IN OUR LAWLESS SOCIETY: ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM/FREEDOM OF SPECH—and so STAND WITH LANDEN GAMBILL—is reporting a rape on campus to be deemed “disruptive or intimidating behavior?” To the best of my knowledge, no one has questioned this young lady’s honesty, but a dishonest accusation should be the ONLY possible grounds for any accusation of “a violation of the Honor Code”

To the Administrators of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the litigants among the “Survivors of Sexual Violence” Civil Rights Action:
         I am a Tulane Alumnus, class of 1980—and I discovered this group cause in the U.C. Lobby on a recent visit to “the old school” campus in New Orleans of which I am so fond.  
        Since I left Tulane I earned both a Ph.D. and a J.D. from Harvard and the University of Chicago, respectively, clerked for two Federal Judges, and made many more enemies of Judges through Civil Rights Activism, ultimately leading to my disbarment but not to my retirement from civil rights crusades.    
       I would like to lend my support to SAPHE and Landen Gambill.  Mainly I do not understand what is going on very well, but from what I have read it sounds as though a severe injustice has been done.  
          The University of North Carolina is, of course, a branch of the State of North Carolina and so it is bound by the Incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment to respect the rights guaranteed by the First, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution.
         I am horrified that a student could, in this day and age, be accused of “disruptive or intimidating behavior” for reporting a crime.  I asked the students at the SAPHE desk in the University Center Lobby whether anyone had ever challenged Landen Gambill’s honesty or accuracy and was told “no.”
   Only a CONFIRMED, CLEAR and CONVINCING ACCUSATION OF DISHONESTY (which appears not to have been made by the alleged rapist or anyone else)  could possibly justify a charge of an “honor code violation”, whether at a private or public institution, if the word “honor” can have any meaning.* (but see note on “False Rape Culture” below—which I find less than a “clear and convincing” denial of anything—but more of a political rant about the possibility of false accusations, which are protected under the First Amendment and the Right to Petition.)
             Obviously, by threatening any sort of disciplinary action against a student for filing what she believes (and no one has challenged or questioned) to be a legitimate complaint of criminal conduct, the State Officials at the University of North Carolina are attempting to infringe upon Landen Gambill’s rights to freedom of speech and more importantly to PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES, broadly defined, under the First Amendment.  
             No exercise of First Amendment Freedom should ever be grounds for any sort of punishment, so Gambill’s right to substantive DUE PROCESS OF LAW under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments is also being violated here.
               I would further submit that the right of to speak out in any way regarding the injuries one has suffered is a fundamental right and power reserved to the people under the Ninth Amendment.
      Throughout my lifetime, the tortured question of relationship between the sexes has been evolving and changing.  Nothing is more essential (literally) to the preservation of our species on earth than a stable and successful relationship between men and women, but the competing philosophies and moralities of the “bad old world” and “brave new world” have left a tremendous amount of uncertainty and doubt in everyone’s mind about everyone’s status, standing, and situation.
           As I was commenting to one of the students at the SAPHE desk at the Tulane UC on Friday, there was a time when a woman’s deadly response to male rape or sexual assault was deemed praiseworthy and beyond reproach, much less prosecution, in the State of Texas and elsewhere throughout the South.  
          How have we come from that state of mind to this, where complaining of rape could be called “disruptive or intimidating behavior?”  
          I remain profoundly confused by the description of events.  If there is no charge of dishonesty, then Landen Gambill’s charges must be heard, and Landen Gambill is entitled to the full protection of the law afforded by the State of North Carolina.
            Obviously Landen Gambill’s fundamental federal rights are at stake here.  No rights are more important than the rights to control over one’s own body and “personal space”.  No situations in our radically disintegrating (i.e. diverse and non-uniform) society present more opportunities for abuse of each individual’s body and personal space than sexual relationships and dating situation.
              Because the old Victorian and pre-Victorian normative systems have collapsed and/or failed, all that remains for us today is the “social contract” which must be negotiated between individuals at all times and in all places.  
            Everyone bears the responsibility in society for maintaing the respect to be afforded each individual for his or her fundamental rights to personal integrity, but none bear this responsibility more than the administrators of the Universities and Colleges into which today’s youth go in major part for the purpose of adjusting to the normatively disintegrated society in which we live and discovering their own place—and the dimensions and boundaries of their place—in the remnants of society that now remain.
         To the Administrators of UNC-Chappel Hill I would say: The Fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution must inform all dialogue concerning individual rights and responsibilities, and above all the role of our institutions of higher learning in assuring the rights of each individual to speak and petition regarding the most intimate and difficult phases of human life, which for young people today, as much as in the time of Abelard and Heloise, is most endangered and “risky” in the College and University Setting.  I would also say: if you harbor any doubts about this woman’s veracity or honesty, you must be open and honest about your doubts and you must submit to a trial on the merits of the question—you might even want to initiate such a trial (with real rules and standards of proof, possibly even as a declaratory judgment in court) rather than standing spinelessly idle.

