HOWTO Lie to authority figures

Instructables has just posted the latest installment in its ongoing series of HOWTOs inspired by my young adult novel Little Brother. This week, they tackle the all-important skill of lying to authority figures.
There are certain tells that can give away that someone is lying. For instance, when my dad lies he gets all bug-eyed. In fact, many people do that.

To keep from giving yourself away the first thing you want to do is keep eye contact with the person you are talking to. Unless, you are one of those freaks that never make eye contact with anyone. Then, whatever you do, don't make eye contact.

The best way to make eye contact is to focus on an imaginary spot somewhere to the left of their head around their left ear. This will seem like you are looking straight at them.

Keep a neutral and relaxed posture and don't do anything that would make you seem nervous like shake or scratch your neck. I like to stay relaxed by singing Irish folk songs to myself. The kind of song that goes on and on and on.

Link, Link to feed of Little Brother Instructables


  1. Nah!

    It’s such ‘a well known fact’ that people who are lying break eye contact that people who are lying try not to break eye contact.

    People who are not lying often break eye contact in normal conversation.

    The very lack of breaks in eye contact suggests the person IS lying!

  2. Yep… what he said. The not breaking eye contact is a dead giveaway.

    One of Derren Brown’s skills seems to be to be able to tell when people are lying. There is a whole science behind where people look when accessing real memories and where they look when fabricating what they are saying.

    If someone is going to be arrogant enough to post an instructable, you’d expect them to take some time to get it right.

  3. Doesn’t it depend on _how_ you do or don’t break eye contact, though?

    If I was talking to someone looking at me straight in the eyes and never breaking eye contact to the point of wanting to blink but obviously trying hard not to, I’d tick.

    But if they didn’t break eye contact, save for when they’re laughing, coughing, or otherwise geetting away from the storytelling, I wouldn’t say they’re lying.

    It’s also about keeping a natural eye contact–rather than look like having the mechanical device used in Clockwork Orange when the main character is strapped in front of a violent film.

    Best advice: don’t even think about it, and be natural. That’s easier once you’ve established to yourself that you’re not lying.

  4. ‘The best way to make eye contact is to focus on an imaginary spot somewhere to the left of their head around their left ear’.

    So the best way to make eye contact is… to not make eye contact. Genius!

    (I did think the rest of the instructable was rather more useful- particularly the bit about believing the lie yourself).

    An ex-flatmate of mine used to have the habit of using the word ‘honestly’ only when he lied (which was often)- it made it very easy to tell he was lying, even over the ‘phone.

  5. ”cus on an imaginary spot somewhere to the left of their head around their left ear.”

    OK this confuses me.

    You mean the left side of their face as I am looking at them – or, what they would consider their own left side of their face?

  6. I’m one of those freaks that doesn’t make eye contact. I believe they’re calling it aspergers syndrome these days.
    If you want to lie and get away with it just study donald rumsfeld. that mofo can lie to beat the band.

  7. @6 – everyone knew Rumsfeld was lying, but nobody with any authority had the stones to call him on it. Those who did were branded as traitors.

  8. I swear if I have to read one more post that says “inspired by my young adult novel Little Brother” I’m going to scream.

  9. Best way to lie: Pretend you’re in an immersive MMORPG and you’re just trying to figure out the right key phrase to get to the next level. In other words, disassociate in your favorite or easiest way.

  10. Wow! This is some of the worst advice ever!

    First, the encouragement to lie to authorities and then bogus information that is going to get the suspicion up and get someone arrested.

    Seriously. Don’t want authorities to know what you are doing, shut your mouth. Constitutionally in the US it is the most effective thing around, and generally people get tripped up when they think they are smarter than the authorities. Even if you are, it doesn’t take much to make a smart ass kid too overconfident with himself and try to push the boundaries more and more.

    I’ve been to seminars where you are taught both how to lie and how to detect lying. The advice any of the law enforcement agents tell the psychologists and otherwise is ALWAYS to keep your mouth shut at all costs because even if you aren’t guilty, they can find ways to use what you say against you. I know in the US, you can’t be jailed unless there is some overwhelming proof — and even a single detectable lie that isn’t connected to the bigger picture is enough to charge you with lying to a law enforcement agent (and a number of other crimes), and give them reason to search you.

    Not saying anything? And not being a smartass about it? Best way to avoid problems.

  11. “somewhere to the left of their head around their left ear.”

