How to tell if someone is lying

How to tell if someone is lying

Despite the prevailing use of polygraph testing in some national intelligence agencies, law enforcement departments and businesses, there is no evidence that the tests work.

A lie is a verbal statement that is supposed to be false. Whilst there are many reasons as to why people lie, all lying has the intention to mislead. As such, it is generally viewed as wrong. But, the theory behind polygraph testing is incorrect as there is no evidence to support the theory that there is a pattern of observable responses which are unique to deception.

You might scratch your nose when asked a question because you have hay fever. You might avoid your interrogator’s gaze because you lack social skills. However, many polygraphers do secure admissions because they ask good questions in the proper sequence. Or, the subject is convinced that the polygraph machine does work.

6 ways to identify a liar

  1. Research the subject and their employer to gather some background intelligence.
  2. When meeting the subject, put them at ease. Observe how they behave in a relaxed environment. 
  3. Ask some personal and non-commercial intrusive questions about themselves that they have no reason to lie about.
  4. Ask some questions about which you know the answers but the information is negative. See how they answer the questions and whether they are lying or being untruthful. You want to create a comparison between their answers when they are truthful and when they are not.
  5. During your questioning, look for clusters of possible indicators such as- avoiding the answer, head shaking, legs pointed away from the body or overreacting.
  6. An effective technique used by successful interrogators is to ask a sequence of SKY questions. This refers to: S (whom do you suspect?); K (whom do you know did it?) and Y (did you do it?). Give the subject an opportunity to elaborate about their answers.

To become a human lie detector and prevent being ripped off, attend one of our courses and know how to detect deception.

H.E.A.T. tip: As a professional interrogator, confirm with the subject that their version of events is totally accurate. Then, ask them to tell you the same story but backwards. If the subject is lying, you will notice inconsistencies and indicators of deception.


6 Step Workout for Optimal Fitness

Most people cannot run a mile ( 1600 metres) or do 10 push ups. Are you fit enough to survive in a hostile environment?

A hostile environment is characterised by a natural or man-made made disaster; no rule of law; collapsed infrastructure; unexploded landmines; sectarian violence and armed militias. Generally, you face two choices in such environments: evacuate to a safer location; or stay behind. Either way, you need to be fit enough to run away from danger, dig through rubble, carry water and climb obstacles. 

The benefits of being fit in such environments go beyond your ability to carry heavy loads. If you are unhealthy and have to rely on medications, realise that pharmacies will not be operating and there will be a ruthless black market for critical drugs. So, you should start conditioning yourself before you find yourself in an environment where you cannot drive, the shops are closed and the grid is down.

After a 5 minute warm up of skipping or a cycle of arm circles, jumping jacks, squats, press ups, burpees and leg scissors, start your workout. 

6 step workout for optimal fitness

  1. Pull

Complete a set of reps that includes pull ups, inverted rows and chin ups

  1. Lift

Complete a set of reps that includes handstand negatives, 

  1. Push

Complete a set of reps that includes push ups, tricep dips and one- arm outrigger push ups 

  1. Squat

Complete a set of reps that includes goblet squats, lunges and burpees

  1. Explosive

Complete a set of reps that includes floor heaves, squat to push opress

  1. Core

Complete a set of reps that includes sit ups, leg raises and crunches

Each set should include 15 to 25 reps with a 30-second rest after each set. Build up to 6 sets.

Combine the above workout with 400 metre repeats and 100 metre shuttle runs.

Attend our Travel Preparedness courses and learn how to develop functional fitness, increase mental toughness, train without a gym and eat well when travelling.

H.E.A.T. tip: Develop a tolerance to pain with the Corsican Twins technique. Imagine that your pain is being felt by someone you do not like and work harder to punish them.


How to Blend in When Panic Reigns.

Hiding in plain sight is a useful defence strategy. Common in the natural world where chameleons look like twigs and fish lie on the sea bed, it is also useful when you find yourself in societal collapse.

Experience of various hostile environments in Africa has shown that mobs sometimes target specific ethnic groups. Government troops have been known to intern foreign nationals at will; and expats have become victims of home invasions, abductions and assaults.

Given such situations, you need to consider what to wear and what to carry with you.

Observe the local street scenes and determine a baseline of activities at a certain time of day. Dress as a local but favour neutral or dark colours in the local style. Do not wear camouflage or carry a military daysack unless absolutely necessary.

Always carry a 24 hour grab bag. The contents must sustain you for a day and provide the basics on which to build a larger kit. As such, the bag should include items for your protection, communications, navigation and some supplies.