             To those who are plaintiffs in the Civil Rights Suit I would say this: your cause and claims for constitutional vindication just, but focus on the basic constitutional rights and not on the ephemeral modern civil rights statutes which pit one group against another.  The strength of your claim lies in reliance on the First Amendment and other parts of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Realize that by defining and describing your experiences in the uncertain and undefined world of modern moral uncertainty, ideally you are working towards the formulation of a new set of norms, of a new moral code where once again predictability and certainty will replace randomness and confusion.

I have found that standing up for the right to complain, to criticize, and to attack the system for offering remedies which do more harm than heal can be hazardous to one’s professional health and career.  It was only after filing a series of seven civil rights suits in Texas against an abusive police department in Travis County that certain judges found it more advantageous to attack me and slander me than to listen to me, but that quite simply has not stopped me.

So to Landen Gambill and all her supporters, I hope that you will find the strength similarly to persevere I your quest for justice and to demand redress of grievances concerning the system that purports to protect you when in fact it does not.

*(Note: Since writing the above, I found at least one male interest group which DOES not only strongly question but attack Landen Gambill’s honesty and reputation for truthfulness, regarding which doubts, whether clear and convincing or not, see:

            I have repeatedly written that we live in a lawless society—a society in which our values have become so “relative” and so “circumstantially dependent, that there is no longer any such thing as “right” or “wrong”.  And yet, Nietzsche notwithstanding, our world is not “Beyond Good and Evil.”   All that is constructive is good and all that is destructive is evil, and yet truth is ALWAYS good and lies are ALWAYS evil, even though truth can be used to destroy lives and societies while lies can be used to build careers, cultural monuments to the liars, deceitful empires, and unnecessary wars….
            The debate over the right to charge “rape” on a crowded campus may be one of the areas of lawlessness in America where abuse is not only possible but tolerated.  
           Nevertheless, we have to choose which type of error to make: the error where we repress legitimate complaints or the error where we allow false complaints (related to but not entirely co-extensive with the more serious philosophical and statistical problems sometimes referred to as errors of false affirmation or false negation).
       In the Arena of Freedom of Speech, it is my position that NO COMPLAINT should ever be suppressed; NO DIALOGUE should ever be silenced, and so I support Landen Gambill until and unless she is herself charged and proved criminally guilty of or held civilly liable for (a) defamation, (b) malicious prosecution, (c) conspiracy to commit either offense.
              About a decade ago, I lost custody of my only son, Charlie IV, because I continued (a) to listen to HIS complaints about his mother and her treatment of him and (b) accordingly continued to question his mother’s fitness and her psychological (and physical) treatment of him.  Judge Michael Jergins of the 395th District Court in Williamson County actually rendered an injunction against my ability ever to speak to my son regarding his own happiness, even during my own periods of custodial “possession”.   I investigated, and it turned out this was a standard order of his: he had a custom, practice, and policy of suppressing parents’ freedom to discuss the welfare of their children or to discuss family “issues” of any kind with their children.
              Since I absolutely refused to allow any judge to limit my speech, I was deprived of the right to see my son.  Eventually, my son sought me out and I took him to summer school at Harvard.  Then my son started college at St. John’s College in Annapolis after spending three summers with me. And then after one seemingly happy year, he turned on me, at his mother’s urging and indeed her insistence.
                My son refused to go for a summer abroad in Rome after I had paid his tuition and then abruptly dropped out of College and has come (now as an adult) under his mother’s complete and unfettered control, totally refusing any contact with me at all (and since he is an adult, I have nothing to say about his choice).  
             But I will say this, “In the best interests of the child” (as if that really were the purpose of Family Courts): I should have been allowed to maintain my complaints, especially since they were always based either on what I saw with my own eyes or what my son reported to me directly and graphically).  
          To suppress freedom of speech and the right to petition, either by injunction or to punish the exercise of these rights without appropriately clear and convincing findings of abuse, is to destroy every individual’s humanity.  To invoke the power of the state to limit by censorship or sanction by any means any one person’s ability to complain of perceived wrongs, especially by such a socially unusual and stigmatic sanction as expulsion from school, embodies the antithesis of the American ways of life and justice (but do see the “False Rape Culture” article above regarding a contrary opinion).  
                Perhaps I was a reprehensible Father for listening to my son’s complaints about his mother which wee not only consistent with what I had seen his mother do but also consistent with what I had seen his mother and HER mother do to another male member of the family (my son’s Uncle George, who died in Cancun, Mexico, several years ago at the ripe old age of 51, basically abused and abandoned but totally controlled by his mother and sister—who coincidentally were my son’s grandmother and mother).  
               And perhaps Landen Gambill is a compulsive liar who continued to date a man who raped her on every date (as the “False Rape Culture”) article above suggests.   But even so, she must be allowed to speak.  My very guilty wife (my son’s mother) always remained silent, and never even so much as took the witness stand or wrote an affidavit to specifically deny the charges against her (which at one point included felony injury to a child).   Landen Gambill’s accused has likewise remained silent—and it is greatly to his discredit to do so.  
             In criminal courts and procedings we preserve the right to remain silent as sacrosanct and do not allow comment upon the maintenance of silence—but in all civil contexts, silence is confession.   The manufacturer falsely accused of making dangerous products who remains silent will lose.  The boyfriend falsely accused of raping and assaulting his girlfriend deserves precisely the same fate in a civil context.   

