Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marion Jones Statement Analysis

Marion Jones filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit Wednesday against BALCO founder Victor Conte.

Marion Jones teaches us that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" better than most.  Below is a video, followed by two articles.  Bold type is added. 

Scientific Content Analysis uses the same principles, time and time again, taking zero account of body language, persuasive abilities, tone, inflection, and so on.  The subject is "dead" meaning, that we are not dealing with reality, but verbalized reality.  

 Stay within principle. Challenge the analysis, point by point, but base the challenge upon the language and the application of principle.  Report why you believe a sentence is a lie, and avoid superficial "feelings" about it. 

Marion Jones is our example and lesson today.  

Marion Jones admitted using steroids after issuing angry and arrogant denials.  She even went as far as to file a multi million dollar lawsuit against Balco claiming to have "never" used banned substances or performance enhancing drugs, and that she "passed" more than 160 drug tests.  She even got a private retired FBI polygrapher to "pass her."

Don't be deceived by the 'facts' (as she and her team reported) around any case:  Follow the language only.  

Don't be deceived by how 'sincere' one's tears, tone, inflection, or body language appears.  

Don't be deceived by those who, on retirement, will cash in by using a polygraph machine, testing over and over until that magical 'no' answer doesn't whack the needle too far out of place.  

Listen to the words.  Trust the ancient and proven truth:  out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. 

Filing a law suit does not mean the person "didn't do it."  It means they have filed a law suit.  

Body language experts can view this video and address the confidence, posture and personal connection.  When this first issued, (CBS)  body language experts said she was telling the truth.  It is an excellent performance and from what is commonly taught today, there are no signals of deception.  However, for Statement Analysis, it is easy to discern:

This was her coming out moment to tell us she didn't do it.  This was the 'clear the air' broadcast on CBS that the nation watched.   Yet:
Note her qualifiers.  Note words like "truly believe" and so on. 
Note call to divinity with "God given abilities" as a red flag.  

But mostly: 

  Note this video with your understanding of the 3 components of a reliable denial.

1.  First Person Singular
2.  Past Tense Verb
3.  Specific denial

Two components = unreliable
Four components = unreliable

"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" is the ancient and unchanging guide of truth. 

 Jones did a great job in this.  She insisted on Grand Jury testimony being made public.  She even passed a polygraph!  She then sued the 'bad guys.'  

After her admission, body language experts then talked about deception, including on her Oprah appearance.   This is why we look for body language experts on HLN to not sit on the fence when asked, live, if a mother is telling the truth while being interviewed.  

"I have never ever failed a drug test. I have taken over 160 drug tests.  I have never failed a test. 
They have no information to show I have failed a test simply because I have never failed a test. 

I took the extraordinary step to ask to have the Grand Jury testimony made public. "

She is unable to say she didn't do it.  Only that she "never ever" took performance enhancing drugs.  We know that later she publicly and tearfully admitted she had.  

Don't be deceived by confident body language performances.  Listen to the words.  Don't think you can discern which words are given to someone by another, and which ones are not.  Stay within principle and you won't be deceived:  The subject does not exist.  Her voice inflections, her passing of a polygraph, her confident shoulders, her record of passing tests and on and on and on.  When someone is coached, they must enter into the language of another.  I have seen this in children.  

Listen to her.  Listen to what she says and listen to what she does not say.  Look for the expected and deal with the unexpected.  She does not exist to you; only her words. 

This 2008 performance went even further with the filing of a lawsuit.  She did everything to persuade an audience that she didn't do PED.  She is a good reason why we go only by her words and not by the evidence that she presented , or her body language, to guide us.   Note how her accusers refused to back down in spite of this.  

Jones sues BALCO founder, denies steroid use
SAN FRANCISCO — Olympic track champion Marion Jones filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Victor Conte, the steroids dealing suspect at the heart of the sports doping scandal, saying he falsely accused her of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Jones and her attorneys deny the allegations made by Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Conte during interviews in early December with ABC's 20/20 andESPN The Magazine.

