Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Passivity and Sexuality in Language: "Trickle Truth"

In a recent case, a subject of a sexual assault wrote in an unusually creative manner: she wrote her statement out like a playwright might: script form.

This would likely be dismissed as "story telling" by many.  

The investigator (who is a well trained analyst) who worked the case stated that this was his first encounter of such writing in 30 years.  

He did an accurate job analyzing this most difficult and unique of statements.  

The subject accused a man of sexual assault.

She gave reliable information about the assault while being deceptive in other details. In some parts, deception outweighed reliability. 

This makes for a very difficult case for prosecutors.  It is not because the subject lied about the assault, but because she lied about enough details in her written statement, that it leaves enough for a defense attorney to create reasonable doubt over her testimony.

The analyst recognized both perseveration from past abuse while correctly and accurately describing a present situation. The victim's mental health issue was evident in the language. The investigator's advanced training and experience allowed him to:

a. Discern one from the other
b. Seek peer review of his work
c. Use Team Analysis to strengthen his report and findings 

This detective is an invaluable member of the law enforcement community.  

Trickle Truth

There are such topics of intense acute psychological pain that the truth, upon confrontation is often first denied and then it is acknowledged, but in slow degrees. This is sometimes referred to as "trickle truth."

"These lips have never touched another's. This body has never been inside another's."

These words were given to a frightened wife by her husband, of whom she suspected infidelity. These words were spoken in private, late at night, preceding a most comforting intimate moment for her. The physical union of husband and wife brings deep comfort, healing and resolution of vulnerability.  

Days later, as she contemplated his words, she pressed for more detail, even though her suspicions were allayed temporarily by their intimacy, only to find text messages recently deleted.

The husband thus confronted with his own boldness of handing over his smart phone, admitted to kissing the woman the wife had suspected.

Go back to his statement now, knowing what was said in the free editing process.  What entered his mind? What words did he employ, during this time of emotional and physical vulnerability? 

"These lips have never touched another's. This body has never been inside another's."

In the moment of intimacy, where hearts and bodies are open and united, he chose these words. They were not in response to a direct question.  They were offered, freely, as a source of comfort. 

You now know the first sentence was deceit. 

What else do you note here?

"Passivity" Versus "Passive Voice" in advanced analysis. 

"These lips have never touched another's" is passive voice. 

It is to avoid beginning a sentence with the pronoun "I", which causes a level of psychological commitment not found in passivity. 

"I did not kiss ______" is an example, in Statement Analysis, of using passivity to avoid linguistic commitment. Lips don't just "touch" on their own, nor more than inanimate objects (like guns) have a mind or will of their own. 

In a recent analysis of Ted Kennedy's hand written account of Chappaquiddick, he wrote,

After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. 

This is his entrance into passive voice.  He did not drive upon the bridge, but "came upon", which signals a form of happen stance. Even with the pronoun "I" in the sentence, this subtle shift to passive voice thus came to fruition in the next sentence:

The car went off the side of the bridge."

He did not write, "I lost control and..." or any other form.  Passive Voice is noted, rather than simply "passivity" as a point in advanced analysis, as a psychological defense mechanism against revealing responsibility.  To "come upon" something really isn't the subject's fault.  It is what happened to him, rather than the subject in control.  

"Passive Voice" is not a grammatical term, but a psychological point in a statement where a change within the subject's language is noted: the need to distance oneself. 

In Statement Analysis, we use our own terminology that represents, not reality, but a subject's verbalized perception of reality.  This includes "imperfect" past tense, or even in principle such as "the subject disappeared" or strange rules that apply linguistically such as "no man can molest his own daughter."  In training, we pose questions, rather than assertions, to probe:  "Did the subject verbally change his "daughter" into a "girl" or "person"?  

Accepted, it makes for accuracy.  

This is why we carefully note not only the entrance of Passive Voice, but the need to enter into it. Failure to see its emergency is to miss what may lay behind it; the psychological resistance to the greater context of what took place. We need to know:

What caused this subject to "need to leave" or "eject" himself from the statement? 

When any form of sexuality is involved, "trickle truth"; that is, a little truth at a time, is contextually the expected. 

Skillful, legally sound interviews of children who may have been sexually abused must have trained listening to note how shame, mistrust, fear and even thoughts of betraying the predator may impact the language. Statement Analysis training is vital to social workers.  

Look for the analysis of Chappaquiddick in an upcoming post. 


Lars Bak said...

Active and passive voice are well defined grammatical terms. "These lips have never touched another's" is active voice; so is “…and came upon a narrow bridge” and “The car went off the side of the bridge”.

I think you are confusing “passive voice” with our very ungrammatical term “passive language” which covers both passive voice and all other forms of “omitting of agent” (which would be the grammatical term).

John Mc Gowan said...


