies.

    And the Fiscal Times — oh yeah, really credible source there. Do you also consider Ayn Rand to be an economist?

  • Pazuzu

    Hah! And let me guess, there’s no way those twin towers collapsed because of being hit by airplanes.

  • Jeepers

    Gruber, is that you? You mean the outrage pimps on the right, like the LA Times? http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medicare-end-of-life-20150708-story.html

    Why do you so vehemently support a failure? http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2015/11/05/Collapsing-Obamacare-Co-ops-Signal-Big-Trouble-Come

  • Jeepers

    Oh, you mean what the Clinton campaign did to Obama? (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/scarborough-clinton-obama-muslim/2015/09/21/id/692496/) I’m sure you’d vote for someone that played those dirty tricks!

    As far as an “autobiography fabrications” by the president, you must mean:
    1. Crediting the civil rights march as the inspiration for his conception.
    2. Tracing his existence to the Kennedy family, which he said paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America and meet his Kansan mother.
    3. Tale of British brutality toward Barack Obama’s grandfather
    4. His heroic story of his step-grandfather dying while fighting the Dutch
    5. Lying about his mother’s health insurance problem, repeatedly used to force sympathy for the ACA
    6. Making a white Occidental College classmate “Regina” into African-American to emphasize racial divide
    7. The story that he based his candidacy on: “My parents shared not only an improbable love,they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.”
    8. His mother and he “abandoned” by his father in 1963
    9. The tale of the uncle liberating Auschwitz death camp?

    You’re right; these and about 30 other events were biography fabrications. But when did he prove he’s not a Muslim”? From Stephanopoulos? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMhB-CwF4yc

  • livfreeordi

    Does anyone but me see the irony of the article above trying to cast doubt upon Carson’s version of events…

    …and THEN it has to post a correction at the bottom?

    I think this turkey is done. Stick a fork in it.

    If those who want to attack Carson want to make any headway, they need to stick to sustainable facts, instead of engaging in innuendo and scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something, ANYTHING. To make into an issue.

    In the meantime, Carson has brought glaring attention to the decidedly different lack of interest so many in the media had with vetting the background of Obama when there was so much more of a substantive nature to investigate there; his relationship with a former terrorist, a preacher spouting race hate from the pulpit and sealed college records.

    The hypocritical double standard is mind blowing!

  • bdrew

    Do we give him a pass for saying he took it as a junior even though the hoax took place two years before he was a junior?

  • Sarah Barns

    It’s nothing like Carson’s story and the existence of a hoax has already been confirmed.

  • Pete Seeger’s Banjo

    Buzzfeed has the story – Carson largely vindicated http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/ben-carsons-yale-classmate-we-did-the-prank-test-that-carson#.xdZ5Bj6gj

    Looks like his memory was a bit fuzzy on some of the detail, but an editorial assistant at The Record remembers the hoax exam and it’s substantially the same as the story Carson tells in his book.

  • Pazuzu

    No, despite these gibbering claims made by the outrage pimps of the right, nobody is going to jail for not buying insurance. Also, it might shock you to learn that there were no death panels, and that Obama was born in Hawaii.

  • Pazuzu

    Yeah, the part where the language of the ACA states that citizens “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution,” to quote from the law itself. This was also reiterated by the IRS Commissioner in response to the ridiculous claims put out by the GOP about people being imprisoned, pointing out that the worst that could happen is offsets against future tax refunds. So, if you want to argue that these offsets are the exact equivalent of slavery, well, I wouldn’t be surprised, frankly, given the Red-Dawn style of screeching hysterics coming from the right these days. [Bing!] Next!

  • BillinDetroit

    No … we can stay in our own country and face imprisonment. Otherwise, yeah, you nailed it.

  • BillinDetroit

    What … we have a choice? At this point we have to either buy insurance we can’t afford or pay taxes we can’t afford or face jail.

    Did I leave anything out?

  • Pazuzu

    Truly, the world stands in absolute awe of your great suffering, which is exactly equivalent to being kidnapped from your home, sent to a distant country, and forced to work for free as somebody else’s private property, with horse-whippings and mutilation if you act up or try to escape, and where your family can be broken up and shipped to various places on the whim of your master.

  • Pazuzu

    I love that Obamacare is worse than slavery quip! I really wish some media outlet would take a poor working family and ask “Ok, you can either a) be sold into slavery, or b) have Obamacare.”

  • Pazuzu

    The Rev Wright? Bill Ayers? Saul Alinsky? His birth certificate? Having to prove he’s not a Muslim (because we all know the Constitution says the President has to be a card-carrying Christian)? It’s not Obama’s fault that his autobiography didn’t contain episodes that were completely invented.

  • Pazuzu

    Nurse!

  • David Richardens

    *yawn*

    Once upon a time, I remember when the right could actually argue a point.

    Now their trolls just seem to want to get on their knees in front of the ethereal glory hole. To suck.

  • OldLefty

    Absolutely.

  • James sparling

    and Kerry, man was damn nearly eviscerated.

  • Marc Brooks

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV8hYZNXul8

    So what you are saying is that being forced by an authority to do something you don’t want to do…be lied to about what you’ll be able to do… and be punished if you don’t do it…isn’t anything like slavery in which you are forced to do what you don’t want to do, lied to about what you will be able to do, and will receive punishment if you don’t do it?
    The man can’t even accept true responsibility in an “apology” to the American people he forced into this?

  • Chet Scarn Halpert

    Who pissed in your mouth?

  • Yeah, he’s probably more honest than not. Which is why his nutjob commentary on such as “Obamacare is the worst thing to happen in the US since slavery” is disqualifying. I’ll assume he’s so crackpot he actually believes that stuff.

  • FarSide2012

    Nice (and vicious) try, you lose. When will you be attacking Obama for his evangelical devotion to the religions of Marxism and “climate change”?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/curtis-bakal-yale-record-prank-carson

  • ComradeRutherford

    What ‘crazy lies’ do you ascribe to Obama? Not that he’s never lied, I’m curious as to which you are referring.

  • Cynthia Williams

    Details.

    1: Curtis Bakal says “he wasn’t present during the taking of the fake test”.

    2: Lew Schwartz, the author of the Yale Daily News article
    mentioning the prank, told BuzzFeed News on Monday that he had not
    personally witnessed the exam and had reported it because “I guess we
    had heard that some folks had showed up.”
    3: Ben Carson’s story in his 1990 book, Gifted Hands” says that a Professor told him it was a hoax and gave him a $10 bill when he, Carson, was a Junior which had to be 1972.

    4: Yale librarian states that no such class/course Perception 301 existed in 1970-72.

    A; Bakal’s statements all seem based on heresay.

    B: Lew Schwartz’s says the article he wrote mentioning the prank is based on heresay as well.
    C. Neither of these gentlemen was in a position to either confirm or deny Dr. Carson’s presence as BOTH of them clearly state.
    D. What is true is that a hoax was written about in the Yale Record.

    E. What is true would seem to be that Dr. Carson was gullible enough to be taken in by a hoax. What is true is that Dr. Carson stated that 149 of his classmates also were as gullible as he was and that some of said classmates were prepared to LIE to avoid re-taking the test until they had time to “study up” for it. What is true is that Dr. Carson said a Professor was in on the hoax.
    F: If one is exceptionally charitable, one could use the word “embellished” to describe Carson’s version of events. If one is accurate , one can say that Dr. Carson flatly lied about the event in that he accuses 149 of his classmates of dishonesty and implicates a professor in the commission of the hoax.

  • OldLefty

    They did.

  • luvgabe

    It sure worked for Obama, but then I don’t expect ComradeRutherford to ever admit that.

  • luvgabe

    @Jon Green,

    Vetting of Ben Carson is entirely appropriate, but why didn’t you apply the same fervor to vetting Barack Obama?

  • AriD2385

    I think that your points (like the media in general) are greatly overstated. First of all, putting out a story saying, “Well we couldn’t verify that this was true” is ripe for BS. If you look at Andrew Kaczynski’s work at BuzzFeed, it’s clear that it didn’t take them any special effort or diligence to find a Yale staffer who could corroborate Carson’s story. So outlets claiming to be conducting investigations need to be treated with skepticism when they choose to publish something without either verifying that what they are asserting is true or being open with the public about what exactly their investigation entailed.

    Further, the “Yale Hoax” story was in fact presented as a hoax originally. That is how eveyrone has understood it and how Carson has communicated it. Carson’s books and life story have been read by people for decades now. No one thought that he was of poor character for it until they had a political reason to puff up some “integrity issue”.

    Further, his mother actually didn’t say whether it was a classmate or a relative. She says, “Oh, that really happened.” She is referring to an event in the play. Friend or relative has no bearing on Carson embellishing anything though, because it is irrelevant to the point of his story.

    I have been saying over and over again, that Democrats have a desperate need to make Republican candidates seem as shady as their front-runner. The same people who complained that Bengazi hearings were overblown, now claim that a college hoax is vital information for Carson’s candidacy. It’s nonsense, which is why Carson’s numbers have only gone up. People would do better to focus on something else because you’re not going to take Carson down by making mountains out of molehills.

  • Lisa L

    His fellow Yale classmate confirms this is true: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/ben-carsons-yale-classmate-we-did-the-prank-test-that-carson#.xppGrZZl8

    Carson was honest. You just fell for another media hit job.

  • Lisa L
  • preid

    You are mistaken that West Pt doesn’t make appointments or offer free education (they get a commitment from the student with an education cost promise to be forgiven after the commitment is fulfilled) You are also not considering that a West Point recruiter can insinuate an offer that is not necessarily approved but can be interpreted by a high school student as a scholarship. As far as the test hoax he described, a fellow student has come forward and confirmed that the hoax test did in fact happen as Carson described. I just feel these are trivial stories of a young man at the time that have no relation to a possible presidency. I respect that you like Sanders and that his political goals align with yours just as several Republican candidates more align with mine. I’m glad to know you aren’t a Hillary supporter. I have great doubts about her that are much more serious than issues that have been brought up about Carson. Since I have very little control over who the Republican candidate will be I just hope that it is someone I can support.

  • preid

    Nothing has escaped my notice lol. Just because I disagree doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something. Of course I know he is running for President just like Hillary Clinton and just like Trump, Bush, Sanders, etc. And of course I know that it is important which is exactly why I feel the focus should be on important issues about how each candidate would handle issues related to running our country, not the specifics of whether West Point offered Carson, a high school student, a full scholarship or if some W Pt recruiter said something to make him think it. This just isn’t important to me although a student has corroborated the story about the hoax test that Carson described. Now what really happened in Benghazi and who might have been neglectful about it does concern me. Whether or not a candidate will cheat the American people to become more powerful concerns me. I know plenty of narcissists and I just don’t believe Carson is one. You can look at it all you want but you are clearly not being objective. His life started out pretty bad and in the end he triumphed and uses his life story to inspire others. Whether you like it or not, he has inspired many. All of his stories are the significant points in his life. There are other heroes in his life you are only looking at the parts that suit your opinion.
    You are right, it isn’t hilarious that people are focused on such trivial issues when it comes to the best candidates for President. Sometimes it is easier to find the humor in the absurdity of some investigations such as whether or not Carson got an offer from West Point or that the hoax test really happened. You are believe it and that is your choice and I respect that. You talk about this being such serious business and I agree that running for President is very serious business but I don’t agree often with what reporters decide is important to dig into including some of what they have gone after Obama for.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Yes, he does. It is not something one would like to see in a role model, certainly not in a President (although we certainly have these characters in politics and in all walks of life in both parties as well as in all countries).

  • Roger Kaplan

    I don’t think that the journalists said that the incident did not happen. They said that they could not get confirmation from anyone (and asked Carson for help). Besides, Carson (who is smart enough to go to Yale and later become an accomplished surgeon) is smart enough to learn after the incident that it was a hoax. One does not forget that that easily. He gives no indication of that in his book, but instead focuses on glorifying himself as the only honest student. Interestingly, he “remembers” how many students were in the class, etc. The issue is not whether remembered all the details — the issue is his intention to manipulate the readers. (Another example is “Bob” whom he attacked with a knife. “Bob” was a ‘friend’ in the book, but became a ‘close relative’ in the Fox interview with Meghyn Kelly. If “Bob” was really a close relative, one would have expected Carson to have remembered it. Now Carson produces a 1997 Parade article to show that his mom confirmed the incident, but then she says that that person was a classmate, not a close relative. Again, the incident probably occurred, in some fashion. But Carson’s recounting makes one wonder if the story has been embellished. Do these things matter? Yes, since Carson has built his brand based on his “integrity” and on why he is better than others (who certainly have their share of problems with honesty and integrity).

