I'm afraid it goes even further than that. This looks like a fatal combination of Boeing's commercial desire to make MAX fly like an NG and the FAA's decision to allow Boeing to effectively self-certify it's design.
Had Boeing told pilots about the existence of MCAS they'd then not be type qualified on both MAX and NG with specific training on both, which would have cost money.
The most worrying aspect as far as I'm concerned is that the FAA signed off this concealment of information. If the regulators are making fatal errors, that's bad. The way in which the aviation industry safety system works kinda assumes that the regulators are infalable...