Guest Post: Secrets And Lies

Tyler Durden's picture

Originally posted at Golem XIV blog,

Every credit has its debit, every positive its negative. So for every secret there must be a lie, and every lie must be kept secret.

This is the currency of power today. Fiat truth.

We are not allowed to have any secrets any more.  And yet those who insist they must know the truth about us, who spy upon us to extract our secrets, tell us. in return, only lies.

It is a dangerous, corroding imbalance of power, because lies, like debts, compound.

Living the lie

We all know the famous Goebbels quote,

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

From Sadam’s weapons of mass destruction and missiles that could hit us in just 40 minutes of sexed up bullshit, to the stress tests that show us every bank is perfectly solvent and however many billions they launder they are never guilty and no one goes to goal because they are too big to fail and too connected to even question.

The eye of providence looks out and approves of what is done – Annuit cœptis.

But who does the all seeing eye, that sits atop  the pyramid of power on the mighty dollar bill, work for now? Is it really you and me?  That is what we are told to believe. But is it true? I think there are too many secrets but few of them are yours and mine.

The private dealings of the ordinary citizen are considered suspect and must, we are told, be rooted out. The secrets and outright lies of the corporate and governmental worlds, however – they are confidential. They are protected – behind razor-wire threats of  legal action and closed door tribunals of hand picked experts.

A few weeks ago I sat and listened to the former leader of the Conservative party, now an elder statesman of British politics, Michael Howard, tell an audience that governments need to lie. He is a clever man. He quoted Goebbels and then gave this carefully chosen example.

Imagine, he said, that a Chancellor knew that he was going to have to devalue the currency. The evening before the appointed hour, he is asked by a journalist if he is going to devalue. If he tells the truth and says yes, there will be a run on the currency and great damage will be done. So he lies. “No”, he says, “I have absolutely no plans to devalue at all.” And then next morning he devalues as he had planned.

“Was this not”, Mr Howard asked, “the right thing, the only thing to do?” And all agreed it was. The unspoken lesson that everyone seemed to accept was stability is more important than the truth.

I find this a very frightening notion.

But Mr Howard presented his lie well. He went on to quote the next, less well known line from the Goebbels quote.

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

And this, he said smiling at us, is what protects you. The chancellor’s lie only needed to last a few hours. The nation only lived inside his lie overnight.

But now think of the lies we have been told since 2008. Our banking system and the  banks in it, we were told, were basically sound just suffering from a shortage of liquidity. And yet, in reality, it was not a problem of  liquidity, it was insolvency.

The liquidity lie had to be rolled over and the interest on it, paid. So another lie, that  bank assets were not worthless just ‘impaired’, had to be told and maintained. And to do that the truth had to be hidden, off balance sheet, in mark to model and offshore.

Our governments have spent trillions maintaining their lies and have forced us to live those lies for five years now. But there are costs. Living a lie is morally and politically corrosive, not to mention expensive.  Just this week, as reported in the FT, the Italian Treasury ‘uncovered’ a nest of lies. It appears that the Italian government, in the run up to joining the euro,  paid at least one of the big banks to help it hide the true extent of its debts by agreeing  derivative swaps. Greece used similar swaps to massage its debts. The now infamous Titlos agreement with Goldman Sachs being the best known.

The Italian agreements – there were several amounting to around €36 billion in value – would have been known to Mario Draghi who was at the time of some of the agreements at least  (1998-9) Secretary of the Treasury. Shortly after this (2002) he left the government and joined Goldman.

It now turns out the terms of the agreements were such that the Italian tax payer could face billions in losses. Of course those who will be forced to pay, were never consulted, not even told of the agreements. They were …confidential of course. Commercially sensitive and politically secret – so often bedfellows aren’t they? Kept secret from those who would be required to pay the bill when it came due.

Our leaders, our liars, haven’t bothered to protect us from the consequences of the lies at all. Too expensive. So austerity, disparity and stagnation are everywhere around us. Forced on us by those who suffer none of them, insulated as they are by wealth and power and privilege. Consequences are for little people, not their Betters.

