We consider the issue of what an agent or a processor needs to know in order to know that its messages are true. This may be viewed as a first step to a general theory of cooperative communication in distributed systems. An honest message is one that is known to be true when it is sent (or said). If every message that is sent is honest, then of course every message that is sent is true. Various weaker considerations than honesty are investigated with the property that provided every message sent satisfies the condition, then every message sent is true. © 1988 Kluwer Academic Publishers.