To all journalists and politicians who consider Dr. Mahathir Mohammad as one of the most wise politicians in Malaysia. Please don’t be fooled by the master at fooling others, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad. My advice to journalist is to learn to read the indicators of both the verbal and the non-verbal indicators of deception whenever you get to question him at any press conference and persist with probing questions, you would then see him fumble.. Always then look and listen for indicators of deception whenever Dr. Mahathir Mohammad speaks, it comes in clusters. Better still attend my courses on deception detection.
For a good example even our fellow bloggers who think they are not easy to be fooled can be easily fooled. Looking at the clip below, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad was seen and heard speaking to assembled bloggers at the Perdana Leadership foundation some time ago. (There are many such clips I could show, but this is good enough for the moment)
In the clip below he was seen exhibiting within seconds a cluster of deceptive behaviors.
1st A gaze aversion (Looking down and moving his head, getting ready with the lie)
2nd An expression of fear in his eyes of been caught lying. (Afraid he would be caught lying)
3rd Exhibited the Pinocchio effect of lying after telling the lie.
4th He then flashed himself with a duping delight. (A duping delight is the pleasure of being able to lie and manipulate someone who is usually difficult to lie to, often the flashing smile is at an inappropriate moment.)
In the clip Dr. Mahathir Mohammad shows he does not like bloggers. Because bloggers often call him names and of their straight forward articles often disapproving his views and policies. Despite all that negative feelings about bloggers, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad cunningly takes a shot by deceptively meaning that bloggers are important people when he says, “That is why we NEED bloggers.”
When the truth is, we all do know that he does not believe he needs bloggers, neither does he like bloggers and therefore he was verbally and physically not-congruent. He was subsequently caught and seen through his non-verbal indicators (body language) to be lying.
The truth is he feared that if the bloggers were shrewd enough they would not be completely tricked or deceived by him and instead they would have booed him for that. Instead of all that, the bloggers were fooled by him when they responded by clapping in approval at his lies. So my fellow journalist please don't be easily fooled by him next time always ask probing question to know the truth.
The first part of the clip before the deceptive behaviors of Dr. Mahathir Mohammad is from the drama series Lie To Me, it is to establish the truth of the indicator on the Pinocchio effect of lying.
Latheefa Koya’s body language and her verbal behavior shows deceptive behaviors that was so obvious in her media expose on the audio recordings. Exposing some of her lies here is not to degrade, debase or dishonor her but the intention here is to teach journalist to read deceptive non-verbal and verbal indicators that would help journalist persist in their questionings rather than to stop questioning after an interviewee has lied.
A trained journalist on the other hand would be able to see the non-verbal as well as hear the verbal aspects of deceptive behaviors and continue their questionings to be able to stay one step ahead of the game, usually played by lying politicians and others.
To what I hear and see in Latheefa Koya, I suspect that someone other than the MACC had gone through those tapes of identifying those in the tapes before MACC’s claim that they did all that work. In my opinion and examination on deception of her media expose, I believe the work was done before MACC got those tapes.
When asked, “Why after the prosecution had long begun its case that you are only now exposing these tapes?” She answers the question by saying, “Because we received it only now,” this answer alone if truthful was good enough, but since there was something to conceal or hide, she further adds with a string of convincing statements (powerful lies) to influence our perception on the timing of the release rather than convey information that addresses the facts or the truth of the situation that is, “Because we received it only now,”
These convincing statements are when she says, “Look the case can continue, as far as we are concerned, the conversation is about cover ups, of the ongoing cases, so we are talking about a new set of offences that are taking place throughout that recording”. These convincing statements are spoken to influence our perception on the timing of the release. I think that the release could be because of the upcoming Kimanis by-election in Sabah
At the other point when Latheefa Koya was asked, “When did you receive the recordings? She answered: “Just after the New Year.” (A verbal indicator of deception, a failure to answer the question) While she slightly performs a gaze aversion. (Non-verbal indicator) Just after the New Year can mean 7th January or even 6th January, it is also still after the New Year! Further to it, these are dates that are highly improbable for the amount of work like going through forensics that had to take place before a scandalous tape of such Watergate magnitude was exposed.
