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Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself. Ludwig Wittgenstein
It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein
O what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!
But when we’ve practised quite a while
How vastly we improve our style! J R Pope, A Word of Encouragement
Human beings seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to deceive themselves, and to deceive themselves into taking their own lies for truth. R D Laing, The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell, disputed quotation
Untaught the noble end of glorious truth,
Bred to deceive even from their earliest youth. Anne Ingram, An Epistle to Mr Pope, 1736
In 2009 eighteen-year-old student Gemma Barker invented three fictitious boys. In disguise as these boys Gemma seduced two of her best friends. The Girl Who Became Three Boys, Channel 4 2012
This is a story of sex and deception, a story that made headlines around the world. It’s a story of a crime that begins on social networking sites. The victims were two innocent teenage girls. ibid.
Jessica, Alice and Gemma became close friends. ibid.
Aaron’s Facebook page presented a picture of a fit and attractive young man. ibid.
Gemma decided that Jessica ought to have a boyfriend of her own; one new Facebook account later and she’d created Luke Jones, a friend of Aaron. ibid.
By the end of 2009 Gemma had two alter-egos: Aaron Lampard and Luke Jones complete with Facebook pages and networks of fictional friends. ibid.
Gemma pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one of fraud ... Gemma was sent to prison for two and a half years. ibid.
The easiest person to deceive is one’s self. Edward G Bulwer-Lytton
This deception [UFOs] is part of the spiritual war between God and Satan. Dr Stephen Yulish, Harken the Watchmen
I had no idea of the extent of the lie, the level of deception. Australia is not the only one of our allies being deceived. The Falcon and the Snowman 1985 starring Sean Penn & Timothy Hutton & Sean Penn & Pat Hingle & Joyce van Patten & Rob Reed & Richard Dysart & David Suchet & Chris Makepeace et al, director John Schlesinger, Boyce
Is marriage synonymous with deception? Cape Fear 1991 starring Robert De Niro & Nick Nolte & Jessica Lang & Joe Don Baker & Robert Mitchum & Juliette Lewis & Gregory Peck & Martin Balsam & Fred Delta Thompson & Illeana Douglas et al, director Martin Scorsese, her to him
Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains,
Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed but sign. William Shakespeare, Othello I i 155, Iago
Divinity of hell:
When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows. ibid. II iii @341, Iago
She has deceived her father and may thee. Othello, Globe Theatre production, Sky Arts 2012
God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another. William Shakespeare, Hamlet III i
We are oft to blame in this, –
’tis too much proved, – that with devotion’s visage,
and pious action we do sugar o’er
the devil himself. William Shakespeare, Hamlet III i
For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 4
O what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive! Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808
Everything that deceives is said to enchant. Plato
We are never deceived – we deceive ourselves. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Deception is a cruel act – it often has many players on different stages that corrode the soul. Donna A Favors
It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver. Niccolo Machiavelli
Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions. Niccolo Machiavelli
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Deceive boys with toys, but men with smiles. Lysander
Vyvyan: Aha! You’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch you out, Michael.
Michael: You’d have to stay up all night. The Young Ones, Summer Holiday, BBC 1984
It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit
Anything is better than lies and deceit! Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
One may outwit another, but not all the others. François de la Rochefoucauld
‘Terrorism’ is a word that has become a plague on our vocabulary, the excuse and reason and moral permit for state-sponsored violence – our violence – which is now used on the innocent of the Middle East ever more outrageously and promiscuously. Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It has become a full stop, a punctuation mark, a phrase, a speech, a sermon, the be-all and end-all of everything that we must hate in order to ignore injustice and occupation and murder on a mass scale. Terror, terror, terror, terror. It is a sonata, a symphony, an orchestra tuned to every television and radio station and news agency report, the soap-opera of the Devil, served up on prime-time or distilled in wearyingly dull and mendacious form by the right-wing ‘commentators’ of the America east coast or the Jerusalem Post or the intellectuals of Europe. Strike against Terror. Victory over Terror. War on Terror. Everlasting War on Terror. Rarely in history have soldiers and journalists and presidents and kings aligned themselves in such thoughtless, unquestioning ranks. In August 1914, the soldiers thought they would be home by Christmas. Today, we are fighting for ever. The war is eternal. The enemy is eternal, his face changing on our screens. Once he lived in Cairo and sported a moustache and nationalised the Suez Canal. Then he lived in Tripoli and wore a ridiculous military uniform and helped the IRA and bombed American bars in Berlin. Then he wore a Muslim Imam’s gown and ate yoghurt in Tehran and planned Islamic revolution. Then he wore a white gown and lived in a cave in Afghanistan and then he wore another silly moustache and resided in a series of palaces around Baghdad. Terror, terror, terror. Finally, he wore a kuffiah headdress and outdated Soviet-style military fatigues, his name was Yassir Arafat, and he was the master of world terror and then a super-statesman and then again, a master of terror, linked by Israeli enemies to the terror-Meister of them all, the one who lived in the Afghan cave. Robert Fisk
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery