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Friday, February 07, 2014

The accusation

I haven't pissed off a whole bunch of readers in a while now. Time for this blog to get back to what it used to do best.

What do I think of Dylan Farrow's claim that she was abused by Woody Allen? The story has been taken as irrefutable by feminist writers on Salon, who follow a simple method for ascertaining truth: "Does the accused party have a penis? If so...GUILTY!" No need to weigh evidence or to hear both sides or to acknowledge grey areas. Females are holy, female are sacred, females are genetically incapable of lying or being mistaken on even the smallest of issues. Yada yada yada. We all know the drill by now.

Problem: Dylan's brother Moses says it never happened. Moses says that Dylan has been continually harangued and quasi-brainwashed by her mother Mia.

Frankly, his story seems more believable.

Many feminists will, of course, argue that Moses was, is, the brainwashee. They will tell you that brainwashing is a 100 percent male thing. Females would never stoop to such tactics because females are holy, females are sacred, yada yada yada.

To which I say: Let's look at who we're dealing with here. Maureen O'Sullivan may have been a goddess (I've watched Tarzan and His Mate quite a few times, and not because I wanted to see Johnny Weissmuller wrestle a crocodile), but let's be honest: Flakiness runs in that family.

I'm thinking of the Beatles in India. Remember...? It was an escapade in which O'Sullivan's daughters, Prudence and Mia Farrow, played key roles. One of the Beatles' best songs came into being because Prudence refused to leave her hut unless John and Paul coaxed her out.

The India adventure ended when guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi allegedly tried to rape Mia -- or so we have long been told. Here's a typical telling of the original story...
In an episode now etched in Beatle folklore, however, they, too, packed their bags in disgust after Mia Farrow fled the Maharishi's cave in tears, claiming that the supposedly celibate swami had grabbed her in his hairy arms and tried to make advances towards her.

"Boys! Boys! What's wrong? Why are you leaving?" the Maharishi is said to have shouted after them.

"If you're so f*****g cosmic, you'll know," came Lennon's withering reply.
That certainly sounds like something Lennon would say. But here's where things get all Rashomon-y: A more recent revised version of the story has the Maharishi kicking the boys out for drug usage. As for Mia: Another disciple, Deepak Chopra, had this to say about that...
Dr Chopra said of the rumour that the guru had misbehaved with Farrow, who was part of the entourage: "There was never any truth to stories about the maharishi's womanising. When he was sick in the UK, he wouldn't even allow any female nurses near him.

"As for the stuff about Mia Farrow, that was complete nonsense. I met her years later and she asked me to tell the maharishi that she still loved him," he said.
Oddly, Mia just recently went back to the first version of the tale. This woman has a history of getting involved in Rashomon situations. Maybe we should all be allowed only one major Rashomon in our lives. After that, credibility suffers.

I don't believe that Maharishi "put the moves" on Mia Farrow. On the other hand, Lennon's "cosmic" comment seems genuine.

So how to reconcile the two conflicting stories? Well, the simplest explanation is that a woman intent on making herself the center of a grand drama made a false accusation against a religious teacher. The Beatles believed her because men always believe women who say such things. Besides, they were annoyed by their guru's "no dope" rules. If you were a young man in that time and place, whose side would you be likelier to take -- that of the pretty hippie chick, or that of the prudish old Hindu?

I realize that feminists of a certain stripe will refuse even to consider the possibility I've outlined here. Women are holy, women are sacred, and women never lie.

Let's get back to this business of brainwashing children. That question is at the core of the Moses and Dylan story: One side will accuse Moses of being a brainwashee while the other will say the same about Dylan.

I prefer to look at this problem from a new direction. What's the difference between the Dylan Farrow case and the McMartin preschool molestation case?

As longtime readers may recall, I got to know one of the McMartin mothers. Not well, but not glancingly. She was a nice lady. Quite smart. Artistic. Despite what some people may prefer to believe, there was no hint of religious zealotry in anything she said or did. I talked to her boy some years after the case was over. He did not retract his claim. In fact, as far as I know, none of the McMartin children have retracted their claims.

Nevertheless many of you would argue that those kids were brainwashed by their parents and counselors.

All I can say is, the mother I met obviously never brainwashed anyone. Her child (at the time I spoke to him) was a typical rebellious teen (or tween) who was hardly going to say or do anything just to please his mom. Quite the opposite, I should say.

Nevertheless, there are many of you who will insist that the McMartin molestation claims were always pure fantasy. You will arrogantly proclaim that you can take me to school on the matter, even though you never spoke to any of the parents or children personally and know what you know only through reading. (And believe me, you haven't read as much as I have.)

