The History Of Secrecy

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
A Time of No Secrets2016122320180502 (R4)

Transparency is apparently the opposite of secrecy, but is it really a panacea?

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

Transparency is a political and cultural ideal, entrusted with fostering accountability and strengthening democracy, a pan-political good: embraced by the Left as well as the Right. Openness is advocated not just for governments, but for people too. The assumption, we must air our secrets for our own health and peace of mind. "You are only as sick as your secrets," a saying that has been used by Alcoholics Anonymous for decades, sums it up. We hear from a cross dresser who by keeping his desire to dress as a woman a secret gives himself the space to experiment. He believes that only those who need to know should know about his secret to protect his relationships.

Produced by Kate Bissell.

01The Age Of Secrecy2016121920180411 (R4)

In the Middle Ages it was thought alchemy could unravel the secrets of nature.

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

Secrets have never been more suspect. Post Snowden, post Savile, institutions which keep secrets are automatically seen as having something to hide, and openness and transparency are seen as the new imperatives. Any deviation from the new orthodoxy of honesty is punished - by exposure.

But the story of secrecy is not as black and white as our contemporary prejudices would have it. For centuries secrecy has been seen to serve a useful purpose. It has protected citizens from the prying eyes of governments, it has protected the feelings of individuals and kept couples together. It has safeguarded professional integrity, and protected the vulnerable from abuse. Have we lost more than we have gained by abandoning our respect for the power and sanctity of secrecy?

Produced by Kate Bissell.

02God's Secrets2016122020180418 (R4)

A look at the purpose and power of secret objects and knowledge in different religions.

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

Tiffany travels to Rome to The Vatican's Secret Archive to discover how open they are at allowing access to a vast historical archive connected to the Catholic Church and Tiffany explores the importance of secrecy in creating a space and a connection to the divine. She explores whether accepting secrecy and mystery leads to wisdom as knowing what you don't know is wisdom itself.

Produced by Kate Bissell.

03State Secrets20161221
04Family Secrets2016122220180425 (R4)

Is secrecy within the family harmful, or can it offer a necessary form of protection?

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

05 LASTA Time Of No Secrets2016122320180502 (R4)

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

Transparency is apparently the opposite of secrecy, but is it really a panacea?

Tiffany Jenkins presents a narrative history of secrecy.

Transparency is a political and cultural ideal, entrusted with fostering accountability and strengthening democracy, a pan-political good: embraced by the Left as well as the Right. Openness is advocated not just for governments, but for people too. The assumption, we must air our secrets for our own health and peace of mind. "You are only as sick as your secrets," a saying that has been used by Alcoholics Anonymous for decades, sums it up. We hear from a cross dresser who by keeping his desire to dress as a woman a secret gives himself the space to experiment. He believes that only those who need to know should know about his secret to protect his relationships.

Produced by Kate Bissell.