    I agree with #5, this is very poorly written and confusing. Makes me doubt the validity of the entire HOWTO “technique” as this seems to be a crucial step. So, again, do you look at THEIR left side and thereby their left ear, or is it the left side of their head from MY perspective, therefore their RIGHT ear?

    Can someone please elucidate this? Cory? Anyone? Please, I have a lot of important lying to do.

  12. Seyo — this is from the idea that when remembering a real thought, one generally accesses a portion of the brain that triggers the eyes to look up and the the left. If you are thinking of an artificial one, you look up and to the right.

    If you look into the eyes, you are tying to fixate on a spot and far more obvious that you are trying to avert your natural facial gestures. If you look up and to the left (your left) away from the eyes, it won’t be so obvious that you are lying.

    I know one professor of personalities that lives for theories like this. In fact, he has a routine that he likes to do daily as part of self-therapy. Look up and to the left and imagine the world as it is (grounded thoughts), look up and to the right and imagine it how it should be (helps target the creative end). Look down and to the left and think of auditory thought (I forget if it is the same for these)…and so on.

    The point is, there isn’t any significant validity to this other than if you believe it and can connect the ideas to something in your life, you can use it as a cue towards a behavioral modification. Works well as a therapeutic device, not as an instrument for deception. If you can’t already lie, you are going to be looking deceptive while trying this and will thus be more guilty.

    Again, horrible horrible advice…never lie to authority. It’d be nice if we could all learn not to lie to anyone…

  13. #13 Clif Marsiglio said:

    I know in the US, you can’t be jailed unless there is some overwhelming proof

    Wow I hope you’re joking! Most of the time a hint of evidence is enough to detain you for a decent amount of time.

    I think that people are taking the “look at the spot” step. It just means to find a place that is close enough to their eyes to make it seem like you’re making eye contact. I’m one of those people that has trouble making eye contact, but you’d never know it if you were speaking with me. I stare at the bridge of people’s noses instead of their eyes when eye contact is hard (like when lying). No one knows the difference.

  14. Again, horrible horrible advice…never lie to authority. It’d be nice if we could all learn not to lie to anyone…

    But…but…surely you’re not serious.
    I mean, it’d be nice if we could all learn not to fight too, but that doesn’t mean you should never fight authority.

    Sometimes, when institutions try to oppress or kill people, the victims have to do Not So Nice things to protect themselves and others. It sucks, but consider it a form of self-defense. Not learning self defense is an abdication of your responsibility to help yourself and those around you stay safe.

  15. “I mean, it’d be nice if we could all learn not to fight too, but that doesn’t mean you should never fight authority.”

    I’m entirely serious. Just because you shouldn’t lie to authority doesn’t mean one should willfully submit to everything. Oh no. You should stand up for your rights. And one of the ways to do this is to value your own ethics and not do it. Another way is to simply say nothing at all.

    The latter is pragmatic…if you lie, you have a far greater chance of getting caught than not saying anything.

    The worst part is this is, as I was reminded multiple times yesterday, a book for young adults. I would not want a book in my libraries teaching my kids that lying it right. I’m not saying I’ve never done it…I might be doing it right now…I’m stating it is pretty irresponsible to teach children that lying is an acceptable means to an end, when it never is.

  16. Clif: I’m glad our methods of lying meet your disapproval. I too disapprove of lying. But anyone can be deceived, and anyone is capable of deception, no matter who you are, or how “trained” you are. It just matters how well the deception is carried out, and how savvy the deceived is to their deception.

    And sometimes it relies on neither of these things, but which is best for everyone to believe.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.” – P.T. Barnum

    Saving you’re immune to deception is like saying you’re immune to being mugged.

  17. Lying is right. If our society told the truth for one day, it would stop dead in it’s tracks. It’s the little lies we don’t even register that gel our society together.

  18. Hum, when I meant right, I more meant “not morally wrong”. I think applying “right/wrong” to the situation is naive in itself.

  19. While it is true you have the right to remain silent–even to some extent in the UK–in practise you’ve got to come out with the plausible excuses when stopped, unless you want to waste everybody’s time. Sometimes a cop will see it isn’t worth the effort to nick you for whatever specious reason they stopped you if they see you won’t give them any information; if you do have a plausible excuse, however, then really, you should give it. Otherwise they radio in and before you know it, there’s about twelve of them, investigating whether or not you really did drop that candy bar wrapper, and are liable to pay a fine. I’m sure they would rather be solving a murder case too, but they wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t follow up on a suspicion.

    Key lies:

    ‘I’ll be sure to go straight home, officer.’

