In late January, 2019, an actor working for Fox Chicago, received an anonymous threatening letter. Approximately one week later, on January 29th, Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two white "MAGA" hat wearing men who beat him, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck to lynch him, while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, approximately 2am, as the actor went to Subway sandwich.
Although implausible on the surface, Statement Analysis can only be done when communication is made. I noted that the language of Twitter messages made by Smollett included similar language of the alleged MAGA attackers.
The first analysis came when the actor's manager spoke to media and stated that a "noose was placed on his neck."
Analysis Conclusion: Deception Indicated as the manager did not believe his own words. A noose is an instrument of cruelty and terror, as well as an instrument to end life via asphyxiation and/or broken neck. It is not "placed" (soft language) nor is it "on" but "around" the neck of the victim.
There were absurdities reported that attended the report, including circumstantial, of which, although noted, does not let the analyst "know" what happened. These included:
a. two "MAGA" wearing hat killers who happened to be out in sub zero temperatures at 2AM, carrying bleach and a noose, who also just happened to recognize an obscure actor that most of us had never heard of before this event.
b. that the actor "fought back" but managed to hang on to his subway sandwich after the attempted murder via lynching
c. that he did not report this for an extended period of time
d. that he was on the phone with his manager at 2am
e. that he kept the instrument of death upon his neck and did not instinctively (and even violently) thrust it from himself, in fear, disgust and trauma
In spite of this, Politicians, Hollywood Elite and main stream media blamed Donald Trump and his supporters for this "hateful, racist, and homophobic" event, including hyperbolic headlines and commentary condemning a significant percentage of the U.S. population.
Next, Jussie Smollett gave an interview to Robin Roberts, of Good Morning America in which he did not assert what happened to him, nor did he assert that he told the truth.
This allows us to "know" what happened. The interview was reported to have been granted to Good Morning America and specifically given to Robin Roberts. Detailed analysis of this interview is forthcoming. It is valuable not only for deception detection training, but for instruction in Analytical Interviewing.
Our words reveal us. Specifically, our words reveal four elements:
1. Our background
2. Our experiences in life
3. Our motive
4. Our dominant personality traits
In the upcoming analysis, focus will be upon the Interviewer, Robin Roberts, and what statement analysis reveals about her, just as it does in deception detection of the subject, Smollett.
Analysis Conclusion: Deception Indicated.
After this conclusion, two suspects were arrested in the assault, causing the analysis to appear to be errant.
Yet victims of assault, including those suffering trauma, linguistically commit to what happened because it happened to them personally. It is not a news story but an event of an intrusive nature.
Then, Smollett responded expressing surprise that the two attackers knew him. The implication was that he would allow them to be tried for the attack.
Chicago police countered by allowing Smollett to engage his victim status to keep talking, while they held the two Nigerian-American brothers to sit in jail for the full 48 hours without charge. By hour 47, their contemplation was sufficient and they told police that Jussie Smollett hired them for this hoax in order to obtain attention for himself that he might continue his slander of President Trump and exchange his status for money from Fox.
Smollett's attorney released a statement blaming the media for Smollett's plight, but did not deny the action.
In law enforcement training, teaching the "Reliable Denial" can be a challenge.
It is because law enforcement professionals who begin their careers in patrol become so accustomed to hearing lies, that they can dismiss all.
Few detectives, early on, acknowledge the value of the time in patrol. Patrol officers gain invaluable insight in interview training. Each stop is an interview.
Each traffic stop is dangerous. There is an incessant risk, from any and every traffic stop, of immediate harm or death. This became heightened when politicians used racism as a means of exploitation; portraying police, around the nation, of having entered into a conspiracy to risk their own lives, careers and freedom, just to kill a black.
It successfully gained politicians votes, while it led to violence and the deaths of police officers and continues to divide. It is the wake in which Jussie Smollett sought to imitate the race baiting and tribal political habits of successful politicians: personal gain from the harm of others.
Question: What does this incessant patrol danger have to do with training?
