Malicious Lies: Slander and Gossip in the Deaf Community

PePe LePew

New Member
Malicious Lies: Slander and Gossip in the Deaf Community

By Frank James John Lala, Jr., Ph.D.

The Deaf community is so closely-knit that
it's relatively easy for it to become both an
open public and tabloid platform for malicious
slanderers and gossipers. Deaf persons with grudges
who are envious and full of anger or resentment can
perform vicious character assassination through slander
or gossip. Such a hotbed of gossip and destructive rumor-
mongering only hurts the Deaf community as a whole.

Many resentful, babbling busybodies don't even know
the person at whom the gossip is directed. Slanderers
and gossipers perform their vicious acts for their own
ulterior motives; usually the motivation is resentment,
anger or pure envy of another person. But others will
recognize the slanderer or gossiper for what he or she is:
an irresponsible person with attitude problems and severe
character deficiencies, inhabiting a shallow world of back-
stabbing and stating negative thoughts about others.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to repeat gossip.
It is only enhanced by the storyteller through his or
her biased imagination,
and always contributes to our self-destruction.
Gossip, or slander, is always a personal
confession of the
contributor's own malice and imbecility;
it is a low, frivolous,
and most often a highly dirty business.
No one is safe from it.
Each and every one of us comes with quirks,
idiosyncrasies, flaws and personal peccadilloes
which others can easily attack and use for
ludicrous acts of character assassination.

To define terms:
slander is any words spoken with malice that are
not provably true and which prejudice the reputation
or professional practice of another person.
Gossip is the act of engaging in the spreading
of slander, and is usually riddled with lies and insinuations.

Imagine the following scenario: a couple breaks up,
due to compatibility, as one doesn't want to marry the other.
The one who feels rejected deeply resents the other,
and attacks his or her character.
Slanderers often use rank generalizations, which
are simply exaggerations of small truths.
Ignorant friends become unwitting pawns in this game,
and through gossip spread the slanderer's
untrue or inaccurate version of reality.
It takes your enemy (the slanderer)
and your friends (the gossipers) working
together to hurt or destroy your reputation;
the one to concoct the stories,
and the others to spread them.
The slander in this scenario is merely
plain old-fashioned anger at the

The National Enquirer could learn the arts of slander and
gossip from talking to the Deaf community! Recently, a guy
with an attitude problem was gossiping about Yours Truly in Arizona.
He was so easily duped that he fell for a slanderer's story hook, line,
and sinker. However, it only backfired on him, as he had unwittingly
become a victim of vicious gossip himself.
The Deaf community in Arizona had a field day gossiping
about his pronouncedly dubious background.
The moral: it doesn't pay to
slander or gossip about someone else!

Another example: In 2000, I was attending a National Association
of the Deaf conference in Norfolk, Virginia. I was interested in a
mental health workshop. A Deaf lady, whom I will call "Vicki," was
at the workshop. She repeatedly attacked me as a person, disliking
my work and proposals, and insisted I was not doing enough for the
Deaf community. She seemed to resent me because I was not able to
attend a substance abuse workshop in New Jersey. She was very
disrespectful and made several unflattering remarks about me.
My female companion was furious at "Vicki." What boggles the
mind is that "Vicki" works as a mental health counselor!
Her behavior certainly left a lot to be desired. She needs
to read Dale Carnegie's and Norman
Vicent Peale's books.
"Vicki" will never win friends or influence people
with her shallow attitude.

Sadly, even deaf Christians know better but are guilty
of being gossipers.
And the Bible clearly frowns on slander and gossip.
"He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever
spreads slander is a fool." -
Proverbs 10:18

"Do not go about spreading (gossip) slander among your people."
-- Leviticus 19:16

"Whom are you mocking? At whom do you smear and stick out
your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?"
- Isaiah 57:4

Gossipers, BEWARE!
Whoever you gossip with will eventually gossip about you.
Read and respect the following short pieces, and see the light!

