In part 1, we set the scene and considered how a crisis can be used to wrest control, but the tyrants taking charge may not be impressive to all. In part 2, the thin veneer of tyranny does not protect subjects from the harsh realities of the suffering that always follows. In part 3, we scratched at the religious veneer to see that the biggest question in life is the right question at any time of change. However, asking the right questions will not be welcomed, but oppressed. Thus, the truth matters, even if everyone seems to be buying into the lies. This brings us to this final post. Surely the truth will set society free? Ultimately, yes. But we should not be shocked when a hypnotized people choose to stay under the spell.
20. Revealing the lie does not automatically break the spell. “The light is dawning, the lie broken.” It seems so simple. Show everyone how they have been lied to and everything will be alright. Well, not necessarily. After defeating some captors, the king cried, “Now, Dwarfs, you are free. Tomorrow I will lead you to free all Narnia. Three cheers for Aslan!” But, Lewis goes on, “the result which followed was simply wretched.” If everyone rallied to the side of the king, there was hope. But not “if half the Narnians – including all the Dwarfs – just sat and looked on? or even fought against him.” Would the German population have rallied to the side of truth if there had been time for it to be revealed? How many might have been saved if the populations of the communist soviet countries had revolted sooner? And what if our own population does not react when lies are revealed? The result of apathy to truth will be simply wretched.
21. When a lie is revealed, there may well be more sinister aforethought than previously realised. By chapter 9, Jewel recognizes how much planning had taken place. “We see that the Ape’s plans were laid deeper than we dreamed of. Doubtless he has been long in secret traffic with The Tisroc.” It is hard to fathom the depths of evil conspiratorial planning that may exist, but where is the benefit in believing everything is driven by good intentions and some accident? Will we look back and wonder why we were so naively accepting of the lines we were fed? Perhaps we would do well to ask questions sooner, rather than just having to take stock of the damage once it is done.
22. When a lie is revealed, the evil tyrants will continue to spin yet more lies. It is the most infuriating plot twist, but it is repeated time and again. When the lie is revealed, it is met with yet more lies. The Ape explained how a beast had dressed up and pretended to be Aslan. “Jill wondered for a moment if the Ape had gone mad. Was he going to tell the whole truth? . . . It was seen last night, but it got away. It’s a Donkey! A common, miserable Ass! If any of you see that Ass—” The Ape lied to cover his lies, and so retained control of the population! “Jill looked at the King: his mouth was open and his face was full of horror. And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.”
It is a story that has been told again and again. The Ape in its glory. So much harm is done along the way, but eventually, every dressed-up Ape will be brought down. May we learn from the story before we live unnecessarily through another chapter of the same old tale. May we never accept any self-declared-wise old ape who sets himself up as the better leader to take us toward utopia. The world does not need a year zero, a new beginning, a great leap forward, or a reset, no matter how great it might sound, or how urgently the need is portrayed. What the world needs is truth, as well as humble leaders ready to serve the people, and for those who have met Aslan to make sure they are never fooled by a doddery donkey dressed up as divine.