Friday, January 12, 2018
Jules Woodson Sexual Assault Analyzed
Is Jules Woodson truthful in her claim of being sexually assaulted by Andy Savage?
Sexual assault is an intrusive and trauma producing event. Unprocessed, the damage can be life long. The consequence of sexual assault can range from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, all the way to suicide and suppressed immune systems with a body's inability to fight disease.
The language of sexual assault indicates this.
In Statement Analysis, most readers are familiar with the pronoun "we" in a statement.
Pronouns are used by us millions of times. We do not stop to think, "Hmm, should I use "we" or should I use "I"", we intuitively know what is accurate.
In sexual assault cases, we focus upon pronouns.
The victim will distance herself from the perpetrator once the assault has taken place. Where we see the word "we", which indicates unity and cooperation (closeness), after the reported assault, indicates deception.
Victims do not unite themselves, linguistically, with their abuser. On this blog there are many examples of both reliable and deceptive statements.
"We drove to the woods. He raped me, and then we drove back" is deceptive.
Once raped, the victim is hit was the intrusive, traumatic assault in the most sensitive and tender of her body. It is, in a sense, the worst "violation" possible. Here is what a reliable statement looks like:
"We drove to the woods. He raped me. He drove me to my house and I called police..."
In one of the Bill Cosby victim's analysis, we followed the "linguistic disposition" of the victim towards Cosby. It began with glowing, positive language, but once he sexually assaulted her, she linguistically, without planning, relegated him to "him" or "Cosby" as disgust was evident in her mind, as she worked from memory.
There is no unity between a victim and a sexual assaulter.
We use several exercises to show that pronouns are 100% accurate in detecting deception, with seminar participants. We begin by actually claiming that pronouns pre date speech!
Little children use the possessive pronoun ''my" instinctively with their hands, even before they can say "my."
They are used in Sexual Assault cases routinely but are invaluable for all analysis. One study estimates that 80% of cold case files contain a "confession by pronoun."
Here is the statement of Jules Woodson against Andy Savage. She was high school senior, and he was a college student. She is writing as an adult, looking back over what happened under the headline of reporting a sexual assault, inspired by Hollywood's #metoo popular wave.
One evening, in the early Spring of 1998, I was hanging out with my youth minister, Andy Savage, at my church, Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church located at 10801 Falconwing Drive. I was 17 years old at the time and a senior at The Woodlands High School. There had been multiple kids there at the church after school, but as the night got later I was the only student left, alone in the church with Andy. I did not have a vehicle at the church, so Andy offered to take me home to my Mom's house.
It is interesting to note the complete social introduction. It is also interesting to consider that she used the title, "minister" rather than what is commonly used, "youth pastor." The linguistic disposition towards him is both positive, yet formal.
A positive linguistic disposition is not a signal of deception when it occurs before the assault.
It was dark outside. As he was driving me towards my home, he passed the turn he should have made to go to my house. I asked him where he was going. I don't remember his exact response, but it was something along the lines of ‘you'll see’ or ‘it's a surprise.’ I know for sure he did not tell me where he was taking me. I remember feeling special and excited, as in my mind, he obviously wanted to spend more time with me before taking me home. I assumed we were going to get ice cream.
Here she gives indication of going into experiential memory. It is acceptable to struggle with some detail, especially given the years that have passed. Although we do not like to see someone report what they "do not remember" in an open statement, we note that she "rebuts" this with the word, "but" and gives a general description.
This is likely to be reliable.
She includes her emotions. This should not be considered "artificial placement" due to the lengthy passage of time.
We note her feeling of being "special" and "excited", with "special" as an indication of one unique, or separate from others.
She is consistent:
He turned onto a dirt road and continued to drive. There were trees all around. I could not see the main road anymore, from which he turned from. I asked what was back here. He told me they were building a church. I thought, maybe that’s what this was about, maybe he has some secret to tell me, like perhaps he was moving to another church.
Him telling a "secret to tell me" affirms the use of the word "special" as congruent. This is to continue to consistently report reliably.