I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing, I break
hearts, and ruin lives. I am cunning, malicious, and gather
strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society, and my victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves against me, because I have no
name and no face.
To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try, the more elusive
I become. I am nobody's friend. Once I tarnish a reputation,
it is never the same.

I topple governments and wreck marriages. I ruin careers and
cause sleepless nights, create heartaches, and foster indigestion.
I spawn suspicion, and generate grief. I make innocent people cry
into their pillows at night. Even my name hisses with evil. I am
called Gossip. I make headlines and headaches. Remember, before
you repeat a story, ask yourself: is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?
If not, do not repeat it, KEEP QUIET. --Author Unknown

And remember this: Great minds...discuss ideas. Average minds...
discuss events: Shallow minds...discuss people. Which are you? --
Ann Landers

When people gossip about successful Deaf people, our whole
community suffers. "Crab Theory," by Deaf Life editor Matthew S.
Moore, refers to the destructive practice of Deaf people pulling and
putting down successful Deaf persons. This is done through vicious
gossip (back-stabbing), spreading false rumors (slander), sending
hateful e-mails, etc. It's based on a real-life phenomenon: when
crabs are captured
and tossed into a bucket, if one crab tries to escape by crawling
up the inside of the bucket, the other crabs pull it back down.
It's probably instinctive,
a panic response on their part.

So no crabs ever escape. This behavior in crabs is widely held to be
a myth, but has been observed. The problem of "Crab Theory" is not
unique to the Deaf community. And when successful Deaf leaders
complain about the lack of support and downright hostility they
encounter from members of their own Deaf communities,
that's crab theory.

Here is just a partial list of known victims of slander and
gossip in the Deaf community: actress Marlee Matlin, Miss
America Heather Whitestone, Dr. Ben Soukup of CSD, Dr.
David McKee, Gallaudet University President Dr. I. King Jordan,
and countless other prominent Deaf individuals,
including Yours Truly.

Remember, before you repeat a story about someone, ask yourself:
would I want this sort of thing said about me? If not, do not use the
story as a tool to hurt someone else. You never know when something
truly damaging can be said about you, too.

About Dr Frank Lala:
The writer, a member of CSDR Class of 1969,
is a recipient of Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc Award 2001.

See his creed or statement at

©2003 Frank Lala - All rights reserved.


New Member
Good posting! I hate gossip! That explains what Thompson Hall Deaf Club in St. Paul.. I refuse to go there because it is a rumor/gossip house/mill. I am not interested in hearing all of bullshit. When I go to Faribault on personal trips, I usually keep myself low profile because thats where deaf school is- I don't announce "I am going to be in town" expect for in Jan 2006 which is a public event, that I will be attending.

Why can't they make Deafquier? (similar to Eniqurer) (sp?)... I am just sick of hearing "have you heard that person, this, blah, blah, blah"... not intrested,,,


New Member
I know someone who are gossiping about me.
But I don't know what I can do to stop that

I wish that person could talk to me...
lets resolve, forgive each other, and
move on with our lives.

And the men who broke my heart...
I am still bitter, but I wish to thank them
for doing so...
because they help me be wiser.
Cause if another man comes to me,
I'll know what to do, I'll be a
better person.

There is no need to gossip...
We are all here learning how to live life.
And we know not to repeat mistakes.



It's NOT true!

Hearing and deaf people have the SAME problem in gossipings. I've heard many awful gossips in the hearing community.



New Member
oh please!

Momoftwo said:

It's NOT true!

Hearing and deaf people have the SAME problem in gossipings. I've heard many awful gossips in the hearing community.

when i lived in philadelpha,there was a very ,very dumb..and i mean DUMB! deaf girl who lived 2 blocks from me. i tried talking with her a few times,but her level of education ..left alot to be desired. after she came over to talk and hang out a few times ,i realized we had nothing in common..aside from being deaf....5 YEARS LATER..YEARS MIND YOU.. i came to gally.....and no fewwer than 200 people "knew" me as the deaf guy who does not like deaf people..!!! no.. i am the deaf guy who does not like STUPID people...there is a big dif!!!


