Thursday, June 7, 2018

Planet of the Lie

Morgan Scott Peck (May 22, 1936 – September 25, 2005) was a psychiatrist and best-selling author who is best known for his book, “The Road Less Traveled,” published in 1978.

In his book, “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil” (published in 1983), Dr. Peck does not discount the existence of various psychiatric disorders, including those that may cause people to behave maliciously, but rather views evil as being a conflict that toes the line between a personality and/or a spiritual disorder.

The author describes evil people as being aware of their conscience, but actively choose to ignore it, as opposed to a sociopath who appears to be devoid of conscience altogether. In other words, an evil person knows that they are committing an evil act, while a sociopath does not, even though their actions are similar.

M. Scott Peck describes evil as “militant ignorance.” He states, “Evil people are obsessed with maintaining their self-image of perfection through self-deception. In addition, evil people will be very selective about who they inflict their evil upon, while going to great lengths to maintain an image respectability and normality with everyone else. As a result, evil people are often well liked by the majority, and their victims come across as being overly sensitive, having a persecution complex, or even being crazy.”

As a supervisor for a major electronic commerce and cloud computing company, I have the misfortune to speak to inveterate fabricators every single day. The level that some people will stoop to for a refund is mind boggling. One might ask, how do you know these people are not telling the truth? Well, it goes back to the adage, "you will know them by their - electronic history - fruits." In other words, there is a consistent history of tracking from different carriers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.) that shows the item(s) was delivered, and in some cases, signed for.

The first few times the customer is given the benefit of the doubt. However, once a pattern of deceit emerges (and often the dollar amount increases), the gig is up; no more refunds for items not received. You would think, some charlatans might say, "oh well, it was a good run." But no, they will continue with the shameful falsehoods, usually accompanied by elaborate stories of rogue neighbors, out of town, or and illness. They may be right about the sickness, but their affliction (in most cases, not all) lies in morality (lack of a moral compass), emotional stability, and communal values.

Starting at an early age, I would tell my daughter and son that, whatever you do in life, learn how to tell the truth. You don't want to be known as a liar, because you could actually be telling the truth but no one will believe you. That's because you have become, "the little person who cried wolf," one time too many. You've made your disingenuous bed, and now must lie (pardon the pun) in it, the rest of your life.

What is diabolically perplexing about perpetual dissimulators is the ability to conjure up 'crocodile tears', or this "woe is me" facade, at a moments notice. There is no explanation to this type of behavior for sane individuals. To understand, one would necessarily have to be complicit and knowledgeable about duplicitous manipulation, and not give a rats nipple about potential consequences.

Considering there are billions of planets that harbor sentient beings similar to the human species, there should be a special planet. This idea is not as far-fetched as one might imagine. Considering, in the Milky Way Galaxy alone, there are hundreds of thousands (maybe a lot more) of galaxies that have the same ingredients - carbon, nitrogen, and water - that produced life on earth. What we have been able to study, through the use of powerful telescopes like Hubble and Spitzer Space, is less than 5% of what's out there. This special planet would be reserved for habitual liars. After such an incarnation, maybe
  • People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil (Simon & Schuster, 1983)
    ISBN 978-0-684-84859-4
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