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Reality-Based Community Falls for Hoax

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It was a story that spread through the “reality-based” community like wildfire; a UMass Dartmouth student who said he’d been visited by agents from the Department of Homeland Security after he requested a copy of “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung” from the library.

It was the perfect illustration of the horrors of the Bushitler Police State.

And it was completely untrue. Federal agents’ visit was a hoax.

NEW BEDFORD — The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for “The Little Red Book” by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story.

The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account.

Had the student stuck to his original story, it might never have been proved false.

But on Thursday, when the student told his tale in the office of UMass Dartmouth professor Dr. Robert Pontbriand to Dr. Williams, Dr. Pontbriand, university spokesman John Hoey and The Standard-Times, the student added new details.

The agents had returned, the student said, just last night. The two agents, the student, his parents and the student’s uncle all signed confidentiality agreements, he claimed, to put an end to the matter.

But when Dr. Williams went to the student’s home yesterday and relayed that part of the story to his parents, it was the first time they had heard it. The story began to unravel, and the student, faced with the truth, broke down and cried.

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