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Lying: Lance Armstrong’s Attorneys Say “It’s Okay!”

If you write a book, you have a right to lie.  At least that’s what Lance Armstrong’s attorney’s say about his autobiographies. Lance Armstrong is being sued by his book publishers for $5 million dollars plus damages for the massive lies he wrote about in his books.

I find it very interesting that Armstrong’s attorney Jonathan Herman says “People don’t always have to tell the truth.”  I guess it doesn’t matter that he duped the publishers and millions of readers in his books “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts.”  The argument is that he didn’t fraudulently mislead anybody to buy his books through some form of false advertising campaign. The publisher’s attorney Kevin Roddy says “He cheated on bike races to sell books and he published books in order to cover up cheating. We think they are intertwined.”

I wonder if Armstrong’s attorney would be so cavalier about lying if it was a witness he was deposing?  Would he be so generous if a witness lied on the witness stand?  I guess as long as I feel “justified” in the situation I am authorized to lie.  That’s the same logic people use with they commit all types of crimes, fraud, deception, even sabotage and espionage!

In my mind, this is just another example of Armstrong’s grossly over blown ego and that he can do anything he wants and can find ways to justify his actions.  Lying, not matter the situation is ALWAYS done for selfish reasons.  Even the little white lies we tell in social situations.  What I worry about are the lies that are designed to “hide” a wrong, “hype” the image of oneself, or to “harm” another.

In my mind, chronic lying (hide, hype and harm) is a sign of a MAJOR character flaw on the part of the liar.  It would be my opinion that Armstrong has some major character flaw issues!

The Lie Guy YouTube ChannelThe Lie Guy YouTube: Deception: The Different Types of Lies


Don’t you find it amazing that liars are so good at rationalizing and justifying their behavior?  Isn’t amazing that some people go out of their way to enable these people to keep getting away with victimizing others?


I guess some people just prefer to be lied to because they hate hearing the truth as much as some people fear telling the truth.

Well … at least that’s my observation anyway.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”

The Interview Room

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Interrogation & Memory: Ethics of Lying to Subjects About Evidence

Interrogation techniques taught to investigators run the gamut of styles and philosophies. Certain styles have a higher tendency of showing up in false confessions cases. One of the characteristics of those flawed techniques is the use of false evidence as a tool to get the subject to confess.

There are numerous “problem” interrogation techniques that teach and support the use of false evidence to put pressure on the subject. Suspect techniques tend to also recommend tactics that include suggesting unnamed witnesses, the presence of surveillance cameras when none exist, DNA, fingerprints, footprints, making up file folders purportedly filled with evidence, labeling DVD’s of video tapes with the subject’s name and more. This is typical of high pressure interrogation methods which in and of themselves have a high correlation with false confession.

A documented tactic used by some problem interrogation methods that has been shown to have a very strong correlation to false confessions is the use of the high pressure tactic of suggesting that the subject has a memory problem. There is empirical evidence that one of several common denominators found in false confessions is referred to as “memory distrust syndrome.” In many of these cases the subject need not have a “high suggestibility rating” as described in extensive research on false confessions. Using high pressure tactics, guilt assumptive techniques dominated by leading questions, interrupting the subject, short answer questioning techniques, combined with the interviewer suggesting the subject may not be able to trust their memory is a deadly combination.

Empirical studies of interrogation techniques that capitalize on false evidence do promote false confessions. Such tactics will also contaminate the statements of uncooperative victim’s and witnesses.

Our law enforcement training academies and corporate loss prevention training associations would do well if they would familiarize themselves with the techniques that promote such tactics. They are exposing themselves, their academies, their investigators and their companies to the risk of liability by training their personnel in methods and interrogation techniques that are now being made illegal in many countries.

I think it’s time we paid more attention to the interrogation methods we teach. Are we just training our personnel in a technique because of the name or more importantly, are we really aware of the the moral and legal ethical problems that exist due to the content of the training.