Our ‘Betters’ have found Goebbels was wrong. You don’t have to protect the people from the consequences of the lies you tell them, as long as you can blame those consequences on someone else. On unforeseen global economic forces, on conniving foreigners who devalue their currency, or terrorists or whistleblowers. Or even the people themselves for taking on debts they couldn’t afford or on ‘necessity’ and ‘precedent’ – the bond holders cannot be made to pay – it goes against international precedent.

We, the people, need to strike back at the secret deals done between the elites of  the political and financial revolving door, and make it clear that we will not pay for anything about which we were not told.

Once the cry was, “No taxation without representation”. Today the cry must be, “No debt without consultation.”

Suppressing the Truth

What Mr Howard did not quote is the next line from Goebbels.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

But again Goebbels has been superceded. Repression is so last century. Why repress when you can simply drown it out. All it takes is for the media outlets to be owned by a few powerful and like- minded friends. A few media moguls and corporate giants, whose plastic pundits raise their voices while the dolly bird presenters flash their thighs. It’s all so full throttle and frantic, and charged with desire and greed.

Anyone who disagrees is a conspiracy theorist. Anyone who breaks ranks is a whistleblower and whistleblowers are domestic terrorists, dysfunctional loners with personality problems and axes to grind.

When the truth is vilified, hunted, gagged and goaled, then the State has chosen to go to war with the nation.

We are at war.

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francis_sawyer's picture

Color me 'shocked'... I'll have to rethink the world after reading this... Oh shit... DWTS is on in 10 minutes...

ACP's picture

"Our ‘Betters’ have found Goebbels was wrong. You don’t have to protect the people from the consequences of the lies you tell them, as long as you can blame those consequences on someone else." the key sentence here. And it's true. Just take a look at how HuffPo/MSNBC/Salon/etc handle Obama's ethical vacuum and crimes and misdemeanors.

I always did wonder how they could all fit their heads up Obama's ass at the same time.

12ToothAssassin's picture

Well knock me over with a feather

nope-1004's picture

Stop beating around the bush and call "the state" what it really is:  The USA.


Joe Sixpack's picture

The US government needs to stop spying on US citizens in order to gain back confidence, which is approaching zero. Traitors within the government that spied on US citizens need to be tried. The Utah NSA facility needs to be demolished or open to the US public. Obama should step down or if not, be impeached. Representatives in both houses need to be investigated to determine if they concurred with any treasonous activities. Charges against Bradley Manning need to be reduced to a reasonable set, or completely dropped, based on the conditions under which he has already been held.

CH1's picture

The US government needs to stop spying on US citizens in order to gain back confidence, which is approaching zero.

Why should they give a shit? Everyone obeys them 100% They have no reason to change anything.

Go Tribe's picture

They won't change until they start dropping.

strannick's picture

Instead of Orwells 1984, we got Huxleys Brave New World. We arent overcome by Orwells jackboot, but submit to Huxley's sophoric soma. We are ruled not the iron rod, but fooled with info news. Not grtting teeth in the face of the oppressor, but stupified smiles. Before the banality of evil, the world ends with not a bang but a whimper. Its a kinder gentler fascism

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

"Imagine, he said, that a Chancellor knew that he was going to have to devalue the currency. The evening before the appointed hour, he is asked by a journalist if he is going to devalue. If he tells the truth and says yes, there will be a run on the currency and great damage will be done. So he lies. “No”, he says, “I have absolutely no plans to devalue at all.” And then next morning he devalues as he had planned."

Rather than lie, simply state "I will not comment"

Dick Buttkiss's picture

But of course, just as "The Chancellor" knew, so did his controllers, meaning those who actually run the government, aka the state. So only the outsiders — aka the people — are lied to, while the state use its foreknowledge to reap the benefits.

And so it goes.

Until it doesn't.

Because it can't.

Ready for it?

The Navigator's picture

I can't figure out these stupid ass people in government - do they really think their children and/or grandchildren will be immune from the taxes, the spying, the loss of rights they are now imposing on us?

Except for the Kennedys, there are no dynasties that survive time - thus their kids and grandkids will have to abide by and pay for ObamaCare, pay their share of the $16Tril debt and watch for drones above.

