Lies by Brianna Wu
- This is my attempt to point out the various contradictions in Brianna Wu's narrative of her life in the beginning of the previous decade.
- 1) Contradictions in Brianna's story of how she came to change to her political views:
- Brianna's recounting of her early adult years is a road to Damascus type of story. She tells of growing up in an ultra-conservative wealthy family in Mississippi, working for the Republican Party in DC in her early twenties and becoming a left-winger later on after realizing the error of her ways. The various retelling of this tale by Brianna follow this same key plotline but differ in several key deatails. To start with, what was the catalyst for the radical shift in Brianna's views?
- Brianna's first answer to this question was written on September 2006 in susans.org, a forum for transexuals:
- "In 2002, I found myself working for the Republicans in the Senate in DC. Then, the best thing that ever happened in my entire life happened - I was nearly beaten to death in a brutal mugging 2 weeks after we invaded Iraq. They told me I'd never function fully again.
- "The experience and subsequent therapy radically changed my belief systems. Now handicapped, I began to understand that not everyone experienced the world as rich, Christian, white, and male. Over time, I became an agnostic hard-core liberal that understood everything I'd believed for my whole life was a lie." (https://archive.is/A88JN#selection-735.131-722.14)
- She told a similar yet different tale on a livejournal post from Janauary 2008:
- "I was raised in an extremist sect of Christianity for the rich and privileged. My parents were products of integration in the racist South, although they didn't know it. I was raised to believe that the poor in our society had themselves to blame, and that blacks needed to act like whites in order to get ahead.
- "This fantasy-plex worldview continued for me until I was about 22. A near-fatal accident left me largely unable to function. I spent over a year without the ability to control my hands enough to write, and sleeping 14 hours a day as my brain worked to heal itself. It was hard to see at the time, but this was one of the most important things that ever happened to me.
- "The experience taught me that, as a society, we're all in this together - and we have a moral responsibility to help our fellow man. This doesn't mean through meaningless rhetoric, it means through taxes, equal access to economic institutions and laws to enforce these goals, when necessary." (https://archive.is/jGsZc#selection-409.74-417.292)
- Notice that already here we see a discrepancy. In the first version of the story the near-death event was an assault; in the second it is described as an accident, suggesting it was not caused by human malice. Near-death events are completely absent in later retellings by Brianna of how she changed her views. As told on Wu's own website:
- "At the age of 23, she decided to move to DC and work in politics for the Republican party — despite having no job leads. She threw everything she owned in her car and kept applying until she found work doing constituent services and fundraising. Wu has frequently spoken about this time period leading to a strong shift in her political views. Seeing the way the Republican party operated was in stark contrast to the ideals of the Republican party she saw stated on Fox News. By 26, she left DC disgusted — and decided to finish her undergraduate degree at the University of Mississippi.
- "By 2004, Wu was extremely frustrated with the Bush administration, and started reading books by prominent liberals reevaluating her beliefs. She spent 2004 campaigning heavily for John Kerry." (https://archive.is/jxNV6#selection-159.0-163.191)
- Here's the version of the story as was told by Brianna to the magazine Fast Company:
- "She left school the first time to start her own video animation company, came back, and dropped out for good in 2001 after getting swept up in the excitement surrounding George W. Bush's election as president. Her parents were big donors, and they got her a ticket to an inaugural ball. That led to a stint working in Washington--long enough to become disillusioned with Republican politics as well as dangerously dependent on Ambien, a sleep aid." (https://archive.is/dUdC4#selection-2035.98-2035.546)
- These versions of the story imply that all that Brianna needed in order to leave the Republican party was to see for herself how it actually operated, even though her previous stories say that Brianna needed to experience a near-death event for her views to change.
- It should also be noted that even when Brianna claimed of having been assaulted she was inconsistent when providing dates for the alleged assault. In a short text she wrote about the assault she mentioned it as having occured on 20002 (https://archive.is/zciv2#selection-9.13061-9.13137). Yet on susans she described it as having occured two weeks after the beginning of the Iraq War (https://archive.is/A88JN#selection-735.204-735.397) which started in March 2003.
- 2) Contradictions in Brianna's stories about her ambien addiction:
- In September 2006 Brianna wrote:
- "In 2002, utterly broken from the highly traumatic experience of nearly dying, I spent three months in a $40,000 intensive therapy program. The program was in Hattiesburg Mississippi, and was called the Professional Enhancement Program, P.E.P. for short. It involved living in a cheap apartment complex the hospital rented and participating in 10 hours of group therapy a day.
- "Most of the people in this program were substance abusers, but my reason for needing $40,000 of therapy was a lifetime of knowing I was transsexual and hiding it." (https://archive.is/qPGMy#selection-819.2-823.165)
- There's a facility in Hattiesburg called Pine Grove which offer PEP (https://archive.is/F7h6S), the same program Wu is referring to. Wu would later on admit that she treated at that facility for ambien addiction (https://archive.is/dUdC4#selection-2035.386-2035.712), contradicting her above claim that she was treated there for problems not realted to substance abuse.
- When was the onset of Brianna's addiction? In a livejournal post from November 2007 she says that she's been running daily for almost five years (https://archive.is/wqDMI#selection-417.27-417.94), which would mean since around 2002/2003. This would also be the time in which Brianna's addiction ended, as she says she started running after beating ambien (https://archive.is/zciv2#selection-9.9077-9.9145). On two different occasions Brianna has described her ambien addiction as having lasted five years (https://archive.is/zciv2#selection-9.12975-9.13102 , https://archive.is/z78Iu#selection-2661.1-2661.94). So if the addiction ended in 2002/2003 and lasted for five years we are to deduce it started around 1997/1998. Yet Brianna told Fast Company the addiction started in 2001 (https://archive.is/qbQN1#selection-2701.27-2701.475); this is huge discrepancy.
- What about the durating of the addiction? As noted above, Wu told Fast Company that the addiction started at some point after GWB's inauguration.
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