Saturday, March 9, 2013

Analysis: It's Not Magic; It's Listening

photo by Christina 
This sky looks magical but it is not.

Statement Analysis sometimes appears, in its conclusion, as if it is magical, too.

It's not magic, and, in fact, it is not difficult, either.  It takes a great deal of practice and quite a bit of patience, but it is a learned skill, based upon principles brought forth by Avinoam Sapir, of LSI.  www.lsiscan.com

It is under a lot of different names, but it is from the foundation of research given to us by LSI.

In fact, many of the articles written are the application of principles taken from the LSI workbook.  Authors take credit, but ultimately, it goes back to the teaching of LSI.

It's not magic.  It's not a mysterious dive into the subconscious.

It means to listen to what one says, knowing that speech is something we do from a very early age, and it is something we do so often, that we are quite good at it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

I.  Beauty in Simplicity
II.  Lies Told Are Revelatory

I.  Beauty in Simplicity

In my first encounters with Statement Analysis, I struggled with the principle of "I didn't do it."  I wondered if something this simple could be true.

As the years have passed, my amazement at this principle has not faded.  Recently on a theft case, I invited someone in on an interview with the preparation taught here:  the Reliable Denial.

The reliable denial is almost ridiculously simple.  "I didn't take the money."   An innocent person will say this early, often not waiting for an accusation.  Why?  Simply because he didn't do it, and there is a human need to say so; to not own that which does not belong to us.  The deceptive person will avoid saying these simple words and say almost anything but these words.  Over the next hour, the invitee to the interview could barely contain a knowing smile. The subject protested with such things as:

"I am going to be honest with you, I would never do such a thing!" and on to the motive, "I have had many things stolen from me in life.  I know how it feels."  "Why should I steal?"  "If I needed money, I could borrow it from..."  "I have been here for 3 years..."

During the entirety of the interview, the simple words, "I didn't take the money" did not pass from the subject's lips.

The simple training of learning what a reliable denial is has, almost by itself, given cause to stop posting articles from the news:

people know.

When NYPost.com (or any other large news site) is opened, there is always someone accused of something in the news.  The headlines are the same, "So and So Denies Allegation..." and the reader is able to go through the article and conclude, "he didn't deny doing it..." and know.

People know.

There's an element of beauty, or art, in this.  The simple skill of learning to actually listen to what someone says is the key to open the door of understanding.  In essence, we believe what someone tells us. "I would never steal" is likely true of the guilty.  He has been caught and likely has vowed, in fear, to himself, 'I shall never steal again!' and means it.

Even if, on the rare occasion the subject is able to deny reality, "I didn't do it" when he actually did, the subject, being so very rare, is now brought to the follow up principle taught by LSI:  No one can lie twice.

When asked, "Give me one reason to believe you", the liar will not say the simple words "Because I told the truth" using the first person singular pronoun, "I", the past tense, "told", and the word "lie."

I have conducted more than 3,000 interviews and have not seen this principle broken.  In the world of analysis, I have not received a report from anyone citing an example of this principle being broken.

II.  Lies Told Are Revelatory

When someone lies, they must choose their words.  It is very difficult, in fact, to tell a direct lie.

In teaching interviewing to investigators, I use the well-worn technique of "Two Tales"; that is, one investigator tells us truthful account of something in life and another one tells a fabrication.  The class must then decide if the account is truthful or deceptive.

What we found:

We learned that in order to tell an effective lie, we had to give the "lying" investigators a script.  Why is this?

It is because when the subject attempted to lie, he or she slipped into memory of some form; memory of a movie, a book, or someone else's story.  It is not "experiential memory", in that, it was not something experienced, but it was still memory:  memory of a story someone else told.

We found that in order to disconnect (even further) the subject's language from the lie, we had to write up a script for the subject to memorize.  When the class asked questions, the subject could only tie himself to the script, but when asked detailed questions, had to bluff.

The principle is this:  When someone lies, the lies do not come from a vacuum, but come from the subject's own brain, which, by the way, holds the truth of what happened. This is why Mark Redwine's lies are so vital and why attention is being paid closely.

In the case of Dylan Redwine, Mark Redwine was unable to bring himself to issue a reliable denial; the most simple and easiest of words to say from the position of true innocence (not just judicial innocence).  At no time did he say "I didn't kill Dylan."

In the Reliable Denial, we say that there are three components:

1. The Pronoun "I"
2.  The past tense verb "didn't" or "did not"
3.  The specific allegation

Please note that if there are two components present, it is not reliable just as if there are four components, it is not reliable.

