by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© July 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
II. THE BIG LIE
III. HOW PEOPLE LIE
IV. OTHER TOPICS
Definition. Lying is a deliberate attempt to mislead or deceive another person by making false statements. This is not the same as making an honest mistake and by so doing telling an untruth.
This is an important distinction that is not well-recognized. For example, it is not correct to call a person a liar if he or she simply makes a mistake, but this is done daily in the media and elsewhere.
Such a person is mistaken, but is not a liar. A liar is someone who deliberately or intentionally tells an untruth in order to mix up, confuse, deceive and usually to control another person.
To deceive. To make a deliberate attempt to mislead others.
To delude. To make a deliberate attempt to create a false picture or scenario.
Spinning. Altering a story or evidence in various possible ways to shift its meaning or intent.
Slanting. Telling facts in various ways to alter their significance.
Bias. A person’s prejudice that influences the way they perceive and think.
Propaganda. Falsehoods that are presented as truth and fact, with the intent to deceive and influence others.
Talking points or takeaways. This has to do with spin and how you want the facts perceived.
Political correctness. Lying, supposedly to avoid offending people, but, in fact, the goal is to alter the truth and take over society.
Social justice. This is not justice and has nothing to do with justice. It is a code term that means we do what we want.
Group rights. Special rights or privileges that are given based on membership in a group such as Hispanics, women, people of color, or some other.
HOW PEOPLE LIE
Below are some of the main ways people alter the truth:
1. They make up completely false information.
2. They exaggerate, add to or embellish the truth.
3. They minimize the truth.
4. They omit or hide truth.
5. They mix truth and falsehoods, giving half-truths.
6. They present truth or half-truths in a way or context that changes their meaning. The context can be the words themselves that the person uses. They may add positive or negative words or phrases to enhance or to ridicule what they are saying. They may also change their tone of voice or their writing style to influence what they are saying.
If they are speaking, they may add positive or negative emotions, and positive or negative facial expressions, body language, background music or something else to “color” the truth.
Another way people use context to “color” or alter truth is they quote “experts” or “expert sources” in support of one point of view, but not another.
THE BIG LIE TECHNIQUE
Adolf Hitler wrote that most people tell small lies, and they will catch you in your lies if you tell small ones. However, most people do not tell big lies, so it is possible to fool the people by telling enormous lies.
He is correct about this, sadly. So when he told everyone that the problems of the world are caused by non-Aryan races such as Jews and Catholics, a lot of German people believed him. When he said he would never attack Poland or other nations, people believed him.
The result was a dreadful world war with about 500,000 deaths. So beware that some are bold enough to tell gigantic lies to get what they want. Always question politicians and statesmen because they have a large incentive to lie.
LYING SLOWS DEVELOPMENT
Development is a process of mental integration. One reason for telling the truth is that lying tends to slow down development, although it does not stop it.
LYING WITH LOGIC
This is very common today in science, medicine and elsewhere. Ways to corrupt logic are:
1. Begin with false premises. This is common, and almost always leads to false conclusions.
The birth control pill example. In medical school I was taught that birth control pills are good because they are statistically safer than having a baby. The “side effects” of the pill such as strokes, heart attacks and cancer therefore must just be tolerated.
However, one must examine this more closely. The premise is that either one takes the birth control pill, or one has a baby. No other alternatives are mentioned, such as abstinence, or using a diaphragm, or other birth control methods.
In other words, the logic is okay, but the premise that one will either take the pill or have a baby is incorrect. (We also think the idea that having a baby is more dangerous than having cancer or a stroke is incorrect, even though statistics are used to “prove” it.)
2. Non sequiturs or false conclusions. Logical thinking consists of a series of statements or facts that must follow one another. If one of the steps does not follow from the one before, this is called a non sequitur.
Represented in algebraic form, if A is true, then B occurs. If B is true, then C occurs. If C is true, then D occurs, and so on. This is deductive logic. A non sequitur occurs if one of these steps is not true.
If one is not careful, people slip in a statement that may be true, but it does not follow from the step before it.
3. Generalizing. This is a type of false conclusion in which one extrapolates from one small example to draw a much larger conclusion than is warranted.