In the interviews, Conte accused Jones of cheating her way to glory by using a designer steroid, human growth hormone, insulin and the endurance-boosting hormone erythropoietin (EPO) before and during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, where Jones became the first woman to win five track and field medals in a single Games.

Jones seeks $25 million for potentially lost endorsement money.
Lin Wood, an Atlanta libel attorney, called the suit "a public-relations tactic." If Jones were serious, she also would have sued ABC and ESPN, Wood said; Conte does not have the resources to defend the suit or pay a judgment. Nor is the case likely to decide the issue of Jones' alleged steroids use, he said.

"I don't think you can restore your reputation with a lawsuit that is simply not going to be defended," said Wood, who represents the accuser in the Kobe Bryant rape case and Richard Jewell, falsely accused of the Olympic bombing.

According to the lawsuit, Conte's attorneys early on said Conte never provided steroids to Jones. But in a "sudden about-face," Conte has changed his story to "curry favor with prosecutors," grab the media spotlight and make money, the lawsuit charges.

Conte and three other men, including Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, face federal charges of steroid distribution and money laundering. Their trial is expected to start in the spring.
According to the lawsuit and other documents filed with the lawsuit, Jones:
• Never has taken "banned performance-enhancing drugs" and passed 160 drug tests over the last five years, including testing at the 2000 Olympic Games.
• Passed a lie-detector test in June by Ronald Homer, a polygraph examiner and former FBI special agent. Jones answered "no" when asked whether she had ever used performance-enhancing drugs.

how many times did he test her until he got the desired result?  Living on a retired pension and seen to be a fraud, was it worth it?  This reminds me of the polygraph shopping down by John and Patsy Ramsey in the late 90's; failing one after the other until finally getting ambiguous results but having the polygrapher sign a no-disclosure contract for life.  

this is why you must use the scientific principles of analysis rather than simply seeing "former FBI" on a name and thinking it to be high quality.  Remember the deceptive and rambling former FBI's love affair with all things Amanda Knox?  How about the FBI's ability to "solve" some of these ridiculous baby "kidnapping" cases?

The reputation carefully crafted in the early days of the FBI by Hoover and others has not lived up to its own publicity.  

• Has not used steroids based on blood and urine tests since 2001 that were analyzed by her doctor, Richard Ferro of the Duke University Medical Center.
Conte, however, won't budge.
In an e-mail statement, he said: "This is nothing more than a PR stunt by a desperate woman, who has regularly used drugs throughout her career. ... I stand by everything I said on the 20/20 special. I am telling the truth, and Marion is lying."

"How To Tell If Someone Is Lying"  ABC, 2000

Jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius has been dubbed "The Seer" for her work on over 600 trials, including the Rodney King, O.J. Simpson and Enron cases.
In her latest book, "Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior -- Anytime, Anyplace," she shares tips on how to tell if someone isn't being truthful.
Dimitrius says lying is usually accompanied by a physical gesture, such as blinking or not blinking; turning directly towards someone as if to say, "This is the really important part that I'm lying about that you need to listen to;" and the licking of lips.
Is it that they blinked, or is it that they did not blink?  When is this applied?
For signs of a child's not telling the truth, Dimitrius says to look for wringing hands, the position of the body, scratching an ear, touching of the head.
I have interviewed more than 1,000 children in under 10 years, carefully noting body language.  Other than putting a hand over the mouth, I found truthful and deceptive children wringing their hands, scratching their ears and moving their heads. I kept careful notation of which child was on ritalin or other meds and which was not (not only as part of the interview, but part of the medical records).  No single principle came forth that I could apply to child after child.  Factors of tiredness and when they ate (sugar) influenced body language more than anything else.  
I focused upon their language and then sought to affirm or deny based upon collateral contacts.  Some parents coached as children used words they did not understand, and some spoke in the free editing process once I spent 30 minutes talking about their favorite cartoon.  I found no consistency in body language due to the factors of fatigue, nutrition, medication, and health. 
Famous people also betray patterns of speech and posture in telling lies. For example, Dimitrius says that when Bill Clinton denied his involvement with Monica Lewinsky, what he said ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky") and how he said it was a tip off.
If we were to say that President Clinton was lying every time he bit his lip, we would conclude he was always lying, even about which sports team he rooted for.  He bites his lip often which was caricatured on Saturday Night Live. 
Clinton is an unusually eloquent speaker, but in his denial, he paused frequently and didn't follow his usual smooth speech pattern, Dimitrius says. He also bit his lip before declaring he did not have sex with Lewinsky, as if trying to hold back the words, and dropped one shoulder, as if he is shrugging, Dimitrius said.

