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Which one is better to convey sense of deception?

Those who are against Plato for expelling poets from his Utopia should review this poet's life to realize how a poet claims/promotes/pretends to be enlightened while he covers up his sick thoughts under his elegant language.

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Promote X doesn't work if X is an infinitive (not to be confused with promote to X if X is a noun identifying a rank).

X pretends to be Y means X knows he/she/it isn't really Y.

X claims to be Y doesn't imply deception - someone can make a claim and be unknowingly wrong, but not be deceptive about it.

You probably want to say pretends.

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