  • David Richardens

    Desperation, thy name is Religious zealot who must string together a series of nonsense salvation stories in order to appeal to stupid people.

  • David Richardens

    When it occurred makes no difference. It was a hoax. It wasn’t his professor who gave the test, and it never really happened.

    While it MAY be true that he sat until the end of SOMETHING, that SOMETHING was a hoax for which he was the only one stupid enough to fall.

    Debating the years in which is happened is moot. Entertaining but moot.

  • David Richardens

    If your article is to be believed, then Ben Carson is an idiot, who was the only one who ended up not realizing it was a Hoax.

    Now as to his story in his book:
    1. Either he used the event as an outline to create a fabricated lie.
    2. Ben Carson is so self-absorbed, that he has lost touch with reality and actually sat there believing that yhe hoax was real, and that he was the only righteous person out of a class of 149 people.

    No matter how you slice it, he’s the only dumbass who fell for the hoax and stayed until the end and there is no escaping his fucktardedness.

  • cusejon

    What? At least get the details right if you’re going to defend the guy. Carson relates this story about the hoax exam in his 1990 book, “Gifted Hands.” It’s not some off the cuff story he’s telling 40 years later, unable to remember the exact details on the spot. He’s only now having to defend the veracity of of the stories he wrote in that autobiography, because, of course, any presidential candidate ought to have their history closely vetted.

  • I’m no fan of Carson. After all, anyone who would make a public speech in which he states that he believes that the Egyptian pyramids were granaries set up by the Hebrew patriarch Joseph has a couple screws loose.

    But the fact of the matter is that when you expect a guy who is telling a story about something that happened forty years ago to correctly remember all the little details and actually relate the story with all of the details correct is living in a fantasy land. You couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. This is an obvious case of double standards. The fact of the matter is that the event actually did occur, and he didn’t fabricate it whole-cloth. He got the details screwed up – just like *everyone* could not get the details right telling a story about something forty years ago. In this regard, it seems a number of journalists are acting like a bunch of clowns – and an awful lot of other people are jumping right into that circus.

  • Roger Kaplan

    As suspected, Carson clearly embellished something that actually happened. BUT if I were Carson I would NOT feel vindicated! What the Buzzfeed investigation shows is that (1) Carson was stupid and fell for a prank (but one should not hold it against him), (2) he embellished it (149 others attended the exam, his professor was present, etc.), and (3) he made it into a story of his “honesty” (the “only” honest student in the class!). The anecdote published in Gifted Hands is not a result of bad or fading memory. It is a product of a calculating, manipulative mind. Items (2) and (3) reveal deliberate fabrication, deception and manipulation! He uses this story to be a role model and mentor to young minds and to teach them the importance of moral values, integrity, honesty, etc.?! The guy is a con! I agree with Cynthia Williams above. Where do Carson’s apologists get their definitions of honesty, trustworthiness and integrity? Maybe Carson has also written a dictionary?

  • AriD2385

    Read the article. The student who actually wrote the test is the one who gives the interview. Again, the journalists who said it didn’t happen simply were not doing their jobs.

  • Michael Sandy

    And if Dr. Carson were to simply acknowledge that his memory of events was wrong, that his book was wrong, there wouldn’t be much of a story here. But Carson is insisting that his book is accurate and that an account that differs in very significant ways from his book account proves his account. His book says the event took place in 1972, when he was a junior, the newspaper says 1970, and refers to a freshman class.

    Dr. Carson’s own facebook page has him posting things that directly conflict with his book, and yet he continues to maintain that his book is accurate and honest.

    What he wrote 30 years ago isn’t all that important, by itself. What happened 45 years ago isn’t all that important, by itself. Dr. Carson saying today that his 30 year old account is exactly accurate, and offering as proof an article that directly contradicts it in several details? That goes to the heart of what “truth” and “proof” means to Dr. Carson.

  • Michael Sandy

    Thank you! Helpful person on the Internet is helpful! It is “copy link location” on my browser.

  • blueandbarley

    Jon Green is who has no character. The article proves Carson was right.

  • RON

    And Hillary taking foreign money, Hillary lying to FOUR DEAD MENS families, then telling her family the truth, and your dumb azz said she had a GOOD WEEK…LOL

  • RON

    And you are pro homosexuality and Baby killing…….Hmmmmm

  • RON

    Thats good coming from a Dem liberal, your whole party and movement is made up of trash liars.

  • RON

    Funny that none of you left wing kooks researched Obama’s book to find fault with his made up girlfriend or the fact he said the Selma march was the inspiration for his conception. There are 39 major lies in His book.

    The truth is you commies can;t stand a conservative black, which means you are racist bigots.

  • sue

    Glad that one out of 149 students were found. Do they agree that it took place in 1970? If so, Dr.Carson was a freshman, not a junior. So why does he describe it in his book as though it happened when he was a junior at Yale in 1972, but suddenly is using the 1970 article as proof?

  • Sarah Barns

    The joke in Medical school is that surgeons are no smarter than cooks. I believe that Dr. Carson is very meticulous and detailed oriented, but it doesn’t mean he is particularly intelligent. He admits that he struggled with the premed sciences which is why he majored in Psychology.

  • Fair enough.

  • Nah. His stories read like masturbatory fan-fiction and defy belief and reason.

  • Cynthia Williams

    No one doubts that Carson was gullible enough to be taken in by a prank. However, Dr. Carson states that 149 of his classmates were also as gullible as he was and that some of them would LIE to get out of re-taking the exam before they could “study up” on it, he then tosses a professor under the bus saying the professor was IN on the hoax.

    I am not sure where people get their definitions for words such as honest, trustworthy, integrity. I am not certain where Dr. Carson gets his definitions of same. In MY understanding of the definitions these are my conclusions.

    Carson honest? No. Carson trustworthy? No. Carson a man of integrity? No.

    Further, it just isn’t rational of the man to actually expect NOT to be questioned about his own statements, whether they be from his high school and college years or from his statements last year, last month or yesterday.

  • Duke Woolworth

    Someone with an imagination as creative as this should be making millions writing novels and screenplays.

  • AriD2385
  • AriD2385
  • sue

    And shouldn’t there be approximately 149 other students who remember and saw through this silly prank and who walked out ? Why can’t the press find them?

  • Sarah Barns

    You’re right. If you look at the Yale school year, the class actually occurred during his Freshman year. He should release his transcripts to prove he even took the class at that time. He can redact his grades and other classes.

  • sue

    He was not a junior in January, 1970, so how does this article from that year prove anything? In his book he says that he was in his junior year (1972?) when this incident occurred. Continuing confusion!
    He could just release his transcript showing which course he took and when, couldn’t he?

  • Sarah Barns

    Just a point of clarification. Judging from the this other post in the same “Yale Daily News”, Dr. Carson may have been telling the truth about this being a final. Some universities back then had a schedule similar to some high schools where Christmas Break came during first semester.

    http://digital.library.yale.edu/utils/getarticleclippings/collection/yale-ydn/id/10981/articleId/DIVL243/compObjId/10987/lang/en_US/dmtext/

    Nonetheless, I still think the rest of story is utter nonsense.

  • Maggiejeaner

    He’d need to prove this with a course catalog from the 1970s—–Yale probably has every single course catalog archived and it would be easy for Carson to get a researcher to jump over to New Haven for an hour to check.
    But also isn’t it odd and interesting that Carson posted the syllabus as proof that the course existed and then went in interviews and said that the course name and number was made up by his ghost writer?

  • Sarah Barns

    Just for accuracy, if you look at the original “Yale Daily News” posting, just to the left of the post, it states that the newspaper will be taking a break for final exams. My guess is that the college used to have a schedule similar to some high schools where the semester actually ends after Christmas Break.

    http://digital.library.yale.edu/utils/getarticleclippings/collection/yale-ydn/id/10981/articleId/DIVL243/compObjId/10987/lang/en_US/dmtext/

  • olandp

    I’d like to see you do so if only on occasion, your discussion here would get more attention as a post rather than a comment.

  • thismustbehell

    If you actually read the syllabus you would have noticed there was no “final exam” for this course. A final paper was to be turned in by the last day of class. And what, exactly, is the “racial narrative of the left”? Presumably not the narrative of the right where one heard the “n” word a great deal along with other pejoratives.

  • Thanks, you’re most kind.

  • sancholibre

    I consider it now likely that some comic-minded student wrote the hoax in the parody paper at Yale, then proceeded to hold a hoax exam to see who would fall for it. The questions were ridiculous because it was probably all a huge joke, and the joke was on Carson himself. He was given the ten bucks at the end, which he thinks were for honesty, but in reality as the prize for being the most gullible student at the entire university. At the moment he received the ten bucks, in Carson’s mind he felt like a good person, while at the same moment the perpetrators of the hoax were walking out of the room and holding their laughter in until they made it outside. My theory seems plausible, if you stop and think about it for a second.

  • issyk

    Thank you, BeccaM, for putting the words to my thoughts. Keep on writing, you views are appreciated. And your writing skills are too.

  • Baal

    Someone who has held an elective office at some time in his life, ideally, Senate, House, Governor, or who has served in a president’s cabinet, or MAYBE as a very high ranking military officer or a university president. Someone who does not reject almost universally held scientific principles (so no young-earth creationists since to reject this means that you have to reject vaste swathes of biology, genetics, geology, chemistry, physics and astronomy; no climate science deniers). I would like the a president to understand constitutional government at an 8th grade level and if they do, to not pander to those who don’t (so things that Mike Huckabee says about Supreme Court decisions disqualify him). I need for a president to be well educated and informed on a fairly wide range of issues. So some candidates who have said things that clearly indicate they have no clue what is the difference between Shia and Sunni, have no idea about the geography and history of the middle east, who the major players are, why Iran cannot ever support ISIS or al Qaeda, etc. If you think a question about what newspapers you read is a gotcha, you are disqualified. If you say something that indicates you do not know even the simplest basics about how the budgetary process works (and the difference between the debt and the budget) you are not qualified. If you believe that shutting down the federal government is always the best negotiating option you are crazy and not qualified. If you show signs of religious mania (like Ben Carson as revealed by his remark on the pyramids) you frighten me. If you question the patriotism of a sitting American president, you are disqualified (especially if you believe the use of Executive Orders is tyranny, since GW Bush signed many more of them than anyone else). If you are facing the prospect of indictment for corrupt activities, it is a problem. I could go on, but starting with just these few principles and questions, I can instantly eliminate off the top Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, Jindal, Cruz, Christie, Paul, Bush, Santorum, and Rubio. Whoever is left, I might not reject instantly as utterly absurd choices, like Pataki (but I wouldn’t vote for them).

  • issyk

    So you are okay with warped thinking to the right for our children? No critical thought allowed?

    Thought police?

  • Jon’s (our new proprietor) has offered me a blogging spot if I wanted one, but I didn’t feel like I could commit to the time on a consistent basis. So I wander in, comment like mad, then wander away again. ;-)

  • There’s no part of Carson’s anecdote which stands up to scrutiny or logic. I continue to be amazed anybody ever believed it.

  • issyk

    If you are considering voting for Ben Carson, please consider the following:

    1– I cannot think of any military personnel who would follow a Commander in Chief who lied about getting a scholarship to West Point or meeting with a General. The military takes it very personally when people misstate their military records. It shows a lack of integrity, at best. This point right there makes him wholly unqualified to be the President.

    2– Additionally, his religion is of no concern to me, just as mine should be of no concern to him. This is America and his religious rhetoric makes him frightening to someone who does not share his belief system. Religious conflicts are notoriously ugly.

  • preid

    lol I was thinking the same of some of the progressive posters here who clearly want to believe the negative about a conservative. Dr Carson isn’t my hero. He is only an intelligent man who has worked very hard to become a very successful person in life. He has added a lot to pediatric neurosurgery over the years. I find his life inspiring. I’m not going through anything so don’t worry about me. My life is good and I am sure not waiting on any politician to make it better ;)

  • preid

    lol-I was thinking the same thing of the people who believe there is some sort of serious issue here with his character like there is with Hillary. I wouldn’t call Dr Carson one of my heroes but I guess if I had to choose someone with great character out of the candidates of both parties he would be at the top. I’m not going through anything so don’t worry about me. My life is good and I sure don’t wait on the President of the United States to make it better. :)

  • issyk

    The old saying of, “Just because you believe it does not make it so” comes to mind.

    It’s a difficult time when one of your heroes turns out not to be the person of good character that you truly believed him to be. I am sorry you have to go through this experience.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Indeed!

  • issyk

    As I was attempting to do as well…..my apologies for interrupting your excellent response.

  • issyk

    My apologies that I missed the snark of your remark. Truce?

