Poet Criss Jami says, “Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” But does a liar always know he’s a liar? In Bob Malm’s case, I’m not so sure.
Granted, Bob likes to pick and choose. In that sense, he’s both a master manipulator and a liar. But obvious, verifiable lies, like his claim, made in front of +Johnston, that church trustees have to be vestry members, often pop out on the fly to suit Bob’s purpose. Others become part of Bob’s routine, like his claim, made over a period of years, that parishioners shouldn’t worry about the office staff, as they’d be retiring that year. In the latter situation, Bob seemingly thought that parishioners were too stupid to notice.
Then of course there are Bob’s lies under oath, like his claim that Mom, or someone purporting to be her, repeatedly made appointments with him and no-showed. The reality is that no one in my family has done so—that’s right, no one repeatedly made appointments with him and canceled. Yet he swore that this statement was true.
That fact pattern comports with narcissistic personality disorder, in which the narcissist makes up reality on the fly to suit his or her needs. It also may be an indicator of antisocial personality disorder, or a serial bully.
If this conduct on Bob’s part is indeed driven by mental illness, then Bob cannot have committed perjury, as by definition he’s not capable of recognizing reality. If that isn’t the cause, then Bob indeed committed perjury.
I don’t know which applies, but I have my strong suspicions, which I will not share here.
Of course, it’s also those thought processes that allow Bob to see no disconnect between his conduct and his facially false claims to be a Christian. Or to lie, yet get all bent out of shape when I point out that he’s a liar. It’s magical!
In the meantime, for the Christine Cheevers of the world who say that “this isn’t possible,” I say this: Just ask Bob for documentation. He has none.
Of course, because Christine’s view is faith-driven, she’ll never ask, because to do so would be to challenge her two-dimensional faith, which is not grounded in reality.
But for those of you who have the courage to do so, ask Bob for his proof. I dare you.