I didn’t know who the Liver King was until he recently got exposed for being on steroids, and then I went down a bit of a rabbit hole to learn more about his story.

A guy that claimed to be eating raw liver, exercising, and advocating a “primal lifestyle” who had an incredible, superhero-like physique which he attributed to his completely natural prehistoric lifestyle and diet.

What’s most curious to me is: How do people fall for scammers like this making preposterous claims?

In this case, it’s easy to believe that it was mainly uneducated, naive young guys who believed him, but I don’t think that alone explains it.

Then there was that cryptoqueen, Ruja Ignatova, who scammed thousands of people with her OneCoin, which was nothing but a giant pyramid scheme. I remember watching a talk of hers and thinking: “How could anyone trust this person with their money?”

Or what about SBF, Sam Bankman-Fried, who defrauded people out of billions of dollars? I’m not into crypto, but I remember seeing an interview with him and thinking: “This guy is fake af.”

Think of other scammers: Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos. I remember, back in the days before she was exposed and while she was still being hailed as the female Steve Jobs. I watched a few interviews of her, and just intuitively I thought: “This lady is full of shit.”

But many people much more intelligent and sophisticated than I believed in her, and invested large amounts of money into her venture.

To me, this leaves me wondering: If it’s so easy for me to intuitively sense that someone is so dishonest, why do so many people fall for it.

But there’s another, even more interesting question to ask: I don’t believe I have any particular truth detection powers. I just think that I pick up on certain kinds of signals which for me then translate into the feeling that this person isn’t trustworthy. But I’m pretty sure that there are other signals, or personality types, where I’m just as blind to their deceptiveness as believers in Elizabeth Holmes, or Ruja Ignatova, or SBF, or the Liver King.

It’s entertaining and delightful when someone who deceives people gets exposed, but there’s a deeper, more meaningful layer of insight and wisdom that can be explored when you ask yourself: Why do people fall for this? Why could I sense this? Are there areas in my life, or people, where I’m just as blind as they are? What does it say about me?





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