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October 23, 2009

The Four Rules of Lying

The first and most important thing is for the impostor to claim the motivation of revolutionary impulses.
That way even those who know he is lying will think he is lying in a “good” cause. If the last refuge of scoundrels is the flag, the ultimate protective banner is the Red Flag. Hannah Arendt once wrote “Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear.” Find the hole in your audience’s brain and drive your truck of manure through it.

The second rule is to put forward the most extravagant claims.
Don’t be half-assed about lying. The more extravagant the fib the better. A sufficiently resourceful fraud clears his path of unbelievers by sheer audacity alone. Tell a big enough lie and no one would believe you could be so bold. As the fictional Rudolf Rassendyl proved in the Prisoner of Zenda that it is better to pass yourself off as King of Ruritania rather than a minor noble. A minor noble may be questioned, but the King will not be. It is all or nothing. And given that no one wants to tug at the Royal Robe to see if it is real ermine, the fraudster often gets it “all”.

The third rule is that when questioned, destroy the questioner.
When impersonating the King be determined to have everyone who doubts your identity thrown in the tower for treason. Once you succeed in beheading the first challenger there will be no second challenges.

The fourth rule is the most important. Avoid trying to bluff those who are too big to be faced down.
What undid both Fairey and Ward Churchill was that they didn’t know when to stop their imposture. They finally took it too far. Fairey, who had been successful up to that point tried to bluff his way past a major news organization and failed. Ward Churchill was already a professor when he made his “little Eichmanns” speech after 9/11 unleashed a tide of outrage he couldn’t outface. If Fairey had not launched his poster and Churchill had not made his “little Eichmanns” speech, they might still be intellectuals in good standing.

-- Belmont Club » Honest as the day is long

Posted by Vanderleun at October 23, 2009 2:18 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Nice link, Gerard.

Lies truly are powerful.

My sister is finishing her year and a half divorce (yep it was dirty) in regards to custody of the kids. Custody is being split 50-50. From my sisters perspective (and mine) I had thought it was an airtight closed case in her favor considering the awful behaviors he displayed through the years.

I was confused at how the courts dragged their feet, the psycologist kept giving my brother in law the benefit of the doubt - even her lawyer was not working real hard to help her win the case.

Well, she received the psychologists summary of the whole mess and found out the truth. Outrageous lies. If the lie is big enough, even your own lawyer won't talk to you about it until it is too late to defend yourself. If you're gonna lie, lie big!


No wonder its in the top ten bad things to do.

I'm sending this to that same sister.

Posted by: cond0010 at October 25, 2009 1:44 PM

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