We reached a dead end and he turned the truck around before putting it in park. We were stopped, and he turned the headlights off.
The use of the pronoun "we" is appropriate (congruent) with the language of unity. She felt special, privileged and was with someone she has a very close relationship with (via complete social introduction).
It is interesting here, however, to note the detail.
She includes the unnecessary language of "turned the headlights off."
It is up to her what to include and what to leave out: it is impossible for anyone to tell us everything; it would never end. The subject must, by necessity, edit her account.
Therefore, what is included is most important to her. If it is important to her, it is important to us.
Many years of research has shown that "lights" in a statement when unnecessary are often indications of sexual activity (including sexual thought/sexual environment/etc). They are in criminal and civil statements, and can often help guide us to learn more about what happened.
Lights turning "on" is sometimes equated with energy and a positive sexual experience. Lights going "off" when added unnecessarily to a statement, often indicate that the author/writer/subject is looking back and thinking of the sexual experience as negative.
In such context, we look not for criminal activity, but particularly for humiliation.
Humiliation is a powerful element in human nature. It is said to be the number one trigger for various responses, including criminal or revenge.
We find "lights off" in some false rape allegations where the accuser, once caught lying, admitted feeling humiliated or "left" by the accused.
Remember, this is an adult woman looking back and giving us linguistic indication that she is, thus far, working from experiential memory of what happened.
Objection: But isn't she giving a lot of "proofs" that she is truthful, with need to persuade, with such additional details? Isn't this under the category of "Need to Persuade"?
Answer: Likely. She does likely feel concern that she may not be believed. Many victims do. Thus far, however, the structure of the sentences, even though they are not necessary, appear truthfully constructed.
To this point, she is truthful.
Here is where the event begins:
Suddenly, Andy unzipped his jeans and pulled out his penis. He asked me to suck it. I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. He then asked me to unbutton my shirt. I did. He started touching me over my bra and then lifted my bra up and began touching my breasts.
She is reliably recounting what happened. There are indicators of some missing information, but it is likely what she may struggle to remember.
She reported what "began" without conclusion.
The inclusion of emotion, mimicking artificial editing is to be discounted due to the lengthy passage of time. She has long processed this information and it would be artificial to eject it.
Note communicative language is key in sexual assault allegations : Twice she used "asked" here.
He did not "tell" her, instruct her, nor even demand.
After what I believe to have been about 5 minutes of this going on,
She reported the beginning of some sexual contact but not completion. Regarding oral sex she used reliable past tense language and short descriptions. This is very unlike the lengthier (and unnecessary) descriptions of the drive.
It is reliable.
It also warrants exploration in conjunction with the darkness of the woods and the turning off of the car headlights in her language.
he suddenly stopped, got out of the truck and ran around the back and to my side before falling to his knees. I quickly buttoned my shirt back up and got out of the truck.
Reliable to this point.
Now I was terrified and ashamed.
If this statement was given to police 24 hours after the alleged assault, this type of emotion would be indicative of deception. It is not. Again, this is due to the two decades of processing time.
She introduces "terrified" into the account. We need to see what he did that terrified her in order to believe her. "Shame" is consistent with humiliation (see lights off above).
What would cause "terror" sine he "asked" and "she did"? in her language?
This is the first element of incongruous language. This status will change if we see behavior that is terror arousing. What did the alleged attacker then do?
I remember him pleading, while he was on his knees with his hands up on his head, ‘Oh my god, oh my god. What have I done? Oh my god, I'm so sorry.
It is interesting to note that when she wrote "god", she used the lower case "g" here. Later, regarding self, she changes it to the upper case "G."
One should consider the emotional trail and follow it, and ask about the possibility of humiliation.
You can't tell anyone Jules, please. You have to take this to the grave with you.’ ''
The attacker had "asked", and she "did" it and now he is reduced to a pathetic pleading college student on his knees.
This is not consistent with "terror." However, emotions are complex and I would not conclude deception indicated on this single point. There is the incongruence of "asking", but is there more to help us draw a conclusion?
