The Masseuse’s Tale: True or False?
On the morning of that terrible day in October 1991 when Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Clarence Thomas’s alleged sexual harassment of her, the story seemed compelling and believable; how could someone have made up a detailed story like this, and then go before the whole country to tell the lie? However, by the end of that long day and evening, after Thomas and many other witnesses had testified, Hill’s story appeared unbelievable, and it did seem that she had made it up. Perhaps the masseuse in Portland, Oregon has made up this entire story about Gore.
The National Enquirer says that the woman has asked for $1 million to tell her story in more detail. That makes her look like a golddigger. The problem with that idea is that the alleged incident took place almost four years ago, and she’s only asking for money now. Consider the sequence of events, as told in the Washington Post. In October-November 2006, the woman remained silent about the alleged incident which took place in October. In December 2006, her attorney claimed the attack had taken place, but the woman then changed her mind and declined to make a formal complaint. Then two years later, in January 2009, she herself went to the police and gave them the extraordinarily detailed account that we’ve quoted in previous entries. But the police dropped the case for lack of evidence, even though they did not speak to the woman’s friends or to hotel employees to seek corroboration of her story. And now in June 2010 she wants to tell her tale to the National Enquirer.
So there has been a progress, from (1) not wanting to speak about it at all; to (2) having her lawyer speak about it but then getting cold feet and declining to press charges; to (3) telling the police the whole story, and the police dropped the case; to (4) seeking to sell her story to the Enquirer. The financial part is only the last of four stages, progressing from complete silence (caused, she now says, by fear), to an abortive move to tell the story, to boldness in telling the story, to trying to be paid for telling the story. This doesn’t mean that her story is true, but it does indicate that money was not the motive for her telling the story in the first place.
Another thing. The woman is now 54 years old, meaning that at the time of the alleged incident she was about 51, not a spring chicken. I’m not saying it was impossible that the then 59 year old Gore would be carried away by uncontrollable lust for (or uncontrollable lust for power over) a 51 year old masseuse, especially as, in today’s world, 50 is almost what 30 used to be, but it does put a further question mark over her story.
This woman’s story does not ring true with me, although I would be happy if it were true. The details sound fake to me as do Gore’s supposed statements and attitudes. And her rational for not slapping his face and walking out sounds the least likely of all. As though she were trying to come up with a plausible sounding explanation for why she did not leave. Sitting on the bed with him? Come on! The massage parlor that I used to frequent had signs on all the walls, “Any suggestive word or deed or improper contact would result in immediate cessation of the massage, and the requirement that you leave the premises.” Police would be called if you failed to comply. No ifs, ands or buts about it. If she was such a pro at doing this in hotels then she would have had a procedure for informing all clients of these limits and that she would leave the moment someone, anyone, crossed any of the lines. Up front, on the phone first, then in person when she arrived. Maybe a consent form to read and sign. If she didn’t do this, she was not much of a pro in my experience.David B. writes:
This is how a liberal hero explains allegations of bad behavior. He uses “friends” who give his story to a sympathetic journalist, Howard Kurtz. Kurtz writes:LA replies:
But the fact that the massage happened in no way supports the allegations.Dean E. writes:
Women have made these things up before so it’s wise to be wary in “he said/she said” situations. The tale is so elaborate that if it is a wholesale concoction a good investigator would be able to find the fakery by following up on details such as her claim that she sought medical treatment for a leg injured trying to get out from under the crazed sex-poodle. Reading comments on other sites you see that perceptions of the masseuse’s credibility are heavily influenced by existing pro or anti Gore bias. With my own anti-Gore bias I read through the report with slack-jawed credulity, I admit, because it sounds exactly as I imagined Gore to be under the phony mask he wears in public. And she wrote it rather well, in an idiosyncratic, confiding voice, with colorful details, emotional engagement, and acute perception in describing Gore’s character.Paul K. writes:
Ferg doubts the massage therapist’s story because she did not react to Gore’s advances in a logical manner. In highly stressful situations people often do not react logically, but instead do things that they later find hard to explain to themselves, much less to others. The book “Deep Survival” by Laurence Gonzales gives examples of such inexplicable behavior, such as a hiker who nearly freezes to death while lost in a national park, afraid to make a fire because “it’s against the rules.” The masseuse was focused on her routine of organizing her equipment and folding up her bed as she would do under normal circumstances; trying to follow a normal pattern in an abnormal situation is typical stress-induced behavior. In my opinion, the strange account the woman gives of her own behavior lends her story credibility, because if she were making it up she would have made it sound more logical. As Mark Twain said, “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”June 27
David B. writes:
I used to write you about the opinions of my college history professor, Dr. M, now deceased. It was he who told me: “Anything Tom Delay and those conservatives are for, I’m against.” You used this quote in an article published by Front Page. Dr. M’s reason for supporting any position the Democratic party took was “I’m a party man.”June 27
Dean E. writes:
I’m away for a day and return to find the masseuse’s tale buried under a blizzard of great new posts. You’ve been busy. I don’t know if it would be worthwhile adding further comments to that entry, but if you want to add this, here goes:Ferg writes:
Paul K. writes:LA replies:
Why do you wish it were otherwise?Ferg replies:
Oh, just being partisan and taking comfort in Gore’s discomfort. Not a very Christian sentiment I guess, now that I state it. So I retract that wish.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 25, 2010 11:59 PM | Send