A BOOK ABOUT LYING
An excellent book on this subject is Stonewalled, My Fight For Truth Against The Forces Of Obstruction, Intimidation, And Harrassment in Obama’s Washington by Sharyl Attkisson.
LYING IS COMMON
Lying is very common on planet earth. Some people lie to be polite, and many lie as a way of life. Politicians often lie in an obvious way, but it often works for them. That is, it does not upset the people so much that they won’t vote for them any more. In fact, lying is a very bad trait, and this article explains why.
LYING AND NUTRITIONAL BALANCING
A common form of lying that we encounter when supervising nutritional balancing programs is that many people lie when describing their diet.
Some people are embarrassed by their diet, or ashamed of their diet. Some probably think it is just not very important and therefore it is okay to lie. I don’t know all the reasons for this, but we know it is the case.
PROBLEMS WITH LYING
Lying tends to ruin relationships. One problem with lying is that it breaks trust. Trust, by definition, is the idea that one can count on another. When a person lies, it automatically detracts from the relationship with the other person. Remember this if you want to have happy relationships.
Lies break the chain of love. This is slightly different than the paragraph above. It means that lies stop the flow of true information. This is indeed a serious problem in all types of situations and relationships.
Lies can be suicide. Many people know the story of “the boy who cried wolf”. It is a substantially true story of someone who was in the habit of lying. When that person really needed help, no one believed his cries for help, as he had lied before so many times, and as a result, he was lost.
Lying can kill the body. A good analogy for lying is when the body sends false signals to the brain. For example, one might touch a hot iron, but the pain signal to the brain is blocked, so a lying signal is sent and the brain thinks that all is well. As a result, one can lose a finger or even a hand.
In fact, this exact problem occurs in the disease of leprosy. I lived in Mexico and met a number of lepers. Their plight was difficult because their nerves were damaged and the correct nerve signals of pain did not reach their brains, so they lost toes, fingers and more. We depend more than one may think on accurate and reliable pain messages to be sent and received by our bodies and brains.
Men and women lie to each other sexually. This is a common area of lying. Men lie to women so the women will go out with them, or go to bed with them, or even marry them. Meanwhile, women lie to men about how much they care for them, and other things in order to get what they want.
Too often, parents lie to children and parents let children get away with lying. Parents lie to children so the children will stop asking questions. Sometimes they lie to their children to keep some information from them, or for other reasons. This is never a good idea. It is important to learn how to explain things to a small child, but do not lie to them. It ruins relationships and it sets the child up to hate the parents who lie, and to lie for the rest of their lives.
Political correctness is lying. Acting or speaking in a ‘politically correct manner’ is just another way of saying that you lie. This is very important to understand. So do not buy into this popular idea.
Today, the teachers are taught to lie and the school textbooks lie, all in the name of political correctness. Political correctness is perpetrated by propagandists and social engineers as a way to brainwash people or otherwise to modify their behavior for their own ends. Do not accept it.
The Ten Commandments of Moses included, “Do not bear false witness”. This is another way of saying “Do not lie”. I am not sure why this Commandment is worded the way it is, but it means the same thing, to me.
Is there a time to lie? Yes, I would say there is. It would be a situation in which to tell the truth would threaten your life or your property. So if a thief comes to the door and asks if you are home alone, say no, even if you are alone. That is an obvious example. There are others, of course. That is the only time to lie.
What about little white lies? This is a difficult area. A white lie is a lie that is told to save face, perhaps, or to move things along better, and presumably it is a lie that does not harm anyone. However, it is easy to cross the line and decide that lying and deceit are okay if you start telling white lies. So I would be careful in this area.
Is exaggerating stories the same as lying? Yes, so be careful and don’t do it. It is just as bad as lying, as it is a form of lying.
What about lies that are just half-truths or lies of omission? These, too, are lies. They are common on the news media, among children, and everywhere else.
For example, here is a lie of omission: Your child cries out, “He hit me.” However, your child failed to inform you that he hit the other child first.
This is relatively innocent, however, compared to lying politicians who, for example, blow up a relatively minor incident involving their competition in order to produce a false impression in people’s mind. Do not do this, as it has the same effects as other lies.
These are just a few reasons why lying is a very bad habit. If you have the habit of lying, or perhaps just exaggerating, I strongly suggest that you vow, right now, to stop it.