Credulity and Culpability

The real scandal of hate hoaxes is not in their creation but in their reception by a biased, propagandizing media, which is often where the real subterfuge takes place.

Indeed, in the current environment it’s a distinct advantage if the hoax has no single, deliberate author, such as the bumbling Jussie Smollett, to screw things up and reveal the lie. It’s a far more durable hoax that’s perpetuated by silent assent, or, better still, by ignorant true-believers projecting their bias.

In the case of the Covington Catholic kids the media coverage was the hoax. Which isn’t to say the coverage wasn’t conspiratorial and coordinated, just that no one has to be led. Suggestion is all the direction the msm needed. Recall how quickly and widely the now iconic images of the Smirk were paired with photos of white southerners harassing blacks at segregated lunch counters on Twitter.

This was another favorite.

Those tweets came and went (and most or all of them seem to have been deleted) without a single author, probably, seeing the irony–the facts revealed the case was actually a group of whites being harassed with the intent of driving them out of a public space.

The Covington kids were immediately inserted into the narrative as the heirs to the long-crafted southern white racist role. To understand the past is to understand the present, they say, but in reality the present reveals more about the past, and those white southerners opposing integration look less and less irrational.

The standard practice of invoking images of the past, police dogs and fire hoses, to cow the masses in the present is rapidly losing potency. Anyone who’s endured a public space ruined by blacks has to wonder at some point if the segregationists weren’t right all along.

Other major controversies not recognized as scams played out precisely the same way. The Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown controversies are crowd-sourced hoaxes just like the Covington Boys fiasco, persisting still among the gullible simply because the evidence refuting them isn’t on video.

They are the components of the broader hoax that is Black Lives Matter, and the parts represent the whole: they are a mixture of silent acquiescence, deliberate misrepresentation and, probably most of all, boundless credulity. This pathological credulity is a constant in our society now.

At the individual level one is relieved of guilt, even if the precepts of the hoax are absurd, if he just doesn’t question any of it. The moment he expresses doubt publicly he reveals himself as aware and capable of making a moral and ethical judgement. If he doesn’t, if he just keeps any doubts he has shut tight inside, he can’t be held accountable. Moral culpability is transferred to the group, over which he has no control.

High profile hate hoaxes are merely extreme cases exposing the level of biased credulity and media misinformation that is a constant. When your media exists in such a state of collective psychosis, everything is fraudulent. In their hands everything becomes a hoax.

If you’re a fraudster, all you have to do is con this gullible band, and they will in turn con the masses, their credulity lending it the appearance of veracity.

Here’s an expose in Gizmodo revealing how it works:

If you look up Dr. Damian Jacob Markiewicz Sendler online, you might think he has a MD and a PhD from Harvard Medical School. He presents himself as the chief of sexology at a non-profit health research foundation based in New York. His website states he’s one of the youngest elected members of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and that Barack Obama gave him a President’s Gold Service Award for his contributions in medicine and mental health.

Based on the information available online, Sendler could be one of the most accomplished 28-year-olds in medicine.

But he’s not. Those are all lies.

Sendler is a serial fabulist. The accomplished doctor character Sendler has created has appeared in numerous media outlets—Vice, Playboy, Savage Lovecast, Huffington Post, Insider, Bustle, Thrive Global, Women’s Health, and Forbes, among others. Many of these platforms have published Sendler’s lies and publicized his bizarre and irresponsible studies on necrophilia, zoophilia, lethal erotic asphyxiation, and sexual assault. And until recently, he was soliciting patients through his website where he offered online psychotherapy and sex therapy.

Sendler seems to have found his niche in the realm of Vice click-bait and “sex positive” scammery as represented by Dan Savage, whose reaction to being called out by the author is a veritable portrait of gay narcissism.

I had called Savage to ask how Sendler ended up on his show, but Savage quickly turned introspective about the episode. “I’m really annoyed by this—having been duped and exploited like this in this con,” Savage told me. “This is so disappointing. A lot of the people in the sex research community trust me because I try to handle what they are handing me responsibly. Letting down sex researchers is going to mean I have to get super [humble] tonight and lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for a couple hours.”

  It’s worth noting the only real problem people have with Sendler is his dishonest resume. One can call oneself an “expert” on social justice or sex without a meaningful degree–Savage’s claim to expertise is that he’s sexually degenerate.

Sendler’s articles were crafted to humor the narrative and social justice conceits along with the salacious.

Vice’s article “Meet the Man Studying Why Some People Are Attracted to Animals” features a Q-and-A with Sendler. The writer presents Sendler as a transgressive scientific visionary. “While the online world has allowed us to have a nuanced discussion about an immense variety of kinks, consent, and the spectrum of sexuality, the urge to fuck animals is one impulse that’s pretty off-limits—even in the scientific community,” the reporter writes. “Dr. Damian Sendler, a forensic sexologist and research scientist, is one of the few people in the world attempting to change that.”

 If Sendler hadn’t faked his resume none of this would raise an eyebrow, and it’s hard not to suspect much of what passes for sex research is no more solid than his social justice porn, it just comes from ostensibly respectable sources.

The exposure of such charlatans won’t shame progressive publications into objectivity–they still very much want the snake oil, they just want respectable salesmen. Having completely debunked Sendler’s credibility, the article ends by falling for one more con from Sendler, and for the same reason, because the author finds it irresistible.

As his diatribe continued, Sendler helped me realize why people like him believe they can get away with falsifying their entire career and lying to vulnerable people.

“You have to understand that in the world where people use—even the President of this country uses Twitter and creates falsehoods every day,” Sendler said. “How do we then quantify the degree of guilt that you can do, right? Because, you see, if the most powerful man can do this eight, nine thousand times… and he doesn’t care. He still does his thing, and people still support him because they believe in the agenda that he executes.”

He is right, in this case. If someone can inflate their business accomplishments for years, then become a world leader who rules by sowing chaos with constant distortion—what’s to stop a confident, charismatic serial liar from manifesting a psychological career and being treated like a medical luminary?

“Sometimes it really matters how you can sell things and convince people,” Sendler told me, moments before he left my office. “Reality is inflatable and everything is part of the game.

It’s all Drumpf’s fault!

A perfect ending from a literary perspective, and there must be a name for the trope, when a protagonist overcomes something only to fall for it all over again in another guise and we learn that Nothing Has Changed.

I’m reminded of the end of the film Devil’s Advocate

Vanity will keep the narrative in business for a long time still.

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