  • Not in 1970 there wasn’t. Yale Library has already confirmed neither the course name nor the number he listed were used in that year. Moreover, the article clipping Carson has provided as evidence of his story (1) refers to Psychology 10, an introductory course, (2) says the hoax was perpetrated via Yale’s parody magazine, (3) was dated as being in mid-January 1970, which is a fucking weird time to schedule a final exam (but the article just says it was ‘exams’), and (4) says the exam was roughly the same as had been given two days before, not some impossible ‘character assessment’ test.

    The vitriol directed towards Dr. Ben Carson isn’t because he’s black. It’s because the man is both a pathological liar and astonishingly ignorant on every subject other than neurosurgery, and thus has no f*cking business being considered a serious candidate for president…or anything else for that matter.

  • preid

    That’s emjayay that those are your choices. I was asking Baal because of the things he/she was saying about Carson. Being a conservative, I wouldn’t vote for most democrats. I thought maybe Baal had a republican alternative for Carson.

  • Oh, we’re talking high school ROTC here, a kind of ‘play date camp’ for kids who want to play soldier on a more serious level and potentially get set up to go off to a military academy. Think ‘Boy Scouts on steroids.’ What they’ll have is all kinds of public service ribbons and such.

  • Of course — Carson’s entire account of what he claims happened reads like like an improbable fantasy. None of it makes sense, even if one accepts the details as he portrays them. Then, this past day or so, he’s tweeted that article clipping as if it supports his case, when as Jon pointed out, it does the exact opposite; it proves the entire account was a fabrication from beginning to end

  • Aye, once upon a time. But on average I don’t usually have enough time for proper blogging.

  • issyk

    Although it’s a difficult thing to acknowledge that sometimes things we believe turn out to be less than we have perceived, you will be able to get past this. Ben Carson, having skilled hands as a surgeon, is not qualified to run the country. He has never run a large organization and is uninformed regarding how our government works. Just because he excelled in one area does not make him competent in all areas.

    But most importantly, how could he be the Commander in Chief when the entire military knows he lied about his supposed acceptance/scholarships to West Point? Ben Carson’s character has been put on display, and we find it lacking.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Why would you imagine that? Is your snark meter broken? Do you even own a snark meter?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    You know, I got that, but I was responding to American Trinity.

  • The_Fixer

    Don’t stand near anything flammable today, because baby, you’re on fire :)

  • issyk

    Like Fox? The only “news” outlet who went to court to be able to lie to its viewers.

    And I imagine that you believe their lies…..

  • Juan Rulfo

    Great analysis! A few more points:

    1. In order to find the most honest student, the professor somehow assumed that most students would leave to go study more and then lie that they hadn’t actually seen the notice there would be a re-take. That’s a huge assumption to risk this stunt on. What if, say, half the class finished the exam as best they could and handed it in. Then…they discovered the 75 most honest students instead of just the one? What for?

    2, You and the original article here touched on it, but it’s worth stressing that the logistics of scheduling a second final exam make it sound impossible to pull off. Final exams are done during final exam week (or, perhaps, the last day of class). The final exam schedules are, in my experience, determined by the university schedulers, not by the individual professors. Each students final exam schedule differs. At times, there are conflicts. For example, a student might be scheduled to take two exams at the same time. So there are official ways to fix that time conflict. When students are finished with their exams, they leave for vacation. They are not required to remain on campus when they are done. Some leave earlier than others.

    In short, expecting 150 students to show up for a re-take only two days after the official final exam date sounds preposterous. And if none show up…how on earth could they be penalized for that?

    Note, for example, that the hoax mentioned in the newspaper could only happen in January, when everyone was back on campus. Not two days after the official exam.

  • issyk

    It’s not about Carson’s race. It’s about his character.

  • issyk

    Carson has no character.

  • 2karmanot

    To the point: Dr. Stabby hero is a liar.

  • 2karmanot

    Vitriole? Is that an Italian pastry?

  • Chet Scarn Halpert

    Desperation , thy name is The Left.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Liberal Media is the term for *ANY* media outlet that refuses to let someone brazenly lie.

  • ComradeRutherford

    No, what you lyingly call “vitriol” from “The Left” is nothing more than calling out a serial liar when he’s lying. Race has nothing to do with it. His political persuasion has nothing to do with it. Calling out a liar is all this is about. And you are lying, too, by claiming the telling of the truth to be vitriol (a word you can’t even spell).

  • LanceThruster

    Is our Bens learning?

  • ComradeRutherford

    Why can’t Carson simply make up crazy lies and expect the media to not question him? it worked for Bush II…

  • emjayay

    I used the thesaurus.

  • emjayay

    Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley.

  • emjayay

    I forgot the snarky face again >;-)

  • Bill_Perdue

    I suppose you could write him in but I don’t think he’s running. Far better, on November 8, 2016, vote Socialist or Labor, vote for good referendums and if there aren’t any Left candidates Nader is just a centrist) write in Chelsea Manning or join the majority in sitting it out.

    It’s always better not to vote at all than to vote for our enemies, Democrats and Republicans.

    “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.” – Eugene V. Debs

  • The_Fixer

    How absolutely apt, and it is a point I keep forgetting to mention.

  • emjayay

    His Egypt theory is from 1998. Wasn’t Grifted Hands from 1990?

  • goulo

    The very article we are commenting on provides plenty of evidence (and the comments give further links – I myself gave some concrete info in another comment to someone who directly asked for some, but you didn’t ask for any, so I didn’t think you wanted any from me). It’s really not hard to check for accuracy. Similarly his own book claimed he was offered a scholarship to West Point, which is easily debunked since scholarships to West Point don’t even exist. Debunking his lies (or if you prefer, misrememberings) really isn’t rocket science.

    There’s a big difference between family remembers having somewhat different memories about a past event and someone insisting that his stories are absolute truth (as Carson does) even when confronted with evidence showing that they’re false (and then trying to deflect by accusing people of ganging up on him etc). It’s like a kid who lied about stealing cookies after his parents saw him stealing and trying to distract by saying “But you didn’t scold Timmy when he stole cookies!”

    But really, whether he’s lying, or he is crazy (besides his lies about his own path, I find his extreme anti-science anti-history Biblical literalism to be a big red flag, e.g. insisting that the pyramids were built to store grain because of some Bible verse, and that the notion that they were tombs for the pharaoh is a liberal/secular conspiracy), or he just has a really really bad memory is ultimately immaterial to me; I don’t trust someone who’s that unreliable/flaky (whatever the cause of their unreliability) to hold a position of such power and importance.

    Since you ask about what candidates I like: at this point, of the major possibly electable candidates, I would support Sanders, since his stated political goals are far most aligned with my own, and he seems more rational and trustworthy than most of the candidates, and more politically experienced (without having become so corrupted by the system), though of course like all candidates he has things which bother me.

  • Bill & Ted can do it … why not Ben?

  • emjayay

    Depends on whether wrong answers are deducted or scored the same as blanks.

  • emjayay

    Oh go on, admit it. You were the only one who aced the test, and the prof awarded you with ten bucks.

  • emjayay

    VOTE NADER 2016!

  • That link goes to Yale’s Perception and Cognition Lab, not a course. And as I note in the post, the link that Carson himself provided goes to a course taught in 2002, not 1970.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    You seem to have missed the point cowboy. The concern is that Dr. Carson used a parody to defend his misrememberings.

    Please explain the racial narrative of the left.

  • emjayay

    You’re on to something there. Armchair analyst needed. Maybe someone who passed Perceptions 301.

    Seriously, I would like to read some expert explanation of how his brand of delusional Jesus related narcissism typically works.

  • emjayay

    I dunno, since about two or three thousand years ago inspirational stories that turn out to be entirely made up kind of pops the balloon of the lesson.

  • emjayay

    I think making completely absurd stuff up and then telling the stories as true goes back to the Bronze Age. See: The Old Testament.

  • preid

    So, please give me an idea of who you think is qualified.

  • preid

    Again, that is just your opinion of him. I don’t think he needs to fabricate stories to make him special or appear to be a hero. I never really thought of him as a hero and still don’t. I don’t consider his statements insane. I may not agree with them all but insane? No, he has every right to believe differently than I do. I think he is a very extraordinarily intelligent hard working man who has done much good in the medical field. His life story as a whole is an inspiration. I don’t know that his belief about the pyramids are any different than Mitt Romney being a Mormon. Mormon’s have some unusual beliefs compared to my own.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Dear Preid, When I made the comment about Carson’s image and legitimacy, l was referring to his run for the Presidency. We all realize that memories are unreliable and that two people can leave a meeting and recollect the discussions differently. But Carson, despite the fact that he is an intelligent man, does not seem to understand the need for accuracy of certain level to earn credibility. As far as West Point is concerned, he could have simply said that he wastold that with his record he could certainly expect to receive an offer. (Remember that he was an experienced adult — and a teacher — when he wrote his book.) There was no need for him to stretch the truth or embellish his story. (Even after he was shown a video from his Charlie Rose interview, he denied claiming that hehad offer.) The Yale story is full of holes also. If he did not remember whole incidents, he still could have stuck to the facts he remembered. He told Stephanopoulos that his ghost writer filled in the “meat”. This is sloppy. People who write biographies or academic monographs (Carson had an endowed professorship, I understand) pay attention to details. Theydo not ask coauthors to fill in the “meat”. How do the readers know what is fact and what is “meat”? If we find inaccuracies in one part, then we would not know whether other parts are correct or not. Then the whole work comes under suspicion. Carson’s life and career seem impressive and inspiring without any of the silly embellishments. The sad thing is that he has destroyed it — with those who are discerning and demand a high sense of responsibility and accountability.

  • emjayay

    He was in his 30’s when he wrote that story.

  • AmericanTrinity

    The perception series is a real series of classes taught regarding neuroscience. http://www.yale.edu/perception It is amazing the vitriole toward Dr. Carson because he doesn’t fall in line with the racial narrative of the left.

  • emjayay

    If you can fix an election you can fix anything.

  • emjayay

    You know, even writing a book and titling it Gifted Hands demonstrates his delusional vainglorious narcissism.

  • Ramanusia

    If everything else is not true, then you can’t make the statement that he’s not writing fiction. When he’s been caught in as many lies as he is, it’s simply dishonest to claim that anyone is “picking around the edges” when addressing his outright lies.

    Though I agree his most egregious faults which beg criticism are his policy positions and his statements “as a doctor” which fly in the face of the medical community and any sentient being.

  • emjayay

    Even if the story was true, no one would say the tests were burned. Mistakenly thrown in the fireplace? A plausible story would be leaving a briefcase on the subway or something.

    Maybe the best part is that the questions were so intricate only someone with ten Phd’s in psychology could possibly pass, but Jesus helped the good future superdoctor through it.

    This one stands head and shoulders above all his other fabrications and looney theories.

    He will be gone shortly, and for his faith-based followers the entire fiasco will cease to exist.

  • Baal

    I have already concluded he is barely sane and too ignorant on a host of crucial issues to hold any elective office.

  • Baal

    Memory is fallible. There is tons of evidence about that. But none of those incorrect memories of yours make you look like a hero. They are just things that happened (or didn’t as it turns out) to other people. I am sure I have mistaken memories too.

    But what you describe is in very marked contrast to, for example “I was offered a full scholarship to West Point, got to meet (Gen. William) Westmoreland, go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners …” and a host of other stories Carson tells that are designed to demonstrate that he is special because he has done truly unusual things that ordinary people cannot or would not do. You have to look at the details of the story about this Psychology class to see its similarity to a Biblical wonder story about the young Jesus. For example, the professor paying him ten dollars.

    But forget about his autobiography. His idea about Joseph and the pyramids, his young earth creationism, and the other absolutely insane stuff he says ALL THE TIME make him worse, if possible, than Sarah Palin.

  • preid

    What is obvious is that news outlets, his opponents or whoever are trying to find something to discredit him with. But just because someone is trying to discredit him by investigating his childhood you do not HAVE to draw a conclusion at this point much less draw the conclusion that he is a liar. That is just what you choose to believe. The media is reporting that they can’t substantiate his stories. No one has proven that he lied. They just can’t prove that each incident happened as he stated. I choose to trust him over the people investigating his childhood.

  • BarackObama

    What the eff. I go to my college course listings just now and low and behold, calculus is the same damn course number as when I took it.

    You are a proven liar.

  • preid

    I can tell you 2 stories with very specific details that I remember from when I was young and turns out neither is true/accurate. I wouldn’t be lying if I told them to you. For some reason I remember 2 things that did not happen the way I remember them. Of course you might think they could be wrong but that is not the case. A childhood friend became a quadriplegic in his early 20’s. I remember that is was from diving into the shallow end of a pool and have repeated that story for about 30 years only to find out that he was actually hit by a drunk driver. I don’t have a clue why I remember that it was a diving accident. I also have a high school friend that I vividly remember seeing him ride around town in his zebra striped Jeep and we would stop on the side of the road when we saw each other and chat. In the past 5 yrs or so we have reconnected and he says he never had a zebra striped Jeep.

