January 21, 2022

Dear Drama Observers,

I’ve cut back on the frequency of Drama Review posts—from weekly to monthly—due to my investment of time in writing another book which will focus on the subject of collective deception. Here are some brief excerpts:


Collective deception can happen to any people at any time in any land. It’s happened in the past, is happening today, and will continue happening in the future. It can manifest itself in most any realm of political, religious, or cultural life. It leaves people blind to—or excusing of— their hypocrisies and unbothered by the glaring incongruence between who they claim to be and what they do. The content of the particular deception may vary, but the process whereby people are collectively deceived varies little. My hope is that this book will illuminate the elements of that process is such a way that, perhaps in the future, people won’t be as easily snookered.


For over 30 years as a psychologist in private practice, I’ve dealt with countless cases of deception when it occurs on an individual level. Clients come into my office with complaints of having been lied to, manipulated, or exploited by some individual who appeared one way but turned out to be someone quite different. That manipulator may have been an unscrupulous business colleague, a back-stabbing friend, a duplicitous coworker, an unreasonable family member, a cheating spouse, or an assumed-to-be-trustworthy religious leader who turned out to be a wolf in shepherd’s clothing. My shorthand way of describing the impact of such a relationship on the one who’s been manipulated is that they drive you crazy, make you sick, and wear you out. Moreover, manipulators leave their targets confused, perplexed, discombobulated, and desperately seeking for answers to questions like, “How could I have been so blind?” Indeed, it’s that very question this book seeks to answer while broadening the inquiry to examine how and why masses of people, not just individuals, blindly follow demagogues or fall under the spell of reality-altering systems.


The aim of this book is to enhance vision and counter blindness, particularly where people collectively lose sight of what’s true because their “tribe” has gaslighted them into believing an alternate reality. They’ve become unwitting—and in some cases, willing—participants in a system of collective deception. They’ve exchanged what’s true for a lie and now believe the lie to be true.


My aim is to examine collective fooling where masses become ensnared in a web of reality distortion. If the crowd around us says the sky is green, it’s much easier to go along with the crowd than to be the lone standout arguing for blueness. And once swept up in the crowd, every picture we draw will depict a green sky and, with the passage of time, we’ll become increasingly convinced of our color choices. By doing so, we’ll gain the warm comfort of crowd inclusion but forfeit the ultimate consolation­ of living in truth. For, as noted before, truth is our best ally.


Till next time.

14 replies
  1. Jody
    Jody says:

    Outstanding view of collective perception, or collective unconscious, or mass hypnosis, is felt everywhere. The need of the ego to maintain this is whats at stake. The individual can’t or won’t free him self no matter what the cost, even if its jail. So until the individual is curious about his perceptions and can find awareness’s to guide his life that is balanced or based on reasonable truths, collective perceptions will be a comfort and safe harbor for many. It ebbs and flows over the decades depending on the power behind the narrative.
    Thanks for interesting topic

  2. Mrs. Kathleen R Peebles
    Mrs. Kathleen R Peebles says:

    Hurry up and finish the book😉. Sounds super interesting. Will you write discussion questions for a book club read?

    • Alan Godwin
      Alan Godwin says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. If I had my way, I’d be through with it next week but life just seems to keep getting in the way 🙂 I’m not sure about discussion questions but that would probably be a good idea. Thanks for that suggestion.

  3. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    Absolutely wonderful! I’m so excited to read it in its entirety! The sentence you wrote, “They’ve exchanged what’s true for a lie and now believe the lie to be true.” seems very simple. But due to the simplicity of the sentence, it’s easy to accept and comprehend, whereas other descriptions (elsewhere) can often keep one in confusion. I’d like to quote you in my own book! You’re apt to be finished with yours before I am with mine!

    • Alan Godwin
      Alan Godwin says:

      Thanks so much, Vickie, for taking the time to reply. I’m not so sure who’ll reach the finish line first. I’m pretty sure I’ll be breathing in your dust as you cross the line way up ahead of me 🙂

  4. Taneka Thomas
    Taneka Thomas says:

    Fantastic idea and very timely considering the current environment we are living in. I can’t wait to read the completed book. I wish u time, strength and speed to get this one done 🙂

  5. Saundra Farley
    Saundra Farley says:

    The patterns of manipulation and deception have changed little in the last 185 years when another book with a similar focus on gullibility and stupidity was written. Han Christian Anderson penned the “Emperor’s New Clothes.” and it was published in 1837.
    I so hope your interpretation of this of this ever timely topic is also translated in over 100 languages. Your avid reader and fan and a believer that the sky is blue,
    Saundra Farley

    • Alan Godwin
      Alan Godwin says:

      Thanks, Saundra. Funny you should mention that because I quote from that that story about the emperor’s clothes. We’re on the same page! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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