Monday, June 15, 2020

Allegation: Facebook Account Hacked

A man alleged to police that  his Facebook account was hacked and the hacker (s) left many racist posts/comments. 

Police will ask him if he knows who did it.  They will ask him if he wrote them.  The investigation begins in a small circular fashion and moves increasingly outward. 

Police would not begin with 300,000,000 possible Facebook users, but start with the subject, his family, friends, and, in context, on to his political enemies.  

If you were accused of writing racist posts, what would you say?

What do we expect someone to say?

"I didn't write these posts" is a good place to start.  

This has the three components of a reliable denial:

1. The psychological presence in the pronoun "I"

2. The past tense verb "didn't" --after all, it is something that has already taken place. 

3. The allegation answered, rather than avoided.  The word "these" indicates closeness while the word "those" indicate distance. 

To consider which is appropriate, we need context.  

If the event has just happened, "these" is appropriate. It is, after all, an invasion into one's personal writing and is upsetting. 

 Given more time, the subject may feel more psychological distance and use the word "those."  

Facebook is where one often posts personal photos and information, giving it a sense of ownership, which is why such an intrusion as hacking (breaking into) may be very psychologically close ("these") to the subject.  It is, in this sense, an invasion where one may experience emotional distress----especially if the innocent subject does not want to be seen as "racist" in today's media driven hysteria.  

Also, distancing could be found in "those" due to something illegal or perverse, such as child pornography.  It can be something so disdained that the subject may even feel that his Facebook account is no longer his own. 

Analysts must use care when gauging distance. 


What did the subject respond with?

We expect the reliable denial which could include a possible unnecessary moralizing and/or denial of racism, due to the current climate of accusations.  

"I didn't write those racist posts" could be followed by the unnecessary "I am not a racist..." due to context.  

This would not, by itself, nullify the denial.  

“I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear that my Facebook account had been ghosted and other accounts had been hacked and used to make racist and negative comments."

Thomas Moerelli, deputy mayor of Brewer, Maine 

I was deeply shocked and saddened 

Beginning with the pronoun "I", the subject signals that he is psychologically present here. Even if he has deception, it is likely that we will find reliable information in his statement. 

Next note his two emotions:

a. "deeply shocked" 

b. "saddened"

A hacking is a bit shocking, and I believe him that he is "sad" for some reason. 

This is his priority:  his emotional response. 

After all, wouldn't any "good person" be "deeply shocked" and "saddened" by racial insults posted by a hacker on his Facebook account? 

Yet we prefer him to tell us that he did not write them and, perhaps, that he does not know who did. 

Why is being "deeply shocked" so important to him that it is his priority sentence?  What has made him "saddened"?

was deeply shocked and saddened to hear 

He "heard" that his Facebook account was hacked?  Did police tell him? Did he not see it for himself? Who told him? How did he "hear" this? 

that my Facebook account had been ghosted 

I have used the word "hacked" because that is when another person gains access to his account to write the racist posts. 

He does not. 

He uses "ghosted"--

What is "ghosted"?

To be "ghosted" is to be made to disappear, be unseen (like a ghost), to be reduced to being irrelevant.  

"I was texting this girl I dated when she ghosted me..." meaning that she no longer answered him, (blocked him, muted him) and made him irrelevant. 

Analysis:  Our subject, thus far,  has not denied writing the posts, therefore, we cannot say it for him.

Our subject perceives himself in need of relevancy.  He likely believes himself "ghosted" personally and/or professionally.  

and other accounts had been hacked 

He then refuses to be psychologically "alone" with his claim of being "ghosted":

a. "other" separates his Facebook account from those that "had" been "hacked"---

His is unique. 

b.  "accounts" is plural.  (he may have a "ghost" or anonymous account) 

and used to make racist and negative comments."

Here we have a sense of passivity--- he does not claim to have been hacked and does not declare that whoever hacked him is a "thief, criminal, racist" (and so on). 

This is the "Linguistic Disposition"--- or how he uses words to describe his reaction to the racist hacker. 

Note that I used "racist hacker" but he did not.  

The expectation is that he will hold a "Negative Linguistic Disposition" to the person or persons who broke into his account, and made it appear that he wrote these racist posts and/or comments. 

He is neutral in his disposition towards the writer or writers of the racist posts and/or comments on his broken into Facebook page. 

Analysts label this a "negative." 

Why is this?


We are able to identify authors of anonymous threatening letters by employing this technique. 

We know that authors of "fake hate" will be reluctant to condemn themselves.  When they go negative, they often do so lightly. 

"Dear African-American family..." is not the language of the KKK.  In this case, the author wrote a polite and congenial letter to herself and her family, only to report to the police that they were "victims" of "hate." 

Authors of "fake hate" are similar to fraudulent crime scams: they  are not comfortable condemning themselves. 

"The gentleman placed the gun in my back and asked me for cash..." 

The robber didn't "stick" a gun in his back and "demand" money...

Analysis Conclusion:

The author did not deny writing the racist posts and/or comments.  

If he doesn't say it, we don't say it. 

He has a neutral linguistic disposition towards the author of the posts when it should be negative. 

