In the late 17th century mass hysteria hit New England, known today as the Salem Witch Trials. The period presents a cautionary tale about the dangers of false accusations and failure to follow due process.

Today we see allegations, often anonymously, of sexual assault and rape. We see reputations destroyed on basis of mere accusation not proven in a court of law. Usually for a large cash settlement, sealed from public disclosure.

A woman is invited to a hotel room, for a private interview. Where was the woman’s common sense to place herself in this position? Later she accuses the interviewer of rape. If raped, why not report to the cops immediately rather than hire an attorney and settle for cash?

Now the hysteria even reaches those who “should have known.”

I recall being accused of “sexism” when I wrote an e-mail to a distribution of exclusively male co-workers, with the greeting, “Hey Guys.” A woman, not on my distribution list but seeing the e-mail while acting on behalf of her boss, filed a complaint with Human Resources.

On another occasion, after wasting much time on the phone with a female “help desk” technician trying to fix a computer network problem, I remarked, “Is this the unhelpful desk?” Soon I faced the accusation from my supervisor that I acted demeaning to women.

During the office Christmas party I complimented a provocatively dressed secretary on her appearance. A co-worker, not the secretary, overheard the comment and reported my “sexual harassment” to management.

This was over a decade ago, but what started as accusations of sexism and sexual harassment has now progressed to sexual assault and rape.

Until judicial process is demanded for anonymous unproven accusations I recommend not hiring women. Invite women to your interview, qualified or not, be brief, ask few questions, make no comment, and conclude politely with, “thank you for your interest.” Next, toss her resume in the trash can. She may be recording the interview on her cell phone under instructions from an attorney. Better safe than sorry until, like Salem in 1693, the mass-hysteria blows over.