Two interesting "denials"

Jim Carrey stands by 'ugly' Sarah Sanders portrait: 'I drew her in essence'

Jim Carrey didn’t say his controversial painting of Sarah Sanders was ugly — you did.

While the actor was promoting his new Showtime series, Kidding, at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday, Carrey talked about his politically charged paintings that have been drawing attention for months.

“It’s my reflex to what I’m seeing I don’t like,” he told the crowd of journalists. “It’s just a civilized way of dealing with it, I think. To express it and to kind of get onboard with as many other voices as possible that are shouting from the rooftops.”

Carrey was skewered in March for one unflattering portrait in particular that seemed to resemble the White House press secretary.

People on Twitter called the comedian “sexist” and a “bully” (links to twitter comments provided in URL below) for his depiction of Sanders. Her father and former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, even tweeted that Carrey was a “Pathetic BULLY, sexist, hater, bigot & ‘Christaphobe.’”

“When I did the Sarah Huckabee Sanders, everybody came out and said, ‘The horrendousness. The ugliness.’ I didn’t say ugly. I didn’t say anything. I drew her essence,” defended Carrey. “To me, ugly is an inside job.”

The Ace Ventura star said he was motivated to do these drawings because he “can’t just watch this nightmare unfold.”

“I have to alchemize it into something that is at least creative and decent,” he continued. “Even if it’s crass at times, it’s the crass that I’m expressing that everyone wants to express but can’t necessarily do so in their own lives. So when I stick a flag in Trump’s ass it’s because that’s what everyone is seeing. They’re seeing him owned, and I have to express that. And sometimes that’s the most crass way that I can express it because I’m done with it.”


Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Teddy Kennedy kind of belies his suggested happenstance nature of coming upon a bridge, by first delineating exactly how far he drove down the road to the bridge.

He knew the distance was a 1/2 mile down the wrong road (he was supposed to be going on the Ferry road),yet he wanted people to assume he had no knowledge of the bridge ahead on that road.

So, why was he sure of the distance it took to get to bridge, but seemingly not the bridge itself?

1. Unless he regularly drove that stretch and needed to be conscious of the time or how much gas he had, he would not have rapid recall of the distance.

2. If he regularly drove that stretch, then he knew it led to the bridge.

3. Perhaps he made a practice of driving around just before midnight on pitch dark, country roads with narrow unlit bridges, watching his tripometer break a 1/2 mile?

4. He was very conscious of the distance because he had to walk it to get back after he left Mary Jo submerged in the water (flight or fight trauma).

5. He was very conscious of that detail because of the police investigation (and potentially his state of being while driving the vehicle and the manner in which is was driven).

6. He offers that detail in an attempt to portray himself as a careful, conscientious driver- followed by the suggestion that he "came upon the bridge" as if he could not help it and had no control over the situation.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Lars Bak said...
Active and passive voice are well defined grammatical terms. "These lips have never touched another's" is active voice; so is “…and came upon a narrow bridge” and “The car went off the side of the bridge”.

I think you are confusing “passive voice” with our very ungrammatical term “passive language” which covers both passive voice and all other forms of “omitting of agent” (which would be the grammatical term).
August 8, 2018 at 10:09 AM

This is incorrect.

In Statement Analysis 101, analysts learn that the rules of grammar serve us; we do not serve them.

Passive voice is a psychological term; not a grammatical definition.

Students are taught from the beginning how we have our "own language" in analysis.


It is because we do not analyze reality. We analyze a subject's verbalized perception of reality.

"These lips have not touched another" is to directly avoid the confrontational, "I did not kiss..."

The recognition of passivity that moves into "passive voice" is a critical psychological distancing.

The poster has confused the rules of grammar with basic psychology and principle of Statement Analysis. The "very ungrammatical" term "Passive Voice" correctly identifies a need for a subject to now not simply move into a position of distancing himself, but to remain there. This is his verbalized perception of reality.

We submit to the statement; not to rules of grammar.

It is to acknowledge the difference of reality from the verbalized perception of realty.

Without such, one cannot embrace:

"depersonalization" of a victim. Why? Because the "rules of grammar" state that the subject did, in fact, use a proper term grammatically that is assigned to humans.

child abuse investigations as familiar offenders will "change" the victim from family member to non family member. It is not reality but the subject's need to change that we recognize.

Domestic Violence crimes where a subject is "not married" in the statement, when we know a marriage certificate exists. It is to nullify our work.

I could go on to more categories of allegation, but I hope this suffices for readers.

The top analysts in our nation ask questions; rather than make assertions in training. They may ask, "is this passive?", allowing:

1. Exploration of issues by a team.

As vital as this is, there is something even more important:

2. Avoidance of the natural human nature's reaction to defend itself.

It is important that this blog be used to educate and inspire students and new students; rather than lead them to error. Hence, the public assertion is met publicly, just as, previously, the prior assertion was answered privately.