His priority is his own emotion. 

 We should wonder if he likes and has favorable feelings towards the author. 

The author seeks relevancy in a climate of media induced racism. He is "ghosted" ---perhaps more deeply in life than just his political position. 

Shortly after this, he confessed and apologized for making the racist posts. 

If you wish to study deception detection, visit Hyatt Analysis Services. 

We offer both at-home courses as well as seminars for law enforcement, military, intelligence and private citizens.  


Nadine Lumley said...

Surprise ending.

This was a good one... thx.


frommindtomatter said...

Yes, it’s interesting his account was “ghosted” as opposed to “hacked”. His words reveal there is a difference between those two things as he needs to separate them. We know for an account to be hacked there must be a hacker, and we know a hacker is a person/ human being. For his account to be “ghosted” it follows that there must be a ghost in order to do so. By using ghost he avoids having to identify who did it, he doesn’t need to say hacker. He alludes to it being paranormal activity which is responsible for the FB posts. In essence he is saying it is unexplainable. He can say others were hacked, but he can’t/wont say he was. This shows sensitivity in regards to who made the posts on his account.


Asena said...

Thanks Peter, this analysis is really helpful!

I was wondering, why is his account "ghosted" while others' accounts are "hacked"? That change of language seems to drive a wedge right through the centre of his statement, separating it into two superficially related but discrete topics:

1) “I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear that my Facebook account had been ghosted"

"and" (a word which Alfred Whitehead calls a "nest of ambiguity")

2) "other accounts had been hacked and used to make racist and negative comments."

It's almost like saying "I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear that my cat accidentally starved to death, and other cats had been run over by careless drivers".

Also, you mentioned relevancy. I wonder, could it be that posting racist comments online is seeking attention / seeking to make oneself relevant (as though any attention is better than no attention), and that 'ghosted' describes the experience of 'fading' into apologetic irrelevance after having one's balloon irreverently burst (say, when one expected to be supported, celebrated, or just acknowledged in some way?).

~ Aydin

BallBounces said... 20 seconds. Enjoy!

Sharon said...

Off topic:

Chris D'Elia on Wednesday denied multiple claims of sexual misconduct which were posted by alleged victims on social media. The 40-year-old comic and actor has been accused of sexually harassing underaged girls.

“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point,” D’Elia told TMZ. Multiple requests for comment from both D'Elia's manager and agent were not returned to The Hollywood Reporter.

The allegations began piling up this week after one alleged victim claimed that the Netflix series You actor once asked her for nude pictures, knowing that she was underaged. She included snapshots of the emails allegedly from D'Elia. Other alleged victims who accused D'Elia of grooming also shared snapshots of conversations they claimed were with the comic in which he sexually harassed them.

D’Elia responded to the claims on social media in a statement to TMZ that says, "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me. That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better."
-The Hollywood Reporter.

Anonymous said...

Would you say this is genuine:

frommindtomatter said...

Off topic: Chris D'Elia

Thanks for posting it Sharon.

“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never [knowingly pursued] any underage women at any point,”

When a strong denial can be made then a person will make it. From the above statement the denial is made with the words “I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point”. A stronger statement would have been, “I have never pursued underage women”. We note that is something he cannot / will not say.

“I have [never] [knowingly pursued]”

Here he qualifies the word “pursued” (chased after) with the word “knowingly” which weakens his statement. His statement when taken literally says - I have pursued underage women, but never knowingly. This in itself is an admission. The word “never” is unreliable. If he had addressed his accusers directly and said “I didn’t know they were underage” his denial would have credibility, but he didn’t say that.

I have [never] [knowingly pursued] any underage [women] [at any point]”

By using “never” he is speaking to time (not ever), and that tells us he is thinking about time while making his denial. At the end of his statement he adds a second time reference, “at any point”, which shows he needs to double down on “never”. This shows time is sensitive to him in regards to the allegations. By saying “at any point” he is breaking time up into multiple points. When you have “never” done something there aren’t any points to break up as never covers everything. This suggests he is thinking of specific points in time in relation to the allegations.

The allegations are made by known individuals yet he fails to address them directly in his denial. He speaks of “underage women” which allows him to distance himself from his actual accusers.

When someone is accused of something they have not done we expect strong denials addressing the accusations made against them directly. People can also become angry and call out their accusers branding them liars etc… We dont dont see that here.


Anonymous said...

Peter, please tell us your thoughts on Suzanne Morphew, missing in Colorado since Mother's Day 2020. A neighbor reported her missing. Other than a very short Youtube he published (a week after she disappeared) this is the only interview I'm aware of with Suzanne's husband, Barry, approximately two weeks into the search. Strange case imo.

Mara D said...

A "ghosted" account is stating that someone stole your identity and created a fake Facebook account. Facebook would be able to verify if that were true - there would be 2 accounts, the original and the fake, both with different IP addresses as the "fake" person would be accessing the account from elsewhere.

Sharon said...

