Gene Van Shaar Substack
by Gene Van Shaar
Truth and Deception
Gene Van Shaar
Jun 10, 2020
In 1849, while serving as a missionary in Stratford-upon-Avon twenty-two year old John Jaques pondered the biblical verses wherein Pontius Pilate asked Jesus several questions. During that interview Jesus declared, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." Pilot countered, "What is truth?" If Jesus gave a response, it is not recorded (KJV John 18:37-38).
After pondering those words, Jaques wrote a poem, which was simply titled "Truth." Here are the first two stanzas:
Oh say, what is truth? ’Tis the fairest gem
That the riches of worlds can produce,
And priceless the value of truth will be when
The proud monarch’s costliest diadem
Is counted but dross and refuse.
Yes, say, what is truth? ’Tis the brightest prize
To which mortals or Gods can aspire.
Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,
Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:
’Tis an aim for the noblest desire.
Subsequently, the poem was set to music which resulted in the little known but inspiring hymn, "Oh Say, What Is Truth." (Choir Performance)
In the dictionary, truth is defined as reality or as verified fact or principle. In psychology, the failure to decern what is true, or denial of reality is considered a form of psychosis which is often associated with schizophrenia and other types of mental illness. Our biggest political problems are caused by two kinds of people: Those who tell ideological lies and those who believe them.
The ability to discern truth, the wisdom to value it, and the willingness to live by it are among the most important issues of life. If we do not seek to discover truth and align our lives with it, we can be easily tricked, trapped, or oppressed. If we are willing to seek and follow the truth our freedom and fulfillment can be infinite.
By definition, there is no such thing as "my truth" or "your truth." There is only truth, which is often opposed by opinion. In the wise words of Lawrence W. Reed, "Perverting the truth into a partial truth or an outright lie is a sure sign of rottenness of character.…No society becomes or remains free if it puts anything higher on life’s pedestal than pure, unadulterated, objective truth."
One of the best ways to understand something is to carefully define its opposite. We comprehend better by comparing opposites such as: hot to cold, wet to dry, and sweet to sour. So, what is the opposite of truth? There is a long list of antonyms, some of which are: falsehood, lying, hypocrisy, delusion, propaganda, bullshit, treachery, and deception.
No emotionally healthy person likes being deceived or feels good about lying. Deception is a violation of expectations that destroys relationships. So, why does it happen? Usually people lie in order to facilitate theft, get power, or for some other kind of gain or advantage. Deception is not an honest mistake. It's intentional.
Falsehood between individuals is tragic. But when it is legitimized as part of an ideology, it is dangerous and destructive. For example, many people and groups believe and teach that: The End Justifies the Means. In other words, any falsehood or atrocity is justifiable, and even beneficial, as long as it advances a desired cause.
Since its beginning, the socialist movement has followed an "End Justifies the Means" program of deceit and destruction. F.A. Hayek explained it this way: "The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule; there is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves 'the good of the whole.'"
Let's be perfectly clear. The core of socialist philosophy and its means of gaining wealth and power are founded on theft and lies. Socialism is inherently non-productive and has already killed more than a hundred million people. It is spread mainly by deception and violence: Let's list some examples of current leftist propaganda that involves theft and deception:
Promoting illegal immigration primarily to increase the number of socialist voters.
Using Climate Change scare tactics as an excuse to increase government control.
Agitating race relations in order to create anarchy and demean capitalism.
Defrauding the voting process by opposing voter ID in order to win elections.
Expanding welfare programs intended to increase dependency on government.
Pushing gun control, which is about crushing resistance, not saving lives.
Achieving the socialist goal of weakening the family by pushing false narratives about family, sex, and gender.
We could go on and on but rest assured, if the left is for it, it's probably a trick to get more power. The socialist-leaning-left consistently repeats their long-standing practice of deception. Nearly all of what the political left (including the mainstream media) has said about Donald Trump over the last three years has been demonstrably false. And what happens if they are called out on their misinformation and deception? They are outraged, and double down. Since this level of lying defies logic, why do they do it? They know if they tell the truth they will lose the votes they need to get more power. They think their misunderstood corrupt cause is more important than truth, or anything else. Therefore, in their minds the end justifies the means. Comparing Trump's occasional exaggerations to their consistent, outlandish propaganda is the height of hypocrisy.
The third verse of John Jaques' lyrics include the stirring insight that truth defeats tyrants:
The sceptre may fall from the despot’s grasp
When with winds of stern justice he copes.
But the pillar of truth will endure to the last,
And its firm-rooted bulwarks outstand the rude blast
And the wreck of the fell tyrant’s hopes.
Lies eventually collapse on themselves, and deceptive people are often caught in their lying and deception which precipitates their fall from power. But even purposeful liars can learn to love the truth. Those who have been deceived can easily and happily come to the light and enjoy truth and freedom. (John 8:31-32)
It's not hard to identify the perpetrators of deception and their destructive falsehoods. Antifa self-identifies as an enemy of western civilization. They proudly proclaim their intention to tear down and destroy productive capitalism and replace it with devouring socialism. Many in the democratic party are in the same boat. If enough of us can be deceived into supporting their schemes we will be in their power. Many politicians and celebrities have jumped on the garish bandwagon. Are they complicit in the evil or just useful idiots? It won't matter which, if one way or the other we reach the tipping point.
But they have one big problem. Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump stands in the gap fighting for the traditional American values of freedom, family, patriotism, and rule of law. And he has proven to be a tough nut to crack. Since they cannot beat him in a fair fight they have resorted to demonic deception as verified in this excellent article: The Lying About Donald Trump is now Completely Out of Control.
Nearly every negative thing we have heard about Trump is a lie. Many of the credulous continue to be influenced by never-ending-deceptions such as the recent General Mattis perfidy, which is exposed here and here. Never-Trump traitors and fools continue to fight against freedom, seemingly blind to the fact that he is our last best hope to hold off and defeat the darkness.
The ancient prophet Amos seems to have foreshadowed this time when he said: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." (KJV Amos 8:11-13)
There is certainly a flood of deception and a famine of truth in the land. May our hearts and minds be open to the urgency of supporting those who stand for truth, justice, and freedom.
Copyright © 2020 by Gene Van Shaar
* Before he knew anything about this article Kelly Van Shaar was inspired to do some research about John Jaques, and to produce a new version of the Truth anthem which includes original tracks of acoustic guitar, orchestra, piano, vibraphone, and vocal harmonies.