The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Could Ris have got any lower?

The whole Ris Low episode leads me to wonder about to what degree it is possible to conduct a life built on lies. It also leads me to wonder why anyone would want to.

Ris Low, for instance, told all Singapore's national newspapers, when news of her credit card fraud broke, that ERM World Marketing, the organization behind Miss Singapore World, KNEW about her credit card fraud conviction. She said that she had told them. She further said that they had informed her that they would let her continue in the pageant as long as the news of it, did not leak out.

Well, we have recently learnt that ERM World Marketing did NOT know of her conviction. They were only told by Ris Low AFTER NEWS OF IT BROKE. So, there are two lies exposed above. A third lie is that Ris Low said, in the past, that she was aware of all of the clauses regarding criminality but didn't mention her crime because she thought that her sentence, 24 months of supervised probation, did not count as a conviction. Now, she is saying that she didn't know about the clauses, because she didn't read the contract in detail - because the other pageants had no such clauses. Since these two statements contradict each other, one of them is a lie.

There is, it seems, no end to the lies of this young girl. Indeed, it is beginning to seem as if her youth is her only recommendation, (if recommendation it can be...) She is also amazingly insensitive to the seriousness of her own crime dismissing it, as "not so big". So, the fact that she had over 60 charges of credit card fraud levied against her, doesn't seem to have awakened any sense of what is right or wrong in her. She still thinks of her crimes as nothing.

This, I think is key to her personality. Credit card fraud is "not so big" is nothing serious. Thus, the threshold for what she thinks is wrong is above this. Thus, any crime or wrongdoing somewhere ABOVE credit card fraud, will be dismissed as nothing. Thus, issuing a stream of lies in public to the newspapers about each and every issue will be considered as "nothing" to her. It is, after all, much less serious than credit card fraud, which is also "nothing" in her eyes.

She has recently defended her demonstrably risible English, by claiming that she received "A1" in her English O levels and Communication O levels, in Singapore. Now, if this is true, then these exams are worthless, when issued by the Singaporean system - because she clearly cannot use English remotely well. Yet, I don't think that the Singaporean education system is at risk here. It is much more likely that Ris Low is lying again. People with perfect English scores generally make better English sentences than ones that include non-existent words such as "Boomz".

In the case of Ris Low, whenever any of her public statements has been examined, it has been discovered to have been a lie. This is now a consistent pattern. She has also, for instance, laid claim to a defense of "I have bipolar disorder". Interestingly, this "diagnosis", I have read, was only "made" AFTER she was in need of an excuse. Her lawyer advised her to get a medical check up to see if there was any excuse she could give for her actions. Hey presto, out pops an immediate diagnosis of "bipolar disorder". Now, the course of events that led to this diagnosis hardly encourages us to believe in it - but even if she has bipolar disorder, this is not really an excuse. Bipolar disorder gives you severe mood swings, it does not automatically turn you into a congenital liar and fraudster. Indeed, her use of "bipolar disorder" as an excuse, is an insult to all those who actually have bipolar disorder, because people might begin to doubt their integrity and moral worth, when there is, in fact, no reason to do so.

What we have learnt, so far, of Ris Low, is that close examination of her statements tends to reveal them to be lies. I would like, therefore, an independent opinion on her "bipolar disorder". It would also be interesting to see if her school will back up the A1 grades claimed in English and Communications. Somehow, however, I don't think that will happen.

So far, the public reaction to Ris Low's crimes and lies, does not seem to have dissuaded Ris Low from continuing to lie. I can only hope though, that the whole situation will sober her up, with regards to the importance of integrity and truth. If not, I cannot imagine what harm she will bring to those around her - and herself - should she continue to live a life of persistent dishonesty.

Ris Low: it is time to stop the lies, and start the confessions. It is time, basically, to stop running from the truth of yourself with excuses like: "I was young, I didn't think"...and start seeing yourself for what you are - and make an effort to reform. It is no excuse to claim youth as a reason for dishonesty and lack of integrity. Most young people are honest in most parts of the world. Why should Ris Low be any exception?

One good thing, though, that all of this has done, is make it harder for Ris Low to get away with any future crimes or lies. People just won't believe her. Perhaps, then, she will reform, not through her own efforts, but perforce, through the reactions of others. That will be a good thing. Perhaps, one day, she will be even thankful for the reformative pressure that will be brought to bear on her. That is, she might be so when she is old enough to have acquired some wisdom...say, not nineteen, but ninety.

We will wait and see.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:22 PM 


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