Thank you Adrian for the analysis. One of the things that interested me about Chris D'Elia's statement was the change in language. He first says "underage WOMEN." Then he says "the PEOPLE who have tweeted about me." When they were minors, they were WOMEN to him--not children, but fully eligible objects for a sexual relationship. Now that they are adults, they are unsexed.

"...let myself get caught up in my lifestyle." He says "my lifestyle" in the context of accusations of pedophilia. This is "my" lifestyle. He takes ownership of it. And he "let myself get caught." And for that he's really, very truly sorry.

New England Water Blog said...

This was an ugly moment that deserves analysis by the capable folks here.

“I just want people to know the real story of really what happened and what’s in the description of me and my brother just walking into Macy’s just minding our own business,” the 22-year-old rapper said.

“And, yes, we made a petty joke and asked the guy was the shirt too little when he could’ve asked me. He was just being funny,” Quay said. “And just the fact of the remark that he said that we all heard. And just, what else were we supposed to do? In this age and time, he didn’t know what else to do. That was just his instinct.”

frommindtomatter said...

I think his use of “underage women” and then later “people” are attempts to distance himself from his accusers. He will not address them directly. He says what he can say, but it is what he can’t say which speaks more. If he could say “I don’t know any of these women”, then it is expected he would. By failing to do so it suggests he does know them. He can say –

“All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me.”

That does not deny that he may have asked them for photos. He says “exchange” which means giving and receiving, so technically if he had only sent or only received he would be being truthful by using exchange. His words do not deny that he may have pestered or harassed them via text or social media etc…

He won’t say he doesn’t know them or that they are liars. He won’t deny that he has harassed or pursued them directly; instead he speaks in more general terms of “underage women” and “people”. When he says “All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual” he again avoids directly addressing his accusers. Later he said-

“That being said, I really am truly [sorry]”

People only apologise when they believe they have done something wrong.


Anonymous said...

Actor Ansel Elgort, best know for the movie "Baby Driver," has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old 6 years ago by the apparent victim via a recent tweet.
He has made a statement about it on his instagram page. The word NEVER stuck out.
I stopped believing he was innocent when I read that he wrote "I have never and would never assault someone."
Plenty of other issues with his statement but that stands out.
Sure dude, so convincing.

frommindtomatter said...

New England Water Blog said...

"This was an ugly moment..."

We have context in the form of the video. The speaker has filmed his brother beating a store employee in what many will view as a vicious and unprovoked attack. He later posted the video on FB, and after his comment he added the tag “#blackpower”. Due to his actions and the tag he has given the video, it is hard to do analysis of his statement working from the presupposition of innocence. It is painful to think what the victims’ family members are feeling after seeing what happened to their loved one.

In terms of analysis one can start by counting the number of uses of the word “just”. Its vast usage signals a great need to minimise actions, which raises an immediate red flag.

“just walking into Macy’s” – “just minding our own business” - was just being funny” – “just the fact” etc..

“the real story of really what happened”

A truthful person can only tell us “what happened”, if they add or remove information from their account it ceases to be accurate. Here the speaker shows sensitivity to what happened, and it is manifested in his need to convince. Only the first statement is needed below, by the time you reach the third one it can be seen just how much effort is being put in to convince the listener.

“want people to know what happened”

“want people to know the [real story] of what happened”

“want people to know the [real story] of [really] what happened”

Follow the pronouns in the second part of the statement and you will see they don’t add up.

“And, yes, [we] made a [petty] joke and asked the guy was the shirt too little when [he] could’ve asked me. [He] was just being funny”

“And” – at the beginning of a sentence reveals missed out information prior to its usage. See it like someone telling you something and then suddenly pausing a few seconds, then restarting their statement with the word “and”. That would seem strange to most who were listening. The bit before “and” was something they didn’t want to reveal to you so they had to leave a blank in its place. Here we don’t perceive the blank by a strange silence, but we realise that the person has skipped passed the sensitive information due to starting the sentence with “and”. The word “and” is used to add information, so when someone starts a sentence with “and”, we start thinking what is it they are adding to.

“yes” – this is an admission. It is followed by the pronoun “we” which speaks to an action made unison, in context this would be both brothers. He says “we made a [petty] joke”. Note the qualifier “petty”, which seeks to minimise the joke. Add it to all the uses of “just” throughout the statement.

He tells us “we made a petty joke” to the guy “when he could have asked me”. This doesn’t fit as it should be “[he] made a petty joke with the guy when [he] could have asked me”. We know they did something together which is being minimised as a “petty joke”. We also know before this joke there is missing information and an admission to something.

In conclusion the language suggests the attack was probably pre-planned to some extent. It was mostly likely discussed prior to it happening. The attack was ready to film it and then uploaded to FB with hash tag #blackpower.


New England Water Blog said...

Thank you Adrian for your excellent analysis.

SmokeyBear said...

Does anyone have thoughts on the case of Huugo Boateng ( the child in the UK who claims that a plainclothes police officer aggressively tackled him while he was cycling). He and his father just gave an interview to Sky news - it lacked conviction, to say the least.

John Mc Gowan said...


Althea Bernstein emotionally talks being set on fire by white men in racist attack

“I’m very, very hopeful these men sort of see all the responses and they know that they hurt me,” she said.

