Posted by: Botolff | November 22, 2010

The Projection of Deception (Lying)

When one is a naturally deceptive person, or lives in such a way that lying becomes the easy “go to” in a pinch, deception often becomes a “second nature” behavior.  The more we use lying as a form of control, the more it will become a part of our persona.  If it becomes second nature for us, we will begin to do it with almost no awareness of it happening, or worse, an awareness with no shame or remorse.  Pathological liers first learn to lie as a form of self-protection.  It is likely they have been so severely abused when they were younger that they learned lying would help protect them from the fury that may have otherwise ensued against them in the face of a rageful parent, neighbor, pastor, teacher, etc..

Side note…I try to acknowledge “we” in most of my posts, because I am just a susceptible, and can be guilty of many of the issues I am discussing.  I say “they” in this case because, although I certainly have my own challenges, pathological lying isn’t one of them.  I carry too much shame, that I am fully aware of, to do much lying.  When I am aware that it happens, I am usually willing, although hesitant, to suffer the consequences of fessing up.

For people who are used to lying, it is common place for them to project that on to someone else.  In other words, it’s common for people who default to lying to make it look like others are actually doing the lying, especially to third party people.  For people who are highly deceptive, it’s important for them to create the smoke screen necessary to make it look like the people they are lying about are the ones actually doing the lying.  It’s very manipulative and usually subtle, but has a dramatic impact on all involved; the ones who are the focus of the lies, the ones listening to the lies and the ones telling the lies.  Something that I feel is important to acknowledge…Lying can be so second nature for some, that they may not even know they are doing it.  And when caught doing it, they will typically quickly adjust with more lies in order to try and recover, often without even taking time to consider the lying that has gotten them to where they are at.

If you catch us in our lies, we have one of two choices, 1) repent and own either our intent to deceive, or our intent to hide (sometimes one in the same), or 2) lie some more.  The more difficult of the two I believe is always the former.  Telling the truth is often harder, because the punishment can seem, and even be, more severe; especially if the person we are confessing to is rageful enough to make us pay double because they realize they weren’t in control of us when we were lying.  Telling the truth costs more for the teller.  Telling lies costs more for the people the lies are being told about.  We’d often rather have someone else pay the price.

The price in most forced terminations is first paid by the terminated pastor and his/her family and friends.  I can tell you, with all sincerity, there was a time during my termination when I was so traumatized by all the manipulation, deception, betrayal and abuse in my situation that I was lying in my bed with 911 dialed on my cell phone and my finger on the send button as I was on the verge of passing out.  If you have survived the level of trauma that I survived you know what it’s like to be in similar situations.  One pastor told me the story of what it was like to be curled up almost naked on his hard wood living room floor in the middle of the night shaking as he was going through the abuse his church put him through.  His wife asked him if he wanted her to take him to the hospital.  He said, “No, they wouldn’t understand.”  Some of us do.  It’s no joke, and it’s no figment of our imagination.

The students and children of most congregations often pay the next biggest price, as they have to endure people’s lies and conclude for themselves what the truth is (which in the best of scenarios is often difficult to find).  Most church congregates don’t do the research necessary to find out what really happened in forced termination situations.  The fear of “opening a can of worms,” as the Mission Director of the church that got rid of me said, keeps them from getting to the bottom of anything.  Subsequently, minors, who are under the authority of their parents, will be subject to the typical hush hush behavior that many churches seem to hold to so religiously.  We should not be surprised when we find out that people have been abused or molested, when we had signs that something just wasn’t right somewhere along the way, and we turn a blind eye to the little signs of truth that were right in front of our faces.  If we challenge that which seems out of place, we may find something that we don’t want to see, but in doing so, less people are likely to get hurt.  The problem, as Winston Churchhill put it, is that “Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”

When deception is introduced into any situation, chaos ensues.  That’s part of evil’s objective.  Create enough chaos so that people feel overwhelmed and helpless.  Turn the shame up so high that people are too ashamed to make a move.  If they do, seduce them into doing only the basic research necessary to convince themselves that the people they want to trust are really trustworthy.  Then they can get back to life as normal, until something else happens that starts the cycle all over again.

The last message I shared with the congregation I was with was about lying.  I said, “Don’t lie, because lying only increases the shame to the point where the truth is much harder to find.  That’s the intention of lying, and everyone gets hurt when that happens.”  I also said, “When you do lie, and we all will, repent, because that is the only way to cut through the shame that has been created.”  If people in the church only knew what happened in my world the rest of the day after that message, they might have answers to a lot of their questions about what ultimately happened to me.  But then again, there is a price to curiosity as well.  It’s just easier to let other people do the suffering.

The cycle of abuse is a powerful one…but it doesn’t have to continue.




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