6 items in your grab bag

  1. Depending on the local circumstances, arm yourself with  lethal and less- than- lethal weapons.
  2. Create a means of knowing where you are, where you want to go to and how. A map, compass and small GPS will help. 
  1. Keep an emergency stash of nuts and raisins.Other foodstuffs include powerbars, GU, raw chocolate and whiskey.
  2. Develop your communications protocols using paper and pen ( Sharpie), whistles, mirrors, flares, hand-held PTT radios and satellite phones. This provides you with various options when the cellular networks are taken down by the government.
  3. Carry a means of illumination. A torch can be used for signalling, lighting up an area and as a distraction weapon. Always carry spare batteries.
  4. Carry a lightweight and waterproof jacket. Often, hot days are followed by cold nights during certain seasons in Africa. Keep a pair of gloves and shemagh in your pack to protect your hands and face, especially in a riot.

Attend our Escape and Evasion course to learn more about what to carry every day, different types of weapons and covert movement by day or night.

H.E.A.T. tip: As tear gas is actually comprised of synthetic halogen compounds that are solid at room temperature, simply rinse your eyes and clothes with cold water. Do not use hot water. This will open up your pores and cause more irritation. 


6 Everyday radio calls in Morse

The SOS distress signal does not stand for anything. The … _ _ _ … was easy to transmit in Morse code.

Before the standardisation of an international distress signal in July 1908, other countries had their own signals. Germany used SOE, Italy SSSDDD and Britain transmitted CQD.

At the Berlin conference, it was recognised that in Morse code the letter E was represented by one dot (.) and could be mistyped.

The E was replaced with a S as three dots  (…) was more clear. Although the SOS signal was officially adopted in 1908 and used successfully in July 1909 when a shipwrecked occurred in Portugal, it was not used in April  1912.

 That fateful night, the Titanic radio operator first  transmitted the old CQD distress signal. Only afterwards did he try the new signal, commenting that he might never get the chance to try it again.

Although Morse equipment has been replaced at sea by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, it is still useful to know some emergency Morse signals.

6 Everyday radio calls in Morse

  1. Starting:  _ . _ . _ .
  2. Over:  _ . _
  3. Wait:  . _ . . . 
  4. Roger: . . . _
  5. End: . . . _ . _
  6. Error: . . . . . . . . 

Learn this skill and other means of signalling for help on one of our courses.

What to do when a colleague drops dead when you are working together

The repatriation of a corpse involves body preparation, paperwork, certificates and the  transportation of the coffin or ashes to the home country and its final destination. You might have to handle the while process. Here’s how…

If someone you work with dies suddenly or unexpectedly whilst you are abroad, you should know what to do. Many countries have different rules and regulations regarding the repatriation of a body. In France, for example, you cannot arrange to transport a body without a police tag and the approval of the local mayor. In Muslim countries, and among those of the Jewish faith, the deceased must be buried- not cremated- within 24 hours and preferably without an autopsy.


In  the United States, embalming is a common practice and is carried out by a qualified embalmer. But, in Spain and Portugal, only doctors can carry out this procedure.

If the deceased is Zimbabwean, a total of seven documents must be completed and sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Harare before the body can be moved. Given the speed of mail sent in Africa, you and your Zimbabwean corpse need to have the patience of Job.

6 rules for repatriating a body

  1. Inform the relevant embassy about the deceased and request the  assistance of a  Consular or Diplomatic representative.
  2. Embassies do not pay for the repatriation of mortal remains, so do not sign anything until the payment issue has been clarified.
  3. Make contact with the next- of- kin or the deceased’s employer. Ask about their wishes or company protocols.
  4. Say nothing to the media. Perhaps extend your sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased but do not disclose operational details surrounding their death.
  5. Arrange to have a formal identification of the deceased. Some countries allow a colleague to make this formal identification but  other countries require a family member to do so.
  6. A death generates a lot of paperwork. You may be involved with collecting a letter from the police, burial or cremation permission, embalming certificate, list of belongings, original passport and postmortem certificate to name a few.

Learn how to repatriate the  body of a colleague from any African 

country by attending one of  our courses for corporate travellers.



H.E.A.T. tip:

Family and friends will want to know how and why the deceased died. Often, grief is manifested as aggression. Do not take this personally but answer their questions as best you can.

6 ways to survive when the taps get turned off.

Many people in several parts of the world face a daily struggle to acquire potable water. For some, the lack of infrastructure means using communal collection points. For others, natural disasters or armed conflict have disrupted water supplies. And for others, the freedom  of living off the grid outweighs the inconvenience of not having water at the turn of a handle.

Yet, the challenge of not having immediate access to water is a blessing. Whilst we know that you need to hydrate regularly or you will die, we often fail to see beyond our consumer and instant gratification desires. The  lack of water in your  taps requires a shift in your  thinking. 

