The Talmud provides a proxy for Jews called the "Kol Nidre" (all vows) which even many Jews claim excuses them from telling the truth, not just to non-Jews but even other Jews. Because the Jews traditionally use the Kol Nidre when they feel "persecuted", they may use this proxy when questioned about Noahide Law if they feel the revelation of these laws would make non-Jews suspicious or angry.
“Terms denoting the highest positive and negative standards of Jewish ethics, the one indicating that everything within man’s power should be done to glorify the name of God before the world, the other that everything should be avoided which may reflect discredit upon the religion of Israel and thereby desecrate the name of God” -“Sanctification” and “Desecration of the Name”, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
“Where a suit arises between an Israelite and a heathen, if you can justify the former according to the laws of Israel, justify him and say: ‘This is our law;’ so also if you can justify him by the laws of the heathens, justify him and say to the other party: ‘This is your law;’ but if this cannot be done, we use subterfuges to circumvent him.”… “but were there no infringement of the sanctification of the Name, we could circumvent him!” – 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kamma 113b
“All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas, whether called ‘ḳonam,’ ‘ḳonas,’ or by any other name, which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next (whose happy coming we await), we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect; they shall not bind us nor have power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligatory; nor the oaths be oaths.” – Sung by World Jewry every year on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Abaye’s wife had a daughter. He declared, ‘[She must marry] one of my relations,’ and she maintained, ‘one of mine’. So he said to her: ‘[All] benefit from me be forbidden to you if you disregard my wish and marry her to one of your relations.’ She went, ignored his desire, and married her to her relation. [Subsequently Abaye] went before R. Joseph [for absolution], who asked him: ‘Had you known that she would disregard your wish and marry her to her relation, would you have vowed?’ He answered, ‘No,’ and R. Joseph absolved him. But is such permitted? — Yes, and it was taught: A man once imposed a vow on his wife not to make the festival pilgrimage [to Jerusalem]; but she disregarded his wish, and did go. He went to R. Jose [for absolution], who said to him, ‘Had you known that she would disregard your wish and make the journey, would you have imposed the vow on her?’ He answered, ‘No,’ and R. Jose absolved him. – 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 23a
Footnote 6: The vow itself providing cause for absolution.
MISHNAH. R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAID: ALSO HE WHO WISHES TO SUBJECT HIS FRIEND TO A VOW TO EAT WITH HIM, SHOULD DECLARE: ‘EVERY VOW WHICH I MAY MAKE IN THE FUTURE SHALL BE NULL‘. [HIS VOWS ARE THEN INVALID,] PROVIDING THAT HE REMEMBERS THIS AT THE TIME OF THE VOW. - 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 23a
GEMARA. But since he says, ‘Every vow which I may make in the future shall be null,’ he will surely not listen to him and not come to [eat with] him? —
Footnote 7: The friend.
Footnote 8: This too is an example of a vow of incitement, v. Gemara.
The text is defective, and this is what was taught: He who desires his friend to eat with him, and after urging him, imposes a vow upon him, it is ‘a vow of incitement [and hence invalid]. And he who desires that none of his vows made during the year shall be valid, let him stand at the beginning of the year and declare, ‘Every vow which I may make in the future shall be null. [HIS VOWS ARE THEN INVALID,] PROVIDING THAT HE REMEMBERS THIS AT THE TIME OF THE VOW. But if he remembers, he has cancelled the declaration and confirmed the vow? — Abaye answered: Read: providing that it is not remembered at the time of the vow. Raba said, After all, it is as we said originally. Here the circumstances are e.g., that one stipulated at the beginning of the year, but does not know in reference to what. Now he vows. Hence, if he remembers [the stipulation] and he declares: ‘I vow in accordance with my original intention’, his vow has no reality. But if he does not declare thus, he has cancelled his stipulation and confirmed his vow. – 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 23b
Footnote 1. This may have provided a support for the custom of reciting Kol Nidre (a formula for dispensation of vows) prior to the Evening Service of the Day of Atonement (Ran.). The context makes it perfectly obvious that only vows, where the maker abjures benefit from aught. or imposes an interdict of his own property upon his neighbour, are referred to. V. J.E. s.v. Kol Nidre. Though the beginning of the year (New Year) is mentioned here, the Day of Atonement was probably chosen on account of its great solemnity. But Kol Nidre as part of the ritual is later than the Talmud, and, as seen from the following statement about R. Huna h. Hinena, the law of revocation in advance was not made public.
