And welcome to another edition of PaganFM! here on WSCA-LP, 106.1 FM in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

 

I’m Dee ….

 

Underwriting.

 

Tonight, with Elections here in the United States just over 2 weeks away, I wanted to talk about lies. We’re hearing lots of them lately. Accusations, inferences and falsehoods have become the brickbats tossed at us by many politicians who, seemingly not engendering in the public enough confidence, are seeking to destroy the public’s confidence in their opposition. But are politicians really the only ones to blame? Don’t we, who listen to and promulgate the lies have something to do with it as well? And what are the implications of lies of any sort?

 

As to the why of lying, there are many reasons. Often people lie simply because we don’t want people to know what’s really going on, or who we really are. Lies make us look better than we are. In that sense, lies are an overt admission, at least to ourselves, that we are lacking in self-worth. We say to ourselves “I’m not good enough, so I’ll make something up”. A lie is, in essence, and admission of defeat and a lack of confidence in oneself.

 

So what is a lie? It’s an attempt to deceive. Some people might get caught up in semantics, saying “this wasn’t really a lie … so and so did talk to so and so, so they knew them” when the implication was clear and far more reaching than a mere association. Saying “Jack’s a friend of Joe, and Joe is on the sex offender registry” would be an attempt of guilt by association. While a statement like that may be purely factual, it’s a clear attempt to associate Jack with some sort of crime, and thus demean his character. They are facts, but the implication is a falsehood, that Jack may be a dangerous criminal.

 

Many of us will listen to lies, and credulously believe them. We avoid thinking for ourselves, and buy into what we hear more often, or follow as sheep, some twisted path of logic, which if we looked at objectively would not make sense.

 

We’ve heard that since John McCain was a prisoner of war, that he might be mentally unstable. Associations with such criminals as Gordon Liddy who was convicted in the Watergate Scandal, and who was ready to kill a reporter who broke the story have been brought out as suggestions of dark associations.

 

Likewise, there have been suggestions that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim, or that he has friendly relationships with terrorists, presumably sympathetic to their causes.

 

We can, if we wish to remain lazy, simply believe these things. We can shirk our own responsibility, not seek out facts, and believe and forward such obvious trash. The truth is that much of what we hear is sensational garbage, colorful refuse being tossed from the tops of tall buildings. It’s spectacular for a moment, but if we really look at it, we can see it for what it is. The trouble is that there are many people collecting it up, carrying it back up and tossing it out again.

 

If we strive for honesty, it’s up to us to look into allegations and to determine whether there is truth to them or not, and to bury the garbage when it come our way. We do that by not remaining silent, by not accepting everything we see in our email boxes as truth. By standing up for truth when we know it, and by questioning the sensational or demeaning when we hear it.

 

Groups like factcheck.org, who are non-partisan expend a great deal of effort investigating the claims that are passed around as truth. We don’t need to do investigative reporting on our own to learn; often times, people have already done so, at least on a national level.

 

But the lies we hear aren’t limited to politicians seeking office. Sometimes they are told about friends and neighbors. At other times, the scandals we hear about might not be lies … they might be something about someone’s character, and may be true. What do we do when we hear something scandalous about someone we know?

 

“Did you hear that Timmy did 5 years for armed robbery 15 years ago?” So, what’s the point behind such things, and what does it really matter? If we’ve been friends with someone for a time, and discover something about their past, should that change the way we feel?

 

I really don’t think that most of us have a sterling past. As youth, we’ve likely all done something that was at the time “exciting”, that could have been considered illegal, or which could have got us in trouble. Most of us have dabbled in drugs or alcohol. Many of us have driven drunk. Many of us have done things that providence let us get away with by simply not having been caught. But what of those who we discover have been caught? What of those we hear rumors about?

 

In this case, I think it’s important to recognize that the person who is divulging a rumor is again, in a broad sense, lying. It is possible to lie with facts. By bringing up something from the past, about someone who might be in a position of trust today, we are implying that this person is not to be trusted. We are saying that their past disqualifies them from their present. We are saying that people cannot change, that they cannot rise above their previous circumstances. We forget that many who do not have troubled pasts can do terrible things, and that many who have done bad things in the past can grow beyond that, and become role models for those seeking to improve themselves.

