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How to lie and influence others to lie, without actually coming out and saying you want them to lie: a brief lesson from he who must not be named.


He who must not be named doesn’t directly tell people to lie– thus we have the Buzzfeed story which was refuted by a rare public statement from the Mueller office.  What he who isn’t named actually does is create an alternate reality in front of the person he is urging to lie– he says, repeatedly, the lie that he wants to hear from the subject and then goes out in public and repeats the same lie.  The subject is forced to either lie along with he who cannot be named or else contradict him and face his wrath.  He (the subject, in this case Michael Cohen) knows exactly what he who must not be named wants the subject to say.  He who must not be named doesn’t have to direct request anyone to do his dirty work for him– he merely implies that he needs something done, and repeats his implications again and again in the appropriate setting.

This is a well-known Mafia technique for getting things done without having to go on record as having requested or ordered them.  You need to have a staff that is well-tuned to what your needs are going to be in any situation– like Michael Cohen, who knew from ten years of experience with he who must not be named that he wanted Michael to lie when he said, “Michael, I know you’ll say the right thing.”

Of course, if you speak of “internal consciousness of lying” you may be mistaken, as it appears that he who must not be named actually believes many of the things that he has factually mis-stated.  There is an internal world that he inhabits which is unreal, fantastic, magical, and in which he is the hero of every story, since every story is about him.

Michael has been subjected to a process of intimidation, almost enchantment, in which he initially was irresistibly attracted to Individual 1, and thought that he could do not wrong.  By the time he realized that what he was doing for the unindicted co-conspirator was really wrong, he was already captive to the man’s psychological attractions.  He only broke free when he realized that the government was going to send him to jail for the rest of his life (twenty or more years) if he didn’t come clean– and his wife and children would be rendered indigent as a result.

The effect of his being entangled in Individual 1’s lies and corruption and being discovered by the special counsel investigation bothered him when he realized that his children would suffer– bothered him to the extent that he decided it would be better to stop being a fall guy for he who must not be named.

The Republicans make a lot of noise about how Michael is a convicted liar– but they leave out the part about how he lied for he who must not be named, but now he’s coming clean.  They conveniently gloss over the fact that his testimony before the House, if shown to be false, could land him in even more legal trouble.  So if he was a liar before, he’s got to tell the truth now or spend even more time in prison.

(image of michael stolen from fox news)

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