He said that several times. My fear and shame quickly turned to anger.
She saw him "on his knees" begging her, while she felt "terror and shame" and it now turns to contempt.
This is another element of incongruence in her account.
She now holds him in contempt. He appeared to be held in high esteem (the unusual complete social introduction) and now he is contemptibly crawling on the ground.
This increases the humiliation in her:
I had just been manipulated and used. I swore to him I wouldn't tell anyone just to get him to stop.
She reports no sympathy for him (contempt) and reports why she swore to him: J jut to make him stop his graveling on the ground, pleading with her.
The complete social introduction with the unusual "minister", (along with the possessive pronoun, "my") is reversed. What was "special" and "exciting" has turned to a despicable, contemptible "nobody" on the ground crying.
It is no wonder she felt anger.
It is no wonder that she included "he turned off the lights" in her statement.
She is angry.
Yet, we find the answer to the Analytical Question in the moment afterward.
She got out of the truck and went to the pathetic spectacle of a young man and swore she would not tell anyone just to shut him up.
How does the alleged sexual assault victim view her alleged assailant?
Our answer concludes the analysis:
We both got back in the truck.
She looks back, almost 20 years later and tells us:
the sexual contact was exactly as described: consensual.
Victims of sexual assault do not assimilate themselves with the assailant.
As he drove me home, I don’t remember there being any conversation. I was in shock.
The shock may be "what a loser he turned out to be" in context.
As soon as I got home, I went straight to bed. I couldn't fall asleep fast enough. Please God, let this all be a bad dream, I thought. Yet the hurt I was beginning to feel soon snapped me back into reality. This was no bad dream, this was a living nightmare. The secret quickly began to eat away at my soul. I couldn't concentrate at school. I couldn't think about anything else. The fear, shame, anger and hurt consumed me. As embarrassing as it would be for me to tell all the ‘dirty’ details of this horrible secret, I had no other choice. What happened to me was not right nor had it been my fault. I had to report this. Little did I know, the very people I was about to entrust to protect me and help me would not only victimize me all over again but would also engage in a cover up to protect my abuser and the image of the church.
Larry Cotton was the Associate Pastor of Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church at the time. Steve Bradley was the head pastor. I mustered up the courage to go tell them what happened. For some reason, Steve wasn’t available, so I only spoke with Larry. I remember asking him if I could speak privately with him and he said yes. I started out by saying something awful had happened to me. I was already crying. Somehow, I felt brave enough to tell Larry every detail of what had happened with Andy. I was mortified but I thought I was doing the right thing as both Larry and Steve were over Andy in the church and I was way too embarrassed and scared to tell anyone else, especially my own parents.
Just as I had finished telling my story,
"my story" should not be considered deceptive due to the years of processing.
Larry immediately spoke up and asked me to clarify. He said something to the effect of, ‘So you’re telling me you participated?’
She was asked if she was consensual. We look for her to issue a Reliable Denial in an assault case.
Just as a victim will not allow for "we" to enter the language right after the assault, so it is that the trauma of a sexual assault is so acute that firmness in defense is often seen in not only a reliable denial, but short sentences.
Remember: short sentences are more likely to be reliable than lengthy ones. Note her short description of the sexual contact is reliable on its structure.
Will she deny consensual contact?
The person, "Larry" was right to ask about the assault. If she is inconsistent or even deceptive, he must ask. If there has been an assault, he must call police.
What does she respond with?
I remember feeling like my heart had just sunk to the floor. What was he asking? More importantly, what was he trying to imply?
She not only avoids issuing the denial, but responds with questions. This is deceptively avoiding the truth.
She then explores her emotions:
This wave of shame came over me, greater than I had ever felt before.
Was this shame of being asked if she participated more than the "terror" and "shame" she felt while being "sexually assaulted"?
She is deceptive.
I had just gotten done telling him everything that Andy, my youth pastor, asked me to do.
Note the complete social introduction repeated with now the less formal status . This is to convince that the assault exists due to disparity rather than coercion or force.