A truthful answer to the question would have been, “On the 2nd or 3rd of this month” or any precise date. Not concealing it by saying, “Just after the New Year.” The answer was deceptive as there was a failure to answer the question. A truthful person would have answered the question specifically with a date.
Just after the New Year does not make sense, as her early morning expose on the 8th January is too early for its implication and huge consequences. Probably some other government authorities (or deep state) had the tapes first, before her receiving it, or it was in her possession for a longer period, or probably she was only given instructions to expose the audio recordings at the beginning of the New Year.
At that point of answering the question, her face turns away abruptly from the questioner to the opposite side (a non-verbal indicator, gaze aversion) and her face had an expression of an angry look, angry possibly at the questioner or the question. Soon after that, she licks her lips (licking lips is another non-verbal lying indicator) truly better than her other lip lickings.
The other deceptive behavior I will discuss here is when she was asked, “Have you informed the Prime Minister?” Latheefa Koya denies the question by saying, No! At the same time she pretends, by fumbling at the question. She then repeats the word Prime Minister, when saying which Prime Minister? The former or current Prime Minister? She was buying time to answer that question.
At the same time her hand gestures were inconsistent with her words as they were incongruent, this is because you can see her pointing her hand down meaning present while at the same time saying the word former.
Then there is these word that she repeated what the audience had said earlier, she repeats their word by saying, “Media is the first.” Here again, how could media be the first when MACC and all those handling those tapes before submission to the MACC was already in the know?
After denying by saying, No, she commits another gaze aversion and has a facial expression of contempt (The corner of her right lip moves slightly up) and does an inappropriate smile, a duping delight. A duping delight is an expression of delight, a puzzling relief shown after a lie has been told to others by performing an unusual smile and at an incongruous instant. Usually this expression of delight is shown after a lie is told to one who is especially difficult to lie to.
There are other aspects of lies in the expose, like unintended messages or the truth in the lie, when what she said was a truthful statement but when analyzed, that statement conveyed information that she does not realize she was conveying. Similarly there are other aspects of deception which I would identify but would do at a suitable time and at a later date. At this moment I will rest my case.
Yes! It’s difficult to fake body language because of the lack of congruence that is most likely to occur in the use of the main gestures with the body’s micro gestures and its accompanying words. For example, open palms are connected with honesty, but when the pretender holds his palms out and gives you a fake smile as he tells a lie, his micro gestures gives him away, his pupils may expand, the eyebrows may slightly lift itself or the corner of his mouth may twitch and the accompanying micro momentary facial expressions would quickly signal that deception is occurring.
It is not then easy to detect deception for those whose training is zero, unless of course you are a genius or you have been trained to observe and listen simultaneously. Nevertheless, the consequence to an untrained eye is that they as receivers of these signals tend to only unconsciously not believe what they hear and see, since they are usually not totally conscious that he or she has been duped. The Human mind seems to possess a fail device that register ‘tip’ when it receives a series of contrasting non-verbal messages.
There are, however some cases in which body language is intentionally faked to gain certain advantages. Take for example, the Miss Universe or the Miss Malaysia contest, in which each contestant can put across these fake signals, she will then achieve points from the judges, but even the professionals can only fake body language for a short period of time and sooner or later their body will emit micro signals that are free of conscious control but instead signals that are involuntary.
The same with politicians who think they are specialist, yes specialist in phony body language, just in order to get to the masses to believe what they are saying, these politicians exhibit fake signals while they sometimes are said to have ‘personality’ for that. These are the politicians who don’t like body language experts around them just like how some deceptive men and women fear me when I am around them. A truthful person or a sincere person usually does not fear me because they are consistent with them and their messages and they are the ones who could relate a highly charged emotional experience the same way each time because that’s the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Just to make a point, I would like to relate an old experience of mine where the late celebrity Datuk Sharifah Aini in a quiet tone of voice and bending herself towards me, said these words. “Jack, if I was lying about the whole incident, I think you must know, that the last person in the world I would ever want to see today is a body language expert like yourself.” She was absolutely right, there are people and most people for no reasons at all sometimes do avoid me because of who I am.
