by Angela Anghel
By definition (a definition that we like to believe, although it has nothing to do with reality), the purpose of journalism is to correctly inform the society about major events for citizens. Ideally, this work should be governed solely by the public interest and would require as basic professional standard the truth and only the truth exposed in an impartial and fair way. In the contemporary public space, the press is rather a tool to maneuver. Not seldom, the incomparable power of the press is even used as a weapon against disturbing leaders, against some people that have the courage to say certain truths or to militate against the current, or it may be used against groups considered for various reasons, undesirable. Media offers a tremendous psychological and informational weapon to those who own and control it. We witness in recent decades a psychological and sociological paradox: although we discover more and more cases where the media has abused of its power and did not write the truth, but it was used as a tool of disinformation, most people tend to trust what they read in the press or see on television.
Lying, between profession and strategy of achieving own interests
Any liar who hopes not to be caught lying knows he needs some logic and consistency of his fabrications. For example, the liar must have a good memory to be able to remember what he said, not to contradict himself and, moreover, to keep his lies related to a credible area. When someone doubts his/her words (or if liars feel guilty and feel that their lie is not „solid” or „convincing” enough), liars have different reactions: some avoid confrontation feigning that the lie was never told, while others retreat. But there are some liars who endeavor miserably to convince us that their lie is „true”, trying to justify lying or strengthen it. Typically, they do this through more lies, increasingly larger. Using lies in order to justify previous lies, shall lead liars far beyond the border of credibility and veracity, and usually it is visible to everyone else, except them.
There are, besides, many kinds of liars. Most people indulge in the use of conventional lies, smaller or larger. On a personal level, lying is a convenient solution, although ridiculous, for all sorts of situations that we are not able to manage correctly and wisely. Usually people lie because they pursue something, or want to justify their mistakes, or they want to have an advantage over the others. Unfortunately, profession requires some people to lie, in this case they are surely trained to lie effectively. However, these people are firmly convinced that in work situations it’s not about lying, but it’s policy or strategy marketing or PR, or sales techniques, or NLP or other tricks and trendy proffessions, including journalism. Some of those whose profession requires lying can feel a little embarrassed or guilty, but most have no problem with lying. Besides all these there are, of course, mythomaniac people who come to believe their inventions so much that they even can’t say where is the truth.
Journalists entangle in their own lies in the campaign anti-MISA
One of the most bizarre aspects of the defamation media campaign against MISA yoga school and the teacher Gregorian Bivolaru is the fact that journalists are not shy at all to publish lies in abundance, sometimes grotesque, sometimes simply ridiculous, sometimes petty and unnecessary. Of all these lies, some stand out through their inventiveness, being spectacularly implausible. It is amazing that some people who probably are graduated and should have some level of intelligence to practice journalism can write or say so absurd aberrations and whoppers without hiding the head with shame and without feeling embarrassed because of the aberrations they can write.
Often, some journalists who write such lies that bring all kinds of accusations against MISA yoga school, because of the lack of evidence for their allegations resort to a “emergency justification”: they claim to have eye-witnessed some „events” they invented or have copied from other liar journalists. There are a lot of lies in the articles about MISA, lies that are so oversized, so illogical, that we couldn’t say what kind of stupidity or ignorance can justify them.
Here are just two examples: in September 1993, a young journalist from Romania Libera published an article telling in detail what she saw happening in the area of Golful Francez (French Bay) while she was in Costinesti during the camp (including what was sold at books and food stands). She focuses on personal impressions: what she liked and disliked, her thoughts, the smell of incense sticks sold at stands, etc. By her own negative impression, the journalist justifies all the offensive appellations she uses with regard to yoga practitioners – because she is supposed to have been there and knows all about it. All well and good, if the item was not a full copy of another article, published in August in a summer journal in Costinesti, written by another journalist.
And the second example in the category of lies justified by the alleged testimony of journalists.
In April 2004, a journalist claimed on live TV that she witnessed a „group sex” years ago in yoga camp in Herculane. She was not able to provide any concrete detail about what implies that activity and did not explain at all why, being a witness to a crime, she did not report anything to the police. Moreover, it seems that the unhappy and traumatized witness was actually taking a bath in one of the famous “little bath tubes” in Valea Cernei (Valley of Cerna) where, every spring, hundreds of people come to have therapy bath. Among them are certainly many yoga practitioners, camp participants from Herculane. The journalist has not been able to tell us anything concrete, but she is a journalist, and it seems that we must accept the idea that she witnessed a scene of „group sex” although she didn’t give the slightest detail to be interpreted in this sense.
And here is a downright sadistic lie launched by Cecilia Tiz. A few years ago, the press spread with perverse delight and insistence some news completely insane, which was provided by Cecilia Tiz (for 15 years some TV channels tell us she is the one who „breaks the silence” about MISA): allegedly a yoga teacher has been beheaded by the Japanese mafia (Yakuza). Nor the publication on the website yogaesoteric of an interview with that person (who didn’t have his head cut off not even a little) did not discourage the journalists who had written the story – they didn’t even give that person they have ”beheaded” the right to reply, but continued harassing her family with stupid questions, like whether they have indeed received the coffin with the body without the head … etc.
Impertinence of the lies in the anti-MISA campaign is incredible not only from the part of the press but also from the part of the authorities. In 2004, for example, authorities asked the media to broadcast on all the channels the news that Gregorian Bivolaru was allegedly prosecuted and had an interdiction at the customs, although there wasn’t any warrant issued on his name and he wasn’t prosecuted for anything. And, we resume, the lack of moral reaction against the delirium of lies is incomprehensible. Of course, journalists are known to be, by the nature of their profession, proud and unable to admit their mistakes. But in order to cover and justify their mistakes sometimes they resort to some scenarios, inventions and stories that appear appalling to everyone somewhat intelligent and with common sense .
We know – because we had the opportunity to meet many journalists directly – they are aware that 99.99% of the anti-MISA campaign is a whopper. We are sure that the majority of journalists are both intelligent and gifted with common sense. How did they tolerate these horrible and oversized lies, which are clearly directed to harm a group of people who have done nothing illegal, immoral or reprehensible? How do they come to downright phantasmagorical speculations to justify the lies or to convey them an aura of credibility, instead of exposing them as being falsehoods?