The Lying Effect
Posted by: Leslie Read ()
Date: February 10, 2024 04:17AM

Hello Friends…

Please join me on Substack for a new post on ‘The Lying Effect’ and how it relates to the deceptive dynamics largely playing out in the non-dual community:

and also on my website:

-Leslie Read@

Re: The Lying Effect
Posted by: newday4U ()
Date: March 12, 2024 08:31PM

I agree that the experience of being lied to, and the effect it has had on us, is worthy of our examination. Our having been lied to is a fundamental part of our experience in cults.

Many years ago, travelling on a bus through Connecticut, I saw a pamphlet featured in a window in a bookstore whose title touched my heart. I later made a special trip to purchase it (decades before the internet) and regret to say it has since been lost so I cannot say with certainty the title. I believe the author later developed it into a book with a similar title: "On Lies, Secrets and Silence" by Adrienne Rich. At the time, in my naiveté, I did not know she was a feminist lesbian poet, nor did that matter when years later I found out. To me, she was speaking to the human heart, the human soul, and the effect on all of us that results from being lied to. Rich writes about the purpose of lying and the effect of being lied to in intimate relationships, and to me the relationship with the cult leader is an intimate one as we have let them into our core identity, our deepest thoughts and feelings about ourselves, our purpose, our relationship with the Divine, our lives.

The following quotes are all from a chapter in this book, "Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying." Hopefully, as you read these selections you will adjust the pronouns to suit your experience and not find her use of only feminine pronouns off-putting. I appreciate that in her prose Rich frequently uses the language of poetry -- metaphors, imagery -- to give voice to our wounds, which often have no words to express their profound experience.


"To discover that one has been lied to in a personal relationship, however, leads one to feel a little crazy."


"The liar often suffers from amnesia. Amnesia is the silence of the unconscious.
"To lie habitually, as a way of life, is to lose contact with the unconscious. It is like taking sleeping pills, which confer sleep but blot out dreaming. The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth.
"In speaking of lies, we come inevitably to the subject of truth. There is nothing simple or easy about this idea. There is no "the truth," "a truth" -- truth is not one thing, or even a system. It is an increasing complexity. The pattern of the carpet is a surface. When we look closely, or when we become weavers, we learn of the tiny multiple threads unseen in the overall pattern, the knots on the underside of the carpet.
"That is why the effort to speak honestly is so important. Lies are usually attempts to make everything simpler -- for the liar -- than it really is, or ought to be.
"In lying to others we end up lying to ourselves. We deny the importance of an event, or a person, and thus deprive ourselves of a part of our lives. Or we use one piece of the past or present to screen out another. Thus we lose faith even with our own lives.
"The unconscious wants truth, as the body does. The complexity and fecundity of dreams come from the complexity and fecundity of the unconscious struggling to fulfill that desire."


"When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."


"Why do we feel slightly crazy when we realize we have been lied to in a relationship?
"We take so much of the universe on trust...Because I love you, I take (your) accounts of the universe on trust: your address twenty-five years ago, your relationship with someone I know only by sight, this morning's weather. I fling unconscious tendrils of belief, like slender green threads, across (your) statements made so unequivocally, which have no tone or shadow of tentativeness. I build them into the mosaic of my world. I allow my universe to change in minute, significant ways, on the basis of things you have said to me, of my trust in you.
"I also have faith that you are telling me things it is important I should know; that you do not conceal facts from me in an effort to spare me, or yourself, pain.
"Or, at the very least, that you will say, 'There are things I am not telling you.'
"When we discover that someone we trusted can be trusted no longer, it forces us to reexamine the universe, to question the whole instinct and concept of trust. For awhile, we are thrust back onto some bleak, jutting ledge, in a dark pierced by sheets of fire, swept by sheets of rain, in a world before kinship, or naming, or tenderness exist; we are brought close to formlessness."


"The liar may resist confrontation, denying that she lied. Or she may use other language: forgetfulness, privacy, the protection of someone else. Or she may bravely declare herself a coward. This allows her to go on lying, since that is what cowards do. She does not say, 'I was afraid,' since this would open the question of other ways of handling her fear. It would open the question of what is actually feared.
"She may say, 'I didn't want to cause pain.' What she really did not want is to have to deal with the other's pain. The lie is a short-cut through another's personality."


"Truthfulness, honor, is not something which springs ablaze of itself; it has to be created between people."


"The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of possibilities.
"When relationships are determined by manipulation, by the need for control, they may possess a dreary, bickering kind of drama, but they cease to be interesting. They are repetitious; the shock of human possibilities has ceased to reverberate through them.
"When someone tells me a piece of the truth which has been withheld from me, and which I needed in order to see my life more clearly, it may bring acute pain, but it can also flood me with a cold, sea-sharp wash of relief. Often such truths come by accident or from strangers.
"...To have an honorable relationship means...that we both are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us."


Rich published these words in 1975, when ideas of narcissism, narcissistic abuse, trauma, attachment theory, trauma bonding, PTSD/CPTSD were barely glimmers on the horizon of psychology. We know so much more today about the very basics and dynamics of relationships. Yet the poetic language in her prose gives voice to the depth of the human experience of betrayal, and our longing for relationships that are honest, truthful and trustworthy. The finest, deepest feelings we have that cannot be found in factual definitions, however much those definitions are helpful in our understanding.

The most basic and very first lie that I fell for was that the truth is to be found outside of me in some higher authority. From there the lies pig-piled up into a pile of a pyramid with my guru perched on top: enlightenment is something worthy to strive for, enlightenment is a state of being, the guru has achieved that state of being, only the guru can get me to enlightenment, if I haven't achieved enlightenment yet it's because I'm doing something wrong/not trying hard enough...on and on, you get the picture.

It is amazing how quickly the pyramid of lies collapses as each belief is exposed as a lie. The exposure left me gasping, free-falling through space and time as my world, and what I thought of as my place in that world, toppled in pieces around me. When everything I thought I needed to cling to disappeared, it did make feel feel a little crazy. And there was a strong urge to replace it, to hurry up and find something else to cling to, because the collapse left me facing a gaping, dark, unknown void.

But I am resisting that urge, that temptation. I'm sitting on the edge of the void, peering into its depths. I want to know what's there, in the void. And I feel that exploring the void is a worthy endeavor. Because I have gone through immense pain, suffering, loss and grief to arrive here, at this place.


"The liar fears the void. The liar in her terror wants to fill up the void with anything. Her lies are a denial of her fear, a way of maintaining control.
"The dark core. It is beyond personality; beyond who loves us or hates us.
"We begin out of the void, out of darkness and emptiness. It is part of the cycle understood by the old pagan religions, that materialism denies. Out of death, rebirth; out of nothing, something.
"The void is the creatrix, the matrix. It is not mere hollowness and anarchy...We are not supposed to go down into the darkness of the core.
"Yet, if we risk it, the something born of that nothing is the beginning of our truth."

Re: The Lying Effect
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 13, 2024 01:52AM

The miraculous book by Adrienne Rich newday4U has quoted from can still be found.

Just go to bookfinder dot com

Re: The Lying Effect
Posted by: Leslie Read ()
Date: March 28, 2024 10:22AM

Yes...thank you... "
"Truthfulness, honor, is not something which springs ablaze of itself; it has to be created between people."

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