Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"It's not always necessary to tell the truth."
"I cannot tell a lie."
"I don't mean lie but… you could exaggerate."
"Lies! All lies! You are the greatest liar I have ever met!"

A lie was a deliberate statement which was not the truth, usually meant to deceive or mislead another individual. The Novans used the word "shale" when they believed someone told a lie. (ENT: "Terra Nova") One who had to propensity for telling lies was known as a liar.

A lie told for strategic purposes in warfare or card games was called a bluff. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver") Lying after having sworn an oath to tell the truth is known as perjury. (TOS: "Court Martial")

As discovered by a landing party from Enterprise NX-01 and a commando of the Andorian Imperial Guard in June 2151, the Vulcan monks at the monastery at P'Jem were lying when they denied the existence of a secret listening post beneath their sanctuary. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

That same year, when Captain Jonathan Archer and T'Pol were captured by Coridanites, T'Pol claimed that Archer was a steward. Traeg asked if she might be lying, but then accepted her story, noting the Vulcan reputation for truthfulness. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem")

When Captain Jonathan Archer assumed Kessick was lying on his death bed about the coordinates of Xindus, Trip Tucker questioned this statement and asked why he should've lied to them. (ENT: "The Xindi")

One of the great myths surrounding Vulcans was that the race was incapable of telling a lie. Doctor Leonard McCoy once stated that the simple fact of Spock being a Vulcan meant that he was incapable of lying. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I") While generally believed to be accurate, Vulcans were, in fact, capable of telling lies, usually justifying this action as a logical course towards a means to an end. An example of this would be lying to carry out a secret mission or lying to protect the lives of others. Spock was in fact capable of lying, as was Valeris, although Valeris' motives were somewhat dubious. Tuvok admitted that Vulcans were capable of telling lies but added that he had never found it prudent or necessary to do so, after an inquiry by Seven of Nine into whether or not they were capable of lying. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"; TOS: "Errand of Mercy"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; VOY: "Hunters"; Star Trek Into Darkness) This said, Tuvok was as capable of deception as any other Vulcan, as his time with the Maquis and kinship with Chakotay during that time were all a deception as he served as an agent of Starfleet. (VOY: "State of Flux") Data seemed to be of the belief that Vulcans were incapable of lying, stating as much in a letter to Bruce Maddox when T'Pel made a statement to him he found suspicious. T'Pel, however, was secretly a Romulan agent. (TNG: "Data's Day")

In 2258 in the alternate reality, the Spock of the alternate reality asked the Spock who had been transported from the prime timeline how he had persuaded the alternate James T. Kirk to keep his secret. Spock Prime responded that Kirk had had inferred that universe-ending paradoxes would ensue if he broke his promise. The alternate reality Spock replied that he had lied, but Spock Prime replied that he had implied. The alternate reality Spock considered this a gamble, but Spock Prime described it as an act of faith. (Star Trek)

Lying could cause mental and physical tension. In 2268, Doctor Leonard McCoy found no evidence that a group of orphaned children from the Starnes Exploration Party were lying. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")

Miranda Jones once called James T. Kirk a liar, proclaiming, "It's a lie!" when Kirk stated that Jones had tried to murder Spock while mind melding with a Medeusan. (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

In 2364, Doctor Beverly Crusher noted that the relationship between the Brekkians and the Ornaran was based on a lie, which was that felicium was medicine for a plague that the Ornarans suffered. The plague had, in fact, already been cured, and the felicium served only as a narcotic, which the Brekkians sold to them and kept them addicted. (TNG: "Symbiosis")

That same year, Jenice Manheim, reunited with Captain Jean-Luc Picard, whom she had once loved, asked him why he had stood her up at a planned meeting at the Café des Artistes before he shipped out to serve in Starfleet. Picard stated that he was scared and she replied that she did not actually want the truth. He asked if she had wanted him to lie and she admitted "Of course. A nice, soft, painless lie." At this, he replied that he was confused, that he thought it was Tuesday when it was actually Wednesday and that he went to the Café Moulin instead of the Café des Artistes. (TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris")