We elect the most moronic and brain-dead amonst us - what does that say about us?


Give me/us the least wanted state among the 50 and give me refuge with the other producers who want to be left alone to pursue our dreams - freedom from the morons and thieves. That's my prayer and hope for my kin.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

So only the outsiders — aka the people — are lied to, while the state use its foreknowledge to reap the benefits.

And that's the key to this contrived example that sounds plausible on first hearing, but upon closer inspection fails.  After all, what differece does it make WHEN the devaluation is disclosed. Mathematically, there is no difference. There will be a currency run regardless.  Distributionally, however, there's a huge difference.  The extra few hours provided by the lie, however, allow the connected to "position" themselves prior to the fleecing.  

ToNYC's picture

Our children will save us with universal wi-fi and an apple-bushel load of digital apps.

Bearwagon's picture

You are right. And not only that, but there also is a very interesting book about exactly this topic:

'Amusing Ourselves to Death' by Neil Postman:

(Attention: PDF)

Anusocracy's picture

The government should go to hell where it belongs, not gain back confidence. Nothing can fix it - ever.


First evidence of brain abnormalities found in pathological liars

The USC study finds structural differences in the area of the brain that enables most people to feel remorse

A University of Southern California study has found the first proof of structural brain abnormalities in people who habitually lie, cheat and manipulate others.

While previous research has shown that there is heightened activity in the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain that enables most people to feel remorse or learn moral behavior – when normal people lie, this is the first study to provide evidence of structural differences in that area among pathological liars.

The research – led by Yaling Yang and Adrian Raine, both of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – is published in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The subjects were taken from a sample of 108 volunteers pulled from Los Angeles' temporary employment pool. A series of psychological tests and interviews placed 12 in the category of people who had a history of repeated lying (11 men, one woman); 16 who exhibited signs of antisocial personality disorder but not pathological lying (15 men, one woman); and 21 who were normal controls (15 men, six women).

"We looked for things like inconsistencies in their stories about occupation, education, crimes and family background," said Raine, a psychology professor at USC and co-author of the study.

"Pathological liars can't always tell truth from falsehood and contradict themselves in an interview. They are manipulative and they admit they prey on people. They are very brazen in terms of their manner, but very cool when talking about this."

Aside from having histories of conning others or using aliases, the habitual liars also admitted to malingering, or telling falsehoods to obtain sickness benefits, Raine said.

After they were categorized, the researchers used Magnetic Resonance Imaging to explore structural brain differences between the groups. The liars had significantly more "white matter" and slightly less "gray matter" than those they were measured against, Raine said.

Specifically, liars had a 25.7 percent increase in prefrontal white matter compared to the antisocial controls and a 22 percent increase compared to the normal controls. Liars had a 14.2 percent decrease in prefrontal gray matter compared to normal controls.

More white matter – the wiring in the brain – may provide liars with the tools necessary to master the complex art of deceit, Raine said.

"Lying takes a lot of effort," he said.

"It's almost mind reading. You have to be able to understand the mindset of the other person. You also have to suppress your emotions or regulate them because you don't want to appear nervous. There's quite a lot to do there. You've got to suppress the truth.

"Our argument is that the more networking there is in the prefrontal cortex, the more the person has an upper hand in lying. Their verbal skills are higher. They've almost got a natural advantage."

But in normal people, it's the gray matter – or the brain cells connected by the white matter – that helps keep the impulse to lie in check.

Pathological liars have a surplus of white matter, the study found, and a deficit of gray matter. That means they have more tools to lie coupled with fewer moral restraints than normal people, Raine said.

"They've got the equipment to lie, and they don't have the disinhibition that the rest of us have in telling the big whoppers," he said.

"When people make moral decisions, they are relying on the prefrontal cortex. When people ask normal people to make moral decisions, we see activation in the front of the brain," he explained. "If these liars have a 14 percent reduction in gray matter, that means that they are less likely to care about moral issues or are less likely to be able to process moral issues. Having more gray matter would keep a check on these activities."

