July 22, 2013
Liars For Hire
Slippery slopes are difficult flaws of logic that, just as the name suggests, can be tricky to back pedal when someone commits to it.
Yet one man, Timothy Green, has built an entire business on a slippery slope premise.
Green owns and runs Paladin Deception Services, a company which gives its customers a “fictitious reference, the little white lie, or the alibi” they require. The website lists a few examples of their potential customers — people laid off from work who need a good reference from a previous employer, for instance. Anyone who simply needs to take a few days off work can hire one of Paladin’s professional liars to provide an excuse to their boss, such as a medical procedure, surprise trip from a long lost sibling, to get them off the hook. According to an interview with CNN, Green and his team have even helped people trap lying significant others or adulterous spouses. In other words, if you need a legal lie, Paladin Deception is your go-to source.
Ah, but that’s a sticky issue, no? The most moral among us may find “legal lie” to be something of an oxymoron, but there are certainly morally gray areas where a bent truth or a shady lie have helped people navigate legal matters.
And Green claims what he’s doing is perfectly legal, but not without risk to the customer.
Customers who sign up with Paladin are asked to read over their Terms and Conditions which, if adhered to, make their services “legal” according to Green’s logic. He’ll lie to an employer, significant other, or customer service rep, but he won’t lie to banks, schools, health officials or law enforcement. He also refuses to imitate any person or represent an existing business.
When a customer calls Paladin, they’ll tell the liar for hire what untruth they need to be told and to whom. Paladin will start the process, create some client data and ask the person to sign the terms via email. From there, the five full-time and “several” part-time employers will start looking for holes in the customer’s story and work up a proper alibi. They then charge the customer 54 bucks (a monthly service charge should the customer need several lies) and sets up a time for the lie to go down. The Paladin employee will then go to work in two to three days, though anyone who needs a lie RIGHT NOW can pay an extra $10 for an expedited fib.
Dedicated local phone numbers and legitimate email addresses are set up for the liar to communicate with the victim and customers are given transcripts of all phone conversations and access to the email account.
If this sounds sketchy to you, that means you have a good head on your shoulders.
Green gave Blake Ellis with CNN a supposed customer reference while he was researching the company, but it turned out the reference just also happened to be one of Paladin’s professional liars on the clock. Paladin’s Facebook ads have also been pulled when the company claimed the site wasn’t offering the services they say they’re offering.
But what does lying have to do with a slippery slope?
In the interview with CNN, Green discussed how he explains his company to skeptics.
“When someone asks me how I can live with myself, I say, ‘May I ask you a question? Have you told a lie this week? Do you think you may tell a lie next week? Would you never tell a lie? Are your lies more sanctified than my lies?'”
It’s this kind of justification which leads to some awfully weird logic.
For those who try their damnedest to adhere to a certain level of moral or spiritual beliefs, lying is something that isn’t just a way of life, it’s a proverbial thorn in their side. Building a company based on “hey, everyone’s doing it” is certainly sketchy, but on the other hand, there’s the little issue of a free market economy.
Until Green crosses some sort of line or is found to be running an illegal business, (and it seems sort of inevitable that he will) he’s free to operate, and those who have no problem lying, even if it is under the guise of employment or protecting oneself, will likely come to rely on Paladin’s services at some point.
After all, though some claim they need a fabricated alibi to get a new job or take some time off, they’ll also find themselves having to keep the ruse alive longer than they probably would have liked.
Something about tangled webs, you know.
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