    ‘I only had a few drinks, it’s probably the allergy medication.’

    ‘I did, in fact, lose them in a poker game.’

    ‘Reports of someone being a public nuisance? Oh yeah, I saw that guy, he looked nothing like me, and went that way.’

    ‘I have no idea why it smells like urine.’

  20. I follow the George Costanza Method of Lying: “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.” Luckily I’m not a criminal, at least as the law stands now.

  21. Biggest, most common tell ever:

    COP: Have you been smoking anything tonight?
    YOU: What?


    PROCESS SERVER: Are you Mr. Johnson?
    YOU: What?


    HER/HIM: Whose panties/jockey shorts are these?
    YOU: What?

    I used to serve court papers, and everyone always always does this when they’re about to lie. They pretend sudden-onset deafness and ransack their mental apparatus for a story while the question is repeated.

    If you don’t have a good lie handy, at least come up with a snappy but totally random answer if you need to buy time (“It’s 3 o’clock” would be a great answer to any of the questions above).

  22. One thing that I take pains to make sure that young people understand: when someone says “honestly” “actually” or “to tell you the truth” at the beginning of a sentence the very next thing out of their mouth will be a lie.

  23. Since the use of language is, in and of itself, a substitution of symbols for real objects and actions, speaking is almost always going to involve some separation between intention and reality.

    There are also, of course, multiple levels of meaning and symbolism embedded in different kinds of communication. When your wife, for example, asks, “Do you like my new haircut?” she is not asking, “What is your aesthetic opinion of the shape, color and length of my hair?” She is asking, “Do you love me enough to support my decision to cut my hair, regardless of whether or not you think it makes me look like Prince Valiant?”

    Answer the question you want to, not the one being asked.

    All that being said, the best way I’ve found to lie directly, in terms of an efficient scheme, is to stammer very, very badly. Not the kind of tripping over your tongue that everyone does when nervous and/or lying. But the kind of thing that makes it clear that you have a real problem communicating, under any circumstances, and that talking to authority figures just makes it worse.

    This won’t work for formal situations, such as in a courtroom. But for “street lies” and speeding tickets, most authority figures do not want to wait around while you take 5 minutes to stammer your way through a six word answer to their first question. It embarrasses most people to have to stand and wait politely for someone with a bad stammer, and they don’t know what to do to help, or if they should, and it messes with their ability to decode “normal” cues like eye contact, etc. Also, there’s an incorrect assumption that anyone with a bad stammer must be slightly slow, and that slow people are inherently less likely to be up-to-no-good.

    Police officer: What are you up to out here, all alone at this time of night?

    You: I w… w… w… was g… g… g… going to… g… going to s… to s… to see… to to to… g… going to s… s… see m… m… my my my…

    You get the picture. Practice it first, though. Badly done (like Porky Pig), and it’s obvious as hell. Also, based on having grown up with friends who stammer badly, there should be almost no eye contact. This is a nervous condition. Play it as if you are very, very nervous even about answering questions like, “What time is it?” What you’re doing is adding noise to the signal-to-noise ratio, not trying to change the signal as much.

    Is this evil? Maybe. Sure. But we’re talking about how to do something effectively that’s probably sinful in the first place, eh?

  24. I’ve noticed that when an authority figure is being pushy or overbearing, they will almost always look away. This allows them to dehumanize you and avoid feelings of mistreating a person. It helps me to say “I’m sorry sir. I’m hard of hearing. What did you say?” Then they have to look you in the eye and say it slowly. It frequently softens their attitude. I learned this by accident, the only useful thing that ever came of being hard of hearing.

  25. #15, thank you for confirming that this is indeed poorly written, and that it is not me who has comprehension problems. The sentence should read:

    “somewhere to the left of their head around their RIGHT ear.”

  26. After carefully thinking about it for many years, I’ve come to the conclusion that lying is not ALWAYS unethical. This was in sharp contrast to my previous belief, which put lying in roughly the same category as torturing small animals. I don’t know why I have such a strong aversion to it. It’s very Celtic, but none of my siblings seem to mind!

    I do believe, however, that lying weakens the power of your word. This is much more important if you do inspirational magic, as I do: so much of magic depends on the ability to MAKE something so by SAYING it is so. (I’m not talking about “that man there is a toad,” which could be true, but saying it doesn’t change anything: I’m talking about things more like “I am kind to others.”) If you habitually lie, or even frequently lie, regardless of how justified the lies are ethically, when you say something to make it true, you won’t believe it as much, and the magic (or affirmation or whatever) won’t work as well.

