We then must make cultural allowances for Japanese tatamae and honne where lying is...uhm...credible? I have seen it first hand. Though I was raised properly where there is no excuse for lying and no credible reason for doing so-people.... these days are far more casual about it and who it harms. Why its almost an acceptable form of a social contract now. Just like in Japan.
Dan, this is a really interesting point which I've also seen, first hand. I think there's sort of an in-group/out-group approach to lots of this types of training (from genuine koryu, fake "ko-roo", even to MMA gyms/clubs, there's often a kool kids vs. outsiders mentality) which unfortunately can transmit over to only certain people being allowed access to varying degrees of "truth", which can then be subjectively manipulated based on someone's perceived authority.
Of course, part of the problem is this notion that making something more "Japanese" is making it better (or even, in some cases, more appropriate). On the other hand, if you're choosing to train with someone, on some level you're accepting their version of reality, as it applies to combatives. Eventually, I think what happens is that some want to just be led blindly, while others constantly evaluate, try to improve and ultimately raise everyone's game (some have to strike out on their own to do this, while some can do it within their collective).
Maybe it boils down to some people ultimately training to achieve something versus some people training to belong somewhere. Then, of course, there's different levels of honesty (with oneself and others) even between and within those paradigms.
No easy answers, but I think starting with honest inquiry ain't a bad thing on a number of levels . . .