“An elaborate experiment in collective insanity”: Andrew Lohse’s Unpublished Essay About Hazing at Dartmouth

The shadowy entity known as Goldman Snacks, previously responsible for publishing hazing whistleblower Andrew Lohse’s book proposal, has leaked a series of Lohse’s private emails, which we’re sifting through right now. (Know more? Get in touch.)

In the time being, here is a column Lohse wrote under the pseudonym “Phineas Ridley.” It was never published.


By: Phineas Ridley ’12

DISPATCH FROM HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Where all the women are tall and beautiful, the quick six times are low, the boot tastes like caviar; all job prospects are white collar; and all students and all alumni always express “mixed reactions” to violent hazing…

It’s been a fascinating few weeks. We’ve heard from many characters: double talking fratcaptains seemingly eager to go down with their sinking ships, administrators with conveniently hazy memories, a police chief who contends that his nightvision- goggled hazing raid was compromised by a high level tip-off, and one less than charming old man frat alum who ate an oyster out ofa cow stomach in the name ofbrotherhood. There was even one minor character a Psi U, no less- who went so far as to compare ending hazing to the moral equivalent of invading Iraq.

Strange times, indeed. Almost makes me want to put my dick inside of a frozen turkey. Oh wait. .. 

My worst fear has been realized after all: Yes, Dartmouth College is just one incredibly elaborate experiment in collective insanity and institutional pathology.

And, oddly enough, all this insanity and still not one single public utterance on the subject of hazing from the good doctor, President Jim Yong Kim.

There’s a lot of clean up to do. So, just as my former fraternity’s pledges must clean up the kiddie pool mess of stank the morning after sink night every fall, reasonable members of the Dartmouth community must wade into the feculent sludge of this base debate and tidy things up again.

The take-away here is not that “hazing happens” in all the crumbling fratmansions in Hanover. The take-away is that the institutional pathology revealed by the response to the “open secret” of Dartmouth’s scandalous hazing epidemic appears to be almost as pervasive and shameful as the abusive acts themselves.

Despite an attempt at headline-centric “damage control” by The Dartmouth- which no one can ever again believe practices any semblance of “independent journalism” and which can be more accurately described as an unofficial public relations cheerleading squad for the administration and the fourteen-headed Medsa known as the fraternity system – the word is out. The national media is watching now. So are concerned upper middle class soccer moms waiting across the nation’s heartland (read: Greenwich and affluent Florida suburbs) for their kids’ gilt-embossed Dartmouth acceptance letter.

And, despite attempts at outright suppression by high ranking, fraternity-affiliated members of The D – and not a single news story on the subject- the faculty have spoken, too. They censure this “moral thuggery”; predictably, they overwhelmingly demand a swift end to the disgusting hazing which has formed a moral vacuum in the center of our community.

Why hasn’t President Kim spoken yet?

The only equivalent I can summon to explain the way The Dartmouth has handled this hazing story is to try to imagine what would have happened if defense contractors were responsible for publishing The Pentagon papers on behalf of the The New York Times. Or, if Dick Cheney were summoned to act as a consultant for WikiLeaks.

Yes, institutional pathology; collective insanity. And putting two and two together: the strange fusion of the hazing culture and the recruiting complex. Both make ”yes men”; disindividuated cogs who learn only how to operate in insane institutions.

The main task of knowledge is to question power, not consolidate it; expose collective insanity, not become accessory to it… A lot of fratstars have been losing sleep over the last few weeks.
So why haven’t we heard from the good doctor?

  • JYK

    Honestly, can we just accept the fact that this kid is a nut job and move on?

  • Seriously?

    This kid actually wrote an op-ed, then tried to write an opinion piece under a pseudonym to talk about said op-ed. If this isn’t media whoring for the sake of media whoring I don’t know what is.

  • anon

    one coked out elitist douchebag takes on a school full of coked out elitist douchebags

  • Ed Holmes

    Lohse is clearly Goldmansnacks.org. His brother, John was dating Osserman. John Lohse would never out his brother and GS would never redact his name. This is clearly a ploy to “confirm” hearsay and drum up anticipation for the book.

  • S.S.

    I read his side of the story in rolling stone. Although I respect that he’s changing from being a complete elitist overly sexed…person, I must say that I could never go back home after being kicked out of college, if my parents had ever paid for my college. I’m sorry that they blamed you and you shouldered most of the burden, however do your piece and then move on. There’s bigger fights out there than worrying about a broken system that doesn’t WANT change. Fighting for environmental issues is way more important than relaxed drinking games.