  • Baal

    When you put the utter implausibility of this “Perception class” story together with his silly attempt to defend it, and all the other bits of his autobiography that cannot be substantiated, you have to draw a conclusion.

  • preid

    That’s just your opinion. For whatever reason it is obvious to you it is a lie. It still isn’t fact and could just as likely just be his memory. Until I can be sure it isn’t true I am not calling someone a liar. You do as you please.

  • Funky Bluester

    I have to worry about anyone who ever had Dr. Carson’s fingers rummaging around inside their brain. Is that where he sheltered some white students during the extraterrestrial riots of the 1970’s? Let’s ask him. I’m sure he would tell the truth.

  • preid

    What you are referring to is the Bill of Rights. There was nothing in the constitution explicitly about religious freedom, freedom of speech, etc. I have no issue with Dr Carson stating his beliefs about the Muslim religion especially how he feels Muslims could or couldn’t abide by the Constitution. Freedom of speech applies to him as well. Nothing in the amendment says that we have to vote for someone regardless of their religion. It definitely doesn’t say that if the President is Muslim than he doesn’t have to follow the Constitution because it clashes with personal or religious beliefs. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • Baal

    It is obvious that Carson is lying about this. It is not the details, it is the entire core of his little hero story. It is entirely impossible.

  • The_Fixer

    Yes, multiple stories can’t be verified. This one, for starters. Then there is the supposed meeting with Westmorland. There’s the supposed stabbing incident. He tells tales about being a violent youth (nothing to be proud of) while everyone else remembers him quite a bit differently.

    What kind of political training does he need? How about having a background and education in law – most every president I can remember has been a lawyer. Why? Because, as the Chief Executive – the guy who enforces the laws of the land – a President has to know the law. Absent that, some decent amount of government service. Both are preferred, it makes for a well-rounded President who makes educated decisions.

    I did not say that Dr. Carson used racism as an excuse. I wrote that in reply to the user Sam, who seemed to think that the racism Carson no doubt experienced gives him a pass for telling tall tales.

    Yes, he was a neurosurgeon, which is an accomplishment of which he should be proud. Why he feels the need to embellish that is beyond me – being a neurosurgeon gives him medical credibility (but not political credibility). If he wants to impress people with his resume’, that’s good enough. None of these other stories enhance that. As I said before, though, he has training and a skill set that is impertinent to the government service to which he aspires – the office of President of the United States.

    Lots of people raise 3 kids, and that also has nothing to do with being President. Fewer people have made $10 million, and quite frankly, that makes little difference to me. Making money requires a very different skill set than being President (and that goes for Trump, too).

    You have not convinced me, and I stand by my comment.

  • preid

    Dr Carson has the right to his own opinion of who he could support as a President. He was asked the question and he answered it. He’s against free press and free speech because of his bumper sticker? That’s a real stretch. And I agree that our universities (or K-12 for that matter) shouldn’t be educating with a bias of a political party. I question your estimation.

  • BarackObama

    The students all remembered the riot. None recalled hearing about white students hiding in the biology lab

    wtf. they could have been half chinese and this “quote” would have been accurate. Hell, it could have been the Chemistry lab. Why not say “None recalled hearing about students hiding”

    because that is how you lie in print.

  • The_Fixer

    Perhaps it has escaped your notice, or you do not put the same gravity on this as other people, but this guy is running for President.

    First off, Presidential candidates are put under a microscope. That’s not because everyone wants to play “Gotcha!” with them, it’s because that office is extremely important. People want to know what a candidate stands for and against. People also don’t want an habitual liar in the office. We see what happens when people who are not truthful are in the office – as someone else pointed out, we had a President who lied about Iraq, with disastrous results.

    This is a very legitimate thing about which to be concerned. If the man can’t relate innocuous stories about his past with at least some measure of accuracy, how is he going to do on the big stuff?

    I also have a big problem with someone who clearly does not have a handle on how government works (he doesn’t know what the debt ceiling is, for one, and doesn’t understand some basic constitutional concepts). Just as big is his seeming reluctance to learn about it, his insinuating that he’ll just pray to god when things go south, and we have someone who is unqualified for office, in my opinion.

    As far as his being a narcissist is concerned, you need to look at this a lot more carefully. Look at the hero of all of his stories – him. Look at the way his home is decorated. Both of those fairly scream “narcissist”.

    These things are not hilarious. This is serious business, it involves the current front runner of candidates for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. How this cannot be regarded as pertinent and on-point by anyone escapes me.

  • preid

    His entire image and claim to legitimacy is based on the anecdotes in his books? Wow I disagree wholeheartedly. His image in my mind is based on his life story as a whole. It doesn’t matter to me how accurate the details of each story is. So, he remembers being offered a seat/appointment/scholarship (or whatever you want to call it) to West Point. Maybe it wasn’t official. Maybe the terminology he remembers is different. Maybe what was said wasn’t actually a true offer. Or maybe the person who offered it doesn’t remember it. You can ask my Mom, one of my brothers and my mother about the following days after my Dad died in a plane crash (when I was 16) and we will all tell you things differently because we each come from a different perspective. We don’t all remember the same people coming to the house. We don’t remember the same things being said or done. But none of us are lying.

  • olandp

    Yes she does, here and elsewhere. I meant that she once had blog posts, not just in the comment section before John left.

  • preid

    Really??? Multiple stories can’t be verified?? You are concerned that he says he was offered a free ride/appointment/scholarship to West Pt and it can’t be confirmed? It concerns you that maybe they really didn’t offer it but that is how he (as an 18 yr old) perceived the conversation? And what kind of political training do you think he needs? That one almost made me laugh. Political training??? And when has Dr Carson used racism as an excuse? Has he claimed that being black, poor and less privileged caused him to be a poor uneducated adult? The contrary is true. He has spent many years as a neurosurgeon, does public speaking, helped raise 3 boys, writes books and is worth about 10 million. I don’t think he has made excuses period much less excuses based on racism.

  • preid

    And by all means, you do have every right to discuss candidates but I didn’t see you cite anything to back up your opinion so I didn’t consider that to be very useful. It was all just your personal take on it. I’d much rather read who you do feel is honest, trustworthy, mature, ethical, competent, support and WHY. But to just say Carson’s stories are crazy lies and easy to check and prove that they are lies when in fact they aren’t easy to check for accuracy at all.

  • plukasiak

    Carson didn’t separate siamese twins joined at the head. But he did do a tonsillectory on a Malaysian girl, so what’s the big deal?

  • The_Fixer

    You can also directly link to a person’s comment by mousing over the the time in the comment’s header, right-click, and clicking on “Copy Link Address” (depending on how your browser terms it.

    For example, the header of your comment reads, at the time I wrote this:

    Michael Sandy -> BeccaM 8 hours ago

    Mouse over the “8 hours ago” portion, do the right-clickey thing and then copy the URL. Paste that URL into whatever you wish to paste it, and Viola! You got a link. Here’s the result of my doing that to your comment:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/americablog/ben_carson8217s_8220proof8221_for_story_about_hoax_class_is_literally_parody/#comment-2349708653

  • plukasiak

    One glaring inconsistency you didn’t mention. Supposedly, the students who left were going to claim that “they didn’t read the notice”. But the professor had been in the class when the tests were handed out. In other words, the professor would have known that the students HAD read the notice, because they were already there.

  • preid

    I’m not a fan of Obama’s, Hillary, Jeb Bush, etc. but I don’t spout negative things about them. You are only assuming that the discrepancies in Carson’s stories are lies and narcissism. So, all I meant was just don’t support him rather than slander him with words and phrases like stupid, childishly lie, crazy stories, lack the ethical concept of telling the truth, etc. Why not point out some positives about a candidate that you do trust?
    You can ask my brother, mother and I about a specific incident in our life and we all remember it differently. My Dad died in a plane crash when I was 16 and we all remember the following days very differently although we were all in the same house. Clearly at least 2 of are remembering different things incorrectly but none of us are lying.

  • goulo

    What’s the point of saying “just don’t support him”?

    As if people shouldn’t talk about a subject of current interest?

    People have every right to discuss (and even a duty argue against electing) someone whom they believe would be a dangerously delusional incompetent bad president.

    By the way, I don’t consider Carson to be more narcissistic than many other candidates. (E.g. Trump certainly comes to mind as an obvious candidate for “most narcissistic”…)

    The problem with Carson which sets him part is that he seems to not only lack the ethical concept of telling the truth (a problem common to politicians, of course, not just him), but that he takes it further and lacks any concept that it’s stupid and dangerous to childishly lie about easily checked crazy stories which serve no practical use except silly vain self-aggrandizing.

    Most politicians are at least smart enough to usually lie intelligently and not get caught so easily. Whereas Carson seems to cluelessly not even understand that people see he is lying, about weird crazy stuff that there wasn’t even a reason to lie about, over and over.

  • noGOP

    of course what this nation really needs right now is a president who makes up sh!t to invade another country.

  • preid

    That is great for you that you can boast that your memory is so good. Not everyone is the same. I can guaranty you that we all remember things differently at times. If my brother and I each give our account of an incident that happened in high school it will most likely have significant differences since we come from two different perspectives. The story can be how he remembers it to be. I’m not sure why you are so sure you know the truth of what happened in his life. That is weird to me.

  • plukasiak

    uh, the professor you cite got his B.A. degree in 1994. In other words, Assuming he was 22 at the time, he wasn’t even BORN in 1970, when this tale supposedly happened.
    But keep trying — I mean, its so easy to demostrated how deluded you are, its almost fun!

  • preid

    If you believe all of this about Carson, just don’t support him. I for one agree with Fred Collins and think it is hilarious that of all of the serious issues that face the candidates that this is what is being discussed, investigated and debated. And of all the politicians/candidates in the present arena, to label Dr Carson as narcissist is humorous.

  • noGOP

    I doubt they fact-check the bibles they publish either.

  • Wellstone

    Carson’s “book” was published by Zondervan, a Bible Publisher. Hmmm….

  • olandp

    Why was his “chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind.” Aren’t ribbons the representation of medals won? How does an ROTC student earn medals to wear in a military parade?

  • Moderator3

    She greatly contributes here.

  • olandp

    Weren’t you at one time a contributor here at AmericaBlog?

  • Prophet With Honor

    Hardly “trolling” to point out the inconsistency of the Republicans demands … they asked Obama to produce transcripts to counter an attack made on him , they should urge Carson to do the same .

  • Spicerpalooza

    Does Carson realize the Wall Street Journal is owned by Murdoch and could hardly be considered liberal media? I mean Carson just said last week that without Murdoch’s media the US would be Cuba.

  • DoverBill

    Has this dude ever listened to right-wing talk/hate radio?

    And the shoe seemed to have moved to the other foot without any persuasion from a FOX noise machine whatsoever.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Since there is no neurosurgeon better than he is, I suspect that he consulted himself and operated on himself. The result is what we see today!

  • Roger Kaplan

    Now one can understand why he doesn’t need any knowledge of chemistry in his work as a neurosurgeon. In fact, he dismisses, in his speech to the students at Andrews University, the chemical basis of life as a theory prposed by so-called scientists based on “promiscuous biochemicals”! (He was good with his surgical knife, supposedly, but not with his brain.) But who cares?! He has God on his side and has ready access to Him. All it takes is a nap and a chat with God — “Poof” goes a nagging world problem! Since Carson seems to be perpetually partially asleep, he can solve all the problems in a jiffy within a day or two!

  • Nathan Manning

    No, it’s not. Think about it for a second. Haha

  • goulo

    Sam: you ask where the scholarship claim came from. It came from Carson’s own book “Gifted Hands”:
    “Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point”.

  • goulo

    As a person who went to college decades ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would NOT make up bullshit and assert that I personally was the only one who stayed in the harder exam and the professor paid me $10 for being the only honest person and a newspaper photographer took my picture, all of which obviously never really happened, since Carson is only “misremembering” a parody news article.

    NO ONE I know would repeatedly make up crazy self-aggrandizing lies (and publish it in books and say it in TV interviews) like Carson has a ongoing habit of doing.

    This is not holding Carson to an “impossibly high standard”.

    This is expecting him to not be a blatant liar and narcissist for personal gain.

    The fact that you think the problem here is with the “mainstream media” and not with Carson himself is troubling and says something about you, not about the media.

  • goulo

    A book editor who cares about quality and not just profit would do some fact-checking before publication.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    God gave Ben Carson the answers to a test he was supposedly doomed to fail. I’ve heard of learning through osmosis, but education through divine intervention is a new one.

