Reading the Tells & Survival (Part 1 of 2)

This grew to be far longer than I’d originally planned, so I’m chopping it into two “more digestible” pieces.  The second to be posted Monday or Tuesday.  In the meantime, please say a prayer for the soul of Sergei B., my wife’s uncle who passed away just a day ago from a resurgence of cancer.  A prayer for his soul, and a prayer for his widow Galiya.


I’ve always been… aware… that bad things can happen, far more than most people I knew when I was growing up.  In my teenage years my parents would comment that my habit of never sitting with my back to the front door of a restaurant seemed “paranoid” to them.  Let me be clear: nothing specific happened to me that made me like this, at least nothing that I can put a finger on.  Nor, again being clear, do I think there’s a shady cabal after me specifically.  I simply seem to have been hard-wired like that. 

But it always amazed me how non-aware people are.  For example, in my college years there was a grisly murder over one summer with the female victim found, raped and dismembered, in the parking lot of a local mall.  To my knowledge nobody was ever arrested, let alone convicted – certainly not in the period I was in attendance.  Yet women would be walking around that fall, or later in the nascent spring warmth, late at night with headphones on and utterly unaware of their surroundings.  (I remember one spring night walking back to my dorm well past 11 PM behind a young & shapely blonde in a tank top and short-shorts… and her headphones blaring.  Totally and blissfully unaware of anything around her, especially anybody behind her.  Meanwhile I was “checking my six” every 20-30 seconds.  And I never walked anywhere with headphones, then or now.)

More recently, before children, my wife and I would be at the mall and she’d notice me looking around.  “Are you looking at other women?” she would ask.  Somehow, despite being incredibly attractive, she was paranoid about the possibility I might, ahem, “color outside the marital lines” (bad experiences in Russia, I expect, where infidelity was and still is – per her own commentary – quite common).  My answer was a firm NO, but that I was doing threat assessments of people, watching body language, and making sure I knew where the exits were.

She thought I was being “paranoid”!  Ironically, she – who grew up in the USSR – did not develop this mentality while I, “white bread boy” born and raised in America that I am, did.


I have mentioned this before on my old blog but my late mother was a living lie detector.  We’d be watching 60 Minutes when some bigwig-or-something would be interviewed swearing on a stack of bibles that the accusations were not true.  My mother would casually toss out “He’s lying!”; a few weeks later, of course, the other shoe would drop and it would be revealed that yes, he was lying.  My father and I would, time and again, be floored for she was astonishingly accurate.  Many years later I learned about facial microbursts, as well as Neurolinguistic Programming techniques, that highlight small and subtle tells in the face and body that are directional – albeit imperfect of course – signals that what the mind is thinking is in opposition to what the mouth is saying.  Without any training that I knew of, she could do this instinctively.  Foreshadowing Bene Gesserit training?

The Israelis, in their screenings of people at the airport and elsewhere, are some of the best at detecting such small-detail tells.  This is why they don’t focus on technological solutions – though they don’t ignore those either – but rather on the behaviors of the persons arriving at the airport and during their pre-flight screening interview. 


So I’ve been reading books about body language and behavior patterns – not for poker but for survival.  I’ve recently read Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life and Escape The Wolf: A Security Handbook for Traveling Professionals.  Another, on deck, is What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People.  These and other materials have discussed attention to minute details in creating an understanding that “something is not right” as compared to what you’d expect in a specific situation.

Hindsight being 20/20, I remember one time at a local gas station – one I normally don’t go to.  There was a clerk from the one I normally went to who said, twice, something that seemed odd at the time.  Specifically, it was “So nice to see you again; normally I see you at our station number #### but now I’m seeing you here at station ####”.  It struck me as odd but did not set off warning bells.  Looking back I think they were trying to tell me something was wrong, because nobody ever talks like that naturally.  If I ever see that person again I intend to ask.

I’ve also taken to watching reaction videos to a specific musical piece by a Kazakh singer, Dimash.  He is, clearly, a once-in-a-century vocalist whose talent was recognized and nurtured and fine-tuned – proof that talent plus incredible preparation yields success.  Here’s one such reaction video.  I’ve skipped to just before he starts.

