Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Deception and Arrogance

Liars hold the world in contempt.

One who will fabricate reality is one who thinks he can "get one passed" just about anyone.

People are often surprised when a guilty looking suspect agrees to take a polygraph.  "Why would a guilty person take a polygraph?"

Sometimes, the guilty person is up against the wall of pride.

In the murder of Hailey Dunn, her mother, Billie Jean Dunn, and mother's boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, initially balked at taking a polygraph.  Eventually, Dunn convinced Adkins that they could beat it by drugging up, but when discovered and sent home, she was now in the state of "Challenge", something the deceptive person bristles at.

Call her immoral, call her promiscuous, call her perverted but do not call her a liar, as it brings out the tiger within.

What now?

She was sent home due to drug taking, and now she and Adkins have to decide to go through with the rescheduled polygraph.

If she does not show, she has backed down from the challenge.  If she shows, clean, she fears failure.

Pride, as it goes, seems to tip the scales to the fall.

They showed; they failed.

Liars hold the world in contempt, and this is even seen when caught.  They do not "own" their mistake, but will blame others, including the polygraph machine, the polygrapher, or anyone else in the way.

Richard Blumenthal.

Is it possible that a Harvard educated Attorney General could boast about his service in Vietnam even though he never went to Vietnam and secured 5 deferments just to avoid going there?

How can this be?

Answer:  Liars, that is, those who fabricate reality, hold the rest of us in contempt.

Instead of saying, "I am sorry.  I shamelessly sought to gain votes of veterans and I have insulted their intelligence", he had something else to say.

I'm reasonably sure that if I were to fly in a plane to a foreign country, particularly one in which a war was raging, I would remember being there.

Blumenthal talked about being in Viet Nam in order to garner support.  The problem?  He wasn't in Viet Nam.

When caught, who is the target of his apology?  His mea-culpa was a bit light on the "mea" and the "culpa" may be "misdirected."

"Misspoke" means lie.

"On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service and I regret that. And I take full responsibility, but I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

That is a comment by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal regarding questions surrounding his past statements about his military service.

By now, you have learned to key in on the word "but" in Statement Analysis, to know the important information in a sentence follows this particular word.

"On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service and I regret that. And I take full responsibility, but I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

"On a few occasions" remember, the shortest sentence is best. Additional words give us additional information. If a sentence can work without a word, the added word should be noted.

"few" is an attempt to minimize.
"occasions" are instead of formal speeches. Attempt to minimize. What would you have said? Remember, the statements made were in front of not only live audiences, but cameras rolling. Maybe he meant that he said it, off handedly, at a picnic, or something. Would you forget that you didn't go to a country, thousands of miles away, while being shot at with weapons that could have ended your life?

This is why deceptive people, uncovered in Statement Analysis, get caught: they cannot change.

If you study statement analysis in an attempt to become a better liar, it will not help you. It is something ingrained within you at childhood; truth or fabrication, and it is habit forming. Even those who read that deceptive people often employ words like "swear, honest to God, swear to God, honestly" and so on, STILL employ these words, as the brain tells the mouth what words to use processing this information in less than a microsecond.

"I have misspoken about my service "

No, he said he was in Vietnam and research has showed that he worked hard at making sure he was not in Vietnam, but safely in Washington, D.C, running "Toys for Tots" in the reserves.

"misspoken" past tense is a word used to soften or minimize (neutralize) the word "lied". Misspoken conjures up thoughts of an innocent mistake, rather than an intention to deceive.

"and I regret that"

"that" means distance, "this" means closer.
"regret"is an emotion. He has not owned, nor asked for forgiveness. I think anyone who said that they were in another country only to be caught lying would likely regret being caught. I believe his regret is genuine, but it is not linked to deception, but rather to having been caught.

"And I take full responsibility"

at first glance, this sounds strong. But remember, the shortest sentence is best. "And I take responsibility" is shorter. "full" is the emphasis that he feels he needs to add, thus weakening the statement, however, this wasn't the end of the sentence. The word "but" now employs the most important part of his message:


"but I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."

he will "not allow"; forbid, control. How can he "not allow"
"anyone" (neutral gender)

This shows the arrogance of a liar. He now expresses himself in terms of divinity; controller over destiny, and over the minds and hearts of Americans who will hear these words. He will not "allow"; language that deludes himself and shows how far from reality he is.