Data once told Timothy that androids do not lie; however, Data himself was very capable of lying. Data once lied to the entire crew of the USS Enterprise-D, regarding an incident wherein the Paxans erased the memories of the Enterprise's crew (except for Data) due to a xenophobic fear bordering on the extreme. Data also once lied to an entire bar full of patrons in an effort to make Ro Laren appear as a Maquis sympathizer, as part of an elaborate plan to infiltrate a local resistance cell. In both of these cases, however, Data was acting under direct orders and not by his own design. Data also lied to Samuel Clemens about the purpose of a machine he was building when displaced in time, most likely in accordance with Starfleet's temporal displacement policy. (TNG: "Hero Worship", "Clues", "Preemptive Strike", "Time's Arrow, Part II") When the USS Enterprise-E was thrown back in time to 2063, Data was captured by the Borg Queen, who grafted skin onto him. When Data cradled the skin, he stated he was doing so simply because he was imitating the behavior of Humans and the Queen commented, "You're becoming more Human all the time. Now you're learning how to lie." (Star Trek: First Contact) Data's brother, Lore, also possessed the capability to lie, and he lied to Data about which of them had been constructed first. (TNG: "Datalore")

In 2366, when Geordi La Forge was taken prisoner by the Romulan Centurion Bochra on Galorndon Core, he told him that the fleet was in and that the sky was full of Federation ships. When Bochra stated that he was lying, he replied that he never lied when he had sand in his shoes. (TNG: "The Enemy")

That same year, Commander William T. Riker accused the supposed Romulan defector whom he believed to be Setal, but who was actually Alidar Jarok of lying about his true purposes. Later, in discussing intuition with Data, Geordi La Forge told him that one couldn't always rely on simple facts, that sometimes they lied. (TNG: "The Defector")

Also that same year, the Zalkonian Sunad described the individual "John Doe" as a disruptive influence who spread lies, encouraged dissent and disturbed the natural order of Zalkonian society when questioned by Captain Picard about his supposed crimes. (TNG: "Transfigurations")

Defending the honor of Worf, who had been falsely accused of treason by the Klingon High Council, Captain Picard told K'mpec that the Klingon Empire's alliance with the United Federation of Planets was not based on lies as a warning of how far he would be willing to go to protect Worf. (TNG: "Sins of The Father")

When Locutus of Borg claimed that Commander Riker's request to negotiate terms with the Borg Collective was a deception, Riker noted that he had never lied to Picard and that Picard implicitly trusted him. While Locutus was the assimilated form of Picard, he did not consider this a persuasive argument. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")

After Worf took his son Alexander Rozhenko aboard the Enterprise-D, he became concerned after Alexander told a number of lies to both his teacher Ms. Kyle and to him. (TNG: "New Ground")

In urging Cadet Wesley Crusher to come forward with the truth regarding the death of Joshua Albert, Captain Picard told him that while he had told the truth in his testimony up to a point, a lie of omission was still a lie. (TNG: "The First Duty")

Lwaxana Troi told Alexander Rozhenko that telling the truth was easier than lying because when you tell the truth, you never have to remember later what you lied about. (TNG: "Cost Of Living")

When Croden claimed that he had heard of other shape-shifters in the Gamma Quadrant, Odo called it a lie, stating that he had overheard him talking to Quark. Croden admitted that he "dissembled a little," but that shape-shifters were harsh in their judgments. Later, when again accused of lying by Odo, he stated that there were times when he didn't dissemble. (DS9: "Vortex")

