FACT CHECK: Did Winston Churchill Say, ‘Behavior Never Lies’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A link shared on Facebook credits British Prime Minister Winston Churchill with saying, “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.”

Verdict: False

The Daily Caller found no evidence that Churchill penned this quote.

Fact Check:

Churchill served as Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945, during which time he led Britain through World War II, and again from 1951 to 1955.

He wrote prolifically throughout his career, including many speeches and other works, yet there is no evidence he authored this quote about body language.

A search of the Churchill Archive, which contains around 800,000 original documents related to the statesman, turned up no results. The Churchill Papers, another collection of his writings, had no record of the saying either.

Indeed, two experts — John Olsen, the International Churchill Society communications director, and author Gretchen Rubin — confirmed in emails to the Caller that they had not come across the quote in any of Churchill’s works.

“I have seen the quote before, but there has never been any correct attribution,” said Olsen. “As far as I know, this quote does not appear anywhere in Churchill’s written or spoken works.”

Lee Pollock, an International Churchill Society trustee, told the Caller in an email, “Not by Churchill … and I would say, doesn’t really even ‘sound like’ him.”

Rubin, who wrote “Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill,” agreed that the quote didn’t sound like Churchill: “It doesn’t have a Churchillian ring to it, to my ears.”

In a 2018 blog post, Hillsdale College senior fellow and Churchill expert Richard Langworth also identified the quote as misattributed, calling the website linked in the Facebook post a “cornucopia of things Churchill never said.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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