 

As hearers of rumors, once again, it’s up to us to decide what to do when we hear such things. We can embrace rumor, or we can challenge it.

 

The concept of truth and lies is important in magick. The acceptance, or telling of lies will directly affect our magical workings. Whether we are truthful or liars, this is something we know about ourselves. We may lie and hide it, even from ourselves, but on some level, we know it.

 

Acts of magic require truthfulness. When we are doing that sort of work, we rely on integrity. We need to know that what we are doing will be effective, that it is for a just purpose. If we’re prone to lying, it’s difficult to call up the integrated energy necessary to be effective. If we’re prone to accepting lies, it’s difficult to have the unwavering confidence that is needed. Lies are all about conflict; conflict with what is true, conflict with will. If our minds and souls are poisoned with lies, our magic or prayers will likewise be polluted.

 

Does this mean that only saints can pray or work magick effectively? Probably not … none of us are these things … at least not yet. But it does mean that we need to at least strive for truth and integrity. It means that if we actively participate in such lies and deceit, that we’ll suffer in our spiritual lives; that we simply won’t be as effective. It might seem practical to tell a lie in a pinch, but pragmatism, when fueled by deceit usually shows itself to fail in the long run. It requires twisted logic that only a twisted mind can follow.

 

Later on tonight, I’ll talk about some of the lies that are put forth about Paganism during our Pagan Primer. We’ll be talking about Halloween, or Samhain, and we’ll discuss some of the absurd lies that are told about that pagan holy day.

 

Also, coming up, we’ll have our PaganFM! almanac, another visit with Ancient Soul in her Mystic Moment. Later on, we’ll take a look at “Living Wicca”, another older book by Scott Cunningham.

 

Also, up tonight, in Ask PaganFM!, we’ll be talking about practicing your faith, as a young person, in a home where that may not be permitted. How is a young person supposed to handle it when their parents disagree with the faith they are practicing?

 

Next week will be somewhat of a treat. Greywolf, from A Pagan Heart in Maine said he might stop by, and we’ll also be talking to Robert Tindall who wrote one of the best books I’ve yet had the pleasure to read. We’ve exchanged email, and I hope to be talking to him this evening, and we’ll air that interview next week. He is the author of  The Jaguar that Roams the Mind”, and I’m really looking forward to speaking to him.

 

Also, if you like PaganFM!, and can’t get enough, I’d like to make some recommendations. First, here at Portsmouth Community Radio, we’ve probably got the largest variety of programming of any station in the area. From programs like PaganFM!, to Democracy Now,  Left, Right and Correct, Pawsitive Thoughts and tons of eclectic programming that you won’t hear anywhere else, this is an amazingly diverse station. You can find a programming schedule at WSCAFM.org, and you can listen to the streaming audio live, from just about anywhere.

 

If you’re looking for more Pagan oriented content, you can always check out some of the amazing podcasts that are out there. From The Wiglian Way, with Mojo and Sparrow (Who I owe an apology to … I thought that Sparrow was one of the women singing in Chalice and Blade, but that’s actually Wendy and Sue … sorry for the mix-up) to Greywolf, with A Pagan Heart in Maine, The Spiral Dance with Hawthorne, and The Dark Side of Fey, with Darkly Fey. I’m working on getting a more comprehensive list up on the links page on the web site, but some of my favorites are up there. The thing is that all of these programs, the ones produced here at Portsmouth Community Radio, as well as the podcasts are all done by people whose only stake in their efforts is a desire to spread what they are passionate about. There is something pure about that, untainted by commercial interests. It’s not something you’re likely to hear on commercial stations.

 

Having offered PaganFM! as a podcast, we’re amazed at the results. We’ve got a map on the web site, showing the cities from which listeners visit, and we’ve had visitors from Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, and all over the United States. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the votes on Podcast Alley, where we’ve ranked for the most part, in the top 10 in the religion and spirituality category. So, thanks for your votes of confidence.

 

And with that, let’s get to a little music.

 

© 2008, Deirdre A. Hebert