Please Make Lying Matter Again

Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor. — God

Two Truths from the same One Reality, i.e. it IS a cylinder.

We all lie. That’s a given, except for the most pure among us. We lie to others for various reasons, most commonly to hide something or make something seem better than it is. We lie to ourselves, often in the form of denial, which allows us to feel better about ourselves or not to have to deal with something. Lies come in all shapes and sizes from the little white lie to the mass lying of state propaganda. We are surrounded by lies in the form of advertising, pandering, flattery and makeovers. Even makeup applied to the face is a little bit of a lie, covering up blemishes or enhancing otherwise normal looking features. Exaggeration is one of our favorite lies—adding embellishments to stories or facts that aren’t quite as exciting without that extra boost. In a way, lies are necessary for society to operate. The fragile ego often needs lies to protect itself from the truth, which might be too painful unmitigated. After all, our animal ancestors have been doing it for millions of years in the form of mating calls, elaborate rituals, fancy plumage, puffery to make them look bigger or less worth the hassle to a predator—all sorts of deception. Even camouflage is a form of lie that says “I’m not really here” even though they are. That’s all fine for animals.

Make no mistake—Lies can be costly and deadly. If someone lies about your brakes being fixed you could die or kill someone if you couldn’t stop. There are millions of such lies to be counted as fraud. Fraud is a willful deception of one or many others in order to garner some untoward advantage or profit. We have laws against fraud precisely because it is so harmful and dangerous. Fraud comes in many forms from a false insurance claim that raises everybody’s premiums to perjury, trying to thwart the justice system resulting in false convictions and false exonerations. We all pay the fraud premium. Cigarette makers got away with years of fraudulent claims about the potential harm of smoking, resulting in millions of deaths from cancer, strokes, COPD and emphysema. Consequently, we all pay higher insurance premiums to cover the costs of this fraud, not to mention direct harm to our friends and family. So much fraud is carried out in the guise of “doing business” that it has practically been normalized. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard jokes about how salespeople exaggerate and lie to close deals. It’s expected and accepted as normal.

It is more important to know the difference between the truth and a lie than it is to prevent a lie. Because as soon as we lose the ability to discern lies from the truth, we have no anchor to Reality and are left adrift in a sea of uncertainty. We are literally caught in the web of lies to be wrapped up and devoured by the spider of Truth later. A grand example of this is the denial of Climate Change which can seem perfectly comfortable in its early stages but could easily become unbearable in its later stages. We have to know things to survive and make proper decisions. It’s no mistake that Al Gore called his 1st climate movie An Inconvenient Truth. He knew what he was dealing with, a delusional public that was content so long as gas prices were low and their house was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Admitting we have a major problem and doing something about it is quite inconvenient in an age of conveniences. We have to Face the Truth.

Now we’ve entered a much more fraught period of deception in modern society—one where the Internet and Social Media are able to separate us out, target us and spread lies in a concentrated and insidious form disguised as truth. And because of this silo effect it becomes like your own personal Truman Show, where everyone in your silo gets and perpetuates the same lies to such a degree as these lies become the ground truth and anyone outside the silo and in disagreement become the liars. Add to this the new possibilities of creating Deep Fake images, movies and audio clips using artificial intelligence and we have a recipe for Deception Catastrophes and even World or Civil Wars. If we want to avoid this we all have to start truly caring much more about the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. We NEED Truth to be the Gold Standard and the point of sober agreement between the silos or we face great (and avoidable) peril.

I don’t want to get into a philosophical or semantic debate about what the Truth is. Suffice it to say that the Truth is not always easy to know and that some things are equally true from one perspective and false from another as demonstrated perfectly in the image above. However, this is not an academic game because it has real-world, life and death consequences. The Truth is out there and we know it. We know we bleed when we are cut. We know how much money is in our bank account. We know where Washington DC is on a map. We know Russia 2.0 used to be the USSR and Putin used to be in the KGB and that it was their mission to undermine the United States. These are facts. We can deny these things or call them Fake News or even unimportant facts but we can’t make them go away and change the fabric of Reality. Reality is what it is, regardless of what we think. The Earth and the Sun don’t care even a tiny bit about what we think as they interact on a Cosmic Level. The Sun pours forth it’s light and heat and the Earth bathes in it, regardless. Carbon traps sunlight, regardless. Record temperatures and oceans rising will ensue regardless of any lies or denials we may want to believe. Reality is always there to set the record straight and do what it does.

