This week I am sharing a blog by Denny Hatch ( In the past 55 years, Hatch has been a magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist, marketing consultant, and author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing. To get on his mailing list for his free newsletter, click on the link above.

Donald Trump is a pathological liar. Question: Does he believe all his lies?

Donald Trump told 16,241 lies in his first three years as president. That’s 15 lies per day; 104 per week, every week of his presidency. These are verifiable lies. He will say something that directly contradicts something he said on live TV or on Twitter yesterday. Or last month. Or last year. Trump seems to have no memory of what he said in the past. He speaks with no knowledge of history. Of politics. Of science. Of the Constitution. Yet, from the bully's pulpit he blurts out whatever nitwittery of the moment pops into his head.

The entire A-Team is gone. Also, the B’s, C’s, D’s and E’s. A White House now filled with frightened F’s.

OK, it is widely agreed that Donald Trump is one sick puppy.

And everyone on the White House F-Team is scared to death of the guy, terrified of a personal presidential tweet. Fearful for their jobs. None of the cowering cowards on the F-team dares to question the Dear Leader or gently suggest how to steer him toward transparency, empathy and science.

The logical hypothesis: Since nobody dares tell Trump the truth, the president invents his own truths. The technical term is that he is living in a bubble of “alternate reality.”

What I really want to know is: Does Trump know he’s lying? Or like the Larry Hart’s lyric, does his "self-deception believe the lie”? If he honestly believes his lies, then he isn’t lying.

Is he?


Thirty-five or more years ago, publishing consultant Paul Goldberg and I had as a client, Julian M. Snyder, a hulking guy with jet-black tousled hair and owlish horn-rimmed glasses who looked rather like Garrison Keillor, host of the legendary radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.” He was a world-renowned economist and publisher of the newsletter, International Moneyline.

Snyder achieved fame — and made a fortune for himself and his subscribers — by correctly calling every turn of gold during a 10-year ride, culminating in its Jan. 21, 1980, high of $850 per ounce, whereupon his clients made more money with judicious short sales on advice from Snyder.

Julian Snyder discovers Dektor

At some point, Snyder came across The Dektor PSE Psychological Stress Evaluator. The technology of Voice StressTM was invented in 1969 by two trained U.S. Army counter-intelligence polygraph examiners — Col. Charles R. McQuiston and Col. Allan Bell, CIA station chief in West Berlin and later Seoul.

In a nutshell, when people — men or women — are telling a deliberate lie, the voice exhibits stress. This voice stress is subtle — not perceptible to the naked human ear. But with modern electronics, this voice variation is detectable and obvious.

The Pinocchio MachineDektor PSE-101 can tell you instantly whether a person is telling a lie

The Bell-McQuiston machine was a huge technological advance. Old-fashioned polygraph machines — invented around 1916 — are cumbersome, requiring wires attached to the body of the person being examined.

Dektor, on the other hand reportedly can detect a lie instantly and accurately in any environment:

• Face to face.

• Listening in on the telephone

• On TV or radio.

• Even over a public address system.

• In any language.

This is not “yes” and “no” stuff. Entire speeches and conversations can be analyzed and all the lies throughout revealed.

For example, if the president of Iran, speaking Persian, said Irani nuclear research was being done for peaceful purposes only and not at all for weaponry — and if he were lying — the machine would pick up the stress in his voice and chart it.

Col. Bell tested his new machine in front of his television set on the game show, “To Tell the Truth.” Twenty-five shows of three subjects each were evaluated. In each segment, two subjects lied about their name and occupation. One told the truth. Of the 75 subject evaluations, 71 were correctly called — an accuracy of 94.7%.

Julian Snyder summoned Goldberg and myself to a meeting at his office in downtown New York and stunned us with the news that he wanted to launch a biweekly newsletter, The Truth. It was totally alien to his core business — advice to investors on the fluctuations in the price of gold.

The wild premise

Julian’s business model: the editors would set up this machine in front of presidential speeches, press conferences, congressional hearings, perp walks and corporate stockholder meetings, and reveal who was lying and who was telling the truth. Investors and gamblers could make a ton of money in all kinds of industries.

It was the ultimate Pinocchio Machine!

Paul and I loved it! We immediately dubbed it “De Troot,” which is what we called it when we reminisced about those days.

Five reasons why it bombed

• In retrospect, it was not a good idea to call President Ronald Reagan a liar in huge type on the outside envelope.

• It smacked of snake oil.

• This was pre-internet. Snyder was selling old news. A twice-a-month print newsletter sent by mail meant subscribers would receive the revelations three or four weeks late.

• People want instant gratification.

• Demanding payment with order (as opposed to “bill me”) depresses up-front response. Asking for cash for an unknown product can be a deal killer. (Today, with online ordering, people expect to give their credit info knowing full well they’ll get a refund if dissatisfied.)

The Voice Stress evaluator today and Donald Trump

The most recent iteration of the Dektor machine was a software program that could function on a desktop computer, iPad or Smartphone.

Set one of these fellas up in front of any presentation — political speech, business press conference, convention webinar, telephone call — and you’ll know instantly who’s Bee-essing you.

Why set up a Voice Stress Analyzer in front of a Donald Trump appearance?

At first blush it would be a pointless waste of time. Trump lies all the time about pretty much everything. And every lie can be debunked.

But is Trump deliberately lying?

Does he know he’s lying?

Or is he so caught up in his cockamamie alternative reality that he believes he is spewing absolute truths?

The Voice Stress Analyzer can tell when the voice is stressed. A stressed voice does not absolutely, positively guarantee a lie is being told. Remember this paragraph earlier in this post:

Col. Bell tested his new machine in front of his television set on the game show, “To Tell the Truth.” Twenty-five shows of three subjects each were evaluated. In each segment, two subjects lied about their name and occupation and one told the truth. Of the 75 subject evaluations, 71 were correctly called — an accuracy of 94.7%.

In short, I want to know if Trump’s voice is ever stressed — and if so, when is it stressed?

If it’s not stressed when he’s telling obvious lies, it adds an entirely new dimension to our understanding of the muddled hash of a brain inside the golden noggin of the 45th president of the United States.

The end of Dektor

Alas Dektor got into a nasty squabble with another voice stress company and was hit with a huge punitive fine of $850,000 for damages for intentional false advertising. The company went out of business in 2019.

But OMG! I’d love to resurrect one of these Pinocchio Machines and set it up in front of the TV during a Trump press briefing!

The furtive sigh
The blackened eye
The words "I'll love you till the day I die"
The self-deception that believes the lie
I wish I were in love again
— Lorenz Hart