“And that should bother someone,” she said. “But it may not.”
Colorado-based blogger and writer Bob Brown runs the website Deceptology.com. Dedicated to the “study of deception,” the site examines phenomena ranging from pranks and hoaxes to fraud and lying on a Madoff-esque scale. A former magician, Brown theorizes that Armstrong is such a competitive, Type A personality that he may not even acknowledge he’s been lying — or cheating — by living in an I’m-not-guilty bubble that finally bursts.
“Some of us who don’t lie can’t wrap our heads around that,” Brown acknowledges.
Magicians actually fight something called “magician’s guilt,” he says, where they acknowledge deliberately deceiving people for the purpose of entertaining them. If they dwell too much on the betrayal aspect, they cannot perform effectively. So they must rationalize the deception — or find another gig.
“An analogy would be, you lie on your resume because you need the job to feed your family,” says Brown. “You find a way to fit the lie into your personality.”
Brown has written nearly 3,000 blog posts on various aspects of lying and deceiving.
“Nothing surprises me about what people will lie about, especially to preserve their worldview,” he says. “Magicians, con men, people who cheat on their spouses — they all use the same principles underneath.”
Joseph P. Kahn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.