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The Jordan Harbinger Show

468: Jack Schafer | Getting People to Reveal the Truth Part Two

Thu Feb 11 2021

Techniques for Manipulation and Elicitation

  • Narcissistic people are easy to manipulate.
  • When pitching a podcast, focus on the guest's mission and ideas rather than their busy schedule.
  • Using techniques to predispose people to talk is not inherently manipulative, but can be abused.
  • It's important to learn these techniques in order to recognize when someone is using them on you.
  • The Benjamin Franklin effect involves asking for someone's advice or opinion in order to elevate them and allow them to flatter themselves.
  • Compliments can be used as a basic manipulation technique by green belt manipulators.
  • Eliciting the truth through rapport building and commitment is better than confronting deception directly because people have difficulty changing their position once they articulate a lie due to the psychological principle of consistency.
  • Empathetic statements involve mirroring back what the other person has said using parallel language to validate their feelings and show that you are paying attention.
  • Starting with "so you" can be an effective way to begin an empathetic statement and put the focus on the other person.
  • Mirroring is an effective technique for building rapport, but it should not be obvious or clunky.
  • Presumptive statements and questions are also useful elicitation techniques that people often learn as kids but don't use manually.

Building Rapport and Elicitation Techniques

  • Status elevation can be used to make people feel good and more likely to open up.
  • Status demotion can be used to make people defensive and try to regain their status.
  • Counter attacking can be effective in banter with friends, but not necessarily with intelligence agents.
  • Use Brian's Loop to control the information you reveal to others.
  • Decide beforehand what information you are comfortable revealing in public.
  • If someone asks for information outside of that realm, answer with "yes," "no," or "I don't know" and redirect the conversation back to them.
  • Empathic or empathetic statements can help show respect and support from the other person's point of view.
  • Mirroring and other techniques discussed in the book require practice to use intentionally.
  • Using these techniques intentionally can feel awkward at first, but they become easier with practice.
  • The speaker used presumptive statements to capture a double agent and test his loyalty.
  • The technique was effective in eliciting information from the double agent.

Spies and Elicitation Techniques

  • Spies may reveal information when they feel comfortable with someone.
  • Spies who get caught and deported may face consequences from their own country for spying on them as well.
  • Some spies may be motivated by money, but it is not worth betraying one's country for any amount of money.
  • A man wanted to be a spy since he was young and found it exciting, but it's not a clean game and can be dangerous.
  • Curiosity traps were used to recruit a North Korean agent by leaving notes on his door when he wasn't there.
  • The speaker used an elicitation technique to get Jack Shafer, a potential recruit against North Korea, to talk to him.
  • The process of getting someone to think about becoming a trader is multi-month and requires patience and kindness.
  • There are likely thousands of spies in the United States, but the exact number is unknown.
  • Spies use elicitation techniques to recruit vulnerable individuals with classified or secret information, which works effectively both overseas and in the United States.

Intuition and Personal Safety

  • Intuition is a mental and physical process that everyone has to varying degrees.
  • The gut and brain communicate with each other through the body, delivering intuition.
  • Reality is the highest ground to see what's coming.
  • Episode 329 with Gavin De Becker discusses cutting potentially threatening people out of our lives forever.
  • Elicitation skills can be used deliberately but not manipulatively in business to guide conversations and learn more about people.
  • The golden rule is to make others feel good and be the center of attention.


  • Stores encourage people to touch fabric of clothing because it increases the likelihood of purchase.
  • Marketers use psychology to market and sell products.
  • It is better to elicit information from one individual over a longer period of time or solicit information from multiple individuals at once to avoid suspicion.