    Certainly lying weakens your power-with other people. If they know you lie a lot, they’re less inclined to believe you. This is the old “boy who cried wolf” problem.

    I think remaining silent when confronted with a question you don’t want to answer truthfully (or even when the truth is harmless, as a matter of principle) is a good idea. Keep your lies as infrequent as possible.

    As for the ethical standard: one of my friends holds that if someone asks you a question they have no right to ask, lying to them is perfectly all right. (I think her example was “How far along are you?” to which she responded “I’m not pregnant, this is a tumor.” It is possible that I have made this up and now believe it, however.) This seems like a good starting point, but it doesn’t apply when the person has the authority to make trouble for you if you lie. It’s still ETHICAL then, but it’s a bad idea.

  27. RossinDetriot @#27,

    Similarly, anything following the word ‘apparently’ in conversation [ie ‘Apparently, the CIA is putting chemicals in washing up liquid that kill baby seals when rinsed off’] should always be treated with suspicion.

    Similarly, anything following the word ‘similarly’ should normally be taken as a non sequiter.

  28. Like Sonny @ #6, I also have extreme difficulty in maintaining eye contact. It’s easier when they’re talking than when I am. I’ve also had it suggested I have Asperger’s, but that’s undiagnosed. People have told me it’s disconcerting, that at times I look like I’m blind since my eyes unfocus or are otherwise staring off into space. I recognize that it’s a bit freakish, but hardly the most disturbing compulsion anyone could have.

  29. Scottfree, IME things following ‘apparently’ are usually sarcastic.

    “Apparently John McCain thinks Iran has massive strategic first-strike capability, with over 30,000 warheads mounted on ICBMs.” See, that’s a sarcastic remark about McCrazy’s statement that Iran poses as big a threat now as the USSR did in the Cold War.

  30. yes yes BOBDOTCOM, all of this is factual. I don’t see power as being anything more than a precept of the understanding of controlling others. it’s only as real as the credence you give it. the suckers have authority.

  31. Is it bad to tell a lie? Conventional wisdom suggests that you should always tell the truth, but is that good advice? There are situations when lying is the right thing to do. When the Nazis bang on your door and ask if you’re hiding any Jews, you better not say yes. It might seem like a ridiculous example, but half the world lives under repressive, totalitarian regimes, where lying and survival are inseparable parts of everyday life. Even in what we’re calling democracies, society may be so racist or male dominated that subterfuge is survival. If you’re 16 and queer, and admitting it to your parents means getting kicked out on the street to hustle for a living, say what you need to say and don’t feel guilty about it.

    I’m lucky. I’m white and male and grew up in a time and place where I could always tell the truth without having to face any real consequences. That’s true privilege. The opportunity to be honest, to be yourself without reprisal is the most fundamental human right, and the one that is most denied. I’m grateful for the privilege of honesty that I’ve enjoyed. That’s why I’m unwilling to condemn others for doing what they need to do.

  32. Antinous 37: Indeed it was just such ideas that led to my reconsidering the matter. Though I did tell the truth in some cases where it had consequences of immediate physical abuse.

  33. ROSSINDETROIT @ 38: It’s more honest, but is it better?

    Taking it one step further back, is it really more honest? How is “No” more honest than “No, thank you” or “No, I won’t” or “No, I didn’t”?

    I think the reason that Chiarella got the negative responses he did from his girlfriend and other intimates is that in this culture, at least, an unadorned “No” is brusque and borderline unfriendly. Getting a response of “No” feels like having a door slammed in one’s face.

    I think it’s possible to make one’s “No” clear and unequivocal, without being so brusque as to seem rude or uncaring. “No, I won’t do that.” “No, I didn’t enjoy it.”

    As Miss Manners says, the gears of civilization mesh precariously enough without us going around chucking handfuls of sand into them.

  34. Well, if we’re going to get all philosophical about it, you got your deontological [from deon ‘obligation’, not as I once erroneously believed ‘de-ontology’] and your teleological ethics. There are others, I think, but these provide the boundaries of the spectrum.

    Now deontologically, an act is good or bad in itself, regardless of its consequences. So, for instance, Kant argued that it was always Wrong to lie, even if some good comes of it. Of course, Kant never lived to see fascism.

    Teleological ethics decides the moral basis for an act in its consequences; if the consequence is Good, then the act is Good. So lie, for instance, by all means if the Nazis knock at your door, and the Rosenblum’s are sitting down to dinner upstairs.

