I want to write a very long essay covering every aspect of
the art of deception but I have to consider my readers time so I have resorted
to an article instead.
Deception is the act of deliberately causing (someone) to
believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain or
Due to the self imposed limit I will only cover three
methods of deception.
The easiest way to deceive is to tell a convincing lie to an
audience knowing they have no means to verify it before it’s too late. That
works very well in hasty situations and is always complimented with a quick
getaway. It can also be used when a situation is too tense or would be of
great inconvenience to the deceiver to reveal the truth. It allows the deceiver
to buy time until at a later date when it is more convenient to reveal the
truth, either by the deceiver or the process of research or investigations. The
most notable case involved Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinski. When
question on national TV he denied the accusations outright as it wasn’t
convenient for him at that time considering his status as the president. He
admitted to it later when it was more convenient. He deceived the Americans in
the first instance into believing his innocence until much later. There are
other cases you can relate to.
The second method of deception is diversion. The deceiver
simply diverts the attention of the audience to another capturing situation to
achieve convenience for him to do whatever he wants. This method is tricky and
risky so the deceiver must act with great skill and subtlety, lest he draws
attention to himself.
To be successful, the deceiver must carefully choose or
create the situation so that it is able to hold the attention of the audience
long enough for the deceiver to achieve his true intent.
Illusionists or magicians like Chris Angel have used
deception by diversion to great effect on their audiences. I will not list
more; I leave that to the cognitive mind of the reader.
The last but certainly not the least of the methods of
deception is propagated by the use of half truths and convenient omissions.
This method has been mostly used by elites of humanity when dealing with an
informed audience. It has a high success rate and can be successfully used on a
well informed audience because it takes advantage of the biological modus
operandi of the human brain. In short it hacks the brain itself. The brain
doesn’t pay attention to detail very much when processing information. It takes
a snapshot of the bigger picture and processes the information. For example
when reading the word “punctuation” the brain doesn’t process the word letter
by letter, it treats the word as a picture and matches it to the picture of
that word stored in your memory when you first memorized it. It then processes
the picture as the word “punctuation”. That means if a letter was missing in the
word and you were reading a captivating story, you simply won’t notice the
missing letter. It is compounded by another brain limitation I would like to
call, “serial information processing”. It simply means that the brain can’t run
more than one, logic and reasoning processes at the same time, unlike
computers. You can’t both read and listen to some one shouting. That serial
process limitation makes the brain unable to run parallel processes to check
processed information for errors and correct them. The brain heavily relies on
getting it right the first instance and that would require conscious
objectivity and concentration on critical analysis. The other brain function,
deception hijacks, is the release of endorphins to create the happy feeling.
When you perceive something likeable, endorphins are released in the brain to
induce a “feel good” sensation in order to appreciate it. The downside is that
it makes you become less critical.
Hence if a deceiver were to write about a subject the
audience already knows, he must hijack or hack the brain to be successful.
Here is how they do it.
1. People are most critical in the opening lines so they
write about facts that are of lesser importance to the subject matter – These
likable lines causes the brain to start releasing endorphins and makes the
reader less critical. It is fundamental for the deceiver to get it right.
2. The deceiver would cleverly omit less noticeable facts,
and then he would give minimum emphasis on fundamental facts because it would
be noticeable if totally removed and may expose the deceiver.
3. Finally the deceiver would overemphasize or dribble on
about less important fact making it seem more important than it really is, or
the deceiver can employ deception to divert attention elsewhere after
downplaying fundamental facts to seem unimportant.
You realize now how deception is used? Oral deception
using the third method especially in public speeches is child’s play to a
skilled deceiver. He can engage the audience and open the endorphin tap before
plying his trade at will.
Half truths and omissions have been used by the ruling class
for ages. Only the most critical minds will notice. It will be hard for a few
objective minds to convince an audience if the entire speech concentrated on
emphasizing less important facts and gave an overrated positive outlook.
The brain is tuned for outlooks and snap shots not factual detail. Hence once
the audience has had an endorphin induced conviction skillfully delivered by a
deceptive master with half truths and omissions, it will require almost the
same skills to convince them otherwise, and you can’t blame them. That is just
how the brain operates and that is why the word “gullible” was coined.