Monday, November 9, 2015

Confessions of the Gullible

If we own that male chromosome completion and female chromosome completion are different, you might consider that I was one of ten children, number 9 in chronological order, with seven, count them, seven big sisters.

That is a lot of female in one household and basically works out to having eight mothers. If females have a greater emotional capacity due to nature's gift benefiting childrearing, it is likely that I was influenced by this very thing:  empathy.

If men are from mars and women from venus, or the other way around, and actually think differently, than it is also true that in doing anonymous letter work, gender can be determined by language because, after all, our speech reveals us. Even the most PC hardened under a threat, will want to know the identify of the one bringing terror and will not want to hear nonsense about not wanting to identify gender:  the need to know means clarity is desired.

I admit to struggling in interviewing females.  My nature is protective and this is particularly engaged if the woman has been abused.  It can be a struggle to remain objective.

I was asked an honest question by a journalist about the news story where a Chicago mother had her son murdered in Chicago in a gang related shooting, where the mother started a Go Fund Me campaign and purchased a 2015 new car with the money, claiming her son would have wanted her to have it and that she needs it because she lives in fear.

That she lives in fear is likely truthful; not due to language, but her setting, but did she buy the car out of fear is a different question, which stands above another question:

Did she use Go Fund Me to raise money for his funeral, or for her own self?

If she used the Go Fund Me to raise money for herself, and not the funeral expense, as claimed, fraud is involved and deception will show up in the language.

The journalist gave an honest self assessment:  she has a heart for parents.

This is something that journalists, like investigators in police, security, insurance, as well as counselors, attorneys, therapists, businessmen and women, and, in short, anyone else who desires formal training in lie detection must not lose.

Cynicism leads to poor results in training.

The system that sets the stage for discernment is one of presuppositional thinking.  Presuppositional thinking is something we all do, and is often used in apologetics.  For example:

"Do you think it is wrong for one person to walk up the street and slap another person in the face?" to which the subject responds with "yes" or "of course" or something similar.

The subject is then asked,

"Why do you believe it is wrong?"

This is a far more important question than a surface glance reveals.  Thoughtful people will pause and seek to learn the source of their decision.  Some will hesitate with, "it's what my internal moral compass dictates" to which is then asked:

"What is your moral compass based upon?"

Now, we have the thoughtful subject engaged.  When one says, "It is common knowledge that is is unacceptable" he is challenged with those who are "uncommon", and if he says, "It is a known community standard that it is not acceptable " he is then taken to 1938 Berlin where this slap would be very much a widely accepted standard of the community should the slapped face belong to a Jew.

It is good to think.

Erica Morse's question about fear (she posted it on Facebook) is such a question; intelligent and probing.  She is not challenging analysis nor posing an agenda or narrative, but asking a question worth consideration.  Yes, it is 'laughable' to listen to the profanity laced rant of a woman who's own words are related to child abuse, and ironic to see the father than rush to Go Fund Me to pay for a funeral of which neither of them would pay a penny towards.

She wasn't looking at irony, selfishness, or greed:  a child has been murdered.

I used Erica's question to open up a topic, but then decided to do an article instead. As I urge Erica to stay kindhearted and sympathetic and, in this sense, "gullible" not simply for moral reasons ("so, Peter, why do you think it is moral to give the woman from Chicago the benefit of the doubt...?"), though it is important to me, but for "scientific reasons" instead.

Cynics do poorly on "lie detection" tests, and cynics do poorly in formal training.  They begin the training with "one foot in the bucket" and only the most self aware and self honest are able to overcome this powerful trait.

Some patrol officers are cynics simply because they spend more than 40 hours a week either at a front door, a street corner, or standing next to a vehicle and in all three scenarios, they are doing, at times, dozens and dozens of "on the fly" interviews per day and they hear, quite literally, dozens and dozens of deceptive responses per day, every day, every week, every month, and every year of their careers.

It is very difficult for patrol to not develop cynicism towards the world, which is directly related to statistics on substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, and generalized anxiety (and hopelessness) among police.

The secondary and tertiary trauma are far greater than any single event trauma most may face.  The event trauma is dealt with via processing, but each day seeing, at times, the base elements of humanity, breaking up fights, hearing people curse and abuse one another, and so on, is similar to what Child Protective Caseworkers experience yet with one critical difference:

On average, the Child Protective Caseworker (mostly licensed social workers) does investigatory work for two years.  This is the most cited national average given.  In the investigatory stage, in a given case, the CPS investigator will interview:

a.  two children
b.  two parents
c.  two significant others to the two parents
d. four grandparents
e.  extended family
f.  teachers
g.  medical professionals
h.  siblings
i.  support team

Then, the CPS worker must document, depending upon which state and which requirement, the entire interview, sometimes transcribed, but rarely ever permissible in short summaries.