While being questioned by Kira Nerys, Aamin Marritza claimed that he was not suffering from Kalla-Nohra Syndrome, but rather Pottrik Syndrome. As Doctor Julian Bashir had both confirmed the illness as Kalla-Nohra and confirmed that the symptoms definitely did not match those of Pottrik, Kira knew that he was lying and that he had been at the Gallitep labor camp. She stated it would be a very short interrogation if he made his lies so transparent, and he replied that he would try to make them more opaque. Later, when Gul Dukat questioned why Marritza was being held on Deep Space 9, he suggested that Benjamin Sisko did not trust him because he was a Cardassian. To that, Sisko replied that he did not trust Marritza because had lied about being at Gallitep, and Dukat asked if they had charged him with lying. (DS9: "Duet")

Counselor Deanna Troi's abilities as an empath often allowed her to pick up on certain signals that indicated if someone was lying. (TNG: "Face Of The Enemy")

When Elim Garak was in danger of dying due to a malfunctioning cranial implant, he told Doctor Julian Bashir a number of conflicting stories regarding his past. After the danger had passed, Bashir asked of him which of the stories were true and which weren't. Garak replied that they all were true, and Bashir asked, "Even the lies?", to which Garak responded, "Especially the lies." (DS9: "The Wire")

When the Romulan Ruwon was interrogating Quark, he told him he thought he was lying. Quark asked about which part, and Ruwon replied, "All of it," to which Quark responded that he was at least consistent. (DS9: "Visionary")

In 2371, Tuvok requested an autonomic response analysis from Tom Paris when he regained consciousness. Kes therefore asked Tuvok if he'd really thought that Paris would lie to them. (VOY: "Ex Post Facto")

The Vhnori Araya accused Harry Kim of lying about what he had said regarding their afterlife. (VOY: "Emanations")

The holographic character Unferth accused Freya of believing the lies of The Doctor and attacked The Doctor in an attempt to kill him. (VOY: "Heroes and Demons")

While entering a dark matter nebula, B'Elanna Torres found evidence that was different from the telling of Tuvok. Captain Janeway mentioned, puzzled, that there was no reason Tuvok should lie. (VOY: "Cathexis")

Doctor Julian Bashir once told Elim Garak the tale of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," a Human children's story about a boy who was tasked with guarding a flock of sheep but repeatedly lied by shouting that a wolf was attacking the flock until nobody believed him when a wolf really came, resulting in both him and the sheep being eaten. Bashir summarized the story's moral as being that if you lie all the time, nobody will believe you even when you are telling the truth. Garak, however, came to a different conclusion, finding the story's moral to be that you should never tell the same lie twice. Later, when Odo told Commander Benjamin Sisko that Garak was telling the truth about having no idea why Romulans might want to kill him, he explained that if Garak did know then he would already be spinning an elaborate web of lies to cover the truth. To this, Garak replied that the truth was usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination. (DS9: "Improbable Cause")

In 2372, when Lieutenant Commander Worf confronted a Changeling posing as General Martok (believed by all, at the time, to be the real Martok) about the actions of his troops such as detaining and searching ships in neutral space, "Martok" replied that what he had done was in the best interest of the Alpha Quadrant. Worf was not impressed, stating, "You must think me a fool to make your lies so transparent." (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

Like Data, The Doctor, another artificial lifeform, was capable of lying. When queried regarding this matter by Seska in 2373, he told her, "I've learned that a bedside manner occasionally requires me to, how should I put it, soft-pedal the truth. But bald-faced lying, calculated deceit? I don't have much experience with that sort of thing." This, however, was itself a lie, as The Doctor's continued operation on the USS Voyager was itself a deception designed to allow The Doctor to attempt to sabotage Seska and the Kazon's efforts to retain control of the starship. Later, when Seska discovered his ruse, she told him that he was more talented in deception than he had led her to believe, and he replied that he was inspired by the presence of a master. (VOY: "Basics, Part II")

Augris told Commander Chakotay that it seemed Voyager made more enemies than friends since becoming stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Some factions in the quadrant even thought that the whole story of Voyager was a lie. (VOY: "Resistance")

