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Q: The Negotiator ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: The Negotiator
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: markabe-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 18 Aug 2002 19:44 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2002 19:44 PDT
Question ID: 56045
After watching 'The Negotiator' - starring Kevin Spacey and Samuel L.
Jackson as police hostage negotiators - I was fascinated with the
scenes depicting the ins and outs of negotiating and talking down
Hostage Takers.

The standouts were Jackson’s explanation of:

why not to fulfill an HT’s request to see a priest
why and how to never say the word No to an HT
how to tell if someone is lying from their eyes

but there was little else.

I called the local police station about obtaining a copy of the police
training manual, but not surprisingly he said it is not available to
the general public.

I was wondering if there are any resources on the net that address
similar strategies and tactics for this form of negotiating.
Subject: Re: The Negotiator
Answered By: musashidam-ga on 21 Aug 2002 17:21 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars
Hello, markabe-ga.

Thank you for posing a very interesting query.

To answer your question, I direct you to the website of the Texas
Association of Hostage Negotiators (TAHN), specifically a subpage on
their site entitled Reference Material.

Texas Associaton of Hostage Negotiators - Reference Material

What you will find here is a good basic course in Hostage
Negotiations, complete with forms for tracking HT demands, explosives,
and concessions, worksheets to determine the potential of a HT to
commit suicide and/or kill his or her hostages, and numerous tips and
guidlines. One of the documents, which I excerpt below, does in fact
mention that you should never tell an HT 'no', along with a whole slew
of other good tips.

From 'Errors to Avoid in Negotiating':

"*Don't wear a uniform

*Don't wear a weapon

*Don't leave cover unless you are sure that you will be safe

*Don't interrupt while the hostage taker is releasing anger

*Don't say flat "NO"

*Don't volunteer information

*Don't identify too strongly with the hostage taker

*Don't use "Flag Words" such as Kill, Surrender, Murder, Hostages,

*Don't make promises you can't keep"

The documents are all in Microsoft Word format and compressed with a
.zip utility. If you need a good decompression utility, try Ultimate
Zip. I've found it to be very reliable.

Ultimate Zip Homepage

I hope this answers your query.


Search strategy:
"police hostage negotiation procedures"

Request for Answer Clarification by markabe-ga on 27 Aug 2002 23:57 PDT
musashidam-ga, you found a great site, but I was looking more for
advice specific to actual negotiating. eg.specific phrases to use,
negotiation strategies and tips.
Sorry for the mix-up, hope this clarifies my question properly.

Clarification of Answer by musashidam-ga on 28 Aug 2002 05:51 PDT
Hello, markabe-ga.

I am sorry that my original answer did not provide the information you
requested.After some additional searching, I found two more documents
which may be helpful to you.

The first is entitled 'Guide to Hostage Negotiations', found at the
'Lectric Law Library. This document, written by officer Bruce A. Wind
of the Seattle Police Department, is a detailed description of
standard procedures and tactics employed by Police hostage

'Guide to Hostage Negotiations'

I also located an interesting piece at which gives tips on
how jouralists should responsibly cover hostage situations.

'Guidelines for Covering Hostage-Taking Crises, Prison Uprisings,
Terrorist Actions'

Finally, there is a Word document stored at which is a
brief outline of hostage negotiations procedures. You can download the
Word file, or view it as HTML in your browser. I will provide links to
both below.

'Hostage Negotiation'

I hope this helps clarify your question.

Search Strategy:
'tactics for hostage negotiators'


Request for Answer Clarification by markabe-ga on 01 Sep 2002 23:06 PDT
OK, you found the strategies and tips; the only thing left is the
specific phrases that negotiators would use.

For example, Samuel L. Jackson says in the movie that instead of
saying 'No', you should say "I'll see what I can do".

Can you find other examples of phrases to say during negotiation?

Request for Answer Clarification by markabe-ga on 09 Sep 2002 20:52 PDT
Please see request for clarification as posted on 01 Sep 2002 23:06
PDT. Then please clarify!

Request for Answer Clarification by markabe-ga on 17 Sep 2002 00:41 PDT
Please see request for clarification as posted on 01 Sep 2002 23:06
PDT. Then please clarify!

Request for Answer Clarification by markabe-ga on 25 Sep 2002 01:06 PDT
Please see request for clarification as posted on 01 Sep 2002 23:06 
PDT. Then please clarify!
markabe-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
The last 4 Requests for Clarification that I put in were ignored. I want a refund.

Subject: Re: The Negotiator
From: journalist-ga on 18 Aug 2002 20:28 PDT
I found a site called which states in its Terms
of Service "The Web site is for the personal use of individual Members
only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors.
Organizations, companies, and/or businesses may not become Members and
should not use the Service or the Web site for any purpose."

Therefore, I did not take advantage of the free membership to collect
research for you, however you may want to join for your personal use
to see if there is any information which answers your question.  Good
luck. (free 30 day membership)
Subject: Re: The Negotiator
From: sublime1-ga on 18 Aug 2002 21:45 PDT

The bit about "how to tell if someone is lying from their
eyes" is textbook NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
I won't go into detail here, but you can learn more by
reading books (especially the earlier ones) by the founders
of NLP, John Grinder and Richard Bandler. "TRANCE-formations"
has the eye-movement chart you're looking for:


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