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´╗┐Title: Pathology of Lying, Accusation, and Swindling: A Study in Forensic Psychology
Author: Healy, William, Healy, Mary Tenney
Language: English
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``Bonus et sapiens et peritus utilitatis dignitatisque civilis.''


This volume is one of a series of Monograph Supplements to the
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.  The publication of the
Monographs is authorized by the American Institute of Criminal
Law and Criminology.  Such a series has become necessary in
America by reason of the rapid development of criminological
research in this country since the organization of the Institute.
Criminology draws upon many independent branches of science, such
as Psychology, Anthropology, Neurology, Medicine, Education,
Sociology, and Law.  These sciences contribute to our
understanding of the nature of the delinquent and to our
knowledge of those conditions in home, occupation, school,
prison, etc., which are best adapted to elicit the behavior that
the race has learned to approve and cherish.

This series of Monographs, therefore, will include researches in
each of these departments of knowledge insofar as they meet our
special interest.

It is confidently anticipated that the series will stimulate the
study of the problems of delinquency, the State control of which
commands as great expenditure of human toil and treasure as does
the control of constructive public education.

Editor of the Journal of Criminal       COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION
  Law and Criminology,                  OF THE
  Northwestern University.              AMERICAN INSTITUTE
  Northwestern University.              LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY.
  University of Illinois.


Careful studies of offenders make group-types stand out with
distinctness.  Very little advancement in the treatment of
delinquents or criminals can be expected if typical
characteristics and their bearings are not understood.  The group
that our present work concerns itself with is comparatively
little known, although cases belonging to it, when met, attract
much attention.  It is to all who should be acquainted with these
striking mental and moral vagaries, particularly in their
forensic and psychological significances, that our essay is
addressed.  In some cases vital for the administration of
justice, an understanding of the types of personality and of
behavior here under discussion is a prime necessity.

The whole study of characterology or the motivation of conduct is
extremely new, and there are many indications of immense values
in uncovered fields.  Some appreciation of this fact may be
gained from the following pages which show the possibility of
tracing one form of behavior to its source.

We have laid under contribution practically the entire literature
on the subject, almost none of which is in English, and also the
thorough-going longitudinal case studies made by the Juvenile
Psychopathic Institute of Chicago.  In the latter material there
was found much of value bearing upon the subject of lying, false
accusation, and swindling of pathological character.

Our institute, later taken over officially by the Juvenile Court
of Cook County, was for five years maintained upon a foundation
provided by Mrs. W. F. Dummer.


     June, 1915.






Through comparison of the literature on pathological lying with
our own extensive material we are led to perceive the insistent
necessity for closer definition of the subject than has been
heretofore offered.  Reasons for excluding types earlier
described as pathological liars will be found throughout our
work.  Better definition goes hand in hand with better
understanding, and it is only natural that formal, detailed
contemplation of the subject should lead to seeing new lines of

Definition:  Pathological lying is falsification entirely
disproportionate to any discernible end in view, engaged in by a
person who, at the time of observation, cannot definitely be
declared insane, feebleminded, or epileptic.  Such lying rarely,
if ever, centers about a single event; although exhibited in very
occasional cases for a short time, it manifests itself most
frequently by far over a period of years, or even a life time.
It represents a trait rather than an episode.  Extensive, very
complicated fabrications may be evolved.  This has led to the
synonyms:--mythomania; pseudologia phantastica.

It is true that in the previous literature, under the head of
pathological liars, cases of epilepsy, insanity, and mental
defect have been cited, but that is misleading.  A clear
terminology should be adopted.  The pathological liar forms a
species by himself and as such does not necessarily belong to any
of these larger classes.  It is, of course, scientifically
permissible, as well as practically valuable, to speak of the
epileptic or the otherwise abnormal person through his disease
engaging in pathological lying, but the main classification of an
individual should be decided by the main abnormal condition.

A good definition of pathological accusation follows the above
lines.  It is false accusation indulged in apart from any obvious
purpose.  Like the swindling of pathological liars, it appears
objectively more pernicious than the lying, but it is an
expression of the same tendency.  The most striking form of this
type of conduct is, of course, self-accusation.  Mendacious self-
impeachment seems especially convincing of abnormality.  Such
falsification not infrequently is episodic.

The inclusion of swindling in our discussion is due to the
natural evolution of this type of conduct from pathological
lying.  Swindling itself could hardly be called a pathological
phenomenon, since it is readily explicable by the fact that it is
entered into for reasons of tangible gain, but when it is the
product of the traits shown by a pathological liar it, just as
the lying itself, is a part of the pathological picture.  It is
the most concrete expression of the individual's tendencies.
This has been agreed to by several writers, for all have found it
easy to trace the development of one form of behavior into the
other.  As Wulffen says, ``Die Gabe zu Schwindeln ist eine `Lust
am Fabulieren.' ''  Over and over again we have observed the
phenomenon as the pathological liar gradually developed the
tendency to swindle.

Notwithstanding the grave and sensational social issues which
arise out of pathological lying, accusation, and swindling, there
is very little acquaintance with the characteristics of cases
showing this type of behavior, even by the people most likely to
meet the problems presented.  Lawyers, or other professional
specialists have slight knowledge of the subject.  Perhaps this
is due to the fact that the pathological lying does not follow
the usual lines of abnormal human behavior, unless it be among
the insane where other symptoms proclaim the true nature of the
case.  Another reason for the slight acquaintance with the
subject is the fact that almost nothing has been written on it in

The important part which behavior of this type sometimes plays in
court work is witnessed to by the records of our own cases as
well as those cited in the previous literature.  The legal issues
presented by pathological lying may be exceedingly costly.  These
facts make it important that the well-equipped lawyer, as well as
the student of abnormal psychology, be familiar with the
specific, related facts.  For such students the cardinal point of
recognition of this class of conduct may at once be stated to be
its apparent baselessness.

The only method by which good understanding may be obtained of
the types of personality and mentality involved in pathological
lying, accusation, and swindling, as well as of the genetics of
these tendencies, is by the detailed reading of typical case
histories.  In this fact is found the reason for the presentation
of this monograph.  Appreciation of the nature of the phenomena
can only be obtained through acquaintance with an entire career.
Any of us may be confronted by fabrications so consistent as to
leave at one or several interviews the impression of truth.

Our selection of literature to summarize needs no explanation.
We have simply taken all that we could find which specifically
bears on the problem.  Lying, in general, especially as a form of
delinquency, has received attention at the hands of some authors,
notably Ferriani[1] and Duprat.[2]  The falsifications and
phantasies of children and adolescents have been dealt with by
Stanley Hall.[3]  None of these goes into the important, narrower
field with which we are here concerned.  The foreign literature
is vitally important in its opening up of the subject, but from
the standpoint of modern psychopathology it does not adequately
cover the ground.

[1] Ferriani, Lino, ``L'Enfance criminelle.''  Milan, 1894.
(Trans. Minderjahrige Verbrecher.  Berlin, 1896.)

[2] Duprat, G.-L., ``Le mensonge.''  Alcan, Paris, 1903.

[3] Hall, G. Stanley, ``Children's Lies.''  Amer. Journal of
Psychology, Jan. 1890; pp. 59-70.

The fabrications, often quite clever, of the clearly insane,
which in earlier literature are confounded with pathological
lying, we have discriminated against as not being profitable for
us to discuss here, while not denying, however, the possibility
in some instances of lies coexisting with actual delusions.  We
well remember a patient, a brilliant conversationalist and letter
writer, but an absolutely frank case of paranoia, whom we had not
seen for a period during which she had concocted a new set of
notions involving even her own claim to royal blood, confronting
us with a merry, significant smile and the remark, ``You don't
believe my new stories, do you?''

A short statement on the relation of lying to delinquency may be
of interest here.  Ferriani's discussion[4] of the lying of 500
condemned juvenile offenders, with classification of their lies,
ranging from self-defense, weakness, and fancy, to nobility of
purpose, does not include our field.  Nor does he leave much room
for appreciation of the fact we very definitely have observed,
namely, that plenty of young offenders are robust speakers of the
truth.  Our analysis[5] of the delinquencies of 1000 young
repeated offenders carefully studied by us does not tell the
proportion of truth tellers as distinguished from liars, but it
does give the number in which lying was a notable and excessive
trait.  The total number of males studied was 694, of females
306.  Ages ranged from 6 to 22; average about 16 years.

[4] loc. cit.

[5] Vide p. 140, in chapter on Statistics, William Healy, ``The
Individual Delinquent.''  Little, Brown, and Co.  Boston, 1915.

                                              MALES      FEMALES

Lying--counted only when excessive and a       104        80
notorious characteristic of the individual,    (15%)     (26%)

False accusations--only recorded when of an      5        16
excessive and dangerous sort,                  (.7%)     (5%)

The exact number of pathological liars is not determinable in our
series because of the shading of this lying into other types.  It
would be safe to say that 8 or 10 of the 1000 were genuine cases
of pathological lying according to our definition, that 5 more
engaged in pathological false accusations without a notorious
career in other kinds of lying.  Examples of borderline mental
cases showing fantastic lying and accusations are given in our
special chapter.  Some of the cases of pathological lying given
in this work do not belong to the series of 1000 cases analyzed
for statistical purposes.  The extraordinary number of times
several of these individuals appeared in court (resembling in
this respect the European case histories) shows that the total
amount of trouble caused by this class is not in the least
represented by their numerical proportion among offenders.

We have purposely limited our own material for presentation.
Here, as elsewhere, we insist on the value of genetics and
consequently have busied ourselves at length with those cases
where we could gain something like an adequate conception of the
antecedents in family and developmental histories and where some
measure of the psychogenetic features could be taken.  Cases of
older individuals with their prolonged and often picturesque
careers, equivalent to those recounted in European literature, we
have left strictly alone.  One ever finds that the older the
individual the less one can learn satisfactorily of beginnings of
tendencies, just on account of the unreliability of the principal
actor in the drama.  The cases of older swindlers at first sight
seem to offer much for the student of criminalistics, if only for
purely descriptive purposes, but in the literature we have failed
to find any satisfactory studies of the formative years of such
careers.  By taking instances of younger pathological liars, such
as we have studied, the natural progress into swindling can be
readily seen.

In court work we have been brought face to face with many cases
of false accusation and, of course, with plenty of the usual kind
of lying.  Where either of these has been entered into by way of
revenge or in belief that it would aid in getting out of trouble,
no further attention has been paid to it from the standpoint of
pathological lying.  Our acquaintance with some professional
criminals, particularly of the sneak-thief or pick-pocket class,
has taught us that living conditions for the individual may be
founded on whole careers of misrepresentation and lies--for very
understandable reasons.  Self-accusations may sometimes be
evolved with the idea of gaining directly practical results, as
when a lover or a comrade is shielded, or when there is danger of
a larger crime being fastened on the self-incriminator.

In selection and treatment of our material we have confined
ourselves as closely as possible to the definition first given in
this chapter--a definition that after some years of observation
we found could be made and held to.  While we would not deny that
some of our cases may eventually find their way into an insane
hospital, still none of them, except some we have enumerated
under the name of border-line types, has so far shown any
indication of this.  That some of our cases have more or less
recovered from a strongly-marked and prolonged inclination to
falsify is a fact of great importance for treatment and

We see neither reason for including insane cases nor for
overlapping the already used classifications which are based on
more vital facts than the symptom of lying.  Our use of abnormal
cases in our chapter, ``Illustrations of Border-Line Types,''
will be perfectly clear to those who read these cases.  They
represent the material not easily diagnosed, sometimes after long
observation by professional people, or else they are clearly
abnormal individuals who, by the possession of certain
capacities, manage to keep their heads well above the level of
social incompetency as judged by the world at large.

We have introduced only the cases where we have had ample proof
that the individual had been given to excessive lying of our
peculiar type.  In the court room and working with delinquents
outside the court, it is in rare instances totally impossible to
know where the truth finally rests; such have been left out.
Then, too, we omit cases in which false accusations have about
them the shadow of even a suspicion of vindictiveness.  False
accusations of young children against parents would hardly seem
to have such a basis, and yet in some instances this fact has
come out clearly.  Grudge-formation on the part of young
individuals has all through our work been one of the
extraordinary findings; capacity for it varies tremendously in
different individuals.

Several forms of excessive lying, particularly those practised by
children and adolescents, are not discussed by us because they
are largely age phenomena and only verge upon the pathological as
they are carried over into wider fields of conduct.  The
fantasies of children, and the almost obsessional lying in some
young adolescents, too, we avoid.  There is much shading of
typical pathological lying into, on the one hand, the really
insane types, and, on the other hand, into the lying which is to
be explained by quite normal reactions or where the tendency to
mendacity is only partially developed.

It has been a matter of no small interest to us that in planning
this monograph we conceived it necessary to consider part of our
material under the head of episodic pathological lying and that
later we had to omit this chapter.  Surely there had been
cases--so it seemed to us at first--where purposeless lying had
been indulged in for a comparatively short time, particularly
during the adolescent period, without expression of a
prevaricating tendency before or after this time.  When we came
to review our material with this chapter in mind we found no
sufficient verification of the fact that there was any such thing
as episodic pathological lying, apart from peculiar
manifestations in cases of epilepsy, hysteria, and other mental
abnormalities.  A short career of extensive lying, not
unfrequently met with in work for juvenile courts and other
social agencies, seems, judging from our material, to be always
so mixed up with other delinquencies or unfortunate sex
experiences that the lying, after all, cannot be regarded as
purposeless.  It is indulged in most often in an attempt to
disguise undesirable truths.  That false accusations and even
self-accusations are engaged in for the same purpose goes without
saying.  The girl who donned man's clothes, left home and lived
for months a life of lies was seeking an adventure which would
offset intolerable home conditions.  The young woman who after
seeing something of the pleasures of the world was placed in a
strict religious home where she told exaggerated stories about
her own bad behavior, was endeavoring to get more freedom
elsewhere.  A young fellow whom we found to be a most persistent
and consistent liar was discovered to have been already well
schooled in the art of professional criminalistic
self-protection.  So it has gone.  Investigation of each of these
episodic cases has shown the fabrications to emanate either from
a distinctly abnormal personality or to partake of a character
which rules them out of the realm of pathological lying.  In our
cases of temporary adolescent psychoses lying was rarely found a
puzzling feature; the basic nature of the case was too easily

A fair question to ask at this point is whether pathological
lying is ever found to be the only delinquency of the given
individual.  We should hesitate to deny the possibility of its
being the sole offense, but in our study of a long list of cases,
and after review of those reported by other authors, it seems
practically impossible to find a case of this.  The tendencies
soon carry the person over to the production of other
delinquencies, and if these do not come in the category of
punishable offenses, at least, through the trouble and suffering
caused others, they are to be regarded essentially as misconduct.

The reverse of the above question deserves a word or two of
attention; are there marked cases of delinquency which do not
show lying?  Surveying the figures of Ferriani[6] who enumerated
thousands of lies, belonging to his nine classes of
prevarications, which a group of 500 young offenders indulged in,
one would think that all delinquents are liars many times over.
But as a matter of fact we have been profoundly astonished to
discover that a considerable percentage of the cases we have
studied, even of repeated offenders, have proved notably
truthful.  Occasionally the very person who will engage in a
major form of delinquency will hesitate to lie.  Our experience
shows this to be less true, however, of sex delinquency than
perhaps of any other.  This statement is based on general
observations; the accurate correlations have not been worked up.
Occasionally the professional criminal of many misdeeds is proud
of his uprightness in other spheres of behavior, including
veracity.  But even here one would have to classify carefully,
for it is obvious that the typical swindler would find lying his
best cloak of disguise.  On the other hand, a bold safe-blower
may look down with scorn upon a form of criminality which demands
constant mendacity.

[6] loc. cit.

Realizing that pathological lying is a type of delinquency, and
following the rule that for explanation of conduct tendencies one
must go to youthful beginnings, we have attempted to gain the
fullest possible information about the fundamentals of
developmental and family history, early environment, and early
mental experiences.  Fortunately we have often been able to
obtain specific and probably accurate data on heredity.  The many
cases which have been only partially studied are not included.
Successive cross-section studies have been made in a number of
cases, and it has been possible to get a varying amount of
after-history.  Observational, historical, and analytical data
thus accumulated have given us a particularly favorable
opportunity for discerning the bases of this special delinquent
tendency.  The results of the various kinds of social treatment
which have been undertaken are not the least interesting of our

To enumerate the results obtained on the many mental tests given
in most cases seems quite unnecessary for the purpose of this
monograph.  We have referred to a few points of special interest
and rarely have designated the results on tests in our series.
In general, the reader probably will be better off with merely
the statement of the principal findings and of the mental

Of much interest for the present subject is the development of
psychological studies of testimony or report.  Because of the
natural expectation that the pathological liar might prove to be
an unreliable witness our studies on this point will be offered
in detail.  For years we have been giving a picture memory test
on the order of one used extensively abroad.  This ``Aussage''
Test is the one described as Test VI in our monograph on
Practical Mental Classification.[7]  More recently our studies on
the psychology of testimony have led us into wider fields of
observation, and here the group of cases now under discussion may
have to stand by themselves.  The picture, the record of
testimony on which is given in some detail in our case histories,
is that of a butcher's shop with objects and actions that are
universally comprehended.  After careful and fair explanation of
what is about to be undertaken, the picture is exposed for ten
seconds, and then the examinee is asked to give a free recital of
all he saw.  When he states that no more is remembered he is
questioned on omitted details.  (All told, there are about 50
details of varying importance in the picture.)  During the
progress of this part of the examination he is asked if he saw 7
objects which might well be in a butcher shop, but which are not
in the picture.  This is the test for susceptibility to
suggestion.  All points are carefully scored.  Norms on this
test, as on many others, it seems hardly fair to give by
averages--there is much variation according to mentality and even
personality groups.  Practically all of our cases of pathological
lying range above the age of young childhood, so it is not
necessary here to discuss the characteristics of young children's
testimony.  Perhaps it is sufficient to say that the ordinary
individual recalls voluntarily or upon questioning upwards of 20
items, and does not give incorrect items to any extent.  On
questioning he may perhaps accept one or two of the seven
suggestions, but when details in general are asked for he does
not add fictional items more than are accounted for by some
little slip of memory.  One can find definite types of
intellectual honesty, even among children of 10 or 12 years of
age, when there is no tampering with the truth; if an item has
not been observed, there is no effort to make it seem otherwise.
For discussion of the results on this test among our pathological
liars we refer to our chapter on conclusions.

[7] ``Tests for Practical Mental Classification,'' by William
Healy and Grace M. Fernald, Monograph No. 54. Psychological
Review Pub. Co., 1911, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J.

The short summary of causative factors given at the end of the
case study deals only with the factors of delinquency.  To avoid
misinterpretation of the coordinated facts, what they are focused
upon should ever be remembered.  The statement of these
ascertained factors brings out many incidental points which
should be of interest to lawyers and other students of

It should be needless to state to our professional readers that
the personalities represented in our case histories are entirely
fictitious, but that alterations have been made only in such
facts as will not impair scientific values.  We confess to no
particular pleasure in writing up this rather sordid material;
the task is undertaken because such studies offer the only way to
gain that better understanding which is necessary for adequate
treatment of special types of human beings.



The subject of pathological lying was first definitely brought to
the attention of the medical and legal professions by the studies
of Delbruck.[8]  The aim of this work was to follow the
development of a symptom but little commented upon up to this
time, a symptom, as he says, found in every healthy person in
slight degree, but in some cases rising to pathological
significance and perhaps dominating the entire picture of
abnormal traits--thus becoming pathognomonic.  This symptom he at
the outset calls lying.

[8] ``Die pathologische Luge und die psychisch abnormen
Schwindler.  Eine Untersuchung Uber den allmahlichen Uebergang
eines normalen psychologischen Vorgangs in ein pathologisches
Symptom, fur Aerzte und Juristen.''  Pp. 131, Stuttgart, 1891.

Through an elaborate and exhaustive investigation of the lies
told by five patients over a period of years, he came to the
conclusion that the form of falsifying in these cases deserves a
new and separate name.  It was not ordinary lying, or delusion,
or false memory, these words express only part of the conception;
hence he coined the new term, pseudologia phantastica, to cover
the species of lying with which he was concerned.  Later German
writers have also adopted his terminology.

To emphasize the method by which he arrived at this conclusion
and to gain at the same time some knowledge of the problems he
dealt with, we may review in bare outline his case-studies.

The first patient presented by Delbruck was an Austrian
maid-servant who in her wanderings through Austria and
Switzerland had played at various times the roles of Roumanian
princess, Spaniard of royal lineage, a poor medical student, and
the rich friend of a bishop.  Her lying revealed a mixture of
imagination, boastfulness, deception, delusion, and
dissimulation.  She romanced wonderfully about her royal birth
and wrote letters purporting to be from a cardinal to herself.
She fled disguised as a man from an educational institution to
Switzerland where her sex was discovered.  It appeared that she
was subject to contrary sex feelings and thought of herself as a
man.  She was under the observation of Krafft-Ebing at one time.
He considered it at least as a case of paranoia.  Others had
determined the girl to be a psychopath who indulged in
simulations and lies.  Delbruck denominated it a case of direct
lying with a tendency to phantasies, delusions, and
dissimulations.  Delbruck from this case argues that a mixture of
lies and delusions is possible, comparing such a state with
dreaming and with the hypnotic condition in which one follows the
suggestion of the hypnotizer and is still aware of the fact.  It
was evident at times that this girl half believed her own
stories, then again that she had forgotten her former lies.  In
her, Delbruck considers perverted sex feeling and hysteria
revealed a brain organization abnormal from birth.  There was the
instinctive tendency to lie.

The second patient, an epileptic girl, had been many times
imprisoned and also sent to the Charite for examination into her
sanity before Delbruck saw her.  Her peculiar method was to
approach strangers, claiming to be a relative coming from another
city to visit.  If cordially received she would stay as long as
her welcome lasted, then depart taking with her any of their
possessions her fancy chose.  Many prominent physicians examined
her and were unable to decide as to her responsibility; judges
and others said she was a willful deceiver, a refined swindler.
Delbruck, looking deeper, found that she was suffering from
hysteria, having hystero-epileptic seizures with following
delirium, or rather twilight states.  Though her delinquencies
seemed to show cunning and skill, a careful investigation
revealed the fact that this was merely aberrant.  Generally her
thieving was undertaken in feebleminded fashion; many times she
stole things worthless to herself.  Evidences of her pathological
mentality were that she would give orders for groceries, would
buy children's clothes, or send for a physician under an assumed
name.  She might not go back for the groceries, but after
ordering them would say she would return with the carriage.  The
characteristic fact throughout her career was that she wished to
appear to be some one wealthier, more influential than she was.
Delbruck classifies her as high-grade feebleminded, suffering
from convulsive attacks and peculiar states of consciousness,
with a morbid tendency to lying.  She possessed no power to
realize the culpable nature of her acts when she was performing

His third patient as a boy appeared normal both mentally and
physically.  In his youth he went through the gymnasium and then
studied theology.  He spent money very freely on clothing and
books, but at this period neither stole nor lied.  After
finishing his theological studies, he preached in his home town
and was regarded as a young man of great promise.  Then came a
change; he began to write strange letters, telling of some
positions offered him, he borrowed money freely from relatives
and friends who were willing to give because they believed in his
coming career.  When studied, it was concluded by Delbruck that
this was a case of constitutional psychosis, hysteria, moral
insanity, and psychopathy--all of these forms being interrelated.
Outside of masturbation, begun in early childhood and indulged in
excessively at times, no causal factors were discovered.  He
considered that this case offered a good illustration of the
peculiar coexistence of real lies and delusions in the same

His fourth case was that of an artful, deceitful, arrogant,
selfish boy, always clever in excuses, who had stolen from the
age of twelve, often stolen things that he threw away.  Though of
Protestant family, he delighted to draw Catholic insignia and
embroider religious characters.  He finally entered the
university, always lying and stealing.  At the end of three
months he was taken home in debt 2000 marks.  He later became a
Catholic.  Outside of normal expense he had cost his father
28,000 marks.  By the time he was studied he had already taken
opium for four years, having started because of neuralgia.  There
had been a severe operation on account of some trouble with the
teeth.  It was discovered that there was contrary sexual feeling
in this case also.  The patient had a great inclination for doing
woman's handwork.  Delbruck again considered the early appearance
of character anomalies and perverted sex feeling to prove a
deep-seated abnormality of nervous constitution.  He diagnosed it
as a case of constitutional psychosis; the extent of the
abnormalities showing the individual to be irresponsible.

His last patient was an alcoholic adventurer, early life unknown,
who had an idiotic sister.  He had lived long in America and
returned to Germany full of stories of his wonderful achievements
over seas.  This case does not concern us except to emphasize the
influence of alcohol in the development of such cases.

This outline is sufficient to show the justification of his
conclusion, namely, that just as in healthy people a mixing of
lies and mistakes may occur, so the same combination may reach a
pathological height, and one can diagnose a mixture of lies with
delusions or false memories.

These studies focus our attention on the following points which
are valuable to emphasize for the purpose of this monograph: the
complexity of details to be examined in the life of any one
patient in whose delinquencies pathological lying is a factor,
the variety of cases in which this factor may occur, hence the
difficulties in the way of determining the extent to which the
patient is responsible for his deeds and whether he belongs in a
reformatory or an insane hospital.  From the standpoint of
society Delbruck's work has great use, since it reveals so
plainly the menace that these liars are to their families and to
the community as a whole, their unscrupulousness in financial
dealings, their tendencies to bring false accusations involving
families and friends alike in useless expense and litigation.

German studies on pseudologia phantastica since Delbruck's time
have followed the line of amplification of his views and
clarification of the subject by the addition of new types.

Koppen[9] attempted to differentiate sharply and to analyze more
accurately the conception of the pathological lie.  He found it
impossible to make an absolute separation between pathological
lies and normal lies.  The lies of the mentally diseased are
seldom pathological.  They lie, but their lies do not differ from
those of the mentally sound.  We cannot call the results
delusional lies.  Among imbeciles we find a peculiar disposition
to lying, especially among those of criminal inclination.  Their
lies do not separate themselves either in content or in relation
to the rest of their ideas from the lies of the mentally
diseased.  Here follows his positive contribution to the
conception; the pathological lie is active in character, a whole
sequence of experiences is fabricated and the products of fancy
brought forward with a certainty that is astonishing.  The
possibility that the untruth may be at any minute demolished does
not abash the liar in the least.  Remonstrances against the lies
make no impression.  On closer inspection we find that the liar
is no longer free, he has ceased to be master of his own lies,
the lie has won power over him, it has the worth of a real
experience.  In the final stage of the evolution of the
pathological lie, it cannot be differentiated from delusion.
Pathological lies have long been credited to hystericals, they
are now known to arise in alcoholics, imbeciles, degenerates.
All pathological liars have a purpose, i.e., to decorate their
own person, to tell something interesting, and an ego motive is
always present.  They all lie about something they wish to
possess or be.

[9] ``Ueber die pathologische Lugner,'' Charite-Annalen, 8, 1898.
Pp. 674-719.

Koppen offers three case studies:  I.  A man who had suffered
from many epileptic seizures came from a family in which there
was insanity.  He gave himself many false titles, and from his
childhood pathological lying had been a prominent symptom.  As an
example, when he married against his father's will, he at the
wedding read a false dispatch, pretending it to be
congratulations from his family.  Koppen suggests that this
individual was incapable of meeting life as it really was and he
therefore wove a mass of phantasies.  II.  A young man charged
with grave falsifications.  He had come from an epileptic family
and himself had slight attacks in childhood.  He bore various
pathological stigmata.  Koppen considered that the patient
believed his own stories about his rather superior education and
that in general his lies became delusions which influenced his
actions.  He diagnosed the case as psychotic; insane in a legal
sense.  III.  A young man undoubtedly insane brought forward his
pathological lies with such force that Koppen was persuaded that
the patient believed in them.

Bernard Risch[10] has seen many cases of delinquents with more or
less marked psychopathic signs in which pathological lying was
the focal point.  He reports five cases at great length, in all
of whom the inclination to fabricate stories, ``der Hang zum
fabulieren,'' is irresistible and apparently not to be repressed
by efforts of the will.  Risch's main points, built up from study
of his cases, are worthy of close consideration:  1. Mental
processes similar to those forming the basis of the impulse to
literary creation in normal people lie at the foundation of the
morbid romances and fancies of those afflicted with pseudologia
phantastica.  The coercive impulse for self-expression, with an
accompanying feeling of desire and dissatisfaction, plays a
similar part in both.  That the making up of tales is an end in
itself for the abnormal swindler, just as it is for the normal
author, seems clear to Risch.  2. The morbid impulse which forces
``zum fabulieren'' is bound up with the desire to play the role
of the person depicted.  Fiction and real life are not separated
as in the mind of the normal author.  3. The bent of thought is
egocentric, the morbid liar and swindler can think of nothing but
himself.  4. There is a reduction of the powers of attention in
these cases; only upon supposition that this faculty is disturbed
can we account for the discrepancies in the statements of
patients.  One has the impression that their memory for their
delinquencies is not clear.  Careful investigation proves that
they do not like to remember them and this dislike has to be
overcome.  5. There is a special weakness in judgment, which for
general purposes is sound.  The train of thought is logical, but
in ethical discernment the lack appears.  The pathological liar
does not face openly the question of whether his lies can be seen

[10] `` `Ueber die phantastische Form des degenerativen Irrseins,
Pseudologia phantastica.''  Allgemeine Zeitschrift fur
Psychiatrie, 65, 1908, H. 4; pp. 576-639.

Then follows a closer analysis of the qualities possessed by
pathological liars: (a) Their range of ideas is wide.  (b) Their
range of interests is wider than would be expected from their
grade of education.  (c) Their perceptions are better than the
average.  (d) They are nimble witted.  Their oral and written
style is above normal in fluency.  (e) They exhibit faultiness in
the development of conceptions and judgments.  Their judgment is
sharp and clear only as far as their own person does not come
into consideration.  It is the lack of any self criticism
combined with an abnormal egocentric trend of thought that biases
their judgments concerning themselves.  (f) Psychic traumata
arise perhaps through a striking reaction in the emotional realm
towards external occurrences.  (g) Nearly all of Risch's cases
were burdened with bad inheritance.  He maintains that, above
all, these cases show instability and psychic excitability.  The
entire symptom complex arises upon a basis of degeneracy.

Essential similarities run through all of Risch's cases; it is
perhaps valuable here to cite a couple of them.  His Case I is
that of a soldier, who after being released from prison at 23
years had begun his military duty and in a short time attempted
suicide.  He was then studied for insanity.  It was found that he
gave long accounts of his experiences as a chauffeur, rendering
his story with fluent details about hairbreadth escapes and other
adventures.  He also told at length of his love affair with a
young girl.  These stories were discovered to be false from ``A
to Z''; he did not clearly remember them later.  The evolving of
such fabrications was all along one of his chief characteristics.
Examination showed no gross intellectual defect, but there were
certain psychopathic signs which had been displayed from early
childhood: he had little endurance and was unable to stand
criticism.  Emotions befitting his stories were correctly
expressed by him; there were no facial evidences of conflict or
discomfort.  It was impossible to tell from his physiognomy that
he was engaged in untruths.  Mentally he was well oriented and
his thoughts flowed in orderly sequence.  Despite rather limited
education he demonstrated very good style in his conversation and
his letters.  The train of thought was expressed coherently and
logically, so well that one could speak of him as having literary
ability.  Physically he was quite normal.  Investigation of
antecedents showed that he was born of an exceedingly nervous
mother (more exact diagnosis not given) and that he had a
feebleminded brother.  During his school career he was considered
to have quite fair ability.  He learned no trade, and after
stopping school would leave a position upon the slightest
provocation.  Before he was 23 he had been legally punished many
times for stealing and had spent, all told, over three years in
prison.  Once before he had attempted suicide.  After the
thorough study of him at 23 he was placed in an asylum.  There he
was occupied at basket weaving and was chiefly notable for
keeping up the characteristics that were peculiar to him before.
He continually lied and, indeed, seemed to get his main pleasure
out of telling fabulous stories to the other patients.

Case IV was a man of 31 years, a decorative painter by trade, who
presented himself at the states attorney's office and stated that
in a fit of jealousy he had shot and killed a man.  Taking up the
case it was soon found that this was quite untrue and that the
man was a chronic liar.  He seemed much astonished when he was
told that the man he claimed to have killed was still alive.
Further study of this self-accuser showed that he had been
punished by the law every year since he was 16.  His offenses
consisted of embezzling, theft, forgery, and swindling.  In all
he had served about 6 1/2 years.  His lying was so much a part of
his mental life that he seemed to be unable to discriminate
between his real and his fancied crimes.  He not only invented
stories, but was much inclined to play some role created by his
fancy.  There seemed to be a method in his cheating and swindling
which added to his undoubted pleasure in lying.  His peculiar
career was much furthered by the possession of a fluent style and
a good memory through which his creations were built up in most
plausible fashion.  He proved to be willingly introspective and
stated that his inclination to lie was a puzzle to him, and that
while he was engaged in prevarications he believed in them.  He
always was the hero of his own stories.  He further declared that
inner unrest and love of wandering drove him forth even when he
was living under orderly conditions.  He considered that his
feeling of restlessness was a weighty motive in the deeds for
which he had been punished.  At one time this man had simulated
attacks of epilepsy and attempted in connection with these to
swindle physicians and others.  His schooling had been continued
to the gymnasium, ``untertertia,'' then he had taken up his
trade.  His intelligence and memory were considered excellent.
He had an insane brother.

Vogt[11] has made a thorough analysis of six cases of
pathological liars, ranging from the very stupid to the
intelligent.  I. A girl, who had done poorly in school was unable
to hold a place and became a thief.  Her mother was epileptic.
Examination showed intelligence not equal to that of eight years
with moral inferiority on account of this weakness.  II. A
feebleminded girl of vacillating, weak judgment.  Father insane.
Her lies were marked by their fantastic nature.  III. Lively,
fanciful, unstable, hysterical girl.  Poor record at school.  IV.
Hysterical liar with peculiarities united with splendid mental
ability.  V. Unusually intelligent, 15 years old, illegitimate
child; normal mother who later had five sound children; father
drunkard.  Her lies were neither of suggested nor dreamy type,
they were skillfully dramatized means to an end in her fight for
social position.  In the psychiatric examination she was found
mentally normal.  VI. Girl thoroughly intelligent, good at
figures and puzzles, with no signs of degeneracy.

[11] ``Jugendliche Lugnerinnen.''  Zeitschrift fur Erforschung d.
jugend.  Schwachsinns., Bd. 3. H. 5. 1910; p. 465.

Vogt characterized the pathological lie as active, more
elaborately constructed, more inclusive, and leaving the ground
of reality more readily than ordinary lies.  Such lies he does
not always find egocentric.  To the pathological liar his own
creation is reality, so he walks securely, is open and amiable.
All these cases are gifted with lively imaginations and inclined
to autosuggestion.  Vogt calls the pathological lie a wish
psychosis.  This statement opens the way to an interesting and
valuable interpretation of the psychological significance of this
phenomenon of the mental life.  He finds many more girls than
boys among his cases; boys lie from need of defense and
protection, girls more from autosuggestion.  This type of lie is
of greater interest to social than to clinical psychology.  He
emphasizes the point that very refined and complicated lies
appear in healthy young people in the stress of difficult
situations.  Obstinate and stubborn lying of itself is no disease
among children; examination must reveal that the lie has a morbid

The resemblance of pathological lying to poetic creation was
first suggested by Delbruck[12] in a reference to Keller's ``Der
grune Heinrich,'' a German novel in which the lies of a boy of
seven years, lies of a creative type of the nature of retroactive
hallucinations, are described.  Hinrichsen[13] discusses at
length the resemblance of pseudologia phantastica to poetic
creation in Goethe, Grillparzer, Hoffman, and others.

[12] loc. cit.

[13] ``Zur Kasuistik und Psychologie der Pseudologia
phantastica.'' Arch. fur Kriminal Anthrop. umd Kriminalistik,

In an inaugural dissertation Anna Stemmermann[14] presents
exhaustively a series of cases.  These cases were studied over a
long period catamnestically.  Commenting upon one case she says:
It is worthy of note in this history that the patient in a
hypnoidal condition, with headache and flushed face, crochets in
a senseless way and thinks she is weaving a wreath for her
mother's grave, her mother being still alive.  We often meet with
actions like this.  Characteristic is the report of spontaneous,
fearful headache, without the patient's putting this in relation
to her peculiar behavior.  We lay more stress upon this condition
than has been done previously in the literature.  We believe that
this symptom is wanting in no classic case of pseudologia
phantastica.  Often in this condition of narrowed consciousness,
the daydreams are spun and have such a power of convincing that
they later make the basis for pathological lies and swindling.
In this hypnoidal state a strongly heightened suggestibility
exists and trivial external causes give daydreams their
direction.  The general trend of fancy reveals naturally the
inclinations and ideals of the affected individual.  Stemmermann
also maintained that the pathological lie is a wish psychosis.
Even outside of the hypnoidal state, these cases are more
suggestible than the general run of people.

[14] ``Beitrage und Kasuistik der Pseudologia phantastica.'' Geo.
Reimer, Berlin, 1906, pp. 102.

Of Stemmermann's own cases, ten in number, only four at most were
normally endowed, the remainder were either stupid or slightly
imbecile.  This agrees with the experience of previous writers.
Study of her cases showed that there was report of previous
mendacity, four had been liars from childhood.  She found in them
the combination of the general habit of lying underneath the more
accentuated form of pseudologia phantastica.  One case had
perverted sex feeling, one was a prostitute at sixteen years.

In her dissertation some points for the differentiation of the
pathological lie have been added to those offered by Delbruck,
Risch, Koppen, and Vogt.  The pathological liar lies, not
according to a plan, but the impulse seizes him suddenly.  This
propensity grows stronger.  Under strict supervision it comes to
only an abortive attack, similar to what happens in cases of
dipsomania, or of tendency to rove in which the repressed
outbreak expresses itself in tormenting psychical and physical
unrest.  While the normal liar and swindler is forced to be on
his guard lest he divulge something of the actual state of
affairs, and is therefore either taciturn or presents an evil and
watchful appearance, or, if a novice at his trade, is hesitating
in his replies, the pathological liar has a cheerful, open, free,
enthusiastic, charming appearance, because he believes in his
stories and wishes their reality.  The inconsequential way in
which such persons go to work is to be explained by the fact that
consciousness of the real situation is partly clouded in their
minds.  In any special act it is impossible to say whether the
consciousness of the lie, fancy, or delusion preponderates.
Inability to remember delinquencies Stemmermann regards also as
added proof of pathological lying.

She speaks of another class of prattlers, chattering people that
might be confounded with pathological liars from the stories they
tell in full detail.  But they have no system which they develop,
often change their subject and do not paint in a lifelike way
because they do not believe their own stories or live in them in
a self-centered manner.

Of the 17 cases Stemmermann studied from the literature
(Delbruck, Hinrichsen, Jorger, Redlich, Koelle, Henneberg ,
Wellenbergh) 10 were periodic.  Of her own 10 cases, 6 were
periodic.  Sex abnormalities were present in 5 out of the 17 in
the literature.  Among possible causes of pathological lying she
places any factor which narrows consciousness and increases
suggestion and weakness, such as pregnancy, overexertion, chronic
alcoholism, monotonous living, long, close work, head injuries.

Concerning prognosis she finds little detailed in the literature.
The general opinion is that such cases arising from a background
of degeneracy are incurable.  One of her cases was free from
attacks for two periods of three years each, and had been
blameless in an honorable position as editor for seven years at
the time of the publication of her monograph.  She suggests that
the profession he has chosen may be particularly suited to the
talents of the pathological liar.  She also ventures to state
that where pathological lying is merely an accompaniment of
puberty it may disappear.

The fact that so many of the cases cited by Stemmermann were
clearly abnormal and found places in insane asylums makes much
citation of them by us, in turn, hardly worth while.  However, a
short summary of a couple of her more normal cases will show the
problems and conditions as she found them.  I. Annie J., 19 years
old, father a tailor, had been employed in several places as a
servant.  Aside from the fact that it was stated she always had
an inclination to lie, nothing more was known about her early
life.  She complained of headaches and fainting attacks, and
mourned over the death of her fiance.  She said he had gone to
Berlin to learn tailoring and had died there of inflammation of
the lungs.  He left her 650 marks which her mother got hold of.
On investigation it was found that this man was still alive and
never had been engaged to her.  She then accused her mother of
taking 50 marks from her and said that a man, purporting to be
her real father, came from another town and told her she had been
brought up by foster parents.  Through the quarreling which arose
from these various stories Annie was taken before the police
physician and pronounced mentally unsound.  Then she told of
another engagement with the brother of her departed fiance, who
had discovered her real mother.  The latter was going to leave
her 30,000 marks.  He had formed a plot with the foster mother to
put Annie out of the way and to divide the money.  He followed
her on the street and threw a drugged cloth over her head.  She
fainted and was carried home.  She said she brought action for
attempt to murder.  (Whether this fiance and the rich mother were
real persons is not known.)  Later in the same year, Annie being
again at large, a new father, der Graf von Woldau, appeared and
bought her beautiful clothes costing 100 marks.  He wanted to
take her away, but quickly disappeared and was not seen again.
When Annie told this story she was employed by a woman who
attempted to get traces of the count, but failed.  Later this
employer missed a sum of money equivalent to that spent for the
clothes.  Annie's responsibility by this time was still more
questioned and she was sent to an insane asylum.  There she was
found normally oriented, orderly, industrious, but suffered from
periodical headaches.  When questioned in the asylum concerning
her tales she hesitated and would say, ``Now I believe them and
now I don't.''  It is remarkable in this case that her different
employers believed all her fabrications and took the girl's part
against the supposed offenders.  For a year she engaged in a sort
of orgy of pathological lying and then this phase of her career
stopped.  After a few months in the asylum she returned home and
later married.  The last report from her mother was that she was
nervous and easily excited, but showed no further signs of

II. This was a boy, Johann P., who was studied mentally first
when he was 16 years old.  A thoroughly good history was
forthcoming.  He was brought for examination on account of his
extreme changeableness, his failure in several occupations, his
tendencies to swindling and his extreme lying.  As a young child
his mother had to correct him much for prevarications.  Soon
after he was 9, when both his parents were already dead, he
forged a school certificate and was felt to be a bad influence in
the home of his guardian.  About that time he also stole money
from pockets on a number of occasions.  In school he was regarded
as an undesirable pupil on account of his underhanded behavior,
and one teacher who had observed him for long wrote that he
showed marked inclination towards lying.  At the time he was 15,
he was somewhat retarded in school life, but was told he had to
decide upon an occupation.  After a stormy period he announced he
would become a gardener.  After doing well for a month or so at
his first place he began to tell compromising stories about the
wife of his employer.  He gave himself out to be the son of a
general who was going to inherit a large sum of money.  On the
strength of this he managed to get hold of expensive articles he
desired.  A short time afterward he wrote to his guardian he was
fitted for higher pursuits than that of gardening.  Soon
afterward he ran away to a large town.  He now wrote that the
word freedom sounded like the sweetest music in his ears.  He
acknowledged that he had started on a career of criminality, but
decided to do better.  At this time he attempted to make his way
by offering his compositions at a newspaper office where they
were declined either because his productions were immature or his
authorship was doubted.  One editor loaned him some money, but he
got much more by representing himself to be a collaborator of
this editor.  He soon failed to make his way and attempted other
things, including entrance into the merchant marine.  He finally
turned up again at his guardian's house, and when his box was
opened it was found to contain a very curious lot of material
such as money accounts, business cards, letter heads, catalogues.
It was at this time that he was placed for observation in an
asylum and it was soon found that his alleged compositions were
plagiarized.  He claimed to suffer from headaches.  Outside of
that he was in fine physical condition.  He frequently wrote
sketches in proof of his ability.  A general statement was
finally made that he showed slight traces of hysteria, was a
sufferer from headaches, and showed periodic tendencies to
wandering and lying.  No special defect in the ethical
discriminations was present.  He had good insight into his own
tendencies.  He was finally released to his guardian, and
Stemmermann offered the prognosis that Johann might well develop
into a typical pathological swindler.  He came of a family of
five brothers and sisters, one of whom was incarcerated for a
year on account of stealing.  One sister was noted for her
tendency to prevarication.  Several of them were remarkably
unstable, at least early in life.  All of them are said to have
learned very unwillingly in school.  One brother of the father
was exceedingly nervous.

Jorger[15] presents a case of a boy of poor parents who was from
childhood possessed of the idea of becoming a teacher.  He was
always a solitary child, endowed with great religious fervor.  In
spite of poverty he obtained an education, studied the classics,
and did excellent work.  He developed early religious
eccentricities, became unsound on money matters, boasted of his
father's millions, spent freely as a benefactor, bought expensive
books.  Then developed an outspoken tendency to swindling.
Finally he was adjudged insane and committed to an asylum.
Commenting on this case, Jorger points out the marks of
abnormality from childhood, such as solitariness and religious
intensity.  He was above normal in intellectual ability, but
lacking in moral development.  He did not love parents, brothers,
sisters, or teachers; he was very egotistical.  Jorger defines
this as a case of constitutional psychosis.  When older,
pseudologia phantastica controlled him; it was like hypnotic
influence, his dreams of wealth were like paranoia.  His hypnotic
condition grew to such an extent that there was an interruption
of consciousness with following amnesia.

[15]``Beitrage zur Kenntnisse der Pseudologin phantastica.''
Viertel-jahrschrift fur gerichtliche Medicin und offentliches
Sanitatswesen, 1904 Bd. XXVII; pp. 189-242.

Henneberg[16] cites another case of a highly educated young man
who told wonderful stories in childhood and later obtained money
under false pretenses with elaborate deception.  From an
eccentric grandmother, and a mother who was very excitable and
suffered from hysteria, he inherited a nervous system which was
not calculated to bear the strain which his own overzealous
efforts in pursuing his studies and his spiritual exaltation put
upon it, hence the mental and moral breakdown.  This is a very
interesting case because it does not fit into the usual group of
pathological liars.

[16] ``Zur kasuistischen und klin.  Beurteilung der Pseudologia
phantastica.''  Charite-Annalen, XXV, XXVI.

Wendt[17] enlarges the field in which we may look for such cases.
He finds pseudologia phantastica a symptom, not only of hysteria,
alcoholism, paranoia, but also of sex repression, and
neurasthenia.  He takes a more philosophical view of the subject
than previous authors.  He understands by pseudologia phantastica
not merely the bare habit of telling fantastic lies, and what
they bring forth, but rather the yielding up of consciousness of
reality in the presence of the morbidly fantastic wish in its
widest consequences.  Since the wish in order to exist is not
permitted to lose entirely the conscious presentation of what it
hopes for, so memory and recognition of reality emerge
disconnected in consciousness, and a condition described as
double consciousness arises.  In this state of mind two forms of
life run side by side, the actual and the desired, finally the
latter becomes preponderant and decisive.  Such a psychic make-up
must lead unconditionally and necessarily to swindling and law
breaking.  A degenerative alteration furnishes the basis from
which a wish or wish-complex arises, increasing in force until it
becomes autosuggestion, hence it is pathological.  Then follow
the practical consequences, and we have developed, on the one
side, pathological lying, and, on the other, swindling, i.e.,
criminality.  Purely symptomatically pseudologia phantastica is
characterized by the groundlessness of the fabrications, the
heightened suggestibility of the patient, and in its wake arises
double consciousness and inadequate powers of reproduction of

[17] ``Ein Beitrag zur Kasuistik der Pseudologia phantastica.''
Allgemeine Zeitschrift fur Psychiatrie, LXVIII, Heft 4; pp.

Wendt gives at length the history of a precocious boy, the son of
an official of medical rank, who had lived always with older
people.  He lied from early childhood.  He was a chronic sufferer
from severe headaches.  Between the ages of 15 and 17 this boy
showed evidences of literary talent, but was poor in mathematics.
From a tender age he had an overmastering desire to become great;
he said he wished to become a jurist because only jurists get the
high offices.  He entered a South German university, rented a
fine apartment, stated he was accustomed to a Schloss, his father
was a high state official.  He later called himself Graf
Friedrich Gersdorf auf Blankenhain.  The young man's deceits grew
rapidly, he obtained much money falsely, traveled first class
with a body servant.  He passed to other universities, was always
quiet and industrious.  After many adventures he fell into the
hands of the law and was adjudged insane.  Most interesting was
the fact that he discussed intelligently his career.  ``My
capacity for considering my thoughts as something really carried
out in life is unfortunately too great to permit my having full
conception of the boundary between appearance and reality.''

The family history of the above case included swindling,
hysteria, and epilepsy.  His fabricating tendency first reached
its height at 14 years, thus showing the influence of puberty.
Wendt regarded the etiological factors as family degeneracy, a
wish-complex which in activity amounted to autosuggestion, double
consciousness, and a periodical preponderance of the wished for

Bresler[18] in proposing two reforms in the German
``Strafgesetzbuch'' undertook a discussion of pathological
accusations, as material using cases reported by several authors.
He attempted a classification as follows:  1. Deliberately false
accusations based upon the pathological disposition or impulse to
lie; the content of the accusation being fabricated.  2. False
accusation upon a basis of pathologically disturbed perceptions
or reasoning.  Content of the accusation is here illusion,
hallucination, or delusion.  3. Accusations correct in content,
but pathologically motivated.

