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Michael Jackson Press Release And TheirWords Statement Analysis

"To my fans, friends and family:

As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious. They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us. Because the charges are so serious, I hope you all will understand, on the advice of my attorneys, I will be limited in what I can say about the situation. There will be times when I cannot comment at all. No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us. For that reason, I have set up this website to serve as a source of official communications on my case. Any statement that does not appear on this website must be considered unauthorized. You are right to be skeptical of some of the individuals who are being identified in the mass media as my friends, spokespeople, and attorneys. With few exceptions, most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight. We will not engage in speculation. We will not provide running commentary on every new development or allegation du jour. We intend to try our case in the courtroom, not in the public or the media. I thank you all for your support and understanding.

God bless you,
Michael Jackson"


"To my fans, friends and family:"

(Note that the order of appearance is often an indication of who is most important to the person making the statement: the fans come first and the family last.)


"As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious."

(Note that he does not say that he was actually "charged," but only that charges were directed at him. This way he is linguistically distanced from the reality of being charged. Also he talks about the 'charges" being "terribly serious," but not the "crime." Guilty subjects will characteristically avoid even naming in a denial what they are actually accused of.)


"They are, however, predicated on a big lie."

(Note that he does not say they are a "big lie," but only that they "predicated" on one. Labeling it a big lie is not a strong denial. It is far from saying: I didn't do it. Nowhere in the statement does he say that he is innocent. Nowhere does he even make reference to his accuser.)


"This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us."

(Note that this will be "shown" rather than "proved." And that putting it all "behind" is the real goal, and not justice or vindication.)


"Because the charges are so serious, I hope you all will understand, on the advice of my attorneys, I will be limited in what I can say about the situation."

(Note again that it is the "charges" that are so serious and not the crime. The implication is that he would like to speak freely, but his attorneys will not let him. The diffuse word "situation" hides the reality of just what the situation is about. If one did not know from information outside the statement there is no clue that the "situation," "the charges," or even "the case" have anything to do with child molestation.)


"There will be times when I cannot comment at all."

(Note that this leaves open the possibility that he can pick and choose when it is advantageous to comment or not.)


"No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us."

(Note how many times in the statement the "I" is hidden by the "We." There are nine "I, Me, My" instances and eight instances of "We, Our, Us". The frequent disavowal of the first person singular pronoun degrades the subject's p(Note that the order of appearance is often an indication of who is most important to the person making the statement: the fans come first and the family last.)

(Note that he does not say that he was actually "charged," but only that charges were directed at him. This way he is linguistically distanced from the reality of being charged. Also he talks about the 'charges" being "terribly serious," but not the "crime." Guilty subjects will characteristically avoid even naming in a denial what they are actually accused of.)

(Note that he does not say they are a "big lie," but only that they "predicated" on one. Labeling it a big lie is not a strong denial. It is far from saying: I didn't do it. Nowhere in the statement does he say that he is innocent. Nowhere does he even make reference to his accuser.)

(Note that this will be "shown" rather than "proved." And that putting it all "behind" is the real goal, and not justice or vindication.)

(Note again that it is the "charges" that are so serious and not the crime. The implication is that he would like to speak freely, but his attorneys will not let him. The diffuse word "situation" hides the reality of just what the situation is about. If one did not know from information outside the statement there is no clue that the "situation," "the charges," or even "the case" have anything to do with child molestation.)

(Note that this leaves open the possibility that he can pick and choose when it is advantageous to comment or not.)

(Note how many times in the statement the "I" is hidden by the "We." There are nine "I, Me, My" instances and eight instances of "We, Our, Us". The frequent disavowal of the first person singular pronoun degrades the subject's personal responsibility for the statements.)


"For that reason, I have set up this website to serve as a source of official communications on my case. Any statement that does not appear on this website must be considered unauthorized."

(Note that "unauthorized" should not be confuted with "untrue," although that is the implication. Also note that in this brief statement no less than four sentences are written in the passive voice, which is another linguistic means of disclaiming responsibility for the utterance.)


"You are right to be skeptical of some of the individuals who are being identified in the mass media as my friends, spokespeople, and attorneys."