This can be verified by those who have attended my body language courses on investigation. They sometimes do tell me that the knowledge of having been to a body language course itself helps subjects they have been investigating to open up and confess to them. Why? Because when these subjects or wrongdoers know that the investigator had attended my body language course, by the sole certificate on body language and deception detection hanging on their investigating room wall, the truth by design comes out from the wrongdoer.
How reliable and dependable are these indicators
Can one always rely on these signs, muscular tensions, anxieties and other visible micro gestures and detect these lies? Fortunately poor liars are much easier to catch by inexperienced investigators, especially those who don’t have a habit of telling lies, but those who are skilled habitual liars, they can suppress them, fake them, make-believe, imagine, pretend and act, which is much more difficult for the inexperienced ones to detect.
Carefully, believe me you can be trained to catch them too. To catch suspected habitual liars one must learn some tricks, tricks that will allow you to detect them, give them away, maybe not immediate but surely with patience over a short time they will be caught. The trap you must learn to make! You also must understand some conmen are psychopaths. Conmen who believe in their lies, conmen who don’t even blush, conmen who think they are very intelligent. These too you can catch for sure. One trick is to look as though you believe every word the suspected liar says. This will give him the courage to go on talking; he will become more intense in his claims and in the end deceive or betray himself.
The other is always double check or more before you accept his or her story, the tendency not to double check is a worldwide phenomenon. Big organizations are known to have employed people for highly trusted job functions without double checking and later had to bear with millions of dollars lost. Or video shoot the interview and then replay the segments to look for fleeting emotions of deceit. It is another safe method to determine if one is lying or not. It’s is also not true that there are no definite expressions or indicators that spell out a lie, there is just not one but a few that can actually spell out a lie.
There are many deceptive non-verbal indicators that can be studied and there are also emotional reactions or behaviors of deception that must be considered because the problem happens when you have to distinguish between lying, anxiety or nervousness. For there is no sure way to catch a liar quick. No single facial expression, no gesture, and no element of body language that sends out the subtext, “I am lying” all at one go to an untrained eye. Though for the trained investigator, like other indicators, eye assessing cues are spot on, and only in exceptional situations, as eye assessing cues is a sure science when you know how and in what circumstances to identify it.
Some of these signals are observable when someone is under stress whether he or she is lying or not. It is very easy to confuse the two. So wise judgments and experience is important in making conclusions, to be an expert one has to take many years, to be highly conclusive. Sometimes we are so certain that one is lying, because our “gut feelings” which is more than intuition has actually noticed the combination of tiny clues to the emotions of the person who is lying.
Unfortunately, if you’d ask 10 people, you would be surprised to find out that all or most of them would tell you avoiding eye contact is an indicator of deception. They are wrong because people avoid eye contact for several reasons – they feel uncertain about their opinions, they are trying to remember facts or they feel socially embarrassed or it is impolite in their culture. So taken in isolation some of them may be because of these.
Unfortunately, our conclusions are sometimes erroneous and may lead to unjust accusations. “I knew he was lying,” says a father about his son, “because he refused to look me in the eyes.” The father evidently assumes, based on first or second hand experience that people who lie tend to look way from their challengers. (Shifty gaze) But the son might have averted his gaze for other reasons. Maybe he was simply afraid of his father; maybe his interpretation of the father’s nonverbal behavior had convinced him that the truth would not be believed and that punishment was imminent no matter what he said.
In fidgeting one must also consider the personality as active extroverts fidget more, as do young children. Like foot movements and posture may indicate an uncomfortable chair or some may simply not be as gesture expressive as others. Or having their hands concealed maybe because he or she is feeling cold or searching for a small object or have bandaged hands. Having considered some aspects of lying it’s good to know that body language experts too are unable to give you a genuine smile with all honesty and at the same time tell you a lie, for their involuntary micro gestures may give them away, their pupils may expand too and their accompanying micro momentary facial expressions that are involuntary would mismatch the seriousness of their message that they are saying thus signalling to you that their deception is occurring in front of you.