[18] ``Die pathologische Anschuldigung.''
Juristisch-psychiatrische Grenzfragen, Band V, Heft 8, pp. 42.

The first group nearly always is the action of hystericals, and
many are centered on sex affairs.  Bresler's cited cases of this
class seem merely to impress the idea of revenge, or of
protection from deserved punishment.  A very complicated case was
that of a girl who had been rejected in marriage after the
discovery by her lover that she had attacks of major hysteria.
She entered into a conspiracy with her mother to destroy him.
She first maliciously cut grape vines and accused him and his
brother of doing it.  Then she slandered his whole family.  A
year later, suddenly appearing wounded, she accused his uncle of
trying to kill her and obtained a verdict against him.  Then she
attempted the same with another uncle who, however, maintained an
alibi.  After this her role changed, for her mother summoned
people to see her daughter lying with a wreath around her head,
brought by an angel, with a scroll on which was inscribed
``Corona Martyri.''  The church now took her part and she toured
the country as a sort of saint.  Later she returned to her former
tactics, she set fire to a house, cut off a cow's udder, and
accused her former lover of these deeds.  Now for the first time
it went badly with her.  She was finally imprisoned for life on
account of attempts to poison people.

In Bresler's second group he places the false accusations of
alcoholics, paranoiacs, querulants (whom he calls a sub-class of
paranoiacs) and sufferers from head injuries.  Besides these, he
here classes the false accusations of children.

The third class is so rare that it receives almost no discussion.

Longard[19] reports an interesting case of a chronic liar and
swindler, a man who on account of the peculiarities of his
swindling was placed under custody for study.  Upon detention he
went into convulsions and later seemed entirely distracted.  He
was then 24 years old.  Investigation of his case showed that his
abnormalities dated from early life and were probably due to the
fact that in childhood he had a bad fall from a height.  When he
was 23 he had served six months on account of swindling.  At that
time he had been going about in the Rhine country dressed as a
monk, begging things of little worth, such as crucifixes,
candles, medals, etc.  His pious behavior and orderliness gave
him a good reception.  He sometimes took money or begged it in
order to read masses for poor souls.  In one village he said he
had come to reconnoiter for a site to build a hospital.  Some
cloister brothers in one place took him for a swindler and
decided he was overwrought religiously, and that he really
thought he was what he wished to become.  He was studied at
length in prison where he had one attack of maniacal behavior and
tried to hang himself.  The physician there thought him a
simulator.  He was excused from his military service because of
stomach trouble.  At that time mental abnormalities were not
noticed.  After this he again acted the part of a monk, wandering
through France and Germany, living in monasteries, and being
helped along by different organizations, Protestant as well as
Catholic.  He was arrested in Cologne when discovered to be a
fraud.  He lay four days in jail apparently unconscious and then
appeared stupefied and staggered about.  When questioned he
responded, ``I am born again.''  He spoke mostly in Biblical
terms and was fluent with pious speeches.  He was found quite
sound physically.  He ate a great deal and was known to take
bread away from other prisoners at night.  He was sentenced for
15 months for swindling.  He himself related that in youth he had
seen many monks and had become possessed of the idea of being
one.  He was a sex pervert.

[19] ``Ein forensisch interessanter Fall.  Pseudologia
phantastica.'' Allg. Zeitschrift f. Psych. LV, p. 88.

The author considered this not a pure case of simulation; the
patient was an abnormal being, none of his keepers thought him
normal.  His entire appearance, his excited way of speaking, his
gestures and play of features were all striking to a high degree.
His method of going about begging was unreasonable; he gained so
little by it.  His tendency to untruthfulness stood out
everywhere.  He imitated the pious as he chattered without aim.
The man had lived himself into the role of a cloister brother so
completely that he was not clearly conscious of the deceit.  The
author thinks the case presents some paranoiac features with a
pathological tendency towards lying.  Thus this pathological liar
presents the phenomenon of a mixture of lies and delusions.

From the Zurich clinic of Forel several cases of pathological
swindling have been reported at length.[20]  It must be confessed
that the success of much of the misrepresentation cited in these
case histories seems to be as largely due to the naivete of the
country folk as to the efforts of the swindlers themselves.  Two
of the cases were clearly insane and were detained for long
periods in asylums after their study in the clinic.  But even so,
it is to be noted that one of these when absenting himself from
institutional care succeeded in going on with his swindling
operations.  The third case was regarded as that of an
aberrational individual with special tendency towards lying and
swindling, but the opinion rendered did not end in the man being
held as insane.  He was simply regarded as a delinquent, and
after serving his sentence he went his old way.  These cases are
interesting to one who would learn the extent to which swindling
among a simple minded population can be carried on.

[20] ``Gerichtlich-psychiatrische Gutachten aus d. Klinik von
Prof. Forel in Zurich; f. Aerzte u. Juristen, herausgegeb. von
Dr. Th. Koelle.'' Stuttgart, Encke, 1902.

From French sources we have not been able to collect such a
wealth of material as we found in German literature.  One study
by Belletrud and Mercier[21] compares favorably in elaborate
working out of details with the work of German authors.  A
Corsican boy, from childhood moody, fond of adventure, inclined
to deception, had attempted suicide several times before he was
twenty years old.  He was married at that time and went to
France, where he was employed in several towns.  His life
following this included an immense amount of lying and swindling.
He had a mania for buying costly antique furniture and jewelry
which he obtained on credit.  He frequently disappeared from
localities where he was wanted on criminal charges, and changed
his name.  He wandered through Italy, Tunis, and South America.
Returning to France he was taken into custody and mental troubles
were noted.  He showed delirium of persecution and was removed to
a hospital for the insane.  Experts studied him for a year before
they could decide whether he was insane or merely simulating
insanity.  Finally they thought he was not simulating.  A few
months later he escaped, went to Belgium, Italy, Corsica.
Turning up at a town in France under an assumed name, he was
arrested again and elaborately examined.  At this time he had
frequent attacks of unconsciousness and frothing at the mouth.
At times he was melancholy.  Summarizing the case, the authors
say that the psychic peculiarities of the patient were
congenital, and included habitual instability of character with
defective development of the ethical sentiments, and tendency to
deceit and swindling.  Epilepsy here is, of course, the central
cause of mental and moral deterioration.

[21] ``Un cas de mythomanie; escroquerie et simulation chez un
epileptique.''  L'Encephale, June 1910, p. 677.

From a pedagogical point of view Rouma[22] tells of the marvelous
stories of a five-year-old boy in the Froebel school at
Charleroi.  His stories were generally suggested by something
told by the teacher or other pupils.  He referred their anecdotes
to himself or other members of his family and greatly enlarged
upon them.  He also made elaborate childish drawings and gave
long accounts of what they meant.  Going into the question of
heredity Rouma found this boy's mother very nervous; the father
was a good man.  She had worked steadily at the machine before
his birth.  Two of their children died with convulsions; of the
two living, one was well behaved, but weakly.  Rouma's case had
stigmata of degeneracy in ears, palate, and jaw.  Tested by the
Binet system, he did three out of five of the tests for five
years satisfactorily.  He was easily fatigued, refused at times
to respond, said he had been forbidden to reply, said he would be
whipped if he did.  In school he was always poor at manual work,
wanted to be moving about, to go out of classes on errands, was
always calling notice to himself in a good or bad way.  He paid
very little attention to his lessons, played alone or with
younger children, leading them often into mischief.  It was found
that he got much of his material for stories from his older
brother who told him of robbers and accidents.  From his good
father he got the form of his tales, because the father was wont
to tell him stories with a moral.

[22] ``Un cas de mythomanie.''  Arch. de Psych. 1908, pp.

In summary, Rouma stated that this child possessed senses acute
beyond the average, and was of very unstable temperament,
refusing regular work, not submitting to rules, rebelling at
abstractions.  There were evidences of degeneracy on the mother's

Remedies in education for such children are:  Suppress food for
imagination, such as came from the stories of father and brother.
Direct perceptions to accurate work.  Systematize education of
attention, exercise the senses, use manual work, such as modeling
and gardening.  Give lessons in observation in the class room and
on promenades.

Meunier[23] tells of three girls in a well known Parisian school
who indulged in wonderful tales.  The first, in the intermediate
grade, told stories of the illness of her father to account for
her not having her lessons.  The second, 11 years old, said that
her mother was dying; she came bringing this news to the teachers
at two different periods of her school life.  She was a calm,
thoughtful, analytical child with no reason for lying.  Family
history negative.  The third, 13 years old, told of an imaginary
uncle who was going to collect funds for needy children; she kept
up the deceit for two months.  She was an anemic, nervous,
hysterical child with a nervous mother.  Meunier calls these
cases of systematized deliriums.  The development of such
delirium annihilates, so to speak, the entire personality of the
subject, and his entire mental life is invaded by abnormal extra
and introspection--the delirium commands and systematizes all
acquired impressions.  There is a veritable splitting of the
personality in which the new ``ego'' is developed at the expense
of the normal ``ego'' that now only appears at intervals.

[23] ``Remarks on Three Cases of Morbid Lying.''  Journal of
Mental Pathology, 1904, pp. 140-142.



In the group of twelve cases making up this chapter we have
limited ourselves to a simple type in order to demonstrate most
clearly the classical characteristics of pathological liars.  How
pathological lying verges into swindling may be readily seen in
several of the following cases, e.g., Cases 3, 8, 10, 12,
although only two, Cases 3 and 12, have had time as yet to show
marked development of the swindling tendency.  For the purpose of
aiding in the demonstration of the evolution of lying into
swindling, and also to bring out the fact that facility in
language may be the determining influence towards pathological
lying and swindling, we have included Case 12, which otherwise
possibly might be considered under our head of border-line mental

In any attempt to distinguish between pathological accusers and
liars, cases overlapping into both groups are found--so some of
the material in this chapter may be fairly considered as
belonging partially to the next chapter.

In discussing the possibility of betterment, a fact which we as
well as others have observed, consideration of Cases 1, 4, and 7
is suggested.


Summary:  A girl of 16 applied for help, telling an elaborate
tale of family tragedy which proved to be totally untrue.  It was
so well done that it deceived the most experienced.  Shrewd
detective work cleared the mystery.  It was found that the girl
was a chronic falsifier and had immediately preceding this
episode become delinquent in other ways.  Given firm treatment in
an institution and later by her family, who knew well her
peculiarities, this girl in the course of four years apparently
has lost her previous extreme tendency to falsification.

Hazel M. at 16 years of age created a mild sensation by a story
of woe which brought immediate offers of aid for the alleged
distress.  One morning she appeared at a social center and stated
she had come from a hospital where her brother, a young army man,
had just died.  She gave a remarkably correct, detailed, medical
account of his suffering and death.  In response to inquiry she
told of a year's training as a nurse; that was how she knew about
such subjects.  In company with a social worker she went directly
back to the hospital to make arrangements for what she requested,
namely, a proper burial.  At the hospital office it was said that
no such person had died there, and after she had for a time
insisted on it she finally said she must have been dreaming.
Although she had wept on the shoulder of a listener as she first
told her story, she now gave it up without any show of emotion.
We were asked to study the case.

Hazel sketched to us a well-balanced story of her family life;
one which it was impossible to break down.  It involved
experiences at army posts--she stated her only relatives were
brothers in the army--and her recent work as a ``practical
nurse.''  She finally led on to the death of her brother, as in
the tale previously told.  When asked how she accounted for the
fact that no such person was found in the hospital, she answered,
``Well, I either must have been crazy or something is the matter,
and I don't think my mind is that bad.''  The girl evidently was
suffering from loss of sleep; her case was not further
investigated until after a long rest.

The next day Hazel started in by saying, ``It's enough to
convince anybody that I was not in the hospital when Mrs. B. and
I went there and found out that they said I had not been there.
Truthfully I don't know where I was.  If I was not there I must
have been some place or I must have been in a trance.''  The long
stories told in the next few days need not be gone into.  They
contained descriptions of life with her family in several towns
when she was a child, of her graduation from the high school in
Des Moines, and of her experience as a nurse in Cincinnati and
Chicago.  Our cross-examination disclosed that she knew a good
many facts about obstetrics, in which she said she had had
training, and about the cities where she said she had lived.  For
instance, she gave a description of the Cliff House at San
Francisco, the seals on the rocks there, the high school in Des
Moines, and so on.  She also knew about life at army posts.  The
point that made us skeptical was when in mentioning the names of
railroads she placed the wrong towns upon them.  For instance,
she told us her brother worked on the L. S. & M. S. at Kenosha.

Hazel's stories were successfully maintained for several days
until a shrewd detective, who got her to tell some street numbers
in Chicago, ferreted out her family.  She had persistently denied
the existence of any of them in Chicago, and, indeed, stated that
her father and mother had died years previously.  One of the most
convincing things about her was her poise; she displayed an
attitude of sincerity combined with a show of deep surprise when
her word was questioned.  For example, the moment before her
mother was brought in to see her, she was asked what she would
say if anyone asserted that her mother was in the next room.  Her
instantaneous, emphatic response was, ``She would have to rise
out of her grave to be there.''

We soon learned that not a single detail the girl had given about
her family was true.  She was born and brought up in Chicago and
had never been outside of the city.  She had never studied
nursing nor had she ever nursed anybody.  In public school she
had reached eighth grade.

Hazel came of an intelligent family and we were able to get a
good account of the family and developmental history.  Heredity
seems completely negative as far as any nervous or mental
abnormalities are concerned.  She is one of seven children, four
of whom are living, three having died in infancy.  The father had
just recently died of tuberculosis.  There has been no trouble
with the other children of any significance for us.  Pregnancy
with Hazel was healthy, but the mother suffered a considerable
shock when she stood on a passenger boat by the side of a man who
jumped overboard and committed suicide.  The birth was difficult.
The child weighed 12 lbs.  Instruments were used; it was a breech
presentation.  At 2 years of age Hazel was very ill with
gastritis and what was said to be spinal meningitis.  She had
some convulsions then.  Had both walked and talked when she was
about 16 months of age.  During childhood she had a severe
strabismus and at 8 years of age was operated upon for it.
Vision has always been practically nil in one eye.  Several
diseases of childhood she had in mild form.  After she was 2
years of age she had no more convulsions, or spasms, or attacks
of any kind.  From the standpoint of general nervousness Hazel
was said to be one of the calmest in the family, although she was
accustomed to drink five or six cups of coffee a day.
Menstruation at 13 years, no irregularity.

On examination we found a very well nourished and well developed
young woman of slouchy attitude and normal expression.  Vision
very defective in one eye and 10/20, even with glasses, in the
other.  Slight strabismus.  General strength good.  Examination
otherwise negative except for the fact that she had been infected
with the diplococcus of Neisser.

Mental tests proved her to have quite normal ability.  Neither
special ability nor disabilities of significance were discovered.
For present discussion it is of interest to note that in the
``Aussage'' Test she gave a functional account, enumerating 16
items, 2 of which were incorrect, and accepted none of the
suggestions which were offered.

The mother and sister brought out the facts that Hazel had been
giving an assumed name recently and lying about her age.  She had
alleged that she was married.  In the last year she had run away
from home on several occasions.  At one time had written to her
mother about her happy married life.  One letter reads, ``Dearest
Mother:--I can picture your dear face when you receive my letter.
I know you have your doubts about the matter, the same as I had
the first few days.  But mama, you know I love him and I have the
satisfaction of being a married woman before Annie is.''  In the
letter she describes the appearance of her imaginary husband,
tells about her new dress and gloves and ``the prettiest little
wedding ring that was ever made.''  In another letter she says,
``It is just one o'clock A.M. and Jack has just gone to sleep and
so I stole a little time to write,'' etc.  (It was later shown by
the stationery used, and by the girl's final confession, that
these letters were written in the rest room of a department

Hazel's lying began, it seems, when she was a little girl.  She
would come home from school and out of whole cloth relate
incidents which occurred on the way home.  One of her earliest
efforts was about being chased by a white horse.  The mother
states that for years she has had to check Hazel because she
recognized her remarkable tendencies in this direction.  The
father's death was somewhat of a shock and it seems that after
this the girl's other delinquencies began.  Prior to the time she
first went away from home she had some sort of hysterical spells
when she said she could see her father lying in his coffin before
her in the room.  Her behavior became quite outrageous with some
young man in her own household at just about this time.  Not that
she was immoral, although she once suddenly blurted out in the
parlor a grave self-accusation:  ``Now, John, mother thinks you
must be careful.  You know I am a prostitute.''  When we first
saw her she had been away from home four times, on this last
occasion for three weeks.  Before she went she had said she
wanted to kill herself.  Mother had notified the police but no
trace of her was found.

From Hazel's own story told at this time and even after she
became more stable it seems very likely that her bad tendencies
began with her acquaintance with a certain rather notorious
woman.  Her mother came to believe that this was undoubtedly the
fact.  Our inquiry into beginnings brought to light the fact that
Hazel while a school girl for long associated with this woman who
taught her about sex immoralities.  ``I don't believe my mother
knows what this Mrs. R. did to me or she would have her arrested.
She started me on all this.  When I was about 11 years old I
first knew of those things.  The first I ever heard was from that
woman's daughter.  I never said anything to my mother.  I was
always ashamed of myself to say anything about it.  After I got
to working with factory girls I heard a lot about it.''  The
mother told us later that she thought it probable from what she
now knew that this Mrs. R. may have been largely responsible for
Hazel's tendency to delinquency.  Hazel kept this association of
several years' standing quite to herself.  The mother remembers
now how Hazel once stayed for hours after school and told a story
in explanation that they felt sure was untrue.  The teachers used
to tell the mother that Hazel seemed as if she couldn't pay
attention to her school work.  One teacher reported to us that
she remembers Hazel as a girl who seemed peculiar and hysterical.
The other girls called her queer and used to steer clear of her.

The mother reports Hazel as being for several years impulsive,
erratic, talkative, untidy, and rather dishonest in other small
ways besides lying--all this in spite of vigorous home
discipline.  The girl at one time under the influence of revival
meetings left the religious faith of her parents.  However, they
thought if any form of religion would make her better it would be
all right.

At our last interview with Hazel before she was sent away, an
interview which she prefaced by saying, ``I want to apologize for
everything I did,'' the girl showed herself unable to avoid
prevarications.  Coming back, for instance, to the subject of her
schooling she tells us how she won a graduating medal.  This her
mother said was untrue.

About her own lying tendencies she confessed that sometimes she
hardly knew whether things were really so or not.  Asked about
her knowledge of other cities; ``I read a whole lot and learn
things in that way.  I used to have to write compositions and
imagine we were going places.  I was pretty good at that.''  One
felt very uncertain about Hazel's mental condition when in almost
the same breath she denied having said anything about the seals
on the rocks at San Francisco, or about obstetrical cases, but,
of course, the denial may have been itself another falsification.
Her knowledge of army affairs was gained through her acquaintance
with young soldiers.  An unusual amount of what she heard or read
was photographed with the greatest clearness in her mind and was
recalled most vividly.

A peculiarity of Hazel's case which was quite obvious was her
lack of apperception concerning her own interests.  Her lies all
along, after her identity was discovered, were so easy to trace,
and they so quickly rebounded upon her, that there seemed every
reason for her to desist.  Nothing so clearly proved the absence
of self-realization as her feeling under detention that other
girls with whom she was in forced association were much beneath
her in quality, although many of them were not nearly so untidy
and had not been nearly so immoral.  During all this period of
several months, beginning with her running away and her writing
the housewifely letters about her imaginary married life, and
ending with her appeal for aid at the social center, Hazel was
indulging in veritable orgies of lying.  When away from home she
several times picked up men on the street and stayed at hotels
with them.

At the time of our first studies of this case we hardly dared to
offer either a mental or moral prognosis.

In the institution for delinquent young women to which she was
sent Hazel's traits were long maintained.  She proved very
troublesome on account of lies to her family, to the officers,
and to the other girls.  The latter soon discovered, however, the
peculiar lack of foundation for her stories.  In the institution
was also noted the tendency to untidiness of which her mother
spoke.  The authorities steadily persevered with Hazel.  They
secured another operation on her eye, which successfully
straightened it, and she became fully ``cured'' of her pelvic
disease.  She received instruction in a form of handicraft in
which she quickly showed special dexterity and skill.  Her
tendencies to falsify gradually became less.  About two years
later the mother again assumed control with great success.

This is the remarkable interest of Hazel's case, to wit, that
with proper discipline and the development of new interests her
fabricating tendencies have been reduced to a minimum.  She has
made a wonderful improvement and has long been a self-supporting
and self-respecting young woman with her own relation to the
world realized in a way that before seemed entirely lacking.

Mental conflict: About early secret               Case 1.
                  experiences.              Girl, age 16 yrs.
  Mental conditions: Either mild psychosis
                   or extreme adolescent
     Bad companions: Early.
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
  Extreme lying.                     Normal ability.
  Running away.                      Psychosis (?).


Summary:  A girl of 19, under partial observation for three
years, was during all this time a great mystery.  Brought at
first to us by her family as being insane because she was such a
great liar and unreliable in other ways, we never could find the
slightest evidence of aberration.  No satisfactory explanation
was forthcoming until the remarkable denouement when we learned
that the mother, whom we had come to know herself as an extreme
falsifier, was not the mother at all.  It seems clear that the
girl's behavior was largely the result of mental conflict about
certain suspected facts, and psychic contagion arising from the
world of lies in which she had lived.

Beula D. has been known in several cities and in more than one
court as the ``mystery girl.''  She has appeared on the scene in
various places, giving a fictitious name and telling elaborate
stories of herself which always proved to be without foundation.
She ran away from home on several occasions, but except in one
instance which we know about, has never been seriously
delinquent.  We saw her on many occasions and tried to get at the
truth of her stories of ill treatment and the like.
Investigators found there was unquestionably some truth in her
statements, but never from first to last in the many interviews
which we had with her was there ever any possibility of
separating truth from falsehood.  The girl simply did not seem to
know the difference between the two.  What was more, we found
that the mother presented the same characteristics.  She also, by
her most curious and complicated fabrications, led even her most
rational sympathizers into a bewildering maze.  A woman of
magnificent presence, tremendous will, and good intelligence, she
nevertheless was soon found to be absolutely unreliable in her
statements.  This woman's numerous inventions, so far as we have
been able to ascertain, have been quite beside the mark of any
possible advantage to be gained by her or her family.  Naturally
we here thought heredity played an important role, until our
final discovery that the two were not related.  The details which
we know about this case would cover scores of pages.  In summary
it stands as follows:

On the physical side Beula at 17 was a striking looking young
woman, but of very poor development.  She was only 4 ft. 7 in. in
height and weighed 102 lbs.  Expression was quiet, pleasant, and
responsive.  Unusually clear and pleasant voice.  Typical
Hutchinsonian teeth.  All other examination negative.
Menstruation first at 13 1/2, normal and regular.

Notwithstanding the mother's report of her being subnormal
mentally, we found that she had fair ability.  Her range of
information was good.  She was always desirous of writing
compositions, she wanted to be a story writer, she said, but her
diction was very immature and her spelling was poor, making
altogether a very mild production.  Never did we see any
essential incoherency in her mental processes, or any other signs
of aberration.  A series of association tests given in an
endeavor to discover some of the facts which her mother
maintained she herself was desirous of knowing (but really could
not have been), failed to elicit anything but the most normal
reactions, even to ideas about which we considered there must be
some feeling-tone.

On the ``Aussage'' Test only ten items were given from the
picture upon free recital.  On questioning twelve more details
were reported correctly, but no less than seven of these alleged
facts were incorrect.  Only one out of the five suggestions
offered was accepted.

No purpose would be served in recounting the details of falsehood
which were told by this girl about family affairs, about the
places she had worked, about the facts of home treatment, etc.
Her lying was not done cleverly, but it served to create much
confusion and gave considerable trouble to a number of social
agencies that came in contact with the family.  Even when she was
applying directly for help her lies stood greatly in the way of
achieving anything for her.  The confusion was vastly added to by
the many vagaries of her alleged parent, but, even so, one of the
chief accusations of the prevaricating mother was that the girl
herself was a terrible liar.  The whole situation was rendered
completely absurd and needless by the behavior of both the woman
and the girl.

After we had known this case for about three years and the truth
about Beula's antecedents had come to light as the result of a
new person stepping in on the scene, the girl's tendency to
falsification seemed quite inexplicable.  No one who came to know
the circumstances, even as we previously had been acquainted with
them, felt they could blame Beula much for her attitude of
dissatisfaction and her tendencies to run away.  We felt, too,
that the mystery which had always hovered about this girl was
sufficient to have led her to be fanciful and imaginative and
that the fabrications of the self-styled ``mother'' did not form
an atmosphere in which the girl could well achieve respect for
truth.  But Beula's almost confusional state concerning the facts
of her family life seemed quite explicable in the light of what
we at last ascertained.  Soon after we first saw the girl the
woman had told us a most remarkable tale of how it was she
happened to be the mother of the child, and the attempt was then
made by several to straighten out the apparent doubt in the
girl's mind.  But it seems that the clever and tragic tale of the
mother, although well calculated to do so, did not entirely cover
the points remembered by this girl of her earliest childhood.
Evidently for a time Beula tried to correlate the two, but doubt
grew apace.  It seemed almost as if her doubt as to who she was
led her to say first one thing and then another.  It was
particularly at a period of stress of this kind that she was
figuring in other cities as the ``mystery girl.''

The earlier facts of the case probably never will be known.  Of
the many details known by us it is sufficient to say that the
woman adopted Beula as a young child and proceeded by devious
methods to weave a network of lies about the situation of their
relationship.  Who Beula's parents really were neither she nor
any one else of whom we have heard, ever knew.

Beula showed such delinquent tendencies after a time that she had
to be sent to a corrective institution.  After coming out she
made off in the world for herself before we could give her the
information soon afterwards obtained by us.  At her last visit we
felt that her report in a terribly tragic mood on the family
conditions was totally unreliable.  She went forth to weave, no
doubt, new fabrications.
Early experiences: Peculiar treatment        Case 2.
     and excessive misrepresentations     Girl, age 19 years.
     in home circle.
  Mental influences: Contagion from long
       continued untruthfulness at home.
       Mystery of antecedents.
   Mental conflict about the above.
      Heredity and developmental conditions (?)
          Hutchinsonian teeth only clew.
Delinquencies:                   Mentality:
  Lying.                             Fair ability with
  Running away.                      poor educational
  Sex.                               advantages.


Summary:  In its wonderfully clear presentation of
characteristics this case classically represents the type.  A
woman of 27 years (usually claiming to be 17), during a career of
7 or 8 years has engaged in an excessive amount of
misrepresentation, often to the extent of swindling.  Alleging
herself to be merely a girl and without a family, she has
repeatedly gained protection, sometimes for a year or more, in
homes where her prevaricating tendencies, appearing with ever new
details, have sooner or later thwarted her own interests.  By
extraordinary methods she has often simulated illnesses which
have demanded hospital treatment.  For long she was lost to her
family, traveling about under different names, making her way by
her remarkable abilities and unusual presence.

This case illustrates, again, two points we have often made,
namely, that the difficulty of getting safe data concerning
genetics increases rapidly with age, and that the chance of
altering tendencies after years of character formation vastly
diminishes.  These features appear strongly here, yet our long
knowledge of the person and of the many details of her career
gives the history great interest.

A young woman, whom we will call Inez B., a name she once assumed
for a time, arrived at a girls' boarding home in Chicago with
merely a small traveling bag and money sufficient only for a few
days.  In appearance and conversation she gave distinct evidences
of refinement.  She showed indecision and confessed she knew no
one in the city.

Just at this time a wealthy eastern girl, Agnes W., was missing
from her home, and the police everywhere were on the lookout for
her.  A detective who was ordered to visit the boarding club
showed a picture of Agnes W. to the matron, who instantly
discerned a likeness to Inez and informed him of her recent
arrival.  Inez was questioned, but could or would give no
satisfactory response concerning her own home.  She maintained
she was just 17 and had come to Chicago to make her own way in
the world.  After some account of herself, the details of which
were somewhat contradictory, it was inferred that she might be
Agnes W.  She vehemently denied it, but being the same age and
some likeness being discerned, the questioning was continued.
Various matters of Agnes W.'s antecedents were gone into and
after a time Inez burst out with, ``Well, if you must have it so,
I am Agnes W.''  The girl was thereupon taken in charge by the
police authorities, and she herself registered several times as
Agnes W.  After the family of the latter had been communicated
with, however, it was ascertained that Inez was not the lost

She now said that anyhow she really was a runaway girl.  She had
left her adopted parents because they were cruel and immoral.  It
was her unhappy brooding over her own affairs that led her to lie
about being the other girl.  She insisted she was sorry for the
many lies she had told various officers, but felt, after all,
they were to blame because their obvious desire to have her tell
that she was Agnes W. led her on.  They deceived her first
because they misrepresented themselves and did not say they were
police officials.  Nevertheless, she makes much of how she hates
her false position, being registered under a false name and
figuring as a deceiver.

The significant points in the long story of Inez, as told to us
in the days of our first acquaintance with her, are worth giving.
(At this period she was with us thoroughly consistent; at all
times she has appeared self-possessed and coherent.)  Inez states
she is 17 and has just come from a town in Tennessee where she
has been living for a couple of years with some people by the
name of B. who adopted her.  At first they were very good to her
and she loved them dearly.  She was quite unsophisticated when
she went to them and did not realize then that they were not good
people.  She met them at an employment agency in St. Louis where
she had gone after leaving the Smiths, the people who had brought
her up.  At that time the B.'s appeared fairly well-to-do, but
Mr. B. had been running up debts that later carried him into
bankruptcy.  Inez was sick and exhausted now from having worked
so hard for them.  She finally ran away from that town because
the B.'s wanted to go elsewhere, leaving her in a compromising
position with a young man who rented their house.  She first
tried boarding in two places, however, before she ventured to go.

The Smiths were the people she lived with until she was 14.  She
remembers first living with them, but faintly recalls bearing the
name of Mary Johnson before that.  Who the Johnsons were she does
not know, but she feels sure of the fact that she was born in New
Orleans.  However, Inez does not worry about her parentage even
though it is unknown.  Mrs. Smith was an elderly woman of wealth
who was very good to her, and by the time she was 14 she had
studied German and French, algebra and trigonometry.  She had a
French tutor and took lessons on the piano.  Always did well in
school and loved her work there.  The Smith children, who were
much older, were very angry with their mother for all the money
she spent on Inez--they would have preferred its being expended
on their children.  The son grew quite abusive and Mrs. S. was
made to suffer so much that the girl came to feel that she was
largely the cause of the old lady's unhappiness.  After one
particularly deplorable scene she slipped away from their home in
New Orleans, traveled to St. Louis and went to an employment
agency where she found the B.'s.  At the present time, above all
things, she does not want the Smiths to know about her when she
is temporarily a failure.  She will never go back to them until
she can help the old lady who was so good to her.

Inez tells us she is now suffering from a wound still open as the
result of an operation for appendicitis performed two years
previously.  She also suffered from tuberculosis a few years ago.
(She was found to be running a slight temperature, and some
slight hemorrhages in the sputum were observed.)

It may strengthen the portraiture so far sketched to give our
impressions as stated after our first study covering a week or
two; nor will it lessen the reader's interest to remark that it
was not for lack of acquaintance with the pathological liar type
that we failed to correctly size up this individual.  Indeed, we
had already studied nearly all the other cases cited in this
monograph.  Our statement ran as follows:  ``This girl is very
frank and talkative with us.  With her strong, but refined
features and cultivated voice she is a good deal of a
personality.  She is sanguine and independent.  Very likely she
does not exaggerate the hard times she has had in going from one
home to another.  One cannot but respect this unusual young woman
for wanting to keep her early history secret.  It would be
fortunate if some one would care for the girl and get her
ailments cured.  With her very good ability she might easily then
be self-supporting.''

A woman of strength and judgment undertook to look after Inez.
The girl's personality commanded interest.  In a few days she
complained more vigorously of her abdominal trouble; an operation
seemed imperative and was performed.  (An account of this will be
given later.)  Later the girl was taken to a convalescent home
and then to a beautiful lake resort.  While here she suddenly was
stricken desperately ill.  Her friend was telegraphed for, a
special boat was commissioned, and the girl was taken to a
neighboring sanitarium.  The doctors readily agreed that the case
was one of simulation or hysteria.  She was brought back to
Chicago and warned that this sort of performance would not pay.
After being given further opportunity to rest, although under
less favorable circumstances, in a few weeks she was offered work
in several homes, but in each instance the connection was soon
severed.  Then without letting her guardian-friend know, Inez
suddenly left the city.

Inquiries had brought by this time responses telling something of
the career of Inez in the past two years, but nothing earlier.
She was the ``mystery girl'' in the Tennessee town, as she was in
Chicago.  The B.'s kept a boarding-house and took Inez as a
waitress, knowing her first by still another alias.  She worked
for them about a year and then went to Memphis, where she was
sick in a hospital.  She had now taken the B.'s name.  They were
regarded as her guardians (on the girl's authority) and they
finally sent for her again out of pity, although they felt she
had a questionable past, and they knew she had lied tremendously
while with them.  Then the B.'s moved away and turned Inez over
to a respectable family.  While with the B.'s Inez had been
regarded as a partial invalid; their physician diagnosed the case
as diabetes and found it incurable.  In fact, the B.'s went into
debt for her prolonged treatment.  Another physician, who was
called in after the B.'s left, said the trouble was Bright's
disease.  At any rate, all regarded her as suffering from some
chronic disorder.  Except for her extraordinary lying, of which
she made exhibitions to many, and some little tendencies to
dishonesty mixed with her lying, Inez was regarded as being quite
normal.  The two other families with whom she lived for a time
found it impossible to tolerate the girl on account of her lying.
Finally, obtaining money by false representation, telling the
story of a rich uncle in Chicago to whom she was going, Inez
departed, taking with her a trunk containing valuables belonging
to the B.'s.

Dropping our chronological account of this case we may from this
time deal with it as a whole, putting together the facts as they
developed by further study of Inez herself and by the receipt of
information from many sources.

Since we have known her, Inez has been under the observation of
several skilled medical specialists.  She all along has been in
good general physical condition.  Having been treated previously
for diabetes, special examinations were repeatedly made, but
never a trace of this trouble was discernible.  Her own story of
having had tuberculosis, and the traces of blood in the sputum,
which she presented on handkerchiefs, etc., led to repeated tests
for tuberculosis.  These also proved absolutely negative.  Before
all this, there was found on the left side of the abdomen a mass
which, from the history the girl gave, was surmised to be a
tubercular abscess.  At this time she was running a little
temperature.  An operation was performed and an encysted hairpin
was removed from the peritoneal cavity.  This had undoubtedly
found entrance through the old appendicitis wound; the hairpin
had evidently been straightened for the purpose.  Both wounds now
speedily closed.  Gynecological examination showed no disease and
established the fact of virginity.  Thorough neurological
examination showed that the girl was not of nervous type and that
there was no evidence whatever of organic disease.  There was
complaint of frequent headaches, but no signs of acute suffering
from these were ever witnessed and by this time no reports of
subjective symptoms could be credited.  No sensory defects of any
importance.  It was always easy to get a little variation upon
visual tests and the like, however.  Weight 130; height 5 ft. 1
in.  Color good.  Head notably well shaped with broad high
forehead.  Strength good.  Very normal development in all ways.

Most important to note as bearing on her social career was the
fact that Inez was possessed of markedly strong, regular,
pleasant features, including a good set of teeth well cared for,
and an unusually firm chin.  In attitude and expression she
seemed to give complete proof of great strength of will and
character.  Her face suggested both frankness and firmness.  When
with quiet force and dignity asserting her desire for education
and a place in the world, Inez presented a most convincing
picture.  Perhaps even more significant is the fact that Inez
possesses a speaking voice of power and charm, well modulated and
of general qualities which could belong apparently to no other
than a highly cultivated person.

During a year there has been no variation in the general
well-being of Inez, although she has been taken to hospitals in
at least two more towns and has figured again as a sufferer from
tuberculosis and appendicitis, and has written several times to
friends that she was about to be operated on.

The diagnoses of several competent medical men are that the girl
is a simulator or is an hysterical, and their findings show that
she has lied tremendously about her past.  (There were never any
positive signs of hysteria, and our own opinion is that the case
is much better called one of extreme simulation and
misrepresentation, as in the diabetes and sputum affairs, etc.,
and of self-mutilation, as with the hairpin.)

We have had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Inez's
mental qualities.  She has repeatedly been given tests for mental
ability.  As judged by the average of those seen in our court
work we are forced to regard her as having ability clearly above
the normal.  Her perceptions are keen and quick.  She works
planfully and rapidly with our concrete problems and shows good
powers of mental representation.  It is notable that she is very
keen to do her best on tests and takes much delight in a good
record.  Her psychomotor control is astonishingly good.  In a
certain tapping test, which we consider well done if the
individual has succeeded in tapping in 90 squares in 30 seconds,
she did 117 and 129 at two successive trials with only one error
in each.  This is next to the best record we have ever seen.  Our
puzzle box, which is seldom opened in less than 2 minutes, she
planfully attacked and conquered in 52 seconds.  She also rapidly
put it together again, which is an unusual performance.  Reaction
times on the antonym test, giving the opposites to words, were
very low; average 1.4 seconds.  Her immediate memory for words
was normal, but nothing extraordinary.  She gave correctly,
although not quite in logical order, 18 out of 20 items on a
passage which she read herself.  On a passage read four times to
her she gave 11 out of 12 items in correct sequence.  The
Kent-Rosanoff association test showed, to our surprise, nothing
peculiar.  Notwithstanding her known social characteristics,
there were very few egocentric or subjective reactions.

Nor did the ``Aussage'' test show great peculiarity.  On free
recital she gave 17 items, two of which were incorrect.  They
were misinterpretations rather than inventions, however.  On
questioning she added 15 items.  She was incorrect on 5 more
details, but all of these were denials of objects actually to be
seen in the picture.  Not one was a fictitious addition.  She
rejected all the 6 suggestions proffered.

Our psychological observations were important beyond the giving
of formal tests.  We found her to be a fluent and remarkably
logical and coherent conversationalist.  Her choice of words was
unusually good.  Questioned about this she said she had always
made it a point to cultivate a vocabulary and was particularly
fond of the use of correct English.  (This was all the more
interesting because we later knew that she had been living
recently with somewhat illiterate people and that her original
home offered her very little in the way of educational
advantages.)  Inez told us that she had earlier carried her
desire for self-expression in language to the point of writing
stories and plays, but we were never able to get her to do
anything of the kind for us.  One of her constant pleas was that
she might get the chance to become a well-trained teacher of
English.  Her letters never showed the same skill with English
that her conversation denoted, but her meagre education probably
accounted for this.

Characteristic of Inez, also, is her intense egoism and her
abundant self-assertion under all circumstances.  It often seemed
to us as if for her the world revolved, with passing show, around
a pivot from which she regarded it as existing only for what it
meant for her career.  These qualities have led to her
statements, and perhaps to the actual feelings, that she was the
aggrieved one, and had been badly treated on many occasions.
This seemed to reach almost paranoidal heights at times, and yet,
before passing judgment on this, one should be in position to
know, what probably will never be known, namely, the actual facts
of her earliest treatment.  Occasionally Inez showed most
unreasonable bad temper and obstinacy.  This only came out when
she was asked to do things which she considered occupationally
beneath her.  In general she felt herself much above the ordinary
run of people.  When she could be patronizing, as with children,
she acted quite the grand lady.  Indeed, in asserting herself on
numerous occasions she has assumed just this attitude, which is
all the more strange because our further information shows that
it was not justified by any social station which her family ever

Going further with psychological considerations it is to be
asserted that Inez showed marked lack of normal apperceptive
ability in not appreciating the necessarily unfavorable results
of her own lying.  For that matter, she also fails to learn by
experience, for very frequently she has suffered from her own
prevarications.  It might, however, be argued that to Inez the
thought of a possible hum-drum future in which there was no
adventure, no roving, and no playing the part of a successful
personality, was a worse choice than that of lying, which might
and, indeed, often did serve the purpose of making friends with
people, who otherwise would not have entertained her.  So one
could hardly judge her deficient even in this particular.  (Of
the character of her lying and the special observations on that
point more later.)

We found Inez, then, neither mentally defective nor insane.  To
even say that she was without moral sense would be beyond the
mark, for in many ways she showed great appreciation of the best
types of behavior.  Her peculiarities verging on the abnormal
are, however, undoubted; they render her a socially pernicious
person.  They are to be summed up in terms of what we have
discussed above, namely, her excessive egoism, her faulty
judgment or apperceptions, her astounding tendency to

Inez was next heard from in Iowa where she wrote that two doctors
had pronounced upon her case and said an operation was again
imperative.  She asked her recently made friend for permission to
have this done, and also for $150 to cover expenses.  Neither, of
course, was forthcoming, on the grounds of there being no
guardianship.  (Her age was then unknown.)  Inez wrote, ``I just
thought I was compelled by law to let you know of my whereabouts,
for I understood I could do nothing without your consent.''  In
the same letter, replete with other lies, Inez asks, ``Please
forgive me now for all my willfulness and wrongdoing.  I will do
my best never to do it again, and Oh!  I do so want to be good so
that you may feel proud of me some day in the near future.''

A month or so later this friend was called up by the director of
a religious home for girls in Chicago, who stated that Inez had
just come to them and had been taken seriously ill.  Advice was
given to discount her symptoms, but she was sent once more to a
hospital.  Here she produced more blood as if from a pulmonary
hemorrhage and more symptoms were recounted, but the doctors
decided after careful examination that she was falsifying.  Her
illness ceased the minute she was told to leave the hospital.
Matters were serious, for Inez was now without home, money, or
relatives.  She was once more taken under protection and greater
effort was made to trace her family.  They were discovered
through letters containing remittances sent by Inez herself from
Iowa, after years of silence.  Much of her career was soon
brought to light.  By this time, we may note, several observers
had insisted that from a commonsense standpoint the girl
certainly was insane.

While affairs were being looked up, Inez conferred with us from
time to time.  She started by telling a thoroughly good story,
the general import of which was the same as she told months
previously, but there were differences in many details.  In the
first place she still insisted she was 17 years old and gave us
an exact date as her birthday-- this was in response to the mild
suggestion that she might be considerably older.  Since her
letters, although showing very good choice of words, were
incorrectly punctuated, we inquired further about her education.
She said she had received 18 credits in a noted girls' seminary
in the south, but later reversed this and stated she had very
little education.  She told us her experiences of the last few
months when she had been introducing literary works in the towns
of Iowa.  She had done well for a beginner at this, we found from
other sources, but had made misrepresentations and had talked too
freely, against her employers' wishes and advice.  Finally she
had sent in forged orders.  This was quite unnecessary, for her
salary was assured and sufficient, and her employers had regarded
her as an extremely promising representative.  In Iowa she was
receiving mail under two different names; she still found it
convenient to represent herself sometimes as Agnes W.  In her
peregrinations she had again made close friends with some
substantial people, who found out, however, in short order that
she was untruthful, and her chances with them were at once

In the next weeks, when under observation, Inez varied her story
from time to time even with the same persons.  She was now 17 and
now 19 years old.  She had an operation first in one town and
then it was in another.  Her antecedents in many particulars
varied from time to time.  Inez seemed to have lost her desire or
ability to be consistent, and in particular appeared to have no
conception of the effect upon the adjustment of her own case
which her continual lying was likely to have.  (At this time
again some non-professional observers insisted strenuously that
Inez was insane.  They based their opinion upon the fact that she
showed so little apperceptive ability, so little judgment in
relating the results of her continual lying to its necessary
effect upon her career.)  It requires too much space to go over
the complicated details of her many stories, but some of her
expressions and behavior are worth noting.

We always found Inez most friendly, sometimes voluble, and she
ever dealt with us in a lady-like manner.  Again we noted that
many a society woman would give much for her well modulated voice
and powers of verbal expression.  Without any suggestion of
melodrama she would rise to strong passages in giving vent to her
feelings of indignation and ambition.  At this time we were still
wondering where she could have obtained her education; it was not
until later that we comprehended that her abilities represented
sheer native traits.

She first came to us much hurt because a certain official had
warned her, after one of her simulating episodes in a hospital,
never to deceive again.  ``My trying to get sympathy!  I don't
want any sympathy.  I told her I was independent and always
wanted to make my own way in the world.  If they thought I wasn't
sick in the hospital why didn't they say so.  The doctor told me
to stay in bed.

``Doctor, yes, I did lie to you about my age before; why
shouldn't I?  I have been deceived on all sides and have found
that people are against me.  If they want to leave me alone, they
can get the truth, but when one is deceived one has to tell lies
sometimes.  I've had many troubles.  Oh, doctor, if you knew what
I've been through and what's in my heart you'd think I do pretty
well.  I would rather starve than have it cast up to me that I
had asked for any body's help or sympathy.  I want to make my own
way.  I must have an education.  In September I plan to go to the
M. Academy and work my way through.  I am just past 18 now.

``The B.'s are ashamed of me I suppose.  I ran away from them.
They are refined people.  But I can't be treated in that way.
They adopted me.  They said that I got some money dishonestly,
but, doctor, it is not in me to be bad.  I feel that through and

``Well, I know that I'm a Yankee by birth, on both sides.  My
people came from Mayflower stock.  I will make my way in the
world, I will succeed, and you'll see, doctor.  I will have an
education.  As to going back to the Johnsons, I would commit
suicide rather than do that.  It was not true that I had a good
education as I told you.  They did not treat me well.  They can
write as they please and talk about forgiveness for what I have
done, but it is they who were cruel and abusive.  Suppose they do
say I'm their child.  I know I am not because I was not treated
the same as the others.  I was 12 or 13 when I ran away from
them.  How could I belong to the family?  They are all so much
older than I am.''

Inez now gave us, most curiously, some addresses which opened up
knowledge of her career over several years.  But what she told us
about these new people was directly denied by return mail.  At
one interview her first words were, ``Do you know now, doctor,
that I was in a State hospital?''  Having made this challenging
statement she went no further, merely involved herself in
contradictions as to the place, and would say nothing more than
that she had once suffered from an attack of nervous prostration.
She absolutely denied items of information about herself which we
had gradually accumulated, and this type of reaction obtained all
the way through our last period of acquaintance with Inez, even
after we had the detailed facts about her early life from her

Inez never lost an opportunity to impress upon people whom she
did not regard as her equals that she considered herself much of
a lady and quite above housework.  On one occasion, when held as
a runaway girl, she had a terrible outbreak of temper simply
because she was asked to clear the dinner table.  This was no
momentary affair.  Her recalcitrancy was kept up the larger part
of one day, and she made the place almost unbearable that night
by screaming and moaning.  Telling me about the incident, she
said it was because she would not allow herself to cater to such
people.  ``If a person asks me, I may do things, but nobody can
tell me to.  I would not give in.  I would not do it.''

To some of us it has seemed highly significant that at moments
which would ordinarily be expected to bring out great emotion
Inez showed almost none.  For instance, when going to an
important interview about the disposition of her case, she first
plaintively said she did not know what to say, and then
immediately began to dwell with evident pleasure upon the costume
of the person addressing her.  Many normal emotions were seen
expressed, however, and many moral sentiments were undoubtedly
held, but there seemed to be curious displacements upon these
levels of her mental life; there was faulty mental
stratification.  Probably the force which caused this is

In relating what we now know of the past history of this case we
shall put together that which we have heard from many different
sources.  There is no question about all the important
facts--correspondents largely corroborate each other.

Inez came from a family of French extraction, apparently stable
and normal tradespeople.  The old mother at 74 years wrote us an
unusually well-thought-out, detailed account of her daughter's
early life.  The paternal grandfather was insane and an aunt had
epilepsy.  Defective heredity in other respects is denied.  We
get no history of convulsions in the immediate family, nor of any
other neurotic manifestation, except that one sister is ``very

Inez came when the mother was unusually advanced in life, and the
brothers and sisters, of whom there were five, had long since
been born.  There was a difference of 10 years between Inez and
the next older.  In telling the facts, the mother dwells much on
this and the bearing which her chagrin during pregnancy may have
had upon the girl's physical and mental development.  She was
born, then, after a troubled pregnancy, a weak and sickly child,
``almost like a skeleton.''

Inez was rather slow at walking, but at one year spoke her first
words.  We do not know with accuracy about the earliest factors
in the mental environment.  (Inez has told various stories about
early family friction, and even about contracting an infection at
home, much of which seems highly conjectural.)  Between the ages
of 7 and 10 several sicknesses, diphtheria, measles with some
cardiac complication, etc., kept her much out of school.  Part of
the time she lived in New Orleans, and part of the time in a
country district.  She only went to school until she was 14, and
was somewhat retarded on account of changing about and illnesses.
However, it is said she always liked her school and showed fair
aptitude for study.  At 14 she returned to New Orleans and,
desiring to be a dressmaker, started in that trade.  She worked
in several places, but finally went back to her home.

At the age of 18 Inez met with what, according to her family, was
a decisive event in her life.  She was in a trolley car accident;
after being knocked down she was unconscious for some time.  No
definite injury was recorded.  Her family marked an entire change
of character from that time.  They say she then began lying in
the minutest detail about people and seemed to believe in her own
falsifications.  Besides this she started the roving tendency
which she has shown ever since.

