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Old 16th May 2011, 05:48 AM   #1
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decoding lies.

I'm new to the forum and I had a bit of a search but I couldn't find anything on decoding lies or sentence analysis yet. I figure that there has got to be a few people around that do decode lies and I am interested in what they have to say about the techniques that they use, specifically in seeing through the smoke and mirrors routines and to figure out the motives of the liars, and what their motives reveal about the content of their character and ethos.

Since I joined the forum I have gained a new interest in deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning etc and it seem there are many other techniques to have a look at and study and it is going to take a while to do it.

From what I can tell I am a natural, a bit like the young woman on "Lie To Me" on tv except that my talent seems to be in decoding lies rather than spotting them through mircro expressions, conciously or subconciously.

The technique that I use as a natural is a simple one and I will explain it so that it can be analysed and tested and hopefully even improved if it needs tweaking. It's designed more for seeing through the lies of teachers like fake evangelists and religeous con men. Sentence analysis is used by police when questioning suspects and witnesses to see information they are not aware they are revealing sceptics seem to have a large handful of different techniques too.

About ten years ago I was going to church for a while, looking for the truth. Being able to decode lies is a very handy skill to have if you are going to church looking for the truth.... I was doing volunteer security work during a tent outreach to get people to come to church and I spent a bit of time babysitting kids that used to like hanging out with me during the services.

I got concerned really fast with the kinds of ideas that the preachers were trying to put in the heads of kids that looked like philosophy or advice and I had to try to figure out how I decoded lies so could teach the kids how to do it. It turns out that it is pretty simple and it makes kids really hard to take advantage of.

Decoding lies seems to have four points rather than the usual three points associated with deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning etc. Keep in mind that I was explaining how to decode lies to children, and I wanted them to understand how easy it is. I have only got reasonable IQ, higher than average, but I do have a really high EQ and I think that the technique for decoding lies is more influenced by EQ rather than IQ.

The way I taught the kids was that decoding lies is a technique that is very similar to simple maths. There are only really four sums or questions that you need to test the statement with if your instincts and commonsense tell you that something does not add up.

It is a lot easier to explain in person than on an internet forum, but I figure that any skeptic that can see the advantages of decoding lies and understanding what the motives of their hearts show about the content of their character will probably put in a bit of effort and get it right.

Okay, I start with commonsense. You know it when you hear it and you can see the sense in it. The maths adds up. It is as simple as 2+2=4. You can see that it adds up. When someone is lying and trying to put bad ideas and advice in your head the maths does not add up the same. If you keep your maths in your common sense sound you will be sensible and it gets easier to spot when someone is trying to teach you something and their maths is a little off. It is easier for a false teacher to get someone to accept a little lie rather than that is blatently obvious so after they have told you the truth long enough to win your trust then the maths will look a little off. It starts as just one sum, something that doesn't quite add up, or it is advice that makes sense in the right circumstances.

Usually it is best to start by analysing some sentence that a preacher or evangelist has said that does not quite add up the same way common sense does.

The four questions.

1.What does he want you to believe his advice revolves around?

2. What does his advice really revolve around?

3. What idea is he trying to put in your head? What idea is he trying to get you to accept? Look at his results, what is he creating?

4. What is in his heart? What is his motive?

Now, we need a lie to decode. Something that a lot of the religeous con men use, but it has been a while since I have been to church so I will use the line that christians use once in a while to manipulate me into going to church.

"The bible says that we are not to forsake fellowship with each other."
For the record, I like fellowship and man is a social animal whether you like it or not. The happier your relationships are the happier you are and emotional intelligence, social skills and experience are very valuable assets to provide you with a happier quality of life.

No matter how niave you are you can look at the statement that the bible says we are not to forsake fellowship with each other and your instincts will tell you that something is wrong. It's not a church it's a coven passing itself off as a church, and the mindgames and the spiritual abuse is enough for you to leave the church because it is in your own best interests.

"The bible says that we are not to forsake fellowship with each other."

Q1. What does he want you to believe that his advice revolves around?

A1. Fellowship, gathering together. You have a holy obligation to go to church and not going to church is sinning.

Q2. What does his advice really revolve around?

A2. Manipulating you into going to church. Making you feel like you have to go to church whether you like it or not out of ethics and idealism.

Q3. What idea is he trying to put in your head. What idea is he trying to get you to accept? What is he trying to create? Look at his results, that is what he is after.

A3. Forsaking fellowship is really bad. Not going to church is really bad. The bible says that you have to do it and if you don't it's really bad and it's your fault. There is no justification for not going to church, and what ever your motives for not going to church are they are not justified.

