Thoughts on Whatever Became of Sin? By Karl Menninger MD (1973) 8AC

Following the “sin of affluence”, Menninger covered the “sins of waste, cheating and stealing, lying, and various cruelties.”

Of all these, I would like to cover his “sin of lying”, consisting of a single vivid example of deception.

The sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania by German navy boats in May of 1915 was a tipping point.  American sentiment turned in favor of joining the War in Europe (now known as World War 1).

The Lusitania was carrying a cargo of munitions and a false manifest that claimed it carried no weapons of war.  The United States Government withheld information about the false manifest from its citizens in order to arouse American anger against the Germans.  President Woodrow Wilson wanted the USA to enter into the war to “save democracy”.

In September 1917, the Wisconsin senator Robert La Follette announced that the Lusitania was carrying munitions at the time of the attack and the President knew about it.  The Senate tried to expel him.  However, their “cries of treachery” were only a screen hiding what they all knew: La Follette’s claim was valid.