When you read this you can now see why someone with his intellect and place in life can be so utterly void of common sense.

In your life, could you go to your job, or to your family, and simply announce that you were in, for instance, "war-torn Bosnia" during the height of conflict? You know, when they thought you were home, or at school, all that time, you were really dodging bullets in the streets of Bosnia. Your family might look at you and call the doctor.

It is equally absurd; showing how out of touch a deceptive person can become over the years. A young liar may be good, but a liar who reaches the age of a grandparent has a lifetime of practice at deception but ego overrides and causes them to look foolish.

Who is "anyone"?  The reporter that decided to check the facts?  Shoot the messenger?

I'm thinking...he, himself, doesn't seem to be the "anyone."  When something feels awkward to you, it is because, well, it is awkward and it should be.

"to take a few misplaced words"

Here we have a change in language, from misspoken to misplaced. A change of language represents a change in reality. When the girl kissed the man, the man fell in love with the woman. Notice the change? She was a girl, but once they kissed, she became a woman.

Where there is no justification for the change, it is likely deception.

"The car ran roughly. I ran out of gas. I left the vehicle on the side of the road."

It was a car when it went, but now that it cannot transport, it is a vehicle.

Here, we have a change. His words were "misspoken" but now, are not "
misspoken at all, but were "misplaced", meaning, put into the wrong place.

This means that he stands behind his lies and reveals what his regret is:

That he spoke his lies in the wrong settings. Had there been no cameras running, he could have used his "Vietnam" experiences to persuade vets to vote for him and if called on the carpet, he could easily deny.

But because the cameras were rolling, it is hard for him to watch and listen to the lies he told.

He takes "full responsibility", but he has provided service to his counrty. The use of the word but suggests that he doesn't take responsibility at all, because he feels that he has a record of service to his country after all.  "But" is often used to refute, or at least minimize that which preceded it.  It is used in comparison.

"I like steak but I love lobstah."  (Petey)

This politicians statement regarding the lies he told about his service in Vietnam reveal that he is a chronic, long term liar, who thought he was above being questioned, and is still in denial about his own mortality.

There is much talk about "pathological liars" who "can't even tell when they are lying."

Be careful with that one. The "pathological liars", when confronted, wiggle uncomfortably, and use lies in attempt to justifiy themselves. Guilt aside, we count on the internal stress that lies cause to flush out the language for us.

How is it that politicians can demand that we, the public, trust them, when those closet to them, their own families, can not trust them? (for another day)

The arrogance and deceptive nature of the statement issued by Blumenthal tells me that this is a man who has long lied without much consequence and that he has been a man of power, who has had much success in exerting authority over others.  I'd hate to be a defendant up against one who is not afraid to invent his own reality.  One can only imagine orders passed down from him that impacted the lives he was in contact with.

It is frightening.


Anonymous said...

"Toys for tots"? He ran"toys for tots"?

mainah said...

This reminded me of a statement I came across yesterday where someone summarized a story in a few sentences, followed by "End of story". Meaning, do not question my version and authority further. That's a red flag, IMO.

S + K Mum said...

That's exactly it, people who lie without consequence think they are smarter than the people they are lying too, they get bolder and they lie to their own gain. I have mentioned before how insulting I find it, yet when people do this I can't find the courage to say to them 'i know that's not true'. Any suggestions Peter? I am talking about adults :-) I have called them out in a roundabout way - never directly though!

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi S + K Mum,

What i say is "Why are you lying behind my back in front of me". That way it doesn't come across to challenging, yet still gets the message across that i'm onto them Lol.

GeekRad said...

I like that John. I tend to ignore what they are saying if I am am not in a situation that I have to respond. And when I do have to respond I don't challenge the lie, I say something like "I thought x,y,z happened". That is very uncomfortable becuase I am just enabling the behaviour. I need to get more proactive about calling them on it.

S + K Mum said...

That's good John but I don't know if I would, I need to 'man up' lol!

S + K Mum said...

That's how I feel GeekRad, why should I feel embarassed about questioning what is said when the person lying should be the one with the embarassment :-)

GeekRad said...

Agreed S+K Mum. In my case the person that lies is my mother. And I really don't want to get into with my aging mother.......