         Despite the possibility, whether it is a strong one or a weak one, that Landen Gambill has made false accusations of rape, I categorically refuse to withdraw anything that I wrote above about the way SAPHE at Tulane has presented Landen Gambill’s case, or my endorsement of her claim that the Administration must either listen to her or prove her wrong and lying by a preponderance of the evidence.  

            Where insufficient evidence exists for a criminal prosecution, but this much noise has been made, someone needs to file suit for declaratory judgment and a civil adjudication of the matter.

           A false accusation of rape is such an outrage, represents such “hubris” that for the male party involved not to respond by public action in his own vindication, with other values, such as that male’s honor and dignity, at stake, landen gambill must be accorded a presumption of truth.

         The First Amendment right to speak out (complain) and to petition for redress of grievances IS paramount.  If there is any insinuation of a “false rape culture”, it is because of the collapse of traditional morality, as I mentioned above: the death of the Victorian and Pre-Victorian standards and norms of sexual behavior and their replacement with, in essence, NOTHING except the power to negotiate and speak and discuss and define.  

              But if men are falsely accused, then they have to say so–and “act like men”—even if that itself is a victorian or even viking standard of honor.

           The  contrary article above on the “False Rape Culture” raises some disturbing but altogether unsubstantiated claims about why we should ignore Landen Gambill.  But the fact that a men’s activist group attacks her credibility does not automatically mean that Landen Gambill should be sanctioned for her complaints and freedom of speech, does it?  especially when her “silently” charged (presumably by now completely ex-) boyfriend has not stood up publicly to defend himself.   Our society and culture have indeed lost absolutely all integrity if even the falsely but very publicly accused center of a controversy remains silence.

         Supposedly, now, this “false rape culture” article says that she continued to date the man (boy?) whom she accuses of raping her—if true, that would indeed tarnish her credibility substantially.  But why then has the young man (boy?) in question not stood up for himself and cried “false”, “defamation”, “Malicious and perfidious lies”????   He has the same right to freedom of speech that Landen Gambill possesses.  I still find this entire story confusing in the extreme.  

           If a man can be publicly accused of rape and say nothing, i believe that  his silence constitutes a confession—either of guilt or of soulless, spineless indifference to the concept or Code of Honor.  “manhood should be made of sterner stuff”.   And for violations of this code of honor, there must be the sanction of enduring continuing complaints and accusations.

Charles Edward Lincoln, III

“Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint, und das mit recht, 
denn alles was entsteht, Ist werth daß es zu Grunde geht.”
Deo Vindice/Tierra Limpia

2 responses to “IN OUR LAWLESS SOCIETY: ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM/FREEDOM OF SPECH—and so STAND WITH LANDEN GAMBILL—is reporting a rape on campus to be deemed “disruptive or intimidating behavior?” To the best of my knowledge, no one has questioned this young lady’s honesty, but a dishonest accusation should be the ONLY possible grounds for any accusation of “a violation of the Honor Code”

  1. Charles, I saw this story regarding Wells Fargo and thought you might be interested:

    Wells Fargo Typo Victim Dies in Court

    • Charles Edward Lincoln III

      What have you been doing recently, Lucas? Call Gonzalo Diaz at 213-255-8806 or Amalia at 310-430-6936—they together are the “New Peyton”….

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