May 24, 2011
"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" --Samuel Adams
"We don't expect politicians to tell the truth." --Defense Attorney Alan Dershowitz, FNC, 31 Dec 1998
President Clinton is so successful because he's an unusually good liar. --US Senator Bob Kerry (Democrat-Nebraska)

What do you call someone who tells you one thing and does something else? VClip 1

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, Face the Nation, July 22, 2007

Safire: Hillary is "congenital liar." VClip ?

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

Meet The Press, October 4, 2009

CBS News catches Hillary Clinton in a lie VClip ?

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

CBS News

Martin Luther King's anti Vietnam War speech near beginning of DN! DVD'd Show date Jan. 18, 2010. He says our leaders have lied to us. Good enough to be used in this chapter.
"Why does corruption in government always surprise us? Why do we expect anything else from it? Government is organized force. It takes our wealth and makes war. And we think honest men would do that work?" --Columnist {and "Reluctant Anarchist" }Joseph Sobran
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are ...more easily deceived than they are consciously or intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to the big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one." --Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925-1926)
There's no question that Saddam Hussein was dangerous and a deciever. --George W. Bush, October 16, 2003
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials... made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that ...led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses. --Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith, False Pretenses: Iraq THE WAR CARD Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War,
--Leading to War
Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, but he's got them . . . . " --Iraq Must Disarm Says President in South Dakota Speech, Nov. 3, 2002 [1]
I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war. Never mind whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked, later on, whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war, it is not Right that matters but Victory. --Adolph Hitler, Speech, August 22, 1939, to high officers
WASHINGTON - President Bush and his vice president conceded Thursday in the clearest terms yet that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction ... V.P. Cheney: "The headlines all say `no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Baghdad.' We already knew that." --Bush, Cheney Concede Saddam Had No WMDs, SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press, Thu Oct 7, 2004 [2]
WARSAW (AFP) - In a first sign of official criticism in Poland of the US-led invasion of Iraq, President Aleksander Kwasniewski said that his country had been "taken for a ride" about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in the strife-torn country. ... "That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride," Kwasniewski said Thursday. --Poland 'taken for a ride' over Iraq's WMD: President,, Thu, Mar 18, 2004

The Bush administration has turned lying into "a new artform." VClip 2

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

Pulitzer Prize winning Seymour Hersh, UNI, Urbana-Champagne, May 10, 2005

The Harbin [China] authorities have come under attack over the last two days for concealing the threat from the chemical spill and then providing misleading information -- a response to health risks that has been seen elsewhere in China, most notably during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. --Cover-up raises fears over bird flu, By Geoff Dyer in Harbin,, Published: November 24 2005 23:24
The [Bush] Administration lied in getting their prescription medicine bill passed. They hid the cost. --National Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, Meet the Press, May 22, 2005
Read my lips: No new taxes." --(soon-to-be President -- and tax-raiser) George Herbert Walker Bush during his first presidential campaign
But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm gonna say this again. I did not have sexual realtions with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. --U.S. President Bill Clinton, 26 Jan 1998, 10:45 AM EST
Indeed I did have a relationsip with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.... I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife." --American President William Jefferson Clinton, 17 Aug 1998, ~10:04:48 PM EST

Whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg (leaked "Pentagon Papers" to NYT in 1971) VClip 3

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

From Pulitzer Prize winning "Hearts and Minds"

The White House will always be occupied by sinners, including our founding fathers and future occupants. ...Is it too much of a burden to say to future presidents, 'Don't fabricate stories in front of a Grand Jury, don't parse words, don't mislead, don't lie when you're begged not to? Is it too much to say to a president, 'If you're sued, play it straight. Don't hide the gifts under the bed, don't get people to file false testimony for you, don't trash-out people who are witnesses against you.' If that's too much of a burden to put on the White House, this nation is in hopeless decline." --House Manager Rep. Lindsey Graham(R-SC), Clinton Impeachment Trial, 8 Feb 1999

Victims of Presidential lies VClip ?

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, Democracy NOW!, August 4, 2005


"I've been lied to so many times, I don't believe anything the American Government says ..." VClip ?