When the ruling government’s party the Pakatan Harapan was deemed fully answerable for the poor showing in the Tanjung Piai by-election last Saturday, Mahathir Mohamad was not sarcastic, as one news agency put it that he was just sarcastic while they quoted his statement, “maybe it was my fault.” Liars love exclusion qualifiers they use it often in their vocabulary.
Because the word “maybe” in his statement, “maybe it was my fault,” is called an exclusion qualifier, a category in deception detection called a deceptive verbal behavior indicator, it is usually used by deceptive persons to enable them from withholding information of any serious situations or when they are faced with answering an incriminating question usually as liars they will not disclose to you all of the information that are truths to avoid taking accountability and responsibility. Other examples these liars use frequently are words like “basically” “fundamentally,” “probably,” “essentially,” “for the most part,” and “most often.”
After saying, “maybe” Mahathir said, “how would I know?” This, “how would I know?” is another lying indicator telling us directly that he can do no wrong and that he is 'innocent' proving to us what we all know him all along to be a legend in fooling others, very often using the part in deceptive behavior called selective memory, ('mudah lupa syndrome') where a deceptive person creates a psychological alibi by responding to a critical situation or a question with a stated inability to remember or to say, “how would I know,” as a tool in the deception arsenal with a stated inability to know why he had lost the by-election severely when the truth is he knows that it is his referendum by the people from North to South and he certainly knows and ought to know the truth as a leader. Therefore he was not been truthful but was only pretending ignorance to avoid taking full responsibility. In truth a leader who does not know the truth must resign for not knowing because how can a leader win and lead when he does not know how to lead and win?
This selective memory tool of deception was used again when he said, “we don’t yet know whether the country is ready for a transition of power or not". If you had noticed, Mahathir Mohamad had not in one but in two instances said, “how would I know?” And second when he said, “we don’t yet know whether the country is ready for a transition of power or not." Clearly he was demonstrating deceptive behavioral ploys of avoiding to disclose the truths by not providing the incriminating specifics in both instances that would only point the finger at the dismal by-election performance to his policies and of his leadership.
When he said, “We don’t yet know whether the country is ready for a transition of power or not. When the time comes, we will decide,” It is a big lie because it is clearly evident that Mahathir Mohamad is only adamant and insisting on staying on as Prime Minister, despite the fact that he knows that he is the main reason why the people voted decisively and colossally against the party Bersatu and the alliance Pakatan Harapan at the by-election.
Again when we analyze his words, “WE don’t yet know whether the country is ready for a transition of power or not”, who is the ‘WE’ that Mahathir Mohamad is talking about. The ‘We’ here is an unintended message or a truthful statement made by a deceptive person that, when the literal meaning of the statement and word is analyzed it conveys information that the deceptive person does not realize he’s conveying. It is also referred to as, the “truth in the lie.”
Certainly then the ‘We’ he is referring to, are his cronies, those who have selfish interest in his continuous leadership. Again, what is it that makes him think that the country or Malaysians are not ready? Isn’t the social media widespread in its belief and comments accusing him for the poor performance, indicating that the vast majority of people are actually ready and want a transformation of leadership?
One thing we are all certain and there is no doubt about it, with the power of the social media today, we Malaysians can honestly say, Pakatan Harapan can be defeated in another coming by-election and the next General Election if Mahathir Mohamad still continues on as the never ending Prime Minister. The other thing that is certain is that Hishamuddin and company together with Asmin about them joining Bersatu as a benefit in return for them not been dishonored. There are almost about a big number of Members of Parliament who may jump ship into the Party Bersatu, (As fruits of the Malay Dignity Congress) and there are other unintended messages the 'truth in the lie' that is now happening at the serious negotiating stage to strengthen Bersatu. This scenario would be revealed later, as to the reasons why it is believed, you would know after it happens.