(Make sure you read the Trading Spouses Epilogue before diving into this.)
Here are six of the most outrageous lies that were part of our two episodes of Trading Spouses, along with the dozens of fabricated sentences and scenes used to support them. Each subject begins with an explaination of the lie created by the production staff, followed by an explaination of the reality and some examples of how the editing team was able to fabricate the story. One of their favorite techniques seems to be stitching sentences together using disparate phrases; in this case, I have marked where I believe the sentence was spliced with slashes (//).
Lie: Carl runs everything at home. Luke and Kyle have been brainwashed by him, and he controls their life.
Reality: Carl has done everything he can not to control Luke and Kyle’s life. His philosophy regarding good parenting? “Patiently wait and allow the flowers to bloom in their own way and in their own time.” (His words.)
Fabrications: Oh my, too many to count! Here are only a few of the most vociferous ones:
- Instead of being happy that we were going to get money for a used car that we were going to buy anyway, Carl said, “The car // for Luke it’s // upsetting!”
- Instead of being happy about receiving money for new bedrooms that we were going to build anyway, Carl was shown shaking his head and saying, “Heavens, no.”
- Instead of refuting Vickie’s opinion, Luke agreed with it by saying: “My dad especially wants to // protect us from the outside world and keep // Kyle and I here at home.”
- The Carl-Vickie-confrontation-with-the-globe scene is edited in such a way that you get the impression that Carl can’t, to quote Vickie, “Trust them that they’ll be OK by themselves.”
- Instead of tying in Carl’s comment – “No, you’re not old enough . . . 18, 28, 38, 48 . . . ” – with being old enough to understand a deep philosophical concept, the comment is used to portray Carl as not believing Luke is old enough to be on his own.
- Carl has seen so much trouble and hardship in his travels around the world that he doesn’t want his children to go out and be exposed to those hardships. False.
- Because Carl was not with his brother (Mark) when he died, Carl is afraid to let his children be on their own, because he doesn’t want to lose them. False.
Lie: Expanding on the lie above, Luke has a great ‘epiphany,’ in which he finally sees how he is being held back, and can’t wait to ‘break free’ and ‘be his own man.’
Reality: There is nothing from which to break free. Thus, Luke had no reason to be swayed by what Vickie said.
- During the driving lesson, instead of including any of my side of the debate, all the arguments presented were Vickie’s. Actually, almost all the arguments presented throughout the entire show were Vickie’s. None of my arguments were presented in any way.
- After the lesson, Luke says, “What Vickie had said made me think of // things that // I never really thought about before. // Yeah, // from time to time // I think // wouldn’t it be nice if things got a little more exciting?”
- On the last day, instead of showing any part of the last three-hour interview, in which I explained in great detail why I disagreed with Vickie on a number of issues, the editors stitch together the following sentences: “This whole experience with Vickie is // a major turning point in my life. // My dad especially wants to // protect us from the outside world and keep // Kyle and I here at home. // But now I // have a lot of desire to just // get out and go somewhere different. // Who knows. // I guess you could say that this is the first day of the rest of my life.”
Lie: Carl is adamant about being barefoot, and wants to ensure his kids have nothing to do with shoes.
Reality: Carl always wore shoes for nearly fifty years. Then his kids came along, and never asked nor wanted shoes; they were very comfortable with their bare feet. After several years of this, their father decided to try going barefoot, and never really had a reason to go back.
- Carl explained, “We don’t wear shoes as a matter of principle!”
- Carl said “no, no” to Vickie’s ‘suggestion’ that Luke and Kyle should go shoe shopping the next day.
- Regarding new shoes and new things, Carl said “I’d sooner die.”
Lie: Our Taoist beliefs involve flying in ethereal spacecraft and experiencing the “virtual self.”
Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only a blatant lie, but a gross distortion of our faith.
- Carl said, “I want // Vickie // to just // *phhhhhht!*, you know, and // experience this cosmic // saucer; the virtual self! An imaginary world which we carry around in the brain!”
- He connected Taoism with, “It’s like that spaceship . . . you go up and then you come back down again.”
Lie: Carl was impatient with Vickie because she isn’t doing well in yoga.
Reality: Carl couldn’t have been happier with the way Vickie approached yoga. She was really giving it a great effort, and that’s all that counts
- Carl says, “I tried to show // Vickie // how to do it, // I could feel that she wasn’t // taking me seriously.”
Lie: Leslie was trying to push her agenda, namely yoga, on the Lowes, and was frustrated that they are not cooperating. Hope (Vickie’s daughter) was totally uncooperative.
Reality: Leslie did yoga on her own at first, but the rest of the family was interested and wanted to participate, which she welcomed them to.
- Leslie said, “It’s the first day, // and, I want to // introduce yoga // and show the new family,” even though she did yoga alone the first day.
- Leslie is shown giving Hope a rude awakening on the first day in order to introduce yoga to her, although this was actually the third day, when Hope asked Leslie to wake her up so she could do yoga with her (Hope and Leslie were and are great friends).
- Leslie is frustrated that Hope is not participating in yoga, and says, “Hope // seemed to not want to do it at all. // I was // upset.”
- Hope is mad at Leslie for showing her yoga against her will, and says, “Leslie, // she’s one of them crazy types. // I ain’t gonna lie, she kinda // sucks.”
- Even though she was having a blast with the Lowes, Leslie says, “Things are not // going very well // with the Lowes. // I feel mocked.”
- When Leslie finally met Vickie, even though she got along famously with Hope, “At the beginning, I didn’t get to connect with // Hope. // It was so hard . . . “
Lies, Lies, and More Lies…
These are only a few of the most serious transgressions. There were many other distortions that were just as blatant; for example, although we have coffee and several television sets around the house, when Vickie asked us if we had these items, the editors dubbed out our “yes” answer and dubbed in “no.” For proof, see this picture. Needless to say, however, the above lies are far more serious.