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

Michael Beg, Democracy NOW! June 9, 2006

Why governments must lie to the people VClip HZ

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

Historian Howard Zinn from Madison Wisconsin 2006

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. ...for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." --Chief Nazi "Information Officer" Dr. Joseph P. Goebbels
Once leaders lie to you, they no longer have any power over you. --War opponent Cindy Sheehan

Liars as Leaders


In this chapter, we continue our quest for answers to Hume's Paradox. We will do so by taking a close look at a phenomenon that was almost certainly non-existent in ancestral groups: Liars as leaders, the name-sake of this chapter.

We now know that selfish government cliques need to overcome "Hume's Paradox" to maintain themselves. And in this endeavour, as Barlow pointed out, theft works better than plunder. For the theft to work, however, government cliques must constantly try to make sure the citizens "are not sensible in what manner, and in what quantities, [their property] is taken from them." And I would like to add, citizens also need to be kept in the dark about what it's used for and how much freedom, economic and direct, "their" clique-run sarkars are costing them. And what "their" sarkars are doing to the "neighbors." See, for example, Ambassador Joe Wilson in initial video clip three above.

With that set-up, there is a seminal study by Carrie Keating et. al. that just about completely sets the stage for the rest of this chapter. I believe these are the salient points:

LL: --Kid Politics | This American Life [LL:]

In any group, some children have more influence than others. They get what they want more often. They are the leaders. ... CARRIE [Keating]: In real world dominance situations, in real world leadership situations it is frequently not the words that people say that distinguish them as leaders -- they don't often have the best words and they don't often have the best ideas, necessarily, but what they have is a way to move us. [3]
... Just focus on the faces. This is exactly what this panel of judges does as the final step of the experiment. They decide who is telling the truth and who is being deceptive. ... Sean was the best at fooling the judges. Jessica was a close second. And Caitlin was the worst. And look at how that compares to the leadership ratings from the classroom: Remember -- Sean was the most dominant child. Followed closely by Jessica. And the least dominant -- Caitlin. Carrie finds this connection again and again: the girls and boys best at the deception task are the most dominant in their social group.
...What about adult women? .... Remarkably, for women Carrie has found no relationship between deception and leadership. A leader will still emerge from this group, but Carrie does not yet know how to predict who that leader will be. All she can say is that women who are good at deception are not necessarily good at leading their peers. But with adult males, as with children, Carrie has found an unmistakable connection.
CARRIE: Our laboratory research has shown, that, males who are best at the deception task emerge as leaders among their peers. It's not necessarily the case though that leaders disguise the truth any more than the rest of us do. But the implications of our research are that if they choose to do so, they would be very, very good at it.
WOODIE: CONCLUSION TO "THE POWER OF PERSUASION" The past 20 years of American politics haven't left us very enthusiastic about the idea of leadership. But Carrie Keating's research is not just another knock on politicians. What she's telling us is something more troubling -- the skill that makes people persuasive can also make us trust them even when they're lying. [italics emphasis added. -lrw] PBS --Scientific American Frontiers:Previous Shows:Transcripts:Show 301, The Power of Persuasion

I believe Ms. Keating and associates have indeed made a valid observation about lying and leading, especially revealed among children largely divorced from immersion in normal "civilizing" multi-age groups as our ancestors were. But they, like the rest of us "urban literates" tend to see those observations from the perspective of our huge, modern impersonal pseudo-group societies. Clearly things were different in our small face-to-face genetic ancestral groups. And still could be.

Remember this example of small-group honesty standards, almost certainly typical of our face-to-face ancestral groups?