The extensive information which we have received concerning the
later history of this remarkable case we can only take space to
give in summary.  We know definitely that Inez has received
attention, during periods varying from a few days to six months,
in no less than 18 different hospitals.  Besides this she has
been under the care of physicians at least a score of times.  Her
swindling in this matter was so flagrant in one eastern city to
which she had journeyed that she was handled through the police
court and was sentenced to a state hospital for the insane for a
term of 6 months.  The charge was that she was an idle person and
a beggar, and she was regarded as perhaps being unbalanced.  The
report from this town is that she would be taken with ``spells of
apparent violent illness on the street, in the trolley cars, at
railroad stations, and so be carried to various hospitals and
doctors' homes.''  She has visited numerous cities, getting her
sustenance largely through hospitals and physicians.

After being admitted into one famous hospital and showing some of
her curious manifestations she was transferred to a state
institution in the vicinity to be studied for insanity.
Correspondence with one physician tells the story of how five
years ago he was called from a medical meeting to attend this
``girl'' who had been taken from a trolley car into his home.
She was apparently suffering great pain in the region of the old
appendicitis scar and she was conveyed in an ambulance to a
hospital.  After investigation for a few days, it was decided she
was hysterical or a simulator.

On numerous occasions her feigned illness has been so apparently
overcoming that she has had to be transferred in an ambulance to
a hospital.  One of her usual performances has been to get into
some home or institution and then keep others awake all night
with her signs of distress.  It is interesting that she has used
the same methods over and over again, but has been adroit enough
to vary the illnesses which she has simulated.  At one time
investigation in a hospital seemed to show that she was
neurasthenic.  She has been given chances in homes for
convalescents, but has never maintained herself in such a place
for long.  We note she was sent back from one of these to the
main hospital on account of having vomited the medicine she had
been given.  In fact, she has repeatedly been found resisting the
treatment which had been prescribed.

The record of admission and treatment given in one hospital is of
peculiar interest.  She was received there four years ago and
evidently had been unable just previously to take care of herself
properly on account of roaming.  Her clothing was dirty and her
head unclean.  She was found to have the old appendicitis scar,
which contained a small sinus.  She remained in bed after
admission, complaining of much pain in her abdomen, not well
localized however, and would lie moaning, crying, and rolling
across the bed.  She was then running a slight temperature.
After a time an operation was decided upon and a hairpin was
found in the abdominal wall, undoubtedly inserted through the
scar by the patient herself.  (The findings of the surgeon in
Chicago, then, revealed a repeated performance.)

At another place the patient maintained she was unable to
urinate, but at the same time strongly resisted catheterization.
From the variability of her complaint it was found it could not
be caused by a local condition, and examination showed no reason
for the difficulty.  Analysis of her symptoms undertaken at this
time led to several stories, one about urethritis, which Inez
claimed to have contracted from her brother at 3 years; an
episode when she had received a great fright during micturition;
an incident when she had seen a man exposed when she went to the
toilet.  (Of course, our experience with this type of case leads
us to appreciate the difficulties of psychological analysis with
extreme liars.)

On one occasion she entered a hospital, claiming to have been
recently injured; she had been taken in a supposed fainting
condition from a car.  Then it was she maintained that she had
been struck by an iron bar and that a spike had entered her back.
She also claimed at this time to have had her toes frozen.  Study
of the case here, too, showed no signs of injury or frost bite.
On another occasion she told of having been dropped by a nurse
while being lifted from a bed.  Altogether her stories and her
simulations have been convincing enough to get for her on many
occasions good attention during at least a few days.

We can get no account of true hysterical signs being discovered
by any one.  There has been no showing of anything but that she
is a liar and a simulator.  In the hospital records the portions
devoted to previous history are thoroughly vitiated by her
untruthfulness, and they contain statements which offer great
contradictions, one to the other.

Inez has been observed, then, for two long periods by
psychiatrists.  While at the end of neither period were the
observers willing to state that the young woman was compos
mentis, still their verdict in this matter had to be made up from
considerations of her social behavior rather than from what they
were able to discern by direct observation of her mental
processes.  From one case-record we read that ``The patient was
quiet, pleasant, and agreeable, replied promptly and
intelligently to questions, and talked spontaneously of her
affairs.  She was quite clear as to the environment, had
apparently a satisfactory memory, with the exception of a recent
period preceding admission.  Her statements, too, were probably
not altogether truthful, but frequently a reason for the
untruthfulness was made out.  She thought that her mind was all
right, but complained of having occasional difficulty in

Another prolonged study of her mental status was made four years
ago.  From the record we learn that there were no apparent
reactions to hallucinations.  Consciousness was clear and the
patient was completely oriented for time, place, and persons.
The train of thought was coherent and relevant.  Questions were
readily answered and attention easily held.  Memory was fair for
most events.  School knowledge was reasonably well retained.
Judgment, to this observer, seemed impaired, although no definite
delusions could be elicited.  Emotionally she was found more or
less irritable, fault finding, and at times a trifle despondent.
(Certainly the latter would be a natural reaction under the
circumstances.)  Often, however, she was found cheerful and
contented.  No special volitional disturbances were noted.  Was
found to act in an hysterical manner when she felt ill.  She was
neat, tidy, and cleanly in her habits.  Appetite was good and she
slept well.  Such was the report from the institution where she
was held for six months.  There was no material change in her
condition during this time; she showed herself very proficient
with the needle; she was discharged when her sentence expired.

We note a statement from one hospital that this ``girl'' gave no
evidence of having had any direct sexual experience, or that she
had ruminated much over these matters.  Her story about frequent
fainting attacks given at this time was not corroborated by
observation.  The diagnosis from one hospital was neurasthenia,
but investigation of her case in most places seems to have led
merely to the conclusion that she was a tremendous liar.

Notwithstanding our long record of this case and the accounts
which have been handed in to us of experiences with her in other
localities, we do not presume to know a tithe of the places Inez
has been to or lived in during the last eight years.  It is more
than likely that she herself would find it difficult to give any
accurate account of her rovings.  At the time we first saw Inez
her parents had not heard from her for about three years.
Shortly after this we found that she had renewed correspondence
with them and had sent them money as if she were now prosperous.
Her family have all along, in spite of her stories, been poor.
At one period she visited several cities in the southeastern
states and was at a hospital in one of them.  In Charleston there
is a family by the name of B. (spelled the same as the name of
the people she was with in Tennessee).  These were the people
Inez asked us to write to in an appeal, because they had long
known her and were wealthy, for a chance to get an education.
She stated they were immediate relatives of the B.'s in
Tennessee, and that she had visited them once at their fine home
in Charleston for three or four months.  These people replied to
us that they had been receiving letters for years from
associations and organizations in regard to this girl whom they
had never seen.  They were convinced she had assumed their name
because she had understood they were well-to-do and liberal.
``We know nothing about her education, but judge she has enough
to dupe people with; posing as poor at one time, sick at another,
and anxious for an education at another, as you inform us.''

From another correspondent with whom Inez had lived in Alabama
for a few weeks we had a marvelous tale which they heard from
her.  She had told them she formerly lived in the most beautiful
part of New Orleans and when 5 years old was placed in a convent,
and then taken to a boarding-school, from which she was kidnapped
and taken to a small town in Georgia.  She was later placed in
another boarding-school and there met the wealthy B.'s of
Charleston who took her home with them.  While there she had to
go to a hospital on account of some infection.  One day she was
thrust into a taxicab, taken on a boat, landed at another city,
etc.  The B.'s of Charleston have thus figured long in her story,
and we learned from several correspondents that this kidnapping
has figured over and over as a big event in her life.

Once, years ago, Inez was taken into a private home accompanied
by a trunk, we hear, which was found to contain a considerable
amount of jewelry.  This was pawned in the name of the people
with whom she then lived and was redeemed later by some one else.
Inez laid claim to the jewelry after a time, but apparently was
unable to produce anybody who could vouch that it was really
hers.  Its ownership has remained unknown.

When she went to St. Louis at one time she had stated she was to
meet a relative there, but the person, we have come to know, was
a certain very decent young man who had become acquainted with
her through a correspondence bureau.  He had thought well of her
and warned her not to come to that city, but when she did so he
met her and took her at once to his own home where the womenfolk
looked after her until she was found a place elsewhere.  The
deliberate attempt to throw herself upon his protection was thus
frustrated by his relatives.  Many other reports of the
misrepresentations of Inez have been given us.  She has
discovered that borrowing money on the strength of invented
statements is sometimes possible, particularly for her with her
good presence and convincing manner.  The B.'s complained that
when she left Tennessee there were in her trunk many dollars'
worth of articles that belonged to them.

Throughout our long experience with Inez we have never been able
to make up our mind whether or not she remembered all of her
past.  Her lying always stood in the way of getting at anything
like the real facts.  On no occasion has she truthfully dealt
with her career as we know it.  She has professed absolute lack
of knowledge of her accident, and of the time and place of its
occurrence.  It is interesting that none of her acquaintances
mention this.  Although Inez has told long stories of her past to
many people, and with some inclusion of truth, she never seems to
have mentioned this important event of which we learned from her
family.  We cannot, then, decide about possible amnesia for this

On occasion Inez has expressed the same desire for religious
experience as for education, and has written to friends that she
had become imbued with the Spirit.  Her story of her religious
upbringing is altogether unreliable and contradictory, but while
in one hospital she professed belief, took communion, and was
baptized in a certain faith.  Her behavior was not, however, in
the least modified by this.

One serious minded woman took Inez at her word when she said she
wanted to study algebra and offered her a good opportunity which
was never accepted.  This demonstrated clearly that the desire
was a matter of words only.  Inez' constant assertion of
independence has been one of her main sources of temporary
success.  Kindly people have speedily taken up with her.
Sympathy is undoubtedly, in spite of her statements to the
contrary, one of the strongest needs of her nature.  In one of
her letters we note her expression of satisfaction in a certain
situation where she found herself much ``mothered'' by kind
nurses.  All her chances, however, have been spoiled by her
indulgence in lies.

Inez has remained adamant to every plea and suggestion made by
many well-wishing friends that she reform and begin again.  After
her parents and other relatives were found and communicated with,
her career partly known, and her mother's need of sympathy shown
to her, she still refused to change her story in many
particulars--even when she knew that we had discovered about her
writing home within recent months.  She steadily refused to
acknowledge her true age.  When the evidence was complete,
showing that she could not be held as a runaway girl, but must be
treated under the law as a woman, she went forth to begin, as we
heard from many other sources, her old misrepresentations of
herself, which speedily got her into further trouble.

We were not astonished, even after we had accumulated almost the
entire knowledge of the career which we have outlined above, and
Inez knew that we had done so, to be visited by two fine
philanthropic women who wanted to consult with us about an
unfortunate girl who had won their sympathy, and who had been
placed by them in a leading hospital after having shown some
signs of acute bronchitis.  In fact, she was in such a bad
condition that she had to be transferred in an ambulance.  But
her illness had rapidly cleared up and now after ten days of
observation an eminent diagnostician had thoroughly scolded her
for simulation, and the girl was once more on their hands.
Indirectly they learned that we knew of the case of this ``girl
of 16.''  They realized that they had been taken in, but it had
been done so cleverly, and, as they expressed it, Inez showed
herself such a splendid actress, that they wondered if she had
not extraordinary histrionic abilities which could be utilized.
(It remains to be seen whether anything constructive can be done
by following this lead.  We feel that previous psychiatrists who
gave earlier an unfavorable prognosis in this case were perhaps
quite right.  But perhaps we should not let our opinions in this
be swayed by the fact that my associate, Dr. Bronner, who went to
this last hospital was met by an absolute denial on the part of
Inez of the essentials of the above career, by her insistence
that she was not the same person as the daughter of the Smiths,
and that she was only 17--all this in spite of her knowledge of
our correspondence with her family and others, and her own
previous acknowledgments of lying.)

Summary:  In summarizing the characteristics of this woman we may
first insist that she has ambition, push, and energy in high
degree.  Her personality as expressed in general bearing,
features, and facial action is remarkably strong and convincing.
Her ambition was shown in her work on our tests as well as in her
social behavior.  (We have wondered if it was not her desire to
shine which prevented the typical performance of the pathological
liar on the ``Aussage'' test.)  Her self-confidence as expressed
on numerous occasions is no less striking.  ``I tell you, doctor,
that I have told lies, but you will see that I will come out on

Inez has been free from the overt problems of sex life.  We have
repeatedly been informed that she has been a girl of good
character in this respect.  ``I ran away from home for a good
cause.  I'm not one of those girls who is crazy about the boys.''
Usually Inez shows a very even temper.  It is only when her own
personality is trod upon that she grows angry, and obstinacy is
then her leading reaction.  Some pathological liars may be weak
in character, but not Inez.  She is the firmest of persons.  On
occasions her attitude is entirely that of the grand lady.  Her
type of lying is clearly pathological.  It would often be very
hard to discern a purpose in it, and over and over again she has
defeated her own ends by further indulgence in prevarications.
To her the utterance of lies comes just as quickly and naturally
as speaking the truth comes to other people.  Even in interviews
with us when she was voluntarily acknowledging her shortcomings
in this direction she went on in the same breath to further

The medical aspects of the case come under the same category as
the lying.  The dysuria, the spitting of blood, the sugar in the
urine, the hairpins found twice in the abdomen, the simulated
pains, neurasthenia, and bronchial attacks, together with her
stories of accidents and fainting spells illustrate her general
tendency.  This behavior, like her lying, serves to feed her
egocentrism, her craving for sympathy and for being the center of
action.  As with the lying, repetition of this type of conduct
probably is largely a matter of habit.

The bearing of this case on the problems of testimony is
interesting.  As shown in our account of tests done, when
objective concrete material was considered by this woman she
reported it well.  It is only when her egocentrism is brought
into play that she becomes so definitely unreliable.  This is a
line of demarcation that students of this subject would do well
to recognize.

Causative Factors:  Our study of causation in this case, as we
intimated at first, is necessarily incomplete.  But some things,
probably explanatory, stand out very clearly.  Heredity is
moderately defective.  Inez was the outcome of an unfortunate
pregnancy and was a poorly developed infant.  She suffered early
from a number of illnesses, which, however, left no perceptible
physical defects.  Her unusual relationship to the other
children, based on the difference in age, was perhaps a starting
point for the development of her inventional theories of her own
origin.  She has given us many hints of this in speaking of her
earliest remembrances of hearing the Smiths whispering something
about adoption, and of her feeling that the other children were
too old for her to belong to their family.

Then we insist on the positive bearing which this woman's native
traits have had in the production of her career.  Her facility
with language marks her as possessing one of the chief
characteristics of the pathological liar.  Added to this she
showed the other personal traits which we have described in
detail, leading to her success in misrepresenting herself.  Her
strongly developed physiognomy has caused many people to believe
her older than she stated, but still one has seen such lineaments
belonging to girls of 17.

The bearing which the accident at 18 had upon the case it is
impossible for us to estimate.  Her family are very clear on this
point; they maintain that all her bad conduct has developed since
then.  Through unwillingness, or barely possibly real amnesia for
the injury, Inez has not helped us to know the facts.  Dr.
Augusta Bronner, who has studied this case with me, cleverly
suggests that just as anyone becomes confused in distinguishing
really remembered experiences from what has been told by others
was one's experience, so Inez gets confused between what has
really happened and what she herself has told as having happened.
This finally involves a pathological liar in a network which is
difficult to untangle.  Part of the causation of the present
lying, then, is the extensive lying which has been done

Psychological analysis in such a case is most difficult because
of the unreliability of the individual's own statements about her
life, inner and outer.  Psychoanalysts will be delighted, in the
light of what we long afterward found out, at the pregnant
opening sentence of an interview, recorded above, when Inez
blurted out that she was once in a State hospital.  However, from
what we ascertained, we may see clearly that here is an
individual with a past that she desires to cover up.  Much more
delinquency may be involved of which we know nothing.  As the
result of circumstances and traits she finds herself, despite her
very good ability, inadequately meeting the world.  Her forceful
personality carries her into situations which she is incompetent
to live up to.  The immediate way out is by creating a new
complication, and this may be through lies or the simulation of
illness, at which she has become an adept.  Altogether, Inez must
be thought of as one who is trying to satisfy certain wishes and
ambitions which are too much for her resources.  Towards the goal
to which her nature urges her she follows the path of least
resistance.  Being the personality that she is, the social world
offers her stimulation which does not come to others.

To discuss the problem of her responsibility would be to
introduce metaphysics--it is sure that in the ordinary sense she
is not insane.  The cause of her career is not a psychosis,
although we readily grant that out of the materials of her mental
experience she may ultimately build up definite delusions.


Summary:  A girl of 16 had been engaged in an extraordinary
amount of clever shoplifting under the influence of her
``mother.''  In the courts where the cases against her were heard
there was much sympathy with the girl, but it was difficult to
carry out any measures for her benefit because of the excessive
prevarications which had characterized her for a long period.
Under oath she falsely accused her ``father'' of sex immorality
with her.  She was removed from her home, and with knowledge of
the mental conflicts which beset her, splendid efforts to
``cure'' this girl met with success.  It is another case where
supposed inherited traits turn out to be the result of
environmental influences.

Through frequent communication with the highly intelligent woman
with whom Edna F. was placed in a small western city after she
was taken from her previous miserable environment, we have been
able to keep close check on the progress of the case for several
years.  It was also very fortunate for our understanding that a
nurse who knew the girl's real mother in New York, where Edna was
born, appeared on the scene and gave us data upon which we could
base some opinions of the outcome.  The case in its entirety had
proved very baffling to detectives because of the mass of
contradictory lies told by both the girl and her ``mother.''

Our attention was first called to this girl when a number of
court people were trying to solve the mystery.  She had been
arrested for shoplifting and her curious attitude and statements
had made some believe she was not quite right mentally.  Once
before she had been detected stealing things in a shop.  One of
her remarkable statements this last time was that her parents
were implicated in the thieving and she named certain stolen
articles which might be found at their home.  She went with the
detectives and accused her ``mother'' of wearing a dress which
she, Edna, had stolen.  The woman was forced to give up the dress
and other articles, but it was found later that these goods had
been actually bought and paid for by the parents.  Later it was
found that the woman was a party to the girl's stealing and this
made the girl's story seem all the more strange, for if she were
going to involve the people at all why did she not pick out the
actually stolen articles?  However, long study of the case
brought out the fact that this type of statement was a
characteristic of Edna's.  Her word on even important points was
absolutely unreliable and her own interests were frequently
thwarted by her prevarications.

The case in its different aspects came up in court again and
again until finally most of the truth was ascertained, enough to
justify radical measures being undertaken.  During this period
the mother was discovered to be an atrocious liar; even with her
last bitter confession that all she had said about her motherhood
had been untrue, she manufactured more quite unnecessary
falsehoods.  In the meantime the family physician and the family
lawyer had both informed me of the peculiar mysteries of the case
and of the perfect mass of lies into which the statements of both
mother and daughter led.  This sort of thing had been going on
for years.  It is of no small interest to note that the woman was
greatly over-dressed and made up.  On numerous occasions she
appealed to us to study the girl and find out why she lied so
much and why she had such an inclination to steal, in the
meantime attempting to fill us up with many inventions about the
girl's antecedents.

Physical examination showed a perfectly normally developed girl.
No sensory defects.  Pleasant features.  Well shaped head.
Weight 101 lbs; height 5 ft. 1 in.  We found no hysterical
stigmata.  Menstruation had first occurred at 14.  No trouble or
irregularity was reported.  We learn the girl has never had any
serious illness.  She herself told of fainting spells after being
whipped and so on, but these were undoubtedly falsifications.
The family physician informed us he had operated on the girl for
appendicitis about three months previous to the time we first saw
her.  He had found some evidences of an old appendiceal
inflammation, but it is quite likely from the various accounts
which we heard that her symptoms recounted to him were largely
fabrication and that the signs which he found, at least in their
excessive phases, were partly deceptions.  The most important
point for the court proceedings was his findings that the girl
had never been sexually tampered with and had no local disease.
At the time when we knew Edna she was being treated for a local
infection which must have been recent and superficial, for it
rapidly subsided.

We had ample opportunity to test Edna's ability and found it
quite normal.  She had been out of school much and had been
careless in general about her education, but she had finally
finished the grammar school.  A long list of tests was done
almost uniformly well.  Where a prolonged task which required
concentration was asked, Edna was inclined to work carelessly,
but in general her capacities proved to be decidedly good.  She
was accustomed to read nothing but the lightest literature and
fairy stories and her interests were of the superficial sort.
Neither in powers of imagery or imagination, nor by anything else
ascertained about her mental abilities did we come to know of any
point of special bearing upon her behavior.

On the ``Aussage'' picture test, she gave only 12 details, all
correct, on free recital.  Upon questioning she gave 28 more
items and almost the only variation from accuracy was in respect
to the colors.  Evidently she let her fancy run when she could
not remember correctly; through this she got 6 items incorrect.
She readily accepted 3 out of 4 suggestions.

Our earliest impressions of Edna state that she seemed much
confused in her stories and in her manner of telling them,
leaving sentences unfinished and trying to explain
inconsistencies by other inconsistencies.  At this time she was
referring constantly to her doubts about her age, her family, and
her origin.  She then seemed highly suspicious of every one and
talked of suicide.  However, when she was showing these signs she
could be diverted, for she worked with much pleasure at the
tests, particularly certain memory tests on which she did well.

On account of the difficulties of the solution of this case under
the law considerable time and effort were spent in looking up her
record.  It was found that some years ago Edna had run away from
home and there was a newspaper article published about her.  Even
at that time an officer who went to the home was unable to
ascertain the truth in the case.  The family had frequently moved
and the mother asserted it was because of the bad reputation
which the girl's actions had given them.  The neighbors
complained of the cruelty of the parents to Edna, but this meant
only the whippings which the mother had given her.  By all
accounts the father was a good man who insisted that affairs
between his wife and Edna were not his own.  (Edna always
maintained that this man had been unusually good to her, although
she so strangely made in court the false accusations of prolonged
sex immorality on his part and reiterated these statements even
to us.  It was not until many months afterward that she
acknowledged the falsity of her accusations, although we knew
from her physician that they were not true.)

The first time Edna was in court was when she was about 14 years
old.  At that time she had been observed by a department store
detective stealing hosiery and a bracelet.  She perceived she was
being shadowed and walked up to the counter and ordered some
children's garments, having them charged and sent to a fictitious
name and address.  The detective thought this a masterpiece of
slyness, this endeavor to throw them off the track.  Since the
family, who really kept an account at this store, appealed to the
manager to have Edna let off as it was an ordinary trick of a
growing girl, the charge was withdrawn.  Detectives who had been
employed from a private agency made a very poor showing on
getting at the real facts.  The husband was doing well in his
business and there never seemed to be any reason to suspect his
wife of being directly or indirectly connected with the
shoplifting.  Earlier there was some intimation that Edna was not
the child of these people, but the persons who suggested this did
not know the true facts and were found to have a grudge against
the mother.  In the meantime the latter had strongly maintained
her relationship.

It was months after this and just before we saw the case when a
detective, who had kept the case in mind, went to the house to
get the goods which Edna maintained had been stolen.  There he
found the ``mother'' and another woman smoking and thought he
detected signs of their being drug habitues.  Later, I myself
felt sure of this point, but we were never able to state to what
drug they were addicted.  Edna frequently stated she had been
accustomed to buying morphine for these women, but her statements
about its appearance and its cost were so at variance with the
facts that though it is likely she had bought something of the
kind, yet no amount of inquiry brought out the definite facts.
The woman's appearance and her remarkable lack of veracity were
both highly suggestive of a drug habit.

In our several interviews with this woman we were amazed by her
strange self-contradictions.  It was not only that she stated
something different from what she had said a week before, but
even at different times on the same day her statements would be
changed.  Concerning her relationship to Edna she gave us the
facts of the girl's birth and laughed off the idea that she was
not the girl's mother.  ``Why, I can remember every moment of my
pregnancy with her.''  It was anomalous that this woman had hired
a righteous man as a lawyer to represent her and the girl.  This
attorney, consulting with me, soon came to the conclusion that
the only interest he would serve in the case was that of the
girl, and then only in the effort to save her from the miserable
influences of her mother.

Edna's school record was most peculiar.  She had been frequently
changed on account of her dishonesty.  In one sectarian school
she was said to steal all sorts of useless things--bits of
string, pieces of pencils, and articles no one else would want.
She also stole a two dollar bill from a grocery store; the
cashier followed her and recovered the money from her person
right there in the school.  Edna always denied that she took
things.  While in another school she had flowers sent to all the
teachers and the florist's bill was presented to her there.  In
still another school she took a pair of shoes from a boy at
recess, wore these and left her old ones in the locker room.  Her
word was everywhere recognized as being most unreliable.

After the case had long been in court and Edna still stoutly
maintained that she was not the child of these parents, but had
complicated her story by adding incidents which were known to be
untrue, such as her ``father's'' immorality with her, that there
had been another adopted child in the family, that even the
dishes the family used were stolen by her, and so on, the woman
came and suddenly blurted out that she herself had been lying all
along and that this was not her child.  She then alleged the
parentage was so and so, but this matter was in turn looked up
and found to be false.  It was adjudged that these people had
absolutely no parental rights, and then work was begun on
constructive measures of redeeming the girl if possible.  It was
not long after this that the nurse came to us who had known the
girl's real mother in New York and who had taken charge of Edna
as an infant before her foster mother had taken her.  It seems
that the mother was an American, that this child was
illegitimate.  A few months after her birth the mother abandoned
her, became dissolute and is said to have since died.

Edna had run away from home on several occasions and slept in
hallways for a night or two at a time.  She had not been sexually
immoral until just previous to our seeing her.  Then while away
from home she had gone with a man to a hotel, and probably had
also been with boys.  These were her first and last experiences
of the sort, but how much these affairs had been on her mind we
obtained some intimation of from herself.

``My mother took me to S's when I was 8 years old and told me to
take anything I could and I got into the habit of it.  I can't
stop myself.  I take anything I want.  Mother said she would kill
me if I told the truth.  I had to say lots of things that were
not so.  I had to lie and say mother did not beat me, but she had
a horsewhip that was plaited, father burned it.  Then they bought
a little one, but she beat me with a rubber hose and everything.
The first thing I think I stole was jewelry in a store down-town.
The woman I call `auntie' said if I would give her the goods she
would pay me for them.''

``My mother fixed it up that if she got the goods and got caught
she would get a clerk to make out receipts and get them stamped
paid.  She has not done this yet, but I think she will in this
case.''  (This was a statement at the very first interview with
Edna and no doubt had reference to the fact that the mother could
produce receipted bills for the dress and other articles which
Edna had maintained to the detective she herself had stolen.  Of
course the girl's story of this was untrue; the receipts were

``One of my sisters is adopted, but my father does not know it.
She ain't real.  It was this way.  When my pa was out west for a
year ma asked me to look in the papers for a baby and I looked
and found an advertisement about one.  Ma said she must not be
redheaded because that ain't like the family.  We went and got
her and ma went to bed for nine days and pretended it was her
baby.  She took a shawl and gave the nurse $25 and made out
adoption papers.  She took me with her.  It was a month old.  She
made me go and tell my aunt I had a little sister.  My aunt said
it looked kind of big for 3 days old, but ma said she had been
keeping it in an incubator.  She had padded herself out before,
and pretended it was her own child.  Pa came home when it was six
months old and he loved the baby just like his own.  I ain't
jealous, but it makes me sick to hear such lies.''

This alleged fact, reiterated to us and testified to in the
court, was in itself a source of the whole case being farther
followed up.  The nurse was found who took care of Edna's
``mother'' during her confinement and it was found that Edna's
whole story was quite untrue.  It was evidently an elaborate
fabrication representing the facts as they might have been about
Edna herself.  The only part of it that was true was that one of
the younger children had been for a time in an incubator.

``Since I was 10 years old I have known about that.  I have known
I was not her child.  She said something that sounded queer to me
once when I ran away.  It made me think she was not my mother.

``Why do I tell lies?  I got started at it when I was small.  She
used to make me tell lies to my father.  I began to steal when I
was about 8 years old.  My little sister has started to take
things already.  She is only 4.  I was trying to break her and
mother said, `Let her alone.'

``She's had about nine different servants.  She never can keep
any.  She used to make me forge letters.  She made me sign a
girl's name to a receipt for wages which the girl never received.
The girl had no case against her because she had the receipts.
The poor girl lost it.

``I am going to tell the truth.  There's going to be lots of
things come out.  I am going to tell the judge I lied when I told
him I did not steal the things.  Why did I lie?  Well, she gave
me just one look and I knew what she would do to me when I got
home.  Everything I told you about my father is the truth.  Where
else would I get that disease?  I was never allowed to go out
with boys.''

At another time when we inquired what bothered or worried her
more than anything else we obtained an account of her sex
repressions.  Of course there would always be difficulty in
knowing just how true the details were but probably she gave us
the main factors in her mental life.

``I used to be out in the streets all the time.  There were
hardly any houses around there then.  I used to hear mother talk
about things.  She would send me out of the room and say it was
not for me to hear.  Then boys lived near me and they asked me to
do bad things.  I first heard about those things from a boy on
the porch.  I was 7 or 8.  I was always thinking about it--what
my mother said at that time, I mean.  She did not explain it
enough.  I am always fidgety, always nervous.  My hands and feet
are always going.  Whenever I would see a boy it would always
come up in front of my eyes.  It was mostly when I saw boys.  If
she had explained it more it would not have come up that way.  I
know a girl who does that thing.  She's bad.  She does it with
boys too.  The people said so.  When I was little I imagined
there were some bad girls.  You can't tell, but you can guess a
little.  That boy had lots of things.  I don't know if he took
anything.  It was when I was about 4 until I was 8 that I played
with him.  These things never came up in my mind when I was
taking things.  It was only when I was not busy.  I was always
thinking about it when I haven't anything else to do.  These few
little words were not enough to explain.  I remember I asked my
aunt once.  I tried to put things together what I heard, and what
words about it meant.''

The above excerpts from many interviews with this girl represent
points upon which there is the least contradiction.  It is
obviously useless to give any more of her story because of the
variation from time to time.  Even on the last occasion when we
talked earnestly to her before she was taken to her new home, she
lied to us about a number of points.  Any attempt at an accurate
analysis of her impulse to steal seemed quite beyond the mark in
the light of her ever-ready fabrications.

The after-history of this case is of the utmost importance.  A
woman of strong character took Edna and surrounded her with new
interests.  Conference was had with us on the nature of the case.
For the next few months reports came that the girl was a liar
through and through and grave doubts were entertained of ultimate
success.  It was after she had been tried in her new environment
for 3 months that, seeing us again, she confessed that her
stories about her foster father were absolutely untrue.  From
about this time on there has been steady improvement.  No more
elaborate fabrications have been indulged in.  On several
occasions when Edna has been late from school she has lied about
it, but even that tendency for the last year has been nearly
obliterated.  A good deal of interest in boys has been
maintained, but not with any show of immorality.  There has been
nothing but normal flirting; accounting for the occasions when
Edna has been late from school.

At two or three periods during her new life Edna has engaged in
stealing.  She has taken articles for which she had no particular
use and has told lies about the matter.  The thieving has not
been a single event, but each time has seemed to represent a
state of mind she has been in, and for a week or so numerous
articles have been taken.  We warned her good friend to make a
study of her social and mental influences at such periods.  It
was found then that Edna was undergoing special stress on at
least one such occasion.  A young man had been making up to her,
and later she confided that this given period was one of great
turmoil because of the renewed arousal of many ideas about sex
affairs.  After this there was still more attempts to win Edna's
confidence about her daily experiences, including such as the
above.  There has been the gradual development of character, and
Edna is now, two years after she was taken from her bad
environment, only very occasionally guilty of falsifying, and she
is otherwise trustworthy.

Our study of the causative factors of this girl's delinquency and
particularly of her extraordinary lying led us to see that
perhaps all of the following have a part:  (a) Heredity.  Father
unknown.  Mother a free-living woman.  (b) Home conditions.
Mental and moral bad influences in the home life on account of
the foster mother conniving at stealing and being herself an
extreme liar.  (c) Psychic contagion from the atmosphere of lies
in which the girl has been brought up.  (d) Mental conflict
arising from the suspicion of her parentage, early acquaintance
with sex knowledge, and the irregular morale of her home life.
(e) Bad companions, including her foster mother's friends, and
boys and girls.

Mental Conflict.                            Case 4.
                                        Girl, age 15 yrs.
Home influences: Extremely bad, including
                 excessive lying.
     Bad companions.
        Heredity (?).
Delinquencies:                            Mentality:
   Much stealing.  (Shop lifting, etc.)      Fair ability.
   Excessive lying.
   False accusations.
   Sex immorality.


Summary:  A young woman of 20, bright mentally, strong
physically, ``confessed'' to a professor of a university where
she was studying that she had shot and killed a man.  The facts
were known to only three or four people and she was terribly
worried about it all.  Upon her information the affair was taken
up by a group of professional men, one of them a lawyer of large
practical experience.  She aided in an investigation which
attempted to uncover the ``white slave'' feature of the case.
The data of verification proved most elusive.  Later, the young
woman implicated herself in a burglary, and altogether an
elaborate story of her life was evolved.  It was found that from
early years she had been a great fabricator.

While a first year student at a university Marie M. begged for an
interview with one of her instructors at his home and there, with
him and others, she told a detailed story of how some months
previously she had escaped a difficult situation by killing a

The exceedingly long account which was given at intervals to
several professional men and enlarged upon in response to
inquiry, or as the occasion otherwise demanded, we are not
justified in taking space to retell.  This case figures, as a
whole, in somewhat anecdotal fashion among our others, we freely
confess; it is cited to show the extent to which apparently
purposeless fabrication can go.  It has been found impossible to
gain a satisfactory idea of the genesis of this young woman's
tendency, quite in contrast to the other cases we have cited.  It
forms the only instance where we have drawn from our experience
with merely partially studied cases.

Marie's story involved many items of her life since she was about
12 years of age.  A distant relative who had come to know her
whereabouts (she was an orphan living with friends) figured
extensively in her narrative.  This relative had hounded her in
an effort to get her to engage in an evil life.  His attentions
varied greatly; sometimes for months she was not bothered with
him.  Once when she was on her way to Milwaukee a gray haired man
approached her on the train, said he knew her relatives, they
were rather a bad lot of people, and he wanted to protect her
from them.  Then came a long account of being driven in a
carriage, changing her clothes in a hotel, having her picture
taken in an immodest costume, signing a paper at police
headquarters, and, at last, safely returning home, all guided by
the mysterious gray haired man.  Another trip led to an encounter
with a man who took her in an automobile under the promise of
meeting a friend.  Entering a building where men carried
revolvers and girls were given hypodermic injections, just as she
was about to receive the needle in her arm, she reached the man's
revolver and shot him in the back.  Events follow swiftly in her
tale, but all is thoroughly coherent, and a number of facts are
included which could be substantiated.  The professional men
could not help being impressed and spent much valuable time
before they felt convinced that it was a fabrication.  The exact
locations could not be discovered, but then Marie was a stranger
in the city.

When we saw her the whole story was reiterated with but few
changes, which, however, from the standpoint of testimony were
most important.  We soon found we could get direct testimony on
physical features which were provably untrue.  For instance, the
description of a certain hallway in a building where she had gone
with one of the men interested in the events was totally unlike
anything that existed there.  Then, too, certain embellishments,
which by this time included the payment of a large check to her
as hush money, a check which she as easily gave away again,
seemed altogether improbable.  Marie by this time was implicating
herself in a burglary with this relative, and some other curious
incidents were given.  In all of these, as we later found, there
was a central event about which her statements MIGHT have been
true.  There was such a burglary; she had said in previous years
that she was hounded by a man, and so on.  We, too, were struck
by the uselessness and lack of purpose in the lying--for we soon
felt assured that it was such.

Physically we found Marie to be a decidedly good specimen.  She
weighed about 140 lbs.  Strong and firm in carriage.  Vivacious
in expression.  The physical examination at the university had
shown her to be without notable defect of any kind.  We can
summarize Marie's characteristics by stating that from the
earliest age of which we can get satisfactory record, when she
was about 10 years old, she has been persistently addicted to
falsehoods.  Even then she made up, without any basis, stories
which puzzled many people.  It is much to the point that she has
been a great loser on account of this tendency; it has injured
her reputation on numerous occasions and destroyed many of her
good chances.  When she was about 15 it was noticed that she was
a great day-dreamer.  She thought she could write stories and
once began a novel.  Much more peculiar than this was the fact
that she repeatedly wrote letters to her friends which were
simply a mass of fabrications, describing such things as
imaginary excursions.

Tests for mental ability were not given in this case, there was
no need for it.  Her marks in the preparatory course were just
fair.  It had been noted by her teachers, as well as by her
foster parents, that she was prone to have periods when attention
to her work seemed difficult.  Aside from her peculiarities,
which showed themselves entirely in her fabricating tendency and
her assumed illnesses, nothing much out of the way in her mental
life had ever been noted.  On several occasions she had taken to
her bed, but when a physician was called, a diagnosis was given
of simulation, or hysteria.  Nothing like major hysterical
attacks at any time occurred,

From most excellent sources of information we have obtained an
account of the family history.  No instance of insanity is known,
but it is said there is much evidence of ignorance and
superstition.  Marie's mother bore a good character, but was
decidedly ignorant.  At about the age of 50 she made a homicidal
attack upon a second husband and then killed herself.  The father
was an industrious and sober laborer, but unable to support his
large family.  At his death in Marie's early childhood the family
was broken up and the ten children were distributed about.  None
of the children is said to be abnormal mentally, but there has
been a tendency to free living, even on the part of the older
sisters.  It seems very sure that no other member of the family
was given to telling false stories.  The brothers have been
inclined to be shiftless and to roam, but then the environmental
conditions often have been against them.  However, some of them
have done well.  In general, as far as Marie is concerned, it may
be said early home environment was not bad except on account of
poverty.  Marie bears no traces of having suffered from defective
conditions before or after birth.  Her early developmental
history appears to be negative.  She has lived about in several
different homes, the longest stay being about seven years.  In
one place she was suspected of masturbation, but we were unable
to get a perfectly definite statement that she was addicted to
the habit.

Two years prior to the time we knew Marie she had worked up a
story of adventure in which she was the heroine.  She used the
telephone to call for help, stating that she stood with a
revolver covering a burglar.  From this incident she gained a
good deal of notoriety.  The police found there was nothing to
the case and later Marie herself made a confession.  By the time
we saw her this story varied somewhat from her original
statement, but was still persisted in, although she must have
known that we could readily trace the actual occurrence.

After Marie had continued her stories for a few weeks while
attending the university they had grown so that they included
night visitations in her boarding-house from the man who was said
to be hounding her, she was found once more impossible to deal
with and, as her work became poorer, she had to leave.  At this
period it was most significant to us that in spite of her
expressed desire for freedom from persecution she did not want us
to look further into her case because of certain mysterious
letters which would incriminate her.  We felt entirely convinced
that the several reports which we received of her career in
preceding years gave a satisfactory clew to her character,
although we were never able to analyze the case far enough to
ascertain the genetic features.  Thus it is impossible to make
any summary of causative factors.


Summary:  A thoroughly characteristic example of the type of
pathological lying which led to the invention of the term
pseudologia phantastica.  A young woman, well endowed physically
and mentally, for years has often been indulging in extensive
fabrications which have no discernible basis in advantages
accruing to herself.  The peculiarities of the falsifications
have given rise to much trouble for her, her family, and for many
others who have been incidentally connected with the situation.
The genesis of the tendency was finally found in early
experiences about which there have been much mental repression
and conflict.  In the background there was also defective home
control and chronic neuropathic tendencies in both parents and in
their kin.

Janet B., 19 years old, we saw first in an eastern city at the
request of her parents.  There she had become involved in
troubles which seemed particularly hard to unravel.  However, we
were told that this was an old story with her.  A diagnosis of
her mental condition was asked, and recommendations for the
future.  Janet had told some very peculiar stories at her place
of employment where she was doing very well as a newcomer,
without any seeming reason for fabrication.  Several who had
become interested in her were wondering if she were quite sane.

After having made her way alone to New York, Janet readily
obtained employment.  After a couple of weeks she approached a
department manager of the concern for which she worked and
related a long story, which at once aroused his sympathy.  She
told him that her father and mother had died in the last year and
that she was entirely dependent upon herself.  When she was about
four years of age she had been in a terrible accident and a
certain man had saved her life.  Naturally, her father had always
thought very highly of this person and had pensioned him.
Formerly he lived up in the country with his family, but at
present was old, penniless, and alone in the city.  Now that her
parents were dead she was in a quandary about keeping up her
father's obligation to the old man.  Out of her $8 a week it was
hard to make both ends meet.  She had to pay her own board and
for this man also.  She found that he needed to be taken care of
in every way; she had to wash his face and dress him, he was so
helpless.  She made no demand for any increase of salary and the
story was told evidently without any specific intent.  The
services of a social worker were enlisted by the firm and the
girl reiterated the same story to her, even though it was clearly
intended that the case should be investigated.  Janet's
boarding-house was visited and there she was found to be living
with distant relatives whom she had searched out upon her arrival
in the city.  They knew she had run away from home and, indeed,
by this time the mother herself was already in New York, having
been sent for by them.

The situation then became more complicated through the girl's
giving more explanatory details to the social worker, somewhat
accusing her own family.  It was at this time I first saw her.
She then acknowledged that this story of a man who had saved her
life was purely an invention.  Now she stated that in the western
town where she lived she had been engaged to a young man who was
discovered to be a defaulter and who had recently died.  When
this fellow was in trouble, his mother, while calling on Janet's
family, used to make signals to her and leave notes under the
table cover, asking for funds with which to help him out.  This
was a great strain upon Janet and even more so was his death.
She could stand it no longer and fled the city.  Her lover's
stealing was a secret which she had kept from her own family.

Before we had become acquainted with the true facts about the
family this girl gave us most extensive accounts of various
phases of her home life which included the most unlikely and
contradictory details.  For instance, they had a large house with
beautiful grounds, yet before she left home she bought a sewing
machine for her mother, which she is paying for on weekly
installments.  Her $8 a week is very little for her to live on
because she is paying this indebtedness.  Janet wishes now to
take out a twenty year endowment policy in favor of her mother.
Her brothers and sister are all very bright, she tells us, but
she has never been particularly close to any member of her family
except her mother.  The others always remind her that they are
better educated than she is.  She expects to take up French and
Spanish in the evenings because they would be very helpful to her
commercially.  She does not care to grow up, prefers simple
enjoyments, and has no desire for social affairs.  She is only
desirous of improving her education.  She relates her success as
a Sunday School teacher.  She thinks at times she is very
nervous, and especially when she was in the high school she
showed signs of it.  Then she used to stutter much, but of late
she has been able to control this.

At another time, very glibly and without the slightest show of
emotion, she continues with her story.  Tells of frequent
fainting spells when she goes from one attack into another.  She
has not had them just recently, but she used to have them at
home.  Tells us now that her mother has been very sick and she
has been worrying much about her.  She wanted to send money to
her and help support her.  `It's awfully hard on one to know your
mother is terribly sick and to think you can't reach her if
anything should happen.''  (It is to be remembered that all this
was told when the girl must have known, if she had thought at
all, that we would certainly get the full facts in a day or so.)

On the physical side we found a very well developed and well
nourished young woman.  Weight 148 lbs.  No sensory defect noted.
Moderately coarse features, broad deep chest, quiet and strong
attitude.  No signs whatever of nervousness.  Her only complaint
at present is of headaches and ``quivering'' attacks.  (We could
get no corroboration at all of either of these from any one
else.)  She frequently spoke of herself as entirely healthy
except for these slight ailments.  Some months later, vide infra,
it was discovered that Janet had a chronic pelvic trouble.  The
most notable finding was Janet's facial expression when
confronted by some of her incongruities of behavior.  Then she
assumed a most peculiar, open-eyed, wondering, dumb expression.
When flatly told a certain part of her story was falsehood, she
looked one straight in the eyes and said in a wonderfully demure
and semi-sorrowful manner, ``I am sorry you think so.''  Her
expression was sincere enough to make even experienced observers
half think they must themselves be wrong.

On the mental side she demonstrated good ability in many ways.
She had been through two years of high school and showed
evidences of her training.  We tested her for a number of
different capacities and, with one exception, we found all
through that she did fairly satisfactory work, showing herself to
have normal mental capabilities and control.

This exception was in the ``Aussage'' or testimony test.  Here in
reporting on our standard picture she gave in free recital 17
items, which is a fair result, but she added several incorrect
details.  On questioning she gave 12 more items, but invented
still more details.  Of the seven standard suggestions offered
she very curiously accepted only one, and that not important.  As
an example of how she would supply details from her fancy is the
following:  The picture represents a little girl standing by the
side of an older person.  Janet said it was a little boy, that he
had his hands in his pockets, a muffler on his neck, a stocking
cap on his head, and black shoes and stockings.  All of these
were voluntarily offered and all were incorrect.

Beyond this curious performance, and her peculiar lack of
foresight and shrewdness, or whatever it is that causes her so
readily to falsify and fabricate, we found not the slightest
evidence of aberration.  Her conversation was coherent and to the

In the information obtained from the intelligent parents the
following points stand out clearly.  The heredity is of interest.
There has been no known case of feeblemindedness, insanity, or
epilepsy on either side, but there is a great admixture of very
good with quite unstable qualities.  This is true of both sides.
Some members of the family have taken high positions in the
community, and been exceptionally endowed mentally.  Others have
been notoriously lacking in stability.  We are informed that on
one side some have shown a marked inclination for tampering with
the truth, and it is suggested that Janet's tendency is the
result of early influence.  The care of an incompetent
grandmother, whose word was notoriously untrustworthy, devolved
upon the family and it was impossible to prevent Janet from being
much with her.  All of the children were aware of the old lady's
untruthfulness.  One of Janet's parents had been addicted to
narcotics, but had managed to shake off the habit.  The other
parent has had a severe attack of ``nervous prostration,''
largely induced, it is maintained, by worry over family affairs.
It is most interesting to note that the other children, two boys
and one girl, have turned out remarkably well; two being
university graduates, and all being very stable in character.
Both parents are people of good moral ideals, and in spite of
their own nervous defects have given their children very good

The pregnancy with Janet was not entirely healthy, but no worse
than with the other children.  Her birth and infancy were normal.
Walked and talked early.  Started to school at 6.  Menstruated
first at 13; not irregular.  She never had any severe illnesses
of any kind.  As a child she once fell down some steps and was
unconscious for a few minutes, but the accident was not known to
have left any bad effects.  Janet's own stories of fainting are
much exaggerated.  In fact, the mother has never really seen her
faint, nor is there any evidence of any minor lapses of
consciousness.  At times the girl would feel faint and ask that
water be poured on her forehead--that was all there was to it.
She was removed in the middle of her high school course on
account of general nervousness.  The doctor felt she was working
too hard.  Her parents are sure she was never a great sufferer
from headaches.  Nothing else of importance could be found in her
physical history.

The story of this girl's falsifications and fabrications as
obtained from her people is exceedingly long.  As a young child
she was not over-indulged in fairy stories, and the parents
noticed nothing peculiar about her then.  She was not regarded as
a child who had any unusual powers of imagination.  Somewhere
about 12 years of age, her parents cannot be certain just when,
they noticed she began the exaggeration and lying which has
continued more or less ever since.  In the past two or three
years this has grown upon her and she has been making not only
untrue statements, but has been concocting peculiarly long and
intricate fabrications.  The curious thing to the family is that
Janet seems to have little shrewdness in lying; of normal ability
in other things, she seems to have the mind of a child in this.
Very many deceptions are discovered in short order, but even then
the girl will sometimes argue at length that what she has said
was really the truth.  The parents insist she must know that she
is lying, but her anomalous behavior has been so excessive that
they have long felt she should be studied by a psychiatrist.  Her
mother asserts there is some periodicity in Janet's tendencies.
She maintains she has noticed that most of her lies are told in
the two or three days preceding menstruation.  (This was
certainly not true during the period we observed the girl.)  The
parents are sure there has never been any particular mental
shock, and the mother has always felt that Janet was particularly
free from contamination by bad children.  At times she seems to
realize her own bad behavior, and not long ago said she would
become a nun, for in the tranquil life of the convent her
tendency to lying would not be stimulated.

Further inquiry brought out the fact that it was true, as Janet
stated, that in her high school course she became nervous to the
extent of jerking and twitching, and that also for a time she
stuttered.  Their physician said, however, that there was no
definite nervous disease.

As a young child the parents never thought this girl in any way
different from the rest of the family.  As she grew older she has
been regarded as physically the most robust, but, as she stated
to us, she has done the poorest intellectual work and that has
often been a matter of family comment.  The other children are
careful truth tellers.