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi S + K Mum, GeekRad.

I think the higher the stakes, the more we our less inclined to address it face to face.

S + K Mum said...

Yeah I think so John.
If it is a family member it makes it more difficult.....GeekRad, I feel for you! Mines an in-Law......
I do remember a colleague a few years back who came out with some whoppers, nobody could ever believe, we would all have a good laugh at his expense but I look back and do think it was an illness. Flying out to canada in a private jet (from the uk) to go to a private concert then back again, a little weekend trip!

S + K Mum said...

He wrote books, had a pilots licence....the list could go on....his 'day job' was a furniture Salesman ....

Nic said...

For me, Peter's blog illuminated just how much people lie all.the.time.

I often wonder, "Gees, if you're lying about this, then what else do you lie about?"

I rarely confront them. Instead I distance myself. :0) My experience has been when you confront someone they get really hostile and then it turns into a "you said, no, you said, blah, blah, blah".

Unless they're family and they're causing my kids grief. After 12 years I finally had to confront/challenge my father-in-law. I did it in an email. His girlfriend was the problem, but he kept saying "I" because her desire to keep the kids from spending time with him was polarizing the family and he knew it. (He's 82 and she's 62 and she plays to his fear of being alone every opportunity she gets.) Can you say *elder abuse*? jmo Anyway, in the email I said, (referring to the copy I kept,) "It's your choice
and I accept that. I just want to let you know how your words and the way you
have treated the kids have hurt and disappointed them and us."

Remember that mushroom cloud that appeared out of nowhere a year ago last fall? That was him. :0) He knew I knew it was his girlfriend. However, he kept saying "I", so I shot "him" (the messenger).

Things were difficult after that. Time spent together can still be uncomfortable, but it's better.

Red Ryder said...

Public figures used to be able to get away with this kind of behavior sometimes, since the advent of the internet, not so much. Maybe in their private lives they carry on unquestioned, at least to their faces, because they are surrounded by their family and those they have chosen, who don't confront them.
It reminds me of Anthony Weiner with all his verbal squirming.
It amazes me how many selfish people there are, that are so focused on themselves that they can't begin to imagine the impact their words and behavior have on even their family, let alone the world at large.
Nic~ I laughed so hard at the mushroom cloud!

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Nic, deception detection for me is a double edged sword when it comes down to being able to detect deception. Do we react candidly, do we sit on it, how high are the stakes, is it going to harm others, themselves, or have they done so previously etc.

In my opinion. If it is something trivial( my gauge ), as in, someone claiming their car was 50 grand when it was 12. For them to feel the need for us to know how expensive their car was or wasn't, is, for me more important because they felt the need to exaggerate the price.

This is then more about their own insecurities, and this is where i would tread carefully in my response.

Lie's/deception is a mind field and will fascinate us all from now and till the end of time and always will do.

Lie and the world lies with you; tell the truth and the world lies about you.

You can't win; If you tell lies people will distrust you. If you tell the truth people will dislike you.

Truth is what's left over when you run out of lies.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Oscar Wilde.

JoAnn said...

Hi Nic,
The mushroom cloud analogy is so funny! I don't confront easily either & will run a mile to avoid an argument, unless it involves my child or someone I really care about. I once had to speak up at a board meeting because a teacher had lied about something that affected another group of teachers & I felt that mushroom cloud looming on the horizon for days. I think some knowledge of SA is helpful instead of "just knowing" that someone is lying - it gives me the confidence not to second-guess myself.

GeekRad said...

I hear that John and Nic. I leave it alone if it is trivial. Like S+K Mum's co-worker, my mom lies with exaggerations like that (but not nearly that huge an exaggeration). I have known she lies almost my whole life. I am really glad to be learning about SA because as she ages and her health declines I need to be able to identify if she needs something. I will however not tolerate an employee lying to me and once a politician lies they lose my trust never to be won back. It amazes me how many of them out and out lie because they think they are smarter and better than the rest of us. One lioe from a politician or an employee and I can't believe anything they say.

GeekRad said...

