My Naive View of the Truth

As a little child, I was told that I should always tell the truth, without exception. Always.

This did not work out well for me, mostly because 1) you don’t tell this to an Autistic child, and 2) I did not know that I was Autistic until I was 57 years old.

So I went about my life, being brutally honest and telling the truth at all times. For me, there was no nuance.

When a girl would ask me to tell the truth, I would, and then I’d be punished with her leaving.

When a boss would demand that I tell the truth, I would, and then I’d be punished by being let go.

When a bankruptcy paralegal gave me the advice to be honest in my bankruptcy process, I was honest, and I was punished for the better part of a decade for it.

THE BANKRUPTCY
In 1987 was working at a computer rental firm, and had recently gotten my first credit cards. One of them was for a jewelry store. I don’t wear jewelry. But my boss told me that I would have to buy something and make payments on it in order to build credit.

So I went to the jewelry store and bought a ring and a watch. Each item was under $100.

Flash forward one year, and the IRS closed down the business. My boss wrote me a check for $247, even though nobody was guaranteed a final check. So I deposited this check, and then proceeded to write checks for things like the grocery store.

Bank of America did not let me know right away that my deposited check had bounced. They were busy taking each check that I had written, attempting to process it, and then levying a $20 bounced check fee.

They did this with each check at least three times per day.

About a month went by, and they sent me a letter letting me know that I had overdraft fees to the tune of over $5,000, for a $247 check that bounced, and my little checks here and there that subsequently bounced as a result.

I had no choice but to file for bankruptcy at that point. Of course, I could not afford a lawyer, so I went with a paralegal who charged a few hundred dollars. She gave me some really bad advice.

“What you want to do is be a good-faith actor in all of this. If you bought something with a credit card, then return it and let them know about your situation. They’ll be grateful, and things will be better for you.”

The next day I went to the jewelry store and told them everything. I told them how my place of employment got closed by the IRS, the bouncing final paycheck situation, that I was filing for bankruptcy, and that I wanted to be a god-faith actor by returning the merchandise that I had purchased.

They told me that they could not take a return on the watch, but would be glad to take the ring back. They asked me to sign a “restocking form” that indicated that I had returned the $85 ring.

I went to court a few months later for my hearing. Everything was discharged in about ten seconds. After that, I thought that it was all settled.

FOUR YEARS LATER
By this point, I had a few different jobs, and had re-established myself. One night, I saw an advertisement for a truck sale at Foothill Nissan. They have this typical text and announcements in their ad:

“Bad credit? NO credit? Bankruptcy? NO PROBLEM! We can finance anyone and everyone at Foothill Nissan.”

I figured that it might be more expensive than a regular car lot. But that’s the lot in life that poor people have to deal with. It is VERY expensive being poor.

In the offices of Foothill Nissan, I talked to the sales rep and let him know about my bankruptcy four years prior. He said that it shouldn’t be a problem, and he ran a report.

When he got my report, he had a sour look on his face.

“I’m sorry, but we cannot help you.”

He explained that there was a “voluntary repossession” on my credit report. I quickly figured out that it was the $85 ring that I had returned. He did not care about my explanation.

“The thing about a voluntary repossession is that we don’t know the item or the dollar amount. It could have been a mansion or a yacht.”

I replied that if I had this kind of issue with a mansion or a yacht, that I’d not be stooping to the level of Foothill Nissan to do business, and would instead be back at the yacht dealership striking up another deal.

THE IMPACT
Whether legal or not, this “voluntary repossession” followed me around for TEN years. And these were the years when most adults start building up their credit so that they can buy a home.

This was not in my future.

All over an $85 ring, and my honest actions.

THE COST
I could have gotten the Nissan truck at Foothill Nissan for $99 per month and about $500 down.

Since I could not finance with them, I bought a used car instead. The thing about used cars is that you don’t know what kind of problems they really have until things start showing up.

There was a five-month period where that car constantly broke down. That used car, which I bought with cash, was costing me anywhere from $500 to $800 per month.

I could have purchased something nice with that money, but the system would not allow it.

THE AMERICAN POX
I can speak only for America, since it’s the only place where I have ever lived.

Since that time, after my experience with the bankruptcy, I have paid close attention to the dishonesty that exists in our various systems. Be it political, executive, financial, legal, or any other, these systems are built upon a foundation of bullshit lies.

These lies function in favor of the wealthy, the corporations, politicians the banks, and other large institutions. Of course, this means that they also function against the little person [i.e., me].

LITTLE PEOPLE LIES
Yes, our institutions are built upon a bedrock of lies. If anyone takes this as an implication that the little guy is always honest, then think again.

Down here in the sewers, the other little guys will stab you in the back and stand upon your corpse if it means that they can get their head above the rancid surface of the cesspool of life for just one gulp of air.

