In this age of alternative news, fake news and covfefe tweets, one might get the idea that truth-bending is something new. This is a misconception because I have seen this practice at work during the time when I worked with Mike Rinder, all the way up to the moment he left.
At the time I was mystified by his ability to offer up, within an instant, glib justifications for his “errors of fact.” But, borrowing from an often-heard saying, he could fool people only so many times. He got stuck with the reputation of being dishonest. More than that, the proverbial noose around his neck was tightening steadily. In his final couple of years of being employed by the Church of Scientology, Mike Rinder’s reputation changed from merely bad to distinctly horrible—because too many people had come forward with data that exposed him as an outright liar for knowingly faking the set of facts that they happened to be personally familiar with.
Too many people had come forward with data that exposed him as an outright liar for knowingly faking the set of facts that they happened to be personally familiar with.
In one case I had to interrupt his verbal report to a superior, when he stated that a certain, noteworthy person had not been heard from yet, but I had seen a fax that morning that announced the person’s day and time of arrival and knew for a fact this fax had been handed to Mike Rinder and he had discussed it with his staff.
I could present a litany of such incidents but am afraid readers would get bored from reading about his lies and lying about lies over and over. Like any cheater or trickster, Mike Rinder had instincts. Before long, these alerted him to a bell that was tolling in the distance, its sound growing louder with every ring.
True to form, this led to his next act of dishonesty: He ran off without telling anyone. Not even his wife or their two children, having betrayed them all.
Benefiting from hindsight, I looked at how he managed to exist and operate in an alternative reality because it is clear that, in the end, he fooled only one person—himself. In this way he joins a rogues gallery of cheaters and tricksters, who all share the common realization that lies don’t pay.
Two phenomena describe the “real Mike Rinder”: One, he was a natural when it came to creating alternative scenarios to cover up or downplay his personal screw-ups and to make less, much less, of the consequences of such disasters. It needs to be noted that he was not so inclined when it was some junior staff member who messed up. In such instances, he was quick to find fault and leave out none of the data that explained how the person had failed at their job. When it came to his own skin, though, he had a pat recipe for cooking up his personal brand of fake reports: He would stress those points in the report that were known to be the truth and thereby make his distortions or omissions of facts imperceptible.
He was a natural when it came to creating alternative scenarios to cover up or downplay his personal screw-ups.
He benefited from the fact that he operated in an environment built on unqualified trust where executives and staff are proud to be recognized for their honesty and reliability. Secondly, Mike Rinder never grew tired of trying to perfect the art of telling fake stories. His job frequently put him into contact with the media.
Nowadays it would be referred to as the “fake media” because these reporters, more often than not, would be all smiles outwardly while having reputational assassination on their minds and sharpening the murder weapon behind their backs. But just as no corrupt prosecutor will ever send a mafia boss to the pen, a fake-prone Mike Rinder was incapable of dealing with fake reporters. But it doesn’t end there: What I observed leads me to conclude that Mike Rinder continuously enlarged his repertoire of dishonesty with tricks of deception.
I remember, he would comment on particularly misleading passages in letters he received or stories he read. And he would begin to use similar phraseology when he wanted to avoid being upfront with his superiors. At long last, I came to realize that Rinder regarded the act of deception an art form to be marveled at, not the disdainful, unscrupulous perversion of the truth that it really is. A house of cards may be called a house, but it is a bad alternative for an edifice built on a true foundation, with true bricks and true mortar, because it is only the latter wherein one can find true happiness.