Q4. What is in his heart? What is his motive?

A4. He is trying to get people to accept that they have to go to church and going to church is more important than the quality of the character of the church, or any other reason your integrity, commonsense and instincts warn you to not go to church. He is also passing church off as a fellowship.

Decoding lies like this give you some insight into the desires and treasures of the heart of your fake pastor or leader. The thing that it has in common with studying body language is that you need to study them for a while and look at the big picture. With body language nervousness can be mistaken for deciet unless there is enough information for it to be seen in the right context.

With decoding lies to figure out exactly what is in the heart of a fake preacher you need to study and decode a pack of lies, not just one lie to hit the nail on the head and figure out what all of his lies revolve around. I usually tell children that most men have less than six desires that their lies are motivated by, and their lies all revolve around these motives. If you decode enough lies, you can see through the smoke and mirrors and figure out what is in their hearts.

Pastors are an exellent subject to study because they waffle on for a long time and you don't get distracted by having to multi task and socialise with a male brain while you are decoding lies. Sometimes it pays to take notes so you can decode them later.

The irony of talking skeptics into going to church hasn't escaped me. I am not suggesting that you believe the lies that the preachers tell you, I am just suggesting that you decode their lies to get a little experience and practice at doing it and these guys are an exellent liars.

I once told the kids I trained jokes about it being like counting cards at a casino, but they ended up protesting about the ethics of the metaphor I had chosen to try to make it clear to them. So I can't really use that one anymore. Children do not think that ripping off casinos that are ripping everyone off is ethical.

We will try another lie. "Compromise for the sake of love and unity." One of my personal favourites, used to manipulate many of the less discerning among us.
Q1. What does he want you to believe it revolves around?

A1. Love and unity. That love and unity takes compromise and you have to do things you don't like to achieve love and unity.

Q2. What does it really revolve around?

A2. Emotionally blackmailing and manipulating people into compromsing. Passing compromising off as the solution to the utopian values of love and unity.

Q3. What idea is he trying to get you to accept or put in your head? What result is he after? What is his goal?

A3. That compromises chosen by your leaders are the solutions that you need to accept so that we can have love and unity. Compromise is a practical solution and a neccessary evil to nurture the stability of love and unity.

Q4. What is in his heart?

A4. He is trying to get you to accept that compromise is the solution whether you have ethical or common sense issues with it as a solution. Once you have accepted compromise as the working solution once, you are far more likely to accept it the next time your leaders manipulate you into it. It also manipulates you into being more gullible.

You will notice hopefully that decoding lies is a useful way of diagnosing an ethos. It brings to light the treasure in a man's heart that his words revolve around. When there is a grain of truth in a lie, this is how you decode the lie to look at the grain of truth and see it clearly.

I taught the children I trained that if you decode enough lies from one person you can figure out all of the treasures in their hearts, the things that they really value. There can be five or six (or so) treasures that everything really revolves around, and all of those revolve around trying to take advantage of people. When you understand the treasures in a man's heart, you understand what kind of a man he is.

I taught them that it is a bit like studying body language and you need to take everthing into account, not just the first few thing that you see. The object is to figure out what everything revolves around.

So now we get the bit about interventions. Perhaps they can be reached, and perhaps they can be saved. Perhaps it is completely useless to try, but everyone is entitled to three interventions with manners.

There are basically three motives that I will try to articulate as...

1. He is lying!

2. He is not lying, he is just wrong.

3. He is delusional.

In the interests of good interventions with a bit of manners and style, anything that you say to a wise man that corrects him when he is wrong will only make him respect you. It's from the book of proverbs in the bible.

Lying or delusional is a bit harder to reach and reason with. They have to consider it to be to their own advantage to change their mind or they will not do it.

I did discover a fourth motive once, but I can't remember what it is at the moment. The downside of being a natural I guess.

There was a couple of other things that came up, like not all lies have a grain of truth in them. Some of them are just purely fantasy that are the manifestations of mental health issues. Decoding them might give you some insight into the treasure in the hearts, but I don't know if it will help you unless you are in the psychiatric field. The fourth motive revolved around something like that.

I figure a skeptics forum is the right place to make a post about decoding lies and how I think I do it. Seeing through a straw man is not anywhere near as satisfying as decoding one.

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Old 16th May 2011, 06:31 AM   #2
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You seem to be relying (almost) exclusively on second guessing the potential liar's motives and thoughts. These are important considerations, but you may not know the person well enough or the full context of the situation well enough to make an accurate judgement.

I agree that common sense can be a good starting point but it is only going to be as reliable as your existing web of belief. For example if you already believe that some people can speak to the dead, despite their being no good reason to do so, then you may too readily believe a charlatan who wants some of your hard-earned.