    Midnight. The words on the page blurred, and my mind refused to take in any more information. I flopped into my bed and whispered in the darkness. “God, I’m sorry. Please forgive me for failing You and for failing myself.” Then I slept.

    While I slept I had a strange dream, and, when I awakened in the morning, it remained as vivid as if it had actually happened. In the dream I was sitting in the chemistry lecture hall, the only person there. The door opened, and a nebulous figure walked into the room, stopped at the board, and started working out chemistry problems. I took notes of everything he wrote.

    When I awakened, I recalled most of the problems, and I hurriedly wrote them down before they faded from memory. A few of the answers actually did fade but, still remembering the problems, I looked them up in my textbook. I knew quite a bit about psychology so assumed I was still trying to work out unresolved problems during my sleep.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2015/11/05/11-times-god-intervened-directly-in-ben-carsons-life-according-to-ben-carson/?tid=sm_tw

  • Mary Fernandez

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  • “The Ben Carson Story: ‘It’s Pyramids All The Way Down.'”

  • Ben Carson wants us to absorb a moral lesson about divine rewards for truthfulness in a way that hinges exactly on his claim of perfect honesty, in a story that apparently has not a single true detail about it.

    It’s like putting one tasty piece of fake cheese in the middle of a rancid sandwich. Only it seems his many autobiographies, interviews, and statements are a veritable buffet of rancid phony-story sandwiches.

    Is there any doubt this man is quite literally mentally unfit and totally unqualified for elected office?

  • Amen. No pun intended. ;-)

    It’s been nice chatting with you, Michael, but it’s getting late here and I must head bed-ward. Take care and I do hope to see you around here more. I like your insights and thoughtfulness.

  • Exactly, and yes, that’s just about my working theory at the moment. What I’ve wondered if whether or not the prank was played directly on Carson by some acquaintance who knew he was in Psych 10 and saw the hoax newspaper article. “Hey, Ben, you better get on over to 203 WLH to retake that test! Look it says right here you need to go.” “Well gosh, gee, thanks! You’re a pal!”

    Hell, after that kind of public humiliation, I’d either want to recast it as something tolerable or else just forget about it entirely. But Carson wanted to turn it into an event that both made him feel immeasurably better about himself and, to give him credit, convey a not-evil moral message. His problem, of course, is he seems to have done this repeatedly with all kinds of events in his personal history, at which point his autobiography can probably be considered mostly fictional, as opposed to somewhat spun interpretations of truthful events.

    Mind, there’s not an autobio out there which is 100% true. Everybody tries to spin themselves into a better light. But when you go into elaborate and painstaking detail, like Carson does in his stories, at least the basic facts need to check out. If one claims to have been a violent thug as a child, there needs to be at least a few folks willing to confirm it and the specific incidents recounted. If you claim to have received an offer of a ‘full scholarship’ to West Point, it’d sure be nice if U.S. military academies required a tuition, but they don’t. And if one claims to have met General Westmoreland right after a big Detroit Memorial Day 1968 parade, it shouldn’t be confirm-able that the General was nowhere near the city on or around that date.

    And in this case here, if this elaborate hoax final exam is the story, at least some part of it ought to be verifiable as happening in the way Carson claims. As it is, the lesson he wants to impart is the proverbial castle built on flooded sand.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    Do any of those details excuse his misrepresentations about his past? He made millions of dollars off of these unfounded details, including all of these fantastical stories where one Dr. Ben Carson is this unassailable hero. His entire run for the presidency is based on this mythical almost superhuman life story. As a voter and a taxpayer, I retain my right to decide whether a man who wishes to build himself into an image second only to God himself can responsibly serve this nation in the highest office in the land.

    It is ironic to hear Dr. Carson and friends denigrate liberals as some sort of evil equivalent to the Nazis. You mention Carson’s background, but neglected to acknowledge the several points in his life where his family received public assistance that made his success possible in the first place. It is only fair to suggest to the good doctor “You didn’t built that”, or at least not all of it.

  • Michael Sandy

    A slightly more generous interpretation would be a variant on the placebo effect. If someone is a person of belief, and will only keep on trying if they BELIEVE they can be cured, then a faith practitioner would perhaps feel justified in lying to them “for their own good”. But it is a self-serving justification that is based on the usually erroneous belief that faith and hope require certainty.

    I think Dr. Carson’s biggest error has been in pushing his old pop inspirational book into his political campaign. As a “no shit this really happened” book, where the stories are meant to inspire readers, it doesn’t really matter at all if they were true. As a political biography meant to sell the readers on the character of Dr. Carson, it MUST be held to a more exacting standard.

  • mortonbeck

    If Doctor Carson is having this much trouble remembering his life’s details (that is as published in a memoir he would have had ample time to research and make right) then perhaps he needs to consult with a fellow neurosurgeon about any potential neurological problems he’s having.

    Mike Lupica at the NY Daily News compares Carson’s autobiography to James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, a memoir that had to be re-published as semi-fictional novel.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Excellent analysis, BeccaM. With a few more posts like this you will have enough material for another biography (a psychoanalytical one at that!) of the good doctor, as a companion to Gifted Hands! May I Suggest a title: Deranged Mind, or Delusions and Discoveries?

  • I think you have a very good point there, Michael. Basically the old “lying for Jesus” ploy.

  • pauls

    Is there any doubt he was raised by a single mother in the inner city of Detroit? Is there any doubt that he lived in poverty? Or attended public schools? Is there any doubt that he became on of the world’s most talented surgeons? The important elements of his inspirational story are unquestionably true….people are just picking around the edges for something to criticize

  • Michael Sandy

    In your theory then, another source of potential humiliation is that those who DID figure out the story was a hoax probably told all their friends, all the people in their social circle. Ben Carson was reportedly a bit of a loner, not very involved with events on campus, and therefore would not have been told. Consider the humiliation of going through an entire exam, uselessly, and everybody else knew not to bother because THEY had FRIENDS who looked out for each other. Yeah, I can see why someone might want to rewrite such an episode with a happier ending in their own mind. I can’t see them being stupid enough to claim their imaginary ending in a book that would EVER be submitted to fact checking. Written to sell inspirational messages is one thing, but Dr. Carson has been foolish enough to claim the books are FACT.

  • The class, according to Carson, was called Perceptions 301. The Yale Library confirmed to Wall Street Journal that no such class existed during Carson’s tenure at Yale, and the photo that Carson claims was taken of the incident cannot be found.

    http://gawker.com/ultimate-trickster-ben-carson-claims-he-was-named-most-1741171913

  • AmericanTrinity

    Uh … no. **This is a real class** and series on the **Yale.edu** website. http://www.yale.edu/perception/ and the professor: http://psychology.yale.edu/people/brian-scholl and the website referenced by Dr. Carson (that would not have the same class number decades later … no university class does): http://www.yale.edu/perception/Brian/courses/Perception-Syllabus.html

  • Michael Sandy

    I am learning a lot reading your various comments on this, BeccaM. An explanation that is consistent with the observed inconsistencies in Dr. Carson’s accounts is “pious fraud”. The idea is that if a story will help bring people to the church, the truth doesn’t matter, only the effectiveness. And if people believing a made up story is actually a TRUE story brings more people to the Church, then it is the obligation of the story teller to be as convincing as possible that the story is the truth, even to the point of convincing themselves that the fictional story really happened.

    The origin is in medieval times, when it was believed that the bones of a genuine saint could heal people… but it only worked if people had faith and BELIEVED. So in the interests of ensuring that a cathedral that took a hundred years to build had “genuine saint bones”, that could genuinely heal, those who had an interest in those cathedrals engaged in “pious fraud”. Fraud for the purpose of maintaining belief.

    If Dr. Carson thought his little ten dollar bill stories would yield inspiration and belief, that is what mattered to him FAR more than whether the events ACTUALLY happened as he described. He was selling himself as more inspirational speaker than as president.

  • There is no truth to Carson’s exaggeratedly self-aggrandizing stories — this one or countless others. At least O. Henry’s tales were properly labeled as fiction.

    The details are how we know Ben Carson lies about a great many things, which goes directly to his character as a person.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    When the details don’t add up or cannot be corroborated, it is difficult to brand Carson’s story as truth.

  • pauls

    Similarly when Carson wrote the books he had no intention or expectation he would run for presidents. The books were written as inspirational tales of a kid rising from poverty in one of the nation’s worst cities, getting a public education at an inner-city school and becoming one of the world’s most talented surgeons. The truth of his story is so much bigger than the superfluous details that may of been eggagerated that it is silly that so much focus is on the details.

  • The_Fixer

    Wait a minute, he was the one who brought all of this up in the first place.

    Anyone who is running for president and tells such tales with such specific detail as he has deserves to be questioned about these stories.

    It’s one thing to get an odd detail or two wrong, and understandable. However, when the whole story doesn’t wash, there’s a problem and he needs to be questioned.

    When multiple stories can’t be verified, then there’s a big problem. If a guy who is going to lie like that wants to do some lower-level job, and he tells these stories at the local tavern, you can say things like “oh, he’s a harmless bullshitter who is fun to have a drink with, but everyone knows he is a bullshitter and nobody pays him any mind.”

    This is a great deal different – he is running to be the fricking President of the United States, for cryin’ out loud. In addition to the obvious fabrications he tells, he has no governmental experience of any sort, no training in it and comes from a completely different field. Additionally, he has demonstrated a startling lack of knowledge when asked about things a presidential candidate should know about. These are not minor details, these are very serious matters.

    Sorry, I don’t buy into the “few mistakes” stuff. And I was alive and cognizant in the 1960s, I very well remember the racism. But racism never was a valid excuse to be a self-aggrandizing bullshit artist.

  • Hello Michael. Sorry, no, I tend to work in the coal-mines of Americablog (and other sites) comments sections.

    If you hover over the ‘Share’ marker above though, it will expand to where you can select a URL that goes directly to the comment.

  • Michael Sandy

    Thank you, BeccaM, for this detailed analysis. Is there another place where you have this written up, so I can link it more conveniently?

  • Michael Sandy

    Why WOULD anyone have fact-checked what he has said in his books before?

  • Michael Sandy

    Is there any evidence that Dr. Carson himself signed off on his own Facebook post defending his account? Because it would be really embarrassing for him to have to retract what some enthusiastic web presence intern wrote under his own name.

  • PCamuck

    That correction at the end is in direct opposition to the article. That’s one HUGE “correction”.

  • No worries! What with Carson’s constantly shifting versions of his many self-aggrandizing stories and the confusing misinformation, I’ve had a rough time untangling the web of lies myself.

    I do kind of recall reading some mention where Carson reschedules this anecdote to be on or around Veteran’s Day. Which also doesn’t fly.

  • Cynthia Williams

    Thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected. :)

  • Bill_Perdue

    This is not a democracy. Proof on file.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Both parties have ‘insane’ policies – they both support police state measures, wars of aggression, attacks on unions and the standard of living of working people and pandering to religious cults. One party is not better than the other.

  • As a former mere media figure and public speaker, nobody cared if Carsons stories were exaggerations or fabrications. Now he wants to be President of the United States. Now people care.

  • Cynthia Williams

    One needs but request same from the military. In fact, one can find a copy of the document relating to the date in question with a a couple button presses.

  • Cynthia Williams

    Actually, Dr. Ben Carson made his statement advocating a religious test on NBC’s Meet the Press 21Sep2015. Quote: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate. End Quote. When Carson was asked whether a president’s faith should matter to voters, he said. Quote: “I guess it depends on what that faith is,” he said. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.” End Quote. Further when asked if Islam is consistent with the Constitution, he said. Quote: “No, I don’t — I do not.” End Quote. Heresay? Well, you could describe as such. I HEARD Dr. Carson SAY it.

    Further, on 27Sep speaking with Jake Tapper on State of the Union made a number of further statements including that a Muslim “must reject the tenets of his faith” (religious test) to be considered presidential material. Further, Tapper said: “You’re assuming that Muslim Americans put their religion ahead of the country.” And Carson responded: “I’m assuming that if you accept all the tenets of Islam that you would have a very difficult time abiding under the Constitution of the United States.”

    Armstrong Williams, Carson’s campaign business manager, then ended the interview.

    There are more statements but, sadly, you haven’t the intestinal fortitude to actually listen to what the man you say you are supporting is advocating. Religious Liberty, Free Speech and a Free Press are part of the basic foundation of the United States of America. ANYONE advocating infringing upon same MUST be questioned and scrutinized not the least of whom would be someone seeking the Presidency!

    While I am certain you will not do it, may I suggest you 1: READ the U.S.Constitution and 2: READ the many, many, many papers covering the debates preceding its creation and the court cases over the centuries clarifying the document.