    Of course, for me, I don’t think people think a great deal about what they do, so it’s largely irrelevant. You can have all the morality you want, you’re still going to do whatever suits you best.

    Also, Xopher re: ‘apparently’, maybe it’s a sort of evolution that happens as the night goes on. With my friends, well like to talk about the news, without actually having to read it, so when someone says something like ‘Yea, so, apparently George Bush came right out and said he was a Nazi!’ it will very likely become the evening’s point of discussion.

  35. My definition of adulthood is “the ability and willingness to take full responsibility for the impact of one’s choices.” Impact on self (eat your vegetables), others (clean the bathroom) or society (don’t vote for Ralph Nader and throw the election to Bush.) An insistent urge to always be perfectly truthful is a common characteristic of (some) adolescents. They prefer to do something for themselves (sticking to their principles) than do something for others (make an ethical sacrifice for someone else’s good.) It’s an eternally slippery slope, and negotiating it is one of life’s most fundamental paradoxes.

    The other issue, of course, is that there is no objective truth outside of physics and math. Born again Christians, Islamic fundamentalists and other religious fanatics try to stick to their truth at all times. The moderates in every religion, the ones that we always hold up as an example of reason, are the ones who are prepared to sacrifice some of their truth in order to keep the world from going up in flames.

  36. Okay, you win Cory, I’m going to have to go out and get a copy of Little Brother.

    Okay, lying sucks, BUT it is not always an unethical thing to do. I’m thinking of a time when I was in a relationship that turned abusive scary. It didn’t start out that way. I got ambushed. And I couldn’t bail right away because there were all kinds of things wrapped up in it; home, business, stepkids, you name it. Not to mention the fact that said ambush had me in such a traumatized state that I was not thinking very well.

    But the situation was such that my partner, who had been very supportive and respectful (on the surface, the reality of what went on when you scratched skin deep is another matter entirely) suddenly became brutal. And stunned as I was, and as confused as I was, I suddenly knew enough that I did not trust her. Imagine that brainfuck. Imagine someone you’d trusted for years and realizing they were actually a monster. It happens.

    You know those cheesy old B&W werewolf movies? You’ve got the girlfriend who stares in horror while her boyfriend turns into a werewolf? That’s what it feels like. Only, of course, he was a werewolf all the time and she just couldn’t see it.

    So as the brutality increased, as I was seeing my way to escape, I had to lie. And it fucked me up, truly it did, lying even to the monster.

    I was so messed up by the whole thing, not just the lying OBVIOUSLY, that I started seeing a therapist. I lucked out. She was a smart cookie. They aren’t all, you know…

    I told her I felt wretched about lying. She told me, “Pip, this is not lying, this is survival.”

    I haven’t read Cory’s book yet, but he writes about young people. This is a different world. Even in a less screwed-up culture than ours, the young inhabit a different world. All kinds of people can have authority over them; parents, teachers, anyone over 21 really. And those people might just be really toxic.

    We have a mythology that says parents and teachers and those in power give a shit about kids and know what is best. Well some do, but not all. And some of those people who have authority over children are walking heaps of toxic waste. And you get these folks who have cluster B personality disorders and they are mommies and daddies and teachers and the cop on the corner.

    Not always, certainly, but more often than you’d think. More often than you think because our culture cannot bear for anyone to talk about any reality in which daddy and mommy and mrs. crabtree and officer friendly are anything but benign. And the children who speak out get shunned. As adults too, one gets shunned. The father who abused you on a daily basis dies, and everyone tells you how sorry they are for your pain, your loss. But they can’t handle the reality. They are only offering up sympathy that fits their comforting mythology. They are so not ready to hear “Oh, that’s okay. He was an evil bastard who violated me on a regular basis. Besides, he was sick and miserable for so long and I wouldn’t have wished that on a dog.” THAT makes them uncomfortable.

    But there are plenty of kids who get abused in all kinds of ways by adults, by authority figures. And they are very vulnerable because they haven’t the experience or the understanding of what is happening to them. Hell, plenty of adults have no understanding, not unless they’ve lived that particular hell themselves and sometimes NOT EVEN THEN, because the myth of mommy, daddy love is so strong. Better the lies, better the pretty lies and if people need to be sacrificed to the lies, so be it.

