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How Rumors Get Started
The executive secretary passed the order on to the
company commander: "By order of the Colonel, tomorrow
at 2000 hours, Haley's Comet will appear above the
battalion area. If it rains, fall the men out in
fatigues, then march to the theater where the rare
phenomenon will take place, something which happens
only once every 75 years."
The company commander passed the order on to the
lieutenant: "By order of the Colonel in fatigues at
2000 hours tomorrow evening, the phenomenal Haley's
Comet will appear in the theater. In case of rain in
the battalion area, the Colonel will give another
order, something which happens once every 75 years.
The lieutenant told the sergeant: "Tomorrow at 2000
hours, the Colonel in fatigues will appear in the
theater with the phenomenal Haley's Comet, something
that happens every 75 years. If it rains, the Colonel
will order the comet into the battalion area."
The sergeant gave the following order to the squad:
"When it rains tomorrow at 2000 hours, the phenomenal
75-year-old General Haley, accompanied by the Colonel,
will drive his Comet through the battalion area theater
Unfortunately, many rumors get started in much the same
way. What begins as an innocent statement can quickly
transform into an ugly lie after being passed along by
several "well-meaning" people. That's why the
scriptures warn so strongly about the sin of gossip.
"Without wood, a fire will go out, and without gossip,
quarreling will stop. Just as charcoal and wood keep a
fire going, a quarrelsome person keeps an argument
going. The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of
food; people like to gobble them up" (Proverbs
-- Cited on "Thought for the Day" by Alan Smith.
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