Lies incur a debt to the truth


I was deeply moved by the recent HBO series “Chernobyl” for many reasons: the heroism of firefighters, workers, scientists, etc., who gave their lives to stave off a more horrific disaster; the hyper-accurate portrayal of the everyday gloom of Soviet life; the understandable yet detailed descriptions of nuclear power and how the explosion happened; and the powerful witness to the depravity of Soviet-style totalitarianism.

But what really captured my mind and heart was a speech given by Legasov, the main investigator of the Chernobyl disaster. In a speech before a government committee, Legasov effectively commits suicide by calling out the entire system as an “empire of lies” and essentially says that Chernobyl was the inevitable result of this pathology.

At one point he says: “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid. That is how an RBMK reactor core explodes. Lies.” It was thought previously, during, and even after the Chernobyl event that it was “impossible” for a core to explode, based on the information available to the experts.

But what the experts didn’t know is that they had not been given all the information … and instead had been given quite a bit of mendacious muck disguised as truth or facts. People were not allowed to speak the truth about nuclear power and most other things in the USSR and so first the nuclear plant exploded and then the USSR itself imploded.

There is an important point here that cannot be over-stressed: truth must be told in order for a society, nuclear plant, person, or any human endeavor to have a chance to succeed, and to avoid catastrophe.

And the bigger the lie, the worse the consequence.

At the risk of belaboring a point, I will connect this dynamic to the issue of abortion.

Those who protect it are usually engaged in outright lies about it, either lies of commission or ones of omission.

Lies of commission happen when people like Cecile Richards, former head of Planned Parenthood (PP), says that her organization does good by providing “mammograms,” when in fact it does not. It happens when pro-choicers say “my body, my choice,” ignoring the very real presence of another body inside them. It happens when pro-choicers claim the embryo/fetus/unborn child is not a human being, but merely a clump of cells no different than a pancreas. It happens when they say that all the children who would be born if abortion didn’t exist wouldn’t be able to find a home, when in reality there are millions of couples ready to adopt new-born babies.

And then there are the lies of omission. The biggest one is the lack of honesty about how an abortion is actually performed. The procedure is so horrific that I can barely allow my mind to comprehend the intentional chemical burning or vivisection of unborn children in the womb. Pro-choicers actively seek to keep this information out of public view because they know that once it is known, the tide will shift and shift quickly.

Then there are lies about the motives of pro-lifers: we do it because we’re religious nuts, or anti-woman, or racist, or prudish. Pro-choicers ignore our stated reasons and just make ones up — lie — in order to dismiss our point of view out of hand, rather than grapple with the issue in a meaningful way.

It is this campaign of lies that led first to Roe v. Wade and then to 50 years of acceptance of abortion by our society because its proponents utterly control the key instruments of influence in our society: education, entertainment, and journalism. With these tools in hand, they have been able to convince millions of Americans that abortion is mainly a “human rights” issue for the mother and that to deny her abortion is tantamount to denying her very right to breathe and live.

But, as Legasov says, “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.” Sooner or later, all of those engaged in the active defense of abortion and even those, including me, who let it happen, will realize they have been enabling the mass execution of the most innocent human beings on the planet.

When the debt for the lies of the Soviet Union came due, it collapsed. One wonders what will happen to our society when the debt created by 60 million murdered children comes due….

Trey Hoffman
Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. Interesting that Mr. Hoffman doesn’t seem concerned about the Liar-in-Chief who averages about 12 verifiable untruths a day. I guess there are just certain lies that are objectionable.

    Truth is stranger than fiction!