The type of Janet's lying has been not only in the form of
falsifications about matters which directly concerned herself,
but also involved extensive manufacture of long stories,
phantasies.  Meeting people she might give them extensive
accounts of the wealth and importance of her own family.  She
once spread the report that her sister was married and living in
a fine home close by, giving many elaborate details of the new
household.  Such stories naturally caused much family
embarrassment.  Then she worked up an imaginary entertainment and
gave invitations to her brothers and sister at the request of a
pretended hostess.  Just before the event she, simulating the
hostess, telephoned that an accident had taken place and the
party would not be given.  An extremely delicate situation arose
because she alleged a certain young man wanted to marry her.  The
truth of her assertions in this matter never was investigated.
The parents felt it quite impossible to go to the young man about
the facts on account of the danger of exposing their daughter.
They were long embarrassed by the extent to which she kept this
affair going, but it finally was dropped without any social
scandal occurring.  In this and other affairs the family
situation was at times unbearable because of the possibility that
there might be some truth underlying the girl's statements.  As
the years went on Janet, of course, suffered from her loss of
reputation, but still continued her practices of lying.  In the
two years before she left home she worked as a clerk.  Previously
she had held two or three situations and was reported to give
good satisfaction in her work, but something would always come up
about money matters, or other things, which would finally give
rise to trouble.  It is not known that she ever really took any
money except the last time when she ran away and took a
considerable sum from her parents.

A period of extensive untruthfulness and deception occurred
before she left home.  Janet represented to her parents that she
was working at a certain place after she had left.  She got into
some mix-up about money matters, the rights of which never were
straightened out.  As usual, the affair was too complicated to be
understood by anything short of a prolonged investigation.  After
things had come to this pass and her parents hardly knew what to
do with her, she took money from them and ran away.  She was
readily traced because the ticket agent in her home town could
give a description of her.  She had bought a ticket to an
intermediate point and there stopped over night.  Her father
followed her thus far.  It seems when she finally got to New York
she hunted up the distant relatives who took her in and informed
the mother.  The girl intended to earn her own living and soon
found a good place.  She was always able to make a good
presentation of herself, being a quiet and convincing

Out of the mess of lies surrounding her New York experience, it
was finally found that she had met a young man in a
boarding-house and had become infatuated with him.  He was an
honest enough fellow, but fell in readily with her forwardness.
He took her to shows, and letters, intercepted by the mother,
showed that between them there had been some premature love
passages.  At that time Janet started making weekly payments on a
gold watch to give to this young man at Christmas, a curious and
quite unwarranted expenditure.  Perhaps this was the fact around
which some of her fabrications at that time centered.  Perhaps it
was this money which became now the amount she was paying to her
father's pensioner, now what she had to send home to her mother,
and, again, her payments upon an imaginary sewing machine.  In
this affair, as at other times, the lying was extremely childish,
inasmuch as the truth, through receipts found in her room, proved
to be readily ascertainable.

A good example of the character of Janet's falsifications was the
story about the death of her lover, told to us at our last
interview with her when she had come to us with the specific
purpose of trying to get herself straightened out once and for
all.  She was not aware that her parents had given me any account
of this young man, but she might well have supposed that I had
inquired about him, or at least would inquire.  Only a few
minutes previously she had told about her lying and given a very
definite account of its beginnings which was much in accord with
what her parents had said.  Mentioning her love affairs, she
maintained that, unbeknown to her parents, she had been engaged
to this man, but that he had proved to be a thief, stealing money
and robbing the mails.  She started off on a story of how another
young man was accused, but no evidence was forthcoming about him,
and soon afterward her lover died.  Getting him safely buried for
us, she was quite willing to go on to another topic.

The workings of Janet's mind in connection with her alterations
of a story were sometimes most curious.  We were interested to
study a long letter quite coherently written to her mother a few
days before we saw the young woman, and about the time when she
first told her long story to the department manager.  In the
letter she spoke of the extraordinary opportunities she now had
in this place of employment, exaggerating her salary to $14 a
week.  She stated she had already had a raise, and could get work
for other members of her family at good salaries.  She was about
to start a bank account, and so on.  But instead of making any
remittances to her mother (such as she asserted at one time) she
requested her parents to send her $5 to tide her over.  We
counted no less than nine definite falsehoods in this epistle.
We were keen to know if Janet could remember her own
prevarications and so asked her if she could recall what she had
written to her mother.  She trimmed her statements most curiously
then, being aware we knew her salary to be $8 a week.  She said
she had told her mother her salary was $10, but in answer to our
reply, ``Oh, you said more than that,'' she blurted out, ``Well,
I said $14.''  It was quite evident she remembered this, as well
as certain other exaggerated statements and figures in the

We were fortunate enough to be able to analyze out much of the
genesis of this girl's career as a pathological liar.  After the
immediate situation was somewhat cleared and Janet asserted she
was anxious to make a new start in life, we began our inquiry
into beginnings.  Janet showed willingness to enter into the
question of her mental antecedents and tendencies which she
maintained she heartily deplored.  To be sure we had evidence
that even in her most sincere moments she was unable to refrain
from occasional falsifying, but the main facts seemed
self-evidently true, and some of them were corroborated at
interviews with the parents.

After considering her own career with us for a time, she asserted
that it now was clear to her just how and when she began lying.
As a child of about 12 years it seems she was wont to meet with a
certain group of girls on a hillside and they indulged in many
conversations about sex matters.  Evidently the circumstances
surrounding this important introduction into affairs of sex life
were indelibly impressed upon her mind.  She was there instructed
not only in the general facts, but also in methods of
self-gratification.  It is clear to her, she states, that it was
exactly at this time that she first began deceiving her mother
and telling lies.  She explains these tendencies as the result of
a guilty conscience.  It comes out that the mother did not know
this group of girls to be undesirable companions for Janet, but
the latter's consciousness of their frailties always led her to
state that she had been with other children when in reality she
had been in this bad companionship.  Through dwelling on their
teachings she began sex practices by herself, and in order to
carry this out she had to indulge in other deceptions.  She
remembers distinctly her willful repression of the facts, and
states that the nervousness which she displayed for two or three
years in her school work was undoubtedly due to this cause.  In
fact, she thought so at the time, but persisted in deceiving her
mother and her physician in regard to the matter.

Her mental repressions and conflicts did not begin, however, at
this period.  By digging further into her memory Janet tells us
about a girl in another town where they used to live, a girl who,
when Janet was about 7 years old, wanted to show her about sex
practices.  Janet knew this girl to be bad by general reputation,
and ran away when this offer was made, but it was too late--the
mental impress had been formed.  She thinks her mother would
remember this girl.  The things which this bad girl started to
tell came frequently up in Janet's mind and she wondered much
about them.  No practices, however, were indulged in and even the
thoughts were fought against until the time mentioned above when
other sex ideas were implanted.  Janet's mother had neither given
nor received confidences on this subject, and indeed never
throughout the daughter's life has there been anything except
vague warnings on the part of the mother about the general
dangers of sex immorality.

We gradually came to learn that Janet had been subject to much
sex temptation from her own physical feelings.  She never was a
good sleeper, she thinks, and she often lies awake, or will wake
up for a time in the middle of the night and think of sex
affairs.  She feels sure there has been considerable stress upon
her on account of this temptation which she has felt should be
combated.  The occasional giving way to sex habits also resulted
in mental stress and, as she expresses it, worry.

At the time of her failure to do well in school work her internal
conflicts were especially acute.  There was before her
continually the success which the other members of her family had
made, which she herself admired, and for which she was ambitious.
She hid at that time the cause of her nervousness and failure;
there was the danger of its being discovered.  After thus
reviewing her case with us, Janet reiterated that she was sure
her tendency to prevaricate came on at the time when she first
began her bad sex habits.

This girl was probably not much of a day-dreamer.  She denies
being so, saying she had always been too busy for such to be the
case.  We also obtained corroboration of this from others who had
closely observed her.  She says she had lived no specially
imaginative life beyond occasionally thinking of herself as a
well-to-do lady with many good clothes to wear, or sometimes
lying in bed and imagining she had a lover there.  Further
inquiry into her imaginative life seemed futile because she was
not trained in introspection and because even in her frankest
moments we were always afraid that she might fall into her
strongly formed habit of prevarication.  We ascertained that in
her home life special efforts had been made to keep her busy and
she could not be regarded as a dreamer.  Janet strongly denied
the periodicity in her lying which her mother maintained, but the
girl did state that her periods of sex temptation were mostly
just preceding her menstrual period.

In giving the above account of what was ascertained by analysis
with Janet we have offered such of her statements as are clearly
probable or which are corroborated by the parents.  Our many
experiences with the young woman led us to be particularly
careful in accepting as veracious any of her statements unless,
as in what is given above, they clearly followed the type of fact
which may be ascertained in the investigation of other instances
of pathological lying where the individual's word is more
reliable.  The parents were able to corroborate many points.  The
mother remembers the older girl in the town where they lived when
Janet was 7 years old and that this girl was notorious for her
sex tendencies, although she was not in the least aware that
Janet had been contaminated.  Then she recollects that Janet used
to tell her so particularly about going with a special crowd of
girls (those which she now says were not her companions).  Both
parents considered the matter at great length in order to help my
study of the case and both are very certain that it was just
about this period when Janet says she was beginning her covert
sex experiences that she began the lying, which was petty at
first, but after a time expanded into the type of detailed
falsifications we have enumerated above.  Altogether there was
little doubt in our minds that Janet was giving the truth in its
main outlines.  Undoubtedly it was merely her habit which always
led her to alter somewhat the details.

We were interested to note that in her letters and in her
ordinary conversation Janet took up the topics that a fairly well
educated girl would naturally discuss.  For instance, she would
give us some account of her recent reading, or a visit to an art
gallery, telling us with normal vivacity about a couple of
pictures which had deeply impressed her.  She spoke not only of
their subjective influence, but discussed the details of
composition and coloring.  We might mention that in a
characteristic way she interjected some remarks that she herself
used to be very good at drawing and won several prizes at it.
She stated that she thought of going farther in art, but that her
parents could hardly afford to allow her to do this.  These
remarks were found later to be quite aside from the truth.

Telling us the story of her school career, Janet insists her
memory had never been good for learning poems or for languages,
particularly Latin, but anything in the way of a picture she
could recall with ease.  What she has read she often thinks of in
the form of pictures.  Concerning her lying she denied it was
done particularly to cover up things, at least since the time
when the habit was first formed.  She feels that it really is a
habit, a very bad one.  She hardly knows she is going to
prevaricate; the false statement comes out suddenly.  In thinking
about it all she harks back once more to that crowd of girls;
everybody thought they were good, but she knew they were not.

After a time of quieting down in her behavior tendencies,
although there was never complete cessation of the inclination to
falsify, a new exacerbation of lying arose.  This time it seemed
to center about a clandestine love affair of a mild type.  There
was one trouble with this case which neither I nor any one else
was able to clear for the parents.  It was perfectly apparent
that the girl might naturally be expected to marry at some time.
Now, when an honest young man felt inspired to keep company with
this vivacious, healthy, and generally attractive young woman,
what were the parents to do?  It was easy enough for them to
decide that she must not go with a man of bad character, but were
they bound in honor to inform any young man, before affairs had
gone too far, that the girl had this unfortunate tendency and
that she had had rather a shady career?  It was perfectly clear
to them that she herself would not tell him.  This was how the
matter stood at the time we last heard of the case, and while the
parents were holding back, a young man's affections and the
girl's fabrications were growing apace.

Janet had been suffering from a chronic inflammation of the
bladder, which, however, did not cause any acute symptoms.  A
chronic pelvic inflammation was discovered, for which she was
operated upon in her home town.  The surgeon reported to the
parents that conditions were such that they would naturally be
highly irritative, although there had been no previous complaint
about them.  The girl made an exceedingly rapid recovery.  It was
after this that her last affair of the affections was causing the
parental quandary and distress.

Our final diagnosis of this ease, after careful study of it, was
that it was a typical case of pathological lying, mythomania, or
pseudologia phantastica.  The girl could not be called a
defective in any ordinary sense.  Her capabilities were above the
average.  She showed good moral instincts in many directions and
was at times altogether penitent.  Nor could she be said to have
a psychosis.  The trouble was confined to one form of conduct.

The lying, as in all these cases, seemed undertaken sometimes for
the advantages which thereby might accrue.  On the other hand, at
times the falsification seemed to have no relation to personal
advantages.  Indeed, this girl had experience, many times
repeated, that her lying very quickly resulted in suffering to
her.  There were aspects of her falsifications which made it seem
as if there was pleasure in the mere manufacture of the stories
themselves and in the living, even for a short time, in the
situations which she had created out of her imagination and
communicated to others.  Frequently there seemed to be an
unwillingness on her part to face the true facts of existence.
In her representation of things as different from what they
really were she seemed to show even the desire for
self-deception.  Another point: no student of cases of this kind
should allow himself to forget the potency of habit formation.
There can be little doubt but that a large share of this girl's
conduct was the result of her well developed and long maintained
tendency to trim the facts.

As far as we were able to determine, and we undoubtedly got at
the essential facts, this girl's falsifying trait was based on
the following:  The fact that she came of neuropathic stock would
make us think that she possibly inherited an unstable mental
make-up.  To be sure, the only evidence of it was in this
anomalous characteristic of hers, namely, her pathological lying.
She seemed sound in her nervous makeup.  The idea that the
grandmother passed on as inheritance her prevaricating traits is
open to discussion, but we have seen that environmental
influences from this source may have been the only effect, if
there was any at all.  Very important in this case, without any
doubt, is the early sex teaching, its repression and the mental
conflict about it for years, and then the reintroduction into the
subject just before puberty.  Probably this is the vital point of
the girl's whole career.  The success she early achieved in
deceiving her mother, not by denials, but by the elaboration of
imaginary situations, has been the chief determinant of her
unfortunate behavior.  Added to that was the formation of a habit
and of an attitude towards life in which the stern realities were
evaded by the interposition of unrealities.  Even the affair of
the imaginary social gathering can be conceived in this light,
for evidently she and her family were not engaged then in social
affairs and the preparation for a gay event would for a time be a
source of excitement and pleasure.  Her autoeroticism may have
helped towards the production of phantasies and the general
tendency to evasion of the realities of life.

It was clear from first to last that the exploration of the
genesis of the tendencies in such a case as this could be but one
step towards a cure.  What was also needed was prolonged
disciplinary treatment under conditions which were well nigh
impossible to be gained at her age.  Willingness on the part of
the individual to enter into any long period of discipline or
education, such as an institution might offer, is not easily

Mental conflict: early and severe.              Case 6.
  Early sex experiences and habits.       Girl, age 19 yrs.
    Mental habit formation.
       Home conditions: defective understanding
               and control, although ordinarily good
               home.  Early acquaintance with lying.
            Heredity: neuropathic tendencies on
                both sides.
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Excessive lying.                        Ability well up to
Runaway.                                the ordinary.


Summary:  A girl of 16 brought to us by her mother, who regards
her as abnormal mentally because she is an excessive liar and
delinquent in other minor ways, proved to be an habitual
masturbator.  Under direction, the mother succeeded in curing her
of this habit, with the remarkable result that the young woman
became in the course of a couple of years quite reliable.

We first saw this young woman of 16 with the mother who
maintained that there must be something wrong with the girl's
mentality because of her lying, recent running away from home,
and some minor misconduct.  There had been trouble with her since
she was 7 years old.  She was the twin of a child who died early
and who never developed normally.  Her mother said she seemed
smart enough in some ways; she had reached 7th grade before she
was 14, but even at that time she was a truant and would run off
to moving-picture shows at every opportunity.  Her father was a
rascal and came of an immoral family.  He had a criminal record,
and that was another reason why the mother felt this girl was
going to the bad.  The mother herself was strong and healthy; she
was remarried.  The existence of feeblemindedness, epilepsy, or
insanity on either side was denied.

We quickly observed by the physical conditions of this girl that
something was the matter.  Expression sad and dull.  Long thin
face and compressed lips.  Vision almost nil in one eye, but
normal in the other.  Hearing normal.  Color only fair.  Weight
115 lbs.; height 5 ft. 4 in.  Most notable was her general
listlessness.  ``I feel draggy and tired.  I'm yawning all the

On the mental tests we found much irregularity.  Tasks that were
done without effort were done fairly well.  The girl was a good
reader and wrote a good hand.  A long task in arithmetic was with
difficulty done correctly.  When she was able to get hold of
herself she could do even our harder tests with accuracy.  Her
failures were apparently from lack of concentration and
attention.  Although she did some things well we felt obliged to
call her dull from physical causes, feeling that if she were in
better condition she might give a much better performance.

On the ``Aussage,'' or Testimony Test, 11 items were given on
free recital and 2 of these were wrong.  Upon questioning, 17
more details were added and 4 of these were incorrect.  2 out of
5 suggestions definitely accepted.

Under observation it was just as the mother said.  The girl was
an extreme falsifier.  As one observer puts it, ``she is not
malicious in her lies, but just lies all the time and seems to
try to make herself believe what she is saying.''

``I was in the 7th grade.  Had a hundred jobs since then.  Can't
keep them because I'm so draggy.  They want their money's
worth--they want a more live girl.  Sometimes I don't mind my
mother and I get spunky.  I feel lonesome and get mad.  I feel
tired.  I can't please my mother no matter how hard I try.  I'd
like to go in some little home where I could have a chance.''

After a few days we found this girl in a decidedly good mood,
wanting to be helped.  She willingly entered into the analysis of
her case with us and said she thought most of her trouble came
because she was a day-dreamer.  ``Sometimes I dream of things in
the day time.  I'll sit and stare and stare and think of
different things.  I'll think I'm doing them.  I'll dream of
things what I do and if I read a good play I'll dream of that.
When I think of myself or somebody starts looking at me I'll stop

To another observer this girl gave a vivid description of how she
felt after seeing pictures in the nickel shows.  She states that
love-making scenes lead her to practice self-abuse.  This matter
was taken up with her mother who stated that when this child was
7 years old she and the father had caught her at this habit and
had severely reprimanded her and had thought she had stopped it.
We were particularly interested to hear this because it was
exactly the time the mother had specified as the beginning of her
lying and general bad behavior.  Going farther into the case with
the mother and the girl we ascertained that her bad sex habits
had been continued more or less during all these years, and of
late, particularly under the influence of picture shows, and of
what some other girls were doing in the way of delinquency, the
habit had become worse than ever.  It was closely connected
evidently with day-dreaming all these years and with the
development of the fabricating tendency.

The mother who had been apparently so negligent of causes proved
now to be a stalwart in this case and took the girl under her
immediate charge.  There was steady betterment.  The girl went
back and finished school and at the end of a year was reported as
tremendously improved.  There was no further complaint about her
lying.  We know that after this she long held a good position
which any hint of untrustworthiness or lack of capacity would
have lost her.  Thus the cure of her sex habits brought about
cessation of her extreme untruthfulness.

Bad sex habits long continued.               Case 7.
     Heredity.  (?) Father immoral      Girl, age 16 yrs.
                    and criminal.
       Home conditions.
             Lack of understanding and
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Excessive lying.                      Dull from physical
Early truancy.                        causes.  (Later
Running away.                         quite normal.)


Summary:  A thoroughly illustrative case of long continued,
excessive pathological lying on the part of a very bright girl,
now 17 years old.  As this young woman has well known, her
falsifications have many times militated against the fulfillment
of her own desires and interests.  In the face of clear
apperception of her fault, the tendency to react to a situation
by lying sometimes appears to be fairly imperative.  The only
ascertained bases of the tendency are her early reactions,
unthwarted by parental control, followed by habit formation; all
in an environment peculiarly favorable to deception.  The lying
passed over into swindling.

Gertrude S., who immigrated from England with her parents ten
years previously, was seen by us when she was 17, after she had
been engaged for months in a career of misrepresentation which
had led her case into the hands of several social agencies.  Much
difficulty was encountered because repeatedly when people had
tried to help her she had led them astray in their investigations
by telling ridiculously unnecessary falsehoods.  Her parents came
to see us and gradually we obtained a detailed and probably quite
reliable family and developmental history.  About the evolution
of the young woman's mental life we have unfortunately had to
rely much upon her own word.  This has made our studies rather
more unsatisfactory than in other cases where corroboration from
parents was obtained.  However, there is much that rings true and
is of interest even in the unverifiable part of the study.

There is not much to be said about the physical examination; it
was negative in most respects.  She is of rather slight type;
weight 110 lbs., height 5 ft. 1 in.  Delicate features of mature
type.  Expression intelligent and decidedly refined for her
social class.  Gynecological examination made by a specialist
revealed nothing abnormal and no evidence of immorality.
Menstruation said to have taken place at 13 years and to be
regular and not difficult.

In studying Gertrude's mental powers we gave a considerable range
of tests and found her to be well up to the ordinary in ability.
She showed no remarkable ability in any direction, but gave an
almost uniformly good performance on tests.  Concerning her other
mental traits and especially her range of information and reading
more will be said later.  No signs of aberration were discovered
by any one.

The record on the ``Aussage'' picture test is as follows:  She
gave 16 items on free recital with considerable reference to
functional details and with side comments as to who the little
girl might be, and what the dog wanted, and so on.  So far, this
was the performance of a rational, quick-minded person.  On
questioning, 28 more items were added, but no less than 12 of
these were incorrect--she evidently supplied freely from her
imagination.  Of the 7 suggestions which were offered she took 5.
Twice not only was the main suggestion accepted, but imaginary
details were added.  Naturally, this is a very unusual record
from a normal person.

There is absolutely nothing of significance in the heredity,
according to the accounts received by us.  All the grandparents
are still alive in the old country.  They are small townspeople
of good reputation.  Epilepsy, insanity, and feeblemindedness are
stoutly denied and are probably absent in near relatives.  The
father is a staunch citizen who feels keenly the disgrace of the
present situation.  He is a hard working clerk.  We early learned
the mother was not to be relied upon.  Our best evidence of this
came from Gertrude.  She told us she had always been accustomed
to hearing lies in her own household.  According to the father
his wife's falsifications are merely to shield the children and
she only shows the ordinary deceit of woman.  We have no history
of this woman ever having indulged in elaborate fabrications and,
in general, she is of thoroughly good reputation.  In delicacy of
feature the girl is her mother over again.

Gertrude's birth was comparatively easy after a normal pregnancy.
After a healthy first infancy she had an illness at 2 years which
lasted for three or four months.  The exact nature of this is not
plain, but it was probably bronchitis with complications.  There
were no evidences of any involvement of the nervous system.  She
walked and talked early, at about 1 year of age.  She has had no
other serious illness in all her life and has had no convulsions.
None of the children has suffered from convulsions.  Gertrude is
one of five, all of whom are alive and well.  In the last couple
of years she has complained a little of headaches and some other
minor troubles.  It was typical of the family situation that
after Gertrude had told us of a series of fainting spells a year
previously, the mother corroborated her and, indeed, made them
out even worse.  But when the reliable father was consulted on
the matter it turned out there had been no such fainting attacks,
nor could they be verified by communication with a doctor who is
said to have attended Gertrude.  Unquestionably they never
occurred.  Gertrude went to school at the usual age, but on
account of poverty and immigration missed many long periods.
However, at 14 she had gone through the 6th grade.

About Gertrude's moral evolution we got very little aid from the
parents or indeed from any others.  It was very evident that from
earliest childhood the girl had led a mental life of which her
relatives knew nothing.  Naturally, the mother gave us no account
of the development of the tendency to lying; she merely glossed
over her daughter's deceptions.  The father, who had been obliged
to work away from home much during Gertrude's early years, merely
knew that at about the time she left school, namely 14 years, she
began to lie excessively.

Anything like a complete account of Gertrude's prevarications,
even as we know them, would require much space.  Some idea of
their quantity and quality may be gained from the facts which we
have gleaned from several sources.  As might be supposed,
Gertrude has established a reputation for falsification among
many of her acquaintances.  One friend tells how she represented
herself as a half orphan, living with a hard-hearted step-mother.
Demanding promises of secrecy, Gertrude told this girl about a
sum which she had with much difficulty gradually saved from her
earnings in order to buy needed clothes.  She asked the friend to
come and help her make a selection.  (Now the $20 or so that was
spent Gertrude had stolen.  By following her strange impulse she,
with danger to herself, related a complicated story to this other
girl who needed to know nothing of any part of the affair.)  We
have knowledge of scores of other fabrications which were
detected.  They include her alleged attendance at a course of
lectures, her possession of a certain library card, and her
working in various places.  For many of these stories not a
shadow of a reason appeared--especially during the time we have
known her she has had every incentive to tell the truth about

When by virtue of our court work we first knew the case, her
lying centered about her other delinquencies, but even so its
peculiar characteristics stood out sharply.

Gertrude was held to the adult court in the matter of the forgery
of a check, which had been presented in an envelope to a bank
teller by her and cashed as in the regular line of business
between the bank and the firm for which she worked.  Finding the
girl had lied about her age, she was held, after the preliminary
hearing, to the proper court.  There, in turn, she did not appear
at the right time, it being stated that she was sick in a
hospital.  One officer knew better and further investigation
showed that Gertrude herself had come to the court, represented
herself as her sister, and made the false statement about the
illness.  A telephone call the same afternoon to her house
Gertrude answered.

Months of difficulty with the case began now.  Her employer and
all concerned experienced much difficulty in getting at the truth
of the forgery, particularly through her clever implication of a
man who had no easy task in freeing himself.  Even after the girl
confessed herself a confirmed liar she told more untruths which
were peculiarly hard to unravel.  Gertrude's firm bearing, her
comparative refinement and her ability made every one unusually
anxious to do her justice, and to save her from her own
self-damaging tendencies.

During the continuance of the case, when all her interests
demanded her good behavior, Gertrude could not refrain from what
were almost orgies of lying and deceit.  She well realized how
this would count against her and, indeed, wrote letters of
apology repeatedly for her misconduct.

``Let me come and tell you all.  The time has come when things
must stop, therefore I feel that I must talk to someone.  I have
lived a lie from the day I was born until now.''

After these letters she went on making false statements which
could readily be checked up.  Nothing is any more curious in
Gertrude's case than the anomaly of her telling several of us who
tried to help her that up to the time of the given interview she
had not thoroughly realized how bad it was to lie, and how she
now felt keenly that she must cease, while perhaps at the end of
the very same interview a reaction to a new situation would
produce more fabrications.  Personally I have seen nothing any
more suggestive of the typical toper's good resolutions and
sudden falling from grace.

The story of the forged check was fancifully embellished and ever
more details were supplied at pleasure.  While this matter was
under investigation Gertrude stayed away from home several
nights, two of which have never been accounted for.  She told
fairly plausible stories about going out of town, but she first
should have studied time tables to make them wholly convincing.
The mother, too, told that the girl had been out of town, but in
this she was caught, for it was found that Gertrude had been part
of the time with other relatives.

The main story of the check involved a man who worked in the same
office.  She stated that he made an immoral proposal to her on
the basis of immunity from prosecution.  After a couple of months
Gertrude got round to confessing that she alone was responsible
for the entire forgery and that her previous quite clever stories
were not true.  Her main confession was made in the form of a
long letter written entirely aside from the influence of any one.
In this she also stated that she had stolen money and jewelry,
which was known to have been taken.  There was no untrue self-
accusation, except that she may have exaggerated her own tendency
to falsify at a very early age.  Naturally, in such a case as
this, even the latest confession must always be taken cum grano

Passing from the above probably sufficient account of Gertrude's
falsifications as we knew them, we can take up her mental life
and traits.  We have had to rely on the girl herself, as we
stated above, for many of these facts.  She was brought up in
poor circumstances in a manufacturing town in England where there
had been many labor troubles.  On two occasions when she was a
child she had seen encounters on the street, and during one riot
in their neighborhood her uncle was injured.  She was
considerably frightened, but, so far as we could learn, this was
the only time in her life that she experienced any fear.  Very
early she found that stories told to frighten her were untrue,
and what was said about the undesirability of certain children as
playmates proved false when she came to know them.  She early
discovered that for self-satisfaction she would have to live a
mental life of her own.  There were many things which she could
not discuss with her mother.  In early childhood she was a great
reader of novels and spent many hours lying on the bed living an
imaginary life.  She never discussed her ideas with any one.
Later she took to more serious reading, and of recent years she
has assailed many of the world's greatest problems.  Particularly
she tells of the influence of Tolstoi's ``Kreutzer Sonata'' upon
her.  During two years she has read it four times and it has
convinced her of the shams of character and that people lead dual

When she was about 9 or 10 years old she began talking with other
girls about sex problems and up to the present time has never
consulted any grown person about them.  Her first information of
this kind was obtained from a crowd of girls who used
successfully to lie to their teachers and mothers to get out of
school work.  Going further into the question of this hidden
knowledge of sex things, she tells us she has never worried much
about the things she has heard, but she has wondered a great deal
and they have often come up in her mind.  She pursued the course
of asking many girls what they knew about this subject and then,
getting unsatisfactory answers, picked up what she could from
ordinary literature.  Gertrude maintains that all her dwelling
upon sex affairs never aroused within her any specific desires.
(Gertrude is anything but a sensuous type and it may be that her
statement in this respect is true.)  When she went to work she
fell in with girls who talked excessively about boys and sex
affairs, but at this time she had a mental world of her own and
so did not pay much attention to them.  Gertrude talked much to
us of the possibility of her studying civil law, history,
economics, and so on--it is very clear that she has really dwelt
on the possibility of being a student of serious subjects.

Very willingly this young woman entered into the problem of
solving the genesis of her own tendencies.  She repeatedly said
that she, of all things, wanted to break herself of this.  She
maintains she can perceive no beginnings.  It seems to her as if
she has always been that way.  She spoke at first of this crowd
of girls who successfully lied to their parents and talked to her
about sex things, and we are inclined to believe that this really
may have been the beginning, but later she affirms this was not
the beginning and that her lying began in earlier childhood.  All
that she knows is that it has grown to be a habit and now ``when
I speak it comes right out.''  After she has told a lie she never
thinks about it again one way or another.  Her conscience does
not trouble her in the matter.  She does not tell lies for what
she gets out of it, nor does it give her any particular pleasure
to fool people.  She does not invent her stories, but at the time
of talking to people she simply says untrue things without any
thought beforehand and without any consideration afterward.  To
one officer she flung the challenge, ``Oh, I'm clever, you'll
find that out.''  After months of effort and when it was clear
that the girl for her own good must be given a course of training
in an institution she quite acquiesced in the wisdom of such
procedure, after a few hours' rebellion.

It has been noted by many that one of Gertrude's outstanding
traits is her lack of emotion.  She never cries and only rarely
does the semblance of a blush tinge her cheeks.  She neither
loves nor hates strongly.  She seems remarkably calm under
conditions where others storm.  She says she never is frightened,
that she never worries, or is sorry.  She is well aware of her
own ego; that she may be trespassing upon the rights of others
never seems to enter her head.  Certain simulations of physical
ailments, which at times she showed, we could only interpret as
part of her general tendency to misrepresent.

Our summary of the causative factors in this case, made,
unfortunately, partly on the basis of this unreliable girl's
testimony, offers the following explanation of her remarkable

(a) There was early development of an inner life which dealt
vividly in imaginary situations.  This grew into a mental
existence hidden entirely from the members of her family.

(b) There was early experience with successful lying on the part
of others, and this as a main episode probably occurred at the
time when the emotion natural to first knowledge of sex life was

(e) There was frequent experience with the falsifications which
were her mother's frailty.

(d) For her lying there were no parental disciplines or
corrections at any time, so far as we have been able to learn.

(e) The young woman shows unusually little emotion, and only
sporadically demonstrates conscience.

(f) There is unquestionably marked habit formation in the case.

Habit formation: Very strong.               Case 8.
    Lack of parental correction.       Girl, age 17 years.
       Early experience with lying.
          Development of inner life:    Imaginative and
Excessive lying and misrepresentation.
False accusations.
Forging.                           Mentality:
Stealing.                               Good ability.


Summary:  A girl of 14 had been notoriously untruthful for years.
She had created much trouble by her petty false accusations, and
her lying stood often in the way of her own satisfactions and
advantages.  Analysis of the case shows the girl's dual moral and
social experiences and tendencies, her inner conflicts about the
same, and her remarkably vivid mental imagery-- all of which
leads her to doubt sometimes concerning what is true and what is

A strange admixture of races, of religion, and of social and
moral tendencies was brought out in the study of Amanda R. and of
her family conditions.  We were much helped in the study of this
case, which has long been a source of many social difficulties,
by the intelligence of certain relatives who knew well the family
facts, and also by the good mental capacities of the girl

Amanda is an orphan and has been living for years with relatives.
She has caused them and others, even those who have tried to help
her, extreme annoyance on account of her quite unnecessary lies,
her accusations, and some other delinquent tendencies.  The main
trouble all concede to be her falsifications, which vary from
direct denials to elaborate stories invented without any seeming
reason whatever.  Reports on her conduct have come from a number
of different sources.  Neighbors have complained that she has
come to them and borrowed money with the statement that her
family was hard up.  At school she stated for a time that she had
come unprovided with lunch because her people were so poor, but
it was ascertained that she had thrown away her lunch each day.
The lies which she told to the other school children were
extraordinarily numerous and fertile; unfortunately they
sometimes involved details about improper sex experiences.  A
long story was made up about one of her relatives having
committed suicide and was told to the school teachers and others.
She defamed the character of one of her aunts.  To her pastor she
told some outrageous falsehoods.  A home for delinquent girls,
where she was once placed on account of her general bad behavior,
would not put up with her, so much trouble arose from her
prevarications.  She accused the very good people there of not
treating her well because she was not of their race.  All of the
above is quite apart from the girl's own romantic stories which
have been told in her family circle and have done no especial
harm.  Of these we had the best account from the girl herself.

An intelligent relative gave an account of the facts.  Amanda has
been tried in a number of households, but has been given up by
everyone after a short period of trial.  Her word is found so
unreliable that in general she is regarded as thoroughly
untrustworthy.  This particular relative, who is most interested
in her, tells us she thinks the girl is mentally peculiar.  She
states that in general her mind is both romantic and rambling.
She constantly has the idea that her beauty will bring her a
wealthy husband.  She lies about other people to these relatives
and about them to others.  They have a comfortable home and are
very anxious for Amanda to do well, and many times have had
serious talks with her, all to no purpose.  They themselves have
attempted to analyze the nature of the girl's characteristics,
and say it is quite evident that the telling of untruths with
this girl is the result of quick reaction on her part.  Fictions
of all kinds come up in her mind constantly and are uttered
quickly.  It is doubtful whether she premeditates her stories.
She has threatened suicide.  They think she is the biggest liar
that ever lived and can't understand how she can engage in such
unforesighted behavior unless she is somewhat abnormal.  Only
once did they ever notice anything suggestive of a mental
peculiarity other than her lying.  Then she did talk quite
incoherently and at random for a time (she is a great talker
anyhow), but later she said she realized what she had done, and
said not to mind her--she had just let her tongue rattle on and
did not mean anything by it.

On two or three occasions Amanda has started to school in the
morning and wandered off and kept going all day.  She had been
immoral with boys, but not to any great extent.  She undertook to
be religious for a time, but her sincerity was always in
question.  She knows the character of her own mother and
threatens at times to follow in her tracks.

The racial heredity of this girl is a strange mixture.  Her
father was a Scandinavian and her mother colored.  The maternal
grandfather was colored, and the maternal grandmother was an
alcoholic Irish woman and died in an insane hospital.  It is
possible, also, that there is Indian blood in the family.  The
mother kept an immoral resort and drank at times.  The father is
said, even by his wife's relative, to have died some years ago of
a broken heart about her career.  She died of tuberculosis a few
years after him.  Amanda was the only child.  About the early
developmental history we have no reliable information.  The girl
was taken by relatives before her mother died, but was allowed to
visit her, and there was evidently real affection between mother
and daughter.  Long contention over religious affairs in the
family led to some bickering about placing the girl.

We found Amanda to be rather a good looking girl with very slight
evidences of colored blood.  Quiet and normal in her attitude and
expression.  Slightly built--weight 93 lbs.; height 4 ft. 10 in.
Vision R. 20/80, L. 20/25.  Coarse tremor of outstretched hands.
No evidence of specific disease.  All other examination negative.
The girl complains of occasional sick headaches with photophobia.
Pelvic examination by a specialist negative.

On the mental side we quickly found we had to deal with a girl of
decidedly good general ability.  Tests were almost uniformly done
well.  Memory processes decidedly good-- span for eight numbers
auditorily and for seven numbers visually.  No evidence whatever
of aberration.

Results on the ``Aussage'' test:  Amanda on free recital gave 12
details of the picture; on questioning she mentioned 32 more
items, but a dozen of these were incorrect.  Of 7 suggestions
offered she accepted 6.  This was an exceptionally inaccurate

In the course of our study of this case we obtained from Amanda a
very good account of her own life, deeply tragic in its details,
and a probably correct analysis of her beginnings in lying.  It
seems that she remembers well her mother, particularly in the
later visits which the relatives allowed.  These must have been
when she was about 5 or 6 years old.  ``I know a lot.  There
isn't anything bad that I have not seen and heard.  I try to
forget it, but I can't.  What's the use anyhow?  When I think of
my mother it all comes up again.  When I was very little I would
sit in a room with my mother and a crowd of her friends and they
would say everything in front of me.  I would see men and women
go into rooms and I kept wondering what they did in there.  I
think I was quicker and sharper then than I am now.  I think I
was about 3 when I used to see them smoking and drinking.  Then I
used to think it was all right.  I thought it was swell and that
I would like to do it too.  I thought about it a lot.  Mother,
you see, would tell me to be good one minute and the next would
teach me how to swear.  I remember once when I was about 7 they
brought her home drunk.  She looked terrible.  I can close my
eyes and see her just as plainly as if it is there before me.  A
protective society once found me and took me to their place.
Then I lived with my grandfather.  Mother stole me from them and
then my uncle took me.  I lived around in lots of places.  I have
done lots of bad things. . . . .

``I picture these things too--I can't help it.  The pictures come
up in my mind as plain as can be--not just at night, but in the
daytime too.  The only thing I have ever been really afraid of is
the dark.  Then I imagine I hear people talking.  I see things
too.  I see whole shows that I have been to.  But then, as I have
said, I see them when I'm awake and in the daytime.  I dream
about them also.  Sometimes they are so real I don't know whether
I'm asleep or awake.  For instance, a long time ago I read Peck's
Bad Boy and I can see those pictures now just as plain as when I
read the book.  It is always that way about what I read.  The
things I read I always see in pictures.  It's that way with the
love stories too.  I used to read lots and lots of them.  I like
to read about murders.  I can see those too.  When I read about
the R. murder in the papers lately I just felt like I was there.
I could see everything he did.  I don't know why I like to read
such things so much.  It was the same way last winter.  I read a
story with suicide in it and someway I just wanted to commit
suicide myself.  I did go to the railroad tracks and stood around
until the train came and then walked away. . . . .

``My aunt says that I am too attractive and that I stare at the
men.  Well, when she was with me a man did stare at me and I
stared back at him.  I could have turned my head away, but I'm
not that kind of a girl.  I'm a bad girl.  Everyone believes me
so and I might just as well be.  When I was little in my mother's
place I used to smoke and drink.  I dream every night--often
about men doing bad things.  I wake up and sit up to see if men
are there or if they are gone.  My dreams are always just that
plain.  If I read a book I can sit down and imagine all the
people are right before me.  I can get it just by reading.  If
anybody speaks to me I jump, and it is all gone.  When I go to
the theatre or the nickel show I can come home and see the whole
show over again.  I have been that way ever since I could
understand things.  When I was small and people would tell me
things I could imagine them right in front of me.  Even now I
will be sitting still and I will imagine I see my mother taking
me up in the way she used to.  When I came to see her she would
rock me to sleep, and I can plainly see her lying in the coffin.
Often I think I see my mother brought home drunk.

``If I have anything to recite in school I just think of it all
the time.  I dream a good deal about what that boy did and about
these other things.  I can sit and think of everything he did to
me.  I go to bed and I lie awake and think all these things and I
can't get them off my mind and then I start to dreaming about

``There is always this trouble--my mother wasn't good and I can't
be good.  That's what people say, but, of course, that's not so.
I know I start talking to girls about these things when they are
talking to me.  I sometimes think that things will come
back--that the Chicago fire is coming back, and that slavery is
coming back.

``About my lying?  I don't know why I tell things like that about
my aunt committing suicide--it just came into my head.  Oh, I've
got lots of things in my head.  I never had any chance to forget.
I can't forget at school.  School does not interest me any more.
That's why I want to go to work.  Perhaps then I should be
interested in something new.

``I used to tell lots of things that were not so out there at P.
Sometimes I did it as a joke and sometimes I meant it.  It is
hard sometimes to tell just what is the truth, I imagine things
so hard.  I can remember lots that I've read.''

Amanda in several interviews went on at great length in a very
rational way, but altogether the gist of her view of her case is
to be found in the above.  She told that she was a masturbator,
as might be supposed.  She feels she can't help this and never
felt it was so particularly bad.  Apparently it is a part of her
life of imagination at night.  She insisted frequently on the
vividness of her mental content, and indeed was anxious to talk
about her peculiarities in this respect.  It was very apparent
that she showed real understanding of the forces which had
influenced her.  It should be noted that we felt sure that it is
not only the strength of imagery, namely, of actually recollected
material, but also of imagination which is characteristic of this
girl's mental make-up.  This was noticeable, as we have shown
above, in the ``Aussage'' Test.  In our notes on psychological
findings we stated that the girl has both strong emotions and
strong convictions, together with her other qualities.  She
expressed herself with considerable vehemence, and under
observation we noted changes from pleasantness to extremely ugly
looks when her relatives were mentioned.  It was true that she
had seen immorality in other households than that of her mother,
and this, of course, rendered her even more skeptical about true
values in life.

It seemed clear that this bright girl had experienced so many
contradictions in life that she was much mixed about it all.  We
might venture to suggest that the delinquency involved in lying
could seem very little compared to the actual deeds with which
she had come in contact.  No idea that falsification was wrong
was expressed by her.  She had used double sets of standards in
behavior all through her life.  What she was urged to be and to
do seemed impossible in the light of her past and its
connections.  Even her apparent decency belied the reality
underlying her career, she thought.  With all this and her vivid
imagery it is little wonder that her magnificent powers of
imagination had full sway and that she said and half believed all
sorts of things which were not true.  Then, probably,
habit-formation of indulging in day-dreams accentuated the
falsifying tendency.

It is too early to report on further progress of this case.  For
some months she has been in a school for girls where discipline
and education are both emphasized.

Mental traits: special powers of imagery            Case 9.
             and imagination.              Girl, age 14 years.
   Early immoral experiences: much later conflict
                  about them.
      Home conditions: unstable for many years.
        Heredity (?): mother immoral,
                    maternal grandmother
                    alcoholic and insane.
Delinquencies:                      Mentality:
Excessive lying.                      Good general ability,
Sex.                                  special capacities.


Summary:  A boy of 14, supernormal in ability, coming from family
circumstances which form a remarkable antithesis to his
intellectual interests, is found to be a wonderful fabricator.
His continuous lying proves to be directly inimical to his own
interests and, indeed, his own satisfactions are thwarted by the
curious unreliability of his word.  The case unfortunately was
not followed far, but study of it clearly shows beginnings in the
early obtaining of advantages by lying, and brings out the
wonderful dramatic and imaginative traits of the boy and his
formation of a habit of falsification.

This case in its showing of intrinsic characteristics and
incidental facts is of great interest.  Robert R. for about a
year when he was 14 years old we knew intimately, but after that
on account of the removal of the family we have no further
history of him.  Intellectually and in his family and home
background he presented a remarkable phenomenon.  His parents
were old-country peasants who just before Robert was born came to
the United States.  The father had never been to school in his
life and could not read or write.  Here he was a laborer; before
immigration he had been a goose-herd.  The mother was said to
have had a little schooling at home and could read and write a
little in her native language.  In 15 years in the United States
she had failed to learn to speak English.  It is needless to say
that our knowledge of the forebears is almost nil.  Inquiry about
mental peculiarities in the family brought negative answers.
These parents had had nine children, seven of whom had died in
early infancy.  Robert was the older of the two living.  We did
not learn that the other child displayed any abnormalities.  The
mother helped towards the support of the family by doing coarse

About the developmental history we had the assurance that it was
entirely negative as regards serious diseases.  Pregnancy and
birth were said to have been normal.  For long, Robert had been
very nervous and frequently slept an unusually small number of
hours.  Sometimes he would go to bed very late and get up early.
Although he was a very small boy he was accustomed to drinking
six or seven cups of coffee a day.  No suspicion from any source
of other bad habits or of improper sex experiences.  The boy's
home was clean and decent.  The father was accustomed to
celebrate once a month or so by getting intoxicated, but
otherwise was a well behaved man.

On physical examination we found the boy in fair general
condition, although very small for his age.  Weight 80 lbs.;
height 4 ft. 7 in.  Well shaped, normally sized head.  No
prematurity or other physical abnormality.  Somewhat defective
vision.  No complaint of headaches.  All other examination
negative.  Regular sharp features.  Much vivacity of expression.
A nervous, alert, responsive, apparently frank and humorous type.
Speech notably rapid.

Our acquaintance with this boy on the intellectual side proved to
be a great treat.  He was only in the 4th grade.  His retardation
was the result of having been changed back and forth from
foreign-speaking to English schools and having been sent away to
an institution for truancy.  In spite of his backwardness Robert
had a fund of remarkably accurate scientific and other
information which a mature person might envy.  We found our
regular series of tests were all done unusually well, except
those which called for foresight and planfulness.  It was
interesting to note that when a problem in concrete material was
given that required continuous thoughtful effort he proceeded by
a rapid trial and error method and without the application of the
foresight that many a slower individual would show.  He
consequently did not always make a good record.

It seems an important fact that on the ``Aussage'' Test this
exceedingly bright lad gave a fairly good detailed narrative
account of the picture and proved himself not in the least
suggestible, but he added a number of items which were not seen.

It was in the field of general information, obtained from a
really wide range of reading, that this young boy shone.  We
found that he remembered an unusual amount of history he had
read, that he had a lot of knowledge picked up from the
newspapers, and that he had digested considerable portions of
scientific works.  He described correctly the main principles
involved in the use of telescopic and other lenses, he knew well
the first principles of electricity, and he could draw correctly
diagrams of dynamos, locomotives, switchboards, etc.  We noted he
had read books on physiology, astronomy, physics, mechanics, etc.

It seems that neither his school nor his home offering him much
intellectual satisfaction, he had frequented the public library,
sometimes being there when he was truant from school, and staying
there in the evening when his mother supposed he was out in a
street gang.  In regard to his selection of reading: he had
perused novels and books on adventure, but ``I wanted to read
something that tells something so that when I got through I would
know something.''  He copied plans and directions, and with a
hatchet, hammer and saw attempted at home to make little things,
some of which were said to have been broken up by the parents.
The boy had much in mind the career of great men who had
succeeded from small beginnings, and he spoke often of Benjamin
Franklin, Morse, and Bell, all of whom had started in the small
way he had read of in their biographies.  Robert had not been
content with book knowledge alone, but had sought power-houses
and other places where he could see machinery in actual

Our acquaintance with Robert began and continued on account of
delinquencies other than lying.  He had run away from home at one
time, he had stolen some electrical apparatus from a barn and was
found in the middle of the night with it flashing a light on the
street.  He also had taken money from his parents and had
threatened his mother with a hatchet.  After much encouragement
and help he yet stole from people who were trying to give him a
chance to use his special abilities, and he began various minor
swindling operations which culminated in his attempt to arrest a
man at night, showing a star and a small revolver.  Before we
lost sight of him Robert had gained the general reputation of
being the most unreliable of individuals.

Given splendid chances to use his special capacities, his other
qualities made it impossible for him to take advantage of them.
His wonderful ability was demonstrated in the school to which he
was sent; there the teacher said that if she had the opportunity
she really believed she could put him through one grade a month.
His mental grasp on all subjects was astonishing and he wrote
most admirable essays, one of the best being on patriotism.  But
even under the stable conditions of this school for six or seven
months the boy did not refrain from an extreme amount of
falsification and was much disliked by the other boys on account
of it.

Robert had continued his lying for years.  At the time when we
were studying his case his prevaricating tendencies were shown in
the manufacture of long and complicated stories, in the center of
which he himself posed as the chief actor.  These phantasies were
told to people, such as ourselves, who could easily ascertain
their falsehood, and they were told after there had been a
distinct understanding that anything which showed unreliability
on his part would militate against his own strongly avowed
desires and interests.  After special chances had been given this
boy with the understanding that all that was necessary for him to
do was to alter his behavior in respect to lying, on more than
one occasion new fabrications were evolved in the same interview
that Robert had begged in fairly tragic fashion to be helped to
cure himself of his inclination to falsify.

A great love of the dramatic was always displayed by this boy,
which may largely account for the evolution of his lying into
long and complicated stories.  When truant one day he boldly
visited the school for truants, and when under probation, after
having fallen into the hands of the police two or three times, he
impersonated a policeman.  The latter was such a remarkable
occurrence and led to such a peculiar situation that much notice
of it was taken in the newspapers.  The incongruity between
apperception of his own faults and his continued lying,
considering his good mental endowment, seemed very strange.  One
day he sobbed and clung to my arm and begged me to be a friend to
him and help him from telling such lies.  ``I don't know what
makes me do it.  I can't help it.''  Over and over he asserted
his desire to be a good man and a great man.  This was at the
same time when some of his most complicated fabrications were

No help was to be had from his parents in getting at the genesis
of this boy's troubles; we had to rely on what seemed to be the
probable truth as told by the boy himself.  It is only fair to
say that in response to many inquiries we did receive reliable
facts from the lad.  My assistant also went into the question of
beginnings and was told at an entirely different time the same
story.  Robert always maintained that his lying began when he was
a very little boy, when he found out that by telling his
grandmother that his mother was mean to him he could get things
done for him which he wanted.  Later it seems he used to lie
because he was afraid of being punished or because he did not
like to be scolded.  We found there was no question about the
fact that his parents never were in sympathy with his library
reading and his attempts to learn and be somebody in the world.
At first, then, there seemed to be a definite purpose in his
lying.  At one time he pretended to be hurt when taken in custody
and thought because of this he would be allowed to go home.

