As a Truth Teller, I have witnessed people who have totally had their lives destroyed by being a “Whistle Blower.” What do you think of when you hear the term “Whistle Blower?” I have had students answer that question with snitch, traitor, trouble maker, narcissist, media hound, ego maniac and many other negative terms.
I even witnessed some obscure news program that I will not give credit to say “traitor” then quickly retract to Whistleblower.
The people who are labeled with this term at the very least saved a ton of money, your money, in exposing waste in areas such as Government and Banking. In more severe cases they have given up everything and saved others lives from law enforcement to the food you eat. In either event, we may call some of them a hero, we call some the other names mentioned above, but they are labeled with “Whistleblower” on their forehead and will likely never have their life back again. A VERY small group of Truth Tellers have been fortunate enough to sell a book, or start a career in the legal field, and I applaud them for it, but remember this is an extremely small percentage of people.
So back to the original question, why can we not get the term Truth Teller used instead?
The evening news would not have a “sexy” lead story with “Truth Teller exposes” but has a great headline with “Whistleblower exposes” forever giving them a label that will turn their lives upside down. After all, if “Honest Person” or Ethical” were tattooed on someone’s forehead an employer might have a hard time explaining why they do not want to hire them, Government entities included. I came to realize this when I was at a job interview, at a place I had interviewed with before, and was told that I was not hired because I was a Whistleblower, at least they were honest about it. How would it sound if they had said, “we did not hire you because you are a Truth Teller, or a person of conscious?” It is a little harder to justify that decision. I even had the pleasure of being on the local news, telling the story of retaliation and not one single caller called the news station for an inquiry on hiring a Whistleblower. (This ran on the six and ten o’clock news as the lead story on two stations reaching well over 300,000 people. Would the results have been different if another term had been used? I recently got word a student told his professor that I took the glamour out of Whistle blowing. I am glad the student got the message, try not to be sucked into that situation in the 1st place, but be ready to be a Truth Teller when the time comes, not for glory, money, or fame, but because it is the right thing to do.
I am proud to be a Whistleblower, but understand that society uses that term with a horribly negative connotation. I hope that the media and society in general, will come to call us Truth Tellers, People of Conscious, or an Ethical Persons, as sadly right now Whistleblower is getting as negative as some racial slurs.