  • It does, doesn’t it? Many of Carson’s stories about himself follow a decidedly Biblical narrative structure.

  • Actually, here’s the relevant section from Carson’s own book, “Gifted Hands,” easily found on Google:

    At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, we had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congres­sional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point.

    Carson doesn’t come right out and say it, but he implies Westmoreland was involved in the bogus scholarship offer, after meeting him. He does flatly assert the general and his ‘impressive entourage’ was there, when the general’s schedule showed he wasn’t in Detroit at all at the time.

  • Baal

    As a person only a little younger, I can remember the name of every class I took at the university, not the course number. I would certainly remember the course where something that weird happened.

    The fact is, though, this story is simply impossible. It cannot be true as he described in his book.

  • Baal

    It really reminds me of a Bible story.

  • benb

    #1 I don’t get it. Is this the first time anyone fact-checked what he’s said in his books? #2 get a grip–why should Carson expect anything less than the scrutiny given Benghazi or, more absurdly, President Obama’s birth certificate?

  • Here’s a clip from the relevant section of Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands” (available via Google Books reprint, hence in the public domain), with my comments:

    “The following year I hit that same low point again–not one cent on me, and no expectations for getting any. Naturally, I walked across the campus all the way to the chapel, searching for a ten-dollar bill. I found none.

    This ‘ten-dollar bill’ detail figured often in his narratives, including the hinted miracle at the end of this one.

    The lack of funds wasn’t my only worry that day, however, The day before I’d been informed that the final examination papers in a psychology class, Perceptions 301, “were inadvertently burned.” I’d taken the exam two days earlier but, with the other students, would have to repeat the test.

    Carson of course neglects to mention he’d ‘been informed’ via the parody paper, the Yale Record. He also gets the class name wrong and leads people to the false assumption this was a 300-level (3rd year) course, rather than the usual quickie psych class given to pre-med undergrads.

    Additionally, he repeatedly refers to this as a “final exam”, and describes it in a way which could be nothing other than an end-of-term examination. Take a look at the date on the Yale Daily News article, as relayed by Carson himself: 14 January 1970. Autumn semester ending final exams are usually given before the holidays, not two weeks after the New year. The article refers to these only as exams, not finals. Carson says he’s just taken the exam two days before when called in for the re-test.

    And so I, with about 150 other students, went to the designated auditorium for the repeat exam.

    In the clipping Carson himself provided, it said only “several” students had been fooled into attending, not the entire class. The following narrative is pure fiction–

    As soon as we received the tests, the professor walked out of the classroom.

    The psych professor was never there for any part of the hoax, not the instigation and not the end either. Nor would she have been, because a stunt like this, in 1970, would put any academic’s career in jeopardy — especially given she would have been a female instructor in still extremely male-dominated profession at a high-end school like Yale.

    Another detail that makes no sense: Professor leaves the room and nobody thinks this is unusual. I have never taken a college exam where a professor, proctor, or teaching assistant or someone responsible wouldn’t stick around to ensure there would be no cheating.

    Before I had a chance to read the first question, I heard a loud groan behind me.
    “Are they kidding?” someone whispered loudly.
    As I stared at the questions, I couldn’t believe them either. They were incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Each of them contained a thread of what we should have known from the course, but they were so intricate that I figured a brilliant psychiatrist might have trouble with some of them.

    Again, the clipping says the hoax test closely resembled the one these students had already taken, not an impossible new version. Plus, this is 14 January, not the end of the term by any stretch of scheduling imagination.

    Plus, hello, Psychology 10. Not an advanced psych course and likely only having been in session for less than a couple weeks after the holidays. More fictional narrative follows–

    “Forget it,” I heard one girl say to another. “Let’s go back and study this. We can say we didn’t read the notice. Then when they repeat it, we’ll be ready.” Her friend agreed, and they quietly slipped out of the auditorium.
    Immediately three others packed away their papers. Others filtered out. Within ten minutes after the exam started, we were down to roughly one hundred.

    It was only a total of ‘several’ students fooled, not the entire class and certainly not 100 or 150. Here I would also suggest that a class size this large continues to be indicative not of a 3rd year elective psych class, but a mere required introductory one. Still more fantasy follows…

    Soon half the class was gone, and the exodus continued. Not one person turned in the examination before leaving.

    Why would anyone do this? And why does Carson think 149 would all agree — without consulting one another — to do the same thing and tell exactly the same story, that none of them had seen the notice? 149 people all agreeing to tell the same lie, with Carson the sole exception? At this point, the willing suspension of disbelief becomes impossible.

    I kept working away, thinking all the time, How can they expect us to know this stuff? Pausing then to look around, I counted seven students besides me still going over the test.
    Within half an hour from the time the examination began, I was the only student left in the room.

    Possible kernel of truth here: I have a strange feeling Carson was the last person among the ‘several students’ who didn’t realize he was being hoaxed.

    Like the others, I was tempted to walk out but I had read the notice, and I couldn’t lie and say I hadn’t. All the time I wrote my answers, I prayed for God to help me figure out what to put down. I paid no more attention to departing footsteps.

    It’s a frequent theme in Carson’s book, about him praying to God for some miracle, and coincidentally something soon happens which ‘rewards’ him for being a good, God-fearing young fellow.

    Suddenly the door of the classroom opened noisily, disrupting my flow of thought. As I turned, my gaze met that of the professor. At the same time I realized no one else was still struggling over the questions. The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture.
    “What’s going on?” I asked.
    “A hoax,” the teacher said. “We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.” She smiled again. “And that’s you.”
    The professor then did something even better. She handed me a ten­ dollar bill.

    Here we have the denouement of Carson’s hero fantasy. Why would a psych professor do this? What purpose would it serve, this hoax to satisfy idle curiosity as to who would be ‘honest’ enough to stick around for an impossible exam? I can think of no professor who would risk her academic career for a stupid stunt like this.

    And why a photographer for the Yale Daily News, when the only story printed about the hoax was that several students had been fooled by the Yale Record’s parody edition? Note as well he recounts only a photographer, capturing a symbolic but ultimately unused graphic depiction of Carson in his moment of supposed ethical triumph and timely financial reward. If this story had meant anything at all, would there not have been a, oh I dunno… a reporter for the school paper present as well?

    The part that fascinates me is Carson still wants us to believe this other, fictional version of his story, when he just handed us the evidence that every detail of his narrative wasn’t true, but some kind of weird after-the-fact wish-fulfillment, complete with a savior Mommy figure crashing through the door at the last second to give him exactly what he needed — money AND to be singled out as morally superior to the entire class.

  • Sam

    The date has now been corrected by records from The military. I “believe” it was a month or 2 out.
    Dr Carson never said “Westmoreland” offered him a scholarship. Where on earth did that come from? He was told with his grades, it would be easy for him to get into West Point.

  • Sam

    Your point about the religious test is heresay fabricated by someone like yourself.

    There are lots of bumper stickers out there that say much worse things & you pick on one that would actually enhance our society if it happened. The liberal media are nothing but liars.

    Excellent idea for our colleges & universities. In fact put that policy in place right from grade school to university. Perhaps then, the indoctrination of our children to the warped thinking of the left would be eliminated.

    Go Dr Carson.

  • quax

    It was Yale after all …

  • quax

    Really rushing Ben is by extension rushing God. Jon G. will burn in hell for that.

  • quax

    There were bigger fish to fry, hunting for the Nigerian birth certificate and all that …

  • quax

    Probably not necessary at any rate. My guess is his brain developed in utero.

  • quax

    Yes, Obama was totally not scrutinized, these MSM bastards didn’t even ask for his birth certificate!

  • Sam

    apparently God never gave you a brain at all.

  • Sam

    So go filet some fish. That’s about your IQ level.

  • Sam

    Well said & you’re exactly right. 7 people who witness a car accident all have different stories & those statements are taken on the same day, yet Dr Carson “must” remember every detail & number from 45-50 years ago. I remember things that stood out for “me”, yet my friends don’t recall anything of the event I mention. I guess I’m lying…. Who knew.

    What’s even more ridiculous, not one reporter was there in the 60’s, nor lived in his area of Detroit, they weren’t black, they weren’t poor, they weren’t subject to the hate for blacks back then, etc …… And yet HIS biography is a lie & they are telling the truth.

    It’s just bloody amazing how absolutely ridiculous & pathetic our society has become.

  • Bogus

    I hope it is true because I want to see him answer that at the debate. Even better would be if he did not show up. Maybe Jeb could fix it for him.

  • Actually, what it was, was the REAL Yale paper was reporting in its parody section a factual account of the phony edition of their paper (the “Yale Daily NEWS” (their spelling)) published by the Yale Record (the joke Onion-esque paper).

    It’s confusing, but makes some sense:
    – Yale Record produces a phony version of the Yale Daily NEWS, chock full of fake stories, one of which directs recent students of the Psychology 10 course to go to a particular place at 7:30pm.
    – The Yale Daily NEWS prints their real version, noting the existence of the phony issue, including how one of the hoax stories apparently fooled “several students” into showing up to re-take the final exam for Psych 10.

    It is not unreasonable to guess that one of the ‘several students’ was one young and gullible Benny Carson, who then completely changed the story so that instead of public embarrassment and humiliation at having been taken in by the practical joke, he was somehow singled out as a heroically ‘honest’ student who struggled to complete an impossible final exam, until he was literally the last student sitting in the room.

  • Juan Rulfo

    Well, this all just broke today on a Sunday. Hopefully tomorrow the media will pick up on it. Unless the “liberal” media got too scared by the complaints. But, seriously, they should, cause this looks like this is a huge, fat lie.

    As for the Onion, someone below posted a link to the archives of this Yale newspaper where this article appears.

  • No worries, I found it a little confusing at first, too.

  • mcr285

    Interesting…. and you have access to the General’s military records, how???

  • Roger Kaplan

    At least Ben Carson’s anecdote about the stick-up at a Popeye establishment is confirmed. The proof is here:
    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/410wlv-29JL._SY342_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

  • Roger Kaplan

    True indeed. But Carson had a ghost writer, who could have checked the records. Carson also has his transcripts. Better still, there was no need for asking the ghost writer to fill in the “meat” (as Carson put it, in his interview with George Stephanopoulos on Nov 8) without paying attention to details. Carson’s entire image and claim to legitimacy is based on the anecdotes in his books.

  • Bogus

    Perceptions 301 is the new snake oil he is selling. A big supply of it is stored in the medlab.

  • Bogus

    When will the major networks and online media pick up on this one? Is this story more onion crap too or is he so far gone that Ben actually submitted this as proof? Maybe he won’t show up for the debate because we are all crazy.

  • Roger Kaplan

    To all those left-wing commies and secular progressive people criticizing Dr Ben Carson: Clearly none of you is smart enough to realize that Dr. Carson’s books and presidential run are all part of a term paper he is completing for his Perceptions 301 course. Wise up, you folks!

  • Fred Collins

    As a person who is exactly as old as Ben Carson, I can tell you with 100% certainty that NOTHING I recall about my college days would be strictly correct in every detail as to dates, course numbers (really?), or even precise events. The fact that Carson is being held to an impossibly high standard when Barack Obama was congratulated by an adoring media for doing far worse in his autobiography (Dreams from my Father) tells you why Americans detest the mainstream media.

  • Akbar O’Flaherty

    Though I can’t imagine a reason why a sane person would ever vote for Ben Carson, I think his credibility would really be improved if he could simply produce a living cogent person who had actually survived Ben Carson brain surgery. The only indication that Ben Carson has an IQ of at least 65 is that he separated conjoined twins. When it comes down to it, separating conjoined twins could be no different than gutting fish.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Please don’t rush Ben to respond. Give him some time to talk with God.

  • Roger Kaplan

    Obama’s candidacy was NOT based on his biography, whereas Carson’s candidacy is entirely based on his embellished (at the least) autobiography.

  • Akbar O’Flaherty

    Here is the problem that poor Ben Carson faces. When God was making up the ten commandments, Ben was not yet born. Had he been, He would have told God that God needs to make a distinction between lying and telling the kinds of tall tales that Ben Carson tells.

    It’s a shame Ben Carson wasn’t around when God was doing His training.

  • So is his Disqus profile.

  • …whereas until recently, Carson has claimed his stories are entirely the literal truth. Now he’s been pleading fuzzy recollections, attempts to hide the identities of the kids he claims to have violently assaulted, providing ‘evidence’ which doesn’t prove his claims at all (and in this latest case, actually entirely undercuts his story), etc.

  • You’ll need to be far more obvious in your attempted trolling then. And I don’t know if you noticed, but President Obama doesn’t have a documented history of lying about his accomplishments and the various events which happened to him.

    Carson, on the other hand, has wild and improbable stories, none of which manage to stand up to scrutiny.

