No Comment — November 5, 2007, 2:07 am

‘We Do Not Torture’: The Lies Started in 1967

New York Times, “Branding Rite Laid to Yale University,” Nov. 8, 1967

NEW HAVEN, Nov. 7–A Yale fraternity accused by the student newspaper of
burning its initiates with a brand will have its fate decided Friday by student fraternity leaders.

The fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, could face the temporary closure of its
house and a $1,000 fine resulting from alleged violations of rules
previously passed by the Inter-Fraternity Council, which consists of Yale’s
five fraternity presidents.

The charges against Delta Kappa Epsilon were made last Friday in a Yale
Daily News article that accused campus fraternities of carrying on “sadistic
and obscene” initiation procedures.

The charge that has caused the most controversy on the Yale campus is that
Delta Kappa Epsilon applied a “hot branding iron” to the small of the back
of its 40 new members in ceremonies two weeks ago. A photograph showing a
scab in the shape of the Greek letter Delta, approximately a half inch wide,
appeared with the article.

A former president of Delta said that the branding is done with a hot
coathanger. But the former president, George Bush, a Yale senior, said that
the resulting wound is “only a cigarette burn.”

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

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