Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Liespotting: Blessed are the Clean of Heart

Who are the clean of heart?  Those who rejoice in the truth?  Those who avoid lying?  According to Pamela Meyer, we all lie.  Now, while it's important to not be a rude person who just blurts out painful truths and covers up cruelty by saying, "I was just being truthful," it is also important to remember that real love "rejoices in the truth."  If we are to serve God, He who is Love, we must rejoice in truth too.  I saw this Ted Talk and it blew me away.  I decided to make it the focus of this post on the Beatitude, "Blessed are the Clean of Heart."

Let's practice our new skills.  I've embedded some videos of untruthful interactions and then tied the liars to Pope John Paul II.  Enjoy!

  • repeating the question and otherwise delaying an answer


  • evasive answers, hesitation

  • "I have hugged them.. I have touched their legs." Attempts to minimize the damage.

  • lack of affect.  Mr. Sandusky is being accused of horrendous offenses and is cool and unphased by this.  The ONLY way he could be unsurprised or unoffended by these allegations is if he had thought about them before. 

  • In this video:  Duping delight (inappropriate smiling): This is especially evident when he defends waterboarding and "extraordinary rendition," (kidnapping of suspects).

    Evasive answers (not answering the question but making unrelated statements that don't answer the question that was actually asked): "My job is to protect the American people" is never an answer to one of Mr. Lauer's questions.  "Within the law" is another favorite of President Bush.  Overly formal yet unspecific phrases such as "within the law" and "within the constitution" are used, but the actual laws and passages in the Constitution are never quoted.   "We had lawyers look at it and say, Mr. President, this is lawful," this is buck-passing.  Rather than use his own judgement or accept responsibility for a decision, he pawns the decision off on a nameless "lawyer."

    Sporadic outrage: A person telling the truth is outraged at false accusation throughout an interview.  They directly attack the arguments against them and work cooperatively with the interviewer to clear their name.  The President does none of that.  The most inflammatory accusation, that there is "a blurring of the line between ourselves and the people you are trying to protect us against."

    Also, appreciate the physical mirroring that Matt Lauer does in mimicking the President's gestures and aggressive body language.  This mirroring is common to all primate communication.  It's great when you are in an argument with someone to mimic their body position.  If you want them to stop crossing their arms and leaning back you must first cross your arms and lean back.  After a while you can begin to open up your own posture and the other person, even when angry, will begin to unconsciously mimic you and open their own.  Pretty soon you have helped the person be less aggressive and more open to your argument and you did it physically.  I love watching Matt Lauer do this.  It's really impressive.

    One Degree!
    George W. Bush and Blessed John Paul II

    This video is rich with head tells.  There are so many, I need to number them!

    1. Varied blink rate.  As A-Rod thinks of answers and considers his story, his brain is working overtime to come up with something plausible.
    2. But somehow his brain didn't give his neck the memo, he says "No" but nods "yes" enthusiastically.  This is seen throughout the interview.
    3. shoulder shrugs during poorly constructed lies
    4. Duping delight, the half-smiles toward the end of the interview are little smirks.  He got away with it, at least at this point.  Another interpretation is that this is a look of contempt.  Why should drugs be such an issue?  He's annoyed with the constant questioning.
    5. Check out his later apology for using steroids and other drugs, lots of duping delight there!
    4 Degrees
    Alex Rodriguez was boyfriend to Cameron Diaz
    Ms Diaz was admired by President Clinton
    President Clinton Met John Paul II

    Here we need to pay attention to the verbal cues for lies.  He dodges the question.  "I believe they have not been proved to be unsafe."  He uses overly formal language such as "injurious" and distances himself from victims by using the word, "human".  Smoking doesn't kill people, it "has not been proven to be no injurious to human health."  Now that's linguistic gymnastics!  Oh, and don't miss the little zinger at the end about women wanting smaller babies!  

    Connecting smoking to any pope is easy, smokers visit him all the time.

    Here is another video from our beloved tobacco industry.  Try not to laugh.

    Hmmm, applesauce, really?!  Let's see if our little friend is lying, shall we?
    Evasive language: "at concentrations which would be considered harmful," this doesn't answer the question.
    Stiff upper body:  "People don't eat much applesauce," is given as the reason people don't die from excess apple consumption.  Again, try not to laugh.
    Duper's Delight: smiling as he says, "they're not eating that much."  It's so ridiculous, he is even laughing.
    Lying eyes: Varied blink rate which is faster when formulating the lie and slower when telling it.  Blink rate speeds up again when formulating the next lie. Subject tries not to blink and to look interviewer in the eye to check his believing the lie.  Also, note the eyebrows raising when he says "everybody dies" and following.  That look says, "you don't believe me, do you?"
    Shoulder shrugs: "Anything can be considered harmful," with the shoulder shrug he's actually saying, "look out, big load of bullshit coming your way!"  He then says, "applesauce can be harmful."  Look toward the end when he says "people who eat sugar die..."  Here he is combining a variety of tells simultaneously.

    Here we see Ruth Madoff, Bernie Madoff's partner in crime and her surviving son.

    The son shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders, negating what he is saying at the beginning of the interview.  He talks without affect about his parents' "attempted suicide," but his facial expressions and tone do not match the words he's using.  There is a flash of contempt on the word "thinking" in "what were they thinking,"  his lip snears. He also smiles when recounting his questioning of his mother, "what were you thinking, I don't understand."  I don't know if this son was a con artist like the rest of his family, but he may have been less involved in his family's business than his late brother.

    Ruth Madoff claims to have attempted suicide and have been very depressed, but her language and her face tell a different story.  "We decided to kill ourselves" at 59" she shakes her head, exactly as her son did in the previous clip.  She uses a very perky tone that doesn't match the meaning of her words.  Duper's delight, a lovely smile on "we took pills and woke up the next day."  "It was so horrendous, what was happening." while flitting little smiles.

    The Madoffs defrauded many famous people, among them the great Sandy Koufax.   Mr. Koufax met President Obama.  President Obama met Pope Benedict XVI who was one degree from Blessed John Paul II.

    Oh Bill!  Why must you lie?  Again, so many, they need numbering.  I got most of these points from Pamela Meyer's video that heads this post.
    1. Overly formal language, "I did not" rather than "I didn't.  And "sexual relations" instead of...
    2. Qualifying language, "I want you to listen to me.  I'm going to say this again." 
    3. Fist pounding and unusual body gestures for him
    4. "that woman" distances himself from the victim or object of the lie, dehumanizing her and making Bill look less horrible
    5. Overly adamant denial, "not a single time, never."

    Now look for THE EXACT TELLS as Clinton on Richard Nixon.  OMG, this is too much!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment