Dishonesty: Our Biggest Defect of Character

Were we pathological in our lying,….

Knickerbockers "Lies" 1960's

U-Tube: “Lies”! 1960’s Knickerbockers

Didn’t it come down to our failure to recognize our incapability to be truthful with ourselves and others, forming a bed for the roots of both our Alcoholism and Addictions. Wasn’t that Dishonesty also the rock bottom basis of our spiritual maladies?

 For a good bit of our lives we walked around in a state of toxic delusion and denial, kidding ourselves about the severity of our addictions and actions, drunk and stoned, as if we had some validity through our self-justification and self-pity, absolving all doubts we had about a gnawing conscience as it constantly needled our addled subconscious minds.

Our booze, drugs and addictive behaviors distracted us from the aching truth,….we were powerless and our lives were an unmanageable mess. We were so caught-up in our web of deception we scarcely knew right from wrong; where or when we were truly at fault,… or at the least contributory negligent about the underlying reality of our dilemmas.

In Step 4 we had to uncover a stark relief of those acts, making a written list of them and then discern their underlying patterns. Dishonesty was perhaps the most prevalent, preceding almost every other act. In Step five:

“We had to come clean” in front of ourselves, a trusted confidant and whatever understanding of the powers of the universe we saw as our final witness.

It still strikes me as odd that the 12Step Program spends little time focusing on the Dishonesty Defect – one of the Alcoholic/Addict’s BIGGEST problems in its many forms and personalized ambiguities. 

Okay then,… we’ve all read the classic Shakespearean reference from Hamlet: “To Thine Own Self Be True”:

            This above all: to thine own self be true,      images
            And it must follow, as the night the day,
            Thou canst not then be false to any man.
            Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Being true to yourself comes after being true with yourself,… seeing things as they really are. “Being true to one’s self implies that we ought not to neglect ourselves for the sake of others, consistently checking our real motives and genuine best interests, nor veering from that path in our lives in which we know the line of our moral values. Truth “with” one’s self implies that — upon examination of our conscience – the little voice which guides us — we ought not delude ourselves with grandiose thinking and self-justification,… nor irrationally construe dishonest perspectives of who we are and what have done,… and even what we are capable of.

This is the first big reason for the 4th Step Inventory actions, well as the confession we make in Step Five of our 12Step Program of Recovery: Being Honest as we are coming clean.

When I was a child, Jiminy Cricket — Pinocchio’s Sponsor of sorts — was the voice of my inner moral compass. Let’s have some fun and go back and watch that sequence from Pinocchio, (I’m so indoctrinated as a Disney child — this gave me goose-bumps LOL)

"Always let your conscience be your guide."

“Always let your conscience be your guide.”



“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.                                              

This commonly quoted line from Walter Scott was published in 1808 in the poem “Marmion”.

Now there’s a piece of simple truth, huh? In it’s Victorian dialect, this poetic verse tells us that the more we lie, the more lies we have to chain together to cover it all up, till it finally gets to the point of our own self-delusion: we don’t know what’s true and what’s not anymore. We become pathological: not being able to tell the difference between the truth and a lie, lying to ourselves and believing it!

And NOW! For the sake of Manly Honor —– Liam Neeson in “Rob Roy” (also by Sir Walter Scott) in the final sword battle – my favorite of the decade – (If you haven’t seen this you’ll likely go back two or three times 🙂 Rob Roy has been robbed, his friends killed, he’s been beaten, dragged and his wife raped, his house burned and his cattle killed by this low life British Scoundrel, posing as an honorable gentleman, prior to this, the fight of his life.

As addicts and alcoholics, most of us were expert — or so we thought in yet another lie to ourselves — at deceiving others. It’s a big part of the reason for our fearless and through moral inventory and for doubling back to check again for lies we told underneath other lies, before we moved on to that moment of absolute truth in Step 5; where we tell all to our universe, our confessor and ourselves, none of which we cover by omission, averting shame, express our true sorrow as we identify the patterns of our lives, perhaps the worst of which is blatant and rampant DISHONESTY. How many of us “buck-up” though, and admit that a huge part of our problem was that we were dishonest with ourselves as well as others to that point at which we lost all sense of the truth?

*Thanks to “Playing the Devil’s Advocate” for their honest insight here.


“I believe that dishonesty is best understood as a strategy. But towards what end? Under which conditions? In my opinion, dishonest behavior can be categorized into two types- based on the motivations driving the deceiver.

Retaliatory Dishonesty: This type of dishonesty is by far the most common type. The dishonest person is merely retaliating against a person, group or institution that has previously abused his trust. Whether it is the friend who betrayed you, the lover who cheated on you, the boss who screwed you, the company, bank or university that abused you or the country that lied to the person- the dishonest person did not throw the first stone. Therefore retaliatory dishonesty is about loss mitigation and payback, as there is no point in continuing to honor an agreement which the other party has willingly defaulted on. Indeed, not retaliating in the face of continued lying, fraud and abuse would be irrational. Or would it?

