Secrets and Lies

For my sixteenth birthday I had planned what I thought would be a great celebration. It involved my best friends (all of whom were also under age) and excessive amounts of alcohol to be consumed by us. It all started “reasonably” and then quickly took a turn for the worse when the parents of my best friend arrived home earlier than expected and found us binge drinking whiskey. Soon, two of my friends who had drank too much became very nervous and started vomiting and falling asleep, my friend whose parents had shown up was arguing very aggressively with his parents, and I was trying to figure out how best to defuse this situation while highly inebriated. Predictably, everyone’s parents were called, and the situation was handled, though rather humiliatingly. Presently, my friends and I realize it was a terrible plan, but it makes for a funny story now that a few years have passed.

The lie that I told was in taking responsibility for providing the alcohol to everyone, because I did not want my best friend at the time to take that fall. Even though he was the one who acquired the alcohol from an older friend, I insisted that it was me who provided everyone with it. To this day my parents still believe it was me who somehow managed to get the alcohol and provided it to my friends. I lied to the parents involved to protect a secret between my best friend and myself. I lied to not betray him after he took the risk in “smuggling” the alcohol into his house and keeping it stashed for two weeks. Even though I never explicitly promised confidentiality to my best friend, and provider of alcohol, there was an implicit confidentiality agreement between us in matters as this, because of our friendship.

The lie was believed by those who needed to believe it and was never questioned. No one tried to penetrate the lie once it was told because the evidence all pointed to me, making it easy to believe. The fact that no one questioned the lie made me feel like it accomplished its purpose: keeping my best friend as free from blame as possible. The lie was not told in order to empower anyone involved, but to protect a person involved in the original secret that was discovered.

As addressed by Professor Frederick Blevens YES!  in his online lecture on secrecy, rarely do lying and secrecy not go hand in hand, as lies guard secrets, and secrecy guards lies. We were sixteen year olds and up to no good and therefore had to keep our acquiring of alcohol a secret. Once we were uncovered in our wrongdoing, I spun a lie in order to guard the secret and protect the reputation (in the eyes of the parents involved) of my best friend. By telling the lie, I created a second secret that stands to this day. When analyzing a situation like this, it is easy to see how lies and secrets can compound in order to protect an original secret, creating extensive webs of lies that are difficult to keep track of. The larger the secret and the more lies protecting it, the harder it is to maintain a secret, often leading to an eventual slip up and being uncovered, similar to what occurred with President Richard Nixon’s administration and the Watergate Scandal. HA. DON’T OVERDO IT.

– Adrian Gonzalez-Camps

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