Ben Carson and his tall tales - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Ben Carson and his tall tales

You can start writing something about what a liar Dr. Ben Carson is, with a few well-established examples, but the next day it will be outdated as new revelations of Carson’s tall tales are brought to light. Not only is Carson unqualified for the job of president due to his lack of experience at any level of government, but, it turns out, his dishonesty would disqualify him with the majority of voters — you would think.

Well, it probably still does. There isn’t one dedicated Democrat that will vote for him and it’s a good bet the vast majority of “independent” voters won’t fall his way, but there is that GOP base, the crazy wing, that is driving the Republican primaries right now. For them Ben Carson is next to God.

The popularity of Dr. Ben Carson with the GOP base — which is hungry for their own Black candidate — can be summed up as “collective obsessional behavior,” mass hysteria in layman’s terms. Mass hysteria is the result of delusions based on fear. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), describes it as “Episodic Neurological Dysfunction,” which is usually referring to groups of people that have similar physical symptoms of a condition or disease, but don’t actually have the condition or disease.

Ben Carson on Meet the Press defending some of his controversial comments. (YouTube)

Ben Carson on Meet the Press defending some of his controversial comments. (YouTube)

They don’t really connect Episodic Neurological Dysfunction to a group of voters supporting a nutbag doctor running for president despite the obvious disqualifying aspects of the doctor’s history and personality. But is it really that much different?

The GOP base is going after the news organizations that are calling into question Carson’s claims of having a violent, angry youth (everyone he grew up with refutes that), or that he won an award at Yale for his honesty (The university has no records of the class or the award), or that he was offered — and turned down — a scholarship to attend West Point. This one is especially egregious considering the only people that attend the service academies are the ones that want to attend (West Point for instance) and are referred by a member of Congress and then chosen from a field of candidates to fill out a new class. And then of course the fact that no one pays to attend a service academy; all students are going without cost to them.

The catch being they will give up a certain number of years to the service associated with their particular academy.

  • Interesting side note about the service academies: someone intending to be a Marine Corps officer can attend either West Point (Army) or Annapolis (Navy). I once had a company commanding officer who graduated from West Point. It was impressive to my young mind.

Anyway, Carson’s campaign explained it was loose language by the candidate when he wrote in his 1992 book, Gifted Hands, “At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, We had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.”

Carson had been at the top of his ROTC unit in high school (he claims), which is why he received those honors.

Put aside the fact that it isn’t the “Congressional Medal of Honor,” just the “Medal of Honor,” (although you’d think if he was writing a book he would do the research and get it right, or at least an editor would correct the error), does it seem plausible that a high school kid excelling in not only his grades, but his ROTC unit, would turn down an appointment to a service academy?

If someone is in ROTC, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, it’s because they have an interest in joining the military after college graduation. In Carson’s case, if this happened at the end of his 12th grade (high school) he wouldn’t have been in ROTC, he would have been in JROTC — junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

It’s not just semantics, there’s a big difference between ROTC and JROTC. So if Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t even get that small detail correct, how true could the rest of his story be?

As it turns out the Detroit News did a little digging already and found out General Westmoreland was nowhere near Detroit on Memorial Day in 1969, not in the weeks or months before the holiday.

So we know that much of Dr. Ben Carson’s West Point tale is complete fabrication. General Westmoreland was in Detroit to honor a Medal of Honor recipient, Dwight Johnson, in February, so it’s possible Carson was at that event. But Carson’s story said it was a Memorial Day event.

During the CNBC debate Carson was asked about his ties to the disgraced supplement company Mannatech. Carson said he had no ties to the company, that he just made a few motivational speeches for them.

But then reporters dug up records that showed Carson is actually in Mannetech promotional videos. Both Carson and Mannetech say he was not a paid employee or spokesperson for the company, that he had only been paid one time for a speaking engagement. Now, you can consider Carson was just acting when he appeared in the promotional videos, but Carson says he uses the products.

It’s a big deal because Mannetech, and its founder, Sam Caster, have been hauled into Texas court and forced to pay $4 million restitution to Texas customers of the supplements, plus $2 million for investigative costs and $1 million for a civil penalty. Apparently Caster claimed his supplements cured everything from Down syndrome to cancer.

Caster was forced out of the company (sort of) for five years and the company promised to stop making deceptive claims about their product. Caster was allowed to be a consultant for Mannatech during those years.

Caster has a shady history dating back to the 1980s and has been forced to stop making false claims about other products he was selling.

Ben Carson in a 2004 promotional video for Mannatech (YouTube)

Ben Carson in a 2004 promotional video for Mannatech (YouTube)

Ben Carson even claimed the supplements cured his prostate cancer — but he went through with conventional treatment, which included surgery, to set a good example for other cancer patients. Watch This Video. It’s long, but he makes the claims in the first ten minutes.