We must listen very carefully.  I have heard, "I didn't steal nothing" on more than a few interviews.

"I" is strong
"didn't" is past tense
"nothing", however, violates principle number three.

The brain is clever.

"I didn't steal the missing money" is very strong, but when the wording of the questioning changed to the word "take", the subject was not able to say this.  Why not?

In the subject's personal, internal, subjective dictionary, he did not "steal" the money.  He was, in his mind, "owed" overtime pay, and did not receive it.  He simply "took" what was owed to him.

This is why we ask morally neutral questions, using "take" over "steal", "touch" over "molest."

A man once passed a polygraph about "molestation"; but in his mind, he did not "molest", he "tickled", highlighting why it is so important to enter the person's own dictionary in the pre screening interview.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" led to learning that President Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky discussed this and she was told that only sexual intercourse met the legal definition of "sexual relations" according to Mr. Clinton.

Mark Redwine's description of not being able to wake up Dylan is chilling, and it has the echo of failed resuscitation.

His words about "struggle" and "digging deep", as pointed out by Kaaryn, are equally chilling.

We are not entering the world of 'linguistic voodoo' or magically decoding anything.  We are not saying "this means that" arbitrarily.  This is the error of the book, "A Mother Gone Bad" where the author takes the ransom note, attributing it accurately to Patsy Ramsey, but then goes on to interpret many of the words in it, assigning, in an arbitrary manner, meaning.  At any time, he could be right, just as at any time he could be wrong, but it is in his application that no principle is followed:  there is no method of which to apply to other cases.

"She's got a good engine, low miles and has had her oil changed regularly."  This was said to me by a car man about his fianc√©.  I knew his reference point and it was humorous.  Sometimes the words chosen are this obvious, but more frequently, they are not.

LSI has given principle to follow; to apply, equally and justly, statement to statement.

We are taught to listen carefully to what someone tells us, as well as what they do not tell us.

If you knew that everyone around you thought that you had done something terrible, what would you say?  De facto innocence would cause you to say "I didn't do it", without qualification.

What one does not tell us:

When someone does not issue a reliable denial, we are not allowed to say it for him.

I recently had a conversation in which I told someone what one had recently done.  We discussed my allegation and he said, "I have known him for many years."  I said, "Yet, you can't bring yourself to say that my accusation is out of character for him."  

Indeed.

The Expected versus the Unexpected.

We expect an innocent person to say certain things and when we do not hear them, we ready ourselves with questions.  Solomon expected the two mothers to list their own child first, in order.  When Sergio and Becky Celis went on television about their missing 7 year old, Isabel, we expected them to talk about the kidnapping, ransom, raising the money, planning, and so forth.  On the television interview, none of these words were used.

When Charlie Rogers said that three men attacked her, carved into her skin, and set her home on fire, we expected her to use certain words; words associated with such a vicious, personal attack.

She didn't.

When she was done speaking, and when we were done with analysis, we knew.

We knew she had fabricated her story, even though there were thousands of people donating money, holding vigils, and getting tattoos in support of her.

It wasn't magic.

It was listening.

It wasn't her mysterious subconscious speaking; it was just her.  She had not experienced three men assaulting her and her language showed no connection.  We analyzed what she said and what she did not say.

It's not magic, it just takes time to learn, and lots of time to practice.  It is like playing the guitar.

In a few weeks, you can learn all the basic chords, but it takes years of practice to produce that which is aesthetically pleasing.

It is the same with analysis.




14 comments:

Apple said...

"It is like playing the guitar". Yes, SA and guitar playing are both difficult for me and yet you make it seem easy. That is a good comparison. I will never play the guitar well. I hope to get better at SA.
Your hard work has paid off. Your analysis flows easily from you. You'd be tough to have as a dad!

john said...

Superb Peter,thank you for sharing you'r knowledge and time to teach us this extraordinary Science..

Peter Hyatt said...

Apple and John,

Thank you for the kind comments.

Apple, I put myself on a 5 year program, promising Heather and the kids I would practice guitar every day and in 5 years, I would be good enough to play in public.

I kept a journal, averaging 7-10 hours per week practicing.

I play well now, and can play, for example, at a barbecue for an hour, fingerstyle, without having people bleed from the ears and running for their lives.

I will never be a professional, and am not good enough to be paid for playing, but I love it.

Sadly, I thought I had injured my thumb this winter, carrying firewood. The MRI shows arthritis.

It is painful and I have had to adjust my playing quite a bit.

