contr. : M.C. Mersey
Bullshit Detection

  This insightful article
teaches to us how to practise:


by: Mike Mersey

3 Pages - Page 1

"Expertise in Bullshit Detection takes time to develop, but fortunately, most cops develop a sixth sense that seems to tell them when a suspect's response doesn't quite ring true. Cops call this sixth sense their bullshit alarm. In reality, though, it may just be that once you are lied to every time you don the uniform, you learn to pick up on the small nuances that scream BULLSHIT whenever a lowlife opens his mouth and a lie falls out."
Eating my Envelopes
I was interviewing Bennie D. because he was suspected of being involved in a car burglary. During the burglary, a video camcorder had been stolen. When the video camcorder was recovered it had a tape inside it. Recorded on that tape were Bennie D. and several of his low life friends standing around on a street corner filming one another. Talking about dumb criminals... I wanted to know if Bennie D. knew the camera was stolen when he was playing with it; furthermore, I wanted to know if Bennie D. was one of the burglars whom had stolen the camcorder.
While I was asking Bennie D. questions about his involvement in this crime, I noticed that he was acting very suspicious and could hardly sit still, even though he made constant denials about being involved in the burglary. Next, he started picking up envelopes from a stack that was on my desk. He started chewing on one, and then to my amazement, swallowed it. Fascinated, I watched Bennie D. as I asked him more incriminating questions; he continued to eat several more of my envelopes. All the while, he kept saying, "I didn't do it; would I lie to you?" Finally, I put my arm around him and asked if he had breakfast that morning. He confessed, shortly thereafter, to committing the burglary. Not only had I gained a confession, but I had a valuable lesson about the mannerisms of bullshitters. I also learned to start putting my envelopes in a safer place.
Bullshit Body Language
From traffic stops to murder investigations, it should be apparent by now that a large portion of the so-called honest citizens that you come in contact with every day will lie to you.
Except for psychopats, lying causes stress. It does this, naturally, because we fear being caught in a lie or fear the consequences of telling the truth. Bullshit body banguage is that in which the body, rather than the words, shows the stress that lying causes. For those of you whom have children (and for the rest of us who have been children once), think of the times you have observed kids who were caught lying; looking down at the ground and nervously scuffing his shoe in the dirt. Believe it or not, as adult bullshitters we have not outgrown these nervous mannerisms - we still mentally scuff our shoes and look away when lying, only now we are (usually) a little more subtle about how we do it.
Many times we make hasty judgements about whether a person is lying; sometimes we are right in those judgements, but we are often wrong too. Culture may be responsible for our misinterpretation of someone's behavior; for example, many Asian and Hispanic cultures believe that looking an authority figure directly in the eyes is a sign of disrespect. In America, we refer to that type of behavior as being "shifty eyed" and equate it with bullshitting. On the other hand, many career criminals have learned that the best way to successfully practice lying (particularly upon cops) is to look people right in the eyes and "lie straight to their faces."


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