The hormonal response to said danger is significant and as such, it attends memory, leading to a deep impression. There are "interviews" (each conversation or interaction is an interview) that detectives can recall decades later, long after forgetting much else. Hormonal accompaniment increases recall. This is why when James Comey and Andrew McCabe claimed to have forgotten some of the most hormonally compelling information of modern American history, they are lying.
There is a downside that officers recognize and endure.
The hormonal increase during the traffic stop becomes tolerated or "routine."
Yet, the increase of stress hormones, although overcome through time, experience and training, take its toll on the immune system, physical and mental health of the officers. Often the female and male officers' bodies respond differently, but both suffer, as do everyone who loves them.
The cost is high, yet society values entertainers far more than law enforcement, including entertainers who make more in a week than one who risks his or her life may make in a year.
Smollett knew the landscape of victim status, and ingratiated himself by invoking not only symbols (noose) but language ("Muslim, black") and repeated references to himself.
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts did not do a "softball interview" with Smollett. The analysis will reveal more.
In a seminar, the Reliable Denial is taught, explained, exampled and challenged.
The Reliable Denial has three elements. Where there are more than three, or less than three, the subject may be telling the truth, but we must, for the purpose of getting to the truth, not consider it in the classification of "Reliable Denial." It may be "unreliable" or the analyst may sparse this with "not reliable", with consideration that although it is not reliable, there is the thought that he still may have not "done it."
1. The pronoun "I"
2. The past tense "did not" or "didn't" (the Reid Technique, a fine training system, differentiates between these two. The research does not bear it, however. Either is acceptable, thought the point of "informal" is contextually important).
3. The allegation specified.
"I did not steal your money" is a strong denial. Yet, the morally charged word "steal" must be examined.
Few thieves ever "steal" in their verbalized perception of reality. They "take", "reimburse" or even the now popular "reparations" of perceived wrongs by one's ancestors by another's ancestors, whether true or not.
The assertion of truth is powerful.
If the same person, accused of theft, says while freely choosing his own words, "I did not take your money" and is asked,
"Why should I believe you?" and answers, "Because I told the truth" using
"told" (or "telling")
it is 99% (or higher) reliable.
The only exception is found in parroting the words of another, which is why it is when one is freely speaking.
"Are you telling me the truth?"
"I am telling you the truth" is reduced reliability because it is parroting back one's own words. The subject may be truthful, but we cannot "know" with the certainty of this science.
Now when someone adds a great deal of information to their Reliable Denial, it is to add in a new element.
When Gov. Chris Christie issued his denial on "Bridgegate", he spoke for more than 40 minutes before making the denial. This, alone, designates "Unreliable" in analysis.
Here are some examples of denials that we do not accept as "Reliable"
"I would never..." uses both "would" (conditional/future) and "never" which avoids a specific date and time.
"Never" is not reliable, particularly when a specific event on a specific date is alleged. If no date is given, the subject is likely to use "never" as it spans time.
See Judge Kavanaugh analysis on You Tube here.
"Didn't take your money" drops the pronoun "I" like a school boy caught by mom.
"We didn't; do that..." when one, alone is alleged, is to violate the first element by seeking the psychological cover of others. This, too, is the proverbial school boy who says,
"but Mom, everybody was doing it and she only picked on me!"
This not only avoids issuing a denial but:
a. impeaches the integrity of the teacher which is a tangent when unchecked by the parent, may lead to a life long habit
b. seeks to mitigate guilt of personal responsibility under the cover of a crowd.
c. Portrays himself, while guilty, as a victim.
The above child may have a lucrative career in politics or journalism.
We also flag any need for "divine witness" as a signal of one who is habitually deceptive:
"I swear to God on my mother's grave that I did not take your money." Here, the person reveals habitual deception and a need to persuade. It may very well be that he did not take the money but he has lied so often that he has a need to persuade that this time, he is truthful.
When new analysts are asked to use a search engine to learn more about the Reliable Denial, there is a powerful awakening that takes place.
They look to famous cases, in particular, with headlines that blare, "So and So Denies Killing" only to learn:
So and So did not deny anything.
