Friday, December 07, 2007


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Dear Readers:

Two popular techniques utilized by interrogators are the "interruption technique", and the "confusion technique". These are most frequently used to 1) weaken the will of a victim, 2) get him/ her to volunteer any information in order to stop the mental onslaught, 3) force him/ her to give an unqualified, incriminating answer, and, of course, to force a confession by leading the victim down a rapid-fire path of pseudo- logic. These techniques are favored by law enforcement officials where conventional torture or vigorous physical interrogation is not an option.

In the first case, you (the victim) are asked a question, interrupted suddenly in the middle of your answer, and asked another question, usually unrelated to the previous one. You are kept off-balance, frustrated at your inability to get a single point across, confused in terms of your recollection of factual information and chronologies. the hope here is that you will be so desperate to be heard that you will make any great revelatory statement in order to stop the barrage. Usually it will be something that the interrogator did not previously know, stated for shock value or in order to get sufficient respect that the interruptions will stop.. And usually it is something you'll regret having said.

This situation can be dealt with in several ways, either alone or in a combination. You must be calm and polite in order to be effective at this. Your responses should be as follows (if you are forced to respond):

  • I'm sorry... could you repeat that last question again?

  • Let me answer that last question before we go on to this one.

  • Let me think about that for a few moments. You wouldn't want me to give you the wrong information, would you?

  • You've got me so confused that I can't seem to collect my thoughts.

  • I'm afraid that I don't fully understand the question. Could you clarify it for me?

  • I'm so confused, I can't seem to get anything straight in my mind. May I have a glass of water?

  • Please stop asking me questions if you won't let me answer them.

Some other alternatives, also crafted to disturb the interrogator's rhythm, and diffuse his/ her focus include off-topic questions or comments such as (and I am not kidding):

  • Where did you get that tie? I think I have one just like it....

  • Who do you think is going to win the ...

  • Do you smell some kind of a gas leak? Smell that? Can you smell it?

  • Where were you born?

  • Is that a _________accent that I detect?

  • Why did you decide to become a _____________?

  • Are you okay? You look very pale. Did you eat something that made you feel sick?

  • I have to use the bathroom. It's going to be an emergency.

  • What time is it?

  • Can I have a pen and pad to sketch on? It might help me think.

  • What are you trying to get me to say, anyway? C'mon...let's get to the bottom line.

  • I have a cold, and my ears are clogged. Can you please speak slower and louder?

  • Don't you guys ever get tired? I know that I'm exhausted already!

It is also helpful to hum, or tap your foot on the floor, or rap your fingers on the desk. All of these serve to interfere with the interrogator's concentration and continuity. Reverse the curse.


Douglas Castle


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