She now reports what she did not do. This is also an indicator of deception in context:
I didn't say that I screamed no, jumped out of the car and ran into the dark forest because I hadn't.
This is fascinating. She feels the need to not only report what she did not do, but explain why she did not lie.
This is consistent with one familiar with lying as she has the "need to assert."
I told him that Andy had asked me to perform oral sex and unbutton my shirt and I did.
She "told" him what she did not "tell" Andy. Note the communicative language.
She now uses highly emotional language consistent with manipulation, including hyperbole:
Every ounce of courage I had gathered, to walk in there and tell Larry the truth about what had happened to me, left in an instant. Not only did I suddenly feel this immense guilt for doing what Andy had asked me to do but I also started to feel that this was my fault somehow because I didn't stop him.
She did not "stop him" because it was consensual. He let her down but there may be yet another reason for the humiliation.
As you might imagine, I was beyond overwhelmed at the myriad of emotions I was feeling. I remember Larry telling me that he would have to share with Steve all that I had told him. I asked what was going to happen next and he said that him and Steve would be talking to Andy and that the church would be handling the situation. He told me not to speak with Andy and said that he would be telling Andy not to speak with me as well.
She did not report a crime and indicates that this was handled properly.
Through the tears, I told him that I was too embarrassed to tell my Mom what had happened. He said not to worry, that they would talk to my Mother as well.
Follow her and believe her: she "told" (one way communication, strong) that she was too embarrassed to even tell her own mother.
Now note the choice of wording:
He then told me not mention anything that had happened to anyone else.
Larry did not tell her to "not tell anyone" but only affirmed her own wording. She used the word "mention" to someone who was too embarrassed to even tell her own mother. This is an appropriate response. Should she "mention" to others, it could reach her mother.
Yet, she now goes back, after reporting what he said, to classifying it as according to her narrative:
It was very clear to me that I was not to say a word to anyone.
Here she continues with the emotional appeal and wishes the audience to believe the church coerced her silence.
She is lying.
She has a priority that includes attacking the church.
As days passed I remember feeling more and more hopeless. I was confused as it seemed that Andy got to go about his day to day life, within the church and outside of it, as though nothing had ever happened. In fact, he led a 2-day event at the church, known as True Love Waits, promoting sexual purity not only in abstinence from intercourse before marriage but also abstinence in any physical contact, actions and thoughts which might lead to sexual arousal. The irony had not been lost on me. Yet, here I was sinking deeper and deeper into this pit of depression.
She will continue to manipulate by changing the language of "mention" (casual, in passing) to:
I had no where to go, no one to talk to. After all, I was given one job by the person I had sought help from (Larry,) and that was to keep my mouth shut.
Not long after, I was meeting at the church with my all female discipleship group. I hadn’t had much interest in even being at church since everything that had happened but, deep down, I think I was just seeking some sort of solace in my faith for all the pain and hurt I was going through. Something came over me that night. I remember feeling disgusted and frustrated. What happened to me was not right! Why were my pastors not listening?!
The need to persuade, 20 years later, via punctuation.
Note the question is posed after reporting how she was listened to and she was questioned.
The humiliation is evident.
As if a final breath of courage filled my lungs, I opened my mouth and began to share some of what had happened to me. Looking back now, I know without a doubt, it was a cry for help. Tears ran down my cheeks. I remember feeling a slight sense of relief as this was no longer just a secret between myself, Andy, Larry and Steve. However, I too remember feeling as though I had just played my last card. I knew I had broken the rules of silence and that there would be consequences to my actions.
Word got back to Larry and Steve, almost immediately, that I had shared some things with my discipleship group. Now they had to do something. The youth group had a ski trip coming up and they announced to the families that Andy would not be going. Rumors were starting to spread that something had happened between myself and Andy. People thought/assumed that we had exchanged an ‘innocent’ kiss. The church, however, never came out with an official statement addressing what had happened and/or what was being done about it. Instead, they held a going away reception for Andy at the church in which he was allowed to simply say that he had made a poor decision and that it was time for him to move on from our church. Many people came to love on him, support him and say their goodbyes. There were hugs shared and tears shed. No one truly knew why he was leaving except myself, Andy, Larry and Steve. The gossip amongst my church family only continued to flourish. No one could imagine Andy doing anything bad or immoral, much less illegal, and so, it somehow became my fault that Andy was leaving.