Althea Bernstein is sharing details about her experience after she was reportedly set on fire by four white men in what authorities are investigating as a hate crime. In a virtual interview with “Good Morning America,” the 18-year-old EMT says she doesn’t remember much about the June 24 incident.

“Once it happened, I don’t even remember anything, but your brain still has that fight or flight response that takes care of you. So, I made it home, I called my mom, I drove myself to the ER,” she said.

Bernstein says that she wishes she could remember more of what happened that day, but hopes the local police can figure it out.

I’m very, very hopeful these men sort of see all the responses and they know that they hurt me,” she continued. “This is something that’s going to affect me for a while and I really hope that they choose to improve themselves.”

Watch her interview here: in link provide.

On Wednesday, Bernstein was reportedly attacked by four white men while she sat in her car at a stoplight. The men allegedly called her the N-word then threw lighter fluid and a lighter at her.

“I was listening to some music at a stoplight and then all of a sudden I heard someone yell the N-word really loud,” she told Madison 365. “I turned my head to look and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me. And then they threw a lighter at me and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out, but I brushed it up onto my face. I got it out and then I just blasted through the red light... I just felt like I needed to get away. So, I drove through the red light and just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home].”

The suspects sprayed the lighter fluid on the victim with a spray bottle. Police are currently investigating the occurrence as a hate crime. They are reviewing surveillance from the area to see if the attack was caught on camera. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or online at

John Mc Gowan said...


Wouldnt her face be blistered? They look like carpet burns. (friction)

Anonymous said...

@ John Mc Gowan

So much content in such a small sample.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anon @ 3:49, indeed

My LT has broken,. I would love to have a ago analysing her statement. Trying to do it on my phone is a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

My name is Miranda Savage Pacchiana and I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. My older brother, Adam Savage sexually assaulted me repeatedly over the course of several years, starting when I was seven years old.

As a child, this experience shook my sense of safety and crushed my self-confidence. For decades afterward, I dealt with periods of depression and near-constant anxiety. These symptoms interfered with all aspects of my life, stunting my career aspirations, and robbing me of countless simple pleasures. In my mid-twenties, I sought treatment for the abuse and so began a long, arduous process of working to address the emotional impact of my trauma.

I last made contact with my brother, Adam Savage, over two decades ago. At the time, I called him out for his callous attitude about the abuse and his apparent disregard for the damage he had caused, but he chose not to acknowledge or show any compassion for my pain. Not once in the ensuing years have I seen evidence that my brother cares to truly understand what he did to me. He gives me no reason to believe that he has meaningfully examined whatever compelled him to commit sexual crimes as a minor.

But now, because of the NY Child Victims Act, I finally have the opportunity to pursue justice for the crimes my brother committed against me. While nothing can give back what Adam Savage took from me, I hope this lawsuit will also demonstrate to my fellow survivors that we do not deserve to carry the shame of sexual abuse and assault.

I will never wake up one morning and stop being a survivor of child rape. I will always feel the impact of my brother’s abuse, including trust issues and nightmares that I live with to this day. What I hope to change, standing alongside so many other brave survivors, is to initiate an honest look at the epidemic of sexual abuse.

At least one in 6 boys and one in 4 girls will be sexually abused before age 18. We must do a better job of protecting children, starting by holding more abusers accountable. This happened to me. Statistically, it happened to someone you know. Maybe even someone in your family. It’s time to tell.

That is why I’m here today. The public needs to know that Adam Savage sexually abused me when I was a child, as set forth in the lawsuit that I have finally been able to bring after all of these years. As a survivor and advocate for victims, I am determined to shine a light on the truth. Thank you.

Did anyone read this? In its Form it seems very reliable to me. The denial of the Brother does Not....

Anonymous said...

re. Althea Bernstein

There really is a trove of deception in her words.
After returning numerous times to these quotes, I still consider them epic in their content.

Some quick thoughts:

Her linguistic disposition towards her attackers appears neutral to positive (someone, somebody, they), hoping only that they 'know that they hurt' her, and 'improve themselves', but not be caught or punished.

'I turned my head to look' instead of 'I turned to look'
Is her head position sensitive to the acusation?

'Throwing' seems to have sensitivity.

'and then' [x2], 'all of a sudden', 'i just'[x2], and 'so,'[x2]

Specifically there is sensitivity towards running the red light (repeated mention), which I personally conclude is the real issue here.
If I had to hazard a guess, possibly a flaming sambucca fail, she drove through a red light and needed a contemporary excuse (for instagram).

John Mc Gowan said...

Anon @5:12

Yes, lots of temporal lacunae.

LuciaD said...

“This will affect me for a while”, well that is pretty mild for someone who was called a racial slur and set on fire. I think an attack like that would affect her for the rest of her life. I wonder if she was able to give police any descriptions of these men?

Anonymous said...

"Four typical white Madison Frat boys" is the quote she apparently gave, "in Hawaiian shirts".

I'm surprised it wasn't "three".

Anonymous said...

"classic Wisconsin frat boys"

frommindtomatter said...

