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

  1. Lindseth Marion says:

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  2. Bonnie says:

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

  3. Bonnie says:

    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?

  4. Snowy says:

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

  5. Pete Seeger's Banjo says:

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

  6. Pete Seeger's Banjo says:

    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.

  7. razajac says:

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

  8. razajac says:

    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.

  9. Steve Greene says:

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

  10. Steve Greene says:

    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.

  11. bobbobitybob says:

    “Evangelical devotion to Marxism”. Lol.

  12. bobbobitybob says:

    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.

  13. bobbobitybob says:

    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.

  14. bobbobitybob says:

    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.

  15. Lea Kane says:

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

  16. Jeepers says:

    You really believe that? Sad.

  17. Jeepers says:

    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.

  18. Moderator3 says:

    I edited your racist comment. Bye.

  19. Pazuzu says:

    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?

  20. Pazuzu says:

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

  21. Jeepers says:

    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

  22. Jeepers says:

    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

  23. livfreeordi says:

    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!

  24. bdrew says:

    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?

  25. Sarah Barns says:

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

  26. Pete Seeger's Banjo says:

    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.

  27. Pazuzu says:

    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.

  28. Pazuzu says:

    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!

  29. BillinDetroit says:

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

  30. BillinDetroit says:

    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?

  31. Pazuzu says:

    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.

  32. Pazuzu says:

    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.”

  33. Pazuzu says:

    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.

  34. Pazuzu says:

    Nurse!

  35. David Richardens says:

    *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.

  36. OldLefty says:

    Absolutely.

  37. James sparling says:

    and Kerry, man was damn nearly eviscerated.

  38. Marc Brooks says:

    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?

  39. Chet Scarn Halpert says:

    Who pissed in your mouth?

  40. Bruce S says:

    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.

  41. FarSide2012 says:

    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

  42. ComradeRutherford says:

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

  43. Cynthia Williams says:

    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.

  44. OldLefty says:

    They did.

  45. luvgabe says:

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

  46. luvgabe says:

    @Jon Green,

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

  47. AriD2385 says:

    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.

  48. Lisa L says:

    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.

  49. preid says:

    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.

  50. preid says:

    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.

  51. Roger Kaplan says:

    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).

  52. Roger Kaplan says:

    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).

  53. David Richardens says:

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

  54. David Richardens says:

    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.

  55. David Richardens says:

    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.

  56. cusejon says:

    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.

  57. Steve Greene says:

    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.

  58. Roger Kaplan says:

    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?

  59. AriD2385 says:

    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.

  60. Michael Sandy says:

    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.

  61. Michael Sandy says:

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

  62. blueandbarley says:

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

  63. RON says:

    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

  64. RON says:

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

  65. RON says:

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

  66. RON says:

    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.

  67. sue says:

    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?

  68. Sarah Barns says:

    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.

  69. BeccaM says:

    Fair enough.

  70. BeccaM says:

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

  71. Cynthia Williams says:

    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.

  72. Duke Woolworth says:

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

  73. AriD2385 says:

    And…one was found. It’s amazing what happens when journalists do their jobs.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/ben-carsons-yale-classmate-we-did-the-prank-test-that-carson?utm_term=.covvYppV9#.tykvyKKXR

  74. sue says:

    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?

  75. Sarah Barns says:

    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.

  76. sue says:

    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?

  77. Sarah Barns says:

    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.

  78. Maggiejeaner says:

    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?

  79. Sarah Barns says:

    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/

  80. olandp says:

    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.

  81. thismustbehell says:

    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.

  82. BeccaM says:

    Thanks, you’re most kind.

  83. sancholibre says:

    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.

  84. issyk says:

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

  85. Baal says:

    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).

  86. issyk says:

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

    Thought police?

  87. BeccaM says:

    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. ;-)

  88. BeccaM says:

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

  89. issyk says:

    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.

  90. preid says:

    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 ;)

  91. preid says:

    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. :)

  92. issyk says:

    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.

  93. ComradeRutherford says:

    Indeed!

  94. issyk says:

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

  95. issyk says:

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

  96. BeccaM says:

    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.

  97. preid says:

    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.

  98. BeccaM says:

    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.

  99. BeccaM says:

    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

  100. BeccaM says:

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

  101. issyk says:

    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.

  102. ComradeRutherford says:

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

  103. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

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

  104. The_Fixer says:

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

  105. issyk says:

    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…..

  106. Juan Rulfo says:

    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.

  107. issyk says:

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

  108. issyk says:

    Carson has no character.

  109. 2karmanot says:

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

  110. 2karmanot says:

    Vitriole? Is that an Italian pastry?

  111. Chet Scarn Halpert says:

    Desperation , thy name is The Left.

  112. ComradeRutherford says:

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

  113. ComradeRutherford says:

    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).

  114. LanceThruster says:

    Is our Bens learning?

  115. ComradeRutherford says:

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

  116. emjayay says:

    I used the thesaurus.

  117. emjayay says:

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

  118. emjayay says:

    I forgot the snarky face again >;-)

  119. Bill_Perdue says:

    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

  120. The_Fixer says:

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

  121. emjayay says:

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

  122. goulo says:

    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.

  123. rewinn says:

    Bill & Ted can do it … why not Ben?

  124. emjayay says:

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

  125. emjayay says:

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

  126. emjayay says:

    VOTE NADER 2016!

  127. Jon Green says:

    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.

  128. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    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.

  129. emjayay says:

    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.

  130. emjayay says:

    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.

  131. emjayay says:

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

  132. preid says:

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

  133. preid says:

    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.

  134. Roger Kaplan says:

    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.

  135. emjayay says:

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

  136. AmericanTrinity says:

    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.

  137. emjayay says:

    If you can fix an election you can fix anything.

  138. emjayay says:

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

  139. Ramanusia says:

    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.

  140. emjayay says:

    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.

  141. Baal says:

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

  142. Baal says:

    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.

  143. preid says:

    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.

  144. BarackObama says:

    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.

  145. preid says:

    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.

  146. Baal says:

    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.

  147. preid says:

    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.

  148. Funky Bluester says:

    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.

  149. preid says:

    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.”

  150. Baal says:

    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.

  151. The_Fixer says:

    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.

  152. preid says:

    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.

  153. BarackObama says:

    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.

  154. The_Fixer says:

    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.

  155. preid says:

    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.

  156. olandp says:

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

  157. preid says:

    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.

  158. preid says:

    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.

  159. plukasiak says:

    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?

  160. The_Fixer says:

    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

  161. plukasiak says:

    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.

  162. preid says:

    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.

  163. goulo says:

    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.

  164. noGOP says:

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

  165. preid says:

    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.

  166. plukasiak says:

    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!

  167. preid says:

    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.

  168. noGOP says:

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

  169. Wellstone says:

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

  170. olandp says:

    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?

  171. Moderator3 says:

    She greatly contributes here.

  172. olandp says:

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

  173. Prophet With Honor says:

    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 .

  174. Spicerpalooza says:

    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.

  175. DoverBill says:

    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.

  176. Roger Kaplan says:

    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!

  177. Roger Kaplan says:

    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!

  178. Nathan Manning says:

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

  179. goulo says:

    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”.

  180. goulo says:

    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.

  181. goulo says:

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

  182. Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb says:

    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

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  185. BeccaM says:

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

  186. BeccaM says:

    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?

  187. BeccaM says:

    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.

  188. BeccaM says:

    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.

  189. Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb says:

    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 r