REP: These Amish seem to have a different standard of truth than we do. I've heard them say to each other and to me several times, "The English lie." ...By "English," the Amish mean "English speakers," in this case, us "Americans." I didn't understand at first what they meant by, "The English lie," so I asked them. They gave me an example. They had been talking to another "English" valley resident who told them that the valley where we all live was very sparsely populated and for illustration, suggested that less than 50 people must live within five miles of here. At the mere mention of this, the four Amish looked at each other out of the corners of their eyes. "We personally know of at least 100 people living within five miles of here ourselves," explained one of them. Then I got what they meant. I began to realize just how sloppy we "English" have gotten truth wise. --John Flinter, ~2003

And a couple of other reminders for context - - -

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." --Black Hawk, Sauk chief
"They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did." --RED CLOUD

In small, tribal, face-to-face groups, lying has always been taboo. Remember the parable of the little boy who cried "Wolf?" What did your parents teach you about lying? What did you teach your kids? Remember the importance of information and it's efficient use in our small face-to-face ancestral groups. The truth was -- and often still is -- a matter of life and death. Imagine someone lying about being able to find that oasis in the middle of a desert for example.

Or suppose a persistent leader falsely claims that a foreign country half a world away has WMD which they will sell to "terrorists." Suppose that lie results in a "war" [4] which kills well over ^^w1,700 U.S. soldiers, wounds or maims over 18,000, and kills well over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. In small ancestral groups, such liars could quickly get themselves and those who followed them [5] killed, and wipe out the genes of both those who lead by lying and those who allow themselves to be duped into following such liars.

Remember, though, our small-group ancestors knew how to take care of such people.

None the less, it is also true -- as strongly suggested by the clips beginning this chapter -- that in pseudo-groups, liars regularly become leaders, leaders regularly become liars, or both. As Carrie Keating points out however, these leaders "don't often have the best words and they don't often have the best ideas."

The reason is clear: selfish government cliques are mostly about looting the general fund, not about having good ideas. And, since the Great Transitions, hierarchical leadership has become an accepted norm, remember. Given the small-group model of "human nature" we've developed thus far, Keating's research suggests a significant disconnect between small face-to-face society and large pseudo-group society in not only having persistent leaders, but in having liars as leaders.

The modern pseudo-group perspective suggests that lying in the post Great Transition hierarchical pseudo-group world is an asset, as is being a persistent "leader." [Egypt's Hosni Mubarak stayed in "office" for ~30 years, Libya's Moamar Gadaffi for ~40 years, Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, for ~33 years, etc.] We know neither would fly in our small ancestral groups. And for good reason: The survival imperative required better words and better ideas -- that is better information to be employed. Otherwise we find ourselves, lemming-like, following some persistent possibly hare-brained "charismatic" hierarchical leader, who is probably controlled by "our" silent partners. This often results in all of us putting all our eggs in the same basket.

But the survival imperative usually requires spontaneous order's "massively parallel trial and error" which regularly enables multiple approaches to almost every problem and keeps us from, for example, putting all our 401K assets -- or our bodies -- all in one basket.

None the less, it seems that in our large impersonal super pseudo-groups, skillful lying is at a premium, particularly in the political arena as per the quotes at the beginning of this chapter. The question is, then, if truth was a matter of survival for our small face-to-face ancestral groups, how can modern pseudo-groups regularly survive liars as leaders?

The main part of the answer is that while "pseudo-groups" survive lying leaders, large numbers of those believing themselves to be pseudo-group members often don't.

There are a lot more of us alive these days and so our pseudo-groups can absorb huge losses and still survive. Further, with modern media enabling key information to be much more efficiently conserved and widely disseminated, it's not likely that the death of one or even many individuals will completely wipe-out key knowledge or information. Thus while individuals may perish -- and many many individuals indeed do so when super-groups go to war or governments attack their own citizens [6] -- their loss isn't likely to lead to the death of the whole super-pseudo-group "tribe."

So while following liars (actually, they don't lead these days, they command from the safety of their bunkers) may still indeed lead to massive death and destruction - - -

When American presidents prepare for foreign wars, they lie. Surveying our history, we see a clear pattern. Since the end of the nineteenth century, if not earlier, presidents have misled the public about their motives and their intentions in going to war. The enormous losses of life, property, and liberty that Americans have sustained in wars have occurred in large part because of the public's unwarranted trust in what their leaders told them before leading them into war. To Make War, Presidents Lie, by Robert Higgs, San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 2002, The Oval Office Liars' Club, By Robert Higgs See also Standard Operating Procedure?

