A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 30, 2010
“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable”

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” is from the King James Bible, John 8:32. “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable” is often credited to U.S. President John A. Garfield (1831-1881), but he never said it.

“The truth shall make you free, but first it shall make you miserable” was credited to Gestalt therapist Barry Stevens (1902-1985) in 1977. The saying soon appeared on posters and bumper stickers.


Biblos
John 8:32
New International Version (©1984)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
New Living Translation (©2007)
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
King James Bible
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Wikiquote: James A.  Garfield
James Abram Garfield (19 November 1831 – 19 September 1881) was the 20th President of the United States (1881), and the second U.S. President to be assassinated. His term was the second shortest in U.S. history, after William Henry Harrison’s. Holding office from March to September of 1881, President Garfield was in office for a total of just six months and fifteen days.
(...)
Misattributed
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.

Wikipedia: Barry Stevens (therapist)
Barry Stevens, born Mildred Fox, (1902–1985) was a writer and Gestalt therapist. She developed her own form of Gestalt therapy body work, based on the awareness of body processes. For the human potential movement of the 1970s, she became a kind of “star”, but she always refused to accept that role. She worked - among others - with the psychotherapists Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers. Bertrand Russell and Aldous Huxley were among her friends.

Google Books
Quote Unquote
By Lloyd Cory
Wheaton, IL: Victor Books
1977
Pg. 345: 
The truth shall make you free, but first it shall make you miserable.  (Barry Stevens)

Google Books
Ethical survey of culture media:
Narration and worksheets

By Dale R. Wicklander
Winston-Salem, NC: Hunter Pub. Co.
1978
Pg. 261:
“The truth will set you free—but first it will make you miserable.”

Google News Archive
19 April 1980, St. Petersburg (FL) Evening Independent, “Ignorance and Reality” by Charla Wasel, pg. 2D, col. 3:
But the realities are often harsh, as a poster in Ms. Temerson’s classroom testifies in saying: “The truth will make you free, but first it will make you miserable.”

Google Books
From housewife to heretic
By Sonia Johnson
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1981
Pg. 162:
...Rick gave me—unbelievably enough—a poster of a rag dollgoing through a wringer, with this inscription on it: The truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable.”

Google Books
Growing through mid-life crises:
Yhoughts from Solomon and others

By John Sterner
St. Louis, MO: Concordia
1985
Pg. 78:
“The truth shall make you free,” reads a bumper sticker, “but first it shall make you miserable.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable: the collected wit and wisdom of Jamie Buckingham.
Author: Jamie Buckingham
Publisher: Altamonte Springs, Fla. : Creation House, ©1988.
Edition/Format: Book : English

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New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, August 30, 2010 • Permalink