I couldn’t have been more grateful that it was the spring of my senior year as all I wanted to do was to leave town and get away from everything and everyone. I had basically shut down. I felt so alone. It wasn’t until much later that I would realize that no matter how far away I moved nor how much I tried to move on with my life, that I could never truly escape what had happened to me. For example, when I found out that the church had contacted my parents, years later, and asked their permission to bring Andy back on staff, it brought back a whirlwind of emotions. Of course, my parents said NO, but even learning of this was traumatizing. I am a grown woman now and although it’s been almost 20 years since everything happened, it still affects me to this day. There are triggers that take me back to that night, there are nightmares that haunt my dreams.
My hope in finally coming forward with my story is not only that I can begin to get closure and healing for all that has happened to me, but more so, that my story might have a positive impact on others and effect positive change in how these types of situations are handled within the church.
To anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse in the church and the subsequent cover up and pressure to remain silent, I want you to know that it is not your fault. Most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone.
Analysis Conclusion: Deception Indicated.
She was not sexually assaulted by him; it was consensual. As a 37 year old adult looking back, she believes it was consensual, now, in her recall. She is deceptively calling it "assault." The motive is in her language.
Here, the subject gave an interesting interview: VIDEO
The motive (s) for reporting is that the subject has some personal issues, and likely has experienced some things, unrelated to this event, which have left her vulnerable and in need. She shows a linguistic priority of being recognized for attention, which is why #metoo is likely what caused her to come forward. The video should affirm, for most, why she gave so much detail to the "me too" celebrity wave.
Testing the Form
The form of the statement is interesting as the "introduction" is short, but the event is very short, whereas it should have used 50% or more of the statement. Reliable statements mimic reality:
what happened before is generally about 25% of the words. This sets the scenario.
the event, especially assault, is about 50% of the words, sometimes more.
What happened after the assault, such as calling 911, or going home, is usually 25% of the words.
The 25/50/25 ratio is a measurement for reliability. It is not conclusive on its own, but another factor in determining deception or veracity.
How does Jules Woodson account test?
1916 words total
We seek anything close to 25/50/25 breakdown.
Before "that night" begins, she uses 95 words. 5%
The night of the assault has 414 words. 50% of 1916 would be lost 958 words.
She uses only about 20% for the "event" in her story.
After the event: 1407 words which is almost 75% of her account.
This is extreme. It is "Unreliable On Form"
The 75% dedication to post event is where we find our motive for reporting this.
It is here that we see her dedication to a cause. This is consistent with the rest of the analysis.
She was not sexually assaulted.
She is doing this from the motive of an acute need to be recognized as part of those who have received recognition in Hollywood.
The subject's need for relevancy is acute.
Although beyond the scope of this article, analysts who study the statement are likely to draw a conclusion about what caused the humiliation of the subject.
In light of "turned lights off", and the accused's reaction to her sexually, including her view of contempt, they are likely to learn more about the event and the subject, herself.
The language indicates familiarity with emotional manipulation.
She does not do genuine victims of sexual assault any service by joining the #metoo movement.
False claims of sexual assault inevitably have an impact upon society.
For another example of this, see the two statements made very close to one another.
Kristina Cohen reliably reported rape. Right afterwards, a failed actress, in "support" of Kristina, followed suit with a deceptive account, accusing the same perpetrator.
It can cause the public to doubt genuine victims, which only adds to their suffering.
Both statements are analyzed and are valuable to compare.
Please note that pronouns are used to solve cases. Although I have not seen this, the only possible exception of the use of the word "we" is a grown woman who was sexually assaulted by her own father, who has been in treatment for many years, has reunited with him, and struggles to recall what happened, in childhood.
For training in detecting deception, go to www.hyattanalysis.com