All right. Fine.

But let me ask you this: By what standard can we accept the Dylan Farrow accusation against Woody Allen while dismissing all the claims against the people who ran the McMartin preschool? And you if you don't believe the McMartin kids, why do you believe Dylan?

I think that some people grant Dylan greater credibility not because her evidence is better but because her tale fits a larger narrative: All celebrities are fiends -- at least the male ones. The ones who seem lovable and funny are the ones most likely to be secretly fiendish. We love that narrative. That story got hard-wired into the American psyche back in the days of Fatty Arbuckle.

Similarly, some of us are convinced that all females are incapable of venal or capricious or just plain nutty behavior. To such people, it is Thoughtcrime Most Foul to suggest that there have always been women who cannot distinguish between hallucination and reality. It is Thoughtcrime Most Foul to suggest that -- on occasion, not always, not often, but from time to time -- such women have caused upheavals. And while it is not Thoughtcrime Most Foul to suggest that Woody brainwashed Moses, it is Thoughtcrime Most Foul to suggest that Mia brainwashed Dylan.

Therefore, Woody Allen is a pedophile.

And Goody Proctor is a witch.

On a related note: While doing some quick-n-dirty googling on the life of Mia Farrow just now, I ran across this:
In 2000, her adopted daughter, Tam Farrow, died of a long protracted illness. In December of 2008, Farrow faced tragedy again when her adopted daughter, Lark Song Previn, died of undisclosed circumstances. On June 15, 2009, Farrow's brother, artist Patrick Farrow, was found dead in his New York art gallery. Suspicious circumstances surround his death, but police have not revealed details.
Say what...?

Update: Woody Allen's response is here and here. It's better than persuasive -- it's convincing. Particularly this part, which seems inarguable:
I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.
I'll say it again. We're all allowed one major Rashomon episode in our lives; after that, credibility suffers. Mia Farrow has now appeared in at least three major Rashomon conflicts, and it's getting hard to believe that it's always someone else's fault.
Don't forget Mia's brother was sentenced for child sexual abuse.

Mia Farrow is batshit crazy. She is timing these old, old allegations (via her kids) in order to influence the Oscars and to promote son Ronan's new television show. It's as cynical as anything you will ever see.

Allen "60 Minutes" interview from two decades ago:
I can go along with your entire premise, however, at the end of the day, Woody Allen did fall in love with a young woman who he was supposed to be a father figure to, no?

If that brought out the crazies in Farrow, kind of complicates things. Or, maybe not, once that incident occurred, maybe Farrow just became intolerant of men.

One thing about the Patriarchy movement, they focus on whether or not a person is male or female above all else. If you're a male, then anything you generate must be dog do do.
ah, the promotional angle, makes sense now.
From Freud to Harry Harlow to Philip Roth we get the story of "maternal deprivation". It's always mom, isn't it, as if the father hardly exists. Look at harlows horrific experiments with monkeys. Harlow isolated and tortured the mom and then tortured her child. And from this we supposedly learned that children need their mothers. I could have told you that, as could have any thinking human being. What I learned from the experiments is that people with power and money can pretty much do anything they want and never be held accountable and that Harry Harlow had a horrific childhood. But none the less his experiments continue today.
I get your sentiments about feminism. Just like civil rights, environmental rights and the like, feminism has devolved into a pile of shit. The first ten years of any movement has world changing ideas (fairness, consideration, truth), but after a time the middle managers step in and it just becomes a vehicle for power and money making for a few, ethics be damned. It is what the great Ivan Illich referred to as "the corruption of the best becomes the worst". He started with an analysis of the catholic Church and then worked his wat through all institutions, most notably medicine and education. He also wrote a book called "Gender" which angered feminists of the day.

So, why do I believe Dylan? Because children have been systematically abused forever and as that abuse penetrates the cultures there is push back, especially if those who abuse are powerful and rich. How do people like jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky continue to abuse children over decades. One: no one will believe them and two: if they are believed most people in positions of authority are to cowardly to do anything.

Do mothers not abuse their children? Sure, they do. But until recently men had power over women and children. Power does corrupt and the sexual abuse of children has a long history. Read Jeffrey Masson. The only thing Masson left out of his psychological works of 20years ago was boys. No one spoke of their sexual abuse. I've gone through my old books, twenty years and more old. Even with titles like "Rape as Ritual", written by a Jungian man, not a mention, not one word about the rape of boys. We're just waking up to that.