The worker may conduct 20 interviews in each case.  The pace is overwhelming and in cases of severe abuse, neglect or exploitation, a decision that is life changing, must be made based upon these interviews, along with physical evidence (which requires a doctor's written opinion) and the production of an affidavit, clearing outlining the danger to the child, along with mandated proof that every possible family member has been explored for placement.

This is often a decision that has a very intrusive ticking clock to it, with 48 total hours being the widest possible range, with 6 hours being the time frame from the point of the crucial decision to the presentation of an affidavit to a judge, who, off hours, must be located and, perhaps, awakened in the middle of the night.

The pressure is intense, but it does not match the impact of seeing, close up, the abuse of a child.

This was Erica's point:  the child is dead and the mother may be afraid for her own life.  Whether or not it fits the language is another answer, but the empathy over a lost child is there, and the desire to believe the truth is there.

The CPS worker will most often "move over" to a similar position but no longer in "the trenches" of directly confronting abusive parents and actually removing a child.  It is a few short moments of intense fear and emotion where the honest worker cannot help but wonder if the removal will save a life, or emotionally destroy it. The CPS worker will thus, after two years, take a position where he or she now works with children or parents after the investigation. Stressful?  Yes, but nothing like the front line.  The front line, even for those who are armed, still puts them not only in harm's way, but in positions of seeing, up close and personal, the abuse of children.

The same worker can be paralyzed with fear over making the decision to leave the child in the home, only to have the child come to serious injury or death.

If one, for example, associates with drugs, by virtue of the drug trade, the child is in danger.

The CPS worker moves on to a 'safer' position while the patrol officer, par on salary, or perhaps even less, continues to be in the front lines of inhumanity and also see the child abuse cases.

Exercise and taking care of oneself is critical given this level of stress.

It is easy to see why one would become cynical but here in is the lesson:

Successful lie detection is about recognizing the use of wording in such a way as to be alerted while listening to something that has caught your attention above the rest of the words used.

Or, as intuitive people say, "it feels awkward" or "it sounds hinky" or "off" to me.

This is true.

When someone speaks from experiential memory upon being asked, "What happened?", the words will connect them to the event.

When someone is asked, "What happened?" and considers that the truthful answer will result in my arrest, the person opens his mouth, accessing his brain, but must disrupt the speed of processing (measured in less than a millisecond of time where the brain chooses the words, syntax, etc) because critical wording must be avoided.

How does this sound?

It often sounds...


Not right.



"Doesn't pass the straight face test" (not my favorite as strange or unusual events do not fit into the science of Statement Analysis, including coincidence).

But, if the deceptive subject is a pathological liar, that is, one who has been successful at deception since childhood, there is less and less awkward feel to it.   Therefore, more concrete discernment is needed.

                                 The Expected Versus The Unexpected In Language 

This is called "the expected" in language where the lie detector presupposes the person did not "do it" and presupposes that the person will tell the truth, and holds to a certain expectation of language.

When the lie detector does not hear what was expected, the lie detector is now made to pause to consider why he or she did not hear the expected wording.

In other words, by presupposing truth, the lie detector is allowing herself to be "confronted" and "interrupted" by the deceptive subject's wording.

There are several ways to mis-set the standard of "expectation" in language. If one does not have a basic understanding of human nature, it will backfire terribly on them, but here I limit myself to:


This is a part of the personality where it is presupposed that most everyone is lying (for some, "everyone" is lying, not "most everyone."

Since this is presupposed, there is no "confrontation" that is allowed to take place, nor is there an "interruption" in the flow because the expected and received match.

It is in the "mismatch" that we catch our liar.

To catch a liar, we have to have a disruption in the flow of processing:  not only a disruption in the flow of processing of language by the subject, but in the flow of processing the information that we hear from the subject!

"a, b, c" is truth.

If someone says "a, b, c", in this order, he is telling you the truth.

If you expect to hear "a, b, c" but hear "a, c, b", you are 'startled', 'disrupted', 'confronted', and feel 'awkward' like, "something is just not right."

But what if you think that everyone says "a, c, b" or "b, c, a"?