As to Statement Analysis, for years now, I have been practicing statements every day of my life. Some ask how I have been able to maintain such a pace but the answer is found in my childhood.

Growing up in New York, I listened to WCBS Newsradio 88 on your AM dial.

I listened to it daily, even falling asleep to it and by the time I was 10 years old, I was reading the newspaper every day.

I do the same now, up at 5AM, but without the paper; only online.

I copy and paste the quotes and analyze them. Politicians and celebrities leave us no shortage of statements for analysis.

Eventually, I authored an entire training manual for investigators, and taught interviewing based upon the analysis.

I completed the courses of LSI, and continue to do their "Continuing Education" credits whenever I can. It is how I met Kaaryn.

Hobnob said...

I will never be a professional, and am not good enough to be paid for playing, but I love it.

I spy with my little eye...
A dropped pronoun and BUT negates the previous words.


Your inner thoughts are leaking out here Peter.

Payment doesn't always come in the form of money.
Compliments and an audience that isn't running away screaming for ear dressings and mercy do wonders for the inner child within us all.


~heads off to naughty corner for being a smartarse~

Lemon said...

Hobs, it seems like you and the naughty corner are getting quite familiar. :)

Hobnob said...

i have a nice view out the window, my comfy chair with the personalised cushion, hot and cold running remotes, and a tray on a beanbag so i don't spill my drinks :)

Listening said...

When asked, "Give me one reason to believe you", the liar will not say the simple words "Because I told the truth" using the first person singular pronoun, "I", the past tense, "told", and the word "lie."

********************

What about, "Because I didn't do it"? Or does it need to be event specific in the follow up question/answer, as well? I know, of course, that event specific is the most reliable, but I'm just wondering in this instance.

~ABC said...

I think what you do is wonderful Peter. I hope to become at least half as good at SA! :-)

Have you ever analysed any statements from Diane Downs?

Hobnob said...

Listening said...
When asked, "Give me one reason to believe you", the liar will not say the simple words "Because I told the truth" using the first person singular pronoun, "I", the past tense, "told", and the word "lie."

********************

What about, "Because I didn't do it"? Or does it need to be event specific in the follow up question/answer, as well? I know, of course, that event specific is the most reliable, but I'm just wondering in this instance


I think the word lie at the top should have read truth (i told the truth)

A strong reliable denial contains the pronoun I

Past tense didn't

Event specific kill. steal etc

We would need to press the subject on what the IT that they didn't do.
If we don't ask what the IT is they are referring to they could b denying flying to the moon for all we know.

It is possible that we get strong reliable denials early on in the interview and the subject has made it clear that the IT they refer to is the crime, this is noticeable in long interviews/interrogations over many hours when is clear to all that iT means the specific crime, the subject will also likely reiterate they didn't commit the specific crime as well in their denials as a form of emphasis.

Peter Hyatt said...

The liar who said, "I didn't do it", but did, is asked to give reason why and we look for,

"I told the truth" and not:

"I didn't do it" *(repetition)
I don't lie"
"I didn't lie" (we don't want to see the word "lie" in it)

The rarity is extreme and the teaching is that the liar wil not be able to call his lie "truth" directly.

Anonymous said...

PH said:It's not magic, and, in fact, it is not difficult, either.
Do you think if someone is hyper-vigilant and learns SA that they can become a super sleuth?

Peter Hyatt said...

hypervigilance can be from PTSD, abuse, mistrust, etc.

Suspicious people often do not do well in S/A as they struggle with the "expected."

Peter Hyatt said...

Hobnob said...
I will never be a professional, and am not good enough to be paid for playing, but I love it.

I spy with my little eye...
A dropped pronoun and BUT negates the previous words.


Your inner thoughts are leaking out here Peter.

Payment doesn't always come in the form of money.
Compliments and an audience that isn't running away screaming for ear dressings and mercy do wonders for the inner child within us all.


~heads off to naughty corner for being a smartarse~


Hmm, perhaps I should say
the word "but" often refutes, or minimizes what can previously.

I won't be a professional, ever, "but", I still enjoy. The word "but" strongly separates professional from amateur (for love of).

No inner thoughts on playing professionally. I have neither the talent nor the interest and I feel that musicians' lifestyles are not for me.

There's no dropped pronoun, as the short statement has two of them; a third in the middle (where I think you're targeting for a dropped pronoun), if added, would be a bit awkward, and heavily weighted.

You've heard my guitar playing and voice and know its true!

:)

Peter

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