It’s an incredible honed-to-perfection performance, but focus – pay attention to the body language of the voice coach (understanding that in “reaction videos” people are not trying to hide their emotions but display them, but still…).  I’ve easily watched a hundred-plus such videos all reacting to the same song to see the “surprise” and other reactions to his unearthly performance.  Different people react differently but there are universals – facial and body signals that indicate the emotions being felt.

These tells of face and body, including inconsistencies in statements and actions generally, are crucial to both personal, national, indeed civilizational – and possibly even mankind’s – survival.  Don’t forget, these people exist. As do these:




When Covid first hit our shores I, too, was terrified.  I wore N95 masks – unavailable in stores but prepper-me already had a supply – and gloves, and a jacket, and sanitized like crazy… and and and.  But then the small tells started to pile up.  For example:

  • The day after the first American case, IIRC, Trump shut down travel from China, which was as commonsense a move as could have been done… and in the face of a potential pandemic he was excoriated by the Left.  (Meanwhile China was letting people fly globally even as they stopped people from Wuhan traveling domestically.)
  • Well after that the Left was telling people to go out and mingle.  Pelosi.  Lunar Festival.  Enough said.
  • The daily case counts, and subsequent death counts, were prominently hammered on in every news broadcast – something that had not been done before for any other flu outbreak.
  • The death counts increasingly appearing as counting anyone who even had the possibility of having Covid when they died, as dying from Covid – including the CDC changing the rules.
  • The timing, as Trump’s numbers dropped away from what had been a coming juggernaut landslide of the Left, became awfully suspect.
  • The hospital ships, sent by Trump, were mostly unused… and in parallel Covid patients put into nursing homes resulting in thousands – tens of thousands – of unnecessary deaths.
  • The dissing of Trump’s actions, slammed every which way, raised flags.  He literally could not do anything right in the eyes of the enemedia or the Democrats (I repeat myself).
  • The outright lies about Trump suggesting injecting Lysol or Clorox.  I saw that press conference, I read the transcript… he said no such thing.
  • The shrill deriding of Trump’s advocacy of HCQ as a treatment despite the 2005 paper that showed it had potential.
  • Now we’re seeing Ivermectin also, similarly, dissed.  Second doses have been denied to patients that show improvement after the first dose.
  • The use of antibodies from recovered patients’ plasma praised, until Trump mentioned it. 
  • Trump shut down travel from China = racist; President Asterisk shuts down travel from India = not racist.
  • And let’s acknowledge, just in passing, the non-existent southern border with Covid-infected people streaming in and permitted to disperse into the country.  Nobody concerned about Covid would permit this.
  • And, of course, much more…


It became clear to me that this was not a crisis – serious, yes, but not a crisis.  Consider the situation in New Hampshire:

  • Only 7% of the population of NH has tested positive.
  • Of that 7%, only 1.3% eventually died.
  • Of that 1.3% more than 63% were over the age of 80 and comorbid (most in the state’s care).
  • Some percentage of those did not die of COVID but [merely] with it.

Probably, for me, the first brick on the jeweler’s scale was learning of Fraudci’s prediction that Trump WOULD face a pandemic.  Granted he was not specific that it would be a coronavirus, but it was the surety of the statement that struck me.



I have been a STEM worker my whole career and my first report, as a co-op, was full of statements that my proposed solution was a solution – me being full of cocky assurance in my skills.  I was fully confident I had solved it… and it came back from my boss’ review with massive red ink comments.  I learned overnight to use “should” and “will likely” and “probably” and other weasel words that could be hedged in court, rather than definitive statements.  And to avoid definitive statements, like WILL.

Had Fraudci, who has spent decades in the swamp as a bureaucrat where CYA is the watchword for every person in that swamp, said “It is likely that Trump will face…” or “The statistics point to a likely pandemic during Trump’s watch…” or some such, those would be statements I would expect from such a bureaucrat. 


He knew what was coming.  Pending revelation of Divine Truth, I’d bet everything I own on that.

To be continued.