Radical Honesty

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Radical Honesty is a technique and self-improvement program developed by Dr. Brad Blanton.[1] The program asserts that lying is the primary source of modern human stress and that practitioners will become happier by being more honest, even about painful or taboo subjects. Blanton claims this form of honesty can help all human relationships since it "creates an intimacy not possible if you are hiding something for the sake of someone's feelings."[2]

The Radical Honesty technique includes having practitioners state their feelings bluntly, directly and in ways typically considered impolite.[3] For example, "I'm disgusted with you for X" where X is a statement of objective observation about the person towards whom the comment is being directed. People who practice Radical Honesty employ a collection of techniques to shift them out of acceptable norms of "white lying" for the purpose of having a more truthful relationship with themselves and others.

The material employed to communicate and teach Radical Honesty through books and workshops is drawn from an eclectic collection of sources including Sufism, clinical psychology, Gestalt therapy and the comic spiritual belief (developed by Blanton) called Futilitarianism, which claims that it is futile to have any belief whatsoever.[citation needed]

Books[edit]

  • Blanton, Brad 2011, The Korporate Kannibal Kookbook – The Empire Is Consuming Us, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 1-4507-4253-X
  • Blanton, Brad 2006, Beyond Good and Evil: The Eternal Split-Second Sound-Light Being, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 0-9706938-5-0
  • Blanton, Brad 2005, Radical Honesty, The New Revised Edition: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth, SparrowHawk Publications; Revised edition, ISBN 0-9706938-4-2
  • Blanton, Brad 2004, The Truthtellers, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 0-9706938-3-4
  • Blanton, Brad 2002, Radical Parenting: Seven Steps to a Functional Family in a Dysfunctional World, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 0-9706938-2-6
  • Blanton, Brad 2001, Honest to God: A Change of Heart That Can Change the World, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 0-9706938-1-8
  • Blanton, Brad 2000, Practicing Radical Honesty, SparrowHawk Publications, ISBN 0-9630921-9-7
  • Blanton, Brad 1996, Radical Honesty: How To Transform Your Life By Telling The Truth, Dell; 7th Printing edition, ISBN 0-440-50754-5

In popular culture[edit]

The character Eli Loker, played by Brendan Hines, from the 2009 FOX series Lie to Me adheres to Radical Honesty during the first season. From the website bio of the character in the first season: “Eli Loker is Lightman's lead researcher, who is so uncomfortable with the human tendency to lie that he's decided to practice what he calls "radical honesty." He says everything on his mind at all times and often pays the price.” [4]

Writer A.J. Jacobs devotes a chapter in the book The Guinea Pig Diaries to his attempts to live according to the precepts of Radical Honesty. Author Brandon Mendelson is known as a practitioner of a modified form of Radical Honesty.

At a Moth Mainstage event in 2009, radio producer and writer Starlee Kine related her experience with Radical Honesty, which she labelled a cult. Kine described a seminar where Blanton was verbally abusive and at one point urged her to sign a contract to obey him completely for the duration of the seminar.[5]

In the last book of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, a character named Frizz Mizuno invented a surgical brain procedure called "Radical Honesty" that renders him unable to lie. In fact, if he hears someone tell a lie when he himself knows the truth, he can't even simply not speak—he has to reveal the truth under any circumstances. Even at the possible cost of his own life and the lives of people he cares about, he still can't lie to save them, because his brain is wired to speak the truth.[6]

In Bones (season 6), episode 20, The Pinocchio in the Planter, the victim, Ross Dickson, was part of a fictional group called "The Honesty Policy" that practiced Radical Honesty. The episode begins exploring radical honesty as the victim being deliberately rude and belligerent, with ill effects potentially leading to his demise, and with a crass and alienating character who attended the same group. However, it also explores through several character sub-plots positive outcomes resulting from honesty inspired by encountering the concept of Radical Honesty. The phrase "Radical Honesty" is used throughout the episode.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Radical Honesty" trademarked under original Serial No. 75264507, Registration No. 2142690, and new Serial No. 77660745, records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. ^ "Radical Honesty – FAQ". radicalhonesty.com. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  3. ^ "Radical Honesty – What We Do". radicalhonesty.com. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ ""eli loker" – brendan hines". FOX.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Starlee Kine: Radical Honesty". themoth.org. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  6. ^ Extras, Scott Westerfeld

External links[edit]