OT Althea Bernstein

What is strong is she psychologically commits to her words with multiple uses of the pronoun “I” throughout her statement. There should be reliable information in the words that follow. Can this inforamtion reveal more to the reader?

“I was listening to some music at a stoplight”

This is where she begins her account. Notice she doesn’t say she “was waiting at a stoplight” or stopped at a red light” etc… Her focus is on “listening to some music”. This is important enough that she feels she needs to include it in her statement as a priority. She lists her actions over her location. This is worth considering as she may well have had music on in her vehicle, but may have been doing something else she doesn’t want to mention. She wants the listener to know what she was doing as priority.

Her weakness is in her passivity when describing her attacker/s. It is alleged there were four white males involved. Here we see she fails to identify them by gender or race – “[somebody’s] throwing lighter fluid on me” – “And then [they] threw a lighter at me”. The use of “they” is generally used to describe more than one person. This would be a problem as only one person could have thrown the lighter. Here I expect the pronoun “he” connected to that statement, but it is missing.

One could question how she knew it was “lighter fluid” being thrown at her. In an account from memory the expected would be “they were throwing a [liquid] at me”. I read that at the hospital they told her it was most likely lighter fluid, so if her statement was made after her visit to hospital that would provide a way she could have knowledge of it.


John Mc Gowan said...

I turned my head to look and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me. And then
(What happened in between)

they threw a lighter at me and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out, but I brushed it up onto my face.
The natural responce is to brush down and away. I got it out and then (more missing time) I just blasted through the red light... I just felt like I needed to get away. So, I drove through the red light and just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home].”

frommindtomatter said...

I got it out and [then] I [just] blasted through the red light... I [just] felt like I needed to get away. [So], I drove through the red light and [just] kept driving until I got to my brother’s home.”

She says she went through the red light twice. This causes out of sequence problems with her statement. She can only go through the light once. There is a change in language also from “blasted” to “drove”.


Anonymous said...

How did the lighter keep the flame if it was thrown?

frommindtomatter said...

Anonymous said...

“How did the lighter keep the flame if it was thrown?”

The metal Zippo brand of lighter will stay lit till the lid is closed on them. They run on lighter fuel and have a sponge like material in the bottom of them which soaks up and stores the fuel. There is a wick connected to the sponge so they function like a paraffin lamp.

That could account for it, but if that was the case it is expected the lighter would be in the car with her. They are quite heavy and it would have stayed lit and probably set fire/burned wherever it landed until it was put out by shutting the lid which starves the flame of oxygen.

That would be a good thing for Police to investigate. Where is the alleged lighter and what damage was done to the vehicle. Also I would imagine a lighter would be a good source of DNA and in the case of a Zippo (they are quite big) possible fingerprint/s.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Adrian. Interesting that the statement says she was listening to music at a stoplight, (not that she was stopped), then states that she both drove and blasted THROUGH the light as you pointed out. If she was stopped, wouldn't we expect her to say that she drove away before the light turned green or that she drove off immediately?

Mm said...

Baby reported missing

My baby Oakland. I’m praying that whoever has you, is holding you. That whoever has taken you from me, is protecting you. That however has you, let’s you come back into my arms. I love you Oakland. I can’t wait to one day hold you again. My heart is broken. I am broken. To be clear, Oakland is alive, we think. But we don’t know. I have a one month old child, and I don’t know where she is. ATTN: my amazing ex wife Corrie has NOTHING to do with this. Please leave her alone.
3 h

frommindtomatter said...

Anonymous @ July 2, 2020 at 9:14 PM

I think her initial use of “blasted through the red light” could be deemed as appropriate language. The word “blasted” can be used in quite few ways, and one would be to blast off (like a rocket), which would fit in with her story at that point.

The problem I have with this case is the there are differing media reports on it which make it difficult to get an accurate overall picture of what happened. There are couple of reports which say:

“A group of white men yelling racial slurs pulled up in a car next to a Black woman driver in Wisconsin”

And later in the same articles say:

“She described her assailants as looking “like classic Wisconsin frat boys” with two of them “wearing jeans and a floral shirt.”

Were they in a car or on foot? In her statement she doesn’t say.


Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Trying my hand at this... Part One

I was listening to some music at a stoplight and then all of a sudden I heard someone yell the N-word really loud,” she told Madison 365. “I turned my head to look and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me. And then they threw a lighter at me and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out, but I brushed it up onto my face. I got it out and then I just blasted through the red light... I just felt like I needed to get away. So, I drove through the red light and just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home].”

I- strong verbal commitment

was listening- appropriate past tense

I was listening to some music at a stoplight- Since someone setting you on fire is a very personal, significant, life-altering event, I would expect to hear “at the stoplight” (or even “at the stoplight on [name of street] or “at the stoplight by [nearest landmark building])…not “a stoplight”.

and then all of the sudden I heard- sounds like story telling (seems like NTP that this was a sudden unexpected event?)

I heard-appropriate past tense

someone yell- appropriate in context, if you’re stopped at a light, you may not know the gender or identity of someone yelling

the N-word really loud- really loud seems unnecessary because she’s already told us she’s listening to music at a stoplight. How loud was her music? How loud was her music that she could hear someone yell one word?

