a conspiracy of silence

conspiracy of silence

An agreement, either explicit or unspoken, among members of a group to keep secret certain information that, if exposed, could be damaging to the group, its interests, or its associates. Knowing that public knowledge of their imminent takeover by the rival company could jeopardize their continued employment thereafter, the board of directors agreed to a strict conspiracy of silence until the deal was finalized. The doctors in the hospital were engaged in a tacit conspiracy of silence, as each knew that bringing to light their colleague's misbehavior could end up damaging their own reputations in the process.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a conspiracy of silence

If there is a conspiracy of silence, people who know about something have agreed that they will not tell anyone about it. Detectives have run into a conspiracy of silence in the close communities here.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a conspiracy of silence

an agreement to say nothing about an issue that should be generally known.
This expression appears to have originated with the French philosopher Auguste Comte ( 1798–1857 ).
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a conˌspiracy of ˈsilence

an agreement not to talk publicly about something which should not remain secret: As no one was ever convicted of the murders, it is widely believed that there may have been a conspiracy of silence maintained by the victims’ friends and families.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence
References in periodicals archive ?
We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia.
Referring to the police, the former deputy prime minister added: "I think there was more a conspiracy of silence to hide the facts and frankly I am stronger of that view in the last few months."
Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire, believes there has been a conspiracy of silence about the death of Cheryl and three other recruits at the now-closed barracks.
"To put it bluntly, there appears a conspiracy of silence between the Ministry of Defence and police authorities to keep these reports from the public.
He said: "I don't have any doubt at all that among the killers of Robert McCartney there is a conspiracy of silence.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR CATHOLICS THIS SUMMER was that the runaway bestseller about church officials embroiled in a conspiracy of silence was a work of fiction.
Thinking Mom or Dad is wedded to prejudices that will make it impossible for her or him to be accepting, the powerless kid may just give up and agree to a conspiracy of silence.
He accused ministers of hiding the truth from Blair adding "There is a conspiracy of silence. I don't believe he would allow this."
A conspiracy of silence drives Jaw-breaker, in which three ultrafab girlfriends accidentally murder one of their own.