Kyojitsu - The Art of Truth and Falsehood
by Kendall Kelsoe copyright 2011
I live in a city that has many "physics", "past life channeling masters", "numerologists", "maharishi", "crystal healing", "angel guides", and the most interesting - "telepathic healing" via telephone practitioners. It astonishes me that these people actually make a very good living off the gullible. They all have Credit Card access and own very expensive property and rental spots for teaching whatever it is they want to sell you.
I've monitored local martial arts schools, and saw how some of the Senior Instructors suddenly became "Grandmasters" of their own art they created out of a hodgepodge of other martial arts. They also make a very comfortable living. I am also monitoring the numerous cults that have sprung up around where I live. There's even one in my apartment complex! They told me that I am worthless as a human being because I wear a beard.
For many years, I've met men that claim to have been "US Navy S.E.A.L. Team members". I have never served in the military, but I am a certified S.C.U.B.A. Rescue Diver, and bust these frauds by asking just a few questions about diving physiology, or specific questions about diving hardware. My favorite bust question is "What do you think about the Draeger?" Normally, they said it "was a good firearm, but it jammed when dirty". The Draeger is a semi-closed circuit re-breather, not a firearm.
Busted! It's funny how I tend to believe veterans that claim to be cooks, helicopter repair crews, and supply sergeants rather than the more glamorous title of a U.S. Army Special forces member.
"The Rapture" was supposed to happen May 21st, 2011. There have been many such end of the world scenarios, with Heavens Gate, Y2K, etc. People were spending their life savings and retirement funds to get into heaven. They won't get a refund.
As of May 22, 2011 nothing happened out of the ordinary. No-one is getting their money back, The multimillionaire television evangelist just claimed that it was "God testing your faith". I personally don't think a true God would play such a cruel game.
I worked with one braggart that told me he was a "Marine Raider" in Vietnam. He claimed that he always took point, and only used a rusty bayonet as his weapon. He then went on to tell me he had over three hundred confirmed kills. None of this could possibly be true, as it goes against military doctrine. Next, he told me that when he was not in the jungle, he flew "Wild Weasel" missions flying the F-105 Thunderchief. To explain what "Wild Weasel" missions are, these were attacks against SAM (surface to air missiles) sites. The F-105 was not in the Marine Corps inventory, but in the US Air Force. Pilots (except for Marine Corps Av-1 Harrier pilots) do not train in small unit tactics, much less were allowed to go on combat jungle patrols). The Harrier was not deployed to Vietnam. Busted!
It is a slap in the face of any military veteran to make these downright lies up and tell others they are something they never were.
When I asked who their teachers were, some got very angry, and made excuses about how their art was "secret", yet they really lost it when I asked "Then why do you advertise, and maintain a website?" Beware of any school / dojo that requires you to sign a contact, BTW. This is what we in the martial arts community call a "McDojo". Put the dojo you are considering joining through this test first. Mr. Wayne Muromoto san has written some truly excellent articles, and I recommend you do some research to find them.
Martial arts are many things to many people, but it does better without hype, or bizarre claims of mysticism. Too many people are prepared to believe the impossible rather than examine the truth. You can sell bullshit by the truckload, but you can't give the truth away for free.
The art of ninjutsu carries with it a large degree of mysticism. When studied, it reveals itself to be a martial art very well suited to the real world. Those that have perverted the true essence in order to make a lot of money dilute the purity of what it really is. This makes it very difficult for those who are true practitioners to be taken seriously. Martial arts is about defending one's self and those who can't fend for themselves.
At one job interview, I was told I didn't have to lie on my resume with all my impossible claims. There was no way I could possibly be a published author, cartoonist, poet, Scuba diver, martial artist, archer, licensed instructor, etc. I always carry a box full of my credentials, certifications, publications, and awards to job interviews. I asked one interviewer why he automatically presumed I was a phony. He told me "We've had so many applicants claiming to be "Ninja Grandmasters", and ex Navy SEALs, that when we checked out their background it turned out to be false. So of course we thought you were lying about your own certifications, too". This is the taint that rubs off on legitimate instructors. I have NEVER claimed to be a "ninja" to anyone.
I've always been eager to learn as much as possible in my life. I recommend a healthy amount of skepticism. Ernst Sthulinger once said "The path to belief is short and easy. The path to knowledge is long and hard". I have chosen the latter.
