One of life’s many perils is to question a taboo.
Taboo is defined as
noun ( pl. taboos )
a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.
• a practice that is prohibited or restricted in this way: speaking about sex is a taboo in his country.
A well known taboo is questioning the 20th century Holocaust involving the German people in Europe who are alleged to have exterminated, by gassing, some 6 million people including Jews, gypsies and other so-called social undesirables during their National Socialist period from 1933 to 1945.
So why is questioning the Holocaust taboo?
Another taboo is the Australian Aboriginal cultural practice of “secret men’s business” when the tribal punishment meted out to those who break the taboo is death, and which apparently applies only to aboriginal females.
So what’s “secret men’s business” about, then?
Another taboo is questioning human induced global warming, or as its latest version, climate change, when those who do so are deemed no different to those who question the Holocaust, and hence are labelled pejoratively as “deniers”.
Then there is the taboo around HIV and AIDS – questioning that can, at times, be little different than questioning the other taboos listed above.
Taboos are usually put in place to hide some thing or behaviour that it’s practitioners are potentially embarrassed about, so that when that thing or behaviour is put in the light of day it is discovered to be plainly objectionable.
Taboos are also put in place to hide lies, so it’s taboo to question trade union deals with companies, for example, lest one discover that a trade union official personally benefitted from the arrangement.
So it’s pretty clear that if you encounter a taboo, then the subject of that taboo will not be what it appears to be.
If it’s taboo, then it’s invariably a lie.