Footnote 2. Since, when vowing. he knows of his previous declaration, he obviously disregards it. as otherwise he would not vow at all.
Footnote 3. The received text is correct.
R. Huna b. Hinena wished to lecture thereon [sc. anticipatory cancellation] at the public session. But Raba remonstrated with him: The Tanna has intentionally obscured the law, in order that vows should not be lightly treated, whilst you desire to teach it publicly!
The scholars propounded: Do the Rabbis disagree with R. Eliezer b. Jacob or not? And should you say that they differ, is the halachah like him or not? — Come and hear: For we learnt: If one says to his neighbour, - 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 23b
Footnote 4. By giving a defective text. This implies that here, at least, the lacuna is not accidental, due to faulty transmission, but deliberate; cf. p. 2, n. 3.
Footnote 5. But regard this as a binding vow.
Footnote 6. Since the Mishnah teaches it as an individual opinion.
“everything should be avoided which may reflect discredit upon the religion of Israel and thereby desecrate the name of God” - “Sanctification” and “Desecration of the Name”, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
‘Konam that I do not benefit from your if you do not accept for your son a kor of wheat and two barrels of wine,’ — his neighbour may annul his vow without [recourse to] a Sage, by saying: ‘Did you vow for any other purpose but to honour me? This [nonacceptance] is my honour.’ Thus, it is only because he asserts, ‘This is my honour’; but otherwise, it is [a binding] vow. Whose view is this? If R. Eliezer b. Jacob’s, — it is a vow of incitement? Hence it must be the Rabbis, thus proving that they disagree with R. Eliezer! — [No.] After all, it may be R. Eliezer b. Jacob’s view: he admits that this is a [real] vow, for he [who makes it] says [in effect], ‘I am not a dog, that I should benefit from you without your benefiting from me.’ – 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 24a
Footnote1: Which is invalid in any case.
Footnote 2: The text is thus emended by BaH.
This may have provided a support for the custom of reciting Kol Nidre (a formula for dispensation of vows) prior to the Evening Service of the Day of Atonement (Ran.). The context makes it perfectly obvious that only vows, where the maker abjures benefit from aught. or imposes an interdict of his own property upon his neighbour, are referred to. V. J.E. s.v. Kol Nidre. Though the beginning of the year (New Year) is mentioned here, the Day of Atonement was probably chosen on account of its great solemnity. But Kol Nidre as part of the ritual is later than the Talmud, and, as seen from the following statement about R. Huna h. Hinena, the law of revocation in advance was not made public. – 1962 Soncino Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 23b, Footnote 1
Prayer recited in the synagogue at the beginning of the evening service on the Day of Atonement; the name is taken from the opening words. The “Kol Nidre” has had a very eventful history, both in itself and in its influence on the legal status of the Jews. Introduced into the liturgy despite the opposition of rabbinic authorities, repeatedly attacked in the course of time by many halakists, and in the nineteenth century expunged from the prayer-book by many communities of western Europe, it has often been employed by Christians to support their assertion that the oath of a Jew can not be trusted. – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
“All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas, whether called ‘ḳonam,’ ‘ḳonas,’ or by any other name, which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next (whose happy coming we await), we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect; they shall not bind us nor have power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligatory; nor the oaths be oaths.” – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
The teachers of the synagogues, however, have never failed to point out to their cobelievers that the dispensation from vows in the “Kol Nidre” refers only to those which an individual voluntarily assumes for himself alone (see RoSH to Ned. 23b) and in which no other persons or their interests are involved. In other words, the formula is restricted to those vows which concern only the relation of man to his conscience or to his Heavenly Judge (see especially Tos. to Ned. 23b). In the opinion of Jewish teachers, therefore, the object of the “Kol Nidre” in declaring oaths null and void is to give protection from divine punishment in case of violation of the vow. – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
…At other times and places during the nineteenth century emphasis was frequently laid upon the fact that “in the ‘Kol Nidre’ only those vows and obligations are implied which are voluntarily assumed, and which are, so to speak, taken before God, thus being exclusively religious in content; but that those obligations are in no wise included which refer to other persons or to non-religious relations” (“Allg. Zeit. des Jud.” 1885, p. 396). – KOL NIDRE, Jewish Encyclopedia