You need to think out of the box. Attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses and learn how to survive when the taps run dry.

  1. Realise that no municipality or body corporate can control your right to life. You need to look for ways to become more self-reliant.
  2. Consider using a variety of containers to collect and store water empty bottles. But, first of all you must sanitise these water containers. To fill a bath tub that is dirty, has a coating of soap film and is exposed to falling debris, will only spoil the stored water and make it unsafe to drink.
  3. Understand the water flow in your premises. Shut down the incoming water flow until you have a filtration and purification system in place. As the water pressure in the pipes is reduced, the water from your taps could become  contaminated.
  4. Identify water storage units in your home. Toilet cisterns and geysers hold potable water. Car radiators do not.
  5. Cook using tinned foods. Freeze condoms for re-useble ice cubes.
  6. Invest in a water filter and purification system.

Carry a water spigot key. Whether you use it or not is a moral decision. But, circumstances might force you to hydrate before you comply.


How to Survive in a Wildfire Situation

A wildfire is, by definition, a fire that burns strongly and is generally out of control. The term has its root in the ancient Greek word. This word referred to a combustible liquid that could be lit easily but was difficult to extinguish.

Whilst the Greek wildfire was used in warfare, especially against ships, today a wildfire poses a threat to civilian lives and property.Typically, these fires rage in rural areas and often start on their own. However, because of the nature of the terrain and vegetation, a wildfire will often burn uncontrollably and sometimes for weeks at a time.

As fire often spreads fast and wind- borne embers jump from one hotspot to another, you can find yourself quickly surrounded and cut off from safety.

6 Tips to survive a Wildfire

  1. As soon as you see, hear or smell a fire, leave the area. Take the lowest route because fire burns in an upward direction.
  2. Avoid taking an evacuation route that could channel you into a narrow valley or onto a steep slope. Both act as a chimney for a fire.
  3. Cross a section of burning or smoldering ground to get behind a fire. Before doing so, remove clothing made of synthetic material, jewelry and cover your mouth with a cloth.
  4. If in your car, stay put. Close all windows and vents and lie on the floor. The turbulence caused by the fire will shake the car but not cause the sealed fuel  tank to explode immediately.
  5. Once the fire has passed over you car, get out and move in the direction from which the fire approached.
  6. If your clothes catch fire, do not stand. You might inhale the smoke from your burning clothes and affect your lungs. Simply stop, drop and roll on the ground. Do not use your hands to beat out the fire, just keep rolling.

H.E.A.T. tip: If caught in a wildfire, immerse yourself in a deep body of water if available. Do not immerse yourself in a puddle. The water will boil.

Join one of our courses and learn how to survive any natural or man-made disaster.

Lightning travels at 5920 km per second. That is faster than a bullet fired from an assault rifle- 1000 metres per second.

A natural disaster poses serious risks to your life, liberty and limb. People die, are trapped or injured during and after a natural disaster. Whether a fire, flood or storm, natural disasters are life threatening.

By understanding the causes of natural disasters, we are better equipped to survive.  Natural disasters are caused by three factors: the Earth’s movements; weather; and extreme weather. In Africa, extreme heat would be classed as a weather- related disaster. But,  a subsequent famine would be the result of extreme weather. 

6 Survival Tips for a Storm

  1. Stay indoors. There is a very real threat from flying debris and broken infrastructure.
  2. Equalise pressure in your building by opening the windows a couple of centimeters. This will reduce the risk of your building imploding.
  3. Tie down or lock away outdoor furniture such as tables, chairs and portable  bbq equipment.
  4. Know how to turn off your water, electricity and gas at the mains.
  5. Make a plan to relocate or protect your household pets.
  6. Check that your windscreen wipers are working, the petrol tank is  full and the spare Tyre is inflated

Remember, during a disaster, people panic. This panic makes people frustrated and they often become violent. Avoid this violence by knowing what to do and when to evacuate.

H.E.A.T. tip: Although lightning hits the tallest object in striking distance, it also strikes metal and electrical surfaces. Do not use your mobile phone whilst outside in a tropical storm.

Learn more survival techniques by joining others on one of our regular H.E.A.T. courses during 2018

Drinking water when SHTF

For many of us, water is a resource that is only appreciated when it is scarce. Often, the shortage of food is a nuisance but you can  live for 3 weeks without it. You can only live 3 days without water. But, in a SHTF scenario, your need for water will increase because of stress, activity and anxiety. The problem is that you do not know how drinkable that water is following a disaster.