Statement analysis really hit home with me with Lance Armstrong's lies. As many of you know, I came here when Hailey Dunn dissapeared and got hooked on this site. When Peter starting analyzing Lance's statements I tried to stick my head in the sand thinking "Peter, say it ain't so". I know Peter had a hard time with that too. Convincing my husband that Lance was lying was a real challenge. I expect drugs and doping from professional atheletes but not Lance Armstrong. Yet I couldn't deny what I learned and couldn't deny that he was lying. It was so obvious.

Nic said...

John said:
Lie and the world lies with you; tell the truth and the world lies about you.

Wow. That is so true. My experience has been, once you know someone's secrets they panic. Then they work to discredit you with the intention that if you have a falling out with them, and you say anything about what you know about them, they come off credible when they say *you're* lying.

JoAnn, I'm generalizing when I say, schools/teachers look at us like an extension of our kids. They don't like it, at all, when we challenge them. In fact, even if it is obvious to everyone, peers, principal, etc., that the teacher is wrong, they will circle the wagons.

elf said...

Over the last year that I've been interested in statement analysis, I've told people about it. I've let everyone I know that they are subject to being practiced on and encourage them to read Peters blog. If I catch one of the red flag words, ill question the person, and ill tell them it's nothing personal I only want to know what your really saying. Being polite can lead to misunderstandings.

Sella35 said...

Low information voters (people) do not care about the liars nor the lies they tell. They care only for themselves and what the politician will do for them. Even when they know the politician is lying.

Ms. Warren from Mass. was another one who was an arrogant, deceptive politician and who got votes from people who did not care about the truth. Sadly, people are in it for the here and now...what can you do for me mentality.

Casey Anthony jurors were low information jurors. They did not care about the plethora of lies. Her arrogance, her deception or her killing of Caylee.

OJ Simpson jurors were the same. They had a mission and it had nothing to do with the trial of OJ.

I am still wondering how those people accused or are POI can tell lies and people stand-beside them. The "followers" what do they have to gain by following an arrogant liar?

GeekRad said...

snipped from WLOX13 report, Myra Lewis's grandmother's statement:

Myra Lewis' Grandmother told us she believes Myra was abducted.

Antoinette Lewis told our reporter, "Whoever got her, just send her back home. I love her."

Lewis says she lives next door to Myra's parents, and that her granddaughter would often walk next door to visit, despite only being 2 years old.

"Myra was a good child. She was very obedient. She was smart. She's 2 but she has the mind of a 3 or 4 year old."

Three references to Myra in the past tense in 3 of 4 sentences.....

Nic said...

Stella35 said: Low information voters (people) do not care about the liars nor the lies they tell. They care only for themselves and what the politician will do for them. Even when they know the politician is lying.

I love this: low information voters

TrishapatK said...

This post about "Deception and Arrogance" is really hitting home because I have a niece who recently committed suicide and it seems to relate directly to a simple little lie that she told that would have had dire consequences. Her motive to lie seems to be as simple as to not want to acknowledge that she was sending an innocuous text message to her spouse at an inappropriate time. Unfortunately this inappropriate time was while she was testifying as an FBI agent in a major trial. She was questioned about her use of the phone and denied texting and lied by saying that she was only turning off the phone and had to punch in a pass code. The phone was confiscated though and examined. Needless to say her lie was going to be discovered and would probably have much more dire consequences than she would have anticipated.
I am mentioning this just to say that I think people motive are sometimes as simple as not wanting to publicly acknowledge the stupid things that any of us can choose to do as humans. Although she should not have lied her motives were probably just to save face - she did not want to admit to doing something so inappropriate as texting innocuous messages to her spouse while under oath.
But then when her phone was taken away to be examined she realized that her lies would be caught and that the consequences could be dire.
It is heartbreaking to know that she probably killed herself because she didn't want to have to acknowledge lying and live with the consequences. it makes me look upon lying more seriously but it also reminds me that sometimes people lie about silly things. I do take it seriously as a mark of good character but when I realize that this was about something so silly and more about ego it puts it in a different context.