General P. Malaise said...

SA requires a person to have an inquiring mind and an open mind. When one makes an assertion the person boxes themselves in and limits their own scope. I find that my own opinions and bias are the hardest to overcome.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Agreed, General.

The embracing of human nature is key.

It is one thing to point out obvious error, but another to have a foundation needing address.

For example:

"these lips have not touched another's...." in SA is "passive"; not only avoiding of "I did not..." (formula of reliability) but it is to suggest that lips have a mind and will of their own.

This is more akin to the therapeutic view of human nature .

"Guns" do not possess minds of their owns; it takes the human will engaged to commit murder.

Hence, "therapeutic" view, popular and trendy today, excuses human responsibility. This is not an issue in Law Enforcement nor of those with military background. They deal with human nature every day, exposed to them in ways others are not.

I was thinking of how sometimes it is a struggle for those in training:

"This person's behaviors are due to poverty. Therefore, we take money from others and give it to him" versus

"This person's behaviors have led him to poverty.

The former trusts elected officials to distribute fish; the latter will help him obtain a fishing pole.

It leads not only to error in analysis, but it destroys lives when put in place for entire communities by politicians. With single parent households (absentee fathers) being the number one link to poverty, incarceration, violence, poor education and such, America's racist policy of replacing the father has done its damage.

Human nature does not change. When it goes to war with culture or with policy or anything else; nature wins.

Yet, if only lips had their own will, we could blame them like we do inanimate objects!

I couldn't resist.


General P. Malaise said...

Peter your point about poverty is the perfect example of the failed therapeutic view.

An entire false premise, that poverty leads to crime, it has destroyed so many lives by denying people the right to make their own choices and be bound to the consequences of said choices. The elites try to eliminate poverty with someone else's labor. If one contemplates the reward / punishment of that, it requires a Ivy league education to believe that is anything but wrong..

Unknown said...

Crime cannot stand on its own. Crime is not productive. It requires a victim. It is bound to lead to poverty. Criminal mindsets are not based on creating wealth, but draining wealth. Even in the poorest places, you will find people who have worked and saved for 30 years and are able to provide their (grand) kids with a better opportunity. Excusing criminals means undermining achievers. And just like crime in general, it is a disabling attitude contributing to a mindset leading to poverty.

Nadine Lumley said...

You guys sound like azzholes here re this topic:

It leads not only to error in analysis, but it destroys lives when put in place for entire communities by politicians. With single parent households (absentee fathers) being the number one link to poverty, incarceration, violence, poor education and such, America's racist policy of replacing the father has done its damage. 

THE DAMAGE TO THE COMMUNITY YOU HEARTLESS BASTARDS was white people collecting and paying for the kidnapping of black people to come to America and then all these white dudes keeping black people as 'effin slaves. Have you guys forgotten about that couple of hundred years or few hundred years or however long it was, 1600 to 1950 or so?

The fact that you are so willfully blind as to the generational trauma that's slavery put on two black people blows my f---ing mind how ignorant you are or sound to me.

You make white people the devil and shove them into a ghetto and see how many of them escape.

You are making the most heartless disgusting statements about single mothers trying to feed their kids, I'm absolutely appalled. What if it was your daughter who was a single mother and needed a little bit of help because she didn't know her husband was going to leave her for another woman?

Or I guess down there in the States you have to pay for healthcare so what if because of bad genes they lost all their money and had to go on welfare.

I am absolutely fascinated with statement analysis and this blog, but I am appalled when I went on Twitter and saw some of Peter Hyatt tweets there. Brainwash conservative 50%

Also I'm wondering if Peter if you dictate your blogs because sometimes there is a word I read like emergency where I think the actual word you acrually dictated is emerging, but I know you're volunteering and doing this on your own free time so I can't really complain but just a note for everybody that there are lil editing errors in your blogs but a careful reading and you will figure it out what he said and probably the translator screwed it up when he was dictating.

You have a extremely different to my ears way with words, I have to read some of your statement sometimes 5 times before I understand what you mean. My lady ears. I definitely believe that men and women are very very different when it comes to brains and body.

I'm a huge follower of dr. Pat Allen's work out of LA, California. She also talks about how the mother sends the shot of hormones to the baby when the baby is I think she said 7 days old, or maybe it was 9 days old zygote. So it is the mother who sends the boy or girl hormone to the fetus. S

Sometimes mom makes an accident, she thinks it's a boy and she sends tosterone but it was actually a girl and she ends up making a lesbian, whoops.

Dr. Pat Allen says there's no such thing as gay or straight and that we were all on a Continuum, some people are super straight and summer super gay and everyone else is in the middle.

She's always talking about that book called, why men can't read maps and women don't listen, that's where I read that only 2% of pilots in the world are women.