In another example, track star Marion Jones told "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts she had never used steroids, which she later admitted was untrue.
Dimitrius analyzed that tape and said that Jones visibly raised a shoulder, and then says "Umm" before answering a question. Midway into the conversation, she starts blinking her eyes so much they look like they're closed at one point.
Is the raised shoulder now a principle we can take and use for analysis each time?  
When John Edwards recently denied that he had an affair, Dimitrius said he also began blinking rapidly and smiled inappropriately after calling his wife Elizabeth "sexy."

The lack of scientifically applying principle is what concerns me most.  I find the work of body language analysts fascinating, especially if they know the subject well.  Too  many, however, that appear on tv are deliberately vague and go out of their way to compliment the mother of the missing child, for example, on HLN, rather than come out and say, "I see signals of deception."

Body language analysis is valuable, but it is not as strongly consistent as language. 

In Statement Analysis, the reader can say "I disagree and here is why..." because the same principles are applied to each person's words, regardless of how it is said.  The overlap is in pauses, where we note the need to pause and think, with "ummm" or something similar, especially when a question should be easy to answer.  

Even when someone says "I didn't kill so and so" we view this statement in context because:

if a killer reads analysis, he can parrot the words. 

In one year after Hailey Dunn went missing, in all the interviews given, Shawn Adkins was not able to say he didn't do it.  Could he read this article, and walk before a microphone and say "I didn't do it"?  

Of course he can, but this is why we seek the free editing process.  His new 'denial' would then be weighed against all the other opportunities in which he spoke and did not initiate a 3 component reliable denial.  


John Mc Gowan said...


It is very difficult to detect deception in body language when someone has a script to read from and who has probably rehearsed it numerous times.IE politicians ETC,they are coached to look confident,project their voices and so on.

When it is in open speech(not scripted,not rehearsed and not coached) as in SA,and you know what to look for the tells are there.

Baseline is so important when reading body language.
Just because someone scratches their neck,wrings their hands and makes little or no eye contact doesnt nessesary mean their being deceptive,they may behave like that all the time,this is why it is very important a baseline is recognised first.

I am not expert in BL but i will put my head on the block if i feel someone is being deceptive.

as you have stated allot most so called BL experts hedge their bets in fear of getting it wrong and also state after the fact that the signs were there,hindsight is a wonderful thing,lol.

SA is amazing when it comes down to deception detection and if i had to choose which format to trust most it would most certainly be SA.


John Mc Gowan said...

The expression above According to "Ekman" is synonymous with Guilt/Shame...

Periwinkle Paisley said...

Eyes for Lies says that all or none of these actions, fidgets and micro-expressions can be tells. The way to tell is if you've seen the baseline of this person. If they're naturally fidgety and they're fidgeting when talking then they're probably not tells. If you'd only just met them, how would you know? Even a 'Wizard' like Eyes for Lies admits that even if you can tell when someone's lying, you never know why they are lying and so the emotional 'micro expression' you see could mean something totally different than what you interpret. One example I can think of is the expression on gymnast McKayla Mulroney's face during her silver medal ceremony. Everybody assumed she was contemptuous of the American flag or perhaps the ceremony was boring to her. Her contempt was for herself when she'd screwed up a vault that she could ordinarily do in her sleep. She pretty much said so when the reporter stuck the mic in her face right after the disasterous jump. Someone blinking a lot could have something in their eye, there could be a high pollen count that day. It reminds me of that one episode of Seinfeld where Kramer assumed an aquaintance of his was a coke addict because he sniffled so much, only to find out he was allergic to Kramer's sweater. I wouldn't go by blinking at all and I suck very badly at micro-expression reading. I'm sticking with Statement Analysis.