Math and Science can teach us a lot about the Truth and for most people can become a point of agreement because if you have a fever, you feel it, and if your thermometer says 102° you believe it. We can easily learn that 1 + 1 = 2 and 100 + 100 = 200 with utmost certainty, the kind of certainty that can land rovers on Mars. When you see an X-Ray of a broken bone you know it is right because you know your bone feels broken. Seeing is believing, so they say. Science is so powerful because it is based on proof, peer review, corroboration and reproducibility. Water will freeze at this temperature and pressure every time, forever and ever. The Truth. Can we agree on that?

In court, there is a mission to find the Truth of a matter—did he or did he not commit the murder and under what circumstances? Witnesses are brought forth, credibility is established and evidence is corroborated to get to a place of unanimous conviction or acquittal. Yet even if a guilty man is let go, he knows the Truth, because he is guilty and the one who did it. So Truth lives independent of human systems and there is no escape from what Reality has recorded in the time record.

Honesty has always been a virtue. We generally trust people who we think honest and we deem them reliable. Honesty and Honor go together, Scout’s Honor. To be honorable is to be held in high esteem and judges are referred to as Your Honor, conferring respect upon the position. A dishonest judge is a nightmare for Justice and an honest one will preside with fairness and an open mind to the facts, without prejudice. We all know how much we prize that honest mechanic we trust to not rip us off when we bring our car in with an unknown problem. We reward them with return business.

When it comes to officials in our government or those in power, lies are amplified greatly in their effects because they are propagated with authority to the masses. We expect a certain amount of exaggeration and white lies to smooth things over and to campaign but I’m talking about more nefarious lies while performing official duties. The higher up in the chain we go, the more harmful the lies and the more people affected. Remember, Reality records the Truth and no Pharaoh, King or President can escape this fact. Lies are often used intentionally to create a narrative for the people to abide and act by. This is exactly why our Founders in America wanted a Free Press to hold those in power accountable to the Truth. We didn’t want to be like the others. We wanted to be better. We wanted to be honorable and brave and face the facts of Reality head on so we could make wiser decisions and Perfect our Union over time. This has been a source of pride and the envy of people around the world who are spoon fed deceptive information on such a level that millions can be made to believe that Dear Leader doesn’t even poop. From the outside of such bubbles, we can see clearly how ridiculous it seems. But from the inside and told enough times from childhood on, it becomes the Truth.

Propaganda is not necessarily peddling in lies. It is merely controlling a narrative. We used it broadcasting American values to those cutoff from information about the west and it can be used to spread the truth as well as a lie. However, propaganda is always a form of manipulation and is very often filled with lies in its most insidious forms. Perhaps the worst form of propaganda is the type that mixes Truth with Lies to create a palatable blend that elevates the lies to the same level as the truth, making them seem more credible. This is a very common form of propaganda in the Communication Age where we have so many media outlets it makes one’s head spin. It becomes hard to sort the truth out from the lies and even tiresome to try. Many give up and just accept the lies as the path of least resistance. If you don’t have to think too much and simply repeat what you heard, that’s convenient and painless.

But evil forces will, and have, taken full advantage of this Lie Fatigue. It wears us down as mere mortals going about our lives by its sheer quantity, slickness of production and clever mixture of truth. At such point as we give up all critical thinking and stop seeking of Reality and Truth, we become putty and can be told to do or think anything and we will blindly follow. The critical mass is reached when those that speak the Truth become the outliers, the pariahs, the liars, the infidels, the enemy. This is when Democracy dies. Democracy relies on The People recognizing reality and making informed decisions about who they elect. Once this is taken away, it is very difficult if not impossible to get it back without Revolution. It can also lead to very long and protracted Dark Ages where the very threads to the Truth are severed and the masses become woefully ignorant and incapable of self governance.

Sure, you can keep your head down and get by in a dictatorship as many have done. Tow the line and live. Cross the line and die. If that’s how you want to live I can’t help you but it sounds like the worst thing possible to me. I don’t want to live in anything that even approximates a dictatorship where dissent is frowned upon. Here again, the Founders gave us a right to protest and assemble so that we as a people could voice our concerns and be heard and taken into account. If we relinquish this, even in the slightest, then we will lose it all eventually.

Always fight for the Truth! Insist on it. It takes work and perhaps more work than ever for the reasons I have given but work we must. We must NEVER reach that critical mass where the Truth tellers are cast aside, locked up, kept from gainful employment or otherwise harassed. Accept the Truth when you see it, even when it’s inconvenient or counter to your previous belief. You have to know when to let Lies go, to call them out and to reject them. Don’t let liars win. Don’t let a venerable Commandment die from apathy or mental laziness or political tribalism. Have courage and Faith in the Truth. Revere the Truth. The Truth will indeed, more than ever, Set You Free!

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