“Who knows the depth of darkness that lurks in the black hearts of evil men?” – Anonymous. –
May 26, 1953 – Cuba – A child is born on this beautiful island that is the economic jewel of the Caribbean.
January 1, 1959 – Cuba – Brutal communist forces led by three mass murderers, Fidel Castro Raul Castro, and Che’ Guevara, violently overthrow President Batista’s government in Havana.
April 17, 1961 – Coast of Cuba – A young and inexperienced President of the United States launches an amphibious attack at the Cuban Bay of Pigs. The anti-communist Cuban soldiers, who were trained by the CIA, are slaughtered as they attack near the coastal swampland in the bay. This will be known as the most embarrassing military operation in the history of the U.S.
Afterwards, the parents of this eight year old child, along with thousands of other Cubans, flee to south Florida as they see the horrors of communism come to fruition in their homeland.
1962 – Dade County, Florida – Young Joe Navarro begins school without being able to speak English, unaware of American culture, and just lost. In order to survive, Joe knows that he must assimilate into the culture and become fluent in English. Joe begins by paying attention to the body language of every person he meets. Within a year, Joe is fluent in English and on his way to becoming the worldwide expert on interpreting a person’s true feelings, intent, and whether a person is being deceptive.
1970’s – Utah – Joe graduates from BYU and is recruited by the FBI because of his knowledge of body language. He spends 25 years as a special agent and supervisor in the area of counterintelligence and behavioral assessment.
Over the years at the FBI, Joe interviews hundreds of terrorists, criminals, and suspects. By reading their body language, Joe will obtain more confessions than anyone at the FBI.
2005 – United States – Joe continues his work in the private sector and shows us that the limbic part of our brain can save or betray us. This part of the brain reacts to the world around us reflexively and instantaneously, in real time, and without thought.
This is an ancient part of the brain that ensured our survival by “freezing” when predators or other danger was poised for attack. The need to run (flight) or sometimes fight are also deeply ingrained into our nervous system; making it difficult to disguise or eliminate. Limbic behaviors are honest, reliable, and show the true manifestations of our thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
By studying and practicing how the limbic system works, we can more effectively identify when someone is pleased, afraid, likes something, dislikes something, is uncomfortable, etc.
While no one has the ability to determine with 100 percent certainty whether someone else is telling the truth, being able to read body language that originates from the limbic system is the best indicator. Polygraph examinations do not come close to this accuracy.
With jury selection, cross–examining witnesses, negotiations with prosecutors, and many other tasks, I have found the following responses to be critical in the practice of law and in almost every aspect of life:
Freeze Response – Our ancestors faced the dangers of wild animals, rival tribes, and other life threatening situations. When confronted with a dangerous situation, the limbic part of their brains would make them freeze. Today, we can see it happen when a hunter notices that a deer is looking in his direction, someone is caught bluffing, stealing, and sometimes when they are lying.
Flight Response – We use this ancient response by blocking ourselves from the presence of undesirable people or things. These behaviors may manifest themselves in the form of closing the eyes, rubbing the eyes, distancing ourselves from someone, placing personal items in our lap, turning our feet toward the nearest exit, or placing the hands in front of the face.
Fight Response – This response is the limbic brain’s final tactic for survival through unleashing aggression.
In the modern world, we most often see people use posture, eyes, the broadening of the chest, and violating another’s personal space to express aggressiveness.
Pacifying Behaviors – Limbic responses are always followed by a pacifying behavior. These actions serve to calm us down after we have experienced something unpleasant.
This behavior can be obvious, like chewing a pencil or taking deep breaths. But, more subtle behaviors can surface such as when an investigator asks a suspect if he knows “Mr. Smith” and the suspect responds, “No”, but then immediately touches his neck, mouth, or face. This does not always mean that he is lying. But, it does mean that he is bothered by the inquiry.
By studying, observing, and practicing the use of body language, we can be much more attuned to how others really feel and whether they are being deceitful. Even the blackest hearts of evil men cannot control their ancient responses to disturbing information.