In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, there were a number of scenes of conversations between Garak and Dr. Bashir. I'm pretty sure there was one in which Garak says something like "a lie is most convincing when sandwiched between two truths". I feel quite certain that it was Garak who spoke this (or something to this effect) to someone at some time, and am fairly certain it was in conversation with Bashir. I'd like to identify the episode and context in which it was said, and confirm if it was indeed from Garak to Bashir. I'd also be curious to know if the line was original to DS9 or if it was a borrowed or paraphrased historical quote.

2 Answers 2


I don't think it was Garak. The line comes from "Deep Throat" on The X-Files. "A lie, Mr Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths." (S1E7-EBE)

The quote owes a lot to Winston Churchill's statement: ""In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."

  • I'm quite certain the line was used in DS9, so this would be clear indication that it is not original to DS9, likely coined long before either DS9 or X-Files, and there are likely numerous instances of quotation or paraphrasing.
    – Anthony X
    Apr 16, 2023 at 16:55
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    While I'm certainly prepared to be proven wrong I think that if Garak had said the exact same thing as Deep Throat I would have realized it at the time. Apr 16, 2023 at 17:30
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    @AnthonyX "I'm quite certain the line was used in DS9" — We do have transcripts of most Star Trek episodes, and I'm not seeing much in this (admittedly somewhat cursory) search. Apr 17, 2023 at 0:06
  • @EmsleyWyatt I suppose I could be misattributing it to Garak (or indeed to DS9), but am quite certain I am not misremembering from X-Files - perhaps something else entirely.
    – Anthony X
    Apr 17, 2023 at 1:59
  • Two of my favorite TV shows in one question & answer!
    – RobertF
    Apr 17, 2023 at 20:33

Garek's iconic quotes on lies...

The moral of the boy who cried wolf is "You should never tell the same lie twice."

Tain claims Garek will never tell the truth when a lie will do.

And when Garek was rambling off stories during medical treatment about an agent named Elim "They're all true especially the lies"

Garak trolls Worf and says lying is a skill that requires practice

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    I asked ChatGPT about this, and it told me the quote in the episode "The Wire" (S02E22). However, I found the full transcript of the episode, and it was a bald-faced lie. I'll see if I can attach ChatGPT's response in a follow-up comment for posterity. Apr 17, 2023 at 12:59
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    <ChatGPTLie> Yes, Garak, the character from the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, did say the phrase "a lie is most convincingly hidden between two truths" in the episode "The Wire" (Season 2, Episode 22). The full quote is: "The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination. Has it ever occurred to you, Major, that there are other ways that you could deal with your problems? A lie, for instance. Or silence. A true man knows when to speak and when to listen. A lie is most convincingly hidden between two truths." </ChatGPTLie> Apr 17, 2023 at 12:59
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    @BenHocking Have you considered that ChatGPT is perhaps itself doing what you're asking about, i.e., it's telling a lie hidden between two truths :-) ? Apr 17, 2023 at 13:17
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    @BenHocking ChatGPT would get high status in the Obsidian Order as a champion obfuscator. "The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination" is a line (by Garak) from the season 3 episode "Improbable Cause" but without any of the rest of it... ChatGPT seems to have pasted it together from other lines, likely from other episodes.
    – Anthony X
    Apr 18, 2023 at 0:26
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    @AnthonyX And evidently even from other shows altogether, such as The X-Files! The lies are out there. Apr 18, 2023 at 12:29

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