If you cynically expect, "b, c, a..." and you hear, "b, c, a", there is no "confrontation", nor "disruption" nor "mismatch" and deception is not indicated. You have no interruption in the flow of processing the words that enter your ears (or eyes) to signal you to a higher alert status.

Without this "high alert status", there is no detecting deception.

Since 2009, I have trained many "gullible" investigators, successfully, and it posed no additional challenge.

Since 2009, I have had some very highly cynical investigators attend training and it was a struggle for both them, and for myself.

If you wish for success in lie detection training you must enter the training, and then enter each and every exercise with the presuppositional thinking that:

1.  The person did not do it.
2.  The person is truthful, sentence by sentence.

With the overwhelming majority of deception via withheld information, the "worst case scenario" is this:

The person will tell you the truth, line by line, only leaving out the fact that he did it.  You are left with many lines of truthful sentences of which to guide the investigation and the upcoming interview.

We need more "gullible" journalists like Erica who approach believing, yet move forward, asking questions, seeking answers, and learning. Questioning even the emotion behind statements, and the reality of the context is an important part of the analysis conclusion.  It is part of the "greater" and "lesser" context of a statement. 

Those who see deception everywhere can not only fail in Statement Analysis, but can pervert justice, and bring disrepute to our science, and harm one's department's reputation.

The most common example of this is found in this tragic account of Kevin Fox and the inability of an investigator and a lawyer to exercise discernment.  Its human and financial cost were extreme. Please take a moment to read of Kevin's plight. We can only guess at his suffering.

Our science can and must withstand rigorous and healthy skepticism.

If you or your department or company is interested in training, please visit our website here for personal training or seminars.


Anonymous said...

The point on the Chicago GOFUNDME acct is: A FRIEND set up the account; not the mother. Her motives are moot at this point. If excess funds were acquired, did the mother know what was expected of her?

A breakdown in communications could have occurred with friends encouraging her to buy the car. Seeing how easily the money could be raised may have been the rationale behind using the boy's death as a tourist attraction much like Gatlinburg where the main industry is T-shirt sales.

It is doubtful the friend did what she did in order to entrap the grieving mother.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


where did you get all this information?

First, what are, or were, her motives?

How did you learn her motives were mute?

When did her motives become mute?

Also, before they became mute, what were they?

Is there another article with many more statements? If so, can you post it?

Thank you,


Anonymous said...

I got the information from your post if you care to reread. It states a FRIEND set-up the account.

Many a gofundme account is set up without any knowledge of the proposed benefactor. People see tragedy and swoop in. It is unlikely anyone from these ghetto areas would pass the mustard test in statement analysis...anyone.

If the accounts had a limit on it(them), the judging of the benefactor would no longer be a national past-time. Regardless of what the woman has done with the money, she is no more or no less the dead child profiteer as many others are. She's more likely to go to jail than say a journalist, an advertiser, a PI, or anyother chasing this type of trauma....just to save money?

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

And, yes, I know statement analysis is what you do. However, some statements always have same connotations, same sentiments and, of course, the same ending.The people who select the subjects may be the problem, I don't know.

The word mute means “silent; refraining from speech or utterance,” and the pairing mute point has no canonized meaning in standard English. However, it’s easy to imagine how this mistake might make sense in some contexts, and perhaps that’s why it’s so frequently confused with moot point.

Thank you for allowing my comments and I'll be mute now.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

O.k., I'm a little worried about myself here. I posed this question to a family member because I was curious to see what she would say. She responded much as Peter predicted with an immediate and emphatic "No!". So, I persisted with "Why do you believe it is wrong?" and she responded similarly to Peter's example.

At that point, I began to worry...

The Question: "Do you think it is wrong for one person to walk up the street and slap another person in the face?"

My Response: "Well that depends, what was the other person doing?"

Is that cynical, suspicious, or what?

Don'tFeedTheTrolls said...

"You write your snide bullshit from a dark room because that's what the angry do nowadays."

- The Social Network

Sound familiar, Anonymous?

elf said...

It always bothers me when people say "well [the deceased] would have wanted me to have/do this " ('this' being something self serving) . It sounds like an excuse for improper behavior.
I wouldn't be thinking about a brand new Chrysler if one of my kids was murdered. And how is a new car supposed to make you feel safe? Smh. Some people :/

Foolsfeedonfolly said...