The researchers stopped short of asserting that these structural differences account for all lying.

"This is one of the components," Raine said.

"The findings need to be replicated and extended to other parts of the brain. What are the other neurobiological processes?

"We haven't had studies like this. It's exciting to us because it's a beginning study, but we need a lot more to flesh out this discovery."

Yang, the study's lead author, said the findings eventually could be used in making clinical diagnoses and may have applications in the criminal justice system and the business world.

"If [the findings] can be replicated and extended, they may have long-term implications in a number of areas," said Yang, a doctoral student in the USC department of psychology's brain and cognitive science program.

"For example, in the legal system they could potentially be used to help police work out which suspects are lying. In terms of clinical practice, they could help clinicians diagnose who is malingering – making up disability for financial gain. "And also in business, they could assist in pre-employment screening, working out which individuals may not be suitable for hiring.

"But, right now, I have to emphasize that there are no direct practical applications," she said.

In their journal article, the authors mention that separate studies of autistic children – who typically have trouble lying – have showed the converse pattern of gray matter/white matter ratios.

"The facts that autistic children have difficulty lying and also show reduced prefrontal white matter constitutes the opposite but complementary pattern of the results compared to adults with increased prefrontal white matter who find it easy to lie," the researchers wrote.

"Although autism is a complex condition and cannot be taken as a model for lying, these results … converge with current findings on adult liars in suggesting that the prefrontal cortex is centrally involved in the capacity to lie."



PKF's picture

So brain scans for all political candidates and CEOs....Might that clean up the world a bit?

Fascinating....thx for posting this study.

Anusocracy's picture

That was my thinking, too.

But I'd bet the funding stopped when the alpha-liars realized the possible implications.

There was another paper in '90 - '91 in which the researcher stated what it took to be a 'good' (effective) president: to be able to lie and be believed. Haven't been able to find it again.

Ident 7777 economy's picture



Posted on the annual report to the stockholders maybe?


There might be value to knowing who is the biggest thieving liars in the industry.


Maybe start a liars and thieves EFT ... no wait ...


macholatte's picture



"All past oligarchies have fallen from power either because they ossified or because they grew soft.  Either they became stupid and arrogant, failed to adjust themselves to changing circumstances, and were overthrown; or they became liberal and cowardly, made concessions when they should have used force, and once again were overthrown. ... It is in the ranks of the Party, and above all the Inner Party, that the true war enthusiasm is found. ... If human equality is to be for ever averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity."

-- Orwell   1984

espirit's picture

I think I'm already there.  Have little faith in anything; seen, heard, read, tasted, or smelled, etc. 

Deception lurks in everything which inevitably benefits others.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels helpless, rather than empowered.

Professorlocknload's picture

I'll second that, spirit. Seems to be surreal at times.

NotApplicable's picture

All states share the same flaw.

Randall Cabot's picture

Except Goebbels never said it. The author of this article is repeating "the big lie" about Goebbels:

"In fact, Goebbels' views were quite different than what this fraudulent quote suggests. He consistently held that propaganda should be accurate and truthful.

In an address given in September 1934 in Nuremberg, he said: "Good propaganda does not need to lie, indeed it may not lie. It has no reason to fear the truth. It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth. They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves that it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run."

In an article written in 1941, he cited examples of false British wartime claims, and went on to charge that British propagandists had adopted the "big lie" technique that Hitler had identified and condemned in his book Mein Kampf. Goebbels wrote: "The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.""  


YuropeanImbecille's picture

Why do you ruin this White Guilt "order is bad" thread with facts? Have you lost your mind?

We can never forget that Hitler was bad even tho he "only" killed a 10th of what the communists (130 million) did, oh you did not hear about that, did you?

Bear's picture

"Only" killed 13 million ... bad in my book .. Stalin Badder ... Mao Baddest 

HedgeHammer's picture

I find it interesting the the 6 million jews Hitler allegedly killed shows up in many places throughout history as early as 1906 March 25 when it was posted in "The New York Times"

Icewater Enema's picture

Perhaps his boss said it more succinctly:

The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, and their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a few essential points....These slogans must be repeated until every last member of the public understands what you want him to understand.