On many occasions this boy made voluntary appeal to us,
describing his lying as a habit which it was impossible for him
to stop, and implored aid in the breaking of it.  Up to the last
that we knew of him he occasionally made the complaint to
strangers of mistreatment by his family, which in the sense in
which he put it was not true at all.  The dramatic nature of his
later stories seemed to fulfill the need which the boy felt of
his being something which he was not, and very likely belonged to
the same category of behavior he displayed when he attempted to
impersonate a policeman in the middle of the night, and to pose
as an amateur detective by telling stories of alleged exploits to
newspaper reporters.  A long story which he related even to us,
involving his discovery of a suspicious man with a satchel and
his use of a taxicab in search for him, was made up on the basis
of his playing the part of a great man, a hero.  When we ran down
this untruth (it was long after he had told us what a liar he
was) it seemed quite improbable that he had suddenly improvised
this story.  It was too elaborate and well sustained.  Later,
when the boy again tragically begged to be helped from making
such falsifications, he said the incident had been thought out
some days previously and it seemed an awful nice story about the
things that he might do.  Daydreaming thus masked as the truth.

Environmental maladjustment:                 Case 10.
   incongruity between                   Boy, age 14 yrs.
   supernormal ability and home
      Innate characteristics: nervous, active,
                             dramatic type.
           Stimulants: excessive use of coffee.
                Mental habit-formation.
Delinquencies:                Mentality:
Lying excessive.                 Supernormal in ability.
Petty stealing.


Summary:  An orphan girl of 10 had been in several institutions
and households, but was found everywhere impossible on account of
her incorrigibility.  The greatest difficulty was on account of
her extreme lying which for years had included extensive
fabrications and rapid self-contradictions, as well as defensive
denials of delinquency.

We were asked to decide about this girl's mentality and to give
recommendations for her treatment.  We need take little space for
describing the case because the facts of development and heredity
and of earliest mental experiences are not known by us.  The case
is worthy of short description as exemplifying a type and as
showing once more the frequent correlation of lying with other
delinquency, and especially with sex immorality.

We found a girl in good physical condition, small for her age,
but without sensory defect or important organic trouble.
Hutchinsonian teeth.  High forehead and well formed features.
Expression old for her years and rather shrewd, and notably
unabashed.  No evidence of pelvic trouble.  Clitoris large.  All
the other examination negative.

Mentally we found her rather precocious.  Tests well done.  Reads
and does arithmetic well for her age, in spite of much changing
about and other school disadvantages.  No evidence whatever of
aberration.  The examiner noted that she seemed a queer,
sophisticated child, laughing easily and talking fast and freely.
Evidently tries to put her best foot forward.  Cooperates well on

On the ``Aussage'' test this little girl did remarkably well both
as to the details and general ideas expressed in the picture.
Absolutely no suggestibility shown.  The examination was made
before our later methods of scoring this test, and the
inaccuracies were not counted, but even so the positive features
are of interest, namely, the good memory and non-suggestibility .

We found this youngster all along to be evasive, shifting and
self-contradictory, even on vital points.  She glibly stated
anything that came into her mind, and ideas came very rapidly.
She told us stories that with a moment's thought she must have
known we could discover were false.

This child was a foundling, and was adopted by people whose
family was broken up by death when she was about 6 years old.  By
the time she was 8 years old she was expelled from school and was
generally known as an habitual liar and a child who showed most
premature sex tendencies.  She then went much with little boys
and was constantly in trouble for stealing as well.  Occasionally
good reports were made of her, but sometimes she was stated to
have a perfect mania for taking things.  A number of people who
have tried to help her have spoken of the elaborateness of her
verbal inventions.  At one place she destroyed letters and took a
check from the mail and tore it up.  She talked freely of sex
affairs to many people, particularly to women, and showed
evidence of intense local feelings.  At one time she expressed
great desire to be spanked, probably from a sex impulse.  One
intelligent person reported her as being simply animal-like in
her desires.  In a country home a thoroughly intelligent woman
was unable to cope with her and she was finally delivered into
the hands of an institution.

Through dearth of reliable information about the antecedents in
this case we were unable to make a card of causative factors.  It
is sure, however, that the pathological lying and other
delinquencies sprang from a background of congenital defect,
probably syphilitic in nature, of lack of early parental care, of
precocious sex desires, and sex experiences.

In the school for girls, where this unfortunate child remained
for four years, it is stated that her tendencies to prevarication
were mitigated, but never entirely checked.  Her school record
was decidedly good; she was regarded as a bright girl, and
advanced rapidly to the eighth grade.  She was tried again in the
world midway in her adolescent period with the most untoward
results.  She found temptations offered by the opposite sex
irresistible and began a career of misrepresentation concerning
her own conduct.  Through her lies, proper oversight was not
given in the home which received her once more.  Pregnancy ensued
and again she had to receive institutional care.


Summary:  An extremely interesting case showing strong
development of a tendency to swindling on the part of a young man
of curiously unequal mental abilities, a subnormal verbalist.
Pathological lying in this case quite logically developed into
swindling.  The main behavior-tendencies of this individual
closely follow the lines of least resistance, the paths of
greatest success.  As a matter of fact, the use merely of his
general subnormal abilities would never have led to as much
advancement as he has enjoyed.  His special capabilities with
language have brought him much satisfaction at times, even if
they have also led him into trouble.  An astonishingly long list
of legal proceedings centers about this case, illustrating very
well the urgent need for cooperation between courts.

Adolf von X., now just 21 years old, we, through most unusual
circumstances, have had more or less under observation for a
number of years.  Correspondence with several public and social
agencies has given us close acquaintance with his record during
this time, and earlier.  Our attention was first called to Adolf
in New York, when he was a boy under arrest in the Tombs.  A fine
young lawyer, a casual acquaintance of Adolf's through court
work, asked us to study the case because he felt that perhaps
grave injustice was being done.  Before his arrest the boy, who
seemed to be most ambitious, had been about the court rooms
looking into the details of cases as a student of practical law.
He had attracted attention by his energy and push; he earned
money at various odd jobs and studied law at night.  At this time
the boy was under arrest charged with disorderly conduct; he had
beaten his sister in their home.

We found a nice looking and well spoken young fellow who said he
was 17.  Although he had been in this country only three years
from Germany, he spoke English almost without an accent and did
quite well with French also.  He had been brought up in Hamburg.
His statement added to that previously given by the lawyer
aroused in us great interest concerning the constructive
possibilities of the case.  It seemed as if here was an immigrant
boy for whom much should be done.

``I was taking up law suits, little law suits.  There was a case
on before Judge O. and I wanted a new suit of clothes to wear to
go to court in.  My sister said I could not take my brother's
suit.  He told me to take it and bring it home in good condition
at night.  My sister is supposed to be the plaintiff, but she did
not make the complaint.  The landlady came in and hit me three
times in the head with a broom.  My sister called her in and then
she threw a piece of wood after me.  Sister started crying, but
she did not get hit.  The landlady got hit.  When I fell down I
striked her with my head and hurt my head bad.  I think I hit her
with the left side of my head.  The landlady made complaint in
German to an Irish policeman.  He could not understand.  The
officer did not do what the law tells because he took a complaint
from a boy of the age of 6 years.  He translated for her.

``The trouble started because I wanted to get my brother's suit
because I wanted to appear before Judge O. to protect a party in
the hearing of a case.  I took a few lessons over in the Y.M.C.A.
class and in a law office I read books through.  I have books at
home, rulings of every court.  I know I got a good chance to work
up because I know I have a good head for the law.  My father he
wont believe it, that's the trouble.  I know I could stand my own
expenses.  I said, `Officer, wait here a minute.  I'll explain
how this is.'  He began stepping on me.  He threw me on the
floor.  I wanted to go out the back way so nobody would see me.
He kicked me down the front way.  There was a big crowd there.
Another rough officer pinched my arm.  At the station when the
officer said this boy hit his sister, my sister said, `No, he did
not hit me,' but she said it in German.

``I was in court awhile ago because father thought I would not
work.  I was paroled.  I was trying to find a position.  This man
that had the rehearing said, `You wont lose anything.'  He made
as much as a contract with me.  He said to another person in my
hearing, if that fellow wins my case I will pay him $10 for it.
The first case I had was in X court.  I was interpreter there.  I
want to make something out of myself.  Labor is all right, but I
like office work or law work better.  I tell you, doctor, if I
come up before the judge I will tell him just the same story I
tell you.  I can remember it just that way.''

This young man told us he had graduated from intermediate school
in Hamburg; in this country he had attended for about a year and
a half and, in spite of the language handicap, he was in sixth
grade.  There is a brother a little older and an older sister.
Mother has been dead for 5 years.  His father is an artisan and
makes a fair living.

We soon found means of getting more facts concerning this case.
The first point of importance was concerning his age.  It
appeared that he at present was lying about this, probably for
the purpose of concealing his previous record in the Juvenile
Court and in other connections.  There had been previously much
trouble with him.  He had been long complained of by his father
because of the bickering and quarreling which he caused in the
household and on account of his not working steadily.  He had
shown himself tremendously able in getting employment, having had
at least twenty places in the last year and a half.  He was known
to lie and misrepresent; on one occasion when he was trying to
get certain advantages for himself he falsely stated that he was
employed by a certain legal concern, and once he tried to pass
himself off for an officer of a court.

The father willingly came to see us and proved to be a somewhat
excitable, but intelligent man of good reputation.  We obtained a
very good history before studying the boy himself.  Mr. von X.
began by informing us that we had a pretty difficult case on our
hands, and when we spoke of the boy's ambition he became very
sarcastic.  He stated that up to the time when the boy left
school in Hamburg he had only been able to get to the equivalent
of our third grade.  To be sure, it is true that Adolf had
learned English quickly and much more readily than any one else
in the family, and in the old country had picked up French, but
``he hasn't got sense enough to be a lawyer.''

Both the older children did very well in school, and the father
and mother came from intelligent families.  All the children are
somewhat nervous, but the two older ones are altogether different
from this boy.  They are quiet and saving.  A grandfather was
said to have been a learned man and another member of the family
very well-to-do.  The mother has one cousin insane and the father
one cousin who is feebleminded.  All the other family history
from this apparently reliable source was negative.  Both the
father and mother were still young at the birth of this child.
The mother died of pneumonia, but prior to this sickness had been

The developmental history of Adolf runs as follows:  His birth
was preceded by two miscarriages.  The pregnancy was quite
normal; confinement easy.  When he was a few days old he had some
inflammation of the eyes which soon subsided.  Never any
convulsions.  His infancy was normal.  He walked and talked
early.  At three years he had diphtheria badly with delirium for
a couple of weeks and paralysis of the palate for some months.
After this his parents thought the boy not quite normal.  He had
slight fevers occasionally.  At 9 years he was very ill with
scarlet fever.  Following that he had some trouble with the bones
in his legs.  Before he left Hamburg he had an operation on one
leg for this trouble which had persisted.  (It was quite
significant that in our first interview Adolf had told us his leg
had been injured by a rock falling on it, necessitating the
operation.)  Up to the age of 14 this boy, although apparently in
good physical condition, used to wet the bed always at night, and
sometimes during the day lost control of his bladder.  Also lost
control of his bowels occasionally after he was 10 years old.  He
sleeps well, is moderate in the use of tea and coffee, and does
not smoke.

When young he played much by himself.  After coming to this
country his chief recreation was going to nickel shows.  He was
fond of music as a child.  He had been a truant in Hamburg.  As a
young child he was regarded as destructive.  The general
statement concerning delinquency is that Adolf is the only one of
the family who has given trouble and that the father was the
first to complain of the boy to the authorities.  Before he
reported it there had long been trouble on account of frequent
changing of employment and misrepresentations.  The boy had
forged letters to his family and others.  In the office of a
certain newspaper he once represented himself to be an orphan,
and there a fund was raised for him and he was outfitted.  The
father insists that the boy, in general, is an excessive liar.

Further inquiry brought out that other people, too, regarded
Adolf as an extreme falsifier.  The principal of a school thought
the boy made such queer statements that he could not be right in
his head.  In the office of a clerk of a court he represented
himself to be employed by a certain legal institution and
demanded file after file for reference.  Everybody there was
friendly to him at first, but later they all changed their
attitude on account of his unscrupulous and constant lying.

Physically we found a very well nourished boy, rather short for
his age.  Weight 121 lbs.; height 5 ft. 1 in.  Musculature
decidedly flabby; this was especially noticeable in his
handshake.  Attitude heavy and slouchy for a boy.  Expression
quite pleasant; features regular; complexion decidedly good.  A
North European type.  Eyes differ slightly in the color of the
irides.  Noticeable enlargement of breasts.  Well shaped head of
quite normal measurements; circumference 54.5, length 18, breadth
15 cm.  No sensory defect, nor was anything else of particular
interest found upon examination.

The mental study, particularly the testing for special abilities,
has been of very great interest.  Fortunately for the scientific
understandings of the problems involved we have been able to see
Adolf many times at intervals and to check up previous findings.
Our first statement will be of the results obtained at the
earliest study of the case.

When we first saw Adolf, although he talked so intelligently, we
asked him to give us some evidence of his educational ability,
and to our tremendous surprise he failed to be able to multiply
simple numbers or even to do addition correctly.  There was no
evidence of emotional upset, but we waited for further testing
until we had seen the father, that we might be sure of the school
history.  As mentioned above, we found that the boy had entirely
misled us.

We then entered upon a systematic study of the boy's abilities
and found some strange contrasts.  Perceptions of form and color
were normal.  Given a very simple test which required some
apperceptive ability, he did fairly well.  Given simple
``Construction Tests'' which required the planful handling of
concrete material, Adolf proceeded unintelligently.  He showed no
foresight, was rather slow, but by following out a trial and
error procedure and with some repetition of irrational placing of
the pieces he finally succeeded.  Moderate ability to profit by
trial and error was shown, but for his age the performance on
this type of test was poor.  On our ``Puzzle-Box,'' which calls
for the analysis of a concrete situation, a test that is done by
boys of his age nearly always in four minutes or less, Adolf
failed in ten minutes.  He began in his typically aggressive
fashion, but kept trying to solve the difficulty by the
repetition of obviously futile movements.  On a ``Learning
Test,'' where numerals are associated in meaningless relation
with symbols, Adolf did the work promptly and with much
self-confidence, but made a thoroughly irrational error, inasmuch
as he associated the same numeral with two different symbols--and
did not see his error.  His ability to mentally represent and
analyze a simple situation visually presented in our ``Cross Line
Tests'' was very poor.  In this he failed to analyze out the
simple parts of a figure which he could well draw from memory.
This seemed significant, for the test is practically always done
correctly by normal individuals, at least on the second trial, by
the time they are 10 or 12 years of age.  A simple test for
visual memory of form also brought poor results.

As an extreme contrast to the above results, the tests that had
to do with language were remarkably well done.  A visual verbal
memory passage was given with unusual accuracy, also an auditory
verbal passage was rendered almost perfectly.  Considering that
the former has 20 items and the latter 12 details, this
performance was exceptionally good.  Also, the so-called Antonym
Test, where one is asked to give as quickly as possible the
opposite to a word, the result, considering his foreign
education, was decidedly good.  Three out of twenty opposites
were not given, apparently on account of the lack of knowledge.
The average time was 2.3 seconds.  If two of the other
time-reactions were left out, which were probably slow from lack
of knowledge, the average time would be 1.6 seconds for 15
opposites.  This shows evidence of some good mental control on
the language side.  Motor control was fair.  He was able to tap
75 of our squares with 2 errors in 30 seconds, just a medium
performance.  A letter written on this date contains quite a few
mis-spelled short words:  ``My father Send me to This Court for
The troubels I had with my sister,'' etc.

While awaiting trial Adolf, stating that he was desirous of doing
so, was given ample opportunity to study arithmetic.  After a few
days he told us unhesitatingly that he now could do long
division, but he utterly failed, and, indeed, made many errors in
a sum in addition.  He had acquired part of the multiplication

Study of his range of information brought out some curious
points.  He told of some comparative merits of law schools, had
some books on home-taught law, and was a great reader of the
newspapers.  In the latter he chiefly perused reports of court
cases.  He was quite familiar with the names of various attorneys
and judges.  He could give the names in contemporary politics,
and knew about sporting items.  His knowledge of the history of
this country was absolutely deficient, but he does not hesitate
to give such statements as the following:  ``The Fourth of July
is to remember a great battle between President Lincoln and the
English country.''  Again he makes a bluff to give scientific
items, although he has the shallowest information.  When it comes
to athletics, much to our surprise, we hear that our flabby boy
is a champion.  Of course, he knows some of the rulers in Europe
and by what route he came to New York, but he informs us that
Paris is the largest country in Europe.

Adolf says he plays a very good game of checkers, that he had
played much, but on trial he shows a very poor game, once moving
backwards.  When purposely given chances to take men he did not
perceive the opportunities.

We asked him to analyze out for us a couple of moral situations,
one being about a man who stole to give to a starving family.  He
tells us in one way the man did right and in another way wrong.
It never is right to steal, because if caught he would be sent to
the penitentiary and would have to pay more than the things are
worth, and, then, if he was not caught, a thief would never get
along in the world.  The other was the story of Indians
surrounding a settlement who asked the captain of a village to
give up a man.  Adolf thought if he were a chief he would say to
give battle if the man had done no wrong, but on further
consideration states that he would rather give up one man than
risk the lives of many, and if he were a captain he would surely
rather give this man up than put his own life in it.  He thinks
certainly this is the way the question should be answered.

On our ``Aussage'' or Testimony Test Adolf gave volubly many
details, dramatically expressing himself and putting in
interpretations that were not warranted by the picture.  Indeed,
he made the characters actually say things.  On the other hand,
he did not recall at all one of the three persons present in the
picture.  He accepted three out of six suggestions and was quite
willing to fill in imaginary details, besides perverting some of
the facts.  This was unusually unreliable testimony.

Our impressions as dictated at this time state that we had to do
with a young man in good general physical condition, of unusually
flabby musculature, who showed a couple of signs that might
possibly be regarded as stigmata of inferiority.  Mentally, the
main showing was irregularity of abilities; in some things he was
distinctly subnormal, in others mediocre, but in language ability
he was surprisingly good.  No evidence of mental aberration was
discovered.  The diagnosis could be made, in short, that the boy
was a subnormal verbalist.  His character traits might be
enumerated in part by saying that he was aggressive,
unscrupulous, boastful, ambitious, and a continual and excessive
liar.  In the exercise of these he was strikingly lacking in
foresight.  This latter characteristic also was shown in his test
work.  The abilities in which he was overbalanced gave him
special feelings of the possibility of his being a success and
led him to become a pathological liar.  From the family history
the main suggestion of the causation of the mental abnormality is
in illness during developmental life, but neither ante-natal nor
hereditary conditions are quite free from suspicion.

At the time of this first trial Adolf maintained a very smart
attitude and tried to show off.  He had succeeded in having two
witnesses subpoenaed in order to prove that he did not hit his
sister, but on the stand it came out that one of them was not
there at all, and the other, who was a little girl, stated that
she saw Adolf hit some one.  Just why the boy had these witnesses
brought in was difficult to explain.  Perhaps he had the idea
that some one ought to be called in every case, or perhaps he
thought they would be willing to tell an untruth for him.  His
statement in court did not agree with what he had told us and was
utterly different from what his sister stated.  It came out that
he had struck her on a number of previous occasions.  It was
shown clearly that the boy was a tremendous liar.  The case was
transferred to the Juvenile Court and from there the boy was sent
away to an institution for a few months.  After the trial his
father said in broken English, ``To me he never told the truth.''

Just after his release the family moved to Chicago and Adolf soon
put himself in touch with certain social agencies.  He found out
where I was and came to see me, bright, smiling, and well.  He
had gained eight pounds during his incarceration.  He wanted to
tell all about his life in the institution and because we were
busy said he would come the next day.  He did not do this, but a
few months later came running up to me on the street with a
package in his hands, saying he was already at work in a downtown
office and was doing well and going to night school.  Five years
more would see him quite through his law course.  A few months
after this he applied at a certain agency for work as an
interpreter and there, strangely enough, some one who knew him in
New York recognized him.  He, however, denied ever having been in
court and produced a list of twenty or twenty-five places where
he worked and gave them as references.  It is to be remembered
that at this time he had already been brought up in court at
least three times, that he had been on probation, and been sent
away to an institution.

During the last four years we have received much information
concerning the career of Adolf, although his activities have
carried him to Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, and other towns,
in several of which he has been in trouble.  He has very
repeatedly been to see us and we have had many opportunities of
gauging his mental as well as his social development.

His family continued to live in one of the most populous suburbs
of Chicago and Adolf maintains that his residence is there, an
important point for his political activities which are mentioned

What we discovered in our further studies of Adolf's mental
condition can be told in short.  We have retested him over and
over.  (When he has been hard up we have given him money to
induce him to do his very best.)  There are no contradictions in
our findings at different times.  Once, in another city, in
connection with his appearance in court, Adolf was seen by a
psychiatrist who suggested that he was a case of dementia precox,
but nothing in our long observation of him warrants us in such an
opinion.  His mental conditions and qualities seem quite
unchanged in type during all the time we have known him, and
instead of any deterioration there has been gradual betterment in
capacities, certainly along the line of adjustment to
environment.  His wonderful ability to get out of trouble is
evidence of these powers of adjustment, as is also, perhaps, his
keen sensing of the utility of the shadier sides of politics and
criminal procedure.

In work with numbers Adolf is still very poor.  He is unable to
do long division or multiplication, and cannot add together
simple fractions.  Addition he does much better, but even at his
best he makes errors in columns where he has to add five
numerals.  He now can do simple subtraction such as is required
in making change, but fails on such a problem as how much change
he should get from $20 after buying goods costing $11.37.  His
memory span is only six numerals, and these he cannot get
correctly every time.

After numerous attempts to mentally analyze our simple ``Cross
Line Test,'' with much urging and extreme slowness he finally
succeeded at one time in getting it correctly.  As stated above,
this is a test that is done with ease usually by normal
individuals 12 years of age.  On our ``Code Test,'' requiring
much the same order of ability, but more effort, he entirely
failed.  For one thing, he has never known the order of the
alphabet either in English, German, or French.  Our ``Pictorial
Completion Test,'' which gauges simple apperceptive abilities, he
failed to do correctly, making three illogical errors.

The result on the Binet tests are most interesting.  From years
of experience with them we ourselves have no faith in their
offering sound criteria for age levels above 10 years.  Adolf
goes up through all of the 12-year tests (1911 series) except the
first, where he shows suggestibility in his judgment of the
lengths of lines.  In the 15-year tests he fails on the first,
but does the three following ones correctly.  Two out of the
adult series are done well--those where the definition of a word
is required and the statement of political ideas.  Two or three
of his specific answers are worth noting:  ``Honor is when a
person is very honest.  It means he will never do what is wrong
even if he can make money by it.''  ``Pleasure is when everything
is pleasant, when you are enjoying yourself.''  Adolf tells us
that the king is head of a monarchy, he has not the power to
veto, and he acquires his position by royal birth.  In contrast
to this he says the president is the presiding executive of a
republic, he has the power to veto, and he gains his position by
election.  It is perfectly clear in this case, as in many others,
that the Binet tests show very little wherein lies the nature of
a special defect or ability.  Adolf's capacity for handling
language has grown steadily.  He has been reading law and knows
by heart a great deal of its terminology.  In a short
conversation he talks well and is coherent.  The aggressiveness
which is ever with him leads him to stick to the point.  He has
had very little instruction, his pronunciation is often defective
and he does not know the meaning of many of the longer terms with
which any lawyer should be acquainted.  He speaks fluently and
has now long posed, among other things, as an interpreter.

Our final diagnosis after all these mental tests is, that while
he could by no means be called a feebleminded person, still Adolf
is essentially subnormal in many abilities--we still regard him
as a subnormal verbalist.  Probably what he lacks in powers of
mental analysis has much relation to the lack of foresight which
he continually shows in his social career.  His lying and
swindling have led him almost nowhere except into difficulties.

Adolf has been steadily gaining weight, although he has grown
only an inch and a half in these years.  He is stout and
sleek-looking and as flabby as ever.  He has not been seriously
ill during this time.  Whereas before he used to be untidy in
dress he now gets himself up more carefully.

The following are examples of Adolf's conversation and show many
of his characteristics:  (Soon after he came to Chicago we spoke
to him of his progress.)

``The other day I met a fellow and he says, `How long have you
been in this country?' and when I says four years he says,
`You're a liar.  There never was a fellow I ever heard of who got
hold of the language and was doing as well as you are in four
years.' ''  A few months later he tells us he is selling goods on
commission and descants on how much he can make:  ``That's
`Get-rich-quick-Wallingford' for you.  There's Mr. A. and
Congressman X., they started out from little beginnings just the
same as me.  I'm going along their line.

``Do you know I got sued by the Evening Star for libbel.  That's
what I got for testifying in that case.  I tell you what I would
like and that's vice investigation work.''

At another time:  ``Well, doctor, I am general manager for my
brother's business now.  He's got a bottle business.  There's
money in that, ain't there?  I was down in court to-day.  I tell
you, there was a fellow who got what was coming to him.  It was a
case before Judge H.--assault and battery.  He was fined $10 and
costs--all amounted to about $30.  Well, I had a little dog and I
tell you I have a heart for animals just the same as persons.  He
kicked the dog and I told him not to do it and he says, `You're a
liar,' and then he ran down stairs and pushed me along the stones
over there.  I called the police and they did not come for about
three quarters of an hour.

``I'm studying law.  Taking a correspondence course.  They give
you an L.L.B.  It's a two years work and you get all the volumes
separately,'' etc.  ``Then we have a slander suit.  A neighbor
called my sister dirty names.  I am going to file a $5000 slander
suit.  I would not let that man call names like that, and then
he's got about $5000 in property.

``Some people are down on me, but I tell you I have been a leader
of boys.  We got the Illinois championship--you know, the boy
scout examinations.  There was an examination on leaves.  I was
their leader.  I had 9 boys up and there were 117 leaves and
every boy knew every leaf.  Of course I told them or they would
not have known.  Some people are down on me for what I do for the
boys, but I tell you I've been in court and I've made up my mind
I will help other kids.  Sometimes kids can be helped by talking
to.  Then there is me.  I won the boxing championship this
year.''  (At this period I enquire about his prowess and the
recent encounter with the young boy who dragged him over the
stones.  With a blush he says he never was any good at real
boxing or real fighting.)   ``I'm this kind of a fellow.  If they
let me alone I'm all right, but if they start monkeying with me
something is going to happen.  When you start a thing don't start
it until you can carry it through.  These people that started
with me were not able to do that.''

Later it came out that the alleged fighting with the boy is all
in Adolf's mind.  He tells us, without noticing any discrepancy,
that no complaint against this boy, who he said had been already
tried and fined, would be received by the police authorities, nor
will they issue a warrant.

Within the last year or two there has been almost complete
cessation of Adolf's attempt to become a lawyer.  At an earlier
time he came to us with a speech written out in a book.  He was
going to recite it when a certain case came up in the Municipal
Court.  As a matter of fact we heard that the boy said nothing on
the occasion.  At various times we have heard of his getting
mixed up in different ways in a number of cases.  Once he
succeeded in giving testimony in a notorious trial.  His own
account of his interest in the case is shown in the following:

``Doctor, you remember that X. boy and that Y. boy. Judge B. is
going to try them.  They are down in the S Station and they are
going to stay there unless they sign a jury waiver and they can't
do that.  They are only 15 years old--I got their ages--it cost
me $1 to get their ages and I am going to be there when they are
being tried.''  (The statement of the ages is untrue.)  ``It
ain't right to keep these boys down there.  They look pale.  They
don't give them anything but black coffee.  I'm going to
represent them boys.  You know, doctor, I'm working in three
places now--holding three jobs.  Two days in the week I work for
the A's, two for Mr. B.--he ain't exactly my boss--and then for
myself.  The A's pay me $6, Mr. B. pays $3, and then I make $7 or
$8 myself interpreting.  I'm saving it up to go to law school.
In three years I graduate.  They are going to hold it up against
them boys, their records, and I am going to deny it.  It ain't
right.  I was talking to the detective that arrested X. and I
says to him, `Look here, you took the knife.  What right have
they got to take in one fellow without the little fellow?'  I
want to represent this case myself.''

Adolf has worked for law firms and aided at times as an
investigator of criminal and vice situations.  Occasionally he
has been much worried about his own court record.  He did not
want it to stand against him.  He thought he could get his sister
to swear that he never quarreled at home.  Shortly afterwards he
served a short sentence for stealing from a law firm.  Later he
came in and said he had a job in the legal department of a large
concern and that he had changed his name because he believed his
old name was ruined.  ``I'm determined to be a lawyer.  Ever
since a little fellow I have wanted to be--ever since I have had
an understanding of what the law means.  I used to play court
with the other little ones and talk about law.''  At this time he
wanted a little loan.  He had become particularly interested in
philanthropic work and thought he could do something on the side
about that--perhaps become a leader of boys, or help the
unprotected in some way.  Adolf was really employed now to
investigate cases by some lawyer.  About this time he had been
wearing a badge, impersonating an officer of a certain
philanthropic society.

For long this young man was concocting all sorts of schemes how
he might work in at the edge of legal affairs, as an interpreter,
a ``next friend,'' an investigator, etc.  More recent activities
have taken Adolf away from the field of his first ambitions and
he has tried to use his talents in all sorts of adventuresome
ways.  The accounts of his lying and impostures belong logically
together, as follows.

During all our acquaintance with Adolf we have known his word to
be absolutely untrustworthy.  Many times he has descended upon
his friends with quite unnecessary stories, leading to nothing
but a lowering of their opinion of him.  Repeatedly his
concoctions have been without ascertainable purpose.  His
prevaricating nearly always centers about himself as some sort of
a hero and represents him to be a particularly good-hearted and
even definitely philanthropic person--one who loves all creatures
and does much for others.  Pages might be taken in recounting his
falsehoods.  Most of them, even when long drawn out, were fairly
coherent.  I remember one instance as showing how particularly
uncalled for his prevarications were.  After hearing one of his
tales, we started downtown together, but missed a car.  Adolf
walked to the middle of the street and said he could see one
coming just a few blocks away.  Being doubtful, I a minute later
went to look and no car even yet was in sight.  Adolf sheepishly
stared in a shop window.  He never took any pleasure in his
record of misdeeds.  He was never boastful about them and indeed
seemed to have quite normal moral feeling.  But so far, none of
his perceptions or apperceptions has led him to see the
astonishing futility of his own lying and other

Already this young man's court experiences we know to be very
numerous and possibly we are not acquainted with all of them.
Early we knew of his forging letters and telegrams and engaging
in minor misrepresentations which were really swindling
operations.  Later his transactions have been spread about in
different cities, as we have already stated.  The young man
borrowed small sums frequently on false pretenses.  He has found
the outskirts of legal practice a fruitful field for
misrepresentations galore.  For instance, at one time he stood
outside the door of a concern which deals with small legal
business and represented to the prospective patrons that he as a
student of the law could transact their business with more
individual care and for a less sum.  He really succeeded in
getting hold of the beginnings of a number of legal actions in
this way.  In one city he posed as the officer of a certain
protective agency and posted himself where he would be likely to
meet people who knew of this organization, in order to obtain
petty business from them.  We have heard that he has been a
witness in a number of legal cases and has earned fees thereby.
In Cleveland Adolf succeeded in starting a secret service agency
and obtained contracts, among them the detective work for a newly
started store of considerable size.  This was a great tribute to
his push and energy, but his agency soon failed.  In St. Louis,
where he stayed long enough to become acquainted with not a few
members of the legal fraternity, he forged a legal document.  A
great deal was made of the case by the papers because of its
flagrancy and amusing details.  It seems Adolf had become
enamored of a certain woman who was not living with her husband.
The account runs that he urged his suit, but she refused because
she was not legally free.  Adolf replied that he would make that
all right and in a week or two produced papers of divorce.  These
were made out in legal form, but it seems that he over-stepped
the mark.  The alleged decree stated that the fair divorcee must
be remarried inside of a week.  This seems to have aroused her
suspicion, as had also some violence which Adolf had prematurely
displayed.  The young man was duly sentenced for the fraud.

Concerning punishments we can say that in the five years since he
left New York he has served at least four terms in penal
institutions and has been held to trial on one other occasion.
This latter event concerned itself with Adolf's impersonating a
federal officer.  He made his way into a home under these
conditions, just why we do not know.  The case was difficult to
adjust and was dismissed because no statute exactly covered it.

Perhaps nothing in his remarkable history shows Adolf's
aggressiveness and peculiar tendencies any more than his
political career.  He had been voting long before he was of age
and had even succeeded in getting a nomination for a certain
party position during his minority, polling a considerable vote
at the primaries.  Following his defeat at election, which was at
the time when the new party showed marked weakness, Adolf told us
that he, after all, was only in the Progressive Party to wreck
it.  He felt that the leaders belonged back in the Republican
ranks, and he thought he could help to get them there.

Mentality: Subnormal verbalist type.         Case 12.
                                        Man, 21 years.
 Developmental: Early illness with
                involvement of nervous
Lying excessive.



We include in this chapter pathological self-accusation as well
as incrimination of others.  In court work one sees many cases of
false accusation, but few belong to the pathological variety.  We
have not considered those based upon vindictiveness, or
self-defense, or where any other even slight, recognizable,
normal gratification was at the bottom.  We have tried to hold
strictly to our definition.  Selection of the cases for this
chapter has been easier than discriminating those who are merely
pathological liars in general.  It is simpler to distinguish
those who accuse others for the purpose of injury or
self-protection, or those who make self-accusation under the
influence of delusional conditions, than it is to decide upon
similar distinctions in cases of mere pathological lying.
Several authors, such as Gross, have noted false accusations made
during a short period of early adolescence, or in connection with
menstrual disturbance.  Our cases corroborate these facts, but
show also that extreme false accusations may be made by girls
BEFORE puberty.  Satisfactory knowledge of such cases is not
gained by learning merely that the accuser is under temporary
physical stress--it is to be noted that our material clearly
shows that there is always more in the background.

The many cases observed by us of false accusations made, rarely,
by the feebleminded and, more often, by those suffering from a
psychosis, need not be mentioned here--they are obvious in their
abnormality and have little bearing upon our immediate problem.

For the sake of illustration of the fact of pathological
accusation Case 17 is given in this chapter, but in its mental
aspects it belongs more properly under the head of border-line
cases.  In our final deductions this has not been counted as a
mentally normal case.


Summary:  An exceedingly important case from a legal standpoint.
A girl of 16 years persistently, but falsely accused her own
mother and her step-father of the murder of the youngest child of
the family.  Some apparent physical corroboration was found.  The
woman and her spouse were held from the inquest to the grand jury
and later were indicted.  They were in jail for four months until
the case was finally tried, when they were discharged.

We studied Libby S. as a delinquent some eight months after her
mother and step-father had been acquitted of murder.  These
unfortunate people had been held and tried almost entirely upon
the testimony given by this girl.  It goes without saying that
they were very poor and not ordinarily self-assertive, and so did
not obtain competent legal advice.  We were naturally interested
in this remarkable affair and were glad to be able to get at the
truth of the matter and bring about forgiveness and
reconciliation within the family circle.

Libby was now under arrest for stealing and for prostitution.
Her statement to us was that she had been immoral and wanted to
be sent away to an institution where she would be kept out of
trouble.  She had been working in a factory.  Her mother and
step-father were temperate and the latter was always good to her
and to her brother.  She told about being extremely nervous when
she got to thinking about different things, and maintained that
she worried so much at times that she did not know what she was
doing.  Later we learned from her of her little sister's death,
of the fact that the child was not really her sister, and that
her mother had not been married to her present husband until the
time of the trial, although for long they had been living
together.  She added that she had been a witness five times in
court against her mother and step-father.  A younger brother had
also testified against them to some minor extent.  ``We had to
tell what we saw--we told enough lies as it was.''

Following the latter remark as a clew we went as thoroughly as we
could into the details of the whole case.  No report of the court
proceedings being available we obtained what we could from the
newspaper accounts.  Obviously, however, much of these was
impressionistic and unreliable.  The coroner's physician
testified to many bruises being on the body, and to the bottom of
the feet being blistered.  The report of what the police said at
the inquest made anything but conclusive testimony.  Even from
that, the murder seemed highly improbable.  It was shown that a
physician was called to the child before she died, but did not
respond.  Libby testified at the inquest and later against her
mother, stating that the child had been beaten and tortured in
various ways.  We also learned from other than newspaper sources
that when Libby was waiting to testify, with her mother suffering
imprisonment in the same building, the girl was nonchalantly
singing ragtime songs in the court-house corridors.

The facts about the alleged murder of the five year old child as
we could finally summarize them from various accounts, and after
hearing the confession of Libby, are as follows.  This child was
an epileptic and had frequent attacks of falling, when she
injured herself, once having fallen in this way against a hot
stove.  The little child engaged in extremely bad sex habits.
Indeed, Libby herself had been somewhat involved with her in
these.  Once when she was ill hot bricks had been placed in the
bed, and, while unconscious, her feet had been blistered.  The
child had also suffered from various other ailments, including a
skin disease which left sore places and scars.  When she died
Libby first told a neighbor that the parents were responsible and
this person referred her to the police.  The false testimony
began there and continued at the inquest, before the grand jury,
and at the trial.  Upon thorough final sifting of the evidence in
court nothing was found in the least indicating that the child
had died from mistreatment.  The younger brother had been told by
Libby to testify against the mother.  There was no question but
that Libby started and continued the whole trouble, but the
unnatural fact that she was willing to make sworn statements
jeopardizing her mother made her testimony have all the earmarks
of antecedent probability.

The mother herself, in whom we gradually came to have full
confidence, informed us that the dead child had an epileptic
attack and was unconscious for several hours before she died.
They lived on the outskirts of the city and it was bad weather,
and although they sent twice for doctors, no one appeared.  The
child had been mildly whipped at times in an attempt to cure her
of her bad sex habits.  She had many sores from her skin trouble
and these were by some interpreted as caused by beatings.

When under our observation, and during our attempt to analyze her
career, Libby underwent a change of attitude and confessed
thoroughly and definitely that the story about the murder was
lies all the way through.  For the sake of the poor little mother
we had the girl make a sworn statement to this effect.  It was of
some little interest to us to note that the police account given
in the newspapers about the little child being beaten with a
rubber hose was derived from the story told by Libby.  It was a
wonderfully dramatic and pathetic scene when this woman met her
daughter and the latter confessed to her lies and asked
forgiveness.  All the mother could say was, ``Oh, the suffering
she has caused me!  But I do want her to be a good girl.''

From the girl's long stories to us we may derive the following
points of interest.  Before her confession she was very emotional
on the subject of her little sister.  She dwelled much upon her
dreams of the child, but proved self-contradictory about the
matter of her death, as well as about her own history.  Even then
she began telling us what a bad girl she herself was in various
ways.  She said, ``I did not see Laura die, but I guess they did
burn her up because her finger tips were all gone and her hands
were all swollen up.  Ma said she would burn her up if she did
not quit wetting the bed.  Yes, I used to worry about Laura
awful.  She always had been the trouble.  I would have been a
good girl if it had not been for her.  I used to worry so fierce
that I could not help from stealing and then when I stole I was
scared to go back to my jobs.  I had to have money and so I made
good money by going with these fellows.  I used to feel fierce
about the money I took from my mother and used to put it back and
then would say, `No, I just must have it.' ''

This girl had been working at different factories and homes since
her mother's trial.  She confessed to thieving from stores.  The
stealing she had done at home was, it seems, long before the
death of the little child.  Libby made much of her mental states
and of her dream-life in talking to us.  ``I like to go to nickel
shows.  I saw a sad piece once and if I feel sad now I think
about it and it makes me want to go to my mother.  I have a funny
feeling about going home.  I don't know what it is.  At night I
dream about it and something keeps telling me to go home.  I want
to go to an institution now and learn to do fancy work and to be
good, and then I want to go home.''

Libby told us enough about her first father for us to know he had
had a terrifically bad influence upon her.  She also long
associated with bad companions who instructed her thoroughly in
the ways of immorality.  She described attacks in which she felt
weak and thought she was going to fall, but never did.  (The
young child in the family who had epilepsy was no relation
whatever to her.)  She knew that her mother had long been living
with her step-father in common-law relationship, but insisted on
what was undoubtedly the truth, namely, that they were temperate
and very respectable people.  Libby never gave us any explanation
for her testimony against her mother, but acknowledged that she
herself had been delinquent earlier.

The physical examination showed a normally developed girl: weight
108 lbs.; height 5 ft. 3 in.  Well shaped head and rather
delicate features.  Her teeth showed a defective line in the
enamel near the gums on the incisors and the cuspids.  Bites her
finger nails.  Slight irregularity of the left pupil.  Careful
examination of the eyes in other ways entirely negative.  Prompt
reaction of pupils to light.  No sensory defect of importance.
Knee jerks active.  Heart sounds normal, and all other
examination failed to show defect.  Complained of frequent
headaches, but these were not of great severity.  After
information from the mother we felt that Libby's feelings of
weakness and tremblings were probably of the hysterical variety.

During the period in which we had Libby under observation she
showed more or less emotional disturbance, but even so we were
able to assure ourselves that her mental ability was fair.  We
did not expect good results from formal education because in her
case it had been very irregular.  Many of our ability tests,
however, were done well, but she failed where she was asked to
demonstrate good powers of concentration and attention.  We noted
that she showed a very eager attitude toward her work, but was
nervous about it.  Always pleasant demeanor.

Most significant results were obtained on the ``Aussage'' or
testimony test.  After viewing our standard picture she
volunteered only 8 details in free recital.  On cross-examination
she gave 21 more, but no less than 7 of these were incorrectly
stated.  Then she accepted the 4 suggestions which were given
her.  This result from a girl of her age and ability was
exceedingly poor.

We never found any evidence whatever of aberrational mental
conditions.  Our final diagnosis was ``fair in mental ability
with poor educational advantages.''

It should be definitely understood in considering this case that
even to the time of our last interview with Libby, after she had
acknowledged her own extensive prevarications, we had evidences
of the unreliability of her word.  In giving details she never
made any special effort to tell the truth, whether it was in
regard to the date of her father's death or any other immaterial
detail.  We were inclined to classify her as a pathological liar,
as well as a case of pathological false accusation.  Her traits
as a liar and a generally difficult case have, we learn, been
maintained during her stay up to the present time in an
institution for delinquent girls.

From the fairly intelligent mother, who cooperated well with us,
we obtained a carefully stated developmental history.  During
pregnancy with Libby the mother was run over by a bicycle, but
was not much injured.  The child was born at full term and was of
normal size and vitality.  Instruments were used, but no damage
was known to have been done.  Libby walked and talked early.  A
couple of times when she was an infant she had convulsions, but
never after that.  From 7 weeks until she was 3 years old there
was constant trouble on account of some form of indigestion.  For
a time at that age she was in the hospital, but the mother was
never told exactly what the trouble was.  Her stomach was large.
As an older child she was subject to fits of anger when she could
not have her way.  She never had anything that was suggestive of
epilepsy.  Twice she fainted, but once was when she came home
half frozen one winter's day.  At 11 years she had pneumonia.
She menstruated at 14 years.

The heredity and family history in this case is of great
interest.  Libby's mother went to work for her first husband's
family in the old country.  At about that time this man's first
wife died, but he had previously left her.  He came of a good
family, he was himself, however, a hard-drinking man.  He left
two children by his first wife with his parents and came to this
country with Libby's mother.  Here they lived in a common-law
marriage relationship for many years, and two children (one of
them Libby) were born to them.  The man continued to be a
terrible drunkard and was probably insane at times.  He once
bought a rifle to kill his family.  He was notorious for his
great changeableness of disposition.  Sometimes he would be very
pleasant, and then quickly be seized by some impulse when he
would grind his teeth, become very angry, and use vile language.
Even when sober he would go along talking to himself and people
would follow him on the street to hear what he was saying.  He
threatened often to kill his wife.  He deserted her at times for
months together.  He only partially supported his family and his
wife worked as a washerwoman.  She left him once, but later went
back to him.

In evidence of the character of this man and his wife we have
seen several statements from reliable people.  The man's son by
his first wife came to this country and lived with them.  He
found his own father impossible--a terribly bad man who was
continually fighting at home.  He himself urged his step-mother
to break up the home on account of the way in which she was
abused.  He made a statement of this fact under oath.  (It is
only fair to say in this whole connection that these people all
came from a part of Europe where what we call a common-law
marriage is an ordinary relationship.)  It was from the language
of her father that Libby first gained acquaintance with bad sex
ideas, we are assured by the mother.  After a terrific time of
stress Libby's mother was rescued from her miserable conditions
by the man who later lived with her and finally married her, and
who has supported her and been true to her ever since.  He is a
sympathetic man of good reputation.

Libby's maternal grandparents died early and her mother had to
begin very young to support herself.  All that we know of the
mother's developmental history is that she had some sort of
illness with convulsions once as a child and is said to have been
laid away for dead.  She has brothers and sisters who are said to
be quite normal.  She knows her own relatives and her first
husband's, also, and feels very sure there has been no case of
insanity, feeblemindedness, or epilepsy among them.

Libby's moral history is of great import.  She became definitely
delinquent very early in life.  At 13 years she had already been
in an institution for delinquent girls in an eastern State and
the superintendent writes that she was notorious for
disobedience, lying, and stealing.  She was placed there twice,
besides having been returned once after an escape.  When she was
6 or 7 years of age she began thieving.  She took things from her
mother's trunk and pawned them.  The child stole from the
people's rooms where her mother worked as janitress.  Later she
was truant and associated with immoral girls.  In Chicago she
stole a bracelet and a ring from a down-town store, wearing the
bracelet later.  She took $15 from a neighbor's house.  She went
to saloons in company with an immoral woman, and at least on one
occasion she had been drinking.  At 12 or 13 she was known to be
``crazy about boys,'' but probably was not immoral then.  The
mother insists that the girl, resembling her father in this, is
most changeable in disposition.  Long before the trial for murder
her pastor had urged the mother to put the girl away in an
institution, but the mother's heart was too soft.  (It seems
strange that all this evidence of the girl's own bad character
and unreliability, which was readily obtained by us, was not
utilized at the time when she first made the charges of murder.)

The mother's explanation of Libby's behavior is that it was spite
work.  However, that is, of course, unsatisfactory.  The mother
not long previously earnestly had warned the girl against
pursuing her downward path and had stated she must be sent away
again if she did not do better.  Libby then was doing pretty much
as she pleased, for the mother, who was all along a frail woman,
sick much of the time, had really no control over her daughter.
Another feature of the case that is interesting came out in the
fact that Libby herself had neglected the little epileptic girl
who died.  When the mother was ill in bed Libby had refused to
properly care for the child.  To some extent she also engaged in
bad sex practices with the little girl.  Libby never gave us the
slightest indication that her false testimony was incited by
spite.  Anyhow, she involved the step-father, who she always
insisted had been very good to her.  The motive undoubtedly is
not so simply explained.  A really deep analysis of the behavior
could not be undertaken.

Mental conflicts: About sex experiences      Case 13.
                   and own                  Girl, 16 yrs.
   Bad companions:  Including father.
      Home conditions:  Notoriously bad in early life.
          Heredity:  Father alcoholic, brutal, and
                      perhaps insane.
Delinquencies:                          Mentality:
False accusations.  (Extreme case.)        Fair ability.
Sex immorality, etc.


Summary:  A girl of 13 during the last year or more had been
lying excessively and in uncalled-for ways.  She also obtained
money by misrepresentations and had made false charges of sex
assault against a stranger.  To be thought of as causative
factors were defects of environment and possibly heredity,
markedly imperfect vision, improperly obtained sex knowledge, and
a distinct mental conflict.

We were asked to study this Emma X. on account of the various
social issues involved in her case.  Her family found her beyond
control; she had been expelled from school; by her false
accusations she had created much trouble for the police in her
home town; officials of a public welfare agency found her
altogether difficult to understand.  We obtained an account of
the case from several sources, including the mother.

The trouble with her had begun about a year previously.  She had
been notoriously untruthful, and had forged a relative's name to
the extent of obtaining $40--in small sums.  Emma remained out
late in the evening sometimes, and on three occasions stayed out
all night.  The first time this happened she came home scratched
and untidy and told a sensational story which led to much
newspaper notoriety.  She said a man took her to the woods--this
was in the summertime--and kept her there all night.  A loafer in
the town, who was arrested the next day, she positively
identified as the one who had assaulted her.  This man was later
discharged in the police court, however, because he abundantly
proved an alibi, and because by this time the girl's story had
become so twisted that even the mother did not believe it.  A
physician's examination also tended to prove that no assault had
been attempted.

After this Emma was known to sleep one night in a cellar
coal-bin.  In stealing and general lying she became worse until
with a change of residence to an uncle's home she improved for a
time.  It was after a little backsliding that we saw her.

