I know that in the novel "ST The Return" by Shatner, the borg are able to lie. I was wondering if this novel is considered canon, and whether there are any other instances where they lie.

  • 1
    When I first read the question, I thought of the Cybermen on Doctor Who -- "That was designated . . . a lie."
    – Martha F.
    Mar 15, 2011 at 18:31
  • 4
    Resistance is futile .. lie Mar 7, 2012 at 9:01

4 Answers 4


7 of 9 was never entirely honest while a Borg Drone. Ergo, the Borg have the capability to intentionally mislead. No reason to think they'd be incapable of lying.

Edit - additional response:

Novels are not canon in Star Trek. Only the TV shows and movies. The animated series is canon except where it conflicts with live-action tv or movies.

  • 3
    What are you referring to when you say 7 'was never entirely honest'? Are you talking about Unimatrix Zero?
    – user1027
    Mar 13, 2011 at 5:58
  • That's what I thought of when he mentioned 7 of 9. Mar 13, 2011 at 14:40
  • @Keen - the Borg have either concealed information or gave misleading information on several occasions (like with Species 8472) and outright broken agreements as seen in Scorpion, mentioned by Wikis.
    – Jeff
    Mar 14, 2011 at 13:24
  • "7 of 9 was never entirely honest while a Borg Drone." Never? Really? TBH I think this answer is too vague. Mar 4, 2018 at 19:33

There are two occasions I can think of where the Borg have been been deceptive, one of which was a blatant lie:

  • In Dark Frontier Part II the Borg Queen, "informs Seven that the Borg "allowed" Voyager to liberate her from the Collective". This implies Seven's original "escape" was actually a Borg plan - a deception.
  • In Scorpion, the Borg agree to Janeway's proposal of giving Voyager safe passage in return for Voyager's assistance in their battle with Species 8472 (in part I). The Borg then, in part II, renege on their promise when Seven attempts to assimilate Voyager, implying their earlier agreement was a lie.
  • deception is not lie, remember that. As to Seven of Nine trying to assimiliate Voyager, if I recall correctly she wasn't part of the collective at the time so this can't probably be judged as an action of the Borg (but I may have another episode in mind).
    – jwenting
    Mar 14, 2011 at 8:25
  • @jwenting - I said "one of which was a blatant lie", i.e. the second answer I gave (Scorpion). Mar 14, 2011 at 8:43
  • the second to me doesn't seem a lie either, depending on whether Seven of Nine worked within or without the influence of the collective at the time (she retained some of her Borg instincs to assimilate for a long time after being removed from the collective and having part of her implants removed, for example).
    – jwenting
    Mar 15, 2011 at 6:55
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    Neither is definitively a "lie" at the time it was spoken. the first may have been rationalisation, and the first may have been true at the time, but events turned out differently. Jun 22, 2012 at 12:01

Star Trek canon consists of all the live action TV episodes, the movies, and some of Star Trek: The Animated Series.

At the beginning of each attack, the Borg announce "Resistance is futile." Many Borg cubes have been destroyed. Ergo, resistance is not futile. The Borg lie. QED.

  • 6
    Not exactly. Who said "resistance is futile" might actually believe that, so that would not have been a lie.
    – o0'.
    Mar 13, 2011 at 8:28
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    It could also be a directed comment "for you, resistance is futile".
    – Rob
    Mar 13, 2011 at 11:40
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    They say resistance is futile in an effort to make people quit without a fight, so they lose less resources. I don't think it's ever worked, but its an attempt to lessen their "operating costs". Mar 13, 2011 at 14:42
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    I like "You are terminated" better. Mar 13, 2011 at 18:59
  • 3
    resistance to the Borg is probably futile in the end (at least in Borg experience). If they fail with one Borg Cube, they just send another, and another, or more than one, until they do succeed. Therefore destroying one (which seems rare enough in itself) isn't an indication that resistance isn't futile, you're just putting off the inevitable.
    – jwenting
    Mar 14, 2011 at 8:27

The first incarnation of the Borg we meet in TNG were seemingly cold and logical, So I would be surprised if they outright lied. The Borg we meet in later seasons of voyager portray them as being more emotional and controlled by an emotional queen, these Borg are more than capable of lying.

You could argue that certain traits like these were incorporated over time since cold and logical didn't work when dealing with Star Fleet.

  • 5
    It's not 'illogical' to lie, and someone who is cold and logical can (and will) lie their asses off. Telling a falsehood is quite often the 'logical' thing to do, especially if someone ignores the likely repercussions that don't affect them (which is fairly 'cold'). Example: Someone asks what the combination to your safe is. You instead tell them a combination that will activate alarms & security measures. This is both logical and fairly cold.
    – Jeff
    Mar 16, 2011 at 13:23
  • To illustrate your point about it not being illogical to lie. Well not strictly a lie... In VOY S1E10 'Prime Factors', Tuvok used logic to violate the prime directive in order to access memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Spatial_trajector technology. His reasoning was that this freed Janeway from the paradox of simultaneously adhering to Starfleet rules and getting her crew home.
    – rnoodle
    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:31

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