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The Sea of Words. Source unknown

Art is a lie that enables us to realise the

truth

Pablo Picasso

Let’s face it! It’s becoming so complex a world we live in that black and white can hardly be distinguished. Truth and falsehood are so intricately wrapped up, although remaining distinct, becoming occasionally hard to tell which is which. And for most times, it starts with words carefully picked out.

In this article, we hope to explore a little more about lies exhibited and truth obscured. It’s said that it takes a criminal mind to catch a criminal. Well said, everyone is a potential perverted soul deviating from the truth. I, myself, am not a criminal (yet) – if ever …whatever!!!

Filmmakers and Swindlers
What’s the difference between a scene and a scam? One is legal while the other is illegal. One is for entertainment of the second person; the other is for entertainment of the first person. One is shrouded in secret and understood by all in the open; the other is first executed and then understood in secrecy (with much regret).

So, what’s the secret to the success of both? It’s the human interest. I ask myself why I should be moved by a film which I know isn’t real but acted out, but still I’m moved. When our keen interests are involved, we often tend to put aside all forms of “rational thinking”. Same things apply to the swindlers. Their success depends on the interests of their victims. Simply put, the idea only makes sense to a sparked up mind.

Idiots and Intellects
Why are people so gullible time and again? Is it due to a lack of educational enlightenment? Not necessarily so. OK. Between the educational intellects and the so-called educational illiterates, who’s more vulnerable? You’d guess the illiterates? Wrong,  you are. It’s the other way round.

For the intellect, logic is everything. A well crafted lie will weave along logic, leaving minimal room for error. Hence, once logic is satisfied, the victim personalises the idea. A thousand and one times, he will fall prey if it goes in place with logic. However, for the “less enlightened”, intuition is key and often priceless. Just like optical illusions, some ideas are simply not discernible by a second-person reasoning. Intuition disbelieves the idea even though for not knowing why. Although intuition is not always foolproof, it reduces the chances of being swindled but leaves a room for undue superstition.

So then, how good is a lie? What are the qualities of a good lie?

The Art of Lie Crafting
The most important rule of lying is leaving a part of reality untouched. Once again I emphasise that this writing is not intended to aid criminal minds. Perhaps they know better. But to know a thief, you have to conversant with his smell.

Instead of giving a reason for suspicion, a “good” lie goes along with what all other minds expect to hear. Here is an example below. A son comes home from a party at 11pm. He meets his father at the door’s entrance. What’s he gonna say? Watch this:

Father: Where are you returning from at this time? You might as well go back to wherever you came from
Son: Ehm…actually, I’m coming from a party
Father: ( surprised) A party, you say? You even have the guts to tell me that?
Son: I was at John’s place till 7pm when he told me he wanted to check on a sick friend on my way home. On getting to the house, I discovered it was a full blown party. You would not believe the number of cultists from our school who were in attendance. Drugs and alcohol everywhere. I decided to play cool and wait for 7:30 before exiting. When they saw me about to leave, the whole house was upset
Father: (concerned) Did they hurt you?
Son: One of them confiscated my bag and phone. They insisted I stayed till the next morning when the party would be over. John and I had to plead for hours before letting me go. They even forced me to take alcohol and do other strange things
Father: All of that? Are you sure you were not physically assaulted?
Son: No. I’m even surprised I wasn’t. I hope I’d never have such an experience again. I’m just relieved there was nothing extreme
Father: Good heavens! I’m sorry if I misunderstood you earlier. You need a befitting rest. Come inside

Now, this is only a sample. The lie hinges upon the father’s concern for his son. Rather than have a dismembered or assaulted son , he thanked his stars that his son wasn’t hurt, waving aside his coming home late. But the lie starts with admitting the existence of a party. What possibly else would keep one late outside the home if not a social function? By trying to find an abstract reason, there becomes a heightened suspicion placed. Besides, the father would never expect that his son would outrightly state that he was returning from a party. If he could say it, he most probably would be telling the truth.

If we really want to ascertain a lie, there’s nothing we should rule out or assume. By assuming that we can’t be fooled by obvious means, is the first mistake.

Going Virtual
The problem with one-on-one conversations is that words aren’t just enough, the voice has to be right, and the body language has to be flawless. There’s a theory of the face often revealing concealed intentions. Masking this facial betrayal requires adequate practice – a priceless skill sought by many. So, the evolution is moving to the virtual world.

It’s a lot easier to manipulate via social media, although the same techniques are involved. Facial expression and body language ruled out, the problem is half solved. Therefore, be prepared to hear good stories which come at a price. Besides, nothing is free these days.

Pick Your Words: Whatcha Say?
Legal or not, you have one choice in making a statement. Your words not only define you but also determine the extent of happiness or sadness of others. For all I know, words are like bullets that will either traverse the target or ricochet back to the marksman.

Luke O. Ogar

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