In 2373, when Elim Garak decoded a secret Cardassian transmission, a Changeling posing as Doctor Julian Bashir caught him in a lie that it was a five-year-old planetary survey report. When Garak then suggested that they steal a runabout to search for Enabran Tain, "Bashir" replied, "You want me to lie to my commanding officer, violate Starfleet regulations, and go with you on a mission into the Gamma Quadrant which will probably get us both killed?!" Later, when Garak went on said mission with Worf, he spun a story about wanting to attend Starfleet Academy. When Worf realized that Garak really had no desire to attend Starfleet Academy, he asked Garak what the reason was for all the deception, and Garak replied, "Lying is a skill like any other, and if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you have to practice constantly." Worf told him to practice on someone else. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

In 2374, Captain Benjamin Sisko concocted an elaborate plan to draw the Romulan Star Empire into the Dominion War. Although the plan was approved by Starfleet Command, Sisko commented, in a later deleted personal log, "I was the one who had to look Senator Vreenak in his eye and convince him that a lie was the truth." Later, in the same deleted log, he stated, "So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover up the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But most damning of all... I think I can live with it... And if I had to do it all over again... I would." (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

There were no lies or deceptions among the Borg in the Borg Collective. (VOY: "Day of Honor")

When Captain Janeway asked The Doctor to be transferred to the USS Prometheus in the Alpha Quadrant, she was honest to him and mentioned she wouldn't lie to him about the danger this assignment could be for him. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")

In 2375, Inspector Kashyk of the Devore Imperium pretend to defect to the USS Voyager in order to protect a group of Brenari telepaths. During this time, he and Captain Kathryn Janeway grew close and she offered him the possibility of asylum on Voyager. His defection was ultimately a ruse, but he was outmaneuvered by Janeway. When he commented that he had never fully gained her trust, she replied that she had not lied to him and her offer was genuine if he had kept his part of the bargain. (VOY: "Counterpoint")

A con artist was an individual who used lies and deception to gain another's trust to use to their own benefit. In 2376, a group of such con artists, Dala, Mobar and Zar impersonated the crew of the USS Voyager, posing as Captain Janeway, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok and Commander Chakotay respectively. When the three of them were captured by the crew of the actual Voyager, Dala commented to Captain Janeway that she thought she would be taller, commenting "I make a better you than you." Janeway, however, replied that the two of them were a lot alike except for one tiny difference. When Dala asked what this was, Janeway stated "I'm not a liar and a thief." (VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper")

The Ferengi have a saying that "A good lie is easier to believe than the truth." (VOY: "Shattered")

On the planet Brax, Q was known as the "God of Lies". (DS9: "Q-Less")

In 2399, Vup stated to Cristóbal Rios that the 1,253 olfactory receptors of his species, the Beta Annari, meant that he could smell a lie, something which Rios had previously been told by Raffi Musiker. She administered him with an injection which was designed to fool these senses. (PIC: "Stardust City Rag")

The Philippa Georgiou of the mirror universe felt that Michael Burnham had the same need as her mirror universe counterpart to bend people to her will and that the only difference was that she lied to herself about it. (DIS: "Terra Firma, Part 1")

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Background information[]

In the writers' second draft script of ENT: "Breaking the Ice", Jonathan Archer and Trip Tucker exchanged lies with each other. Archer claimed he needed antacids due to indigestion from having eaten meatballs and Vulcan food, whereas his real motive for wanting the medicine was that Vulcan Captain Vanik had annoyed him. Trip, in turn, stated he had received a bruise on his cheek because he had become "a little careless inside a ventilating unit," when, in fact, the bruise was from T'Pol having hit him. Both Archer and Tucker doubted the other's lie, correctly suspecting the truth instead.

In the opinion of Patrick Stewart, "It is the job of an actor to tell beautiful lies, and, although they're lies, it's more important that they're seen as being beautiful." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4 Blu-ray - Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek - The Next Generation - Part Two: Posterity)

See also[]

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