Of course, this just my opinion on the topic.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room

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False Confessions: 60 Minutes False Confession Capital

60 Minutes “False Confession Capital” airs tonight and will highlight the long trend of false confession cases that have plagued the Chicago area.  This will be another black eye for law enforcement.  It SHOULD be an alarm bell to agencies who continue to provide little or no training in interview & interrogation to their officers.  The training they do get is riddled with myths, disproved concepts and techniques debunked long ago by multiple social psychological studies.

What is really perplexing to me is the excuses you hear for such interrogation disasters.  Over the last 4 months I have read numerous accounts of false confession cases and here are the the most common excuses I hear from the police agencies (and also corporate loss prevention I might add… ATTENTION: A.S.I.S., A.C.F.E., Retail Industry – Loss Prevention Foundation, etc.).

1. “The interrogator used the technique wrong.”
2. “We don’t interrogate innocent people.”
3. “Innocent people don’t falsely confess.”
4. “The subject is responsible for false confessions.”
Here’s my conclusion to those stupid comments.
1. Then you must be “failing” as instructors of your technique.
2. Sounds like you have a pre-conception before you begin that the subject “has” to be guilty to begin with.
3. Right!  And nobody has bought a time share they didn’t want.
4. You were in charge of the interrogation.  If it goes wrong … YOU OWN IT!

FINALLY … let’s face it, the reason you keep having problems with the techniques you have been taught to use… THEY DON’T WORK!  To keep training your investigators in the same flawed techniques and expecting different results is insanity.

Time to take a VERY serious look at the interrogation technique(s) taught to investigators that for decades have been identified as being “chronically” responsible for false confessions. The public deserves it, officers should demand it or just like Chicago, the courts and the Justice Department will be on YOUR back!

At least that’s the way I see it…

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room

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Meet Hubris: An Interrogtion Assassin

It should be no surprise by now that there are cases of wrongful conviction that have occurred as a direct result of false or coerced confessions.  The statistics show that false or coerced confessions are responsible for 25% of the wrongful convictions overturned using DNA evidence.  What continues to amaze me is how no one accepts the responsibility for the root cause – training, faulty training, or the lack thereof.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve read several accounts of false confession cases and in several of those reports, the question of the techniques the interrogators used was discussed.  The answers given by the interrogators, their agencies, and the trainers all had the same theme – it’s not our fault.

I read responses such as “He wouldn’t have confessed if he weren’t guilty.” “They didn’t use our technique correctly.” “We don’t interrogate innocent people.” “Innocent people don’t confess.”

Appalling attitude!  What hubris!!

I’ll say it again… the greatest risk to any interview is the “Interrogation Assassin.”  His real name is “pre-conception” and hubris is his birthright.

Just my opinion…

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room

Join me on Twitter & Facebook

False Confessions: Huge Lurking Liability for Businesses

For quite some time we have been deeply concerned and rightfully so, about false confessions that result in wrongful criminal convictions in the criminal justice system. But private businesses are operating in ignorance if they think their interviews and interrogations are also not creating a huge liability for their bottom line as well as their brand, and employee morale.

You may be surprised to know that of the wrongful convictions overturned using DNA, 25% of those cases involve false confessions. Just as shocking is that fact that in 75% of those overturned cases, bad contaminated victim interviews or flawed eye witness interview played a key role in the wrongful conviction.

We shouldn’t be surprised, really. The same flawed methods and tactics taught and used in the criminal justice community are just being carried over to corporate loss prevention and security. Why would we think that false confessions and wrongful dismissals wouldn’t also occur? Just because we carry some form of certification, it doesn’t mean the techniques taught and used are not fraught with scientific flaws and inherently coercive tactics. As a result, corporate entities taking huge losses up to millions of dollars for flaws and coercive techniques being used by their loss prevention and security personnel.

It’s time for corporate loss prevention, security, and safety professionals to pay more attention to their interview and interrogation training. If the techniques they are using or training their personnel to use result in false confession in the criminal justice arena, why would you think it is NOT going to have the exact same results and creat the same liabilities and risks for private corporations? Why not just ahead and write the blank checks because you are going to get burned.

Buyer beware! How about corporate loss prevention beware of the methods and techniques your train your personnel to use. I can’t imagine why your corporate legal department let’s you continue to take those risks with your bottom line.

Just my opinion. But it appears the courts agree with me.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room
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