Going Drogue

In these tumultuous times, we all need something to hang onto.

drogue: a device, typically conical or funnel-shaped with open ends, towed behind a boat, aircraft, or other moving object to reduce speed or improve stability.

I had thought until now that, during her Cuba-to-Florida crossing, Diana Nyad rested in one of two ways: either she held onto (or hooked onto) her “directional streamer”; or she snoozed on the boat, possibly while someone swam in her place. Maybe both.

But Nyad’s guide boat just dragged another option into the picture. Once you see it, you’ll grasp the possibilities immediately…

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NYAD’S LIES, PART 3: An Expert Planter of Beliefs—Diana Nyad, Con Artist

Nyad gets away with telling and selling lies because she’s a con woman—such a good one, in fact, that she duped Michael Shermer, the founder of The Skeptics Society. In this last of three posts about Diana’s lies, we’ll look at how she gets away with telling so many of them.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

In 2015, the founder of The Skeptics Society, Michael Shermer, reviewed Diana Nyad’s memoir, Find A Way, for the Wall St. Journal (see “Just Keep Swimming; full text here). Plenty of folks had questioned Nyad’s honesty by that time. But Shermer, a man who makes his living as a skeptic, did not betray a drop of doubt. He accepted Find A Way as gospel, going so far as to crown Diana Nyad  “the greatest long-distance swimmer in the history of the sport….”¹ 

According to the Skeptics Society’s website, part of the organization’s purpose is to investigate “the paranormal, fringe science, pseudoscience, and extraordinary claims of all kinds…” (my italics). How could a skeptic’s skeptic drift so far astray ? Two reasons:

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NYAD’S LIES, PART 2: Obviously the Greatest—Diana Nyad and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In this second of three posts about Diana deceptions, we’ll look at why she can’t stop making stuff up.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

We know for certain that Diana Nyad lies. She lies frequently, brazenly, and—in all likelihood—compulsively. But why?

An excessive need for adoration drives her deceit. To receive that adoration, Nyad must be the best—must be “epic”—at everything. She must swim epically, play squash epically, even epically wake up in the morning. Since she can’t be epic at everything—no one can—she must act (and write and talk) as if she is.

Diana Nyad’s favorite word. With Marcia Cross at LiveTalksLA

Why does Nyad require so much adoration? In her 2011 article Less Than Artful Choices: Narcissistic Personality Disorder According to Donald Trump,  Maria Konnikova compares utterances of the not-yet-president Trump to the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association. It turns out that you can plug in”Nyad” wherever you see “Trump” and, voilá, the story still works. Konnikova’s piece presents the best explanation I’ve found for Nyad’s excessive need to be adored: Diana Nyad is a narcissist’s narcissist, an apex egoist in the Trumpian style.

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NYAD’S LIES, PART 1: From Bimini to the Big Apple & Beyond—The Lies in FIND A WAY

“We are believers,” Diana Nyad declares on the first page of FIND A WAY.

This post is the first in a three-part series about what Diana Nyad wants us to believe, why she wants us to believe it, and how she keeps us believing despite nearly half a century of deception.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Update, 13 Oct 2018: Added two new articles regarding DN’s doctoral deception.
Update, 23 Sep 2019: Added new article, “A Tale of Two Swimmers,” about Nyad’s 1978 Cuba-Florida attempt, her fabrications about having permission to make the swim, and her despicable treatment of Walter Poenisch.

Diana Nyad loves to tell stories. She loves to tell stories about big things (“I was the first woman to swim around Manhattan”) and little things (“Margie and I…started eating all our dinners in Miami at Benihana”) and all sorts of things in between.

You’ll find a theme here and throughout all of Nyad’s deceptions: she will say or do whatever she thinks will enhance her public image. She will distort the truth, ignore the rules, slander other swimmers, and denigrate or disregard the achievements of other marathoners while claiming those achievements as her own. It’s all okay in her book as long as it furthers her cause: the deification of Diana Nyad.

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FIND A PATHOLOGY: Diana Nyad’s Next Book?

Last week, Diana Nyad appeared on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight with Beth Ruyak.” The most fascinating bit of news therein:

I’m probably going to be writing a book this next year about all these myriad syndromes…that come about.

What does she mean by “all these myriad syndromes”? All I can tell you is that, right now, Diana has pathologies (myriad syndromes?) on her mind.

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