The amount of scepticism applied should vary depending on how extraordinary the claim is, as well as the potential consequences of mistaken belief. Then it simply comes down to determining what reasons are being given to believe what you are being told and whether they are sufficient, again this depends on the consequences of being wrong.

I reckon you should continue to explore inductive and deductive logic, including the varieties of different logical fallacies. The other key part of being a good critical thinker is building a broad and reliable web of belief by reading up on science and history to understand not only what we know but how we know it.
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Old 16th May 2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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No lie detection method is fail-safe, let me get that out of the way first thing. Lie detector machines, systems of thought, etc., all of them can be fooled by a really smooth liar.

That being said, I'm one of those people who has a strong BS meter, and I can often tell when people are lying to me. Here's a few ways that I've noticed are pretty consistent:

1. Volunteering too much information. A liar has usually thought through their story and all the details that would make the lie plausible. Let's use being late home from work as an example. Sometimes the person being lied to would accept the simple explanation ("I stopped at the liquor store on my way home from work...") and don't need the complex explanation ("...and my friend Joe from high school was there---you remember Joe, don't you? and his car had a flat so I lent him a can of Flat-Fix, then his car wouldn't start, so I lent him some jumper cables, and I got dirt on my sleeve when I was jumping his car, and anyway, that's why I'm late home from work"). However, a liar will almost always insist on giving the complex explanation without waiting to be questioned.

2. Answering questions you haven't asked. It's related to #1 above. Since the liar has thought out a fool-proof explanation, they often won't wait for you to ask the questions they expect you to ask. Instead of waiting to be asked "Why are you so late home from work?" they will launch into their story without being asked. If you think about it, "I had to work late" would usually suffice for an answer to the question---if the person weren't lying.

3. The Old Innocent, Puppy Dog-Eyes Thing. Most people who are lying will attempt to affect an innocent look, some with more success than others. The appearance of the "innocent look" is often one's first sign that a big whopper is to follow shortly. This one requires that you at least have a passing acquaintance with the person in order to know what their real and natural "innocent look" really is, otherwise you can't be expected to recognize the fake one.
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Old 16th May 2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/arch...ebody-is-lying
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Old 16th May 2011, 04:31 PM   #5
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Dude, I believe you are sincere in your feelings about this topic, but nothing you said is logically necessary. And a whole lot of it depends on suppressed premises that may seem obvious to you but don't have any truth value whatsoever.

Take this as an example:


Quote:
Making you feel like you have to go to church whether you like it or not out of ethics and idealism.

Where did you get the idea that someone who feels ethically bound to do something might not like it? Where did you get the idea that fulfilling an idealistic goal doesn't, in and of itself, provide pleasure? Must importantly, where did you get the idea that the pastor who said it wasn't sincere in saying it - sincere in his belief that meeting a moral obligation is more important than momentary "enjoyment"?

It appears to me that you have come to a conclusion about organized religion and are now engaged in an ends-oriented analysis of your experiences there.
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Old 16th May 2011, 06:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
It appears to me that you have come to a conclusion about organized religion and are now engaged in an ends-oriented analysis of your experiences there.
I got that impression as well.

Originally Posted by rofl View Post
There are basically three motives that I will try to articulate as...

1. He is lying!

2. He is not lying, he is just wrong.

3. He is delusional.
What if someone IS simply telling the truth about something and you simply cannot "detect" that?

SOME PEOPLE actually tell the truth sometimes. Weird, I know.
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Old 16th May 2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Three kinds of lies:

Lie by omission.

Lie by inclusion of extraneous and misleading information.

Lie by stating something that is not true.


Lying is only one tactic of manipulative behavior, which I think the OP is really getting at. There are a lot of very good works on manipulative behavior and reading them would be of great value and pleasure to the OP I am sure. I like Dr. George Simon's work best.

The nice thing about standing on the shoulders of those who came before you is that it is all so well-organized, the terms are defined/standardized, and the field has withstood tremendous peer review & revision.

Although there are four points (questions) in the decoding paradigm given, it seems to me there is just one primary distinction being made - the difference between someone's intentions and their rhetoric or actions.

By reading the literature on manipulation one becomes very quick at identifying manipulative tactics like guilt-tripping, evasion, diversion, shaming, selective memory/attention, lying, etc.

Every bit of it involves deception though. The preacher is not going to say "I am guilt-tripping you into attending Church so that you will fill the offering plate with money". So I understand the OP's statement about decoding "lying" as a general proposition.

But it is I think more properly defined as manipulation.
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