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Truth, Lies, Friends and Lovers

I. Introduction

This salon covers science, opinions, and tips on detecting lies and finding truth - at home, at work, with friends, and in love. Most of the time will be in discussion, but we will also learn some science of detecting lies from an international expert who has trained lawyers, judges, executives, and others to detect lies and get to the truth: UC Professor of Law and salon member- Clark Freshman.

Clark will share some research rather briefly on lies such as:

Most of us lie:when two people meet, each says three untrue things in the first fifteen minutes. 

Nearly everyone is terrible at detecting lies - including police and judges.

You actually can get better at detecting lies - four sets of clues show up when people lie.

II. Ice Breaker

What is the biggest lie you have ever told?

III. Suggested Discussion Topics

Inner Self Lies

How do we lie to ourselves? What are some of your examples? Why do we do this?

Example: If you're single, you may skip a charity event mixer because you believe that there won't be any suitable dating prospects for you. Upon deeper introspection, you may realize you are actually afriad of being rejected if you do approach someone you are interested in.

Do you want your friends to tell you when they think you are lying to yourself?

Did you ever lie to yourself about being bisexual before accepting that you are gay? What about lying to yourself about being versatile when actually a bottom? If telling other people these things, are you lying to them if you believe the lie that you are telling yourself?

How out are you? Do you ever imply you are straight? Or neglect to correct someone who presumes you are straight? Why? 

What about fixations on a future scenario with a low probability, like the Cinderella fantasy of being swept off your feet by an obscenly rich and handsome Prince Charming who will solve all your problems? 

Dating and Relationship Lies

What kind of lies have we heard? Have we told?

Is it okay not to mention that you have a boyfriend/husband when someone starts getting flirtatious?

If you are in a non-monogamous relationship, is it okay not to mention that have boyfriend/husband before you become intimate with someone else?

What about age? Is there an acceptable number of years to shave? Or should one not lie at all?

What about the size of one's phallic member? Is it acceptable to add an inch or two in online profiles?

What about extremely flattering photos that are not as representative of one's normal appearance?

What about HIV status disclosure? Should lying that one is HIV- (when one is knowingly HIV+) before engaging in sex be considered a crime (as it is in some States)? Independent of legal concerns, what are your thoughts on that scenario from an ethics perspective? What about when one does not disclose that he is HIV+ because the question was never raised before sex?

If one is dating multiple people, when is the right time to disclose that and/or make a choice to focus on just one? What about leading a prospect to think he is your only beau, while never actually telling a lie?

How do we get at the truth in circumstances?

What are you thoughts on selective omissions that are not technically lies? How do you feel about active deception (when no lies are technically being told)?

What are your thoughts on "Negotiated Safey":

Example: Parents tell their children not to drink, but assure them that if they ever call home drunk asking for a ride that they will never be punished for that episode of drinking.

Example: A couple agrees to be monogamous but also agrees not to break up if partner strays and tells the other partner. Then they can take action to be more safe for period of time after the disclosed stray.

Would it be better not to speak of lying? Does the acknowledgment that we lie taint the relationship with the person we are discussing this with? 

What do you think of white lies?

Should we consider the purpose/intent of lies when determining our reaction?

Example: A typical "It's not you, it's me" breakup speech when there really is a whole list of reasons your ex is leaving you.

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  • Patrick

    Hyperlink issues and therefore . . . Join thousands in honoring the 50th anniversary of the Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama marches and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by experiencing the . . . . MLK2015 commemorative march/parade from San Francisco's Caltrain Station to Yerba Buena Gardens. The march begins at 11:00am on January 19, 2015, and participants are encouraged to arrive early.

    The 1.5 mile journey crosses the Lefty O'Doul Bridge and stops at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park to commemorate the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, a symbol of violence and victory in the civil rights movement.

    At the conclusion of the march,in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council, an interfaith commemoration will bring together the region’s faith leaders to commemorate the vision of Dr. King and to lead participants in a spiritual reflection of his message.

    January 16, 2015

  • Patrick

    At least a couple of us will be at the Martin Luther King, Jr. march that takes place the Monday at 11am. It starts at the SF Caltrain station. Please join us to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the march from Selma. Click below for more details (Adam B. and I will be there!).­
    Like · Reply · just now · Mute

    January 16, 2015

  • k

    How about a private room at panera breads or Starbucks or even a library. Sometimes churches will allow groups to meet for not so much money.

    1 · January 9, 2015

    • Jonathan L.

      I'm assuming that large spaces at the LGBT center are not cheap?

      January 15, 2015

    • Patrick

      the minimum price for the spencer room (right sized for us) is $90 and we would likely need to pay the $120 rate.

      January 16, 2015

  • Jonathan L.

    I really enjoyed my small group, but can I propose that in the future we try to find another space for the large group? The layout of the space and the acoustics kind of made it hard to hear or see Clark's presentation in the beginning.

    January 8, 2015

    • Lee R.

      It's a good point -- BUT we would need to find such a space. The critical issue is that the center of the Salon is 3 to 5 places for small group meetings. Such spaces are not easily found -- at least not for free. And the total contribution from the group of about 40 last time was $54, not a very generous contribution of about $1.30 on the average and that would not allow rental. I do appreciate and agree with your point so thanks for making it.

      January 9, 2015

  • Tom

    great topic. Small group was dominated by one person, may it difficult to contribute.

    January 8, 2015

  • Lee R.

    Truthfully ...
    I thought Clark's presentation and both the large and small groups went particularly well. Hope people will return for next month which is in a sense Part II: "right speech" which will move the ideas further, perhaps even towards helpful changes for ourselves and those with whom we interact.

    January 8, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fascinating to hear and witness people's inner worlds interacting, connecting and colliding with one another... this is the stuff all relationships are made out of.

    January 7, 2015

  • Erik

    Hey, is anyone interested in having dinner at the Japanese restaurant (Izakaya Roku, 1819 Market St.) across the street from the LGBT Center tonight around 5:30PM before the Salon starts?

    January 7, 2015

  • Howie

    Hi is it better to drive (ie - is there a parking lot) or take public transportation to the venue? I'm coming from the east bay. Thx!

    January 5, 2015

    • Howie

      Half mile is manageable. I may be a bit late tho, is that ok?

      January 6, 2015

    • Patrick

      Sure, see you tomorrow.

      January 6, 2015

  • Charles K.

    I am looking forward to meeting interesting men in this group. I'm glad I found you!

    December 26, 2014

    • Lee R.

      And we're glad you found us; looking forward to meeting you.

      December 26, 2014

  • Patrick

    A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, "This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you."

    The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, "Which do you want, son?" The boy takes the quarters and leaves.

    "What did I tell you?" said the barber. "That kid never learns!"

    Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream parlor.

    "Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?"

    The boy licked his cone and replied: "Because the day I take the dollar the game is over!"

    4 · December 24, 2014

  • Clark F.

    I teach people how to detect lies - and sometimes how to lie more effectively. So I'm excited to hear about people's thoughts and feelings about lies, love, and friendship. It's a discussion not a lecture but you can see some of my ideas at

    1 · June 21, 2014

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