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This lying thing is so real to me. So near and dear to my heart. Because I’ve seen it before. Yes, I’ve seen it as a history student, and as an observer of Fascist governments. Yes, I’ve seen it as someone who understands how manipulators and power mongers use distortion and disinformation as tools for control. Yes, I’ve seen it as a fan of the great George Orwell, who showed us how important it is to keep people doubting their own realities so you can steal those realities from them.
But I’ve also seen it firsthand. Several months ago, I wrote a piece about someone I knew in my youth who suffered from a psychological personality disorder. Perhaps, suffered is the wrong word. I think those who knew him suffered more than he did.
Lying was an art form and an entertainment to him. But what’s most important is that he didn’t lie in the normal way. That is to say, he didn’t lie for gain, or to protect himself. He lied to test us. To determine which of us were strong enough – rebellious enough – to call him out. He would tell these egregious whoppers – these unfathomably unbelievable lies and then watch the room. His body language and his eyes, challenging us. “Don’t believe me? Stand up. Show yourself. I’ll tear you apart.”
And, of course, we never did.
This is “Bully Lying.”
“Hey, I don’t have your pencil box.”
“Yes, you do. It’s right there in your hand.”
“Which hand? Not my hand. You’re crazy.”
All the toadies stand around and laugh – because they’re scared to do anything else, lest it be them in his sights.
So, yes. Both the Fascist and the Sociopath will lie and then blame the media for holding them to task. But there is so much more to it than that. Both the Fascist and the Sociopath will make you think that they are the victims of “bias.” They will make you think they are greater than they are, and then attack you when you point out that they are not.
This “crowd size” issue IS important. It’s important because he needs to have the “yugest crowd in history” or he’s less in his own ego-driven eyes than he wants to be. And he needs you to “believe” when he tells you that’s the case, because tomorrow – when you ask him where your mother – your friend – your child – “disappeared” to, and he tells you, you never had a mother – a friend – a child, you’ll swallow his lame answer.
“How many fingers, Winston?”
This is about so much more than getting you to say 5 when you see 4. This is about getting you to BELIEVE that you CAN see 5 if only you’d just TRY hard enough. Because after all, it MUST be you. The problem must be in you. It can’t possibly be in him.
Alchemy n. 1. A power or process of transforming something common into something special. 2. An inexplicable or mysterious process by which paradoxical results are achieved with no obvious rational explanation.