He claimed he was innocent, which is judicially true.
He claimed that this is something he "would never" do.
He claimed nothing because he was not in the sentence: "Did not murder her." Who did not murder her? After 40 years of successfully processing and using the pronoun "I" millions of times, he suddenly lost the ability to employ it?
No, he is psychologically removing himself from the denial.
The outright deceptive denial is rare as it causes the subject, including those labeled sociopaths or sociopathic (a title most every criminal is given, which does not assist in analysis, investigation, or even in the interview - interrogation process, but sounds fascinating) who do not wish to be caught. One may lack a conscience, but one may still have the instincts of survival or self preservation.
According to TMZ, Smollett arrived for work after posting bail and made this statement to his peers.
I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls. I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this.”
This is a denial that we may use for analysis:
I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls.
The phrase "I'm sorry" enters the language of the polite and the language of the guilty. We flag it, just the same, in all statements for possible deception. We then ask,
"What is the context of its use?"
Here, the subject has just come from jail and court and stands accused of a multitude of crimes, including possible federal (see analysis of the anonymous threatening letter).
"I'm sorry" may enter the language of guilt, often in context of being caught or fear of being caught. It is a form of "ingratiation" of which one seeks to "mend" that which is broken.
Recall Casey Anthony, in an emergency 911 call, being put on the phone by her mother, Cindy. Why? Because her daughter has been "missing" for almost a month. Casey used it as a pause in order to think of what to answer, yet it revealed, in context, guilt of having murdered her child for the sake of convenience.
""I'm sorry" begins as a priority for Smollett.
He is sorry for putting them through this and not taking calls, as if there would be an expectation that while being in jail, he would be taking calls. This is his verbalized perception of reality. It tells us much.
1. The "good guy principle."
It is as if he, while in handcuffs and behind bars, was thinking that it was impolite for him to not answer his cell phone, which was not in his possession. It is the need to portray oneself in a positive light that indicates the contrary.
It is the wording of a manipulative personality.
The "good guy principle" is flagged in statements. Scott Peterson portrayed himself as a good person in a "glorious" marriage. We see the same in guilty subjects who "search" for the missing person or child. The need to inflate one's own worth is always note worthy but it is essential to note in criminal analysis: especially in preparation for the interview and interrogation.
Repetition = importance.
Anything repeated is sensitive information. Is this being "sorry" genuine?
I wanted to say I’m sorry
Does he say he is sorry here?
He does not.
He began with the priority of what he "wanted to say", which is a minor psychological distancing from what he just said. This is to affirm the disingenuous politeness of not returning phone calls during the biggest crisis of life.
It is also a form of denial, where being arrested, lambasted by police and having to post bond to get free, is "no big deal" (minimization as if routine, yet still disrupted his usual politeness and expediency in returning calls or text messages).
He needs to explain why he is "sorry":
and, you know me,
The "800 lb gorilla" in the room is, "you fabricated this for money? You were willing for 2 white males to be arrested? You were going to throw two cast members under the bus? You used up more than 2 dozen police investigators' man hours while dozens of people die each weekend here, via murder?" and so on.
We need him to say, "I did not fabricate this. I was attacked" followed by
"I told the truth" or "I am telling the truth."
In the Good Morning America interview, he offered the possibility that he did not tell the truth with, "if" it was a lie. He then looked upon this assertion and said, "it is the truth."
He did not affirm that he told the truth or even that the attack was truth, but that his hypothetical lie was the truth.
Statement Analysis believes the words and allows the words to guide us.
That it was a possible lie was true.
"You know me", contextually, the good guy who is so humble, he never fails to not call you back. This need to be seen as the gentle, loving, anti-hate advocate for peace that was incessantly in his twitter feed tells us the very opposite:
greedy, racist, contempt for others...
Will he simply say, "I didn't make this up"?
This next line is far more than "Unreliable Denial" but valuable contextual insight into who he is:
I would never do this to any of you,
a. "would" is to violate component number two of the Reliable Denial
b. "never" is to also violate the Reliable Denial because this happened on a specific night, at a specific time, at a specific location with specific players.