- - - it's not usually enough death and destruction to destroy the whole pseudo-group.

O.K., but is it really necessary to follow lying leaders and subject yourself, your family and your face-to-face tribe-mates to such depredations? That's a worthy topic, and perhaps I'll live long enough to do it justice. ^^wWe'll take a look in Chapter x1, Hierarchy: Do We Need It Today? For now though, my only contribution is to suggest why/how it is that super-groups may regularly end up with liars as leaders - - - - and still survive.

Once groups formed that were too large for all the group members to know each other face-to-face, we know what happened. With surpluses distributed by a centralized sub-group (with it's own "selfish-clique" best interests at heart) --- and in circumstances where "the ascendancy of leaders and their extended families was acknowledged and made morally legitimate," there might indeed be a premium on lying. Especially if lying helped you become -- or remain -- a persistent hierarchical leader and thus enhanced your survival and the survival of your immediate family/clique by giving you all access to all those "surpluses."

Just as with chimps and other hierarchical species, as leader you (and as a human, your free-riding clique) now have access to extra food and increased mating opportunities -- at the expense of those lower down the totem who actually hunt, forage, etc. and produce those surpluses. That is, as a result of The Great Transitions, (and what Polanyi calls "redistribution proper," remember), "income" now gets redistributed from "peasants ... mainly to the nonproducing part of the population, that is, to the officials, the military, and the leisure class" [7] -- of which you are now a part.

The connection between the selfish cliques who run the state and lying was nicely spelled out for us remember - - -

Reprise: "...the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." -Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels [8]

Ultimately, control by lying amounts to a logical extenison of Hume's Paradox, one articulated quite well by seminal linguist Noam Chomsky:

Ultimately the governors, the rulers, can only rule if they control opinion -- no matter how many guns they have. This is true of the most despotic societies and the most free ... PFRM: Hume's paradox The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (Interviews with Noam Chomsky) Copyright 1994 by David Barsamian

You control opinion not by telling the truth but by manipulating information -- by "spinning" and lying. Therefore the controlling cliques have a substantial economic interest in seeing that the best liars find their way to the top -- so they have a chance at defeating that "greatest enemy of the state," the truth. As former Asst. HUD Sec. Catherine Austin Fitts pointed out to U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice,

"The richest and most powerful people in the world pay for performance. They pay you to make the US governmental apparatus look legitimate while they use it to centralize economic and political power. That means they need liars who are better at lying than you." An Open Letter to [U.S. National Security Advisor] Condoleezza Rice, Re: 9-11 Commission testimony,

And unfortunately, as the Keating group research pointed out, "the skill that makes people persuasive can also make us trust them even when they're lying."

So, essentially, we end up with liars as leaders because that's what it takes to keep us all victims of Hume's Paradox -- it takes skillful, persuasive government clique liars to keep us redistributing to "the nonproducing part of the population, that is, to the officials, the military, and the leisure class" by paying the tribute which is now called "taxes," and to obey those asserting "centralized political Authority" over us. I would suggest that today (2005 A.D.), Polanyi's "leisure class" "establishment" has morphed into what President Dwight David Eisenhower might have called in his farewell address, "the military-industrial-congressional-banking-media complex."

Why do the best liars become leaders in large groups? Because, as Howard Zinn points out, "If they told the truth, they wouldn't last too long." Imagine modern leaders telling the truth -- about banking and fiat money,

"The technique of inflation demands that governments and their agencies shall continuously deceive the public about the fact, the speed and the duration of inflation intended. Ministers of finance have no option but to employ what has been called 'the necessary untruth'." Professor W.H. Hutt, quoted by Mogambo Guru, Cheaper to Freeze to Death, Oct. 23, 2007
"The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth." --Federal Reserve vice chair, Alan Blinder, PBS Nightly Business Report, 1994

Banking Officials lie to reporters regularly VClip ?

Click here if video doesn't play after a bit.

CNBC, May 11, 2011, 08:38AM


about the Government (so-called "National") debt, about our Silent Partners, and in the U.S. about <^^w LINK THIS> Social Security, medicare, and the other unfunded liabilities - - - and about the ninth and tenth amendment [9] to the U.S. Constitution. Etc.

