A certain school of scholars is devoted to seeking out esoteric teachings the great political philosophers supposedly concealed behind a glossy surface of conventional opinions that only a few insiders could see through. Far be it from me to suggest that no thinkers ever conceal their meanings, but the search for esoterica is taken a bit too far.
Once, at a conference, I presented two talks. The gentleman assigned to comment on the talks, himself of the esotericist school -- an erudite man whom I like very much, and whom I have been teasing about this for years -- drew the entirely mistaken conclusion that since I had made nine claims in the talk on liberalism, but only eight in the talk on conservatism, I must have been hinting that the most important thing I wanted to say about conservatism was hidden between the lines of claims four and five.
Why would I hide it? Because, he reasoned, it must not be stated openly. He then proceeded to tell us all what he took it to be.