Once you realise that a SHTF scenario could happen, you need to fill up bathtubs, buckets and bottles with water from your taps. As the disaster occurs, it is likely that chemicals, fuel or sewerage will contaminate the municipal water supply and your water resources.

In a flood, for example, drainage pipes burst and vehicles overturn. The flood waters become contaminated and this water needs to be treated before it can be drunk. In a fire, storm or bombing, similar destruction of the water infrastructure could make the water undrinkable.

How to make water drinkable:

Before boiling water, filter out the debris using a sock, stocking or a cloth. Bring it to  the boil, let it cool and store.

Add a few drops of food colouring to a teaspoon of bleach. Add the unscented bleach to two litres of water. Wait until the bleach has settled. Drink.

Use what the military uses: iodine tablets or an iodine solution. Mix with water according to the instructions.

Chlorine dioxide tablets will purify one litre of water at a time but let the tablet fully dissolve. The taste is similar to a swimming pool but not as strong. Experimen and buy some tablets to add to water from the tap. You will not enjoy the taste but you might get used to it. 

Fill some clear glass or plastic bottles with clean water ( no murkiness or floating debris). Place the bottles in direct sunlight for 6 hours or more. The sun’s UV ( ultra violet) rays will disinfect the water. Alternatively, invest in a  battery- powered Stripen. These units destroy bacteria by using UV to modify the molecular structure of the molecules found in the water.

For the best results, use a ceramic filter. Unlike the five methods listed above which will get rid of viruses, bacteria and micro- organisms, ceramic filters remove almost 100% of all contaminants. Even lead, fuel and other toxins.

H.E.A.T. tip: Keep a 7 day  supply of bottled water in your home before a SHTF scenario. Whilst a minimum of 2 litres per person per day will be suitable for drinking and cooking, you will need other water sources for washing and cleaning.

Bug Out Bag List: Ultimate guide for preparing Bug Out Bag when travelling in Africa

BugOutBag1The need of Bug Out Bag List

Owing to the unpredictability of disasters, whether man-made or natural, potential preppers and survivalists tend to imagine a variety of “what if” scenarios. As a result, their bug out bags are filled with a range of gear and gadgets which might or might not proof useful in a disaster situation. This is article will give you the ideal bug out bag list to ensure that you will survive with what is in your head complemented, rather than supplemented with your bug out bag contents.

You can survive any disaster situation by achieving the following four objectives: be dry, be warm, be hydrated and be rested. You could use your bug out vehicle to keep you dry and rested, but you cannot be guaranteed to remain warm and hydrated. You can carry a bug out backpack with as much equipment that you would use on an extended hike, but your key focus during and after a disaster is to have bug out bag essentials that will enable you to survive for at least three to five days. In that time, your Head Office will have arranged for your evacuation and you would have been able to stabilise your personal situation despite the chaos around you.

The market for bug out gear is huge amongst preppers and survivalists. Some of this gear should be regarded as bug out bag essentials, but other kit such as knight vision goggles and handcuffs are both heavy and unnecessary.
As the majority of travellers to Africa will experience disasters or find themselves in hostile environments in urban rather than rural areas, herewith a bug out bag checklist:

  • A holdall or small rug sack no bigger than 15 litre capacity.
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket and a woolen jersey to keep you dry and warm.
  • Two pairs of wool socks
  • A water bottle and purifying tablets (the Aquamira brand does not taste of chlorine) as well as a survival straw or mini Sawyer filter system.
  • A shemagh which can be used as shade, a towel, a small blanket, a neck scarf, extra insulation, a sling and a tourniquet if necessary.
  • A torch with a spare battery
  • A signaling mirror
  • A small hygiene kit with a cut-down toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, dental floss, anti-bacterial hand gel and some toilet paper.
  • A notepad and writing instrument – a pencil (the shavings can act as tinder) or a Fisher pen.
  • A full tang sharp knife held in a secure sheath.
  • A small first aid kit with re-wrappable bandages, plasters, moleskin for blisters, pain killers and diarrhoea tablets. Keep an emergency supply of your personal medication.
  • An automatic analogue watch with an alarm function.
  • Three Bic lighters and a small container of cotton wool balls soaked in Vaseline.
  • A button compass (to give you the cardinal points for navigation) and a local map.
  • A set of lock picks, especially useful to defeat padlocks.
  • Lightweight leather gloves.
  • $ 200.00 or more in small denomination notes and some local currency.

This basic bug out bag list will provide you with the essentials to survive by adapting what you find in the local environment. Whilst this is not the ultimate bug out bag, the contents can be used on a regular basis before a disaster so that you are confident that they are fit for purpose.

Future articles will address urban survival tools and urban survival gear, as well as survival food and emergency food supplies.