I developed a strong dislike for frauds and fakes. This is one of the many reasons that Harry Houdini real name Ehrich Weiss, (1874 - 1926) is one of my personal heroes. Houdini was a master of showmanship and deception. Much of his talent was sheer skill, as his legendary abilities in the arts of escape. He was a great entertainer, but took great efforts to exposing frauds that were playing on the hopes of families in grief over the loss of a loved one in order to get their money. These were known as "spiritualists", and Houdini did such an incredible effort of showing the public how these scam artists bilked the public for evil gain, he became the scourge of these thieves, con-artists, swindlers and received many death threats. I have a small collect ion of books written by or about Houdini and I'm looking to purchase "The Right Way To Do Wrong - An Expose of Successful Criminals" (1906). This Hungarian - Americans' devotion to debunking charlatans continues today with the likes of Penn and Teller and "The Amazing Randi". Houdini was a man of exceptional courage, loyalty and personal integrity, matched only by his tremendous ego. If you doubt this, try plunging in a frigid river shackled and free yourself with a key that if dropped would mean your death.
This might give you some sense of what goes on inside the mind of a sociopath and pathological liar. These are genuinely dangerous individuals. The most misunderstood aspect of ninjutsu is "kyojitsu", which means the manipulation of truth and falsehood. To some, this appears to be an evil undertaking. The ninja knew that in order to survive attacks from evil people, it took much more than a worthy sword and martial prowess. Careful study and examination of the ways and methods of manipulation for evil gains by despicable people enabled the ninja to see through people's motives and intent. We know our way in the dark by holding the light of truth in our hearts.
If you've ever read any of the classic works of literature, such as "King Arthur, and his Noble Knights of the Round Table", you can see that even the most noble and brave warriors were easily sent to their destruction by forces unknown and unseen to them. Read "Othello" by William Shakespeare. A great King is destroyed by his belief in lies, and he pays a hefty price. Sound familiar?
Fudo Myu, one of the five guardian deities of Japan, holds in his upraised right hand a sword of ultimate truth. In his lowered left hand, he holds a coiled rope to bind up evil using trickery and deception.
Belief and faith are good things in appropriate amounts. Knowledge based on facts is much better. How many advertisements do you read in a magazine or see on television for a new prescription "wonder" drug? I've read many that disclaim that the causes of the mentioned disease are not known and that this drug may or may not be effective. The listings of the possible side effects are almost always shocking, i.e. "may cause uncontrollable, explosive bloody diarrhea" is one of my favorites. In this crazy world, there are legions of individuals and groups that are trying to get you to think the way they want you to. Often, it is enforced by ridicule and belittlement. Whether it is for financial gain, or it's to gather votes for a political position, your belief system is under attack on a daily basis. You need to take a hard and honest look at what you think you know.
There is a Jewish proverb I really like - "Think with your heart, and you are a fool. Think with your head and you are a King".
The Muslims have a very good proverb, too: "All good things come from Allah. All bad things come from the evil in men's souls".
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstien
My own proverb is: "Those who are ignorant, and choose willfully to pursue the path of ignorance will always fear and seek to destroy what they do not understand. Those that are enlightened and intelligent will be curious and learn before making decisions".
I hope my little article helps you to better understand the art of Kyojitsu. Like religion, the law and anything else, it can be used for good or bad.
I also laugh out loud at someone who claims to be an "UFO Expert". "UFO" is an acronym for Unidentified Flying Object. How can you possibly be an expert on something that can't be identified? If you know almost nothing about a subject, then why do we have to take you seriously?
Buy a copy of "Black Belt" magazine, and see how many full page ads claiming to make you "unbeatable" and "invincible" you can find. My favorite claim is "learn to be able to deliver lightning fast lethal strikes, each more lethal than the first!" Hmm, if the first blow is lethal, then why keep hitting your opponent? Does "beating a dead horse" ring a bell?
Now we come to the ninja hype. I for one have never claimed to be a ninja to anyone. I'm not! I study both ninja arts and samurai arts, but am neither. I'm too big to be a ninja! If you know nothing about a subject, how can you possibly ridcule it? What have you acomplished?
Hatsumi Sensei said "no school owns the monopoly on truth". This is very profound. He also said "It's okay to call yourself a ninja. It just doesn't necessarily make it true".