Katprint said...

I agree with the major principle that lying makes people feel uncomfortable. In statement analysis, this principle leads to the further expectation that people avoid this discomfort by lying indirectly through deceptive word choices. In body language analysis, the expectation is that uncomfortable people move in certain ways due to the discomfort and/or to relieve the discomfort. However, lying is not the only reason people feel uncomfortable; the stress of being interrogated or accused can make people feel uncomfortable even when they are telling the truth. This is one reason why body language analysis is inadmissible in court although it is a useful investigation technique same as bringing in a search dog or gathering gossip from friends, relatives and neighbors or following a hunch. Jurors may get a sense of the witness' body language when seeing a videotaped interview, but nobody can bring in an expert to say how the blinking/unblinking or licked lips or repositioning of legs should be interpreted. It would be inappropriate for the attorney to comment on the witness' body language, other than the most obvious, undisputed observations about the witness. For example, the fact that the witness was sitting in a calm, relaxed manner while leisurely discussing details of the crime would be fair game to counter an claim of coerced confession, but the attorney couldn't comment on what should be inferred from the witness crossing their ankles or rubbing their neck.

Statement analysis is not directly admissible in the form of an expert opinion, but attorneys can take the statement itself which is admissible, and dissect the statement for the jury using statement analysis principles i.e. the pronoun usage, word changes, disparagement of the victim in a 911 call, etc.

John Mc Gowan said...

Periwimkle paisley.

I agree micro expressions can tell you what emotion someone is feeling but not nessaserily why they are feeling that emotion,that is unless I say to my friends did you like the dinner I cooked and they said yes,however one of them flashes disgust as they are saying yes,then I can be farely sure that it is directed at my lack of cooking skills.

I've been studying micro expression for a few years now and once learned is very difficult to switch off and can be very revealing and also fun.

There have been times I have seen anger on people's faces even befor the realised that that emotion was about to manifest,that can be useful though.
If you see it early you may be able to stop it befor it starts.

Lis said...

Body language can be so hard to figure out. You may be able to tell easily that a person is uncomfortable but find it impossible to know why. With SA, you don't have to worry you might blink and miss a micro-expression. You can't rewind and watch the person's expressions during your conversation again. But you can usually remember a person's words and continue to examine them later.

John Mc Gowan said...


When someone becomes uncomfortable you have to link it to were they become nervous.

For instance if i ask you about your day when you went to the mall and i notice when you say you went for a coffee after the mall,when you mention coffee you always lean back in your chair(flight response) cover your neck dimple(Suprasternal Notch)which is a vulnerable part of your neck,we protect our necks from attack along with the front of our torso were our vital organs are,and you clear your throat,throat-clear may reveal uncertainty; acute or abnormal throat-clearing is a possible sign of deception.

We then move away from the subject of the coffee and watch your behaviour to see if you become relaxed again,when we notice this we take a mental note.

Next step,we bring the conversation back to coffee, if you start to display the behaviour as stated above we know we have hit a HOT SPOT so we explore that further and find out why this particular subject makes you feel uncomfortable.

Caveat; Everything must be taken in context..

Katprint said...

@ john - Yes, everything must be taken in context. In particular, older people like myself suffer lower back pain (in the US, we are so sedentary that eventually EVERYONE suffers low back pain plus we are statistically certain to be involved in a freeway accident at some point in our lives). Leaning back in one's chair provides additional lumbar support which helps alleviate spinal pain.

Seriously, spinal pain is an invisible but widespread factor which must be accounted for especially in highly traveled freeway areas like California. Is the squirming due to emotional discomfort or due to physical discomfort from spinal injuries? On a personal note, I CANNOT sit still for more than a few minutes, maybe more depending on the weather. (I have a private hypothesis about how barometric pressure exacerbates pain due to swelling of my joints including my facet joints and related bursae. My hypothesis is utterly inadmissible and is entirely based on my personal experiences. In a nutshell, I believe that low barometric pressure aka bad weather results in painful swelling of my joints - including the areas where my ribs attach to my spine on my back - whereas high barometric pressure aka good weather does not cause painful swelling of my joints.