My conspiratorial take on all of this. Present a true story of sexual abuse by a famous man and the demolish the victim. Why? To muddy the water and make the truth of sexual abuse of children go back in the closet. Not gonna happen, but "they" will try.

Woody's response in the NY Times:

If the firewall blocks you, this article summarizes it:

The certitude and visceral hatred being displayed by Dylan's supporters amazes me. It frightens me, too, dissuading me to this point from expressing an opinion that questions Dylan's story in any way. (The same way fear of being labeled an anti-Semite dissuades some/many of Israel's critics.)
So does this mean that I shouldn't believe Maureen O'Sullivan's statements about Cheeta's sexual proclivities?

Anyway, here's the scoop from Mia's psychologist who broke the bad news to Woody.

"Woody Allen was never Soon Yi's father, legally or in any other way. He didn't live with her. He didn't raise her. Soon Yi had a father, André Previn, which is why her name is Soon Yi Pevin. Mia Farrow made Woody Allen get to know Soon Yi because she was tired of him ignoring her."

comment by CSStrowbridge
This comment has been removed by the author.
CBarr: I completely believe Maureen O'Sullivan's Cheetah story.

In 1972, I met Bill Wellman, whom she references in that interview. (Wellman worked on "Tarzan Escapes," a film largely reshot by an uncredited John Farrow. I think that's how he and Maureen met.)

Alas, Wellman did not talk about Cheetah on the occasion when I had a chance to talk with him.

But quite an occasion it was -- a day I'd love to relive. I ought to tell the whole story one of these weekends. Wellman was a great guy and a brave aviator, and I'm proud to have shaken his hand.
For the benefit of readers who don't want to follow the link, CBarr directed our attention to an interesting comment on a Talking Points Memo page. Most of that comment is devoted to the Soon-Yi situation. But this paragraph is downright intriguing:

"I've heard a rather compelling hypothesis that Dylan Farrow was molested by Mia Farrow's brother, John Charles Villers-Farrow, who is currently in prison for child molesting. Mia Farrow then convinced Dylan it was Woody Allen who did it and after years of brainwashing, she now believes it completely."

I see no proof, but the idea makes sense. One man has a history of committing such offenses; the other does not.
While we're talking Maureen O'Sullivan on the periphery of this story... It was only this last year while watching those fantastic first two old Tarzan films, especially the scenes of their little love nest up high in the forest, that I recognized something. Those are all willow trees growing down in the Los Angeles River bed behind the film studio in Burbank. Weismuller and O'Sullivan were probably six feet off the ground for those treetop romantic moments.

I also realized the truth of why my dad was such a Tarzan fan. I can only imagine how Maureen stirred the "thoughts" of an impressionable young teenager in 1932. Oh my.

How I love those movies.
Ah, CBarr, you take me back. I toured the Burbank Studios lot a few times -- on the last occasion, they had redressed the New York City set for "Blade Runner." (By "toured," read "snuck in.") Much of the Jungle area seems to be gone now, although apparently they still shoot "True Blood" there.

While overflying the area via Google Earth, I was a little shocked to see what had happened to the L.A. River, which is a completely artificial construct. Nowadays, it seems, the area has been stripped back down to the concrete. But as recently as ten-or-so years ago, the place was a total swamp, completely overgrown and wild. (We would take Bella for walks in the area nearby.)

I think what made Maureen so enticing was the combination of that skimpy costume and that very civilized, posh accent. You can hear traces of it when Mia speaks. I think it's one reason why she had such a big impact on a lot of guys.
Additional note, CBarr: I just read that the L.A. River was paved in 1937. Before that (when they were making the Tarzan movies), it was an often-dry creek that would overflow dangerously during rains.
1937? Los Angeles was inundated by flood waters in 1938. I remember my father talking about the devastation below Tujunga Wash. I believe the channelization occurred as a response to these floods.

Wasn't the song, "Sexie Sadie", about the Maharishi? Knowing that the young lass in question was Mia Farrow puts a whole new spin on the incident.
Farrow is meant to be a Polanski supporter, and Dylan's story is pretty implausible.

I disagree about one thing, though, Woody Allen isn't funny,
I feel your pain Joseph, being victimized by feminazis on your blog seems a bitter pill that tends to make you a tad touchy in the head. I love you BTW.  Update: "10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation" by Maureen Orth: "This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen’s having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the second last fall, when she was 28—I feel obliged to set the record straight. As such, I have compiled the following list of undeniable facts:"
I don't know who you are, anon, but I would never use the term "Feminazi." But there are screwed-up people inhabiting every group you can imagine, including every group of people with a historically legit beef.