  • Cynthia Williams

    I believe Dr. Carson’s book says the incident too place around Veteran’s Day not Memorial Day, but in any case Gen. William Westmoreland wasn’t in Detroit around either of those holidays in 1969 per military records.

  • Baal

    I have the same hypothesis. I don’t think it is dementia.

  • Baal

    That’s it.

  • Moderator3

    Your username is spam.

  • Cynthia Williams

    Hmmm. Barack Obama isn’t running for a presidential nomination, in case that escaped your notice. Dr. Ben Carson is.

  • Somebody call Brian Williams to get to the bottom of this.

  • Cynthia Williams

    I am sure I am not the only one who has notice this about Ben Carson or. at least I do hope I am not the only one who has noticed. This man has already advocated for a religious test for elected office, though he now denies that was his intent. This man is currently advocating against a Free Press and against Free Speech vis a vis his bumper stickers “Stop the Liberal Media” and his comments: “I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to
    do,” Carson said. “It would be to monitor our institutions of higher
    education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it
    exists.” That makes three less than subtle attacks on the U.S. Constitution, in my estimation. One would hope the electorate isn’t completely deaf, dumb and blind.

  • AmericanMuse

    Yes, Ben Carson is a certified lying machine. The Detroit News reports that Gen. Westmoreland, who Carson claims offered him a scholarship to West Point when Carson dined with the General in Detroit on Memorial Day 1969, was never in Detroit on that day!

  • Cynthia Williams

    Yale prank. :) Harvard pranks are much more sophisticated.

  • Prophet With Honor

    Perhaps I was too subtle in calling out the hypocrisy …

  • Prophet With Honor

    Perhaps I was too subtle … that is a call-out , not support .

  • Sarah Barns

    It’s Psych 10 which is nothing but introductory Psych. It was an introductory class that Carson likely took during his Freshman year in college. It wasn’t some advanced class called “Perceptions”.

  • Sarah Barns

    President Obama was the President of the Harvard Law Review. Only people with the top grades are nominated to the Harvard Law Review. He also graduated with honors. Only students at the top of the class graduate with honors. And if you want to claim Affirmative Action or garbage like that, the President of Harvard Law Review is selected in an anonymous process.

    You want to know why the media didn’t vet the girlfriends in the book until 2012? The book was titled Barack Obama: The Story, and it was published June 19, 2012. Can’t exactly vet something that hasn’t been written yet.

  • Vasyl M

    It wasn’t a Candid Camera style prank. The incident never happened.

    The article provided by Carson says that the campus humor magazine put out a fake issue of the Yale Daily News (á la Onion) that included the fake article, not that the Yale Daily News or the Record actually pulled the prank.

    Basically, this is Carson telling a story from the Onion as if it it happened to him. It us not Carson thinking a prank pulled on him was real.

  • Rick Tyson

    Ben’s best bet would be to stfu because the more he speaks the more he’s exposed to be the fraud and liar we have come to know.

  • The media hasn’t published Obama’s grades because it’s illegal to access them without permission — as was the case when Al Gore’s and GWB’s grades were illegally leaked and made public. But if Carson wants to release his transcripts to prove he was in Perceptions 301 in 1970, he’s more than welcome to do so.

    Also, Obama wrote in the beginning of his book that some of the characters were composite: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/obamas-composite-girlfriend-how-politico-and-drudge-created-fake-news/256666/

  • Antiliar

    Hmm… And Obama says he received high grades in classes he took at Columbia and Harvard, yet the media has had no interest in obtaining proof. The media doesn’t vet Obama’s books until he’s been in office for three years and discovers that he lied about his girlfriends and other people and events. But that’s not news. Left-wing Democrat Hypocrites.

  • In 1970, I find it difficult to believe a woman would be teaching a 3rd year class at a stuffy old school like Yale. But a post-grad running a bunch of undergrads through their one required psych class, since the usual rule with pre-med instruction is breadth not depth? That I could believe.

    But yeah, even in that year, I can’t see a professor, tenured or adjunct, or even a designated post-grad instructor going along or getting away with a hoax like that.

  • Darrell Imaginarian

    Even in 1970, I don’t think a professor could get away with that.

  • Darrell Imaginarian

    Maybe they did give him 10 bucks because they felt bad. I kind of doubt it though. That would be 60 dollars in today’s terms.

  • As soon as Carson stops leading in the polls and goes back home to resume writing phony stories about his own life and experiences, sure.

    In the meantime, he’s one of the GOP presidential candidate front-runners. A man who claims to have had a psychotically violent temper as a kid, but wants us to believe Jeebus has saved him enough for him to be trusted with America’s nuclear arsenal.

    For that reason, the man who is clearly full of shit must be taken seriously until he is fully discredited and gone from the national stage.

  • hellslittlestangel

    Can’t we just move on? Can’t we just declare Ben Carson to be utterly full of shit and move on? You know, to the next deranged Republican liar.

  • Wouldn’t really matter because Carson’s mangling of the details to make himself out to look like a hero is what matters. He appears to have altered every relevant fact to puff himself up:

    – The article says it was an intro ‘Psychology 10’ course, but in Carson’s version is it’s an advanced 3rd year course (neither the class name nor number he reported corresponded to any Yale psych course in 1970).
    – ‘Several students’ were fooled by the hoax, not the entire class of 150.
    – The hoax was perpetrated not by his psychology professor, but by other Yale students.
    – It was only ever a prank and never some kind of personal ethics and honesty test.
    – Carson claims his photo was taken by the Yale newspaper photographer, but no story about him and his tale of being the One Honest Student ever appeared anywhere but in the pages of his own autobiographies.

    So what if he was in the Psych 10 class? The part where instead of being the gullible victim of a college prank he’s portrayed himself as a uniquely ethical hero — and receiving official recognition for it — is the Big Lie.

  • Dan Lack

    When you grow up dirt poor, unfortunately this frequently happens, especially when you achieve some success, and see how the other half has lived, while you were mired in poverty…same thing happened with Dick Nixon, and look where there got the US

  • Yale pranksters, but a good point nonetheless.

  • Quirkydude Kev

    I’ve finally found others’ who possess a bit of reason. I’ve been repeating this all day and his supporters act like it went in one ear and out the other.

  • Quirkydude Kev

    That has nothing to do with it. Maybe the class existed under another name. The whole story about exams being destroyed was done by Harvard pranksters. There was no Professor looking to find the “most honest student”. It didn’t happen. Class or no class.

  • Quirkydude Kev

    Thank you. He takes a Harvard prank and turns it into him being the most honest student. This guy is a piece of work.

  • Sure, right — it makes no difference that the spin Carson put on the story and all of the details he has recounted repeatedly are entirely at odds with the Candid Camera-style prank which was played on him and ‘several other students.’

    To hear Carson tell it, his whole life has been one O. Henry story after another. One which nobody but he remembers happening in the ways he tells it.

  • Rick Papineau

    There aren’t too many psychology classes that don’t discuss perception…

  • Fo’ Shurkel, ma Nurkel!

  • rwlorenz

    I am more concerned about the insane policy positions of the Republican candidates rather than their lies.

  • rwlorenz

    In the light you present it is worthy of pity that Carson thinks he won “most honest student” at Yale and was given ten dollars.

  • rwlorenz

    He appears to actually believe in his past fantasy and doesn’t know better than to produce a “newspaper” clipping from the parody edition. The man may be legitimately deranged.

  • Indigo

    #shakingheadindisbelief

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Please copy the sentence from this article that has that information. Then look up the definition of parody.

  • Indigo

    There’s an oversupply of those around.

  • Lea Kane

    It shows a psychology class that discusses perception, my goodness. You people are desperate.

  • Impossible?

    I heard of one that went: Define the Universe… and provide at least two examples.

  • mf_roe

    “Urkel the Street Thug” —Sweet!

  • You could be right, but Carson’s rich fantasy life manifested as early as the late 1980s when he wrote his autobiography ‘Gifted Hands’, because it’s crammed full of these phony stories.

    Personally, I think he’s been doing it his entire life, using lies and confabulated fantasies to make up for a crippling lack of true self-esteem.

  • I have no proof of it, but I feel confident if the professor had been involved in the hoax, her presence would’ve been mentioned in the article. I mean, it’d be an important detail. In practice, I can’t imagine one participating due to the potential disciplinary complaints. (Yale = lots of rich kids. Playing a deliberate prank if it fooled the spoiled child of some wealthy scion would be a one way ticket to being fired.)

    In any case, Carson’s retelling of the prank played on him changes every important aspect — and has to, in order for him to come out not as a hapless sap and prank victim, but a literal hero.

    In his version, it’s not an introductory ‘Psychology 10’ course, but a 3rd year advanced one, ‘Perceptions 301.’ In his, it’s not ‘several students’ being taken in by the parody newspaper, but the entire class of 150 (such a large class size being another inadvertent indication Carson was actually describing a psych intro course) showing up at the professor’s direct request, THEN being told their finals had been destroyed, and all but him walking out. And of course, the hoax describes the fake re-test as being similar to the actual final exam, but Ben had to inflate it to be ‘much harder, almost impossible’ to complete.

    And just maybe the hoaxers did take photographs of those who were gullible enough to be fooled by the article, but Ben had to change it to become the official school newspaper’s photographer.

    What’s funny-sad here is Carson probably thinks the article vindicates him, when in fact all it does is finish filling in the puzzle as to what probably really happened.

  • Th’DawgReturns

    Nah , that’s something that Republicans think only Democrats should do .

  • Prophet With Honor

    Carson could clear up part of it by releasing his transcript from Yale … it should confirm if he was in that class .

  • Of course. Even the article mentions that “several students” came. So, was the supposed teacher telling each one that they – and they alone! – were “the last” honest student?

    I’m sure Carson felt like a total tool – and Urkel the Street Thug don’t play that!!

    Carson sure turned that frown upside-down!

  • mf_roe

    The $10 dollar bill is a Carter fixation. Remember how he only applied to one college because of a $10 application fee? Seems to me that Ben is subconsciously advertising that he is controlled by his relationship with money. The “For Sale” Sign on his back is a truer measure of the man than his Walter Mitty posturings.

  • Excellent summary.

  • woodroad34

    I had a friend whose mother suffered from Alzheimer’s. Every time I was at a dinner with her mother, her mother would recount a story about her older sister in Italy. As the Alzheimer’s progressed, the story would change slightly until it got to a point where it wasn’t the same story any longer.

    I seriously think Ben is having a mental breakdown.

  • True enough. Freshman year, I learned the best way to take tests was in multiple passes, at least two, sometimes more.

  • Hue-Man

    You’ve described the prof perfectly. The issue of fairness is more difficult; there is nothing “fair” about life post-graduation. I’m sure the prof was trying to teach that in the “real world”, you can’t get 6 hours’ work done in 1 hour. Exam-writing 101 should have taught these 2nd year students to scan ALL the questions and – in my case, at least – pick the “low-hanging fruit” to get in gear for the tougher questions. (It also got the little grey cells grinding away in the background on all the questions; multi-tasking, before anyone knew what that meant?)

  • mf_roe

    Watched Thomas being interviewed by Julian Bond on C-SPAN, Thomas is highly intelligent just troubled. He understands opening his mind to the critique of public discourse is dangerous. Ben, bless his pointy head, is totally oblivious to the fact that his ass is hanging out.

  • Students had a hoax played on them, resulting in a rather public humiliation for anyone who believed the hoax article and showed up to re-take the exam. Carson changed all the details around afterwards to turn what had happened into an official ‘ethics’ measurement on the part of his psych professor.

    You claim that Carson’s account aligns ‘precisely’ with the hoax account when in fact it doesn’t match up at all. The course number and name aren’t accurate. And the perpetrators and purpose of the hoax were nothing at all like what Carson claimed.

    I’d say you need to work on your own reading comprehension.

  • mf_roe

    A major part of Ben’s appeal is that he gives so many equally delusional frauds a champion. We all remember our lives in biased ways, Carson’s behavior asserts that instead of accepting this that flaw in our nature should be ignored. Spike Lee “Do the Right Thing” Ben Carson “Pretend to Have Done it Right”

  • Don Chandler

    In math classes, you needed to show process. Also pretty much true in science class. In Physics, if you didn’t show process, you wouldn’t even get partial credit for your inevitably wrong answer–hard tests. One university encouraged engineering students to ‘cheat’ on their labs. The only way to get good grades was to find the labs from previous years and copy them or use them. This was said to encourage working together or scientific collaboration which is pretty essential. I like Hue-man’s post. When I was very young, I would just guess on all those multiple question exams because I wanted to finish the test. It was later explained that guessing was worse than skipping ;)

  • Brilliantly put. You’re right: They are strikingly similar, the only difference being Carson’s obvious showman-style egotism, in which he requires public adulation. Thomas, on the other hand, is just a silent cypher.