So to be a leader of a pseudo-group, you regularly have to lie -- which helps explain Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, Mobutu, Aramony, and perhaps Clinton, Daddy Bush, Roosevelt, G.W. Bush, etc. as well. {And it probably helps to be a psychopath. }


We continued the theme from the previous chapter, Control Modes, searching for factors central controlling cliques need to maintain Hume's Paradox and maintain their privileged position. In this chapter, we suggested that one aspect of central clique control apparently results in liars becoming leaders in today's pseudo-groups.

Via research by Carrie Keating et. al., we discovered that "the skill that makes people persuasive can also make us trust them even when they're lying," and that troublingly, "males who are best at the deception task emerge as leaders among their peers." This observation does not seem to apply to groups of women however.

In contrast to our small face-to-face ancestral groups where, for survival reasons, "crying wolf" and other lying was thoroughly discouraged, it seems that in pseudo-groups there is a premium on lying -- and on persistent leaders. We recalled the small-group standard of honesty exhibited by the Amish in contrast, and also recalled the survival advantages of the diversity that results when there is no central Authority forcing everyone to do things the same way.

If truth is essential to survival, how can today's pseudo-groups survive liars as leaders? Because there are a lot more of us -- and writing etc. is now common -- so we can accept huge casualties and still survive and maintain most of our data base. But why subject ourselves to these depredations?

Next we suggested that after The Great Transitions, and "the ascendancy of leaders and their extended families was acknowledged and made morally legitimate," for the resultant hierarchist and opportunistic central cliques, lying makes sense. It keeps them in position to control the surpluses, etc. -- and keep themselves in power by distributing them to their "retainers" in the guise of "the military, the officials, and the leisure class."

But, as Chomsky says, "Ultimately the governors, the rulers, can only rule if they control opinion." And we have Chief Nazi Propadanda Minister Goebbels reinforcing Chomsky: "It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." An example of the use of "leaders" to overcome "the greatest enemy of the state" is spotlighted by Catherine Austin Fitts' critique of Condoleezza Rice on "the deception task:" "The most powerful people in the world ... pay you to make the US governmental apparatus look legitimate" and "That means they need liars who are better at lying than you."

Can you imagine modern leaders telling the truth about the modern situation -- such as so-called "Social Security," etc.? So we end up with liars as leaders mostly because that's what it takes to keep us paying that "tribute" -- now called "taxes" -- in a more round-about fashion, but still to "the officials, the military, and the leisure class."


[1] White House (11/3/2002) from return

[2], Thu Oct 7, 2004 By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer return

[3] Perhaps such young "leaders," probably having hierarchical tendencies, have already learned to use the alpha confidence indicator indiscriminately. return

[4] The U.S. Government hasn't declared war according to it's own founding document -- that is, the U.S. Constitution -- since WWII. That means that all the actions since, including but not limited to the so-called Korean "War," the Vietnam "War," and now (2005 A.D.) the Iraq "War" are illegal - - -

ARTICLE. I. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives... Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power... Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water -The United States Constitution

...the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. -James Madison return

[5] And, unlike today, in ancestral groups, leaders actually led -- they were first in line to suffer the consequences of bad decisions. They literally put their bodies where their notions caused them to go. No one with any sense would follow a temporary leader if he wasn't willing to go first. return

[6] According to R.J. Rummel's research, more than three times as many men, women, and children -- 119 million -- were killed by governments in the twentieth century without war as an excuse as were killed by governments during wars -- when they killed "only" (35.7 million). return

[7] Polanyi, Karl. 1944. The Great Transformation. (Boston: Beacon Hill 1957), p52 return

[8] Goebbels also articulated one of the most important tactics of opinion control: "Don't tell them ... then it will not exist ..." -Chief Nazi "Information Officer" Joseph Paul Goebbels (in Goebbels, From Economics to Publicity, ed. 1955, Alles die Zeitungen collection, Dr. Herzbold Neher) return

[9] Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

from the BILL OF RIGHTS, return

Total Contents
In Clips
L's Articles