(Note that the approbation of the skepticism conceals the implication that such skeptics actually exist.)


"With few exceptions, most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight. We will not engage in speculation."

(Note that "few exceptions" allows for the possibility of "unauthorized," yet "truthful" supporters.)


"We will not provide running commentary on every new development or allegation du jour."

(Note only on those that "we" select)


"We intend to try our case in the courtroom, not in the public or the media."

(Note the irony that the above is said in the same statement as the announcement that this outside court website is being setup as "a source of official communications.")

"I thank you all for your support and understanding."

(Note that when subjects are guilty they will often ask for "understanding" rather than blind justice.)

God bless you,

(No comment)




Senator Carrey Press Release And TheirWords Statement Analysis

Senator Carrey when asked about rumors that he was having an affair with a young woman gave the following answers:

"I just deny it categorically. It's rumor. It's untrue. Period," Kerry told reporters in Wisconsin.

(Note the gratuitous word "just." This word functions as a LIMITER (see The Forensic Statement Analysis Lexicon. ) Instead of giving the whole story the subject limits how much of the truth he is going to tell. You can almost imagine a Carrey advisor telling the Senator right before he made the statement that he should "just deny it" and not expose anymore detail to media scrutiny. "Period" is a second limiter that is positioned at the end of the statement. "Just" and "Period" function as bookends that ensure that the truth will remain constrained within safe limits. "Categorically" is an unnecessary ABSOLUTE term. Gratuitous absolute words are often added to deceptive statements in an attempt to counterbalance insufficient substantive narrative detail. Finally observe the sequencing of Carrey's statement:

  • First there is "just" a denial
  • Second there is a characterization of the accusation as only a rumor.
  • Only third is the actual truth addressed. It is not refuted in the strong form of first person, past tense: "I didn't do it," but instead the much weaker anonymous neutered "it" coupled with the present tense "is," which functionally shifts the focus away from what happened in the past to what is not happening in the present. Remember the infamous "It all depends on what is is."




Kevin Cooper Death Row Interview And TheirWords Statement Analysis

Kevin Cooper, who was convicted and sentenced to death for a quadruple homicide in 1983, made the following statement in a recent interview from his death row cell:

"I know that I am innocent."

(In Statement Analysis extra words often signal that something else is going on beyond the whole truth. The extra words in Cooper's statement are "I know that." The expected truthful statement would be simply "I'm innocent." Innocence is something that you "are," not something that you "know." Perhaps Kevin knows he is innocent because he knows that his team of lawyers told him so.)





Oregon Gay Marriage And The Rules of Conversational Implicature

CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE is the linguistic grease that allows the existence of critical missing information to slip past the interviewer. We pay more attention to what is there then what is not there. It takes a master detective like Sherlock Holmes to hear a dog that does not bark. We are constantly building bridges between the islands of information that a subject lays down for us. These connections are based on normative scripts and the benefit of the doubt.

When someone says that he got home and opened the front door with his key, we are carried along by mental inertia to naturally assume he went inside even though he never said that he did. One of the basic tenets of Forensic Statement Analysis is that we must never accept that anything happened unless the subject explicitly says it happened. Mr. Newton may say that an apple fell from a tree, but we, in spite of our knowledge of the Laws of Gravity, must never assume it hit the ground unless Sir Isaac makes a point of telling us that it did.

One of the rationales that gay couples have given for the right to marry each other in Oregon is that the state civil code never explicitly describes marriage as an arrangement between a man and a woman. Look at what the code actually says:


106.010 Marriage as civil contract; age of parties.
Marriage is a civil contract entered into in person by males at least 17 years of age and females at least 17 years of age, who are otherwise capable, and solemnized in accordance with ORS 106.150. [Amended by 1965 c.422 §1; 1975 c.583 §1]



Note that the statute says that marriage is entered into by males of a certain age and females of a certain age, but never explicitly says that the contract is BETWEEN them. The lawyers who wrote the statute were guilty of, if not actual malpractice at least the sin of conversational implicature. They assumed the existence of the “between” based on custom and expectation. A trained TheirWords Professional Forensic Statement Analyst would have made no such assumption.