The mother frankly tells us that the girl's mind must be
affected; otherwise how could she act as she does.  Emma has
complained frequently of headaches and of a little dizziness.
She has lately been lonely for a sister who went away.  For the
last two years Emma has not seemed altogether well; she has been
nervous.  A time ago she had for a friend a girl who spoke too
freely with men, and her mother stopped the companionship.  This
other girl has a sister in the Industrial School.  Emma's mother
does not know of any definite harm done by the companionship.

During the pregnancy with Emma the mother had a rather hard time
for a while on account of the severe illness of another child.
The pregnancy began when the mother was still nursing a baby.
However, when Emma was born she proved to be a healthy and normal
child.  Birth was normal.  No convulsions.  First walked and
talked at the usual age.  She was a fat child until 8 years, and
then, after an attack of pneumonia, she began to ail somewhat.
At 10 years tonsils and adenoids were removed.  The mother had no
knowledge of Emma's defective vision.  Emma started to school at
7 years, but at 13 had reached only the 5th grade.

There are 8 living children in the family; one died in infancy.
There has never been much illness among them.  Most of them did
well in school.  The family physician says the boys show a
``queer streak,'' but nothing, evidently, at all well defined as
compared with the career of Emma, whom he characterizes as a
``moral pervert.''  The mother is a well-meaning, hard-working,
moderately intelligent woman of about 45.  She is said to be
somewhat slack in her household, but perfectly honest.  The
father is desperately alcoholic and peculiar at times.  It is not
known that his aberrations are ever shown apart from his
drinking.  Years ago he was in a hospital for the insane for
several months as an alcoholic patient.  The trouble with this
girl is said to have led him to drink again.  Both parents were
from immigrant families.  It is positively denied that there are
any cases of insanity, feeblemindedness, or epilepsy on either
side.  Some other members of the family are known to have better

On the physical side we found a small child for her age; weight
81 lbs., height 4 ft. 9 in.  Nutrition and color fairly good.
Vision about 20/80 R. and 20/60 L.; never had glasses.  Crowded
teeth.  High Gothic palate.  Regular features.  Expression
peculiarly stiff with eyes wide open.  Flushes readily.  With
encouragement smiles occasionally.  Other examination negative.
Tonsils, and probably adenoids, removed three years previously;
formerly had trouble with breathing through the nose.  Complains
much of frequent frontal headaches.  Says she gets dizzy often in
the schoolroom.

Our ``psychological impressions,'' dictated by Dr. Bronner, state
that at first we found Emma very quiet and diffident, possibly
somewhat shy and timid.  At best she did not talk freely, only in
monosyllables as a rule.  She appears rather nervous.  She says
she thinks of lots of things she does not speak of.  Emma smiles
in friendly enough fashion, and later became more at ease, and
more talkative.  She was rather deliberate in work with tests.
With concrete material she did better than with tasks more purely
mental.  She succeeds eventually with nearly everything, but is
slow.  She seems anxious to do well, but acts as if unable to
rouse herself to any great effort.  She is quite inaccurate in
arithmetic, and only fair in other school studies.  Emotions
normal.  In many ways appears normally childish.  Her interest in
fairy tales and in the type of make-believe plays in which she
engages with her younger sisters seems mixed with her wonderment
in regard to sex life.  There is a distinct tendency to

In reviewing the results of tests the only peculiarities to be
noted are a definite weakness displayed in the powers of mental
representation and analysis (she failed on Test X, usually
readily done at 12 years), and a rather undue amount of
suggestibility and inaccuracy in response to the ``Aussage'' test
(Test VI).  The latter, naturally-to-be-supposed important test
in a case where lying was a characteristic, showed a result that
belonged to the imaginative, inaccurate, and partially
suggestible type.  Many details of the picture were recalled
correctly, but a few were manufactured to order, and 4 out of 7
suggestions were accepted.

About the general diagnosis of mentality there could be no doubt;
the girl had fair ability, but there had been poor educational
advantages on account of extremely defective vision.  No signs of
mental aberration were discovered.

Our attempt to try to help Emma decide why she got into so much
difficulty resulted in a most convincing discovery of beginnings.
We found a keynote to the situation in asking her about the
companionship which the mother had said she had broken up.  It
seems that Emma had for a year, quite clandestinely, been
familiar with this family.  She apparently now desired to reveal
the results of the acquaintance.  Long ago the older sister, at
present in a Reform School, boasted of her escapades with boys.
Emma states that she herself never talked of these topics with
her mother, who had said that girls who don't do such things
should not talk about them.  But Tessie, the younger sister of
the delinquent girl, says many bad words about boys.  These words
and ideas about them bother Emma much.  They come up in her mind,
``sometimes at night and sometimes in the day.''  She even dreams
much about them and about boys.  ``I seen the girls do bad things
with boys.  It is in the dream, it was in the house, in the front
room on the floor.''  Emma says she never saw it in reality, but
Tessie had boys in their front room when she went there, and then
came running out when she heard Emma coming.  She wonders just
what Tessie does.  Boys never bother Emma, but all these ideas
bother her.  ``Then I think that the boys are going to do it to
me.''  In school she cannot study for this reason.  ``Sure, when
I start to study it comes up.  I just think about what she tells
me, Tessie.  She tells me she liked to do these things with

This little girl in the couple of interviews we had with her gave
vent to much expression of all this which had perplexed her, and
she really seemed to want help.  She was very willing to have her
mother told.  She went on finally to say that the delinquent girl
had taught her long ago about masturbation and that she thinks of
it every night in bed.  She can give no explanation of why she
runs away and why she falsely accused the man.  She says it was
not true at all what she said about him.  She thinks she would
behave better if she were less bothered about the things which
those girls taught her.  Emma says she questioned a young woman
relative who did not tell her any more than her mother did.

Regarding her diversions Emma says that she likes reading,
especially fairy tales.  She reads mostly Andersen's Fairy Tales.
She enjoys dressing up as a grown lady and playing make-believe.
She particularly likes to go to bed early and lie and imagine
things.  She imagines sometimes that she is grown up and married
and has her own home and children.

The neglect, through ignorance, of the several genetic features
of Emma's case was quite clear.  The mother was made acquainted
with the facts, which her little daughter then affirmed to her,
and she promised to alter conditions.  We insisted on attention
to Emma's eyes and general physical conditions, on removal from
neighborhood association with these old companions, on the
necessity for motherly confidences, on watchfulness to break up
sex habits, and on the development of better mental interests.
Through relatives in the home town it seemed there was some
chance to get these remedial measures undertaken.

A year and a half later we can state that a certain number of our
suggestions were followed out.  The mother gained a better
understanding of the case and there were some, although not
enough, environmental changes.  The father's mental condition has
been much better, perhaps because he has largely refrained from
drink, and consequently family affairs are more stable.  The girl
herself is said not to be doing perfectly either in school or
home life, but to be vastly improved.  We have obtained no
definite statement concerning whether she now lies at all or not,
but it is sure that Emma has engaged in no more egregious types
of prevarications and in no more false accusations.  Competent
observers think the case is fairly promising in its general moral
aspects if environmental conditions continue to improve.

 Mental conflict.                             Case 14.
   Improper sex teachings.                 Girl, age 13.
     Bad companions.
        Home conditions: Lack of understanding
               and control.
            Father alcoholic,
                 insane (?)
                Defective vision.
Delinquencies:                          Mentality:
False accusations.                      Ability fair.
Obtaining money by false representations.


Summary:  Girl of 16, over a period of some weeks made extreme
accusations against several members of her family.  She gave
detailed account of sex immorality, alleged drunkenness and
thieving, and an attack on her own life.  She had herself, it was
found, begun delinquent tendencies.  The family circumstances and
her clearly detailed account gave the color of possibility to her
accusations, but investigation proved some of them false, and all
of a sudden, after maintaining for long a most convincing
demeanor, she withdrew her allegations.  Both before and since
this episode she has given no marked evidence of being a

We were asked to study this case by police officials who thought
perhaps the girl was the victim of some delusional state.  She
appeared at the police station and informed them her adult
brother had been thieving from the place where he worked.  She
lived with him.  Investigation by detectives on the strength of
her convincingly given details proved his innocence.  When the
brother appeared on the scene he said he had been intending to
report her on account of her being away from home.  She herself
was then held in custody.

We found a girl in very good general physical condition.  Well
developed in sex characteristics and a very mature type of face.
Outside of a somewhat enlarged thyroid and moderately defective
vision, we found nothing abnormal.  Weight 114 lbs.; height 5 ft.
Notable was her strong features, deep set eyes, high, broad
forehead and sharp chin.

Our study of her on the mental side led us to denominate her as
having fair general ability.  She had had poor educational
advantages.  We noted much irregularity on work on tests.  She
did comparatively poorly on anything that called for careful
attention and concentration.  This was especially notable when
she was dealing with abstractions or situations to be mentally
represented.  Although she could do arithmetic up to simple
division she made a bad failure in the continued process of
subtraction as given in the Kraepelin test of taking 8's from
100.  In the work on the Code, Test XI, she found it altogether
impossible to keep her mind concentrated.  In tests where
perceptions were largely brought into play she did very well.  We
noticed that she was possessed of a very dramatic manner.  She
sighed frequently as she worked.  She was very nervous,
continually moving her hands and tapping the table.  She was
quite satisfied with her superficial efforts.  It was very
curious that we, as well as others, were able to note her
apparent sincere belief in her own statements about her family.
As she made them she looked the interviewer straight in the eyes;
there was not a hint of evasiveness.

Her result on the ``Aussage'' (Test VI) was very meager.  She
only recalled 10 details of the picture.  On cross- examination
she gave correctly 14 more items and was wrong on 3 of them.  She
accepted only 2 out of 5 suggestions offered and these were the
most probable ones.

A full family history was never to be obtained.  The best that we
came ultimately to know was that her father and mother had been
long dead and she had lived in institutions for years, then with
a relative who was not at all a good person, and then with her
brother and sister, whom she bitterly accused.  These were people
in decidedly poor circumstances and living in very congested
quarters.  Indeed, we were inclined to believe, finally, that
crowded housing conditions with the necessary unfortunate
familiarity with sex affairs and the like was largely responsible
for her trouble.  A few months prior to these events she had
become acquainted with a girl who had drawn her into running away
from home a few nights.  During her unsettled home life she had
seen a good deal of immorality in other houses, but had not been
immoral herself.  Conditions of squalor surrounded the whole

Her accusations against her family as told to others, and
reiterated to us, involved the drunkenness of her own father and
mother.  (We were never able to verify whether this charge
against her mother was true or not.)  Then she went on to allege
extreme immorality on the part of her three sisters.  She gave
these in the utmost detail.  (There is little doubt but that one
of her sisters was rather free living before she was married.)
She constantly maintained that she was the only virtuous one in
the family and had withstood all advances.  She then recounted
much personal abuse and cruel treatment, and accused the brother
and his wife of an attempt to poison her because they wanted her
out of the way.

Her story was told in such detail, was so well remembered from
time to time, and she presented such outward form of sincerity
that experienced people were led to believe there must be much in
what she said.  On one occasion, under observation, she cried
nearly all of two days because one good woman would not believe
her statements.  At least she said this was the reason of her
tears.  Her general behavior during this period of observation
was perfect.

We found her hazy and somewhat incoherent about a number of the
details of her life, but she had lived under such varied
circumstances that this alone was not convincing of her
insincerity.  When we met her brother we were very sure that at
least a part of her story was false.  He seemed to be a very
decent fellow and was really interested in her.  Several months
earlier he had trouble with her on account of her staying out
late at night, and had threatened her.  Then there was no more
difficulty until her recent acquaintance with this other girl.
He stated that he had been obliged to scold her very severely,
and then finally she stayed away for five nights and wound up by
going to the police station and making the accusations against
him and the other members of the family.  When the case came up
in court she stated she wished to go back to live with this
brother and admitted having continued misrepresentations about
him and the others in the family since her acquaintance with this
girl.  It really was all false.  She was placed under probation
and the case has been, except for environmental circumstances,
entirely successful.  She is now a young married woman, and has
had no further delinquent record against her.

Our investigation of the causation showed perhaps self-
protection from punishment for her own behavior, but there was
apparently much mental conflict about sex affairs and she had a
very unfortunate acquaintance with such details, resulting
partly, as she acknowledged, from her peeping through keyholes
and so on.  On account of her peculiar unreliability of statement
and many quiet and staring periods, seen while she was under
observation, we questioned whether she was not verging on
psychotic conditions.  However, all this tendency seems to have
passed away.

Adolescent instability.                      Case 15.
                                          Girl, 16 years.
 Home conditions: Defective through poverty
                  and congestion.
       Early sex experiences and mental conflict
                   about them.
            Reaction to own delinquencies, self
                protection phenomenon.
                      Heredity.      Mentality:
Delinquencies:                          Fair ability, poor
False accusations.                           advantages.


Summary:  A motherless girl of 9 1/2 years, following her
complaint of local symptoms, which proved to be due to vulvitis,
accused her father and brother of incest.  She was a bright child
and normally affectionate, even towards these relatives.  Her
father and brother were held in jail for several weeks, but were
dismissed at the trial because of the ascertained untruth of the

As causative factors of her false accusations our study showed
(a) her local irritation, (b) for which her father had treated
her, (c) prior crowded housing conditions with her father and
brother, (d) her lack of mother's control, (e) early and intimate
acquaintance with atrocious sex knowledge and sex habits, and (f)
recently becoming the center of interest in a group of friends
made through her statement of the vileness of family conditions.

We were requested to study this case by the judge of the court in
which the father and brother of Bessie M. were to be tried for
the crime of incest with her.  At a preliminary hearing the judge
had felt that the remarkable statements of the little girl
savored of untruth, and that the character sustained by the
brother, in particular, was quite out of keeping with the grave
accusations against him.  The girl's charges, so clearly
detailed, together with her local ailment, had proved thoroughly
convincing to a group of women who had become interested in her.
Bessie was evidently quite normal mentally and apparently
affectionately regarded her only near relatives--this father and
brother.  Her story appeared thus entirely credible.  The judge
stated that he had been approached outside of court by these
women, who in their righteous indignation were insistent upon the
need of dire punishment of the outrageous conduct of Bessie's
natural protectors.

We found a rather poorly developed little girl.  Weight 64 lbs.;
height 4 ft. 4 in.  Bright, pleasant, vivacious expression.
Attitude normal.  High, prominent, narrow forehead.  Head: length
19 cm., breadth 13 cm.  Slightly asymmetrical frontal bosses.
Snub nose; eyes fairly bright; ears asymmetrical in size--.6 cm.
difference in greatest length.  Thyroid palpable.  Tonsils
enlarged moderately.  No sensory defect of importance.  Strength
good for size.  Color only fairly good.  (Results of gynecologic
examination later.)

Bessie was given a wide range of mental tests, with the result
that we classified her as being well up to the ordinary in
ability.  Indeed, considering her poor school advantages through
frequent changes of residence she did very well in the subjects
covered by formal education.  Her memory processes and ability to
testify correctly--in which we were naturally most
interested--seemed, so far as we were able to test them, quite
normal.  Of a standard passage about a fire (Test XII), which she
read once to herself, she recalled 17 out of the 20 items.  A
passage containing 12 main details (Test XIII), which was read to
her in the usual way four times, she recalled with 2 details
omitted.  The ``Aussage'' test (Test VI) was done very well
indeed, with 17 items of the picture given correctly on free
recital, and 5 rejections out of the 7 suggestions proffered.
Bessie's conversation was fluent and coherent, her range of
information was good.  She showed fondness for the dramatic

Her mother died in the old country when she was about four years
old, and her father had immediately come to America, but had
never established a home of his own.  For the last nine months
Bessie had been living with a woman, Mrs. S., who was deeply
interested in her.  Previously to this she roomed for about six
months with her father and brother, and prior to that time she
had been placed about in different homes by her father.  After
some months with Mrs. S. she complained of local pain and
irritation.  When taken to a physician, she said her father was
accustomed to touch her, and her story involved incest by both
her father and brother.  After others had become interested in
her case, the matter was turned into the hands of the police.  It
was notable that during this period Bessie's love of the dramatic
was being fostered by her newly found woman friend, who was
providing her with lessons in dramatic reading and taking her
extremely frequently to moving picture shows and theatres.

When first seen by us, Bessie reiterated her story of sexual
relations with her father and brother.  As she had done with
others, and with the judge, she went into almost convincing
details.  Her knowledge of such relationships was apparently
complete.  She informed us that she had caught ``an awful
disease'' from her father.  She said that while rooming with them
her sexual relations with her father and brother were nightly
occurrences.  They all slept in one bed.

A careful inquiry into Bessie's earlier knowledge of such things
brought forth the most astounding account.  One may say that this
little girl had the most extensive acquaintance with many kinds
of pervert sex practices that one has ever known in a young
individual.  She now said that the last ones who engaged in such
things with her were her father and brother.  Her experiences
began at 5 years with a boy and a girl, and, she maintained, they
had been very frequent ever since, up to within the last 9
months.  A number of boys and girls were involved, as well as the
men in two households where she had been placed.  The practices
she had engaged in were many, running all the way from self use
of pieces of broom to normal intercourse, and both active and
passive forms of pervert practices.  It is unnecessary, even in
this medical case, to go into details or to give her actual
phraseology.  It is sufficient to say that she frankly stated her
early discovery of the pleasures of local stimulation and how she
asked others to give it to her in various ways.  Then she
performed different perversions on boys and men.  She told about
observing sex relations between husband and wife in households
where she had lived.  She now says she had a disease before she
came home to her father--a doctor had told other people
previously.  The men in two homes frequently had complete
intercourse with her, she maintains, and gives description of it.

The credible substance of Bessie's long story elaborately told
upon inquiry into her life history was that she certainly had had
many sex experiences.  When, in the light of these, it finally
came to the question of the charges against her father and
brother she said that it was really she who had been the
instigator.  When in bed she had begun playing with them.  She
described her method, learned before.  She now says they did not
have real intercourse with her, but the other men did.

The account of local physical conditions as obtained from several
sources is as follows.  Bessie was taken to a physician for
vulvitis, etc., by some people before she came back to her
father.  During the period she roomed with her father he
regularly treated her locally with a salve and a wash.  The
physician who later examined her for Mrs. S. found the parts so
swollen that he could make no diagnosis of ruptured hymen, but
took it for granted.  After the father and brother had been in
jail for some weeks the inflammation had subsided.  (It is only
fair to say that the father had clamored for a specialist's
examination, which, he contended, would prove his innocence.  Of
course he was not aware of her earlier experiences or he would
not have been so sure.)  Then a competent gynecologist found that
coitus had never taken place.  The hymen was intact.  This was at
the time we studied the case.  On the day of the trial, I with
two other physicians examined the girl.  It was found that a
cotton swab about 3/8 of an inch in diameter could with
difficulty penetrate the vaginal orifice.  There was not the
slightest evidence of any rupture of the hymen or of any
vaginitis.  So far as the ``awful disease'' was concerned,
repeated bacteriological tests over a considerable period failed
to show the extensive vulvitis to be due to gonorrhea.  It seemed
much more likely that it was due to nonspecific infection
following traumatism from the use of the various foreign objects
which the girl told she had used.  Perhaps it was partly the
result of the perversions which, judging by her knowledge of
them, had been practiced by others on her.

We were informed later that much indignation at our report to the
judge was expressed by the crowd in attendance at the trial.  The
girl's first story was so well told that many had been
irrevocably convinced of the utter guilt of the father.

The father himself, who was brought to us in the course of our
study of the case, was rather a low type in appearance.  He was a
poor earner, evidently had earlier been alcoholic, a small
whining figure with tears in his eyes.  His appearance would
prejudice against him.  The brother, on the contrary, made an
unusually good impression.  He had the best of recommendations.
His sister's first charges ought not to have been believed on the
basis of his qualifications.  There had been 5 children, 3 died
in infancy.  No history of any significance was obtained except
that the development of Bessie had apparently been normal in all
ways.  Her mother was said to be normal.  Both parents were
evidently representative products of the underfeeding and
generally poor hygienic conditions of the laboring classes in a
large Irish city.  There was unquestionably a great feeling of
affection between the three.  Indeed, Mrs. S. stated that it was
the excessive kissing of the child by the father which made her
suspicious.  Bessie always maintained that both father and
brother treated her very well and that she loved them much.

It seemed clear to us that Bessie never knew in the least the
significance of the charges she so glibly made at first.  Her
mind had long been so full of these things, and their social
import seemed so slight, that it meant no vindictiveness towards
her loved ones to say what she did about them.  She asserted to
us later that she really did not know what she said to the judge
at the first hearing.  The case illustrated well the fallibility
of a young girl's accusations coming even from the lips of a
normally bright and affectionate daughter or sister.

For her own protection Bessie was given a trial in an
institutional school.  From there it was reported after a few
months that her mind was found to be so continually upon sex
subjects that it would be most advisable for her to remain long
under the quietest conditions and closest supervision.

Physical conditions: Local irritation.       Case 16.
                                      Girl, age 9 1/2.
   Housing conditions:  Crowded.
        Early sex experiences:  Excessive and pervert.
             Parental control failure:  No home, no mother.
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Serious false accusations.            Good ability.


Summary:  Boy of 16 years, not living at home, made false
accusations of excessive immorality against his own family.
These involved sex perversions, and he implicated even his own
sister and brother, and alleged the connivance of his mother.
The main complaint was against the step-father, who he also said
was a professional thief.  The improbability of such stories
being told without good foundation led to much time being spent
on investigating the case.

As possible causative factors of the unmitigated lying we found
(a) defective heredity leading to (b) typical constitutional
inferiority with the peculiar states of mind characteristic of
the latter, (c) poor developmental conditions through early
illnesses; (d) excessive bad sex practices on the part of the boy
himself.  Vindictive reaction to charges of delinquency against
himself might be considered a factor if his false accusations had
not been made without any such stimulus a long time previously.

(According to another classification this case belongs in our
chapter on Border-line Types.  It is retained here because it so
well illustrates pathological accusation.)

John S., an undersized boy of 16, a pitiable specimen, when under
arrest for vagrancy told such a heartrending story of home
conditions, with assertions against family morality, that the
judge and others were moved to indignation and an investigation
was started.  The general feeling was that no one who was not
insane could make such statements about their nearest of kin
without foundation in fact.

We found a poorly developed, but fairly nourished young fellow;
weight 112 lbs., height 5 ft. 2 in.; good strength for his size.
Stigmata: slight facial asymmetry, ears very long and narrow,
dentition very irregular--one upper canine having erupted behind
the central incisors.  Tattooing on the chest.  Vision defective,
but how much so was impossible to estimate on account of corneal
ulcer and general gonorrheal ophthalmia.  Gait and attitude very
slouchy.  In contrast to general poor development, has already
full sex development and much hair over body for his age.

On the mental side we found an excitable and talkative fellow,
quite coherent, and giving in no way any indication of aberration
by the form or trend of his conversation.  He tells us he reached
the 6th grade.  He willingly works on tests and we note the
general result as follows:  Learning and memory processes, both
for logical verbal and for meaningless associations, quite good.
Perception of form, normal.  Power of analysis of situations
mentally represented, only mediocre.  Associative processes,
verbal, not normally accurate.  Writes good hand.  Simple
spelling correct.  Arithmetic correct for 4th grade.  Tests for
several other points hardly fair to register on account of
defective eyesight.  On one he failed because of not knowing the
alphabet in order.  Suggestibility extreme, as evidenced by
testimony test.  In giving report on the ``Aussage'' picture,
Test VI, he enumerated 12 items, 11 of them correct, on free
recital.  Then he gave 11 more details, all correct, on
cross-examination, but he accepted no less than 7 out of 8
suggestions offered.

Information on current events is good, but on points said to have
been learned at school is much mixed up.  In giving responses to
questions, he seized on any slight suggestion and adopted the
idea.  For instance, he said he had read the life of Napoleon,
but could not remember to which country he belonged.  When
England was suggested he agreed to it.  He then told various
wrong incidents of Napoleon's life and death, also as suggested
by the examiner.  It finally came out that Bonaparte was an
English nobleman who fought against France and Waterloo, was
never defeated, and got sick in England.  Then in the same way we
get the information that this country gained its freedom from
France, that Lincoln was president directly after Washington, and
so on.  John has read books from the library and various
magazines, a considerable assortment.  He knows almost nothing of
even simple scientific facts, but is well acquainted with items
gained from the newspapers and the theatres.

Going into his story, as we were requested, we heard at once
about the cruel conditions at home.  The boy's own father had
been dead for ten years and up to within three years he had lived
with a relative.  While he was there letters indicated that queer
things were going on at home, and the step-father was cruel to
the other children.  The mother was afraid to tell the whole
story.  When the boy came home the step-father at once began
pervert sex practices with him, horrible things, and John found
this man had been doing deeds of the same kind with an older
sister and a younger brother.  It seems the step-father also
beats the children and has put this older girl out of the house.
Recently he has left his wife.

When we go into John's own record, with which we had already made
ourselves acquainted, he tells us he does not know what gets into
him, but he has run away from home no less than eleven times.  He
works for a while, takes his wages and then stays at a hotel.  He
says he has been arrested several times on this account.  His
mother always telephones to the police about him and that is why
he is under detention now.  He wishes he were at home.  The next
day we went into more of the details which had been liberally
sketched to the judge and other officials.  We now learn that the
step-father is a professional thief and that stolen goods he has
taken are to be found in their home.  He often leaves home and
perhaps takes his wife's wages--she has to work out--and just now
is again living at a hotel.  The family have been informed by a
physician that he is probably crazy.

On a later occasion the boy told my assistant that he wished to
relate the whole story of his family.  He then describes how the
step-father even blackens the eyes of the sister and that he has
long been immoral with her.  It now appears that perversions
began between this man and John some two months ago, never before
that.  The mother is there in the house all the time and knows
about and permits the step-father's immorality with daughter and
son.  Cross-questioned afterward, the boy (evidently remembering
what he said before) states these practices with him began the
night he came home three years ago, but they had been going on
with his sister before that.  He knows this because his mother
wrote and told him about it.  His uncle wrote and told her to put
a stop to it, but the step-father intimidates her with a

Our notes state that one afternoon when tests were being given
him, John seemed to be in an excited state and often interrupted
the procedure with talking.  Seen in the hallway soon afterwards
he waved his hand and insisted on telling more about home
conditions and about what the officers would find if they went up
there.  On still another occasion he reiterated the same things,
giving many details.

It was about this time that John was found to give strangely
fantastic and childish accounts of circumstances with which he
had been connected.  We transcribe his story of a celebration at
a school--it is a good example of his tales.

``They had it on Lincoln's birthday and on the 4th of July, too.
The teacher did not believe that Abraham Lincoln freed the
slaves.  The children said, oh yes, he did.  But they did not
believe it.  The children all hollered and said yes, he did.
Then they all run up on the platform and got to fighting about
it.  The teachers would not believe that Lincoln freed the slaves
till an old soldier came up there and told them yes, he did do
it.''  I questioned him about this matter whether it was only a
play they had, or were they in earnest.  ``Oh, all in earnest and
they had a fight about it.  The teachers would not believe that
Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and the children all run up on
the platform and had a fight about it.''

Home conditions were next looked up by a court investigator and
we came to know the mother and sister.  Much to our surprise we
found them to be quite self-respecting, entirely credible people
of good reputation in the neighborhood.  The mother is an honest
hard-working woman and is exceedingly depressed about the career
of this boy.  The sister is a modest and unquestionably good,
self-supporting, young woman.  Not a word was heard against them
in any way.  In their distress they gave us the full story.

The parents were immigrants when young.  The father died through
an accident some ten years previously.  The mother has kept track
of the members of both families fairly well.  She had a sister
insane, said to have become so as the result of the menopause.
The father himself had occasional attacks of epilepsy, but they
were never frequent enough to hinder him working as an artisan.
He was a very moderate user of alcohol.  The mother has always
been fairly healthy.  Thinks she now has a cancer.  There are no
other significant points in heredity that she knows.  There are
three living children; a number of miscarriages came after John
was born.

The pregnancy and birth were, normal.  John walked and talked
very early.  Never any convulsions.  At about two years of age he
was very low with a complication of diseases.  He was sick at
that time for three months.  Later he was operated on for
rupture.  The trouble with his eyes is of recent origin.  When he
was a young boy in school a teacher once told her she did not
consider him right mentally.

There has been an exceeding amount of trouble with this boy.  He
was a great truant and reached only the 4th grade.  When he was
living with the uncle he caused much trouble, and the uncle
warned her.  He has run away from home twelve times, stays away
perhaps two weeks at a time, and comes home ragged and filthy.
He has had many jobs, but stays only a day or two at work.  He
steals in petty ways, takes money from home when he runs away.
He is very lazy, but a great reader, especially of cheap novels.

Among the troubles with this boy is his extremely filthy talk.
He has even lost one position on account of this.  An aunt caught
the boy in bad sex practices several years ago and told the
mother.  Neighbors, and earlier the school people, warned the
mother that this was what was the matter with the boy.  About a
year ago John was found in a room with a man and other boys
engaged in bad practices.  The man was sentenced to a long term
in the penitentiary on account of it.

Worst of all, the mother says the boy is the most malicious liar
she has ever heard of.  They have had a frightful time with him
on account of this.  For over two years John has been telling bad
stories about the step-father.  Recently he could not stand it
any longer and left the mother.  He was a good and rather strict
man who took much interest in the children.  He tried rewards
with John, but this was of no avail.  The boy has destroyed the
home life, but she thought it her duty to try further with her
own flesh and blood.  The sister is in utter despair about what
John has said concerning her.  The younger brother also feels
great humiliation.  The boy has told his worst stories about them
even in their own neighborhood.

After our investigation the boy was sent to an institution for
delinquents where he could have the best of treatment for his
ailments.  The report from there after a few months was that he
proved to be an exceedingly weak and vacillating type.  He was
notorious for being a boy that would do anything that was
suggested to him.  An outlook was kept for signs of insanity, but
none was noted.

Over three years later we hear that John's character has not
shown any radical change as demonstrated by his mode of living.
He has served at least one term in a penal institution for
adults.  We do not know anything further about lying or false
accusations in the case.

Constitutional inferiority:  Stigmata.       Case 17.
                               Mentality.   Boy, age 16.
       Heredity:  Father epileptic.
                 Maternal aunt insane.
        Masturbation plus.
         Pervert sex experiences.
           Developmental: Much early illness.
Delinquencies:                Mentality:
False accusations excessive.       Dull from physical
Running away repeatedly.           causes (?).
Stealing.                     Beginning psychosis (?).
Sex perversions.              Pathological liar (?).


Summary:  Little girl of 7 makes false charges of sex assault
against boy in the same institution.  She is later found to be an
excessive liar and to steal.

Causative factors: (a) atrociously immoral home environment, (b)
early sex experiences, (c) local irritation from active

This case illustrates the fact that a young girl, who has had
unfortunate sex experiences, especially if her mind is kept
dwelling on sexual subjects through bodily irritation, is apt to
take advantage of the stir which she knows she can make by her
statements, and glibly make false accusations.  The case offered
no difficulties for study and can be presented in short as
typical of a number of similar cases seen by us.

We were asked to see this girl a few days after she had been
taken from very bad home conditions and temporarily placed in a
good institution for dependent children.  While there she had
much upset the high-minded superintendent and her helpers by
stating that an older boy in the place had sex relations with

She was a small, bright-eyed, vivacious child.  General physical
conditions decidedly good.  No sensory defect.  Well shaped head.
Weight 55 lbs.; height 4 ft.  Active gonorrheal vulvovaginitis.

On the mental side we found, although she spoke in somewhat
broken English, an ardent conversationalist.  With her many ideas
about many subjects, she appeared decidedly precocious.  We noted
her also to be very defiant and self-assertive, and her tendency
to lie without rhyme or reason was soon discovered.  Her exact
age never was ascertained, but undoubtedly it was about 7.  She
was in the 2d grade.  At times when doing the Binet tests
inhibitions would appear and she would give no answer at all even
to some easy questions.  Her positive responses graded her as 6
2/5 years, but undoubtedly she could have done much better had
she so wished.

In her talkative way she used English very graphically, but with
curious misuse of pronouns and a few other words.  Considering
the fact that her family spoke a foreign language at home and she
had been but a short time in school this was not strange.  Her
lack of veracity was shown even in her assertions about her
inability to understand English.  At the first approach she
denied her ability to do so, but later showed that she understood
very well.  This behavior was of a piece with her attitude shown
in doing the Binet tests.

``Police bringed me.  Don't know why.  Cause my father run away,
she don't want to stay with my mother.  My father Austrian.
Sometime my father talk Italian.  Then God make him sick cause
she talk Italian.  My neck is sick.  I go to Italian church and I
talk Italian and God makes me sick.

``They bringed me home to-day, then they bringed me back here,
then I stay here all along.''  (What is the matter with you?)
``A big boy--up in school--upstairs--don't know his name.  I came
Saturday.  She came Saturday.  She came Sunday, too.  When we
come to listen to music then she gave to me that disease.

``Papa is bad.  She run away.  She run away.  She take from my
mama $12--all the clothes.  She got another lady.  Is that your
lady?  Why do you write?  I could write better than you because I
go to school all the time.  I never take money.  I Catholic and
Catholic can't tell lie.  Well, I going to tell the truth now.  I
found it in bed, in paper inside.  Then I give it to teacher and
then I give it to nurse.  I never tell lies.''

Before we had seen her this child had given some sort of
description of a big boy in the institution who she said had
assaulted her.  There was no such person there, but her vehement
statements caused much disturbance.  Later she denied this to us
and accused somebody at her own home.  She came from miserable
environment, as may be surmised from the fact that her father was
a deserter and probably immoral.  On account of her unreliability
nothing could be done in the way of prosecuting the offender.  We
always felt it a possibility that some member of her own family
was guilty and that was the reason she had told so many different
tales about it.  An owner was not found for the money which she
had stolen.  The person from whom she said she had taken it had
not lost it.  She took it under conditions when she had no chance
to spend it.  Her excessive lying was a continual source of
trouble as long as she was kept in this institution.  She was
long treated in a public hospital for her gonorrhea.  Since then
she has been lost track of.  It is interesting in this case to
note that the child maintained that she belonged to a church,
which made it impossible for her to tell lies.  We have heard
almost exactly this same assertion on numerous occasions.  It is
clearly made by way of affirmation when the offender covertly
feels the need of bolstering up false statements.

Early sex experiences.                       Case 18.
    Bad companions.                         Girl, age 7.
      Physical conditions:  Local irritation.
        Home conditions:  Father immoral and
           Heredity(?):  Father as above.
Delinquencies:                          Mentality:
Stealing.                                  Fair ability.
False accusations.


Summary:  Girl of 18 made accusations to officials that a lawyer
for whom she worked had been immoral with her.  About the same
time it was found that she herself had been stealing and lying
about other matters.  Later, when there was reiteration of the
charges, a physician's examination showed that she had not been
immoral.  Some months afterward she went to other officials and
insisted she ought to go to a reform school.  A year still later
she did have sex experiences and contracted venereal disease.
Her succeeding record is totally different.  For several years
now she has been a young woman of thoroughly good character.

In its progress, after extended exhibition of exceedingly erratic
conduct, to complete stability now long observed, this case is of
considerable interest.  It was after some months of effort on the
case by experienced social workers that we were asked to study
this girl.  We found no difficulty in rapidly becoming intimately
acquainted with her conditions and troubles.

Physically she was a normally developed young woman of distinctly
good strength, but slouchy attitude.  In expression rather dull
and pleasant; laughs much in rather childish way for her age.
Weight, 110 lbs.; height, 5 ft. 2 1/2 in.  No sensory defect.
Good color.

Mentally we gave her a wide variety of tests with the result, in
general, that she did well on them.  She had left school at 14
years when in the 7th grade, but had not forgotten what she had
learned.  Her arithmetic was done very well indeed and she wrote
a very good hand.  The tests, which brought her abilities in many
directions into play, were done almost uniformly well.  Her
memory processes were distinctly good and showed her capacity by
her remembering logical connections as well as details.  Her
casuistic responses which were asked for in two moral situations,
verbally presented, Test XXI, were rather vacillating, but
evidently sound.  It was easy for her to appreciate the intricacy
of the situation.

On the ``Aussage'' experiment, Test VI, out of 15 details given
as remembered from the picture just seen two were imaginary, and
of 9 more items given on cross-examination two were erroneous.
Her account as given was functional, not at all enumerative as in
the usual childish fashion.  Out of 6 suggestions proffered she
accepted 4.  This was a poor result for a person of her age.  Her
range of information was normal.  Her interests while at home had
been very simple; for instance, she had not been allowed to read
novels nor go to theatres.  In all our work on tests and in our
several interviews with her we never discovered any signs of
aberrational tendencies.  Her social conduct furnished the only
evidence of erraticism.

This young woman's mother, who is said to have been a normal
person, died a few months before we knew her daughter.  She had
long been ill and consequently had had very imperfect control
over her daughter all through adolescence.  The father had been
dead for several years previously; he was a storekeeper in a
small way, fairly educated and non-alcoholic.  No other family
history of importance was ever forthcoming.  There was only one
other child in the family, a younger brother, who was quite
normal.  Outside of bronchitis during infancy it was said this
girl had never had any serious disease.  In the last few months
there had been much complaint about suffering at the menstrual
period.  Menstruation began at 13 years of age and was said to
have been regular until seven months or so prior to the time when
we first saw her.  However, this latter statement was made by the
girl herself and at this stage her word was not particularly

When we began study of this case we were put in possession of the
following notes made by an unusually competent social worker,
extending over the previous nine months.  Attention was first
drawn to her when she was living with someone who had offered to
give her a home while her mother was mortally ill in a hospital.
She then had clothing and trinkets the possession of which she
could not satisfactorily explain.  It was discovered that she was
lying.  It was about this time that the girl told her friends
that she had been immoral, and accused a man for whom she had
worked of being responsible for her downfall.  She had also been
flirting with a married man who had been talking to her about
eloping with him.  It was learned that she stayed all one night
at a downtown hotel, but probably alone.  Further investigation
showed she had stolen a considerable sum of money from an
acquaintance and also a watch.  Then a physical examination was
made and a certificate given that the girl had not been immoral.

Much trouble was taken about the case in the ensuing year, the
notes naively say, ``object being to see if the girl could not be
reclaimed.''  She was given an unusually good opportunity with a
sterling family.  She made much trouble for them and others who
were interested in her.  Her mother died early in the period.  On
a number of occasions she left her place and stayed away all
night, sometimes walking the streets.  On one occasion she is
reported to have gone to a certain agency, looking as if she had
been recently intoxicated, and appealed to be sent to a reform
school.  She was taken in by the police on one occasion.  We
first saw her after she had been living in this good home for
several months.

At the same time we studied her physical and mental conditions we
attempted to make some analysis of her self-orientation.  She
maintained then that her main trouble was because she had got
mixed up with this married man.  She declared he threatened her.
(This was very likely from what was discovered about his
character.)  She had very good words for the officials who had
helped her so much.  She told us how she had stolen a matter of
$100 or so.  When we questioned her about her early accusations
she said that she did tell a lot of lies when her case first was
looked into.  ``I thought they were too inquisitive.  I thought
if I told them a few lies they would leave me alone.  Everybody
has to know everything.  I forget half of what I'm to say.  I
don't know why I stole that watch.  I would have brought it back
home if he had not taken it on me.  I never told anybody that I
wanted to go to the reform school.  I was afraid to go home
because I was afraid I would get a good scolding.  I think I have
told all the truth to the officers since the first.  I was
ashamed to tell it, that's the whole truth.  That's the truth,
there was no one with me this other night.  I did not meet a soul
I knew.  I went out to the South Park.  I had never been there
before.  Where I have been living they would not let me go out
anywhere.  I had to stay there Sundays and all the time.  When I
got out I was worse than a wild calf.  Maybe if I went out
oftener I would not be so bad.  I am here now because I went to
the police station and told them I would not go home.  It was
late and I was afraid to go home.  I had stayed out on the street
all night.  One night I went home and it was all dark and I was
afraid to ring and I stayed on the street all night.  I was on
the street all the next day too.  I went to the cemetery.  Late
that afternoon I met a young man and stayed talking to him and a
detective came along and told us we shouldn't stand there.  I
never did anything bad with any man.  I never said so.  A
visiting nurse told me the dangers of life.  My mother told me I
should be careful.  Oh, I worked for that lawyer before my mother
died.  I worked for him about two weeks and he did not pay me
what he owed me.  No, he never did me any harm.  A man came along
with a lady from that office and he asked me some questions and I
was so scared because I thought they were going to lock me up.  I
guess that was the question maybe and I said, yes, but I did not
know just what it was.''

It was after this that the girl gave much trouble because of
queer little trickery concerning some insurance papers, and about
losing some money.  Her friends wasted much time in the endeavor
to get these matters adjusted.  The family she was with thought
she was very childish for her age.

Our opinion as dictated at this time was that the girl was
physically and mentally all right, but that she showed a
decidedly childish reaction towards the world and was very
suggestible and unreliable.  We knew many more facts about her
which proved these points.  Our judgment set down was that she
was an unstable adolescent with possibility of showing very
different characteristics inside of a year or two.  We noted she
had a weak type of face.

She was seen four months later, after a period of having run away
twice for several days at a time.  On inquiry she maintains she
was impelled to do it by her own feelings of restlessness and
general dissatisfaction.  She thought the people with whom she
lived were very nice and only strict as they should be.  There
was some question raised about this time about the periodicity of
her impulsions, but except for her own statement that it was just
before her menstrual time, nothing definite was proved.  On the
last occasion she did pick up with a young man and was immoral
with him.  She stayed out in a hallway all night.  A venereal
disease was then acquired.  This was speedily treated in a
hospital and the girl was found another place.  Three years have
elapsed, and during the time this girl has continued under the
observation of one of her old friends.  She has remained steady
and trustworthy, and shows no tendency whatever towards
untruthfulness or evasiveness.  She has lived in one good home
for two years and the people are deeply attached to her.

Adolescent impulses:  Lack of self-control.     Case 19.
      Sex temptations.  resisted.               Girl, age 18.
          Lack of parental care.
             Deficient interests:  Both mental and
Delinquencies:                          Mentality:
False accusations.                           Good ability.
General lying.
Staying away from home.


Summary:  A girl of almost 16 years, of attractive and innocent
appearance, alleged that she had been leading an immoral life and
frequenting houses of assignation.  She told the story to the
people of her church, who were naturally horrified and demanded a
thorough investigation of the social vice problems involved.
This was undertaken by the police authorities, but they failed to
get any satisfactory evidence from the girl.  It was later found
that the story was all a myth and the girl had not been in the
least immoral.  Her first statements followed directly after her
attendance at an emotional revival meeting where these topics had
been preached about.  Afterward this girl was in court many times
for various reasons.  She is a mild psychoneurotic type,
exhibiting under stress unusual mental phenomena.  She and her
family have created an astonishing amount of trouble in law
courts as both defendants and complainants, because their
peculiar unreliabilities have not been understood.

This case has long been under observation and we have much
information concerning it.  It was found difficult to understand
by pastors and others who had given considerable attention to
various aspects of it.  Annie F. was first seen by us when under
custody because of her own statement that she had been leading an
immoral life.  We have seen her and members of her family many
times since.  The account of the case can best be given, not by
commencing with the cross-section study as obtained at first, but
by going at once into its whole connections and evolution.  At
first it was merely learned that we had to do with an unstable,
adolescent girl who had engaged for apparently no purpose
whatever in false self-accusations which would naturally blight
her career.

On the physical side we found a rather slight girl, however, of
normal development.  Weight 102 lbs.; height 5 ft. 3 in.  No
organic defect was ever discovered.  Neurological examination
showed as follows:  No tremors.  Tendon reflexes normal.
Conjunctival and palatal reflexes absent.  The sense of pain to
pin pricks was almost nil on the arms, and diminished on the
face.  Strength poor in the arms even when there was evidently
great effort made.  (Several of these functional findings,
however, have varied from time to time in the ensuing years.)
Hearing normal.  Ocular examination showed hypermetropia 1.5 D.
R. and L. with marked astigmatism.  Fields and color vision
normal.  Left pupil about twice the size of the right.  (A
competent oculist could find no evidence of organic affection of
the nervous system correlated with this.)  Shape of head normal.
Bowels regular.  Appetite capricious.  When first seen was
anemic, but later color was very good.  Temperature was taken
regularly, but no significant observations made.  Petite, pretty
features, and unusually beautiful eyes.  Complaint of frontal
dull headaches, soreness of scalp, cold hands and pain ``about
the heart.''  Menstruated at 15 years, then much irregularity for
two years.  Several badly carious teeth and great crowding in a
narrow upper dental arch.

This girl was several times observed during a period of about 5
years.  She developed into an unusually attractive young woman,
showing at times various mild nervous disturbances as well as
character difficulties.  Only occasionally has she worn the
glasses which corrected her errors of refraction.  During this
time she has not been severely ill.  She has a palpable thyroid
which has hardly increased in size.  When last seen she was
notable for a very clear skin, good color, and bright eyes.
Conjunctival and corneal reflexes much diminished.
Palatopharyngeal reflexes quite absent.  The headaches are said
to have persisted during all the time we have known her.

We have repeatedly attempted to summarize the mental status and
functionings of this young woman, but our findings on tests and
otherwise have been irregular and diverse.  She reached 6th grade
at 14 years, but had been absent much on account of sickness.
When first seen we found that she was already fond of Lytton,
Scott, and Dickens, and that she was a great reader of the daily
newspapers, dwelling much on accidents and tragedies.  What we
say about her ability must be based upon the best that she has
demonstrated.  Often when seen she has been in some mental state
which has prevented her from doing, or being willing to do, the
best that is in her.  She writes a good hand, does long division
promptly, and reads well.  Her association and memory processes
have been proved normal, but given a task to do she is prone to
show inhibitory pauses and other phenomena which interfere much
with a satisfactory result.  She has some little reputation of
being able to give long, almost verbatim accounts of sermons
which she has heard, but the accuracy of her report we have not
been able to verify.  She gave the antonyms of twenty words in
average time of 1.4'', which is a good record.  There was one
failure, but that was quite typical.  At the end of 20'', which
is beyond the time of failure, she gave ``unhappy'' as the
opposite of ``happy,'' adding that she had thought of that
before, only she did not speak it out.  Her tests for psychomotor
control were miserably done.  She was rapid in movement, but
absolutely inaccurate and did not follow instructions.  However,
we felt that even this did not indicate her full ability, for she
had capably held a position in a millinery establishment where
she was required to show manipulative dexterity.  Perhaps the
best statement of her performances is that she demonstrated great
irregularities from time to time, and even at the same
examination in her work on different tests.

On account of her peculiar testimony against herself, her memory
processes and especially her performance on the ``Aussage'' test
the case seemed of great interest.  We found, as we stated above,
in various ways that her abilities to remember, when at her best,
were normal, but using the ``Aussage'' picture we obtained only 6
details in free recital; she was sure that was all she saw in the
picture.  Then on cross-questioning she mentioned 9 more items
correctly, and gave 8 others much altered from the truth.  No
other item was added, but her report on these was almost
illusional in its incorrectness.  Of 5 suggestions offered she
accepted 2 of the least important, refusing the others entirely.
This was a remarkably poor result for a girl of her age, but may
not be indicative of her best abilities even on this type of
work.  Our final opinion was that she was not clearly subnormal
in native ability.

Annie has grown somewhat more stable as the years have gone on.
Following our first acquaintance with her we have known this girl
to make serious false accusations against others (vide infra) and
to again damage her own reputation by alleging herself to be
pregnant when she was not.  Her word in other matters all along
has been found somewhat unreliable, but there has been no
extensive weaving of romances such as those indulged in by
typical pathological liars.  Our original diagnosis of this as a
case of pathological accusation upon the basis of mild hysteria
we have seen no reason to change.  Both Annie and other members
of her family are representatives of a most important type for
court officials and all other social workers to understand.  A
great deal of trouble has been caused in several religious
congregations by the unusual character of the behavior of these
people.  Also the number of times they have been in courts for
various reasons is astonishing.

The history of physical and mental development merges closely
with the story of evolution in the moral sphere, and all can be
given together.  On account of the mother having long been dead
and the father being the peculiar man that he is there is some
question about the truth of some of the details which have been
given us, but we have reason to believe that the main facts are
true because they have been held to be the truth in the family
circle generally and were not merely given to us.  Verification
of details would be very difficult because the family are
distributed between Europe and America, and no relatives outside
the immediate family are at hand.  The mother was in excessively
poor condition at the birth of Annie.  She had miscarriages
preceding and following.  It is stated that the diagnosis of
malaria was made and that the mother had convulsions both before
and after confinement.  At the birth the prolonged labor and
instrumentation were not known to have done any damage.  As an
infant Annie is said to have been frail, but not to have had any
definite sickness or any convulsions.

However, at about Annie's fifth year there began a long list of
illnesses.  She had scarlet fever severely and also a number of
other children's diseases.  At 8 years she had an attack of
muscular jerking, and then had a number of successive attacks
until she was 14 years.  At one time she was in a public hospital
for three weeks on account of this.  It was stated that this was
chorea, but of course we can not be sure on this point.  Annie
was always regarded as a very nervous child; she was frequently a
somnambulist until she was about 12.  She is very nervous before
the onset of menstruation.  Of recent years she has been an
excessive user of tea-- at times before we first saw her she is
said to have had 12 cups of tea in a day.  At times she was then
suffering from sleeplessness, and was wont to feel tired in the
morning.  As a young child she had severe night fears, seeing
terrifying shadows upon the wall.