I'm sorry if I don't have a nice conclusive statement to make here - if I can come up with anything it might be along the lines of how simple lies, as wrong as they are, are dangerous and habit forming and although they're wrong, sometimes they're sometimes used to cover what we hope was a passing moment of folly. I suppose we have to look at peoples lies in context and think about how much time a person has to decide and reflect upon what they're going to say - if they're going to lie or tell the truth. Telling the truth is always best - undeniably - but maybe there are times when a lie is just a poor attempt at covering a stupid decision that seemed relatively unimportant and which you regret and want to cover up with a denial with the expectation that it will be over with.
One thing that my nieces suicide brought to light is how a simple lie can have much more dire consequences than you'd ever anticipate. it is so, so sad for me to know that her career may have been ruined by her lie, and then her reputation and in her mind, her whole life - even though she thought she was just "covering" a moment where she had a lapse of judgement.
Lies matter, and they're always wrong - but in analyzing them we sure have to keep them in context.

PrincessButtercup said...

I like statement analysis because it has helped me make more sense of things that are senseless, from violent cases in the news to people I know that have told lies.

One recent example was after I had been bullied by my sister in law for years, I finally stopped being passive about it and told her that she was being bad and for her to stop and that I wouldn't allow her to treat me like that again without retaliation. After I confronted her, she went to her husband and parents and said I was a liar and making it all up. She proclaimed, "I'm an honest person!"

And later, at a public gathering, thanked for father for teaching her "how important it was to tell the truth."

From my personal experience, I feel like people lie to save face. They don't want to deal with the consequences of their lies/behavior.

~mj said...

I may very well be wrong, but I strongly believe that in order for your niece to commit suicide over this matter, way more was at play within her mentally, than her lying about the text message.

I completely agree with your sentiments regarding people lying over silly things to save face, or not thinking it through very well. I agree that lying is serious, and your niece is a perfect example of the magnitude of what lies can do.

The part I believe goes a bit further though, is when someone is willing to go the route of suicide over something that typically would be considered a bad decision (and yes, at times carry quite the consequences) that usually is indicative to a mental health issue. Suicide is not the typical response when we find ourselves in trouble. For that to have been an option for your niece, I would venture a guess she had other, deeper more severe issues going on.

I am very sorry for your families loss, no matter your nieces mental stability, she deserved to know how important she was to her loved ones and I have empathy for your family that obviously she wasn't fully aware of how much she mattered to you all.

Unknown said...

Hi Trishapatk

I'm sorry for the loss of your niece.

Nic said...

TrishapatK, I'm sorry for your loss. You provided a really interesting and valuable perspective.

TrishapatK said...

To ~mj, Jen Ow and Nic,

Thank you for your responses to my post. I appreciate it when human beings are simply kind to each other that way.

@~Mj - I generally agree with what you've said about the probability of deeper issues coming into play and that the presumed causes behind this don't seem like enough. If it weren't for the fact that the FBI was thorough in the investigation ( due to her being an agent) and the fact that they're very careful with psychological testing prior to hiring them and training them, then I'd think that there must be more to the story. They've checked with everyone who knows her and there was no apparent depression, marital problems, discouragement, burn out, etc. - none of the usual indicators. It seems like it was an impetuous act - she had gotten up and gotten ready for work and once in her car she took her own life. She knew that they had taken her phone and her little lie would be uncovered and she'd have to deal with the consequences. I guess that doesn't mean that there aren't still deeper issues such as not having your identity too tied into your work, being able to acknowledge ones own mistakes, weaknesses or foolishness and deal with the consequences. ( dire as they may be [ like you said])
So, I suppose I agree with you in general about their being deeper issues - but they weren't the ones you'd expect to find behind a suicide. It's almost a philosophy of life thing - or priorities or maturity and foresight and ability to step outside of ones own feelings to see a bigger picture.
No matter how we look at it objectively it is still a devastating thing for her parents, husband and siblings.
Thank you all again for your kind thoughts and input.

GeekRad said...

TrishpatK, I am so sorry for the loss of your niece.

Unknown said...

Always remember, when you discover toy are analyzing a pathological liar, like Scott Petersen or Casey Anthony, they did not just learn that trait. They have been lying to loved ones for many many years.

Scott had affairs, and casey had drugs and nightlife and probably many sexual encounters.

The liar who lies for years before they hit the spotlight, will even learn to tell the truth in this fashion. You must remember unreliable denials with many extra words that weaken the statement might very well be a truthful statement from a pathological liar.

Instead focus on pronouns. These are instinctive and might be the only slip up the next Casey makes.

Because you certainly will not get a reliable denial from her...