- Adolph Hitler

And with that, since the housing market is getting better and unemployment has improved, I think I'll go BTFD.


Poor Grogman's picture

Yes but was he telling the truth?

Randall Cabot's picture

They wouldn't have had to make up false quotes if he wasn't telling the truth.

wee-weed up's picture

the State has chosen to go to war with the nation...

And to bed with the sycophant MSM.

Bear's picture

No, no, it's not on until later, you have time

bank guy in Brussels's picture

We are at war ... Goebbels is the secret role model for the oligarchs obsessed with media control

So let us be open-minded, and duly cautious, about anyone partly pumped by major media ... like Edward Snowden


So Edward Snowden and his friend, the very pro-Israel Julian Assange (who despises 9-11 'truth') ... they are 'dissidents' who want refuge in Ecuador ...

Where Ecuador's President Rafael Correa  ... tried to imprison and bankrupt a newspaper publisher who criticised him ... who was forced to take refuge with Panama, ha !

And where CIA whistleblower Philip Agee says the Ecuadorean police are in the pay of the CIA ... and they tried a coup d'état against Correa in 2010 ... after a successful coup in 2000 in Ecuador ...

This CIA-police country, is the 'refuge' choice, and not a more secure place like Russia ?

Putin seems to have figured this out, perhaps why Snowden has been 'delayed' in Moscow

From a great article by a guy in Bolivia:

« Operation Assange 2.0 was bound to fail, as miserably as its first part ... Ecuador, Really?

Ecuador experienced a failed coup d’état in 2010; the event was perpetrated by the police force. According to Phillip Agee’s Inside the Company: CIA Diary, this [Ecuadorean] police force is owned by the CIA. ... Venezuelan teleSur news network broadcast in 2011 an incredible report of the event in its program Dossier. ... There, journalist Walter Martinez did an exceptional job in showing the kidnapping of President Correa by the police. The video shows how a gas grenade is thrown on the president by a police officer, and his gas mask is taken away from his face while he is forcibly taken away. A few hours later, after it was apparent the event had failed, he was released. ...  This military-terror machinery had been trained by the USA,

On 16 February 2012, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli granted diplomatic asylum to Carlos Pérez Barriga, one of the directors of El Universo, Ecuador’s largest newspaper. This happened after the ratification of a sentence convicting the newspaper’s directors to three years in prison and the payment of $40 million for the crime of slanderous offenses against President Rafael Correa. A stand-off developed since Ecuador didn’t let the now Panamanian refugee leave the embassy’s compound. Following international pressure, the offended President Correa pardoned the dangerous criminals. This was not the behavior of someone who respects freedom of speech, or even basic human rights. Yet, Julian Assange  seeks refuge under Correa’s wings.

This is odd for one declaring himself a champion of information rights. Moreover, considering his occupation, it is unconceivable that Mr. Assange is not aware of the ongoing links - a coup d’état was staged in 2010! - between the CIA and the Ecuadorian Police. Patsy or fool?

Assange is part of the "Kill the Internet" operation.

Snowden is Operation Assange 2.0.

Lawrence Lessig, a respected Law Professor from Stanford University told an audience at the 2008 Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California, that "There’s going to be an i-9/11 event" which will act as a catalyst for a radical reworking of the law pertaining to the internet. Lessig also revealed that he had learned, during a dinner with former government Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, that there is already in existence a cyber equivalent of the Patriot Act, an "i-Patriot Act," and that the Justice Department is waiting for a cyber terrorism event in order to implement its provisions. »

g'kar's picture

We cannot dismiss this stuff. The Snowden adventure never passed the smell test for me, mostly because of the timing with all the other events.

Manipuflation's picture

"The Snowden adventure never passed the smell test for me"


Agreed.  I never bought into it.  I can't beleive how many serious bloggers out there that I usually respect actually bought into it.  That shit earlier today that F~S called bullshit on is just more of the same story. (Good call Francis)  I blogged it on my not usually too serious and often obtusely profane blog just like I called the shitty trend I saw in PMs back in April.


