I’ve been walking through the 10 Ways Lies Grow. Go here for the first one. Last time I talked through the stage 8 of When Lies Grow, and explored the darker side of lying and suppressing the truth. No fun. At this point things get more complex as…
9) They multiply their lies
Some giant monster lies have their own offspring: little lies birthed like demons in the dark–and they are all connected. Someone weaving a huge web of lies must keep tabs on all these different connected lies somehow—like a huge complex war game, or a marathon poker tournament, where the player is bluffing every hand, or like a thousand page novel, with plots and sub-plots. It sounds tiring to me.
But a liar has a narrative to keep up—so they start to shepherd more and more lies to keep up with the monster lie. Because they almost entirely believe their monster lie (stage 6) the other lies develop to serve the “false truth” the liar is keeping up. This means that the liar will spin yarns about things that are almost entirely unrelated to the monster lie. Ironically, they may even lie in ways so they get caught on small things, as misdirection away from the larger cave where the monster of their big lie awaits sleeping in anonymity.
One of the reasons this happens is when a whole culture of lying starts to develop. This happened in the world of Cycling the last decade. Check out this chart, which shows that the majority of the top finishers in the Tour de France have been pulled from the sport because of doping and PEDs.
As you might imagine, the liar now feels that “everybody is doing it” and the culture itself, the other liars, are even there to tell other smaller lies to keep your monster lie and their hidden in the darkness.
Is there a way to get out at this stage? Not really. If you do confess at this stage the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Your monster lie will be slain, but all the little lies will be rounded up and the expansiveness of your lying will be told. And also the broader culture of lying will be exposed. The many other liars will also be affected. Such are the intricate implications of stage 9 lying.
Though these are the consequences, they are better than the last stage. So perhaps while telling these menial & meaningless lies the liar might wonder if it’s really all worth it. After one thread of the intricately woven lying sweater is pulled, perhaps it’s best to just let them keep pulling so you don’t have to keep feeding the lying monster down in the dark.
And yes, that’s about the most metaphors for lying that I could come up with in one article.