That comment always bothers me too when the person in question is the one using it. It's often used as justification for whatever the person wants to do and he/she is well aware that it's morally wrong. In this case, the means of paying for the vehicle when she can't afford to bury her murdered child is what's igniting the firestorm. Her language shows sensitivity and it's likely due to the fact that she's well aware that she chose to make a down payment and taking possession of a car instead of burying her child. It's her need to justify it, combined with her "best mom" comments, while her language shows distancing from her son. Most moms are painfully aware of their mistakes.

Meanwhile, the sincerely grieving person usually needs to be encouraged by friends or family to do something that their loved one would actually want them to do. Case in point, we recently lost a very close friend. She and a family member regularly traveled together for years. She was questioning if she should go on an upcoming trip. Knowing full well that her family member would have wanted her to keep on traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and having memorable experiences...we wholeheartedly encouraged her to go saying, "________ would have wanted you to go."

The difference is that genuinely grieving people may (understandably) feel guilty about doing something that makes them feel happy or benefits them in any way. They feel disloyal by having a moment of happiness. The reality is that just because you are enjoying yourself doesn't mean you love the deceased any less. It's actually healthy to do something you enjoy when you are grieving-it's a mental break from the work of grieving and transitioning to a life change.

lynda said...

Ah, the cynicism will get you every time and I am becoming much more aware of how cynical I myself, have become.

Peter, you're comments regarding LE are interesting. I was married to LE for 15 years. He used the word "hinky" quite a bit. As the years went on I began to realize that certain people would say that he was racist, prejudice, bigoted, self-righteous, etc. and I finally realized that his actions were not directed at any one gender or race, it was that he hated everyone. It didn't matter what color or creed, he was so cynical that everyone was a liar, everyone deserved to be treated as such. He didn't hate someone because they were black, red, yellow, he hated PEOPLE as a whole. It was the human race that he despised because he dealt with nothing but the bottom feeders of society to such an extent that people that weren't lying or criminals still buzzed his "hinky" meter. It was quite a revelation for me. What's funny is, that he would have been fascinated with SA and he would have been a good student and actually used it, BUT in the end, if his hinky meter was buzzing, he would have thrown SA out the window and went with what he thought was right. Your point about LE was on point in my experience.

Pisces Dreamer said...


A young woman began beauty school, and did not return for her second day. Her car was found at a venue in the vicinity.

This article contains a few short quotes from her fiancé.

Deanne Hastings hasn't been seen since Wednesday at noon on surveillance video at the Latah Trading Company Store off of Highway 195.

"She was excited for life, a new beginning, that's what she was here for," explained Siobhan Brown, Admissions Director at Glen Dow Beauty Academy.

Deanne had her first day of beauty school the day before she was last seen. She never showed up on day 2.

"Everyone here is really concerned, worried, and also confused," said Brown.

Deanne's fiance, Mike Tibbets, has been searching for her. He found her car on Tuesday night in the parking lot across from the Knitting Factory in downtown Spokane. In it was her purse and phone.

"She didn't take any clothes with her, no makeup, she didn't take anything," he explained.

"Her whole life is at this whole new beginning mark and hopefully it's not ripped away from her," said Brown.

"I think the worst things, but I hope not," said Tibbets.

If you have any information about where Deanne Hastings, 35 years old, may be, you should call the police, or Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anonymous Pisces Dreamer's OT.

"She was excited for life, a new beginning, that's what she was here for," explained Siobhan Brown, Admissions Director at Glen Dow Beauty Academy.

This is interesting (past tense)

Is this in response to a question?
Has she entered into the language of others?
Was the question (if there was one) phrased in the past tense?.
Ie. Q: What was she like? If so, i think the past tense reference is applicable?

Anonymous said...

foolsfeedonfolly on Nov 9th at 11:43

You are right. I recently lost my son and I could barely make myself eat, feeling guilty that my child could no longer enjoy a meal. It's been 4 months now and I still feel guilty if I have a day without crying and grieving.

A mom who rushes out to purchase something rather than spend that money on their child's funeral is very unexpected. As a grieving mother, I know (and funeral homes thrive) on the fact that a parent, child, or other close family member will want the best they can possibly afford for their loved one when it comes to a funeral and burial.

I just can't see where the car would fit into any mother's scenario.


Anonymous said...

Man files complaint after being sexually assaulted by women in a gas station and later was bashed on social media for doing so though he feared for his life:

Unknown said...


I'm so sorry for your loss. I pray you can find peace, and comfort in your grief.

Big hugs, Jen

Anonymous said...


From Retraction Watch: Can linguistic patterns identify data cheats?

Nadine Lumley said...

Moot not mute I feel