If you knew for certain something was a lie, would you still believe it was a truth?

Our Tradition of Deception

From our earliest days mankind has used deception to misdirect truth. Instead of acknowledging responsibility we often claim innocence, ignorance or accuse another of being guilty.

Among the most historical examples of deception is the Biblical story of Cain and Able (Genesis 4:9-4:16). Cain killed his brother Able when he grew jealous of him.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?’”

As the story goes, for the murder of his brother and his attempted deception, God ended Cain’s way of making a living as a “tiller of the ground”, gave him the “mark”, so that no other man would kill him and then banished him to eternal wandering, “east of Eden”. Things didn’t work out so well for Cain.

Sadly, since Cain’s time and right up until now, mankind has most often chosen deception rather than truth when confronted with facing responsibility for a heinous crime, a harmful act against another human, taking unfair advantage of another person or even telling a lie in order to gain some advantage over others.

Further, when you think about it, we often hear, the “Am I my brother’s keeper?” deception offered, especially when the perpetrator has already committed an act against his brother.

It may not be an outright act of murder, but you will hear the same defense, or some derivative of it, offered as an excuse for taking advantage of less fortunate people (fill in the blank here with anyone “different”, i.e. different religion, race, ethnicity, political belief, being poor, level of education, etc.).

Or, as a defense for providing terrible service; selling inferior products; ending “safety net” programs for the helpless; foreclosing on homes for nonpayment of taxes or late mortgage payments; turning the water off for nonpayment — all the while exempting favored people (usually wealthy) from paying taxes or high interest rates and/or providing a multitude of avenues to avoid shut off of public services or foreclosure for default.

To this very day the "deception list" grows, trailing off to infinity.

After all this time, one thing is certain. If you hear the question asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” You know deception is close at hand.

But, no matter, the answer is still, YES.

Ron Baker

Deception 2 — The “Modern Mother” of Deception