commentary: More On Lying - An Apology
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 25-Jan-14; Sermon #1195c; 13 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, reporting on an exposé article regarding excessive use of vitamins, claimed that Big Pharma actually was behind the articles in order to sell more vitamins via doctor's prescriptions because they would earn more money from those sales. Similar distortions of the truth occurred in articles which attempted to sell the popularity of abortion, and the occupational hazards of football. We need to be careful absorbing articles and blogs which may conform to our preconceived view of things, but do not necessarily conform to the truth.
During the week following giving what I thought was my final commentary in the series regarding lying ["How Was it Accomplished So Easily? (Part Five)"], several other exposés came to my attention almost immediately after that that tend to show how deceptive the lying is and how carefully thoughtful we have to be.
One example appeared in a WorldNetDaily article reporting on the deceptiveness—that was the reason for reporting—of a report regarding taking vitamins and minerals. The article being reported on was titled, "Enough Is Enough. Stop Wasting Money on Vitamins and Mineral Supplements." The article originally was linked to from the Drudge Report, and the Drudge Report is usually a very reliable source. In this case, though, it was misleading because the title was misleading, and the WorldNetDaily article exposed the misleading aspect. The title leads one to believe that all vitamins and mineral supplements are useless. However, Lee Hieb, M.D., who authored the WorldNetDaily article found the Drudge Report-linked article only condemned one narrow but frequently bought aspect of vitamins and minerals, and that is multi-vitamins.
Most interesting to the doctor was that it was Big Pharma that motivated this. Why would they motivate an article that urges you not to buy one of their products? Well, the truth is, they were sneakily playing a business game. They wanted to make even more money. Their desire was to gently persuade you and me not to search things out for ourselves and then self-prescribe vitamins from our researching conclusions. They want us to go to a doctor to prescribe, because they make a small percentage more from a doctor's prescription. It was a business decision, but over the entire United States, in all the sales, that tiny edge made quite a difference.
Now here is another—I heard this one from Rush Limbaugh. You might remember that the vote to allow abortion in the United States of America in the 1970s was significantly aided by persuading the citizens through a greatly exaggerated lie regarding how many women were dying each year from botched abortions. So, they were playing on people's fears.
Today, in our time—fast-forward almost 40 years—a $700 million lawsuit against the National Football League in behalf of injured former players is proceeding through the law courts. At issue is the size of the compensations for injuries suffered by former players while employed playing professional football. One of the issues that helped persuade public sentiment toward favoring the players has been a statistic floated in various ways through the industry and the public by media is that the suicide rate of retired players is six times higher than the general public's suicide rate. In other words, playing football motivates men to commit suicide because their brains are injured.
Almost everybody accepted that "six times higher" statistic except for a man by the name of Flynn. (I do not know what his first name is.) He is employed by the Breitbart website, and he decided to check into that for accuracy. (Breitbart is a conservative news and opinion website.) It took him a long time and a lot of work to get to the source because that figure became part of the foundation of a book—he wanted to make sure he was really right on this—authored by Flynn. Like the abortion lie in the 1970s, that "six times" figure is simply an out and out fabricated lie. There exists not even one study whatsoever to back that statistic. It was just fabricated right out of the air in conversations. That's all. He traced it as far as somewhere in San Diego. However, there is a United States government department that records occupational suicide statistics and has been doing so for generations. And that shows that the suicide rate of former professional football players is, in reality, lower than the general population's suicide rate.
Now, why did these two attract me? Well, the day after giving my commentary it was pointed out to me that the source of my information regarding the Pope was not from a reliable source that I thought it was. Rather, it was, in reality, from a blog. A blog is a commentary of personal opinions. What I'm about to say does not mean that all blogs should be avoided and condemned. It merely means that I should have checked it out further before drawing material from it. In this case, the fault was entirely mine, not directly the writer of the blog, and I apologize to you for allowing myself to be a tool for misleading you. At the end of the blog, the writer confessed that what he had written he considered a satire and was done for his own amusement. In other words, that was his disclaimer.
However, what the man wrote was essentially correct in its overall principle. The principle is that the Pope is an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Church of God in terms of his doctrinal teachings and in his life's spiritual practices. The Pope is of the world and not of Christ. That much is OK so far. Where the blogger misled was in the specific doctrinal details he claimed (in satire) that the Pope said. In other words, he put these words in the Pope's mouth. To be truly open, it would have been far better for him to have stated at the beginning that what followed was satirical, but that would ruin the excitement of the blog post, you see.
My sin was in not checking it out more thoroughly before I participated in the author's sin and further enhanced his satire worldwide. I feel further embarrassed because I then proceeded to give a sermon from Ecclesiastes ["Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Eleven)"] in which a major portion of Solomon's message was instruction regarding hearing and speaking. Well, I was embarrassed, yes, but also very thankful to the messenger of God who came quickly to get me straightened out, not just on this issue, but more importantly on my research practices.
Here comes the lesson to me, and hopefully it will be one for you, too. I have asked myself this: "Why did I err so easily and pass it on to you so quickly?" I have spoken in several of these recent commentaries about how easily Americans were duped by the socialist and Communist infiltrators' lies. And yet, when this opportunity arose with the blog post, I fell right into the trap, too.
Here is where I believe is the main lesson for me. I failed to check it out thoroughly, not nearly thoroughly enough, because I wanted—I desired—to believe those things about the Pope. As a result, my judgment regarding him upon evaluation was prejudiced against him by all the things I already knew about him, not the least of which was that he truly is a Jesuit. I'll tell you, that's what really triggered this in me. Historically, the Jesuits most definitely do not have a lily white spiritual reputation. In other words, I do not expect righteous spiritual things from Jesuits.
Adding weight to this attitude is that I have preached prophecies from the Bible indicating that the man of sin will arise from the Catholic Church. And yet in this case that involved my report on him, he was fairly innocent of the accusations made against him. Thus, the sentence for me is not to be so quick to judge, even when it's a man you consider to be a spiritual enemy. Jesus said to judge righteous judgment, but in this case, I did not. And so I apologize to you for passing on these particular lies.