And yet, I squirm regardless of whether anyone is asking me questions. I squirm while watching TV and dvds. My natural state is that I stay in one position for a minute or two, then shift my weight, then change my position. Intellectually I realize that my discomfort isn't going to be resolved (not after 10 years and multiple courses of physical therapy trying) but my body instinctively keeps trying to make itself more comfortable.

John Mc Gowan said...

Photo above..

Sign. 1. Rotating the eyeballs in their sockets to a downward position. 2. Bowing or tilting the head forward so that the eyes face the ground or floor.

Usage: Gaze-down may convey a defeated attitude. It may also reflect guilt, shame, or submissiveness, as when distorting the truth or telling a lie (see DECEPTION). Gazing down while--or shortly after--stating "I am innocent," e.g., shows that a speaker may not believe his or her own remarks. True statements are normally given with a confident, face-to-face or level gaze, which may be held longer than three seconds.

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi Katprint.
I know how you feel also suffering the joys of constant joint pain ( who needs the weather man when my knees tell me the weather to come)

When it comes to body language as with anything it comes down to learning what is normal for the subject, a baseline so to speak.
When we are suffering with pain we will move a certain way to relieve it, often performing a cycle of movements so the relief moves from joint A to B to C and so on and the pain moves sequentially as well.
Over a period of time the analyst will see how your body moves, looking for the tells that are done just before the next change of position.
Learning what is the norm they can then look at the oher normal tells, the micro-expressions.
They are all learned from infancy and are ingrained.
We don't stop doing a particular movement because we are in pain (though if you have a physical problem which would make it impossible such as no arms etc in which case there would bea compensatory movement perhaps a move as if to touch ones nose etc)
The body is amazing at compesating for damage or restriction/loss of a part.

I had fun on the bus a few weeks back. there was a strange lady talking about the olympics and her sons who were at the top of their fields etc.
as she spoke i found myself listening to the words and analyzing her on the go and also watching her body language.
Everytime she was deceptive she had 3 tells she would brush her hair back behind her left ear, then behind her right ear then pull the top of her baggy t shirt away from her neck. it was regular as clockwork.
I pointed out to mom what to listen for and watch for. Once mom saw the pattern she knew when the fib was said.
She claimed to be church going (no deception) and friends with them all (deception) then she proceeded to demeans them all(no deception)The she moved on to her family and so on. Money, despite her claims, was the root of her anger at them it was comical to behold.
I finally tired of the charade and tuned her out. When we arrived i felt sorry for the staff at mcdonalds who were going to have the pleasure of her company.

I can and do spend hours just sitting and watching the world go by, how people interact with those close to them and strangers, listening to snatche of conversation as well as talking to total strangers to pass the time. People fascinate me so if one day you are pootling along minding your own business and you see a 4'14 girl with a walking stick looking at you with interest, it might be me :)

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

Timeline of Events released by Billie Dunn

12:00pm: A neighbor sees Hailey in the back yard talking on the phone.

GRACE: What had she been doing that day before he got home?

B. DUNN: We don`t know.

GRACE: Although the neighbor saw her --

B. DUNN: WATCHING TV OR -- RIGHT, walking around in the backyard talking on the phone. She did that a lot, usually if we were here. If she just wanted it to be more quiet where she could hear her friend, she would walk around in the backyard on the phone. She should have been staying in the house --

She forgot her script here, " Watching TV or--right…"

willow said...

gaze down while speaking can also be a sign of.....respect! depends on culture, but anyone remember the studies about how teachers thought certain foreign students (japanese was one i believe) teachers thought they were lying or being rude because those children would not "look them in the eye".

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Willo,
AS i stated above context is a major part of the analysis,Its considered impolite in are culture not to make eye contact when engaging in coversation.Yes the person may have a eye stigma and may not be able to make eye contact this is why context is so important...

Anonymous said...

Not much going on here lately. What's up.?

Anonymous said...

Where is this blog and the bloggers?

Janie said...

Guess Statement A. is taking a holiday...

Anonymous said...

hello? Anyone home?

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