    Kids get abused in all kinds of ways. It doesn’t have to be a fist or a dick coming at you. Kids get abused and they really have no idea what the hell is coming at them. But they sense, in their guts, that this is EVIL, this is wrong. And they live to protect themselves. But by the definition of the culture they are wrong. And they accept that definition, that label, that heavy burden of being the one’s who are WRONG, rather than entirely succumb to that which is evil.

    Like my stepkids, who lied and lied and lied. I could not understand it, because the kid I had birthed myself and raised while in a different relationship never lied. And finally, only at the end (and for this I will never stop crying) did I realize that those kids lied because they had too. Because their mother lied to them. And then I remembered how I had lied and lied and lied. Lied until I got out of range. Lied until I was safe (and then, years later, made a bad call because a cluster B made a special cult just for me) lied until I didn’t have to. My son didn’t lie because I respected him. I respected his boundaries. My stepkids lied because their mother had no idea about boundaries.

    Lying to authority figures? The folks who think that doing so is immoral and unethical aren’t seeing the big picture. The authorities make the rules. So it is unethical to not play by their rules? Pffffft! (Which translates as a less disemvowel-worthy way of saying FUCK THAT). Somebody else makes the rules that suits them and to disobey is immoral. Not always. Not always. Sometimes you have to reach into that part of your heart that sees everyone. Sometimes you have to access that golden rule. Sometimes you have to see if everyone, even those authority figures are playing fair, are playing by the rules.

    If they aren’t, and you are a powerless minor, you have to do what you can. That might included lying. In an ideal world, that wouldn’t happen.

    Folks who say they never would. Folks who say that they can’t imagine such a thing, well I envy them. Because maybe they haven’t run into an authority figure who was toxic…

  37. @40, Lexica.
    I read the article when it came out in print, which was many pages ago and my recollection of it was inaccurate.
    I was thinking that it’s more honest to just say ‘no’ rather than ‘we’ll see’, ‘probably not’, ‘I don’t think so’, etc. when those things effectively add up to no and you’re just avoiding taking responsibility for ‘no’.
    One of my (admittedly many) pet peeves is people saying ‘I can’t’ for ‘no’ when they don’t want to say ‘I won’t’. Dodging responsibility in small ways makes bigger responsibility dodges too easy eventually.

  38. Antinous,

    I would assume “the ability and willingness to take full responsibility for the impact of one’s choices” would be one that says that to take responsibility one would have to speak the truth.

    Speaking the truth is not opposed to speaking dissent. Or refusing to talk. This is more responsible in the end.

    I know this is a global site, but we should be teaching kids to recite their constitutional duties as opposed to lying (at least in the US).

    “I’m sorry officer, but I really don’t feel like talking…am I under arrest or may I leave”.

    On the corporate side, I refuse to give Walmart receipt checkers my receipt either…but when I see others doing it, they get all passive aggressive “Umm…the cashier didn’t give me one” or “I threw it away” (in the 30 seconds from the time they were given one). I simply state “Sorry” and keep walking. I’m not aggressive or demeaning towards the folks doing their job, but I’ll protect my rights. I’ve seen others get in the 80 year old guys face and start screaming at the dude…

    Anything you can tell these folks by lying can more easily be told by stating the truth (or saying nothing at all). It isn’t a Kantian bargain (nor do I think Kant couldn’t have faced the nazi problem while still adhering to his ideals). It is simply one that you have to respect yourself…if you have to lie to authorities, you are most likely as corrupt as those you oppose. You can’t truly take on others with moral authority if you have none yourself.

    Again, I can’t claim that I never lie…I do it more that I’d like. I also do it far less than I did in the past (and hope I do it less tomorrow).

  39. Always the same eye contact crap. If people actually used that to figure out lying they would get insane amount of false positives from people who are just slightly socially awkward.

    I’ve found that content gives far better clues of lying. Basically, if you include irrelevant details that make you look good, you are obviously lying. So, to lie successfully you should tell just enough to answer questions and sparingly sprinkle details that are unflattering to you.

    Apply this detections method to politicians and you can pretty much predict future events.

  40. Anything you can tell these folks by lying can more easily be told by stating the truth

    I find all of that to be fantastically naïve. If you read BB regularly, you’ll know that WalMart can detain you and call the cops who will mess you up. Whether or not it’s legal is irrelevant. It is the real world. Refusing to talk is also utterly unrealistic. A refusal to answer a question would terminate a job interview immediately. You can be imprisoned for doing so in a considerably variety of circumstances. I can only assume that you are demographically at the top of the privilege pyramid. People of color, women, queers and trans, children all have to lie rather regularly to obtain food, shelter, employment and safety.

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