No vow, promise, or oath, however, which concerns another person, a court of justice, or a community is implied in the “Kol Nidre.” It must be remembered, moreover, that five geonim were against while only one was in favor of reciting the prayer (Zunz, “G. V.” p. 390, note a), and furthermore that even so early an authority as Saadia wished to restrict it to those vows which were extorted from the congregation in the synagogue in times of persecution (“Kol Bo,” l.c.); and he declared explicitly that the “Kol Nidre” gave no absolution from oaths which an individual had taken during the year. – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
The readiness with which vows were made and the facility with which they were annulled by the scribes gave the Karaites an opportunity to attack the Rabbinites, and forced the Geonim to minimize the power of dispensation. Yehudai Gaon of Sura (760), author of the “Halakot Pesuḳot,” went so far as to forbid any study whatsoever of Nedarim, the Talmudic treatise on oaths (Alfasi on Nedarim, end; L. Löw, l.c. p. 363).Thus the “Kol Nidre” was discredited in both of the Babylonian academies and was not accepted by them… For the same reason Jeroham ben Meshullam, who lived in Provence about the middle of the fourteenth century, inveighed against those fools who, trusting to the “Kol Nidre,” made vows recklessly, and he declared them incapable of giving testimony (“Toledot Adam we-Ḥawwah,” ed. 1808, section 14, part iii., p. 88; see Zunz, “G. V.” p. 390). The Karaite Judah Hadassi, who wrote the “Eshkol ha-Kofer” at Constantinople in 1148 (see Nos. 139,140 of that work), likewise protested against the “Kol Nidre.”… Judah ben Barzillai, a Spanish author of the twelfth century, in his halakic work “Sefer ha-’Ittim,” declares that the custom of reciting the “Kol Nidre” was unjustifiable and misleading, since many ignorant persons believe that all their vows and oaths are annulled through this formula, and consequently they take such obligations on themselves carelessly (“Orḥot Ḥayyim,” p. 106a). – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
According to Naṭronai, however, it was customary to recite the formula in various lands of the Jewish dispersion, and it is clear likewise from Amram’s “Siddur” (ii. 37a) that the usage was wide-spread as early as his time in Spain… From Germany (Ṭur Oraḥ Ḥayyim, § 619) this custom spread to southern France, Spain, Greece, and probably to northern France, and was in time generally adopted (Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Yoreh De’ah, 619, 1; Zunz, l.c. p. 96). – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
The “Kol Nidre” has been one of the means widely used by Jewish apostates and by enemies of the Jews to cast suspicion on the trustworthiness of an oath taken by a Jew (Wagenseil, “Tela Ignea, Disputatio R. Jechielis,” p. 23; Eisenmenger, “Entdecktes Judenthum,” vol. ii., ch. ix., pp. 489 et seq., Königsberg, 1711; Bodenschatz, “Kirchliche Verfassung der Heutigen Juden,” part ii., ch. v., § 10, Frankfort and Leipsic, 1748; Rohling, “Der Talmudjude,” pp. 80et seq., Münster, 1877); so that many legislators considered it necessary to have a special form of oath administered to Jews (“Jew’s oath”), and many judges refused to allow them to take a supplementary oath, basing their objections chiefly on this prayer (Zunz, “G. S.” ii. 244; comp. pp. 246, 251). As early as 1240 Jehiel of Paris was obliged to defend the “Kol Nidre” against these charges. It can not be denied that, according to the usual wording of the formula, an unscrupulous man might think that it offers a means of escape from the obligations and promises which he had assumed and made in regard to others. – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
Yielding to the numerous accusations and complaints brought against the “Kol Nidre” in the course of centuries, the rabbinical conference held at Brunswick in 1844 decided unanimously that the formula was not essential, and that the members of the convention should exert their influence toward securing its speedy abolition(“Protocolle der Ersten Rabbiner Versammlung,” p. 41, Brunswick, 1844)… Naturally there were many Orthodox opponents of this innovation, among whom M. Lehmann, editor of the “Israelit,” was especially prominent (see ib. 1863, Nos. 25, 38). – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
The principal factor which preserved the great religious authority of the “Kol Nidre” well into the nineteenth century, and which continually raises up new defenders for it, is doubtless its plaintive and appealing melody, which made a deep impression even on Lenau (see his remarks in “Der Israelit,” 1864, No. 40, pp. 538 et seq.) and which was the favorite melody of Moltke, who had the violinist Joachim play it for him. – KOL NIDRE, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia