“Lies, damn lies, and statistics” might be well worn, but it’s well heeded, too. Thanks, David.
Stats have a funny way of becoming reality to us — I’ve seen this happen with polling results, which is an especially dangerous game to play (asking humans to express feelings on a matter and then constraining them to a fixed set of responses can’t possibly result in misinterpretation, right?).
You also touch on a really important concept that we who put words in the mouths of large and important entities tend to forget: Control is largely an illusion.
Trying to make the rest of the world think or understand something exactly as you would like them to is a fool’s errand. Just shoot people straight, both proactively and in reaction.