We have all been lied to, and we are equally artful in lying to ourselves.

The title of this piece is taken from an opinion piece written by David Bell for The Epoch Times. In it, Bell warns us—based on his personal experience in the global public health industry—that lies of “pure fantasy but massive in scope and delivered with sincerity” are very successful. Why is this and what does this mean for us now?

How Really Big Lies Happen

There is a common denominator that underpins really big lies. These lies are often associated with huge organizations in what are assumed to be respectable and credible industries. They are made by people in authority and leadership in which we believe that the leadership is genuinely focused on the public good, and is backed by intelligence, thoughtfulness, truthfulness, and good character.

Problems begin when we ignore the reality we perceive, are reluctant to question authority, and fail to challenge these “truths.” (This is particularly true with gaslighting.a) We weaken our defenses against illusion when we assume our perceptions to be wrong. It is far easier to go with the crowd and avoid exposure to ridicule and risk career and financial hardship. As Bell says, it is easier to “go with the propaganda than deal with the dissonance that would otherwise result.”

Ironically, big lies carry more credibility than smaller ones, and there is tremendous power in the preposterous.

Pressure to accept the preposterous and unacceptable comes from many directions and sources. Be especially vigilant of powerful organizations and institutions whose sole motive is wealth creation. They bring pressure by foisting belief systems that we are not to question or doubt and that play, as Bell observes, “on fear, divorcing data from context, and disseminating false information widely and incessantly.”

Bell concludes with these thoughts. “Integrity was a poor career choice, while good team players supported false narratives.” “The teller of very big lies from my former workplace was only respected by those who also lied and those who remained fooled. It’s a poor substitute for dignity.”

Unmask Really Big Lies

Really big lies are everywhere because really big liars are everywhere, especially in political and corporate spheres. But as dangerous as they are, there is a more sinister presence and that is in the spiritual realm. “God is dead.” “God doesn’t care.” “You are worthless.” “You will never succeed.” “No one could love you.” You’ve heard all these—do you believe them? These are lies we tell ourselves and can come from any source, including all sources of evil. Because they erode our sense of self-worth and our connection to truth, they are the most pernicious of all.

These lies and many more like them are the ultimate big lies that are too easy to accept. In their absurdity they are so preposterous that, for some unknown human weakness, truth is turned upside down and we choose to embrace lies. Yet, there are some things that however foolish, preposterous, or illogical they may seem, are truths. Which begs the questions, where is truth and how do we distinguish it from lies?

The Apostle Paul understood this challenge when he wrote:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 1:21-23

To Paul, truths are revealed when examined through the eyes of faith. And faith through the good news of the Gospel of Christ tells us that we are all important, valuable to each other, and worthy of the greatest sacrifice. Truths, not lies.

And so, we must first look at who the liar is; self-serving organizations, social networks, the great Imposter Satan, or the face in the mirror. Then, decide what we accept or discard, using the tools of the mind and the ways of the soul; the essence of our lives hangs in the balance.

Where are your eyes focused? I look to the Bible. I look to my Christian faith. But I am not here to tell you where to look, except to suggest that to live a life outside of big lies you must look, somewhere. Do you want to remain fooled? Do you want to be respected only by those who buy into the big lies? Do you want to respect yourself?


(a) Gaslighting is the attempt to convince you that what you believe to be real and true is not. It is a form of the really big lie. Spiritual gaslighting is an attempt to deny the truths of the Bible and the reality of God’s redemptive love. Gaslighting, like really big lies, comes in many forms and can originate from people (including those you believe to be friends and those in authority), social media, and organizations. Your defense is truth, confidence in your beliefs, and the ability to sort through false logic. Let the Holy Spirit guide and defend you.