Yet his qualification is revelatory:
He would never do this, that is, the exploitative hoax, to his fellow cast members.
He'd do it to "MAGA, Muslims, Blacks" and even to homosexuals who may experience genuine assaults, but he would not do this to the cast members on the set where he has gained his wealth.
I believe him.
This is his ethical and moral standard.
It is to indicate his contempt for his audience; no different than any other habitual liar who learned from an early age that he is smarter than his audience.
This is why kindergarten teachers used to, before fear of lawsuit or violent backlash, tell parents when (not if) our children lied. It was to allow us to correct our children "early" before it does damage to the child and to society.
This is why Jussie Smollett's family has attacked the public for not believing him.
This is a form of elitist contempt. He would not do this to fellow performers; only to the rest of us.
It is very likely that Smollett believed, even if caught, he would be applauded for "all the homophobic racist attacks that did not get prosecuted."
He had the support of Kamala Harris and others, including the non-stop media coverage blaming "MAGA" for "racism" and "violence" that went suddenly silent when he was arrested.
The media provides cover for deceptive narrative.
Why wouldn't Jussie do this to them?
you are my family.
The hypocrisy is affirmed.
When Smollett was arrested for driving under the influence, he lied to police about his name.
Later, when signing the agreement to return to court, he forged the name, affirming the lie he gave police.
He gave his brother's name.
This is the callousness of one who claims to "love" and "heal" the "world" (grandiose)
Lastly, we see further insight into his habitual deception
I swear to God, I did not do this.”
a. The need for divine witness is to deny the psychological "wall of truth" that protects the de facto innocent.
b. "I did not do this" begins strong:
1. The pronoun "I" is used
2. The past tense "did not" is used
What of our 3rd component?
"this" avoids addressing the specific allegation.
It violates the 3rd component where the allegation must be addressed. It is often used by clever, manipulative and talented deceivers who know what is expected by the audience and what to use to "split the difference" between the internal stress of a direct lie and leaving the audience bereft of the denial they longed to hear. It is an emotional manipulator who is likely to be above average intelligence.
It is to avoid the psychological confrontation of a direct lie.
Smollett cost the city of Chicago a great deal. He put police under the pressure of "political correctness"; money expenditure and a city with the strictest gun laws in the nation has routine murders of which detectives had to neglect due to the narcissist greedy racist elitist.
Much credit, however, is due to CPD. They faced enormous pressure from media and Hollywood to blame President Trump and all who voted for him for the event.
Smollett's attorneys revealed their own belief in his guilt within their statement and the politicians who rushed to condemn half of America for this, have gone silent, along with main stream media.
The unnecessary moralizing, via tweets or statements, is something that should be read with understanding. Two elements presence should alert readers:
Is this an unnecessary sermon?
"There's no excuse for elder abuse" makes for a great bumper sticker. Yet, is there a large group of Americans calling for more elder abuse? More rape of innocents? More sexual assaults? It is "unnecessary" in analysis making it of higher importance to the subject.
The greater the intensity and frequency of the unnecessary moralizing the greater consider of possible guilt projection it should be given.
Like the great messages of "women's rights" by Harvey Weinstein, revealing guilt, so it is that patrol cops receive training in diversion, tangent deception, deflection, victim status and other tactics that they learn to recognize in training. Their backgrounds end up serving them so well that they learn to express gratitude for the early years of on the ground lessons.
The "voice of love" becomes the symbol of greed, hate, racism and elitist contempt.
The media, politicians and Hollywood elite may be shocked, but cops aren't.
From his above words and analysis, we may consider how he might battle his attorneys, for control of his defense.
If justice is not served, "fake hate" will continue to strengthen, further dividing Americans.
The regret of one caught who wishes to salvage his employment, reputation and freedom.
For training in Deception Detection for law enforcement, military, intelligence, business, social sciences and others, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services, as well as the short examples provided at You Tube.
Statement Analysis is the science of deception detection with the expectation of at or near 100% accuracy.