Right you are, Caitlin. That man was honest with you, and you’re right: very unusual. What the group doesn’t understand is, if they will lie, cheat and manipulate about something like this, it’s very easy to see that is who they are, what they do, and how they will behave in any and every other situation.
I’m afraid if your friends still have these same beliefs: they likely weren’t friends you could have counted on. I no longer count on any of mine and see clearly that our friendships were pretty much one-way streets because these were almost 100% selfish people with no interest in anybody but themselves.