The Surprising Upsides of Self-Deception With Shankar Vedantam

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The starting point for my expiration here was a very unusual story involving a con called the church of love and in the course of investigating the khan and how it worked. I came to understand that. Self-deception can sometimes help people. Even though we generally think it can't can you tell us that story. Sure of course so. The church of flowers a very unusual con that unfolded in the united states in the seventies and eighties at its heart was conman named donald lowrie. He was a balding middle aged guy. Living in a small midwestern town he was also a writer and in the early seventies he invented various characters literary character as young women and he called these women angels and then somehow he hit on the idea of writing love letters in their voices. Two thousands of men scattered across the united states. Many of the men receiving letters believe there were corresponding with real women. Some of them fell deeply in love with the people they were hearing from many of them sent in huge amounts of money to support the women that they believe they had fallen in love with and the most remarkable part of the story is that madonna. Larry was finally arrested and brought to trial on charges of mail fraud. Several members of his organization which was called the church of love showed up at the courtroom to defend him. And i found this astonishing. Why is it when the con is being revealed. Why would the mock show up to defend the con. Man and in some ways was starting point for my expiration of the potential value. That self-deception can sometimes play lives. Why did they show up to defend them. Well i think for some people. The church of love had become so central to their lives. Such an important part of who they were. These relationships were so valuable to them. These men believed that. They had found their soulmates They had found an anchor that giving up those anchors and those soulmate seems unbearable. A couple of people at lowery's trial said that the letters from the angels had saved them from alcoholism and drug addiction to people said that they were on the verge of committing suicide and the letters had pulled them back from the brink. And so i in many ways. The story of the church of love is how self-deception can sometimes aid us in moments of great crisis or great peril and those moments. It becomes easy for us to see how self-deception can sometimes play a solitary. Roy lives

Coming up next