In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." [ Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America ; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, February 26, 1962]
The real thing about evil," said the Witch at the doorway, "isn't any of what you said. You figure out one side of it - the human side, say - and the eternal side goes into shadow. Or vice versa. It's like the old saw: What does a dragon in its shell look like? Well no one can ever tell, for as soon as you break the shell to see, the dragon is no longer in its shell. The real disaster of this inquiry is that it is the nature of evil to be secret.
The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret. Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.
Dissimulation, secretiveness, appear a necessity to the melancholic. He has complex, often veiled relations with others. These feelings of superiority, of inadequacy, of baffled feeling, of not being able to get what one wants, or even name it properly (or consistently) to oneself — these can be, it is felt they ought to be, masked by friendliness, or the most scrupulous manipulation.
All my life I have been the sort of person in whom people confide. And all my life I have been flattered by this role - grateful for the frisson of importance that comes with receiving important information. In recent years, however, I have noticed that my gratification is becoming diluted by a certain weary indignation. They tell me because they regard me as safe. All of them, they make their disclosures to me in the same spirit that they might tell a castrato or a priest - with a sense that I am so outside the loop, so remote from the doings of the great world, as to be defused of any possible threat. The number of secrets I receive is in inverse proportion to the number of secrets anyone expects me to have of my own. And this is the real source of my dismay. Being told secrets is not - never has been - a sign that I belong or that I matter. It is quite the opposite: confirmation of my irrelevance.
From out of nowhere, Phury felt an overwhelming tide of guilt, like someone had popped the lid off all his deepest concerns and his fears for the future of the race. He had to respond to it, couldn't bear the pressure. Riding the wave, he found himself saying in a rush, "We live and die for our kind. The species is our first and only concern. We fight every night and count the jars of thelessers we kill. Stealth is the way we protect the civilians. The less they know about us, the safer they are. That is why we disappeared.
Very strange things comes to our knowledge in families, miss; bless your heart, what you would think to be phenomenons, quite ... Aye, and even in gen-teel families, in high families, in great families ... and you have no idea ... what games goes on!
As opposition leader, [Stephen Harper] wrote in the Montreal Gazette in the year before he came to power: 'Information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, citizens and parliamentarians cannot make informed decisions and incompetent or corrupt governments can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy.' When he became prime minister, his attitude appeared to undergo a shift of considerable proportions. It often took the Conservatives twice as long as previous governments to handle access requests. Sometimes it took six months to a year.
Those without the gate frequently question the wisdom and right of the occultist to guard his knowledge by the imposition of oaths of secrecy. We are so accustomed to see the scientist give his beneficent discoveries freely to all mankind that we feel that humanity is wronged and defrauded if any knowledge be kept secret by its discoverers and not at once made available for all who desire to share in it. The knowledge is reserved in order that humanity may be protected from its abuse at the hands of the unscrupulous.
The critic of the Adepts would form a truer opinion of their attitude if he did not look upon them as guardians of a treasure, grudgingly doling it out to applicants whose rights it was impossible to ignore or defy, but rather as trainers of racehorses, patiently trying beast after beast in the hope that one may ultimately be found that will win the Grand National. The Adept who accepts an unsuitable pupil is guilty of cruelty just as much as the rider who sends a horse at a fence it cannot take.
Congress may carry on the most wicked and pernicious of schemes under the dark veil of secrecy. The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it; for, however absurd it may be thought to boast an honour by an act which shows that it was conferred without merit, yet most men seem rather inclined to confess the want of virtue than of importance.