  • I think what the professor did to you and your classmates was rather despicable. That kind of “you weren’t actually supposed to SOLVE the test question” nonsense — especially when given to an undergrad — is just plain mean and speaks not of a professor actually interested in testing abilities and knowledge, but in playing mind-fuck games.

  • From the article, it sounds like his ‘teacher’ wasn’t involved in the hoax at all. But Carson needed to change that essential detail in order to turn himself from laughed-at practical joke victim into some kind of ethics hero.

  • I read this as others have noted: If indeed the article expressed a contemporaneous event in which Carson was involved, it makes it sound like all that happened was he was suckered by the hoax exam. In a way, it would fit perfectly with his almost anal-retentive studiousness and extreme gullibility. “Oh my gosh, I’d better get right over there and re-take the exam!” (I also wonder if some of his acquaintances didn’t ‘helpfully’ point out the article and urge young Ben that he’d better get on over there to retake the exam. Remember, we’re talking about a guy so gullible by nature, he believes in young-Earth creationism, that the pyramids were used to store grain and that a particular kind of tree-bark can cure anything.)

    So rather than accept the public humiliation and embarrassment of having been the victim of a random and somewhat cruel practical joke undoubtedly done by his fellow students, he instead changed all the details to turn what actually happened into an official ‘ethics measuring’ test on the part of his psychology professor — one in which he and he alone came out as the hero.

    Once he started mucking with basic details like that, it’s no wonder he felt free to manufacture other ones, such as a non-existent course name and number — which HAS been confirmed as never having existed at Yale in 1970. The article posted even says the class was “Psychology 10” — which suggests not a 3rd year advanced psych class, but an introductory one.

    Another angle which doesn’t fit is this notion of going back to class after the final exam had been taken. I imagine some schools may have worked differently, but by the 1980s when I was in college, the exam was always the last session, with final grades usually posted on a bulletin board or outside the prof’s office. I honestly don’t ever recall returning to class to be given my exam back. I think the usual practice was if upon reading the grade one had objections or concerns, you could make an appointment with the professor to go over the results and grading.

    It amazes me to admit this, but Carson’s accomplished one thing: He’s made me feel sorry for the kid he once was, the kid who would eventually take to creating fictionalized accounts of his own life’s events in order to feel worthwhile and valued.

    That said though, I don’t feel sorry at all for him now. He’s turned his lies into fame and wealth, and that’s just disgusting.

  • mf_roe

    Anything involving score keeping is really about process, focusing on results misses the point.

  • I fell for a hoax = I am the last honest student.

    Note to Carson: Your teacher gave you $10 for showing up at an event sponsored by Yale’s “The Onion” not because you’re “the last honest student”, but to buy a fucking clue.

  • Don Chandler

    gamesmanship.

  • mf_roe

    Consider his similarities to Clarance Thomas. Both reject the notion that they received a gift from society in the form of exceptional opportunities offered in compensation for cultural crimes of the majority. Instead they both project the conceit that their exceptionalism is the ONLY reason they have beat the odds. It is pathological, no cure possible.

  • Don Chandler

    In one debate, ‘immunization’ came up, Carson gave his split truths and Trump gave his uneducated guesses. Carson was asked bout Trump’s comments and Carson suggested that Trump was an “okay doctor.” Raised my eyebrows. I thought they were equally good at malpractice. But now Trump is putting on his ‘okay psychologist’ hat and talking about how Ben isn’t ‘pscho___,’ Ben is ‘pathological___’ I’m sure Trump isn’t diagnosing Carson as ‘Pathologically Violent’. It could be lies or ‘Pathological Liar.’ But Psychobabble works too. Still, that living room suggests ‘Pathological Narcissism.’

  • It’s a compensation disorder, I think, a kind of hero-complex in which Carson feels compelled to tell fantasies about himself in order to receive the affirmation and ego-strokes.

  • mf_roe

    Democracy is herding the stupid and the ignorant into support of the self-interested minority. Lies are necessary tools, until someone figures out how to enlighten the lemmings expect no change.

  • mf_roe

    I suspect that you know the secret of taking tests and what they really measure.

  • Bill_Perdue

    All Democrat and Republican candidates lie all the time.

  • Don Chandler

    He walked on water–ben is drowning.

  • mf_roe

    Flat out calling him a liar may be harsh, I fear him because he is delusional and therefore incapable of self-correction.

  • mf_roe

    Morning friend, do you remember Peter Sellars’ “Being There”?

  • Don Chandler

    His GOP party likes to make up stories. But they are conscious of their fabrications. Not good. They might actually think Carson is aware of his fabrications. But Carson distorts the truth because it makes him feel good and then he rationalizes the distortion and believes in his altered reality. We’ve all met people like this–crazy fuk’in people. Example: he never had to fire the secretary because god fired her–cool story bro. So he wanted to fire her but couldn’t. But it all worked out because god was watching over him and made things right. That is not revisionism. That is Confabulation. No need to find witnesses because the actions of god don’t need a witness, they only require belief in one’s self delusion. Great word, “confabulation”. Goes great with the religion. No need a President Ben Carson that rationalizes the truth from his exaggerations–the convenient truth.

  • Hue-Man

    I actually had an impossible exam as an undergraduate. There were four questions; even using our brand-new 4 function calculators, the first question would have taken the better part of a day to calculate. The next three were straight-forward fair questions.

    Those who ground out question 1 and didn’t answer 2,3,4 got zero. When they complained, the prof said that they were supposed to describe their approach to question #1 then move on. I’m too modest to tell you what my grade was.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Look at the very top of the article. You do understand the meaning of “parody”, don’t you?

  • emjayay

    With all that has come out and maybe more to come, a lot of them are probably saying “Ben….um….who?” Republicans like to forget and move on – to the next fake outrage or the next fake saviour.

  • emjayay

    Or more likely he just read about it and years later remembered it imperfectly as a real non-parody event and put himself in the story as the hero.

  • nofauxnews

    And TRUMPy claims he graduated top in his class at Wharton. These is some twisted puppies!

  • nofauxnews

    Compared to his post about none of the signers of the Declaration Of Independence having held elected office, and then changing it to FEDERAL office when he was called out on it, these silly confabulations are kid stuff.

  • emjayay

    Judging by the test story, this seems pretty close.

  • nicho

    Former Republican Congressman talking about the GOP presidential candidates: “They’re all fucking nuts.” That pretty much sums it up.

    http://robertreich.org/post/132611993925

  • The_Fixer

    Earlier on, I thought that Carson was becoming “enfeebled” as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease. His weird way of speaking – his rambling and disconnected manner of public speaking, not to mention the ridiculous things he has said, made me think that.

    I am wondering about that now. Can he really be a guy who was living a cloistered life, one where he was constantly celebrated as a god-like surgeon by his peers? A life that built his ego to incredible proportions, such that he thinks he can say virtually anything because he is who he thinks he is?

    Consider his home decor – a salute to narcissism that would make any dictator proud. A hideously large portrait of himself hangs in one room. Another has a portrait of him standing next to Jesus, who in this rendering, looks like a Klingon from Star Trek TNG. The same decor features a wall devoted to the biblical book Proverbs, which is misspelled as “Poverbs.” Displays of newspaper clippings featuring him are peppered throughout the house help to seal the deal – he’s infatuated with himself.

    Also consider his stories, all of which not only paint him in a light so brilliant and dazzling that it cannot be looked at by mere mortal men. He was a horribly bad youth (nobody can verify this) who suddenly found god and became a horribly wonderful youth.

    Then there’s the constant need to justify those stories with explanations that are indeed laughable – but he expects that his supposed superior intellect will overpower people’s natural sense of doubt. He actually thinks he’s so great that he can change reality.

    Everybody knows about Trump’s ego. This guy is right up in there his league. I don’t know if he has a physical illness that causes him to say and do these things, but we sure know he has one hell of a personality disorder.

  • cambridgemac

    I wish I could find him funny. I find it very disturbing to see an educated, grown man confabulating if not hallucinating while running for President – and nobody in his party appears bothered by this…..

  • Steve Bishop

    Yes the writer of this article clearly did not comprehend what they were reading. The Yale article clearly states that there was a hoax perpetrated by the paper saying that the tests were destroyed. This is precisely what Dr. Carson said happened. The students had a hoax played on them. But unsurprisingly the main stream media continues to ignore the evidence which you yourself can easily verify.

  • Baal

    Being a college professor myself, of all the little fairy tales Carson has told about his own life, this is the one that I found most immediately and laughably false. The Annapolis “scholarship” offer was also pretty funny.

  • Mojave Greene

    ….

  • MoonDragon

    The man is not in touch with reality. I would not call him a liar, so much as a confabulator. He hears or reads of certain incidents, incorporates them into his own memories, then constructs a context that makes sense to him. These contexts become his memories. It’s a marginally kinder explanation than that he’s a cynical con man who thinks his audience is stupid.

  • lol

  • peterpane2

    This media is so lazy that they don’t even research their own and put out the lame claims like a keyboard warrior nowadays. You guys did not even take a moment to do a research on your own to make claim that the piece is not from the Yale Daily News. Well, here’s the link below to the official Yale Daily News website with the actual article: http://digital.library.yale.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/yale-ydn/id/10987/rec/2

    I verified the fact in like 5 minutes on my phone, and I am not a news reporter. Integrity is so hard to find in Politics and Journalism nowadays.

  • peterpane2

    This media is so lazy that they don’t even research their own and put out the lame claims like a keyboard warrior nowadays. You guys did not even take a moment to do a research on your own to make claim that the piece is not from the Yale Daily News. Well, here’s the link below to the official Yale Daily News website with the actual article: http://digital.library.yale.ed

    I verified the fact in like 5 minutes on my phone, and I am not a news reporter. Integrity is so hard to find in Politics and Journalism nowadays.

  • Michael Hahn

    I read it the same way he took a story where he was fooled and turned into a morality play where he was the hero and celebrated. I think we have a psychological term for people like that

  • peterpane2

    This media is so lazy that they don’t even research their own and put out the lame claims like a keyboard warrior nowadays. You guys did not even take a moment to do a research on your own to make claim that the piece is not from the Yale Daily News. Well, here’s the link below to the official Yale Daily News website with the actual article: http://digital.library.yale.edu/…/yale-ydn/id/10987/rec/2

    I verified the fact in like 5 minutes on my phone, and I am not a news reporter. Integrity is so hard to find in Politics and Journalism nowadays.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    It is incredible that Carson is using the Yale Daily News article to attempt to justify what he wrote in Gifted Hands.

    From that article we know that on Tues 13th January 1970 the Yale Record, a parody newspaper like the equivalent of The Onion, produced a spoof edition of the Yale Daily News, designed to look exactly like the official Yale newspaper. It had news features and articles, and also contained an article informing students that the papers from the Psychology 10 exam taken on Monday had been destroyed and that there was to be a makeup that evening in room 203 WLH. Several students attended this exam, which was similar to the original one. So the hoax was played by the students who wrote the Yale Record, not the professor.

    Perhaps the truth is that Carson was one of the hoaxed students, and that he was the last to realise that it was a hoax, and that when the trick was revealed someone said to him, well you are the most credulous student on the course.

    In the twenty years that passed between that embarrassing incident and the publication of Gifted Hands, Carson’s memory changed this into a story in which he was the hero.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    If you read the story as told in Gifted Hands, Carson is supremely honest because unlike the other students, he is not going to pretend that he had not seen a notice about the re-test, and use that as an excuse to get a chance to study for the new tougher questions.

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iW_dw1Qh_BQC&pg=PT79&dq=gifted+hands+perceptions+301&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMIpPy4wpWByQIVQngPCh3EBgWy#v=onepage&q=gifted%20hands%20perceptions%20301&f=false

  • Thanks for the catch. Will fix.

  • Potere Assoluto

    If, as it appears, the test and the “most honest” award never happened to be, it has to do with honesty..

  • Doug105
  • Patrick_Hadley

    While I agree with the basis of this post, you can see that the parody article appeared in the actual Yale Daily News 14 January 1970,

    http://digital.library.yale.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/yale-ydn/id/10987/rec/3

    The differences from this story and the version in Gifted Hands:

    Psychology 10 not Perceptions 301
    The exam hoax fooled “several” students, not 150.
    The new exam was “similar” to the original exam, not much harder.
    There was no mention of the hoax being an honesty test set up by the professor.
    There was no mention of Carson.
    There was no photograph of Carson.

  • Bronxboy47

    What does being willing to retake a test have to do with honesty?

  • nicho
  • Potere Assoluto

    This wacko is funny though

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