You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ben Carson: The Yale Tale Grows - Does His Nose?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/11/2015 Bernie Shine

Yesterday I wrote a piece entitled "Ben Carson: A Whale of a Tale at Yale," regarding a story he told in his 1990 autobiography Gifted Hands, in which he related the following anecdote :

Lack of funds wasn't my only worry that day, however. The day before I'd been informed that the final examination papers in a psychology class, Perceptions 301, "were inadvertently burned." I'd taken the exam two days earlier but, with the other students, would have to repeat the test.
And so I, with about 150 other students, went to the designated auditorium for the repeat exam.
As soon as we received the tests, the professor walked out of the classroom.
Before I had a chance to read the first question, I heard a loud groan behind me.
"Are they kidding?" someone whispered loudly. As I stared at the questions, I couldn't believe them either. They were incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Each of them contained a thread of what we should have known from the course, but they were so intricate that I figured a brilliant psychiatrist might have trouble with some of them.
"Forget it," I heard one girl say to another. "Let's go back and study this. We can say we didn't read the notice. Then when they repeat it, we'll be ready." Her friend agreed, and they quietly slipped out of the auditorium.
Immediately three others packed away their papers. Others filtered out. Within ten minutes after the exam started, we were down to roughly one hundred. Soon half the class was gone, and the exodus continued. Not one person turned in the examination before leaving.
I kept working away, thinking all the time, How can they expect us to know this stuff? Pausing then to look around, I counted seven students besides me still going over the test.
Within half an hour from the time the examination began, I was the only student left in the room. Like the others, I was tempted to walk out, but I had read the notice, and I couldn't lie and say I hadn't. All the time I wrote my answers, I prayed for God to help me figure out what to put down. I paid no more attention to departing footsteps.
Suddenly the door of the classroom opened noisily, disrupting my flow of thought. As I turned, my gaze met that of the professor. At the same time I realized no one else was still struggling over the questions. The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"A hoax," the teacher said. "We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class." She smiled again. "And that's you." The professor then did something even better. She handed me a ten-dollar bill.

Saturday the conservative Wall Street Journal casted doubt on the incident, noting, "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."
Sunday Carson was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and claimed his camp has found a story in the Yale Daily News about the incident. He also appeared on CBS's Face the Nation, and stated ". . . we were able to find the article. And it will be coming out within the next day or two showing what happened with that psychology course."
Carson has posted this on his facebook page:
On Saturday a reporter with the Wall Street Journal published a story that my account of being the victim of a hoax at Yale where students were led to believe the exams they had just taken were destroyed and we needed to retake the exam was false. The reporter claimed that no evidence existed to back up my story. Even went so far as to say the class didn't exist.
Well here is the student newspaper account of the incident that occurred on January 14, 1970.
Will an apology be coming. I doubt it.

Here's the accompanying article Carson posted:

I too doubt the WSJ will make any apology, as none is required by them to Carson. Perhaps one should be going in the other direction.
The article Carson posted neither supports his bizarre account of his involvement in this hoax, nor does it contradict anything the Wall Street Journal said in their article.

Here are some simple questions for the good Dr. Carson:
1. Where are you named and where is your photo in the article?
2. Where is any reference to a psychology class entitled "Perceptions 301?"
3. Where is there any mention of everyone walking out except you?
4. The article only mentions "several students" attending; how did you arrive at your number of "about 150 other students" being there?
5. Out of your entire class of about 150, were you the only honest student? (That doesn't speak very well of the other Yale students, does it?)
6. What does any of this have to do with your honesty?
I have never taken a course called "Perceptions 301," but there is one thing I do perceive-- there is a definitely a hoax somewhere in this matter.
"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - Abraham Lincoln

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon