Dean Tong, MSc
February 9, 2014
Does it come as a surprise to anyone that twenty-two years after Woody Allen was accused of molesting his then 7 year-old adopted daughter Dylan (and exonerated) back in 1992, that he is now being accused of the same thing by the same accuser at the age of 28 in 2014? Really? Seriously? Was this case ever Dylan Farrow and by proxy back in '92 The State of Connecticut v. Woody Allen, or was it Mia Farrow versus her ex Woody Allen all along?
My first book, Don't Blame ME, Daddy was published by Hampton Roads in February of 1992 and chronicled the ease at which young children could talk about, and be conditioned to talk about events that never happened; especially sexual-related private parts touches during unsettled divorces and/or child custody battles. The book was reviewed by Gannett News, nationally, and included in same review was a correlation to the Mia Farrow - Woody Allen debacle.
Let's examine that. In 1991, The Washington Post reported that Allen adopted two of Mia Farrow's previously adopted children Dylan and Moses (then 13) after Farrow told a court he was an excellent father. Farrow discovered Allen had explicit photos of Soon-Yi Previn (whom he would later marry), an adult at the time and the daughter of Farrow's estranged husband Andre Previn.
The discovery of Previn's photos by Farrow so enraged her she sent Allen a Valentine's Day card with meat skewers stuck in some of the kids' chests and a steak knife plunged into her heart. In a 60 Minutes interview talking about "the card," Allen alleged Farrow made death threats against him and was literally fearful for his life.
In August of 1992, during the interim of protracted child custody negotiations between Farrow and Allen, Farrow accused Allen of molesting their 7 year-old adopted Dylan. And Farrow unilaterally videotaped Dylan's purported disclosures to her. Allegedly, Allen touched Dylan's private part. Allen told 60 Minutes weeks before the abuse allegations surfaced that Farrow told him "I have something very nasty planned for you."
A team of child abuse specialists from Yale-New Haven Hospital conducted a lengthy investigation and Dr. John Leventhal's hypothesis was that Dylan concocted the child sex abuse story or that Mia Farrow planted the child sex abuse seed in Dylan's mind. Litchfield, Connecticut State Attorney Frank Maco said there was probable cause to arrest Woody Allen, but it was never pursued. Perhaps the State did have probable cause based on the uncorroborated words from a suggestible 7 year-old child, but they knew they couldn't obtain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt and that's why they dropped the ball. After all, didn't Mia Farrow have motive, method and opportunity to wield Dylan as a pawn, weapon and tool and falsely accuse Allen of molesting Dylan?
Fast forward to the present and ironically Dylan pens a sexual abuse recapitulation op-ed letter to her mother's friend's blog (that of Nicholas Kristof) in the New York Times. Almost as swiftly as Dylan's letter was published re-alleging Allen's guilt, Woody Allen's adopted son Moses publicly claimed his father was innocent and did not do what his sister alleged.
But, what you haven't read is perhaps just as interesting (and twisted) as what you have read. And what you haven't read about or heard about are the therapy sessions Dylan has gone through since childhood. It's not uncommon in cases like this one for a false, delusional or mistaken accuser to enter a Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (SATP). And it wouldn't surprise me if, part and parcel to Dylan's recent authorship of her op-ed piece to the New York Times, that same was goaded by the large dose of Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) she's been receiving probably for the past several years now. As an adolescent to adult and beyond, I'm betting Dylan sought treatment (upon her mother's provocation to do so) with a trauma therapist or multiple trauma therapists. And upon intake and beyond, these therapists would employ Trauma Focused - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as modalities to positively reinforce Dylan's (false) belief system that A) She was a victim of sexual abuse and B) Her father Woody Allen was the perpetrator of the same. Although no judge or jury found Woody Allen guilty of sexually abusing Dylan, I'm betting she has been treated by therapists and counselors as if she was abused and Allen did it.
There's empirical literature on what happens to non-abused children who've been treated as if they have in fact been abused. Scientific studies such as Rethinking Psychotherapy for Sexually Abused Victims and The Effects of False Accusations Upon Children and Families are but a few of the same. Positive reinforcement therapy is a commonly used technique in America's mental health industry, and it's big business. It creates victims and perpetuates already victimized clients.
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If Dylan's letter was intended to launch a tort civil rights lawsuit against Allen for monetary damages, I hope she first investigated the Statute of Limitations tolling/filing time. I'm sure Woody Allen will defend his reputation and good name, and launch a counter attack, if necessary. But, make no mistake. As an expert in courts of law on these cases, I'm not allowed to offer an opinion on the ultimate issue (Rule 704). But, I'm not in a court of law, but the court of public opinion, here. And my opinion is Woody Allen is Not Guilty.
[Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney. He is not licensed to give legal advice and nothing herein should be construed to be legal advice. If you need legal assistance please consult with an attorney in your area by checking here.]