Ten Indicators of Deception
I came across another listing yesterday as I investigated the topic of deception. An item entitled “The 10 Tell-Tale Signs of Deception” by Paul M. Clikeman, Ph.D., CFE appeared in the Jan/Feb 2012 edition of Fraud magazine* (Yes, there really is a such a publication!).
I’ve abbreviated the list here for space…
- Lack of self-reference: Rather than say “I left the safe unlocked” a deceptive person may use The passive voice and say “The safe was left unlocked.” Or they may substitute “you” for “I” as in “You know, you try to… but sometimes when you’re really busy you just…”
- Verb tense: Deceptive people often refer to past events as if they were occurring in the present.
- Answering questions with questions: E.g. “Do I seem like the kind of person who would do something like that?”
- Expressions of uncertainty. Using words like: think, guess, sort of, maybe, might, perhaps…
- Oaths. Deceivers may add phrases like “I swear,” “on my honor,” “as God is my witness,” etc.
- Euphemisms: E.g. Using words like “missing” instead of “stolen,” “borrowed” instead of “took,” etc.
- Alluding to actions: E.g. “I usually… I needed to… started to… “ They imply having performed what they allude to. But did they?
- Lack of Detail: Liars tend to keep their statements simple and brief.
- Narrative balance: A deceiver may shorten the most important part of his retelling of an event.
- Sentence length: Deceivers tend to use sentences that are much longer or much shorter than normal.
While these indicators are interesting and observable, the Christian has three much surer guides to safeguard him from deception: the written Word of God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the affirming insights of mature believers. Consider the following passages…
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” / “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17).
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13).
“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1 John 2:26-27).
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” / “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.“ / “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Prov. 11:14 & 24:6; 15:22; 27:17).
*RETRIEVED Nov. 15, 2020 from: https://www.fraud-magazine.com/article.aspx?id=4294971184