New Member
vfr, is it hard to be yourself, when you feel people already
made up their mind about you, they seem to believe the
rumors more than you are trying to tell them the truth about

I gave up, I just let people believe in anything people
say about me that is not necessary true.
Let them judge me.


Active Member
Premium Member

It's NOT true!

Hearing and deaf people have the SAME problem in gossipings. I've heard many awful gossips in the hearing community.

Momoftwo is correct. One of my workplaces had a problem with a boss who did a lot of gossiping and backstabbing. Her boss wouldn't do anything about her so a lot of workers left to look for other jobs.

I've said life in the Deaf culture is very much like life in a small town. Everyone knows each other so naturally they'll gossip about each other.


Active Member
Premium Member

It's NOT true!

Hearing and deaf people have the SAME problem in gossipings. I've heard many awful gossips in the hearing community.


Very true. Not just deaf people. Both of them - deaf and hearin' people DO have the same problem... gossipin'.


Active Member
Premium Member
PePe LePew --

Good postin' ! I agree.

About the scriptures you got in there -- it's all true. It happens everywhere. Gossip is a disease.


New Member
Very true. Not just deaf people. Both of them - deaf and hearin' people DO have the same problem... gossipin'.

Thats true but the only difference is the size of the community. The deaf community is so small that there is no privacy while the hearing community is much larger and there is more privacy with lots of people who don't know you. Within the deaf community, the same old gossip about a certain person just never dies while the in the hearing world, gossip about one person lasts for short while then people move on to talk about something else.


Active Member
No difference between hearies and Deafies... I have good examples here. If hearing people live in very small town or village, the chance that everybody knows each other, even some personal information and gossip going though. I have seen that happened, comparing to New York City, too many people, so hearies have no way of spreading gossip all over the big apple. Same here, deafies in ROchester area don't gossip as much as most of cities where deafies resides.


New Member
Rumour Mills are normal for everyone....because feel bored and decide blabbering BS stories.. make everyone feel good and turn it out SOUR section.. **Your choice made a call if r u involved** Not my business your choice keep contuine like this... fine by me then.. meaning you have no life!

Btw life goes on.....

Both worlds ways are same... rest of other countries cultures are same thing... No one extactly be "Perfection" never rumours.... ha nice try!


Active Member
Premium Member
There's even rumor mills for technology stuff before it comes out. Sometimes, it can be wrong information about what it is until it comes out.

Same concept of rumor with people saying wrong info about someone that's not true. No matter if you're hearing or deaf, rumors will be always there with you. If someone rumors it on the news, it will spread to the hearing community much faster than you think. Rumors can never die, it will fade away but come back after few years and keep going to the new group of people that saw the same person that haven't been seen for few years or so. There's nothing you can do to stop that, but be wary.


New Member
I hate to bring this up that there is a big Difference
between Deafies Gossip and Hearies Gossip.

Deafies Gossip usually is much worse and
stronger than Hearies Gossip

Do you know why ?
Reason: Deaf People are in such a Small World !!
That way could hurt much more.

Am I making any sense ?


Active Member
Premium Member
Yeah, you could be right - but, still it doesn't make any difference. Hearies AND Deafies - BOTH of them DO have the same problem. Big or small community - no matter. The only one way is just show your " good " deed to them and they will NOT gossip about you or anyone. Just show how good person you are rather than showin' your " ugly " personality to them otherwise, they will " whisper " to others to start their rumors/gossip. It doesn't even matter how soon they stop gossipin'. Every person have their own " gossip ".

As for me, I don't meet many friends ( hearies/deafies ). When one day comes, any one of them happen comes to meet me and start talkin' about someone else - I will say " Hey, how come you tell me all this ? I don't know who that person is that you are talkin' about. " That will keep their mouth shut. From that - I will start gettin' to know that person who just tell me all this and that person is not a true friend of mine, because of WHO that person really is............