Down here, the truth is something that sometimes gets twisted. Other times, it gets outright made up.

I’ve had “friends” who were also very powerful Malignant Narcissists turn against me once they were done using me for my perceived purpose. First it’s “love-bomb,” then “devalue,” followed by “disposal.”

In this situation, all bets are off.

These people tell their lies to my other “friends,” who end up believing this relative stranger over me! It’s as if they never knew me in the first place. More than likely, they also did not like me in the first place.

The situation that comes to mind is the “friend” who convinced me that we were building a recording studio together on his property. Four years and over $10,000 later, he told me that I never did anything except sweep the floor, the property was in his name, and there was nothing I could do about it.

He did this because I was starting to help out another “friend” who cried on my shoulder about how she had cancer, couldn’t afford treatment, and was going to die.

Once the studio scammer realized that he was losing control of my money, he discarded me and used rumors that she was a cancer scammer to suggest on Facebook that I was “in on it” with the cancer scammer for profit. Specifically, he suggested that I was using it to purchase $247 plane ticket for her to visit.

Although I had a very high paying job at the time, most of my “friends” were quick to believe that I would engage in scamming others on Facebook so that I could gather up $247.

Utterly ridiculous!

And yet that rumor succeeded in destroying me socially.

MY CONFUSION
The thing that confuses me is complicated. Why did they believe him automatically?

Why did nobody talk to me about it? A few people confronted me about it, as if it were true. Yelling at me and pointing fingers is not talking to me about it, or asking me.

It leads me to wonder why people believe bullshit that they’re told.

MY HYPOTHESIS
I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I do have ideas about what is happening.

Today, people believe that their lives are completely out of control. They are absolutely correct in this regard. It is a desperate sadness; a general pulsating malaise that leaves people feeling powerless and unimportant.

Indeed, they are powerless and unimportant. We all are.

But then something catches their attention. Maybe it’s something scandalous, like a cancer scammer.

This gives them a sudden sensation of both purpose and moral superiority. It’s a new sensation for them, and they do not want to let it die off so quickly. They don’t know when this sensation will return again, if ever.

So they pound the crap out of it like a railroad spike. They go after the offender, even if there is no evidence to support the claims, and even if the motive for the person spreading the rumor is painfully obvious.

For those who don’t understand the studio scammer’s motive to lie, it’s simple. His lie gave him public support for what he really wanted to do, which was to steal my cash investment in the studio, steal my physical work, and steal all of my music gear that I housed in the facility.

Nobody is going to judge or berate him for stealing from a cancer scammer-by-proxy.

What this means is terrifying.

It was in everyone’s best interest to believe that I was complicit in her crimes, regardless of any truth or evidence that surfaced.

The truth and any evidence supporting it was not as important as the feelings they got from the rumors and lies.

In fact, the truth and evidence was a clear and present threat to what they were feeling that gave them the sensation that they were correct and morally superior.

Self-righteousness is a hell of a drug.

LEARNING TO FLY LIE
In the therapy sessions that I’ve had since that incident, especially after my diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism, I have been attempting to learn how to lie in the way that “normal” people do.

Some of those lies required a re-framing so that I could call them something else.

For example, when someone would ask me, “How are you today?” I would give them a literal reply of how I actually was. This never went over well, and I would be left wondering why they asked me, when they didn’t care about my answer in the first place.

That got re-framed from something that is a question about how I am doing, to a human equivalent of a computer ping. Kind of like when you’d have to use dial-up to get to AOL, and you’d heard all that horrible line noise.

How a computer says, “Hello, how are you?” to the internet.

When a person asks me how I’m doing, it’s nothing more than the noise of a computer talking to the internet, checking to see if it is there, and awaiting a response. The response is mere acceptance of the message.

Their message was basically shit, so the response should be the same. So I have learned how to give a shit response.

“I am fine, thank you. How are you?”

There. Utter bullshit, as is so highly-demanded by society, for some reason.

THE BIGGEST REASON OF ALL
There are many reasons why people are so willing to believe lies. To sum it all up, life is rather shitty most of the time for most people. Our lives have been reduced to nothing but work and vapid, mindless entertainment. Our lives are without purpose or meaning, not only on the intrinsic level, but also with regard to those things that we love to believe will give our lives meaning.

So they believe that if they work hard, they will get ahead. LIE.

They believe that a god is up in the sky, watching over them, and that they’ll go to heaven when they die. LIE.

They believe that justice will be served. When it comes to the wealthy, the powerful, and corporations, it’s a LIE.

They believe that the police are protecting them. LIE.

They believe that the person fucking them loves them. 75% chance it’s a LIE, and that’s being generous.

They believe their boss appreciates them. LIE.

They believe that their elected politician cares about them. LIE.

They believe that their food is healthy and safe. LIE, most of the time.

They believe that their conversations are private. LIE.