Black people, for example, have about as legitimate a grievance as one could possibly imagine -- but I still think Farrakhan and his followers count as "screwed up." The same can be said of sub-groups within the Jewish, Hispanic, and other communities. So of course, there are some feminists who are as extreme and wacko as anyone else.

I'm half-Eyetalian. There are some VERY screwed up people within that community. And they have been the subject of movies by Martin Scorcese and Francis Coppola.
By the way, and speaking of screwed up people -- I urge interested parties to read the court document referenced in that Vanity Fair piece. I think it's clear from that document that Mia is not the most stable person in the world. I mean -- she thought Woody Allen was a child molester because he playfully let his daughter suck on his thumb...? Yeesh!
Two words:
"Rosemary's Baby"
"some of us are convinced that all females are incapable of venal or capricious or just plain nutty behavior"

Nobody in the world is convinced of that!

Not even those feminists who say always take the side of the woman.
Anonymous signed "Kitty" wrote
"So, why do I believe Dylan? Because children have been systematically abused forever and as that abuse penetrates the cultures there is push back, especially if those who abuse are powerful and rich. How do people like jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky continue to abuse children over decades. One: no one will believe them and two: if they are believed most people in positions of authority are to cowardly to do anything.

But, but, but..because Savile and Sandusky were guilty, and on multiple counts, that doesn't convict every male ever accused of abuse. Not a good reason to believe Dylan Farrow over Woody Allen, in my opinion.

I tend to believe Woody Allen, while acknowledging that Dylan Farrow has obviously been adversely affected by something in her past, something we might deduce from the stories available or something nobody knows, even now.
Mia Farrow is not now nor has she ever been attractive enough to stir a monk to rape. O'Hara? Well...
One of your finest posts ever. And you've written some really good articles on this blog.

I've not been following the details of the accusations and counter-claims. But a brief encounter led me to have a strong sense about Mia and Woody.

On the one occasion when I briefly interacted with them in person, I perceived that Mia gave off negative vibrations. I perceived her to have a negative influence on the mood of other people. With Woody, completely the opposite. Like night and day.

Sometimes one just has a gut feeling. Your writing here supports mine.

- Vibes
Woody? Isn't he the one who married his daughter? There is NO excuse for that. None!

Woody does share a trait with Seinfeldt - grifters gotta grift. I don't see the talent. I'm not so myopic that I can't see that!
No, Woody is not the one who married his daughter. He married the daughter of a conductor.
"Woody does share a trait with Seinfeldt - grifters gotta grift. I don't see the talent. I'm not so myopic that I can't see that!"

So you don't see any talent in Woody Allen's film making, and that makes Woody a grifter. He must be quite the con man to fool so many people into buying tickets to his movies that the studios keep supporting him in making more and more films. Ole Woody really has pulled the wool over the eyes of all those people hasn't he? Guess you could call that talent, but the answer to this quandary probably lies elsewhere.

I should have searched for LA River history instead of LA flood history. Joseph is right about the river being channelized in 1937. Just in the nick of time before the 38 flood. Actually when I think about the architectural design of the bridges they do fit into this period better.
Maureen Orth is the widow of Tim Russert and is not an objective reporter. She is a close friend of Mia Farrow's. I wouldn't be surprised if she and her son Luke Russert pulled strings to get Mia's son Ronan a gig with MSNBC. Her article way back in 1992 was discussed on the Allen 60 Minutes interview which I have the URL in the first post on these comments.

This is a much better article:

Use some common sense, people. If Allen really was a molester, he and his wife Soon-Yi would NEVER have been allowed to adopt two children. He mentioned this in his column.

Mia Farrow is batshit crazy and is using these old, discredited allegations as a sick publicity stunt.

And no, I am not a fan of Woody Allen or his films. I just detest somebody being wrongly accused.

Twilight and others. You missed my point entirely.
I wasn't saying AT ALL that ALL men are guilty. Sheesh.

My whole comment was about POWER. Who has it and what they can do with it. And who has power has changed as years go by.

Sorry, I thought cannonfire talked about power and corruption, but I guess I'm on the wrong blog.

I will disappear and you all can entertain yourselves.

Thank you anonymous for this link:

Joseph should read it. It never was "letting" his daughter suck his thumb. What is it called when one presents a fake conclusion?

Alessandro, you hit it. Woody was a father figure to Soon yi since she was a little girl. Well noted. No doubt Mia lost it when she found the pictures Woody had her pose for. All the people who call her "bitter" must never have been a mother. That would be the last thing a woman would think after finding her skeevy man seduced her daughter.