On account of her illnesses and her general nervous condition,
Annie was very irregular in her school attendance.  However, she
reached 6th grade.  As to the family opinion of her mentality we
hear that they have regarded her as being an odd type, not lazy,
but irritable, hateful, and moody by spells.  Her memory is said
to be most irregular, sometimes exceedingly good.  The other
children find it difficult to get along with her because she
slaps them so much.  At times she swears.  At the time of the
revival meeting, shortly before we saw her, she is said to have
come home from church in an hysterical state.  When in custody
she was in rather a dazed condition.  Where she was detained they
say she acted as if she were stunned.  Her memory did not seem at
all clear, nor has it ever seemed other than confused about the
events immediately surrounding the main episode of her career.
She maintained she could not remember just exactly what she had
said, and her account of it contradicted that of her father.

As we afterwards learned from the church people, it is
undoubtedly a fact that her notions of self-accusation came from
a Sunday School session in which her teacher repeated what had
been talked about in the revival meeting concerning the scarlet
woman.  A day or two afterward the girl told that she herself was
``a scarlet woman.''  She told it first to the teacher, was then
taken to the pastor, when she reiterated the story, and the
police authorities were called in.  Of course her story implied
lack of home guardianship and consequently the whole affair was
handled for some days by the police alone, after the girl had
given a very detailed description of her immoral life.  By the
time we saw the father it had been ascertained that this girl had
never been away from home a single night in her life and probably
had never been in the least immoral sexually.

It is necessary to have knowledge of the heredity and
environmental background to understand this case.  Almost nothing
is known of the maternal family.  After losing his first wife,
the father was twice remarried, and even the third wife has
divorced him.  He had a brother who, after going insane and
killing two laborers, committed suicide.  His grandmother, and
probably also a cousin, were insane.  Two of his sisters were of
a nervous and hysterical type and said to have attacks of
aphonia.  A child by his second wife is epileptic.  This man
gives us a long account of his own defective heredity and of his
own physical ailments.  He does not recognize the fact, however,
that he also is mentally below par.  We have seen him on numerous
occasions and known of his great activity in the courts, and have
attempted to size him up.  He is undoubtedly a constitutional
inferior, in poor general physical condition and subject to
episodic mental states.  One would be inclined to call him a
semi-responsible individual with mild delusions, defective
reasoning ability, great energy in self-assertion, and of
combative disposition.  This latter shows itself in his voluble
emphasis on the alleged ill treatment of himself and family, even
by his wives.  He is never physically violent.  On account of
false accusations, whether delusional or not, he got at least one
pastor into a peck of trouble, and, strangely enough, his wives
have been involved in some other church embroilments when his own
character was called severely into question.  On one occasion we
were interested to enumerate an astonishing list of people and
organizations which, he stated, had treated him and his family
unfairly.  It seemed to us that during the last two or three
years he must largely have lived in the courts to carry on his
transactions there.  His concern for his daughter seemed genuine
and her delinquency led him to seek the law more than ever.  Some
of the good people who have become interested in his affairs tell
us that his is the strangest story they have ever heard.  His
veracity is often in question.  On more than one occasion with us
he has dwelled on his nervous states, and on the fact that he is
subject to times of mental confusion, but he defends his own
judgment and actions on all occasions with great vigor.

This most erratic father has nearly always sided with Annie and
offered excuses for her under all circumstances.  However, she
has stated that he was most difficult to live with on account of
his quarreling at home and general bad management of the
household.  We know that at times he has been a seeker of
newspaper notoriety.  From his conversations with us and with
others we know that his mind dwells much on sex affairs and these
things are frequently discussed in the home.  There has been much
turmoil and quarreling in the family circle, at least with the
last two wives.  On several occasions the family have had to
appeal for aid from the charities because none of them succeeded
in making a living.  Annie alleged she was taught shop-lifting by
the second wife--we regard this as being possibly true on account
of the woman's general reputation, the fact that they were
desperately poor, and that she drank at times.

The father has the ability to make a very good presentation of
himself, to use the best of language and he has had musical
training enough to be able to give lessons.  Annie herself has
taken many lessons in music.

The after-history of this case is instructive.  Almost none of
our suggestions were taken when our first diagnosis was made.
Two years after we first saw Annie she was placed in an
institution for delinquents, then having run away from home,
``picked up'' a man on the street and stayed all night in a hotel
with him.  At the institution the girl became very nervous and
behaved badly and the authorities decided it was a poor place for
her.  The father, who at first wanted her placed there, very soon
decided that she should be removed.  It is very likely his
attitude had something to do with her behavior there.

About this time Annie worked in a millinery shop where she proved
herself quick and skilful.  There she told stories again defaming
herself.  She said she had had a baby and went into complete
details, such as giving the name of the nurse who had taken care
of her, and so on.  On account of this she was discharged.  Later
she told us she related these stories to get even with her
father, for if there was ever a hell on earth it was living with

About three years after our first study of Annie, the father
himself brought a complaint against her of untruthfulness and
general unreliability.  This was at one of the times when he was
complaining bitterly of other people.  It seems he had lately
tried to restrain her from leaving the house and she had cut his
head open with an umbrella.  It was evident she had started
downhill again, and she was placed in a Rescue Home.  She now
repeatedly told people she was pregnant and made charges against
some man, but these soon fell through because a little detective
work showed she was corresponding with a boy and had very likely
been immoral with him and others.  She was then making an attempt
to lead a dual life, maintaining she wanted to save some of the
unfortunates with whom she was placed, while at the same time
entering into various escapades with them and others.  At this
period a suicidal attempt was reported, but we never had
satisfactory proof of the genuineness of this.  Annie was now
regarded as being excessively delinquent.

A few months afterwards, when the young woman was in one of her
better moods and wished to do well, we made a few vocational
tests on her.  We found her quite unfit for the position of
telephone operator which had been suggested for her.  Psychomotor
control appeared then decidedly defective.  However, there was
great improvement on work done on intellectual tests two or three
years previously.  Although she had developed physically (she now
was a particularly good looking young woman) we felt she was
quite unfit for work which demanded steady effort.  One trouble
all along was the fact that she did not wear her glasses.  We
advised then, as we had advised at first, a quiet country life
for Annie and the other members of the family.  The constant
stimulus of city conditions was too much for them.

Again our advice was not taken and some months later the father
came to us with the story of extreme poverty, some recent attacks
of unconsciousness on his part, separation from his third wife,
and the information that Annie was about to become a chorus girl.

Even a final consideration of the general diagnosis in this case
which has been so long observed by us does not seem to justify
our including it among our border-line mental types.  Application
of the term constitutional inferiority seems a priori warranted
by the family history and yet we have no proof that her physical
and mental conditions as enumerated above are not the result of
her many early illnesses and the excessively erratic
environmental conditions, rather than of causes which existed at

On account of the peculiar inhibitory phases which arose nearly
always during observation, we never relied merely on the results
of laboratory tests for our judgment, and her success in some
social situations has proved the wisdom of this.  Our earliest
feeling that we had to do with a temporary and mild psychosis was
perhaps justified, but further observation of her has led us to
see clearly that she is not to be considered as a deeply
aberrational type.  Could she ever have been free from the
extraordinarily upsetting home conditions one could have gauged
much more accurately her mental capabilities.  As time went on,
the moral difficulties, which were largely induced by family
conditions, led to mental as well as moral upsets which could be
considered as little else than normal reactions to the situation.
Her conduct lapses, under the circumstances, are no indication of
any mental breakdown.  On the contrary, it is clear by our own
examinations and the accounts of other observers that she
gradually has showed greater mental stability.

(Since writing the above, we have had, by chance, the opportunity
of getting some important information about this case from an
entirely new source.  A person who knew the family many years ago
corroborates the father's remarkable story of antecedents.  The
father himself remains in about the same state of social
incapacity.  Annie, now married to a young man with a long
criminal record, has a child.  Her word has recently been found
absolutely unreliable, and testimony lately given by her in court
concerning her husband was grossly false when it would seem that
her interests and welfare demanded her testifying the truth
concerning his non-support.)

Mentality:  Psychoneurotic.                    Case 20.
  Heredity:  Extremely defective.           Girl, age 16.
      Developmental conditions:  Defective antenatal
      conditions. Difficult birth. Earlier neurosis.

      Physical conditions:  Earlier dental defects.
                  Defective vision, usually uncorrected.
                    Stigmata of eyes.
            Stimulants:  Excessive use of tea.
               Home conditions:  Highly erratic and unstable.
                                Many bad influences there.
                      Excitement and suggestion from revival.

Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Self-accusations.                       Abilities irregular,
Running away.                           and as above.
Sex affairs.


Summary:  This case illustrates the fact that pathological lying
and accusation may arise first during a period of special stress.
A young woman of 19, after illegitimately becoming pregnant, was
found home after home by a charitable organization.  In each
place she made false accusations of immoral proposals against
some one in the family or neighborhood.  This created much
trouble and lost her several good homes.  Her lies persisted
after an abortion had been secretly produced, but it is to be
noted that she now, as a sequel to the operation, suffered from
irritative pelvic conditions.

A short statement of this case will suffice to bring out the
point that during a period of social and mental upset
pathological lying and accusation may be first indulged in.  We
studied the case of a young woman of 19 who had been the source
of much trouble in a certain locality on account of her false
accusations.  She was taken in hand by a charitable organization
and found a home, after she had become pregnant at a wedding
feast where alcoholic stimulants flowed freely.  There was then
no one to look after her but an invalid father.  She was placed
with an estimable family.  In a short time she made the shocking
announcement to the wife, and to others, that the husband had
made immoral advances to her.  He was a man of excellent
character and of course this could not be believed.  She was then
placed on a farm, where she showed erotic tendencies and insisted
that one of the helpers about the place wanted to take liberties
with her.  She was observed flirting and making advances to
thrashers and others.  She had to be found a new home, and this
time it was in a city, where new accusations were made against a
delivery boy.  After this the young woman made off and shifted
for herself for a time, and succeeded in getting some shady
character to produce an abortion on her.  Later, she again came
to the official attention of the social agency by reason of
making new accusations.  From the date of her impregnation to the
time we first studied her, a period of about 10 months, she had
made serious accusations against many.  When her lies were told
in a new environment they, of course, always made new trouble.
Each time, however, the girl herself was the loser.  Her real
partner at the wedding feast had early deposited several hundred
dollars for the expected infant.

We found a strong, normally developed young woman of rather
attractive appearance for the grade in society from which she
came.  No sensory defect.  Diseased tonsils.  Complained of
constant suffering from pelvic conditions, perhaps induced by the
abortion.  However, being such a strong type she has been able to
get about well and do her daily work.  When we saw her she was
employed in a factory.

The question put to us was concerning her mentality.  She came of
a Slavic peasant family, had been in this country only 6 years,
and her relatives spoke only Slavic.  She had been to school but
a very short time, either in the old country or here.  Because of
the language difficulty, the giving of many tests, such as those
in the upper years of the Binet system, could be regarded as most
unfair.  However, the simpler language tests she did fairly well,
especially those where she could understand the commonsense
questions.  In regard to her acquirement of English, she has done
better than her relatives, who continue to live in a neighborhood
where their own Slavic dialect is spoken.  When it came to
dealing reasoningly with concrete situations, such as those
presented by our performance tests, this young woman did
comparatively well--quite above the grade of the feebleminded.
Our diagnosis, then, was that she could best be regarded as poor
in ability or possibly subnormal as compared with our general
population, but as correlated with her peasant type she was
probably normal.

From the standpoint of aberration one could find no evidences of
anything but eroticism and a constant tendency to deviate from
the truth.  About the affair of the abortion she showed herself
unexpectedly shrewd, maintaining that she had had to work very
hard carrying stones when a new silo was being built on the farm,
and at her next menstrual period she had flowed for a week or so,
and that was all there was to it, except that she had been
suffering from pains continually since.  (The charitable
organization knew she had visited the office of a notorious
abortionist.)  She smiled much in a silly way when in the company
of men; she proved herself easily led.  Taking it altogether,
there was no reason for considering her insane, or as being in
any way a psychopathic personality.  She showed no stigmata of

There was no opportunity to get a satisfactory family history.
Many of the relatives were still in the old country.  A sister
and brothers have been known in the neighborhood where this girl
lived, and are said to appear quite normal in their simple ways
of living.  They are of the peasant type and good laborers, but
given to occasional indulgence in feasting with alcoholic
embellishments.  From the sister we learned that this girl had
passed through a sickly childhood and had been most irregularly
brought up on account of the illnesses of her mother.  She was
not known as a liar when younger.  Her short school record showed
nothing of value for diagnosis.  What happened to this girl was
no great exception; among these people, we know from their own
accounts, free and easy sex relationships are common.  We are
advised that it was long ago known that this girl was going with
bad companions.

In this case we advised gynecological and other medical treatment
and segregation in a reformatory or industrial school.  The young
woman could be regarded as nothing else than a dangerous person
in any community.  Even when being brought to us she had
endeavored to flirt with a conductor on the train.  A fair
diagnosis could only be that she was, for the present at least,
morally irresponsible.

This case has been only recently studied and no further report
can be given.  It is cited in illustration of the fact that was
not clearly brought out by our other cases, namely, that a period
of stress may be very definitely the exciting factor in
developing pathological lying and accusation.  This stands out
particularly clearly in this case because the young woman had,
prior to the wedding feast, been a good worker and had given no
trouble in the community.



We could load our pages with histories of cases where the
statement of delusions, unrecognized as such, has created much
trouble in courts and out, but this type of case is too well
known to need any illustration.  Text books of psychiatry deal
with the falsifications of paranoia and other insanities.  That
the really insane also sometimes lie pathologically, that is,
tell for no normal purpose what they adequately know to be
untrue, is a fact not so well understood.  But even that we need
not be especially concerned with in our case histories.  It has
been well brought out in the previous literature on pathological
lying, as witness in our Chapter II.  In the present chapter we
do not include the out-and-out insane, nor the definitively
feeble-minded, nor the recognizably epileptic.

Much more difficult of understanding and much less easily
recognized because of the mildness of many of the symptoms, or
their variations from time to time, are the types which we
enumerate.  Several of these offer no complete picture of
insanity--even Case 25, although clearly aberrational, extremely
defective in self-control, and markedly criminalistic, did not
show to some psychiatrists who observed him a sufficiently clear
correspondence to any form of insanity as laid down in the
old-school text-books to be practically regarded as insane and in
need of long segregation.  In considering this whole matter we
must never forget that there is no wall of demarcation between
those whose conduct clearly betokens insanity and those who are
not insane.  There are plenty of instances where the easily
passable border between the two is permanently occupied or is at
times approached.

We keep our border-line cases separate in order to emphasize that
pathological lying by an insane person does not make a
pathological liar in the true sense.  We should hesitate,
however, to give in legal form a verdict of insanity in several
of these border-line cases we cite--they are very difficult to
classify, and the question of responsibility called for sometimes
in court work is unanswerable.  Keeping even these mild cases
away from our others serves, however, to lessen confusion; we
need in this subject to conserve all the clearness possible by
holding to fundamental classifications and showing up vagueness
of definition where it does exist.

Perhaps we are over-particular in keeping such a case as No. 22
in this chapter.  The commonsense observer would hardly regard
this girl as at all lacking, even in self-control.  On the other
hand, for the purpose of illustrating the subject of pathological
accusation we have kept Case 17 in the previous chapter when it
clearly shows great resemblance to Case 26 and is in reality a
border-line type.  Then, too, the swindler, Case 12, in some
respects belongs in this chapter.

We are hardly called on in this work to discuss the lying of drug
habitues, although they so frequently in their mental conditions
represent border-line types.  They are often on the verge of a
psychosis as the result of their intoxications.  Their lying is
mostly done for a purpose, to be sure, and hence much would not
come under the head of pathological lying, but occasionally
veracity is so much interfered with that there seems to be a
tendency to aimless lying.  This class of cases, however, is
sufficiently discussed in special literature pertaining to the

[24] Vide, ``Morphinism and Narcomanias From Other Drugs,'' by T.
D. Crothers.  Philadelphia, Saunders and Co., 1902.  Also Chapter
V, Stimulants and Narcotics, in ``The Individual Delinquent,'' by
William Healy Boston, Little, Brown, and Co., 1915.


Summary:  A girl of 14, a most vigorous and vivacious
personality, had for a couple of years pursued a curiously active
career of misrepresentation, of obtaining goods under false
pretenses and running away from home even to distant places.  Her
conversational ability was above normal; her lies were evolved
for the purpose of adapting herself to the peculiar circumstances
in which she frequently found herself.  Her general conduct
combined with her abnormal psychomotor activity gave ground for
the diagnosis of constitutional excitement--hypomania.

Birdie M., 14 years old, we saw after some clever detective work
had proved her to be the girl who in another town had repeatedly
swindled shop-keepers.  It seems she had been accustomed to take
the train for localities where she had no connections whatever,
and there enter shops and make away with whatever she could.  An
astounding incident was when she returned some goods she had
stolen and persuaded the manager to ``refund'' her the money on
the same.  This was regarded by the authorities as extremely

We found Birdie very small for her age.  Weight 76 lbs.; height 4
ft. 8 in.  Tonsils very large.  Teeth excessively crowded.  No
sensory defect.  Not yet menstruated.  A very nervous type; quick
physical and mental reactions; exceedingly active, restless

Our psychological impressions state that Birdie did all her tests
brilliantly and quickly, but very often with less accuracy than
would have been the case had she taken the time to think quietly
rather than work rapidly.  She was very keen to make the best
possible record.  ``I am proud of being quick; nothing is hard
for me; it was not hard at school.''  It was found by steadying
her that she gave a more accurate performance.  We diagnosed her
ability as good, but her school advantages had been poor.
Otherwise we noted she was a pert, talkative, responsive child,
of a distinctly nervous and somewhat unreliable type.  Her ideas
came tumbling, one on top of another.  Under close supervision
she was able to control her mental processes fairly well.  For
instance, on the antonym test, where opposites to twenty stimulus
words are called for, Birdie gave them in the remarkably rapid
average time of .8 of a second, with only one failure and one
error.  This is an exceptional record.  From this and her
unexpected powers of self-control exhibited on some other tests
we were obliged to conclude that her aberrational tendencies were
not very deep-set.  Her mental traits seemed to conform most
nearly to the type designated as constitutional excitement, or
hypomania.  Further observation of the case confirmed us in this
first view of it.

On the ``Aussage'' or Testimony Test she gave 13 items, all
correct, upon free recital.  On questioning, 14 more details were
added, but 6 of these were incorrect.  Of the 6 suggestions
offered she accepted none.

Birdie immigrated from Austria with her family when she was 10
years of age.  She came of a healthy family; all of her
grandparents and many of her uncles and aunts are living.  We get
no history of any insanity, epilepsy, or feeblemindedness on
either side.  She is one of 7 children, several of whom have had
nervous troubles.  Two of the children had convulsions in
infancy, but then only.  One brother at 10 years old is an
excessive stammerer and extremely nervous.

Birdie was born after a pregnancy during which the mother was
much worried and in poor health.  The father, too, was sickly at
that time.  The family conditions were defective on account of
poverty and illness during a large share of the period when the
children were born.  Birdie at birth was very small and there was
difficulty in resuscitation.  She, however, was never seriously
ill until she was 7 years of age, when she had something like
peritonitis.  No spasms or convulsions at any time.  She was a
very small child during her infancy, but walked at 8 months and
talked very well indeed when she was only one year old.
Developmental history otherwise negative, but all along there has
been poor family control on account of ill health and the slight
earning capacity of the father.

During the several months we knew Birdie she was always a most
unreliable person.  She repeatedly ran away from home and was
lost track of.  On one occasion she got as far as Omaha.  By the
use of elaborate, but plausible stories she always succeeded in
winning the friendship of reputable people.  Once she was found,
after she had been away several weeks, residing in a good home in
another State where the people thought of adopting her on account
of her brightness.  Many times she wandered about her home city
and in the most active and sly fashion purloined anything she
cared for.  Several times when she was taken by the police she
invented clever stories, without the least faltering, that seemed
entirely fitted to the occasion.  As the investigator said, she
talked incessantly with not the slightest hesitation and was
always airy and sure.  No one to whom she had gone with her
misrepresentations questioned her veracity-- she always came out
with a clearly connected and plausible story.  We noted that her
parents in comparison seemed quite stupid.

Of course Birdie passed under various names.  Once we recognized
her picture in the newspaper representing a weary, disheartened
girl who was tired walking all day long from one employment
bureau to another.  She stated to the reporter it was her
ambition to become a model servant.  When in Omaha her mental
peculiarities were recognized and she was studied by a competent
alienist who, however, was not willing to render a verdict of non
compos mentis to the police.  This was when she had run away from
Chicago and had told a lot of stories all of which had turned out
to be untrue.  The trouble which she created in various
communities by reason of her hyperactive delinquencies has not
been small.

With much merriment and an excessive amount of facial expression
this little girl held forth to us.  It is hardly necessary to say
that the account varied somewhat from day to day.  She did not
like it at home and did not propose to go back there.  There were
too many in the family.  As soon as the floor was scrubbed one of
the children would get it all dirty again.  She had started for
New York, but the old gatekeeper at the station was mean and she
could not slip by him.  She got along all right in Omaha, but
finally she gave herself up to the police there.  She thinks
perhaps she might go up to the people in Wisconsin who wanted to
adopt her.  In any case, she can do a great deal better than
Viola B. who ran away from New York and got caught, and was so
much talked about in the newspapers.

Thus her story would run along at great length, Birdie in the
meanwhile chuckling with the thought of her own escapades.

We never recommended institution life because it seemed as if
better things might be done for this girl.  We felt that if she
were built up from a physical standpoint her tendency towards
nervous excitement might grow less.  Her tonsils were removed.
Every one felt that the girl's good mental abilities should be
conserved to the utmost.  Attempts at management in a different
environment gave some hope of success, and after a time her
parents moved to a smaller town, when we lost oversight of the
girl.  Following our acquaintance with the case it had been
managed in the light of her characteristics, and her falsifying
tendencies were constantly discounted by those in charge.  We
felt that her tendency was to grow more stable.

Three years later:  We have just gained further information
concerning Birdie.  The family is still in straitened
circumstances, the father having proved too weak a character to
support them.  He posed as somewhat of a gentleman and made off
to another country.  Birdie is said to have worked steadily for
months at a time, but over a year ago suddenly left home once
more, this time going with a stage company.  Although the police
in several cities have been appealed to, no trace has been
obtained as yet of our young friend.  Whether her lying was
continued at home we cannot satisfactorily learn, nor do we know
accurately about any continuance of her state of excitement, but
without doubt Birdie in her present wandering is fabricating
anew, and is what she was before, namely, a young adventuress.

Mental conditions:  Constitutional excitement.    Case 22.
                                        Girl, age 14 years.
   Developmental conditions:  Defective pregnancy.
                             Early impaction of teeth.
                             Poor general physical conditions.
           Home conditions:  Poverty. Irritability of father and
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Running away.                           Ability good;
Stealing.                               Constitutional
Lying.                                  excitement.


Summary:  A girl of 16 having been out all of one night, related
a story to the police of having been led off, and incidentally
made the statement that she had been repeatedly immoral, once
with a relative.  She dictated and signed a detailed account of
the affairs, giving times and places.  This was used in
investigating and led to much fruitless effort even on the part
of experienced people--her story was quite untrue.  When studied
she proved to be a mild case of chorea, exhibiting the typical
psychotic tendencies of that disease, such as we have observed in
court work a number of times.

Nellie M., when brought to us by her grandmother, following the
girl's experience with the police who had been told by her of
immoralities practiced, was found to be rather a nice looking and
gentle girl, pleasant and responsive with us.

On the physical side we found her to be poorly developed and
nourished.  Weight 93 lbs.; height 4 ft. 9 in.  Vision about
20/40 in each eye, but wears glasses which correct this.  Rather
poor color.  Complains somewhat of headaches.  Marked tremor of
outstretched hands.  Moderate amount of choreic movements in arms
and legs, exaggerated when attention distracted.  Knee jerks
exaggerated.  Conjunctival and palatal reflexes almost absent.
Small regular features.  Well shaped head.  Said to drink at
least 4 cups of tea a day.  Heart sounds negative.

Mentally, she seemed to be fairly normal in ability, but was
undoubtedly in a peculiar psychical condition.  She had reached
7th grade in spite of much moving about, even to different
cities.  We found evidence of lack of good apperceptive powers
and the history of the case led us to see clearly that she had
been just recently in a very unstable, if not quite confusional
mental condition.

The ``Aussage'' or Testimony Test was not given in this case.

The history of heredity and development shows many points of
importance.  The mother died when Nellie was a very little girl.
She was terribly abused by a husband who was excessively
alcoholic and in general a tremendous brute.  They lived in a
roadhouse where drunken fights were not uncommon.  Nellie has
been brought up since her mother's death by other relatives.
Outside of alcoholism on the father's side there is said to be no
family peculiarities.  The mother came from a very reputable
family.  Nellie suffered early from several severe illnesses.
When only six weeks old she is said to have been in a comatose
condition with scarlet fever and diphtheria.  Later she had
measles, whooping cough and other mild ailments, and at one time
suffered extremely from constipation.  Walked and talked early.
No convulsions.  Menstruated first several months ago.  Sometimes
complains of severe headaches.  One observer reported that the
girl had been subject to slight melancholia within the last year.
Choreic movements have been present off and on for about a year,
but have not been marked until a little while previous to the
incident which brought her to us.  The diagnosis had been made
that it was a case of mild St. Vitus dance.  During all the year
Nellie had been regarded as in general unreliable, but nothing of
importance had happened prior to the above episode.

Nellie's story as told to us seemed coherent enough.  Apparently
she had entire memory of her past actions and, in general, of
what she had said.  Her own statements convinced us as much as
anything else of her unreliability at times.  It seems she had
run away and gone to a picture show and had fallen asleep there.
When she got out it was very late, but it was election night and
people were about on the street.  She finally was accosted by a
woman who took her home.  After her story of being led off by a
man the police were called into the case and she gave them her
remarkable statement.  Nellie told us of picking up with a man,
too, who lured her to a theatre, but who left her there.  There
was no way of corroborating this.  She fully acknowledged to us
the lies which had created so much trouble.  ``Well, I was
telling the first lies and then when I was going to tell him that
I knew that I was telling wrong he acted so cranky and said such
things to me.  He said he knew somebody had done bad things to me
and so I thought I had to give the name of somebody and so I gave
those names.

``The girls around in the schools I used to go to talked about
these things.  I never went with them.  I was always by myself.
None of the boys said bad things.  The police were so cranky I
did not know what else to say.  They said someone must have done
it to me when I was younger and I said it was my cousin because
he always used to want to.  He said he would give me a pair of
skates if I would.  He was 13.  I never asked my grandmother or
anyone about these things.  No one ever explained it to me.  Just
the girls are the ones who told me about these things.  They told
me themselves how they had been out at night with the boys.  I
never did do it with anybody.''

Examination by a gynecologist about this time showed positively
that there had been no immoral relations, and after our findings
the case became a closed incident so far as prosecuting anybody
was concerned.  Nellie was taken in hand by the family physician
and no further delinquencies or false accusations have been
complained of during the succeeding two years.

Outside of the girl's general frank bearing, undoubtedly a point
rather indicating to the police possible truth in her statements,
was the detail in which the alleged events were given.  The
signed statement coming from an apparently naive girl of 15 would
seem in its clearness and coherency to bear the earmarks of
truth.  We always regarded this case as one of our interesting
examples showing the unreliability of girl witnesses, especially
those who have had unfortunate experiences, even though merely
mental, with sex affairs.

 Mentality:  Mild choreic psychosis.               Case 23.
                                           Girl, age 15 years.
      Early clandestine sex teachings.
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Running away.                      Normal ability,
False accusations.                 temporary aberration.


Summary:  A girl of 16 whose general conditions won ready
sympathy created much trouble.  She repeatedly made serious
accusations against a man and her attempt at suicide made her
statement seem convincing.  Further study showed the absolute
falsity of her charges.  It was a case of hysteria which had
developed largely upon a basis of injury--there was a traumatic
psychoneurosis.  Under good treatment she made a fine recovery;
there being no more indulgence in pathological accusations,
although her nervous symptoms recurred for a short time after a
couple of years.

At the time when we first saw Georgia B. she was somewhat over 16
years old and had been only 5 years in this country.  We saw her
because she had run away from home and attempted suicide.  From
the latter she had been rescued, and then had accused a neighbor
of raping her.  The case proved to be very troublesome until the
nature of the whole affair was understood.

We found a thin and anemic girl, not at all prepossessing in
appearance, dull in expression, suffering from a chronic
suppurating otitis media.

On the mental side we had much trouble in conducting an
examination because she was greatly given to tears.  She did work
for us on a few tests and her efforts would have been graded as
those of a feebleminded person if her emotional state had been
left out of account.  Even our physical examination was largely
hindered through her crying.  However, her story was told in a
straightforward way and with that show of emotion which had
previously convinced others that grave injustice had been done
her.  Distinct proof of hysteria was present; for instance, on
one occasion in the middle of a test Georgia apparently became
unconscious.  Her head dropped to the table, but her lips were
red, her face did not change color, she resisted having her head
moved, and in a moment or two lifted it herself to a more
comfortable position.  The diagnosis from such symptoms as these
and from her history was not difficult to make.

The ``Aussage'' test, for obvious reasons, was not given.

Georgia told her story with surprising coherency; in outline, it
was as follows:  She ran away from home, and then was put under
protection of the police authorities by a man who caught her.
She said she was caught when standing by a drug store where she
had been to get medicine, just ten cents worth of peroxide.  When
asked by us if it were not really carbolic acid she called for,
she said yes, it was and that she intended to take it.  She
wanted to get rid of her life.  What could she do in the way of
living?  Her father and mother were both sick and they could not
live long and then how could she get along taking care of three
little children?  When asked if her parents would not be terribly
affected by her suicide she said that it would not be the first
time they had buried a child.  At this time she would go no
further into her history.

On the next day she talked straight to the point, but with a
remarkably dull expression on her face.  She said that about five
weeks ago, she cannot tell the exact date, she went to a
neighbor's house.  A man there wanted her to come and look at
some pictures.  He finally got her to go to a bedroom and then
held her so she could not scream, and raped her.  She is sure of
it.  He later choked and beat her and kicked her out of the
house.  At first she was afraid to tell her people.  A couple of
weeks afterward she went back and asked why he did that, and he
swore at her and accused her of being bad, and she and he talked
back and forth for some time.  ``He says, `I'll kill you.  I did
not touch you at all.'  I says, `You did.  You're a liar and you
can kill me now if you want to.  You have already killed me.
See, I grow large like this.' ''  He then set upon her and beat
her again.  She has not seen him since.  After telling this
Georgia began to cry very hard and said that she really is killed
now and is done for.  The whole story was told in a
straightforward way with a full show of emotion.

A complicating feature of this case, resultant upon lack of
understanding of the characteristic vagaries of this type, was
the action of a vigorous knight errant.  He was the one who
rescued her.  Hearing her ask in the drug store for the carbolic
acid, which she did not get, he thought she was desperate and
questioned her, but she tearfully refused to answer.  He quietly
followed her until she got to the river, and then, when she had
her foot on the rail of the bridge and was about to jump off, he
seized her.  She fought and kicked him so that she badly hurt one
of his legs.  She told him she had reason to commit suicide.  He
got her to some house and there she fainted.  When she came to
she described her situation to him, naming a man who boarded with
a neighbor as having raped her.  She told him this was the reason
she had tried to commit suicide.

This young man visited Georgia's family, found them strangely
indifferent and not inclined to believe the girl, so he set out
to see that justice was done.  With his well-intended efforts he
succeeded in getting several agencies to work on the case, the
parents meanwhile partly resenting his interference.  They said
they knew what kind of a girl she was.

We never felt thoroughly satisfied with the family history on
account of the comparative ignorance of the parents, our only
source of information, although they were honest enough people.
All points in heredity seemed negative, nor could we learn that
there had been anything significant in developmental conditions.
The girl had only recently menstruated.  Her people felt that of
late her word was quite unreliable.  She went as far as the 4th
grade.  On account of the short time in school in this country
this was considered doing fairly well.

Ten months prior she had fallen off a street car; it was not
known she was damaged seriously.  A jury had given a verdict of
several hundred dollars against the company, but on account of an
appeal having been taken the case was still unsettled.  Since the
accident a number of fainting attacks had occurred and Georgia
had lost one position on account of them, a place where she had
worked for 2 years.  She was said to have been quite healthy
before the accident.  Some 5 weeks before we saw her, the girl
had become hysterical and announced that she had not menstruated
the week before and the cause was that she had been raped.  Her
behavior was so peculiar in regard to this that her parents did
not believe her statements and did nothing about it.  The girl
evidently was accustomed to telling falsehoods, although we could
get no specific account of them.  The parents were very anxious
to avoid a scandal, for though they were poor they made much of
their respectability .

Georgia was examined after a later reiteration of her charges;
the physician said that she had not been raped.  After we saw her
the parents thought it was best to go to another physician with
the young man who had become so interested.  Once more the report
was that there had been no rape, but it now appeared that there
had been some manipulation of the parts.  After this the case
quieted down, but Georgia had run away again just before this
second examination.  When by our recommendation she was now
placed in a convalescent home she repeated the same stories and
announced that she was pregnant.  Of course more trouble was
created by this and a third examination had to be made to
convince these good people who had been recently asked to
interest themselves in her.

After her stay in the convalescent home Georgia returned to her
parents, and, appearing to be recovered, went to work again.  Her
record for two years was unexpectedly satisfactory.  When the
above episode had blown over she regained control of herself,
adapted herself to family conditions, and worked steadily.  On
one occasion her nervous symptoms have returned with much
depression and again an attempt at suicide.  She was now
carefully studied in a hospital for signs of insanity, but again
it was determined that she was not of unsound mind.  She made a
speedy recovery, adjusted herself once more to her surroundings,
and after a few months became married.  During the last year or
so there has been no further trouble.  A settlement of the law
suit for injuries was made before her more recent period of
depression.  At the time of even her last attack we can learn of
no more false accusations having been made.  The family attitude
about her has, all along, not been what it should have been to
have gained the proper results, but the problem of poverty was
always with them.

Mentality:  Traumatic psychoneurosis.      Case 24.
                                     Girl, age 16 years.
       Accident, with law suit following.
          General physical conditions:  Anemia, poor
                          nutrition, otitis media.
Delinquencies:                   Mentality:
Running away.                      Poor ability;
Attempted suicide.                 temporary
False accusations.                 aberration.


Summary:  Case of a young man of 19, with already a long record
of criminalism, who created much trouble for a court where a
judge was keenly anxious to do justice.  The fellow implicated
himself in a sensational murder, but investigation proved this to
be untrue.  In other ways his word was found most unreliable.
The question concerning his sanity could only be answered by
stating that he was an aberrational type peculiarly inclined to
criminalism, and therefore needed segregation, and that he was
also given to pathological lying and self- accusation.  From the
legal and social standpoints it is important to note that the
case represents a type, unquestionably abnormal, although the
mental pathology could not be subsumed under the head of any one
of the designated mental diseases.

The case of John B. was studied at the request of a judge who had
continued the trial because of the manifest mental peculiarities
of the defendant.  We were told that his behavior varied much,
that one day he would cry and apologize, and on another would
show stupid bravado.  As the judge stated, John had long been in
disciplinary institutions and this had failed to do any good.
The immediately peculiar features of the case were that while he
was being held for vagrancy and robbery, John made a strong
attempt to implicate himself in a murder case.  In other words he
was a self-accuser.

We found a strong young man of 19 years; weight 157 lbs., height
5 ft. 5 in.  Very broad shouldered and deep chested, but slouchy
attitude.  Good color.  Eyes bright.  Varicocele.  Somewhat
defective vision in one eye.  Well-shaped head--circumference
56.5, length 18.5 and breadth 16 cm.  Thick, heavy voice.
Appears dull and depressed, but energizes under encouragement.
Other physical examination negative.  Complains merely of
headaches in left frontal region, but says he has had these only
since last year when he was struck there by a beer bottle.
Recently an excessive user of tobacco.

In the mental examination we found much of interest.  When first
seen he gave every appearance of being a mental defective, but by
judicious stimulation he could be waked up to do comparatively
good work in several directions.  On the Binet tests, 1911
series, he passed all but one of the 12 year set; in that he
followed the suggestion offered.  On the 15 year old tests he did
three out of five.  The failures were on the memory span of
figures and in the repetition of a sentence of 26 syllables.

By our other tests we also found him defective in verbal memory
processes, even when he read the passage to be remembered.  In
working with our so-called construction tests, where his success
depended not only upon planning with concrete material, but even
more on the ability to profit by his failures, he did decidedly
poorly.  In handling the puzzle box, where above everything is
required perception of the relationship of one step to another,
he succeeded very rapidly.  With the cross-line tests, which
require mental representation of an easily remembered figure and
analysis of its parts, he did very poorly, succeeding only after
the third attempt in each of the two simple tests.  This is a
type of work that is especially easy for the normal person.

In our ``Aussage'' or Testimony Test we got a decidedly poor
result.  At first enumeration he gave only 8 items, and on cross
questioning gave only 6 more.  He denied seeing other objects
plain in the picture, but contradicted himself somewhat on this.
It is interesting that he took only one out of four suggestions,
notwithstanding his suggestibility on the Binet test.

On school work he does altogether much better.  He writes a good
hand, reads fairly well, and promptly does a sum in long
division.  He claims to have reached the 6th grade.  One
difficulty in testing him was his prevailing lethargy.  We
constantly had to fight this by encouragement.  Once he insisted
he must give up the work because he had not had a smoke for an
hour or so.  Altogether, including his irregularities, we could
not call him lower than poor in ability, possibly subnormal.  He
did not come within the limits of the feebleminded group.  Just
where to place him would depend upon what he perhaps could do
under other more favorable conditions.  So much for the tests of

In studying him for aberrational tendencies there were positive
indications.  Most significant it was when, in the Binet tests,
he came to the word ``justice'' and turned to the examiner,
saying feelingly, ``I don't know what that is,'' and then burst
into tears.  Yet this was from a fellow who had offered to get
himself into even worse trouble with the courts.  He made much of
his worrying about not having any home and not being the child of
his so-called parents.  His attitude was of sorrow and
hopelessness about his whole situation in life.  As seen again
about two weeks later, still more evidences of aberration were
found.  He contradicted himself then in regard to his previous
stories, in regard to his home life, denied he had made
self-accusations, and very clearly did not remember at all
accurately what he had previously told me.  In fact, he evidently
was not quite clear just who I was, although he had before been
brought across town under the charge of a couple of officers to
see me--an important break in his incarceration.  He also told a
different story from one he had told before to a certain official
who now was present.  He seemed rather mixed on a number of
points, and this is all the more significant because he had been
heartily afraid of being adjudged insane.  Our diagnosis at this
time was purely tentative as far as exact diagnosis was
concerned.  We stated that in our opinion he was an aberrational
type and the practical point was that he should neither be
allowed to go out in the community, nor be sent to a
penitentiary, but rather to an institution for observation and
perhaps for long detention.  The jury found it necessary, as
usual in such cases, to declare him insane.

The history of John runs as follows:  From an evidently
conscientious parent we learn of nothing significant in the
family history.  At birth he was said to be bright and healthy.
He had diphtheria severely at 4 years.  At 6 he started to
school.  He always got along well in his classes, but was very
troublesome.  At 11 years he began to run away from home.  His
father spent much time and money in going to various parts of the
country for him, and at 13 years of age he was placed in an
industrial school.  He is the only child.  He came home after 2
years, remained there for 3 or 4 months and then ran away once
more to California.  (His home was in the middle West.)  He was
returned by the police, sent to the industrial school for another
year, and then again returned home.  He stayed only 2 weeks
before running away to New York.  Coming back he got into some
trouble and was sent for the third time to the industrial school.
There he stayed until 6 months before we saw him.  He was
released once more on parole, stayed at home a week, and again
ran away.  It is reported that during his early time at the
industrial school he was rather melancholy by spells, and at one
time tried to poison himself.  His relatives say he has a bad
temper.  He had typhoid fever at 14, but made a good recovery.

John has been known for years as a great liar, having told
miserable stories about his parents, all of which were quite
untrue.  He has frequently mortified his father and mother by
denying his parentage.  The last time John was on parole he wrote
more than one letter to police authorities in his home State,
informing them he had been implicated in a serious crime.  An
officer at the reformatory institution had a letter from him
purporting to be written from a penitentiary, stating he was
sentenced there on a charge of robbery.  When he was held in our
city on a minor charge, he informed the police officials that he
was connected with a certain notorious murder of which the papers
had been full just previously.  He was sent out with a couple of
detectives who soon found he knew nothing about the actual facts,
and that his alleged accomplices were innocent men.

In jail it is reported that he seems childish.  He has to be
locked up alone at times and then begs and teases to get out, but
in ten minutes or so will repeat the bad behavior.  He has stolen
little things from others in custody and has attempted to dispose
of his own clothes for a few cents.  It is definitely reported
that he has shown evidences of poor memory.  From the institution
where he previously had been so long, word comes that he was
regarded there as not quite normal.  John had been held in
another city on a charge of rape, but without much evidence, for
he was allowed to go.  We could not find out whether he made
self-accusations in that case.

In his story to us he complains bitterly about his treatment at
the old institution, maintains he was head laundry man there,
tells about his excessive smoking of late, denies his parentage,
says the only friend he has is a certain church worker, maintains
he did not have any home to go to from the industrial school,
intimates he will commit suicide if there is any question of his
being declared insane, says that he had earlier stolen things
from home, tells of having spells when things get black in front
of his eyes and can't see for a little while, says he wants to be
sent to the penitentiary and wants to start right now serving his

All told, there was nothing so striking about this whole case as
the extravagant tendencies towards prevarication.  For years he
has been lying to no purpose, although he has never been
previously regarded as insane.  Now he appears as an extreme
self-accuser and as a fellow whose word can't be trusted from
hour to hour.  The lying, regarded as an aberrational tendency,
is out of proportion to our findings of abnormality in any other
sphere of mental activity, except perhaps the evidences of
defective memory processes.  One trouble in gauging his memory
is, of course, the boy's prevarications, but one might argue that
if his memory processes were as good as his other abilities he
would make equal use of them.

Following our study and recommendation in the case John was found
not guilty, but insane.  Then being resident of another State,
and, indeed, being on parole from a reformatory institution
there, he was held over to the jurisdiction of that State, and
placed in a hospital for the criminal insane.  We have a full
report from the latter place which is exceedingly illuminating.
It appears that despite his first terror of being sent to an
asylum he adapted himself to his new surroundings very readily.
It is stated that he assisted with the ward work and spent his
leisure time in reading and playing cards.  He asked for work
outside on the grounds and was regarded as a very courteous and
genial patient.  No evidence of delusional or hallucinatory
trends could be obtained.  He always seemed to be well oriented
and conscious of everything going on about him.  Emotionally he
appeared somewhat subnormal inasmuch as he did not worry about
his own condition, but said he was perfectly contented.  (The
latter, of course, to a psychiatrist would be significant.)  He
was a great talker and his stories were well listened to.  John
said that when he was indicted for robbery his lawyer advised him
to feign insanity and as a result he had been sent to that
hospital.  (It is to be remembered that with us he made great
effort to show off his mental powers at their best and evidently
did somewhat better work than when later in the hospital.)  He
gave them a history of being somewhat of a cocainist and
morphinist, of being a slick ``pickpocket,'' and of associating
with prominent criminals, particularly ``auto'' bandits.  He was
boastful of his experiences, but sometimes admitted that he
prevaricated.  It is most interesting to note that he told a
story of having concealed in Chicago some plunder--jewels, money,
and so on--and was really taken to Chicago by one of theBoard of
Visitors of the hospital to find the booty.  It is hardly
necessary to say it was not located.  The last of the hospital
report states, ``Inasmuch as we were unable to prove that he had
any form of insanity he was discharged.''

It is of no small importance for discussion of the relation
between insanity and criminalism to know that there are such
cases as this where the individual is unquestionably aberrational
and yet does not conform in mental symptoms to any one of the
definitive ``forms of insanity.''  They may be lacking in normal
social control and in ability to reason, impulsively inclined to
anti-social deeds and therefore social menaces, but,
notwithstanding this, may not be classified under the head of any
of the ordinary text-book types of mental diseases.

It is clear that for the protection of society a different notion
of what constitutes mental aberration or insanity should prevail,
so that these unusually dangerous types might be permanently
segregated.  It would really seem that just the findings which
the hospital statement enumerates would convince one of this
individual's marked abnormality from a social point of view and
that his being at large was a grave undesirability.

The latest information concerning this young man is that he was
being held in a Western city for burglary.

We should hesitate to make out a card of causative factors in
this case.  It is clear that the major cause in his delinquency
was his aberrational mentality.  What there was by way of
causation back of this, our history, although obtained from an
apparently conscientious parent, is too meagre for explanation.


Summary:  Boy of 16 had for 6 years caused a great amount of
trouble by his general unreliability and excessive lying.  He had
been tried away from his own people in private homes and in
institutions without success.  His lying was excessive and often
showed no purpose and no foresight.  His peculiar delinquencies
demonstrated weakness of will.  Although in good general physical
condition he simulated illnesses.  Mental and physical
characteristics rendered certain the diagnosis of constitutional

We saw William S. first when he was over 16 years of age, after
he had been arrested for stealing.  He had already been in three
institutions for delinquents.  From his father and others we
gained a long story of the case.

William was in fairly good physical condition.  No sensory
defect.  Weight 125 lbs.; height 5 ft. 3 in.  Although well
enough developed in other ways he was a marked case of delayed
puberty; as yet no pubescence.  Strength only fair; for his age,
muscles decidedly flabby.  A high, broad forehead.  Large nose.
Peculiar curl of the upper lip.  Small, weak chin.  These
features give him a peculiar appearance--readily interpretable as
showing weakness of character.  Cranium notably large.  With
small amount of hair measurements were: circumference 57.8;
length 19.6; breadth 15.5 cm.  (Head same size as father's.)
Expression downcast.  Voice high pitched.  ``Under dog''
attitude.  Slouchy.  No analgesia or other signs of hysteria.

The performance on tests was peculiarly irregular.  In this
monograph we have omitted discussion of the results of separate
tests, but the citation of the summary as dictated when the case
was first studied will prove instructive:  The work done on our
tests was very irregular, peculiarly so.  Perceptions good and
most phases of the memory processes fair, but in reasoning
ability and especially in tests which require the application of
some foresight the results are poor indeed.  The failure is
remarkable in proportion to what he could do in school work and
to his abilities in some other ways.  He reads fluently, writes a
very good hand, and in arithmetic is able to do long division,
but showed no grasp of good method.  When at his best he sticks
at a job well enough, but does it with no intelligence and does
not save himself in the least by thoughtful procedures.  We were
interested to note that in a game which he said he had played a
great deal, namely checkers, he made the most foolish and
shortsighted moves.  It is only fair to say that this boy varied
in his performance from time to time; his emotional condition
largely controlled his performance.

On the ``Aussage'' or Testimony Test he gave a functional account
upon free recital, with 15 details.  On questioning he gave 13
more items.  Out of the entire number only 3 minor errors.  Of 5
suggestions proffered none was accepted.

There was a great deal more to be said about this boy's mental
peculiarities than what was evidenced by the giving of tests.
Our observations of him made at intervals over a period of
several months corroborated entirely the statements of several
others, including members of his own family.  The boy was
remarkably unstable in his ideas and purposes.  What he
apparently sincerely wanted to do and be at one time was entirely
different at another.  His changeableness was shown in many ways.
When he had been found apparently suitable employment or a new
home he often would stay only a few days.  The father's first
statement that the boy was a craven was borne out by all that we
saw.  He was too cowardly to be ``tough,'' but he was a
persistent runaway and vagrant.  He sometimes used an assumed
name.  In general demeanor he was good natured, but always
restless.  Not the least of his peculiarities was his ready
weeping.  It was amazing to see so large a fellow draw down his
chin and sob like a young child.  He was easily frightened at
night.  Under observation he had peculiar episodes of behavior.
Once in a school-room, without any known provocation, he suddenly
began to cry and scream, picked up a chair and soon had the
entire room cleared out.  A moment afterwards he was found
sobbing and bewailing his lot because he ``never had a fair
chance.''  On another occasion his legs strangely gave out and he
had to be carried to bed by his fellows.  The next morning a
physician found him with his legs drawn up and apparently very
sensitive over his back and other parts of his body, but with a
little encouragement all his symptoms soon disappeared.  He gave
a history of having had convulsions, but this was found to be
untrue.  He was a ``bluffer'' among boys; when met valiantly
showed always great cowardice.

We felt much inclined at first to denominate him a case of
abulia, but his stubbornness in recalcitrancy led us to change
our opinion.  From the above physical signs and mental phenomena
he was clearly a constitutional inferior.