I -strong verbal commitment

I turned my head to look-appropriate use of past tense, but it’s natural to look when someone unexpectedly yells. Why does she need to tell us what is otherwise a normal human response?

I turned my head to look and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me- She’s listening to music at a stoplight, someone yells the N-word, she turns her head to look…but doesn’t recount seeing anyone (male or female). Linguistically, “somebody” magically appears out of thin air," throwing lighter fluid on her”. Yet she has not stated she saw anyone, much less that anyone was standing near or next to her car (near enough to throw anything on her). She has not stated that her window is down either.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Part Two....

And someone’s throwing lighter fluid on me- if somebody is close enough to your car (and you) to throw anything on you (or at you), they’re close enough for you to see if the person is male or female. If you’re black and someone’s yelled the N-word and close enough to your car or you to throw anything on you (or at you), they’re close enough to see if the person is male or female. You’re definitely going to know because your life in endangered, specifically because of your color (heightened fight or flight). She is unwilling to verbally commit (very unexpected normally, heightened sensitivity as she’s implying this a racially-motivate attack). Why would you conceal the gender of a person attacking you?

somebody’s throwing- change in verb tense from past tense to present participle. She’s already demonstrated that she knows how to correctly use past tense. If she’s working from experiential memory, this part of her account should be past tense (and [a man/woman/guy/girl/male/female/he/she] threw
lighter fluid- How did she know the substance was lighter fluid? Did she see a container with lighter fluid labelling?

And then- time break, a pause in the narrative

They threw-inappropriate change in pronoun from someone (singular) to they (plural)

They threw a lighter at me- Again, she does not linguistically place anyone standing near or next to her car (nor near enough to throw anything on or at her). Where is “somebody” or “they”?

They threw a lighter at me- appropriate use of past tense, making the earlier “somebody’s throwing” (present participle) very sensitive. “They” is ambiguous like “somebody”. If a person is close enough to throw things on you and at you, he/she is close enough for you to see the person is male or female. Again, she is unwilling to verbally commit (very unexpected, given the context of implying this is a racially motivated attack against her and she’s allegedly been doused with lighter fluid). Why would you conceal the gender of a person/ or persons attacking you?

and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out,-appropriate use of past tense. I would expect the hair around her temple, cheek, neck to be singed, if not burned.

but I brushed it up onto my face- appropriate use of past tense. Again, I would expect the hair around her temple, cheek, neck to be singed, if not burned. Given how easily human hair burns (and most African American hair is notoriously dry and breaks easily), it is surprising her hair didn’t catch on fire, being that lighter fluid is incredibly flammable.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Part Three...

I got it out- How? Unexpected lack of details when you’re on fire in a gasoline-fueled vehicle, with a running motor. Strong verbal commitment with “I” and appropriate use of past tense.

and then I just blasted through the red light- Then seems like story-telling language. Strong verbal commitment with “I”, but weakened with “just blasted” (“just” is an unnecessary word; you either blasted through the light or you didn’t). Blasted is an interesting word choice, given that she began her account with her listening to music. Appropriate use of past tense. Also, “a stoplight” is now “the red light”. The “somebody” and the “they” linguistically disappeared from her account. Did the “somebody" and “they” walk away, drive away, run away?

I just felt like I needed to get away- Strong verbal commitment with “I”; weakened immediately by “just”, weakened more so by “felt like”, weakened even further by “I needed to get away”. The expected is that anyone being set on fire by someone attacking them would flee. Who wouldn’t be trying to get away? But she has a need a tell us this…except she feels the need to explain why she’s leaving (definitely unexpected in the context and especially in the context of an implied hate crime against her).

So, I drove through the red light- Unexpected that she needs to explain.

And just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home]”- Unnecessary words “just kept”. Why not the shorter “and drove to my brother’s [home]”? She either drove directly to her brother’s home or she did not; “just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home] causes me to question if she drove elsewhere before driving to her brother’s or if she drove some, stopped for some reason, and then continued on to her brother’s. It sounds like she wants the listener to believe she drove directly to her brother's, but won't commit to that. Why? To create a false sense of urgency?

John Mc Gowan said...

Bernstein told Good Morning America she hasn't slept or eaten much since the incident: "Once it happened, I don't even remember anything, but your brain still has that fight or flight response that takes care of you. So I made it home, I called my mom, I drove myself to the ER."

She suffered second- and third-degree burns and will need additional medical care. "It’s definitely a learning opportunity and I’m very very hopeful that these men sort of see all the responses and that they know they hurt me and that this is something that’s going to affect me for a while," Bernstein said on GMA. "I really hope that they choose to improve themselves."

Note what's said in the negative.
Note what she tells us what she doesn't remember.
Note her soft language.
Note her pronoun "your"
Note her favourable linguistic Disposition towards her attacker's.
Note she tells us she drove home but previously she said she drove to her brothers.
Note she feels the need to say she drove herself to ER using the unnecessary word "myself".
Note this is very personal and a traumatic event yet it will only affect her for a while.