But there is another type of dishonesty.

Preemptive Dishonesty: As its name suggests, preemptive dishonesty is a type of strategy where you start out with the intention of screwing over your counter-party regardless of their behavior towards you. Those who indulge in such behavior try to justify it based on prevailing social mores, attitudes, economic conditions, libertarianism, capitalism, communism or any other ideology. However an objective look at the circumstances surrounding such acts of dishonesty always reveal that the main motivators for such behavior are in fact greed, sociopath, narcissism and a focus on money that approach autistic obsession. As I will show in the rest of this post, preemptive dishonesty is far more disruptive to societies than simple retaliatory dishonesty.

In one of our favorite Recovery Program mantras: “Let’s Keep It Simple.” It’s all deceit, and if you go to motive it’s all dishonorable. While some consider omission to be a form of dishonesty, especially when such divulgence is a material fact to a forthcoming incident the with-holding of material evidence through intentional omission and silence is often criminal.

We Alcoholic’s and Addicts find ourselves so disposed to our long underlying pattern of Dishonesty, that it is instantly easy to trigger a chain of it like a relapse to our substance abuse. We therefore, examine our consciences and confess our transgressions, taking an oath to make the truth a new pattern of our moral direction, lest we delude ourselves into patterns which will allow us to transgress.

Hey! There’s plenty of room for you to write in our remarks section and we welcome it.

Stay true to and with yourself and may your conscience always be your guide!

True contrition and confession can bring us absolution

True contrition and confession can bring us absolution

In Memorium 2014: “All Gave Some but Some Gave All”

Today, people all over the world will celebrate with our tradition of Memorial Day here in the USA. We give honor to those who gave their lives in the service of our country, believing that they gave the ultimate sacrifice for our Freedom, our Nation and our Values of “Liberty and Justice for All”.  Dave Duprey – “All Gave Some and Some Gave All”

HD-Images-for-memorial-Day-Free-Download-5We set this day aside to remember, all those brave souls who stood on the line of battle from Lexington/Concord and Valley Forge, to the sands of IRAQ and the mountains of Afghanistan. We do not have to agree and show honor to those who sent them, under false pretense of national security, but we never forget the service, honor and intention of our brave American Warriors.

3004504-handsFor those of us living in Recovery, there is a more to remember once we have taken time to honor our soldiers. We have a solemn duty to ourselves to remember who and what we are, and what we came from, least our not doing so affords the risk of repeating the mistakes of our past. We remember that we are alcoholic, addict or have fallen to any number of compulsive/obsessive addictive behavior patterns. But,…..for the guidance of our principles and the spirituality of our fellowships and other members in them, we are Free: Clean and Sober. We remember that our stories are the gospel of our recovery and today I think of the eighteen I put into an award winning collection. Some of those people have passed, but their stories live on in this work forever. If you care to look into it further see the website:


The Fifith Step: We Admit to the Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

Here’s a reading from my awarded book:  Now that we’ve made a thorough and fearless inventory of our lives in Step IV; now that we have identified trends in our character and behavior that have brought us to this juncture, we select a confidant – a confessor –  to be a witness as we admit to all that we have found, doing so humbly before whatever God is of our understanding. We seek a flood of absolution. If we are sincere and prepared to bear the sting of humiliation, we may likely find its aura.                                  

True contrition and confession can bring us absolution

True contrition and confession can bring us absolution


May 18
We Cautiously Execute Our Strategy

If we find we cannot confide about some of our life, and for now share
only part of our story, we should get to doing so anyway. A beginning
needs to be made as soon as we can. Someone else can be chosen later
for our deeper buried revelations, perhaps outside of A.A/N.A or our other fellowship. Though caution is important, we must get on with our strategy upon our selection.
We have to start what we need to finish—the sooner the better.
Some have used their clergyman or doctor, and for others a complete stranger they may never see again is the best bet. Thus, being both impartial and unfamiliar, coupled with a brief instance of contact,
the ground is set for confidence in our anonymity. We have to feel safe for complete disclosure.
The real test of this situation is our willingness to confide in another, as it allows us to disclose the findings of our first accurate self survey. Often when this person is located, it takes great resolution to approach them; apprehension is not uncommon.
This is another place where the A.A. program will require all the willpower we’ve got, remembering that we swore “we would go to any lengths.”

51igM-I4mVL._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-15,34_AA300_SH20_OU01_If you don’t yet have your own copy of Living the 12 Steps of Recovery, One Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning, click here and get this worldwide awarded book with it’s daily inspirations, stunning original drawings, pages for your own journaling and appendices on the concepts and history of Prayer and Meditation in signed softback, KINDLE or NOOK.