What did I say here about the near term future PM's?  This is not my long term outlook.  In one year, no one will remember who SnowedIn even was but gold and silver will still have value and purchasing power.

g'kar's picture

Interesting perspective on Russan thinking M. I actually have no firm understanding as to why the Snowden distraction, there are too many possiblities. But I do think most of them and the other distractions are tied together for one purpose.

Manipuflation's picture

To flush out any other "traitors" is why...  SnowedIn has still not been seen in Russia and most likley won't be unless WB7 reposts Waldo.LOL  Russian thinking is Russian thinking, I really hope you don't think I made anything up on the R responses because that WAS a Russian response made by a Russian.  Both interviews are so.

g'kar's picture

"To flush out any other "traitors" is why"

Now that is an angle I hadn't thought about.


nowhereman's picture

Troll, you post this shit everywhere.  Let's cloud the conversation.  Let's not discuss the media's role in the thought control.  Let's not realize that most popular shows on TV are police or police related (CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Law and Order, etc) No, let's obfuscate with trivialities, nothing to see here move along.  You, and people like you, make me want to vomit. 

disabledvet's picture

Wherever Edward Snowden goes START BUYING. So far "that's Hong Kong and Russia." if his dad (does he have one?) tells him "son, turn yourself in" then i'd feel a lot better about the USA. "freedom Agenda's are GREAT for the economy and great for markets." plus he's going right back to the Belly of Beast...where i think he certainly has a lot of friends right now. (not the least being here of course...but interestingly CNN as well.) this is a bull MANY asset classes right in the USA. "part of sustaining it is an acknowledgment that mistakes have been made."

Bastiat's picture


You say:  "Let's cloud the conversation. Let's not discuss the media's role in the thought control."


But he said:  "So let us be open-minded, and duly cautious, about anyone partly pumped by major media ... like Edward Snowden"


Which leads me to ask:  What the fuck are you talking about?  Vomit and be done with it and maybe consider not drinking when you sober up.

g'kar's picture

Yeah, I didn't quite see where all that came from.

nowhereman's picture

What am I talking about? Why it's people like you.  Hone in on an irrelevant point and ignore the obvious.

Bastiat's picture


The question of Snowden's real motives and the truth of his revelations is irrelevant?  Your attack was vague, emotional, generalized as is typical of trolls.  And when it attempted to go past the ad hominem it was explicity self-contradictory which I demonstrated. 

You also said:

"Let's cloud the conversation."

Which, it seems is your purpose, troll.


nowhereman's picture

Look, the fact that you question his motives demonstrates that you are willing to for go the message, and that message is that what you are saying, right here, right now, can be used against you.  But obviously you know that, because you and your scum bretheren are here to impune his motives.  Why can't you accept the fact that your government is monitoring your every move.  Or is it that you know and you're looking for a job.

Wave-Tech's picture

If I'm not mistaken, Lawrence Lessig was an attendee at the last Bilderberg meeting.  As an aside, they've already got "drills" planned for Cyber-Attacks.  

Who needs a Hollywood sci-fi thriller when we have the real fucking thing right in our faces.

Perhaps the sheep living and believing in this virtual fiction are indeed better off, at least for now.  I wonder if such willful ignorance is truly bliss,  or simply a supression of deepseated sucidal tendencies spawning from the guilt engendered by such ignorance.

KickIce's picture

I hope your wrong but I did a search on:


Got the same website you did (among others) but a different article

Bringin It's picture
Webster G. Tarpley

Reading now. 

I want to believe Snowden's genuine, principled, altruistic, etc.

Appearently, he has not been debriefed as they say, by the FSB or whatever they call it these days.

From the article

Another suspicious and tell-tale endorsement for Snowden comes from the former State Department public diplomacy asset Norman Solomon. Interviewed on RT, Solomon warmly embraced the Snowden Project and assured his viewers that the NSA material dished up by the Hong Kong defector used reliable and authentic. Solomon was notorious ten years ago as a determined enemy of 9/11 truth, acting as a border guard in favor of the Bush administration/neocon theory of terrorism.