They believe that hard work will pay off. LIE. [Yes, this one is worth mentioning twice.]

When believing these basic lies is not enough, they graduate to bigger lies. These lies get big, and the bigger they get, the more stupid they appear. A great example is believing that Democrats and celebrities have a secret Satanic kabal with a headquarters rooted in the basement of a pizza shop, where celebrities terrify babies and then suck the adrenochrome out of their bodies to maintain youth, before the others take these poor victims and sell them into a pedo sex slavery ring funded by George Soros.

Really?

REALLY?

That’s some stupid bullshit. But believing things like this helps them to believe that they are morally superior, and they use it to justify a crusade, which gives their otherwise meaningless lives purpose.

People are bored, afraid, and stupid. And when they’re also poorly educated and religious, this opens the door for pretty much anything and everything. After all, if they believe an all-powerful being is in the sky watching them, caring about what they wear and whether or not they say “h-e-double-hockey-sticks,” to determine whether or not they get into heaven for eternity, then they will believe absolutely anything.

And don’t touch your dirty parts, or you’ll burn forever.

It’s the ultimate mind control; a lie that serves those who call the shots.

A THERAPIST’S ATTEMPT
The therapist who diagnosed me with High-Functioning Autism attempted to make a point with me. He asked, “When your girlfriend asks you if she looks fat in her clothes, do you give her a literal answer?”

I said yes, I do. I tell her either yes or no.

“That sounds cruel. Don’t you think that you’re hurting her feelings?”

No. She asks me for the literal truth.

“The thing is that some people ask a question, but they’re not really asking the question or seeking the answer. Instead, they’re simply looking for validation.”

I could only reply the way I know how.

“Wait, so you’re telling me that ‘NORMAL’ people are asking questions where they do not want the answers, and instead are fishing for something else… and I’M THE ONE who needs fixing? I am the one who needs therapy? Sounds like the rest of the world is the fucked up problem to me.”

IN THE END
I do not have much confidence that I will be able to learn how to lie like normal people. Even a lie by omission feels dirty, and I can’t live with myself. However, the way things look, I won’t be able to live if I don’t learn how to at least twist things into a pretzel like a politician.

I have gotten this far without having this survival skill at my disposal. Can I continue?

That question is difficult to answer, as it’s seeming to be more the case that survival in our modern age relies on it. Because in today’s society, there is no middle class. Either you are rich, or you are poor.

Nobody got rich by paying a fair wage, by paying contractors or workers, or by telling the truth.

Which side of the road will I choose? Do I even have a choice? It certainly does not feel like it.

This is why it is by far safer for me to simply avoid humans for as much and as long as possible. This is also not a sustainable strategy.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I know that I have one reader who will have some rather intelligent things to say about this. But what about anyone else who is reading? What do YOU think?

Do you lie? I mean the kind you might call “stretching the truth?” How do you reconcile this? How do you approach it, and what do you think about it?

I am curious about how others view the issue of lying. It seems to be a necessity when it comes to survival, or even for growing wealth. When lies work this way, someone else always ends up getting hurt. If you engage in these types of lies, how do you sleep at night? And don’t say that you sleep on a really expensive mattress. I want to know if it messes with your conscience.

And if you don’t have a conscience, then do not bother replying. Nothing you have to say will be of much use for me.

Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

6 thoughts on “My Naive View of the Truth

  1. Yes, you can continue being yourself, all the while maintaining your honesty, integrity and dignity. That is who you are. Even if 99.99% of the population chooses to exist on lies, that is their choice, not yours. My momma always said, “Once you tell a lie, you’ll have to tell another to cover that up, and then another, and another… until you’re so caught up in your web of lies that there’s no way out. ” I’m paraphrasing, of course; but you get the idea.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The challenge I face in all of this today is related to employment. I can be too honest in an interview, and I have been encouraged to engage in “lies by omission” or giving them the answers that I think they want to hear.

      It’s a matter of survival, and is very tricky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is indeed a tricky situation, as you pointed out. You need to analyze each and every question directed at you; and then decide if it is a genuine query, or something frivolous. Some prospective employers will try to back you into a corner just because they don’t like the way you look; for example. Their questions may be silly, and have nothing to do with your capabilities. Once you recognize this, then by all means tell them what they want to hear. You’re an intelligent guy, you know how to handle them.

        Now, on the other hand, if a question is totally serious, you’ll be better off being honest. Say, the job requires you to have your own mode of transport, when you know you don’t even have a bicycle. Should you lie about that? Most certainly not!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I definitely would not lie about a thing like transportation.

        My concern with job interviews is being too honest. If they say, “Thank you for your candid responses,” then it means that I am not getting the job because I said too much and they got uncomfortable.

        Speaking of which, I have a job interview in five minutes. Wish me luck!

        Liked by 1 person

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