Note for the gentiles: A lot of guides for the perplexed were written. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t. The fact that people are still reading them tells us that there are more of the latter than the former…
So – Deception.
Deception defined: a fraud. The act or fact of being deceived. We start to get into a circular word whirlpool here as most of these terms have come up before, but to help you out, let us say that a deception is a lie that worked. A bluff over which we have driven the buffalo of your belief. A trifling amusement that allows all the rest of hell to rise from the ground.
Are we often deceived? Are you reading this on the internet? Do you take a daily newspaper or watch a television? Must this be spelled out? Yes? Very well:
Yes, we are often the subject of deception in political, moral, financial, and artistic matters. We are deceived by others, we deceive ourselves, and we deceive others. Some of the deceit is done for good purposes – we throw up Santa and his elves to compel children to good behaviour. Some is done for bad – we see gangsters promoting fundamental religion to gain political power. Some is done to obtain money – this is called mainstream advertising. And some is done for fun – sophomore student pranks and the vast majority of romantic courtships. It often works – indeed it may be said that deception works more often than bald truth, and is a kinder social phenomenon.
If you lie to someone, it is usually seen as a bad thing – generally by people who feel themselves in danger of falling for that lie themselves. If the lie is successfully absorbed, though, the condemnation is diffused and may ultimately disappear. The way to make it disappear quickly is to cut the moralists in on the takings.
If, on the other hand, someone lies to you, you are entitled to be outraged and to take the moral high ground. High ground is often thought to convey a superiority to an army – but remember that high ground silhouettes you against the skyline and may make it easier for your enemies to pick you off. Consider carefully before you turn the spotlight of goodness and morality on anyone – it’s easy to hit a spotlight with a bullet.
In the end, truth will out – like a belly button. And what a disgusting sight that can be. The best plan for Backstabbers is to concert an agreement with their enemies as to just how much truth and dignity is going to be thrown about. Limit the morality and you limit the damage – and you leave more time free to attack your friends.