Oh,and one more thing! It's no longer the Patriarchy, it's the kyriarchy. We're calling people in, not calling them out. The kyriarchy hurts us all.


You should read the post above by OTE admin. Maureen Orth is the one who wrote the Vanity Fair article that you are commending.

I also posted this statement regarding Soon Yi from TPM by CSStrowbridge, who seems to know what he/she is talking about. I'll post it again.

"Woody Allen was never Soon Yi's father, legally or in any other way. He didn't live with her. He didn't raise her. Soon Yi had a father, André Previn, which is why her name is Soon Yi Pevin. Mia Farrow made Woody Allen get to know Soon Yi because she was tired of him ignoring her."

comment by CSStrowbridge
CBarr, you are a sicko. Yes, Mia wanted Woody to spend more time with the children. See Ronan. He clearly thinks it's sick that his father "married" his sister.

I wrote two posts. What happened to my other one, Joseph? I knew the minute I saw your second article someone hit a nerve. Off to read it. Maybe I should've copied what I wrote...I had a feeling. Now one entire comment is disappeared.
Actually Barkman is exactly Buckley. The psychologist who was my expert was also the expert in the McMartin case. He was stunned by the similarities. I therefore looked very deeply into the McMartin case. It was the same thing. The bizarre stories, the complete lack of any physical evidence, the failure to accurately describe how sexual relations occur, the way the authorities interviewed the children, and on and on. I actually interrogated one of the child accusers near the time of the accusations. I may not be a human lie detector, I don't think any of us are, but the absurdity was so obvious that I didn't need to be one. One more
thing to consider, when young children are actually physically penetrated, they are generally murdered. That is because physical penetration is so painful that the children can't stop screaming and the only way to shut them up is to kill them.
@Stephen "Woody Allen isn't funny"

You gotta understand what Woody Allen has achieved since his acting career really took off, which was shortly after the Six Day War and the second Nakba. Since then, he's presented what until then was an almost completely non-existent stereotype - the weak and neurotic New York Jew.
Woody Allen the post-1967 New York nebbish (the New York what??)...and then, after the Yom Kippur War, you get the ever-so-peaceful 'A-Ba-Ni-Bi' and Hallelujah' as two successive winning Israeli entries at the Eurovision (sic!) Song Contest. Ah, PEACE!

Let's call propaganda by its name.
b, I usually let all your comments sail through here. But that was uncalled-for. Woody Allen's career has nothing to do with the Six Day War, for chrissakes.
I don't believe the story about MMY because for a guru in charge of such a large organization for such a long time he didn't have many similar charges against him.
@b ~ Couldn't it actually be that Woody Allen was presenting a counterpoint to the formerly accepted heroic American images of "The Duke", Eastwood, Bronson etc?
Opening the gate for a different kind of hero in film to emerge - one who didn't need guns or swagger?

I hate to break up the dude-bro congrats thing (and, of course, I can't) but I like this:

Whatevs, dudebros. No one ever said women were holy.
Women soldiers on the "front lines" can't even take a GOD DAMNED PISS IN THE NIGHT for fear of being raped.

Stop talking.

Oh wait, we're talking about Woody fucking Allen.

So sorry. There is much circus, but no bread. Or cake.
Mr Cannon said: "In fact, as far as I know, none of the McMartin children have retracted their claims". Wrong. Kyle Zirpolo recanted - in great and damning detail. Refer to "Apology from accuser in McMartin Pre-School case" Los Angeles Times, USA
Oct. 29, 2005. I know a McMartin mother - not in person, but from her own voluminous words on the internet. THAT McMartin mother ran her own for-profit SRA conferences, brought a lunatic ex-fbi agent into her life and into the case, claims to have taught HIM everything he knew about satanism & the occult, personally tutored the Nebraska ladies on how to run a satanic witch-hunt in your community, and claims to have been the primary source for Larouche's lunatic ravings on satanism & the illuminati.

Kitty said: "The only thing Masson left out of his psychological works of 20years ago was boys. No one spoke of their sexual abuse. I've gone through my old books, twenty years and more old. Even with titles like "Rape as Ritual", written by a Jungian man, not a mention, not one word about the rape of boys. We're just waking up to that".

Only if you were personally asleep to the subject, or were born less than twenty-five years ago perhaps. Robin Lloyd's "For Money Or Love" was a best-selling paperback in 1976. It detailed everything - molestation, rape, prostitution, pornography, the whole ball of wax. Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy's "The Public School Phenomenon" documented the seduction, molestation and rape of English schoolboys going back to 1600 a.d. The idea that no one knew about or cared about sexual abuse of children - females or males - until very recently,is simply false.

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