Some facts we obtained on the family history were most
significant.  The mother of William suffered from attacks which
were undoubtedly epileptic.  Her mother, in turn, had convulsions
at least during one pregnancy.  We did not learn whether or not
she had them at other times.  No other points of significance in
that family are known.  The father himself was brought up, as he
says, strictly, but he was inclined to be wild, and he has
indulged for many years altogether too much in tobacco and
alcohol.  He is distinctly a weak type and the poorest specimen
of his family.  William is the only child.  There was nothing
peculiar in developmental history until he was 2 1/2 years old
when he suffered from ``brain fever and spinal meningitis.''
This was said to have left him with a stiff right arm and to
account for his being left handed.  (We could discover no
difference in the reflexes.)  Then at another period he was sick
in bed for 6 months with some unknown, but not very serious
illness.  The mother has been dead for years and so we were
unable to get accurate details about this.  At a very early age
William sought the pleasures of tobacco, even when a child of 6
or 7 he used his pennies for that purpose.  He was brought up in
an environment defective on account of his father being a poor
earner and weak in discipline.  But still his parent took for
years a great deal of interest in him and it was not until the
boy had proven himself most difficult that his father proclaimed
himself unable to manage his son.

At about 10 years of age William began running away from home and
manufacturing untrue stories.  One of his favorite statements was
that his father had been killed in an accident.  It is notable
that all these years he has been attempting to gain sympathy for
this or that assumed condition, whether it be his own alleged
physical ailments, or fictitious family difficulties.  As a
matter of fact, during this time he has been in some good homes,
failing each time to comport himself so that he could be retained
there.  It was typical that he reiterated, ``I have no friends;
there is no one to stick up for me.''  Besides being in three
institutions before he was 16 years old, William had been in
homes which he had found when he had run away, or in which he had
been placed by his father or by social agencies, the services of
which had been evoked.  His stealing was often done with an
extraordinary lack of foresight.  For instance, in one good
position that had been found for him he took a box of cigars,
when, of course, as the newcomer he would have been suspected,
and even after his employers made it clear to him that they knew
of the theft he took another box the next day.  His lying under
all occasions was nothing short of astonishing.  To even his best
friends he offered all sorts of fabulous tales which one iota of
forethought would have made him realize would redound to his
disadvantage.  Almost his only show of common sense in this was
when he gave an assumed name while getting a new position, and
even this performance could hardly be considered deeply rational.
It is hardly necessary to give lengthy specimens of his
falsifications; they always pervaded his stories about himself,
but strangely enough he acknowledged many of his delinquencies.
A good example of the latter was when he collected a little money
for a new employer and on the way back, looking in a shop window,
saw an electrical toy and immediately bought it.  He then went
home, not even returning to the office to get the wages which
were due him.  An example of his lying is his responses to
questions about his schooling.  He maintained that he only
reached the third grade.  (In reality he could do sixth grade
work at least.)  He said, ``I know long division by about 13 and
about 5 figures.  I don't know it by any other numbers.'' William
maintained these same characteristics over the 6 years during
which we have good data about him.  We know he continued the same
kind of a career for a year or so afterwards.

Three years later we have direct information from his family
concerning William.  His habits of prevarication have been kept
up steadily, so it is stated.  He has been in and out of
institutions and at present is serving a sentence for larceny.
He all along has been unwilling to face realities and has lied
against his own interests continually.  For instance, we are told
that if he lost a place, instead of obtaining the help his family
would have been willing to give him in gaining another, he would
steadily pretend to be holding the former position.  He is still
considered utterly unreliable and a thoroughly weak character
with a tendency to meet a situation as readily by a lie as
another person would tend to react by speaking the truth.  People
who have known him of late speak of him as being at 21 ``just the
same fellow,'' which probably indicates that he is thoroughly a
victim of habit formation as well as of innate tendencies.

Mentality.  (Typical constitutional inferior.)       Case 26.
                                           Boy, age 16 years.
     Heredity:  Mother epileptic.  Maternal grandmother
         had convulsions.  Father alcoholic and
         tobacco in excess--weak type.
      Developmental conditions:  Early disease of the
                 central nervous system.
Delinquencies:                     Mentality:
Running away.                           Abilities irregular,
Stealing.                               psychic episodes.


Summary:  Case of a boy, age 16 years, who told the most
extraordinary stories of his vagrant life and the character of
his family to officers of several organizations who tried to help
him.  He understood well that evidences of his unreliability
would count against him.  His stories, although often repeated,
were not credited, and later, after a home had been found for
him, he began a new series of lies that seemed almost delusional
and somewhat paranoidal.  After months during which much had been
done for him it was suddenly discovered that he was an epileptic.

John F. appealed to an agency for assistance.  He told a story of
having wandered with his brother since he was a young boy.  ``My
father was insane from what my uncle did to my mother.  He
drowned her.  The house caught on fire and he blamed her for it.
She said she didn't.  She was too sick to get up and he took her
out of the house and his big son pumped water on her.  She was
pretty near dead anyhow.  We was too little to do anything.  I
seen it.  I remember that all right.  I can see that yet Brother
and sister died about 3 years ago.  Brother took sick from
sleeping out.  We slept around in barns for 2 years.  Father was
in an insane hospital in Kansas.  I think my uncle was hanged at
N. Junction.  We did not stay there.  I remember yet when they
went to put my mother in the grave.  I jumped in with her.  We
put right out and after awhile folks wrote that father was

So much attention would not have been paid to this gruesome tale
had it not been repeated to various people during the course of
several months.  The boy wrote letters reiterating these
incidents.  His stories always went on to include the most
surprising amount of abuse.  It seemed that everywhere he had
been illtreated.  Farmers had whipped him, or clothed him badly,
or defrauded him of his wages.

Physically, we found John to be in good general condition.  A
strong active country boy.  No serious defect of any kind was

On mental tests he did better than we expected.  To be sure he
was very backward in arithmetic, but then his story was that he
had hardly ever been to school at all.  He certainly did well in
many of our tests with concrete material, but the results as a
whole were curiously irregular, even if we allowed for his
deficient schooling.  At that time we were disinclined to pass
ultimate judgment on his mentality without knowing more about his

On the ``Aussage'' Test he gave only 11 bare items on free
recital.  On questioning 19 more details were added.  Of the
entire number only 3 were incorrect, and these were not serious
mistakes.  Of 6 suggestions offered he accepted 3.

The history of this boy and his family has never been
forthcoming.  The authorities in his alleged home State have not
been able to trace his family, which they could have done had his
stories been true.  Their report made it clear that the boy's
reiterated family history was a fabrication--the raison d'etre of
which is still in doubt.  In spite of his lying the boy was found
a desirable home in the country at the work for which he was
suited.  After staying for a few weeks he returned to the city
and got lodgings for himself.  We next heard of him because he
was induced by a ``hold-up'' man to secrete a revolver on his
person while the police were in the neighborhood.  Upon looking
up his landlady, it was found that while with her he had suffered
from epileptic attacks.  These had not been observed during the
several months we had previously known him, and he had strongly
denied them to us.  In our court work we constantly inquire for
evidences of epilepsy; in this case we received nothing but
negation.  After he served his sentence this young man was lost
sight of.  Even in the institution to which he had been sent he
continued his fanciful and often hideous stories, still largely
centered about the idea that he had suffered unjustly wherever he
had been.

No complete summary of causative factors is possible in this
case.  The major cause for his lying as well as other
delinquencies, particularly his vagrancy, is, of course, the
mental traits peculiar to epilepsy.





Our 19 mentally normal cases (18 females, 1 male) showed:

Good general condition. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Fair general condition. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Poor general condition. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Poor development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Poor development, undersized for age. . . . . . .2
Defective vision. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Headaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Mild nervous symptoms . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Tonsils and adenoids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Fainting attacks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Gynecological ailments. . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Abdominal tumor, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Hutchinsonian teeth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
``Stigmata of degeneracy''. . . . . . . . . . . .3
Premature sex development . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Comparing the above with the findings by previous writers we see
little chance to draw safe deductions.  So many of the foreign
cases have been insane; they can be more nearly compared with our
7 border-line types where all sorts of physical conditions may be
found.  It is notable that a large percentage of our mentally
normal cases are in good general condition.  Defective vision in
6 cases may be only a coincidence, but perhaps resulting nervous
irritation was sometimes a factor in producing misconduct.
Headaches, which Stemmermann makes so much of, appear as an
incident in only a small number of our cases; her emphasis on
periodicity also we cannot corroborate, there are hints of it in
only one or two instances, but then her cases for the most part
are not comparable to ours.  That 6 out of 18 females should have
had severe gynecological ailments is not to be wondered at,
considering the trend of their lives, but, in turn, there can be
little doubt that, as in Cases 16, 18, and 21, the local
irritation tended to bring about moral disabilities.


Considering first the question of mental capabilities we can
classify our 19 normal cases as follows:

Supernormal in ability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Precocious; later, still considered bright. . . . . . . . 1
Good ability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Fair ability, perhaps not quite up to the former classes. 6
Poor ability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Poor ability, hysterical type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Poor in general, but with artistic and literary ability . 1
Dull from physical causes, but later normal . . . . . . . 1

Over and beyond the above enumeration there were some intensely
interesting facts which came out during the intimate study of
these cases.  We are at once forced to agree with previous
writers that an unusual number of the pathological liar group
show great aptitude for language.  This is shown by their general
conversational ability and by the fact that many of them have
found out themselves that they had capacity, for instance, for
writing compositions.  Taking our group of pathological liars in
the strict sense, as given in Chapter III, we find that no less
than 7 of these 12 have been given to writing compositions and
stories.  Three of them had definitely commenced long stories or
novels.  It is most unusual among other offenders to find
evidence of any such tendencies.  A considerable number of our
group were characterized as great talkers, and several as
romantic, dramatic, fantastic, etc., even by ordinary observers.
All this goes to show clearly that the native traits making for
verbal fluency are strongly correlated with pathological lying.
When it comes to consideration of such an instance as Case 11 we
have the point more strongly brought out.  Here the individual is
fairly swung down his life's course as the irregularity of his
capacities direct.  His language ability carries him along as
nothing else will.  In corroboration of this interesting point
the conclusions of other authors should be noted.

The aberrational types which show pathological lying are, several
of them, depicted in our Chapter VI.  But little in summary of
them needs to be said.  The general mental and moral weakness of
the constitutional inferior very naturally leads him to become a
pathological liar; he follows, by virtue of his make-up, the path
of immediate least resistance--lying.  The episodic lying or
aimless false accusations of the choreic psychosis needs no
comment--the confusional mental state sometimes accompanying that
disease readily predisposes toward fantastic treatment of
realities.  The relationship of constitutional excitement to
pathological lying is less well recognized, but fully explicable
when we recollect the rate at which ideas present themselves in
the mental content of such individuals, who have little time, as
it were, to discriminate the true from the false.  The mental
conditions leading to purposeless prevarication which supervene
in the real hysterical mental states, or during the course of
traumatic psychoneurosis are well known.  The individual is to be
surely regarded, at least temporarily, as suffering from a
psychosis in many of these instances, and falsification, while it
may be difficult to distinguish between delusion and lying, is a
well recognized phenomenon.  The very deliberate lying of
psychopathic individuals, such as Case 25, who, though so
strongly aberrational, do not fit under the head of any of the
classic insanities, is a matter for earnest consideration by all
who have to deal with delinquents.  There is altogether too
little general knowledge of this type of fact.  The correlation
of the various epileptic mental states with pathological lying is
well recognized.  In many of the cases cited by foreign writers
it has turned out that the individual was subject to epileptic
seizures.  It is another illustration of the great variety of
epileptic phenomena.  Something of a point has been made in the
literature heretofore that abnormalities of sexual life are
unduly correlated with the inclination to pathological lying, and
the conclusion is sometimes drawn, as by Stemmermann (loc. cit.
p. 90), that the two prove a degenerative tendency.  Our material
would not tend to show this nearly as much as it would prove that
the psychical peculiarities follow on a profound upset caused by
unfortunate sex experiences.

A characteristic of pathological liars is undoubtedly a deep-set
egocentrism, as Risch states.  If one goes over our cases it may
be seen that there is exhibited frequently in the individual an
undue amount of self-assertion.  There is very little sympathy
for the concern of others, and, indeed, remarkably little
apperception of the opinions of others.  How frequently the
imagery of the heroic role of the self recurs, and how frequently
it occupies a central stronghold is seen by the fact that nearly
all of our cases indubitably demonstrate the phenomenon.

Most of our cases have been studied by the application of a wide
range of tests.  Indeed many of the individuals have been studied
over and over.  It is beyond our point at present to go over the
separate findings because there is no evidence of a strong
correlation of any type of peculiarity, except the ones mentioned
here, with the pathological lying.  Memory processes, for
instance, as ordinarily tested seem to be normally acute.

We have naturally been much interested in the result of the
``Aussage'' or Testimony Test work with this present group, on
account of the possibility of demonstrating correlations between
laboratory work and the individual's reactions in social
intercourse, particularly when there has been falsification upon
the witness stand.  In general we may say that while we have seen
normal individuals who are not falsifiers do just as badly as a
number of these individuals, yet for the group the findings are
exceedingly bad.  Perhaps the better way of stating it would be
to say that not one case shows the sturdily honest type of
response which is frequently met with during the course of
testing other delinquents, even as young as the youngest of the
cases cited here.  Our findings stand in great contrast, we note,
to the results on other test work.  When looking at the table
given above we see that a large share of our 19 normal cases are
up to the average in general ability, and yet as a group they
fall far below the average on this Testimony Test.  Take Cases 8
and 9, for instance-- both of them bright girls with, indeed,
considerable ability in many directions, and yet both of them
give a large number of extremely incorrect items in reporting
what they saw in the ``Aussage'' picture, and also both accept a
very large proportion of the suggestions offered.  It seems as if
frequently in these cases there is no real attempt to
discriminate what was actually seen in the picture from what
might have been in a butcher shop.  In most cases the fictitious
items were given upon questioning, but without the offering of
suggestions.  When the individual was allowed to give merely free
recital the result was better.  This, however, follows the
general rule.

A general survey of work on other tests has not shown anything
immediately significant in correlations, and this makes the
result upon the ``Aussage'' much more notable.  Perhaps it may be
urged that if these individuals had been told to key themselves
up to do this test well, being forewarned that otherwise it would
reveal their weaknesses, they could have done better.  Some hint
of this may be seen in our story of the results of tests in Case
3.  But of course the same might be argued about the other test
work where no such tendency to poor results was discernible.

The following table, with a word of explanation, will serve to
bring out results on this test clearly to even the reader
unfamiliar with the specific details of this subject.  A general
description of the test is found in our introduction.

CASE                                  Denominator=number offered
       Free    On     Number  Percent
    Recital  Questioning              Numerator = number accepted

16    16<2>   12<1>      3    10%         2/7
15    10      14<3>      3    12%         2/5
4     12      28<6>      6    15%         3/4
19    15<2>    8<2>      4    17%         4/6
3     17<2>   20<5>      7    19%         0/6
7     11<2>   17<4>      6    21%         2/5
6     17<1>   12<6>      7    24%         1/7
13    8       21<7>      7    24%         4/4
8     16      28<12>     12   27%         5/7
9     12      32<12>     12   27%         6/7
14    7       21<8>       8   28%         4/7
2     10      12<7>       7   32%         1/5
20    6        9<8>       8   53%         2/5

Only 13 of our 19 mentally normal cases were found to have had
the ``Aussage'' Test done so uniformly that results could be
fairly compared, as in the above table.  The reader will find it
easy to refer back to the case for noting other correlations with
behavior.  In the first double column the items which were given
in free recital come first, and in the second part the number of
positive responses to questions by the examiner.  The
coefficients attached to these represent the number of egregious
errors or entirely fictitious items given.  It should be clearly
understood that slight deviations from facts, for instance in
color, are not counted as errors for our present purposes.  In a
later study on this whole topic of the psychology of testimony
there will be much more complete itemizing.  The errors in which
we are particularly interested can perhaps best be called pure
inventions.  In the next double column is given, first, the total
number of incorrect items and, then, the percentage of these to
the total number of items reported.  In the last column
suggestibility is dealt with.  We have been accustomed to offer 7
suggestions, asking the individual whether such and such things
which might well be in a butcher shop really appeared in the
picture.  For several reasons not all of the 7 suggestions were
asked in every case, therefore the result is best viewed as a
statement in fractions-- the numerator being the number of
suggestions accepted and the denominator the number of
suggestions offered.

As a last statement on this question which we put to ourselves,
namely, whether pathological liars show the same traits in the
laboratory as they do on the witness stand or in general social
life, we can answer in the affirmative.  We may repeat that
others have made as bad records as some of this group, but taking
the group as a whole, it is unlike any random 13 cases which
might be picked out from our other classes of mentally normal
offenders.  On the other hand, many a feebleminded testifier has
done vastly better than the median of this group.  The errors
themselves are of the purely inventional type, such as your
ordinary report from a mentally normal person does not contain.
(There is perhaps one interesting exception to this; Case 3.  The
report given by this subject included egregious denials of some
of the main objects in the picture, and so was fictitious to this
extent.  She did not say that she did not know whether these
to-be-expected objects really were in the picture--she insisted
that they were not.)  So far as suggestibility is concerned,
there are great differences among even normal people in all
classes.  For comparison with the above group, we may take 63
cases of mentally normal delinquents, all of whom had been
offered the full 7 suggestions.  The median error of this group
was two.  Lower than the fraction thus obtained was the result on
only 4 of the present cases.  We have been interested to see that
with some of the pathological liars there is no great
suggestibility.  The person is willing to deal in his own
inventions, but not with false ideas which others attempt to put
in his mind.


The essentials for the diagnosis of pathological lying are
contained in the definition at the beginning of our book.  The
above considerations of the physical and mental make-up of
pathological liars should leave little question as to what
belongs in this class.  Of course here, as in the study of any
mental traits, borderline cases difficult to discriminate will
always be found.  Sometimes one will not be able to determine
whether the individual is a true pathological liar or merely a
prevaricator for a normal purpose.  We have already stated our
inability to determine this in some cases, and yet the nucleus of
the type stands out sharply and clearly, and there can be no
doubt as to what is practically meant by the definition.

The differential diagnosis involves consideration of the
characteristics of the insane, defective, and epileptic.  We
repeat that we agree that the mentally abnormal person may engage
in pathological lying quite apart from any expression of
delusions, and that during the course of such lying the insanity
may not be recognized.  This occurred in many of the cases cited
in the foreign literature, and if the prior histories of many
individuals now in insane hospitals were known undoubtedly such
lying would be frequently noted.  But once the person is
recognized as insane he need not be classified as a pathological
liar.  This term should be reserved, as we stated previously, for
normal individuals who engage in pathological lying.  Of course
other observers have noted such lying in people who could not be
designated as being mentally abnormal, but our material is
peculiarly rich in examples of this kind.


Heredity.  We come now to a very interesting group of
facts--showing at once complete corroboration of previous
observers' statements that pathological liars are extraordinarily
``erbliche belastet.''  Taking our 19 mentally normal cases we
find the following:

Insanity in the direct family (four of these being a parent). .6
One or both parents severely alcoholic. . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Criminal or very dissolute parent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Suicide of parent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Extremely neuropathic parent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Syphilitic parent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Epileptic parent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Unsatisfactory data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Reliable data showing normal family stock . . . . . . . . . . .2

Thus, out of the 19 cases there are only three or four which do
not come of stock showing striking defects.  Now, as we go on to
show later that unfortunate conditions or experiences were often
causal factors, the total findings seem to show clearly that
these latter influences generally bore their unfortunate fruition
upon inherited instability.

The heredity in the border-line cases is, as might be expected,
even worse.  These facts are easily discerned in their respective
case histories.

The question of inheritance of similar mental traits is, of
course, important.  We have found absolutely no proof of the
trait of pathological lying, as such, being inherited.  The
reader will note with interest particularly the facts in Cases 2
and 4, where we at first thought we had to deal with inheritance,
but later found there was no blood relationship between the
supposed parent and child.  In those instances the lying of the
younger individual was much more likely to be the result of
psychic contagion, and this also may be largely the explanation
of Cases 6 and 8, where an older relative was well known to be a
prevaricator.  The bad inheritance in these cases then turns out
to be, corroborating what we found in studying the general
problem of criminality,[25] a matter of coming from stock that
shows defects in various ways-all making, however, in the
offspring for moral instability.

[25]``Inheritance as a Factor in Criminality.  A Study of a
Thousand Cases of Young Repeated Offenders.''  Edith R. Spaulding
and William Healy.  pp. 24.  Bulletin of the American Academy of
Medicine, Vol. XV. February 1914.

Developmental Physical Conditions.  Inquiry into our 19 mentally
normal cases gave the following findings:  Antenatal conditions
were defective in 2 cases on account of syphilis and in one case
from advanced age of the mother.  The accident during pregnancy
to the mother in one case, the severe mental shock in another,
and the effect of illegitimacy in still another we can not
evaluate.  In 2 cases there were operative births with, however,
no bad results known.  One was a twin.  Early severe disease of
the nervous system was experienced by one, and convulsions during
infancy by two others.  Another suffered from some unknown very
severe early illness, and one from prolonged digestive
disturbance in infancy.  Three had in early childhood several
severe illnesses, one had a long attack of ``chorea.''  Two
suffered from general nervousness, incited in one case by the
excessive use of tea and in the other by a similar use of coffee.
One was an habitual masturbator from childhood.  Difficult
menstruation was reported in only one case.  In 5 cases there was
a quite normal early developmental period, according to reliable
accounts.  In 3 cases the early developmental histories are
completely unknown, and in 3 others uncertain.  The data of
developmental history in the border-line types may be easily
noted in the case histories.

Previous Ailments.  Ailments suffered from in our 19 cases after
the early developmental period amount to very little.  The
several gynecological troubles have been mentioned above under
the head of Physical Conditions.  In one other case there had
been urethritis previously.  Head injuries, which play such a
significant part in the study of criminalistics, find no place in
our mentally normal series, but should always be kept in mind in
considering the border-line types.  Epilepsy as a possible factor
in criminalistic problem cases is to be remembered.

Habits.  We have already mentioned the effect upon nervous
conditions of excessive tea and coffee in two of our cases.
Masturbation, including its indirect effect, particularly upon
the psyche, appears to be a very important feature of these
cases.  We should be far from considering that we have full data
on all of our cases and yet this stands out most strongly.  We
have had positive reports from relatives or from the individual
showing this certainly to be a factor in 7 out of the 19 cases.
This is a very large finding, when it is considered that the data
are frequently unobtainable.  Of course we are not speaking here
of masturbation per se, but only of the fact of its ascertained
relationship to the pathological lying.  This is only part of the
whole matter of sex experience which, we find upon gathering our
material together, plays such an enormous role.

Age of Onset.  It is very easy to see that the tendency to
pathological lying begins in the early formative years.
Common-sense observation of general character building would tend
to make us readily believe that if an individual got through the
formative years of life with a normal hold upon veracity he would
never become a pathological liar.  We can see definite beginnings
at certain critically formative periods, as in Case 6 and perhaps
in Case 3, but our material shows that most cases demonstrate
more gradually insidious beginnings.  (Case 21 is in this respect
in a class by itself.)  As we stated in our introduction, it is
clear from the previous studies of older individuals that the
nature of the beginnings were not learned because it was too
late.  Our material offers unusual opportunities in this
direction and shows the fact of genesis in childhood most
clearly.  For specific and often most interesting details we
refer the reader to our various case histories.

Sex.  Our findings show only 1 male out of 19 mentally normal
cases.  A general observation by practical students of conduct,
namely, that females tend to deviate from the truth more readily
than males, is more than thoroughly borne out here.  There are
certainly several social and psychological reasons for this, but
they need not be gone into here.  If our figures seem not to be
corroborated by the findings of previous students it is only
because the figures are not comparable-- the latter have mixed
the mentally abnormal with the pathological liars proper.  It
will be noted that in our examples of border-line cases 5 out of
the 8 are males.  Cases of pathological swindling by mentally
abnormal individuals, such as we have avoided, make up much of
the foreign literature.  We can easily see that the social
opportunities for swindling are vastly greater for males than
those offered to the opposite sex.  Sex differences, as in many
instances, must not be taken here too seriously because social
environment, differing so greatly for the sexes, is largely
responsible for the behavior which we superficially judge to be
entirely the expression of innate characteristics.

Environment.  We are far from feeling that a mere enumeration of
material environmental conditions tells the story of
environmental influences important for our present subject.  The
psyche is frequently most profoundly affected by environmental
conditions which even a trained observer would not detect.  But
conditions in the total number of unselected cases show
something, and, for whatever it is worth, we offer the following
enumeration of environment in our 19 normal cases, who with much
more reason might be expected to be largely influenced by
surroundings than our group of border-line cases.

Reasonably good home from birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Defective home conditions through poverty . . . . . . . . . . .2
Very ignorant parents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Immoralities in home life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Marked defect in parental control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Very erratic home conditions-parent abnormal. . . . . . . . . .1

Early Mental Experiences.  As will have been observed by the
reader in going over the case histories, the early mental
experiences of many of our group of mentally normal pathological
liars have been shockingly bad.  Full appreciation of this can
only be gained through perusal of the text, but here we may call
attention to the fact that no less than 8 of the 19 have had very
early untoward sex experiences, that 5 were markedly under the
influence of bad companions, including even the influence in one
or two cases of vicious grown people.  The sex experiences we
have just enumerated were received through others--we are not
here speaking of masturbation, which is discussed above.

Psychic Contagion.  Direct contagion of the tendency to lie seems
more than likely to take place, at least during the more plastic
periods of life.  It may be that this only develops when there is
some sort of predisposition to instability; our related findings
on defective heredity would seem to indicate the fact.  It should
be noted that in 5 instances out of our 19 mentally normal (Cases
2, 4, 6, 8, 20) some other member of the household, we learned
from reliable sources, was known as a chronic prevaricator.

Mental Conflicts.  The fact that several of our cases started
lying from the time when there occurred some experience
accompanied by a deep emotional context, and that this experience
and the emotion was repressed, seems to point clearly to the part
which repressed mental life may play in the genesis.  That as
children they kept to themselves secrets of grave import and
dwelled long on them, shows in a large number of our cases.
Anything deeply upsetting, such as the discovery of the facts of
sex life or questions about family relationships, are the
incidents which cause the trouble.  For students of modern
psychology nothing more need be said on this point--the concrete
issues are perceivable in the case histories.

Adolescence.  Quite apart from the age of onset, we may consider
the physical and psychical instabilities of adolescence as
effective causes of pathological lying.  Of course it is equally
true that many other tendencies to peculiarity are accentuated at
this period.  It has been suggested that cases which have their
origin largely in the unstable reactions of adolescence have much
the better prognosis, but it seems that not enough evidence has
been accumulated as yet to justify us in this conclusion, which,
we acknowledge, may prove to be true.

Irritative Conditions.  In the same way the various types of
irritative conditions, physical and mental, may be considered as
exciting moments.  Individuals with a tendency to pathological
lying will no doubt show aggravation of the phenomenon at periods
of particular stress.  We have heard it suggested in several
cases by relatives that the menstrual period, for instance,
brings about an access of tendency to prevarication.  We would
grant the point without conceding this exciting factor to be a
fundamental cause.  (Case 21, we may say again, illustrates a
special fact.)  The periodicity which Stemmermann makes much of
may merely mean succumbing during a period of physiologic stress.
Social stress also may be met by pathological lying, in the same
way that the individual who finds himself in a tight place may
attempt to get out of it by running away.  We have already spoken
of the likeness of social and physical stress as showing when the
weak individual is brought to bay.  That pathological lying does
not run an even course, but shows remarkable fluctuations with
powerful exacerbations, is undoubtedly to be explained by changes
of inner and outer stress.

Habit Formation.  The influence of habit in causing chronicity
must always be definitely reckoned with.  It is hardly necessary
to say more than a word on this subject.  Even the individual, as
in Cases 8, 9, and 10, comes to strongly realize it.
Particularly is this point to be estimated in considering the
possibilities of a rapid cure.

Special Mental Abilities.  Once more, for the sake of
completeness in giving a category of causes, we should call
attention to the fact acknowledged by all thorough students of
this subject, namely, that, other things being equal, it is
particularly the individual who has linguistic abilities, who is
especially good at verbal composition, that seems to have most
incentive to dally with the truth.  But beyond this we would
insist that a combination of verbal ability with proportionate
mental defects in other fields gives a make-up which finds the
paths of least resistance directly along the lines of


The role played in society by the pathological liar is very
striking.  The characteristic behavior in its unreasonableness is
quite beyond the ken of the ordinary observer.  The fact that
here is a type of conduct regularly indulged in without seeming
pleasurable results, and frequently militating obviously against
the direct interests of the individual, makes a situation
inexplicable by the usual canons of inference.  To a certain
extent the tendencies of each separate case must be viewed in
their environmental context to be well understood.  For example,
the lying and swindling which center about the assumption of a
noble name and a corresponding station or affecting the life of a
cloister brother, such as we find in the cases cited by Longard,
show great differences from any material obtainable in our
country.  In interpretation of this, one has to consider the
glamour thrown about the socially exalted or the life of the
recluse--a glamour which obtains readily among the simple-minded
people of rural Europe.  Then, too, this very simple-mindedness,
with the great differences which exist between peasant and noble,
leads in itself to much opportunity for cheating.

With us, especially in the newer work of courts, which are
rapidly becoming in their various social endeavors more and more
intimately connected with many phases of life, the pathological
liar becomes of main interest in the role of accuser of others,
self-accuser, witness, and general social disturber.

Here again, we may call attention to the fact, which is of great
social importance, namely, that the person who is seemingly
normal in all other respects may be a pathological liar.  It
might be naturally expected that the feebleminded, who frequently
have poor discernment of the relation of cause and effect,
including the phenomena of conduct, would often lie without
normal cause.  As a matter of fact there is surprisingly little
of this among them, and one can find numerous mental defectives
who are faithful tellers of the truth, while even, as we have
found by other studies, some are good testifiers.  Exaggerated
instances of the type represented by Case 12, where the
individual by the virtue of language ability endeavors to
maintain a place in the world which his abilities do not
otherwise justify, and where the very contradiction between
abilities and disabilities leads to the development of an
excessive habit of lying, are known in considerable number by us.
Many of these mentally defective verbalists do not even grade
high enough to come in our border-line cases, and yet frequently,
by virtue of their gift of language, the world in general
considers them fairly normal.  They are really on a constant
social strain by virtue of this, and while they are not purely
pathological liars they often indulge in pathological lying, a
distinction we have endeavored to make clear in our introduction.

It stands out very clearly, both in previous studies of this
subject and in viewing our own material, that pathological lying
is very rarely the single offense of the pathological liar.  The
characteristics of this lying show that it arises from a tendency
which might easily express itself in other forms of
misrepresentation.  Swindling, sometimes stealing, sometimes
running away from home (assuming another character and perhaps
another name) may be the results of the same general causes in
the individual.  The extent to which these other delinquencies
are carried on by a pathological liar depends again largely upon
environmental conditions--for instance, truancy is very difficult
in German cities; a long career of thieving, under the better
police surveillance of some European countries, is less possible
than with us; while swindling, for the reason given above, seems
easier there.

Running away from home and itineracy show in a wonderfully strong
correlation with pathological lying, both in previous studies and
in our own material.  Several authors, particularly Stemmermann
in her survey of the subject, comment on this.  This phenomenon,
not only on account of the numerical findings, but also from a
logical standpoint, is easily seen to be the expression, in
another form of conduct, of the essential tendencies of the
pathological liar.  It is part of the general character
instability, the unwillingness to meet the realities of life, the
inclination to escape consequences.  As a matter of fact,
frequently the pathological liar gets himself in a tight place by
lying, and then the easiest escape is by running away from the
scene.  The delinquencies of our present group as given below can
with profit be compared with our previous statistics[26] on a
large group of offenders.  We gathered the facts concerning a
series of 1000 carefully studied youthful repeated offenders.  Of
694 male offenders, 261 were guilty of running away to the extent
that it made a more or less serious offense.  Of 306 female
offenders, 76 committed the same type of offense.  For comparison
with the present group it is to be remembered that 18 out of the
19 mentally normal pathological liars were females.

                                     NORMAL  BORDER-LINE
Running away  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 12        6
Stealing.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7         6
Swindling  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7         2
Vagrancy.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 0         4
Attempt at suicide  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 0         2
Sex offenses  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8         1
False accusations.  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10        4
Self-accusations .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3         2
Abortion.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1         0

[26] P. 140 ff.  William Healy.  ``The Individual Delinquent.''
Pp. 830. Boston:  Little, Brown, and Co.  1915.

We have given figures on false accusations here, including other
cases than were enumerated in our special chapter on the subject.
In that chapter the center of interest was on the false
accusations, but it is true that in certain other cases of
pathological lying false accusations were indulged in as a
somewhat minor offense.  The 9 cases enumerated as swindlers
showed this offense in varying degrees, as might naturally be
expected by the differences in ages, which, if nothing else,
makes for variations in the evolution of social and character
tendencies.  Perusal of the cases shows the small beginnings as
well as the flagrant offenses on this order.  As we previously
have stated, we have avoided dealing with the older careers of
notorious swindlers.  The nature of the sex offenses can be
learned from the case histories by those who wish to make special
inquiry.  Masturbation we have regarded more as a causative
factor, and have spoken of it in a previous section.  Truancy we
have not enumerated.  It goes without saying that it had been
indulged in by practically all of the males and by a considerable
number of the females in our cases.

The observer of delinquents cannot help being constantly
impressed by the fact that the offense of lying seems to the
usual offender small in proportion to the commission of other
criminalistic deeds.  Particularly does this come out when one
observes the chronic liar growing up in a household where grave
sex and other delinquencies are habitual occurrences.  Should his
lying be compared with these major anti-social transactions?
Indeed, it might be a field for speculation as to whether, given
certain qualities of mind, imaginative powers, etc., pathological
lying may not play the part of a vicarious delinquency--being to
the delinquent apparently less pernicious than more objective
offenses.  In our case histories may be seen some indications of


In discussing prognosis and treatment we can eliminate at once
consideration of pathological lying by the insane.  The outcome
there depends upon what can be done for the underlying psychosis.
We have avoided intimate discussion of these cases, but many
suggestions of the unalterableness of the full-fledged tendencies
among the insane are found in the European literature cited by
us.  Even discussion of the outcome of the border-line cases,
such as we have given examples of, needs but short shrift.
Everyone knows the extreme difficulties of dealing with
constitutional inferiors; marked cases are socially fit only for
proper colonization.  The epileptic, in default of cure of his
disease, is ever going to be prone to many peculiar mental states
which may involve pathological lying.  The slight mental
confusion of chorea, which may lead to false accusation, as we
have seen in Case 23, is one of the most curable of all abnormal
mental states.  With proper attention to diagnosis and treatment,
favorable outcome of cases of hysteria, such as that in Case 24,
is frequently seen.  Another type which cannot be handled except
by permanent segregation is the thoroughly aberrational and
socially dangerous class represented by Case 25, however one
designates the type.  Much more, undoubtedly, can be done for
such a border-line individual as Case 12, if there is sufficient
cooperation among educational and reformatory institutions and
the courts.  It has seemed to us that the chief cause of failure
in this interesting case has been the fact that this young man
could go on ever entering new social situations and finding new
worlds for exploitation because no one had the means at hand for
securing facts concerning his past or for ascertaining what any
good diagnostician could easily perceive to be his limitations
and tendencies.

Very much more to the point is consideration of the actual and
possible outcome in cases of pathological lying by normal
individuals.  Here, as in other matters where bodily, mental, and
social issues are blended, no prognosis or outlook can be
rationally offered without consideration of possible changes in
the circumstances peculiar to the given case.  First and foremost
stands out the fact that cure of the tendency sometimes happens
even after long giving way to it.  In this statement we are not
contradictory to some previous writers.

As Stemmermann says, out of the general literature there is not
much from which one can deduce any principles of prognosis.  But,
again, we would insist that one of the great weaknesses has been
that earlier studies have not carefully distinguished between the
mentally normal and the abnormal cases of pseudologia
phantastica.  When, for instance, Forel speaks of pathological
liars as being constitutionally abnormal individuals who are not
curable, he fails to differentiate where profitable
differentiation can be made.  If our own work is of any practical
value it is in offering safer grounds for prognosis and
treatment.  Stemmermann summarizes well her follow-up work done
upon cases seen years previously by other observers.  Some of
these are still in institutions.  After a period of well- doing
several of these have become backsliders and reverted again to
lying and swindling.  Very few appear to have been cured, but yet
some of the facts of betterment are most convincing.  This author
states that, at the most, one dares to ponder over the point as
to whether there are not cases which recover, particularly when
the pathological lying is a phenomenon of adolescence.

Our own material is, in part, too recently studied to form
anything like a generalization concerning prognosis.  Many years
have to elapse before one can be sure there is not going to be a
recurrence.  But one is not altogether certain that prognostic
generalizations are of practical worth for this group of mentally
normal pathological liars.  So many incidental factors of
physical, mental, and social life, with all of the complicated
background of the same, come in to make the total result, that
experiment and trial with the individual case, while hesitating
to give an exact prognosis, is perhaps the only sane procedure.
What we do know definitely is the immensely favorable outcome in
Cases 1, 4, 7, 19, and the promising betterment in several other
instances--all in direct contradiction to what we had expected
from survey of previous literature.  In several of these cases
the years have gone by with nothing but steady improvement.  The
difficulty in getting adequate treatment, either in home life or
by the necessary individual attention elsewhere, makes it
impossible to say that many of the others also could not have
been favorably influenced.  Frequently a total alteration of
environmental conditions is necessary, and this, of course, is
often very difficult to obtain.  Also it is extremely rare that
one can get the whole matter, and its sure social consequences,
fairly and squarely met by anybody with influence over the
individual.  Until this can be done, little in the way of good
results may ever be expected.  The splendid attack made by
relatives or others upon the situation in Cases 1, 4, 7, possibly
14, and 19 tells the story of the prime necessity for adequate
handling of pathological lying.

Specific treatment of physical conditions should always be
undertaken when necessary.  It should go without saying that any
individual who is open to the temptations of inner stress should
be strengthened at all points possible and relieved from all
sources of irritation.  But, lest anyone should become too much
persuaded of the efficacy of surgical or other treatment, it
should be remembered that the psychical reactions, even where
there is physical irritation, involve the definite wearing of
neural paths, with habit formations, which bodily treatment can
only slightly alter.  An enticing problem to the gynecologist is
always the relationship of pelvic, particularly sexual
irritations, to conduct.  We cannot confirm the idea of a prime
causal connection in this particular, although we have evidence
that betterment of the physical ailment may lead to less
inclination towards the unfortunate behavior.  In Case 1 the
lying came long before pelvic disease was acquired, but very
likely the irritation of the latter led to an accentuation of the
psychical phenomena.  In Case 6 the typical conduct was persisted
in after remedy of the pelvic disorder; so also in Case 3 after
relief of abdominal conditions, and in Case 21 after cessation of
pregnancy.  Other points bearing upon this may be read in our
case histories.  On the general problem of the possibility of
physical treatment it will be noted that a considerable share of
all our cases were in good general condition.

In discussing treatment great emphasis should be placed upon the
primary necessity for directly meeting the pathological liar upon
the level of the moral failures and making it plain that these
are known and understood.  It is very certain that frequently
this type of prevaricator has very little conception of the
social antagonism which his habit arouses.  There is faulty
apperception of how others feel towards the lying, and to what
depths the practice of this habit leads.  Appreciation of these
facts may be the first step towards betterment.  In several of
the improved cases we have mentioned that it was largely the
acquirement of social foresight which made the first step in a
moral advance which finally won the day.  In this whole matter
the first ethical instruction may well be based upon the idea of
self-preservation--after all the backbone of much of our morals.
When it comes to specific details of treatment these must be
educational, alterative, and constructive.  In Cases 1 and 3
under treatment we know that when the lying was discovered or
suspected the individual was at once checked up and made to go
over the ground and state the real facts.  The pathological liar
ordinarily reacts to the accusation of lying by prevaricating
again in self-defense, but when with the therapeutist there has
been the understanding that the tendency to lying is a habit
which it is necessary to break, the barricade of self- defense
may not be thrown up.  An alterative measure of great value,
then, is directly to meet the specific lie on the spot, as it
were, when it is told.

Next, accuracy of report may well be practiced as a special
discipline.  In these normal cases we have seen that there could
be little doubt about the individual having self-control enough
to stick to the truth, if the will was properly directed.
Indeed, many of our cases were exceptionally bright individuals
with many good powers of observation and memory.  Had one the
opportunity, there can be little doubt but that training in the
power to do well on such a test as that afforded by the
``Aussage'' picture would have yielded good results.  Indeed,
there is some suggestion of this in our table of findings on this
test, where we note that pathological liars, when left merely to
themselves and their first often comparatively meagre report on
the picture, give few incorrect details.  The difference in their
report as compared with other observers of the picture was found
when they answered questions.  Since this is the case, there can
be little question that training in the power to respond
accurately might be gained.

It may be of value in considering therapeutics of pathological
lying to enumerate the general run of treatment which was carried
out in those instances where we know that betterment took place.
Nearly always only a part of what we advised could be carried
out, but, even so, a brief statement of the conditions under
which betterment was accomplished seems worth much.

Case 1 was treated first in an institution for delinquents where
every effort was made to cure her disease and where she was
taught to employ herself in constructive work.  It was found she
had ability to design, and this was used to the utmost.  Then her
lying tendencies were checked by social disapprobation as much as
possible.  A special effort was made toward this.  The girl was
undoubtedly made more serious-minded by the after-effects of her
experience and perhaps by her disease.  She was later
successfully handled at home by her sensible mother.  Leaving the
years of adolescent instability behind her was also undoubtedly a
factor in betterment.

Case 4 was taken in hand by a sterling character who restrained
very carefully the tendency to lying, and by firm methods showed
her the social advantages of self-control in this respect.  At
the same time she was given a vastly better environment,
particularly in the matter of her friends.  However, there is
little doubt that nothing would have been accomplished in this
case without first a deep understanding of the girl's troubles
and of her mental conflicts.

Case 7 was treated for her sex difficulties under the constant
care of a vigorous mother, who first, naturally, had to gain an
understanding of the case.  With her bettered physical and mental
conditions, the girl was able steadily to hold a position for
which earlier she had no capacity.

Betterment in Case 14 came about mainly as the result of an
understanding of the child's mental conflicts and somewhat
through partially bettered environmental conditions.  We learned
lately that the severe visual defect had been neglected.

In Case 15 the false accusations were made upon the basis of
mental conflict.  Investigation of the case, followed by the
personal services of a probation officer and by the legal
proceedings, served to clear up conditions, including those of
the family in general, so that the girl was given a greater
chance for success.

Case 19 seems to have been largely cured through the girl herself
being able to work out her mental conflicts.  Adolescence was a
factor and she was tided over this period in a good environment
and with friends who understood her type of case and who were
willing to put up with her aberrancies for this time.  Although
we would not minimize the efforts of stalwart friends, we may say
that there were more evidences of cure by self-help in this case
than in any other we have seen.

Lest we should seem to be placing too much emphasis upon
adolescence, with the idea that the mere passing of that period
will lead to change in behavior, we cite Cases 3, 5, and 6, where
the addition of years has brought no betterment.  In neither of
these was the essential nature of the difficulty explored during
earlier troublous periods.

An interesting consideration for treatment is embodied in the
rational idea of utilizing the special powers, so that there may
be ample gratification in self-expression, and in use of the
imagination.  Through this new satisfaction there may be a mental
swerving from the previous paths strewn with pitfalls.  The
inclination to verbal composition, already spoken of as existing
in so many cases, may be utilized, and imagination be given full
sway in harmless directions.  It seems likely that just this
deliberate practice may serve to more clearly demarcate truth
from falsehood in the individual's mind.  Unfortunately we have
had too little actual proof of the value of this method, some
cases being worked on now are too recent for report, but there is
plenty of indication of the possibilities.  Had we been able to
control environment better, much more of this type of work would
have been carried out.

A favorable outcome through this constructive treatment based
upon utilizing the characteristic linguistic powers of the
pathological liar, is witnessed to by Stemmermann in her story of
Delbruck's G. N.  In the history of this case a delightful note
of comedy is struck.  G. N. was found to be a man of considerable
literary ability.  He had been observed over the period of 13
years.  After he was first studied he twice managed to go 3 years
without succumbing to his falsifying tendencies, and then found
his chance for leading a blameless life by becoming a newspaper
man.  In fact, he reached an honored place as an editor.
Stemmermann suggests, naively, that perhaps this calling is
especially calculated to give the talents correlated with
pseudologia phantastica space for free play, so that the
individual's special abilities may not come in conflict with the
law, or with social customs, and, on the other hand, may be
utilized in fruitful pursuits.

All together, one would certainly advise every effort being made
towards specifically stabilizing the pathological liar in the
matter of truth-telling--by checking the springs of misconduct,
and by diverting energies and talents into their most suitable
channels.  The problem must ever be one for individual therapy.
Failures of treatment there may be, but from our study we are
much inclined to believe that well-calculated, constructive
efforts will achieve goodly success among those who are mentally



Bresler, Johannes

Crothers, T. D.

Delbruck, A.
Duprat, G.-L.

Ferriani, Ifino

Gross, Hans

Hall, G. Stanley
Healy, William
Healy, William, and Fernald, Grace M.


Koelle, Th.



Risch, Bernard

Spaulding, Edith R., and Healy, Willlam
Stemmermann, Anna


Wulffen, E.


Aberrational cases not definitively insane
Accessory to murder, false self-accusation of
Accusations, pathological, Bresler's classification of
Adolf von X., case of
Age of onset of pathological lying
Amanda R.
Annie F.
Apperception, lack of, in certain cases
Attitude, strong, of pathological liars, see POISE
``Aussage,'' psychology of
``Aussage'' Test, see TESTIMONY TEST

Bessie M.
Betterment, conditions of in special cases
Betterment, possibilities of
Beula D
Birdie M.

Chorea, psychosis of
Choreic psychosis
Constitutional excitement
Constitutional inferior, The
Constitutional inferiority

Day dreaming in special cases
Delinquency, lying considered relatively a minor
Delinquency, relation of, to lying
"Der grune Heinrich''
Developmental conditions
Diagnosis of pathological lying
Drug habitues, lying of

Edna F.
Egocentrism in certain cases
Emma X.
Emotions, abnormality of, in certain cases
Environmental causes
Epilepsy, case of
Epileptic mental states
Episodic pathological lying

False accusations of illtreatment; of incest; of murder; of
poisoning attempt; of sex assault; of sex immorality; of sex
perversions; of thieving
False self-accusations of accessory to murder; of sex immorality
Feeblemindedness, relation of, to pathological lying

Georgia B.

Habit, formation of lying
Habits in our eases
Hazel M.
Headaches of pathological liars, Stemmermann on
Hypomania, case of
Hysteria, case of

Illtreatment, false accusations of
Incest, false accusation of
Inez B., case of
Insane, fabrications of
Insanity and criminalism, relation of
Itinerancy, correlated with pathological lying

Janet B.
John B.
John F.
John S.

Language ability, cases of special
Language aptitude related to lying
Libby S.
Lies mixed with delusions
Literary composition in certain cases, see Language ability
Lying, relation of, to delinquency

Marie M.
Memory, special features of, in certain cases
Mental abnormality not typically insane, case of
Mental conflicts
Mental conflicts and repressions,case material bearing on
Mental discipline in treatment
Mental experiences, early
Mental findings
Murder, false accusation of

Nellie M.

Pathological accusations, Bresler's classification of
Pathological accusation, definition of
Pathological liars, analysis of qualities of, by Risch
Pathological lying a symptom of various disorders, Wendt on
Pathological lying, characteristics of, Delbruck on, Koppen on,
Stemmermann on, Vogt on, Wendt on,
Pathological lying, definition of
Pathological swindling
Pelvic irritations, related to pathological lying
Physical conditions, treatment of
Physical findings
Physiologic stress, periods of
Poetic creation, relation of pathological lying to
Poise, remarkable in cases of pathological lying
Poisoning attempt, false accusation of
Pregnancy, case of, false accusations beginning during
Prognosis, favorable in some cases
Prognosis of pathological lying
Prognosis, Stemmermann on
Prognosis varies with age
Pseudologia phantastica
Psychic contagion
Psychopathic individuals
Purpose of pathological liars, Koppen on

Report, psychology of,
Robert R., case of
Running away from home

Self-mutilation, details of, in one case
Sex assault, false accusations of
Sex habits in special cases, bad
Sex immorality, false accusations of
Sex immorality, false self-accusation of
Sex life related to pathological lying, physical side of
Sex of pathological liars
Sex perversions, false accusations of
Simulation of ailments in special cases
Simulation vs. hysteria in one case
Social correlations
Specialized abilities
Statistics on lying among delinquents
Subnormal verbalist, case of
Swindling arising from pathological lying
Swindling in Europe, cases of,
Swindling, relation of, to pathological lying

Testimony, Psychology of
Testimony Test
Testimony Test, results on in individual cases
Testimony Test, summary of results of
Thieving, etc., false accusation of
Treatment, direct, of the lying itself
Treatment given in special cases

Verbal fluency related to pathological lying
Verbalists, mentally defective

Williams, S.
Wish, the morbid and fantastic, Wendt on

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