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Why We Believe Lies

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Dean Hartwell     Permalink
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Would you ever believe what you knew was lie?

Overwhelmingly, most people would say they would never do such a thing.

But what if...

Your job depended on your belief in a lie?   Let's say your employer makes a product that could cause consumers to become seriously ill.   Your employer tells you that part of your job involves telling the public the product is safe.   But you know it isn't safe.

Do you quit?   Not in this economy you wouldn't.

Do you challenge your employer's message to the public?   It would be a good way to get demoted or fired.

Or what if...

The truth is just too hard to take.   Let's say you have an interest in genealogy.   You research your family history and discover that some ancestors held slaves.   Family and friends start asking you what you have found out.

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Do you lie or leave out this part of the family tree?   Then you are acting in agreement with a lie and you are encouraging others to believe it.

Do you admit what you have found out?   Maybe you would, but from my experience, this admission is not especially common.

Or how about if...

Something else was more important than believing the truth?   Let's say you are looking for an edge to get into college.   You didn't really serve as the president of your schools' honor society or work on the newspaper, but mentioning these lies would help your chances with little chance of getting caught.

Do you put the lies in, figuring "everybody does it"?   This would be a type of justification and, in this case, hardly likely to be true.

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Do you ever admit the truth to anyone?   If not, you perpetuate a lie and you start to believe it.

These situations involve individuals and companies and failure to reveal the truth could cause harm to others.   We know or hear of these types of lies and most people would be quick to condemn them.   Why?   Because there would be little backlash for calling out the liars.   Not even the company that makes dangerous products is a match before the proper court or government agency.

So let's raise the stakes.

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Dean Hartwell's book, "Planes without Passengers: the Faked Hijackings of 9/11," reached the top of Amazon's charts for large print books on history. He has authored three others: "Facts Talk but the Guilty Walk:the 9/11 No Hijacker Theory and Its (more...)

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