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Unformatted text preview: e felt, the truth must be forced from most people. Moreover, passion blinds, and
the natural and astonishing inaccuracy in observation and reporting that every psychologist knows is
multiplied wherever great emotions are at work. If perjury were really punished, the business of the courts
would be remarkably increased.
 Not only is this true in law but in all controversy, whether theological, scientific, social or personal, the
ego-feeling enters in its narrowest and blindest aspects to defeat honor, justice and truth.
All this is normal lying,--not habitual but occurring under certain circumstances. As clearly motivated is the
lying of the braggart, the one who invents stories that emphasize his exceptional qualities. The braggart
however is a mere novice as compared with the "pathological liar," who does not seem able to tell the truth,
who invents continually and who will often deceive a whole group before he is found out. The motive here is
that curious type of superiority seeking which is the desire to be piteously interesting, to hold the center of the
stage by virtue of adverse adventures or misfortunes. Hence the wild white-slave yarns and the "orphan child"
who has been abused. Every police department knows these girls and boys, as does every social service
I am afraid we all yield to the desire to be interesting or to make artistic our adventures. To tell of what
happens to us, of what we have seen or said or done exactly as it was, is difficult, not only because of faulty
memory, but because we like to make the tale more like a story, because, let us say, of the artist in us. Life is
so incomplete and unfinished! We so rarely retort as we should have! And a bald recital of most events is not
interesting and so,--the proportions are altered, humor is introduced, the conversation becomes more witty,
especially our share, and the adventure is made a little more thrilling. And each who tells of it adds little or
much, and in the end what is told never happened. "The Devil is the father of lies," run...
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- Spring '11