Hard to know who to believe, anymore!

I’ve been writing about living OTG for some time now.  And I have always written that it is good.  Sometimes, I have admitted that there have been challenges but, overall, the message has been, “I live in heaven with an angel.”  I am happy here.  This life is good.  And, by implication, ‘you should consider doing it, too.’  And I mean that.

Last night I saw a documentary ostensibly about drugs but it was basically an exposure of manipulation.  The documentarian was a liar and a manipulator and his pharma/drug message was, by definition, diminished by that.

Made me think.  When I write, do I tell the truth or am I using the truth to tell a lie?

And therein is exposed the classic manipulator’s tool of choice.  Truth as the main part of the lie.

The biggest con-man I ever knew never really lied.  Never told a wrong fact.  He told the truth.  But he did it in such a way that the listener ignored the truth, believed the ‘honesty’ of the liar and succumbed to the hidden message that was lurking just below the disarming charm.  By freely admitting all that the listener suspected, the liar proved himself not to be lying and thus was trusted in whatever other ways were intended.  And the ‘con’ was set in motion.

Of course, the liar lied.  But good manipulators lie mostly by omission.  It is not what they tell you, it is what they don’t say.  They create a false picture but don’t actually fabricate a lie with which to do it.  Any number of true and factual statements would blow the fake story out of the water but they leave those truths out.  This is so entrenched in human behaviour, business has a commonly used term, ‘doing their due diligence‘ to mean that very thing – they have to find the inevitably untold facts.  They have to find the lies!.

The best and most blatant commercialized forms of this kind of manipulative lie is the ‘disclosure’ of the drug companies when they offer you a super drug to fix your health problem.  In the very hard to read fine print, it says, “May cause excessive perspiration, bleeding, limbs to fall off and madness.  Desire for transgenderfication may result. Palms may get hairy. Stay away from young children.  Do not eat cheese or drive heavy equipment.  Consult your doctor before taking these medications to avoid conflicts with other prescriptions.  These medications may cause you to glow in the dark.  Should such side effects persist for more than four hours, please stand on a promontory of land near the sea and contact your physician and the coast guard.”

The dupe is lured into taking the new blue Godzilla pill because the company has been so ‘upfront’.

When I was working with drug addicts, the truth was the just the first lie.  “Hey, man, I am not going to lie to ya, ya know?  I am an addict. I just need some money, man.  But, like not to feed my habit, man.  It’s your money.  Does no good to no one in my arm, ya know?  I get it.  I am just hurtin’, man.  A guy can’t get straight when he’s hurtin’, ya know?  I wanna get straight but I am hurtin’.  Just need to get this last hit, ya know?  I swear it’s the last one.  Then it’s check into detox, fer sure, man.”  

It’s all a lie.  Give him the money and he disappears.  Get the drug with him on the agreement that he goes to detox and he disappears.  Drag him to detox against his will and they won’t take him.  The whole ‘act’ and ‘encounter’ was a set up and a lie from the very outset. “Hey, man, I am not going to lie to ya, ya know.  I am an addict.” was the start of the lie.

Lyin’ with the truth is the mark of the true liar.  Read Scott Peck’s book, People of the Lie. Unbelievable.  I recall a client I had to mediate years ago.  An old guy. He was very difficult.  Almost impossible.  He said to me, “I like you.  You’re a nice guy.  Trouble is I don’t trust nice guys.  The nicer they are, the less I trust them.  I don’t believe a word you say.”

Basically, he was saying that nice is manipulative.  He wanted to know what was in it for me.  Once he knew how I could benefit from my actions, he could put some perspective on the OBVIOUS lying and manipulation I was practicing.  “Is there any possibility that I could be doing this for the sake of my fellow man and because it is the right thing to do?”

“No. No chance whatsoever.”

“OK.  The government pays me and I have a family to feed.  Plus, I get paid whether I win or lose but I first have to suffer ornery cusses like you for at least four hours before they will pay.”

That worked. He cooperated. But I manipulated him.  I was really doing it because it was the right thing to do.

So, here I am pumping sunshine up your butt all the live-long day.  Ravens.  Whales. Saccharine.  I am treacle.  See me smile.  How much of that is true?

Well, I can’t answer that for you right now.  Sal has packed caviar, cheese, a fresh baguette and a fine Merlot for a lovely picnic lunch for after we frolic and gambol in the sun.  Bluebirds are on my shoulder and I am singing,

“My, oh my, what a wonderful day?
Plenty of sunshine heading my way.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Zip-a-dee-ay!

Oh, Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder.
(What’s up Mr. Bluebird?)
It’s the truth, its actual.
And everything is satisfactual.

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Zip-a-dee-ay!
Wonderful feeling.
Wonderful day.

Hard to know who or what to believe nowadays, eh…?

 

5 thoughts on “Hard to know who to believe, anymore!

  1. I used to work with several Russians and Ukrainians (before the current “war” thank God).
    Generally speaking, they were the most well educated, bright, suspicious, cynical, distrustful people I had ever met.
    If you gave them advice or helped them in any way…they suspected I had some sort of hidden agenda ….. I couldnt possibly want to help them for free. That didnt compute. I must want something in return…..
    As for “big business” lying for a profit….or a salesperson omitting the truth for a sale……its been going on ever since two cavemen wanted the same cave…”Careful ! I saw bear tracks going in but none coming out!” “Ugh!”

    Perhaps thats why today it makes the truth and trust so valuable.

    Enjoy your baguette, caviar, cheese and Merlot……..

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  2. When you don your ironic mask your chester cat smile still lingers. The give away is you are not fond of fishy stuff. But to the topic of your observations truth telling is still pervasive other wise we would not be having this dialogue. Words have meaning and I’m fairly confident that most of the words we share have meanings held in common. Society for many is the politics of the competition for scare resources. Much of the time politicians justify the allocation of scarce resources by claiming that the population lacks the will to do this or that. This overgeneralization is encouraged by memes on high taxes, big governments, incompetence, lack of trust, shallow leadership and you get the drift. The memes ignore an unstated truth that as a society we lack the goals of social cohesion needed to build a society for all. Many of the things needed to build a stronger society are not a priority shared by all. I agree that this is a society that partly espouses equivocations, furthers propaganda claims, tries to sell a bill of goods to society in general because society has come to expect the standard claims about the sources of evil in the world. Lies are told that sound like truth because sometimes the uninformed speakers think they are true, but sometimes lies are told in the full knowledge that they are lies but are said for political reasons(to the base), as in Saddam has weapons of mass destructions or that North Korea want a nuclear war with USA or Trump wants to build a wall. It is often said if only promises were kept or truth were told as if these are the major problems of Canada. Jim Prentice told the truth about cuts needed in the future economy of Alberta when oil price tanked but they tossed Jim out. As Jessup said.
    ” You can’t handle the truth!” Not you Dave but those who live theirs lives by memes.

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    • Kind of you to exempt me but I know I swallow the hook all the time. The first lie always gets me. I believe them! (Especially pretty women smiling as they lie…what the hell is that about?). They seem to be able to lie to me all day long. Then, (if an ugly old male is doing it), it is the second lie that shows the pattern to me and I get my radar on. It is only the third lie I actually consciously fight. But that makes me two times (at least) a sucker.
      I have finally developed a keen sense of bureaucrats lying. And they are simply Kool-Aid drinkers, for the most part. Chanting mantras for pensions. Automatons. Non-thinkers. But, other than them, I am still easily fooled. Did I mention the pretty women?

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