HOW TO LIE 201 – 2nd Day: Spotting Lies

– 2nd Day: Spotting Lies

Prof: Good morning, class. Today I'm not going to ask you to continue using your lies factory and produce more creative stories. Instead, I'm going to bring your attention to an interesting event currently taking place in our country. In our last class, coincidentally Ajib and Imah had told us their story that had to do with similar event: a by-election.

Now, I'm going to show you a news report closely related to a by-election that is currently underway. It is about the defection of a high-ranking member of an opposition political party, who made press statement about it just days before the votes casting.

Then, I am going to show you how to spot lies.

(distributes copies of the news report to the whole class)

Now, the true colors of a man can show when he opens his mouth. Let's look at his statement that I have highlighted:

"I've decided to quit PKR as the party has diverted from its original struggles..."

Then he went on to add:

"The party no longer values its original struggles..."

What do these 2 sentences mean? Well, they simply mean that before this, meaning around 1999, he joined the party, PKR, because he shared the same beliefs with the party, meaning that he did NOT subscribe to the ruling party UMNO's beliefs and principles. But hey, wait, hear his next statement:

"...he was (now) more impressed with Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno which is led by Prime Minister..."

Hellooooo??? What does this statement tell you now, when read together with the first two sentences?

Ajip: Before, the man did NOT agree to UMNO's beliefs, but NOW he joined UMNO although UMNO has NEVER changed its established principles. How could that be? His third statement is contradictory to his first two. It means that the man is contradicting himself.

Prof: Good! Exactly! He opened his mouth, said 3 sentences, and 'Bam!' The man contradicted himself! This man is a liar. He is un-principled. PKR should be glad this man took it on himself to leave the party without waiting for the party to have to sack him. And on the other hand, UMNO should be wary of men of this type who could at any time backstab them in turn.

Now, let's look at his next 2 sentences I have also highlighted in there:

"...I've never offered nor asked to be selected for this by-election..."

"Although I've contested under the PKR ticket in the 1999 and 2004 general elections, I was reluctant this time as the mood of the people has changed."

Anyone knows what these 2 sentences tell us?

Imah: Em, the last sentence gives the idea that this man would seemingly be standing up only based on the mood, or the belief, OF OTHERS. NOT based on his OWN beliefs. So, again, this man has shown that he is an un-principled person, at least when it comes to politics.

Prof: Spot on! Excellent analysis, Imah! This man has clearly shown, from his own words, that he is not a principled person. He is like the old Malay proverb, "Living like lallang; when the wind blows to the left, it sways left..."

So, what are the conclusions for us from these news report?

Ajip: This man is un-principled and an outright liar, and he is therefore a no-no to vote for!

Prof: Well, yes, that may be true, but this man is not a candidate in the by-election, and you, Ajib, is not a registered voter in this constituency. Therefore that conclusion is not too relevant.

(soft laughter from class)

Well, anyway, here are the conclusions that all of you must take note of:
1. Usually it's very very easy to spot lies when the person talks too much, and his many sentences are riddled with lies here and there;
2. Uusually it's easier to nail a lying bugger when he/she says a lot, although he/she only says 1-2 words/sentences of lie while the many other sentences are truthful, because we can spot the lie within the context of the entire story he/she rambles on; and
3. Many times it's not easy to spot lies when a person only says 1 or 2 sentences, even though the entire 1-2 sentences are indeed lies.

Similar to the context of wisdom, or rather the lack therof, it can also be true in the context of lies:
The less you open your mouth, the better.
However, not opening your mouth can also backfire, as the saying goes "Silence is acceptance or admission (of guilt)".

Okay, class, that's all the lesson for today. Class dismissed now. Thank you and I'll see you next time.

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