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.
Oh, Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder.
(What’s up Mr. Bluebird?)
It’s the truth, its actual.
And everything is satisfactual.
Hard to know who or what to believe nowadays, eh…?