She is withholding information about what happened if it happened at all in the circumstances she has explained.

John Mc Gowan said...

MADISON (WKOW) -- While waiting for a green light at the intersection of Gorham and State street, 18-year-old Althea Bernstein says four white men called her a racial slur, before attacking her, and setting her on fire with lighter fluid.

"I never thought something like this would happen," Bernstein said.

Berstein suffered second and third-degree burns on the side of her face. Madison police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime and reviewing surveillance footage from the area where it happened.

For now, Bernstein is recovering at home and said she's thankful for the support she's gotten from the community.

People have been coming from all over and everywhere, to take care of me and to take care of my family," Bernstein said. "People have been dropping off flowers and there's some nice chalk in front of our house," she said.

Out of a horrible situation, Bernstein said she's thankful this happened to her, and not someone who's older and more vulnerable. She said she has support from family and friends, and healthcare -- something many people don't have.

But still, change is needed. As racial tensions rise across the country, Bernstein is encouraging people everywhere to speak up and use their voices to make real change.

"I think the most important thing is to vote and make sure you are voting for people that are supporting what you want," she said.

So catching her alleged attackers is not as important.

"Again, it's 2020 and I never thought something like this would happen."

frommindtomatter said...

This is a link to the Incident report.


frommindtomatter said...

@ Foolsfeedonfolly

Good analysis and observations, I enjoyed reading it.


elf said...

Another day, another fake hate crime.

ima.grandma said...

Hi y’all. Some days are better than others elf. Today is a good day.

Hey Jude said...

“Once it happened, I don’t even remember anything, but your brain still has that fight or flight response that takes care of you. So, I made it home, I called my mom, I drove myself to the ER,”

This sentence is a quick summary and passing over of events, which omits or avoids the incident. There is distancing language with regard to the fight or flight response. The subject says that “once it happened”, she doesn’t even remember anything - so is there something she remembers before “it happened” which might also have been part of the story?

“So I made it home.” The reason she made it home (so) is due to the fight or flight response, but as she has distanced herself from that response, that ‘s not necessarily what enabled her to make it home. That she “made it” home is to suggest difficulty or effort, yet she does not say she called the police as soon as she made it home, rather she called her mom. Only after she has driven home and called her mom does she seek medical attention. Was she intending to seek medical attention, or did she only go to the hospital on the insistence of her mother?

“I’m very, very hopeful these men sort of see all the responses and they know that they hurt me,” she said.

The subject is enthusiastic - “l’m very, very hopeful” - but her enthusiasm immediately wanes as she only wants “these men to sort of see all the responses and they know they hurt me.” One either sees something, or one does not - but her hope is that they will only “sort of see”. She lacks commitment to that for which she says she is hopeful.

“-and they know that they hurt me.” If someone threw lighter fluid and a lit lighter at a person who was waiting at a traffic light, they wouldn’t and shouldn’t need to see “all the responses” in order to know that they had hurt that person.

“Hurt” is an interesting choice - why not injured” or “burned”? The language is very soft in relation to the alleged attackers.

Although it comes later, her priority may be “all the responses”. I think, due to her enthusiasm here that the responses to the story are of most interest to her. She’s not really interested in the alleged attackers seeing the responses, though (they can’t sort of see them if they don’t sort of exist.)

“This is something that’s going to affect me for a while and I really hope that they choose to improve themselves.”

Curiously, the subject does not hope that the dangerous gang will choose to turn themselves in, or that they are identified and arrested soon, rather she hopes they “choose to improve themselves.” Her hope is maybe intended as a demonstration of compassion and moral superiority, but in the circumstances, it seems

Hey Jude said...

disingenuous - it is too mild. Maybe there is some projection, and she hopes to improve herself, as she could be affected for a while, not only by the injuries, but if she made up the hate crime.

“I was listening to some music at a stoplight and then all of a sudden I heard someone yell the N-word really loud, I turned my head to look and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me. And then they threw a lighter at me and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out, but I brushed it up onto my face. I got it out and then I just blasted through the red light... I just felt like I needed to get away. So, I drove through the red light and just kept driving until I got to my brother’s [home].”

Now, she does remember what happened. There is some need to explain - she was listening to music, yet heard the N word due to the really loud yell. She identifies the fluid as lighter fluid, though it is unlikely she would have identified it as such in the moment . As she is recollecting, she might be more expected to say that one of them threw liquid at her, which was later identified as lighter fluid.

Pronouns relating to the attackers are “someone”, “somebody”, and “they” - it was “they” who threw the lighter at her. Is this a plural “they”, or a gender neutral singular “they”? If the former, did two or more hold and throw the lighter in unison, and if the latter, is she maybe unexpectedly polite toward a rampaging thug already identified as one of a number of men? The pronouns are inconsistent, and “they” can’t throw one small item, at least not if “they” are a plural. (I do not think the use of “they” as a gender fluid singular pronoun is instinctive, or comes very naturally to most people?)

The N word is yelled, but not at her - she does not say she was called that word. The lighter fluid and lighter are directed “on” and “at” her.

