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The Truth

Richard Russell
Dow Theory Letters
March 18, 2003

Extracted from Richard Russell's Dow Theory Letter 1350 posted on 03/17/2003

TRUTH - This is a bit different from my usual stuff, but it's the sort of thing I wrote back in the early '80s.

As a matter of fact, this piece is taken from a letter I wrote in December of 1984.

If everyone, you, me, the politicians, your kids, the Chinese, the French, the Russians, the US State Department, all insisted on the truth, then the world's problems would be solved. I am firmly convinced of the validity of that statement. Of course, it's not happening. Congress tells us that they will cut taxes, but you and I know that when the chips are down they will raise taxes. Your friend tells you that he needs to borrow fifty bucks and he'll pay you back tomorrow, but you know he's a fore-flusher, and he'll never repay that fifty dollars.

I could go on and on in that vein, but suffice it to say that the world lives by lies, half-truths, deceits, white lies, exaggerations. People tend to say whatever they think will get them ahead or whatever they think people want to hear or whatever people are entitled to hear.

Is insisting on the truth dangerous? It can be. If you insist on telling the truth in North Korea, you end up at hard labor or in front of a firing squad. If you insist on telling the truth in China you'll probably get your jaw broken by a police bludgeon.

But I firmly believe that you can tell the truth in the United States, and that's where 80% of my subscribers live. I believe that if Americans insisted on the truth this nation would be much stronger, more solid, much more of an example for the rest of the world.

The funny thing is that most people know the truth when they hear it. They may hate it, they may want to kill you for it, and they may not want to talk to you if you insist on the truth. But I think the truth is worth whatever you have to suffer for it.

The truth usually ends when the person faces any kind of penalty for speaking the truth. If an advisor lives by hard money, then he ignores charts and continues to talk up gold or silver. If a man cheats on his wife he tells her some nonsense because he doesn't want to go through the pain of taking responsibility for what he's been doing. So he lies by omission, he says nothing.

I'll stand by this statement - I've never seen the truth blow up anything that was worth keeping. The truth ultimately exerts a curative effect on anything it touches. I believe I know. For many years I practiced telling people what I thought they wanted to hear. But that's deceit, and it's basically not only unhealthy, it's evil. Now I do everything out in the open, and I stand on anything I do. If someone doesn't like my life or my words, sorry, my life and my words are me, and that's all I offer.

A corollary of the truth is this - you must give yourself the right to ask questions. You have the right to question anyone at any time about anything. I gave myself that right years ago. I have the right to ask anybody anything. They, of course, have the right to say; "I won't answer." And that kind of response tells me something too.

I've found that most people are very passive. A girl meets a guy, she likes him, but she doesn't have the nerve (she doesn't give herself the right) to ask him if he's married. A patient goes to a doctor, and he hasn't got the nerve to ask the doctor what his fee is. A waiter asks the diner how the meal was. The dinner was rotten, but the diner hasn't got the nerve to tell the waiter that the meal was "terrible." Instead he says, "It was fine."

In the end, I've concluded that there's a close connection between lying and insanity. Understand the full meaning of that statement, and you'll understand 95% of the world problems and troubles.

The truth shall make you free. I believe it.

Shakespeare wrote, "What fools we mortals be." He was right there too.

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