As the video shows, Dr. Carson is  the featured speaker at this Mannatech event, promoting the product and claiming it cured his cancer.

So, when confronted about the lie he told during the last GOP debate, that he didn’t have any ties to Mannatech, Carson told Stephen Bannon on the SiriusXM Breitbart News Channel, “Well they’re concerned about me. That obviously comes from somebody else on that debate stage. That’s a submarine that’s sent by them. They’re very concerned about me and they’re using the National Review as their political tool. That’s pretty obvious.”

The National Review is a conservative publication that was the first to report on Carson’s shady dealings with Mannatech.

Carson’s business manager, Armstrong Williams (remember him?) told the National Review all of Carson’s speaking engagements were arranged through the Washington Speakers Bureau.

But the video, made in 2004, tells a different story, straight from the horse’s mouth. Dr. Carson reached out to Mannatech and spoke with them directly about using their products, specifically with the doctor — “Dr. Reg”, Reg McDaniel — about the curative properties of glyconutrients. McDaniel can be seen In This Video claiming the products cured AIDS.

  • For those who may not remember: Armstrong Williams is the guy who was getting paid by the Bush Administration to write favorable news stories for President George W. Bush. As reported by the Washington Post.

Whatever Carson and Mannatech may claim, it is obvious from that 2004 promotional video they have deep ties to each other.

Then there is Carson’s claim of having an angry, violent childhood, with Carson punching a classmate in the face with a lock in his fist, leaving a big gash on the other kid’s head, attacking his own mother with a hammer, throwing a large rock at another kid, breaking his classes and nose, and at the age of 14 trying to stab a kid in the belly with a knife, but the blade broke off when it hit the belt buckle. In September, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Carson claimed he was “trying to kill someone.”

A couple of CNN producers did a little investigation, asking nine people who knew Dr. Carson when he was a kid. None of them could recall any angry or violent behavior by Carson. One man, who knew Carson while in the 9th grade, was almost shocked to hear the tale. Gerald Ware said of the alleged knifing incident, “It would have been all over the school” had it actually happened.

So, CNN reporter Alisyn Camerota asked Carson about that. Carson’s response: “This is a bunch of lies attempting to say I’m lying about my history. I think it’s pathetic, and basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted.”

He told CNN, “‎Why would anybody know about, you know, private incidents like that? I was generally a nice person. It’s just that I had a very bad temper so unless you were the victim of that temper why would you know?”

Sure.

He then accused the press of being soft on both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Maybe he just missed the constant allegations of Obama being born in Kenya, of the president lying about his college career, the constant claims that the president is a secret Muslim, claims that the press initially investigated — and found were just untrue. Maybe he doesn’t recall the weeks and months the media agonized over Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers — even then vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin was going on about President Obama and Ayers. “Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?”

And yet right wing conspiracy nuts continued with the allegations of the president being born in Kenya (or elsewhere) and that he is a secret Muslim, long after they had been disproven, Donald Trump being chief among the birthers.

But he does have a point about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The press isn’t digging into her past: they’re just reporting on what the countless Congressional committees have been digging up, week after week, month after month, for the past 18 months. Can you say “Benghazi”?

Maybe Dr. Carson missed all of that. Maybe he missed the investigations during the Clinton Administration when Bill and Hillary were accused of all sorts of crimes, from insider trading to murder. The GOP and the press have been investigating Hillary Clinton for the past 20 years.

Facebook meme

Facebook meme

Carson has only been under scrutiny for a month and already he’s been caught in a number of lies. Unfortunately for the Democrats, sleepy Carson won’t be the GOP nominee for president.

The doesn’t stop his supporters right now though. As far as they are concerned, the so-called liberal media is picking on Ben Carson so he is getting millions in donations, as reported by Fox News, an ardent supporter of Carson.

Just for yucks, let’s just go along with the conspiracy theory that the press is taking it easy on Obama and Clinton, that poor Dr. Carson is getting picked on by that evil mainstream media. Would that justify him being such a bald-faced liar? Well, okay, he has a goatee, but nonetheless, if the press had actually given Obama a pass and is giving Hillary Clinton a pass, does that mean Ben Carson gets to lie his way through his campaign and not be questioned about his little … transgressions? If that’s true, then what’s the moral value this so-called Christian is exhibiting?

So let’s just end with this: Ben Carson’s theory on why the ancient Egyptian pyramids exist: according to Dr. Ben Carson, the Old Testament character Joseph had the pyramids built to store grain. Despite the overwhelming evidence — much of it provided by the ancient Egyptians themselves — that the pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs.

Let that sink in for a bit …

It would be so much fun if Ban Carson got the nomination.

 


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that. Contact the author.
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