The subject avoids, “he” or “one of them” or “a man” - and there is no description.

“I just felt like I needed to get away.” - in the stated circumstances, she really should be no reason to explain why she left the traffic stop...yet, she does, almost apologetically; three times she mentions the stoplight or red light, which makes it very sensitive to her.

The subject’s quotes are extracted from John’s post - they may be edited and an incomplete interview.


Most notable is the subject’s avoidance of calling police, her positive linguistic disposition towards the alleged attackers, and her sensitivity regarding the stoplight/red light.

Due to the positive disposition, it could be asked - was the injury self-inflicted?
The red light is highly sensitive - was the story made up to justify jumping the red light? That would seem extreme - does she have lots of traffic offences, and one more would lose her her license? She called her mom, but didn’t say she called police and may not have intended to seek medical attention - she went home. Was the attack made up to explain away a traffic offence to her mom and or brother?
Who owned the car? Did her mom make her go to the hospital, and did the medical people, or her mom, encourage her to make a police report? Did she, herself, make a police report?


Hey Jude said...

Is she doing fake hate for publicity and fake hate’s sake? Her reasoning may be tortuous - does she court publicity and want people to believe she was attacked?. Is the red light sensitive because it is necessary to the narrative she has created? She says she wants her attackers to know they hurt her, but how wouldn’t they know that already? They may not know she was hurt if she had sped immediately away? Maybe they didn’t see her ignite - so she’s just raising awareness in the hope that they will see all the responses and improve themselves.... As fake hate goes, it’s weak - besides that somebody said the N word, she has nothing negative to say about her alleged attackers - also she doesn’t present the usual sermonising “agenda” associated with fake hate, so I wonder if that is actually secondary, and just seemed a convenient explanation, to her mother or brother, at the time, for why she had jumped the red light.

Does,she smoke? Did she accidentally or intentionally set herself alight - spraying scent, air freshener, hairspray, then lighting a cigarette? Did it maybe happen at her brother’s house?

It is fake hate, but as there is not the usual SJW sermonising, I wonder if that is more secondary, and invented to cover up something else, though it would seem extreme as a way round justifying jumping a red light.

Hey Jude said...

Generally, it seems a tall tale - Who, if they were inclined to throw a lighter at someone, would consider a Zippo disposable? Wouldn’t they be more likely to throw a lit match, or a rag, and not leave fingerprints, or their lighter as evidence? Lighter fluid is in a can with a tiny nozzle which is either squirted or depressed, rather than thrown or sprayed - plus a refillable type hardly needs refilling - the idea of someone carrying a can of lighter fluid around with them, or decanting it into an easy to throw or spray container, seems unlikely.

What happened to the lighter, and what type might it have been? A disposable needs to be depressed to stay ignited, and doesn’t need spare lighter fluid, so there is not much sense in the sound of it. The lighter, if there is one, would be part of the evidence - would be interesting to see it, or hear how it could not be in the evidence, if not.

When she said she got it out - was that the fire, or the lighter? I would put out a fire, and NOT get out the lighter - not out of the car then, not unless I didn’t know how to close and stop it burning. I think she meant she got out the fire as she didn’t say she stopped to find and close and/or throw out the lighter. Why not though? You would - you wouldn’t leave it burning your car upholstery or carpet while you drove to your brother or home - you’d have to stop, or throw out a flaming lighter, which would be worth a mention - yet she doesn’t say what happened to the lighter, or if she stopped it burning.

Whatever happened, I’m sure it wasn’t four white men throwing lighter fluid and a lighter at her.


The “victim” is receiving support from Meghan Markle - you couldn’t make it up, unless you could.

Tania Cadogan said...

Considering she was supposedly sprayed with lighter fluid, the marks on her face are minimal and is spread out locations rather than all over which is what would be expected from sprayed flammable liquid.
She is being deceptive.
This is just another black person creating a fake hate crime and blaming Trump indirectly.
Any bets she is a democrat supporter and possible activist?

John Mc Gowan said...

I never really knew someone could hate you just by looking at you… I was just driving my car and minding my own business.”

Here she wants us to believe all she was doing was "just driving" What else is she thinking about. It is a unnecessary word. The shortest sentence is the best. I was driving my car. She then says "minding my own business" This too, is unnecessary. Why does she feel the need to tell us this. She is anticipating being asked, what was you doing, to say this without being asked is sensitive.

So we have the word "just" combined with "minding my own business" suggest to me that she was doing something else but withholding what it is.

Habundia said...

"I didn't write these posts"

3. The allegation answered, rather than avoided. The word "these" indicates closeness while the word "those" indicate distance.

What if someone said 'I didn't wrote those posts?

Could this be distancing from these posts? As not the one who has written them?
Would it make the statement deceptive, because of not meeting the '3 point' reliable denial?

N said...

Warning- off topic but important - I can't find any talk or statement analysis on one of the biggest myateries / cases of 2020, Suzanne morphew, her husband Barry made a very clear statement himself on video and most people think he's guilty just on hunch alone, can someone please watch his video plea for his wife and explain if he is lying or not ?