Here’s one of the 5 star  testimonies from an Amazon Reader to help you decide:

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supporting Serenity May 4, 2011
By leeu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a person for whom this book is meant, I have to say that A. Messenger has hit his target. Bottom line: this is a wonderful tool for daily use in sustaining one’s personal journey of sobriety. The contents are rich with insight, inspiration, information. The depth of thought is also simple enough to be just right for each reading. The writing is unmistakably in the manner of “Bill W.” and carries forward the time-honored foundational concepts of early A.A., into today’s culture, without losing any of the flavor of Wilson’s style.At the same time, whereas the older A.A. literature is often perceived by current readers to be almost obscure, due to the vocabulary of the early 20th century, Living the 12 Steps of Recovery is easier to read. Anyone familiar with the “Big Book” will recognize the integrity of the presentation of each step and tradition. There is also a nice interweaving of accurate A.A. history within the traditions. As an A.A. history buff, I was delighted to learn some new thingsThe illustrations are captivating, classic, finely detailed, pencil drawings that perfectly fit each chapter that they precede. The pictures, in their own way, are both simple and complex, and lend a subtle visual aspect to the ultimately meditative application of the book. The cover is just gorgeous-makes you want to just walk into the scene.I downloaded the book to my ASUS netbook, just so I can carry it around with me and be able to get in a daily support for my serenity, wherever I am!







We Must Feel Our Feelings

Every now and then I must defer to my mentors at The Daily Ohm for their insightful writing about important aspects of the human persona. We are flesh, we are blood, we are also spirits having feelings or emotions. We cannot ignore them save risking stopped-up flows in our energy and even harm to our bodies. Here are Madisyn’s thoughts on this important adjustment to all in recovery, as once again she keeps it simple. ~namaste~

May 6, 2014
As the Earth Allows the Rain                        bambooborder2    
Sitting With Feelings                                     

by Madisyn Taylor

 Taking the time now to sit with your feelings and acknowledge them will save you much distress down the road.

It can take great courage to really sit with our feelings, allowing ourselves to surrender to their powerful energies. All too often we set our feelings aside, thinking we will deal with them later. If we don’t deal with them, we end up storing them in our minds and bodies and this is when anxiety and other health issues can arise. Denying what our bodies want to feel can lead to trouble now or down the line, which is why being in the thick of our feelings, no matter how scary it seems, is really the best thing we can do for ourselves.

One of the reasons we tend to hide or push aside our feelings is that we live in a culture that has not traditionally supported emotional awareness. However, as the connection between mind and body–our emotions and our physical health– becomes clearer, awareness of the importance of feeling our feelings has grown. There are many books, classes, workshops and retreats that can help us on our way to emotional intelligence. We can also trust in our own ability to process what comes up when it comes up. If sadness arises, we can notice its presence and welcome it, noting where in our bodies we feel it, and allowing ourselves to express it through tears or a quiet turning inward.

When we simply allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings as they come, we tend to let them go easily. This is all we are required to do; our feelings simply want to be felt. We often complicate the situation by applying mental energy in the form of analysis, when all we really need is to allow, as the earth allows the rain to fall upon it. As the rain falls, the earth responds in a multitude of ways, sometimes emptying out to form a great canyon, sometimes soaking it up to nourish an infinitude of plants. In the same way, the deeper purpose of our feelings is to transform the terrain of our inner world, sometimes creating space for more feelings to flow, sometimes providing sustenance for growth. All we need to do is allow the process by relaxing, opening, and receiving the bounty of our emotions.




Admitting the Exact Nature of Our Wrongs: Step V

Here’s a reading from my awarded lst book: “Living the Twelve Steps of Recovery – One Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning” for the 3rd of May on Step V. I am further including the illustration for this month. There are appendices on Prayer and Meditation included in the book as well. You can order your signed lst Edition Copy shipped anywhere USA and also get links to KINDLE and NOOK Worldwide at this link:


May 3
We Cannot Omit As We Must Tell All
Each of us has personal recollections of situations that really burn and
bother us, but we smother them, saying nothing. We’ve drawn a line
in the sand where it comes to those deeply distressing and humiliating
memories. For our own protection, it has been our decision that
our storms of resentment will remain secret, never to be shared with
anyone. They cannot be spoken aloud for we are certain we cannot
utter them without a complete loss of our composure and never in
front of another person.
We have decided no living soul will ever hear of them, taking a vow
to carry their secrets forever…even to our grave.
Yet, A.A.’s experience has real meaning. It demonstrates our decision
to hold back is both unwise and perilous. We cannot omit. We
must tell all.
An attitude of muddling will cause great trouble in our earnest
search for sobriety. Some who withhold their resentments are unable
to stay sober at all. Others continually relapse until, finally, they clean
house for the better. We cannot skimp. Our life’s slate must be made
completely clean.

5th StepYou’ll enjoy my second awarded book as well: