Eight Months In Jail For Teaching People How To Pass A Lie Detector Test

from the for-tests-that-don't-even-work-well dept

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about how the feds had been directly going after people who claimed to teach others how to pass lie detector tests, claiming that this was part of their war on stopping leakers and security vulnerabilities. What was chilling was that a US official specifically said that they needed to focus their investigative efforts on the people who protested the loudest, which seems like a clear attack on free speech. As we noted at the time, the feds had already filed criminal charges against two people for offering to teach others how to beat lie detector tests, and now one of them has been sentenced to eight months in jail — for teaching people how to beat a test that many argue has never ever been accurate in the first place.

As we noted last time, TV shows like Mythbusters and Penn & Teller: Bullshit! have both more or less taught people the same thing. While the government sought an even longer sentence, this is still worrisome on a variety of levels. Merely instructing people how to beat an extremely faulty technology should never be a crime. The judge and the DOJ’s statements on the case are just bizarre:

O’Grady acknowledged “the gray areas” between the constitutional right to discuss the techniques and the crime of teaching someone to lie while undergoing a government polygraph. “There’s nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted,” the judge said.

However, O’Grady added that “a sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others.”

Deter others from what? From speaking out about how to trick incredibly unreliable technology that the government probably relies on too much already?

“This crime matters because what he did endangers others,” said Anthony Phillips, a prosecutor with the Justice Department’s division that pursues corrupt public officials.

No it didn’t. It doesn’t endanger others to show them that a lie detector is faulty and not reliable. What endangers people is the federal government relying on such a dreadful technology that’s so easy to “beat.”

In many ways, this is similar to discovering a massive security flaw and then blaming the messenger for showing others how that security is flawed. The proper response is to not use the flawed security. But that’s not how the government operates, unfortunately.

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Comments on “Eight Months In Jail For Teaching People How To Pass A Lie Detector Test”

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Ninja (profile) says:

In many ways, this is similar to discovering a massive security flaw and then blaming the messenger for showing others how that security is flawed. The proper response is to not use the flawed security.

Or fix it. There are plenty of examples of people that warned companies and the Govt about security flaws and ended up in a living judicial hell. The message is clear and simple: if you find a breach take the appropriate steps not to be affected and ignore it or exploit it silently.

If you are a criminal you can rest assured they’ll be using faulty methods on you, easily bypassed. The only ones that will actually be affected are the regular, innocent citizens.

Sobe (profile) says:

As someone who’s had to take the polygraph for a federal job…I most heartily agree. It’s a bogus piece of garbage. There’s a reason why it’s inadmissable in a court of law.

There’s a website out there…google antipolygraph. The amount of scientific data out there that disproves the accuracy of said lie detectors…it’s amazing.

Just another instance where the government is wanting to keep it’s crap under wraps.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:


when this came up on slashdot a couple days back, i made the following point:
many years ago, at the instigation of some friends, applied for a mcjob at radio shack; had to take a ‘lie detector’ test…

my buds apparently passed their tests, as they were hired (and went on to be managers); IN SPITE of the fact i KNEW they were multi-drug-takin’, lyin’, stealin’, scammin’ type of guys who were stereotypical salesdroids…

i went to the same examiner, within a week or two of their tests, and failed… even though i was 100% truthful, and had NO crimes/whatever to report, i -who had NEVER been CLOSE to the scams and thievery these other guys pulled- ‘failed’ the test… wtf?

the ONLY thing i could figure, is he kept on coming back to whether i had used cocaine within X days/weeks…
now, yes, i had tried cocaine a few times (NEVER a regular user, just too wired a feeling for me) in my younger days at college, but, i hadn’t even SEEN any in numerous years, much less had any, or even wanted any…

i told him the complete and total truth of the matter…

i don’t know why the examiner kept on coming back to that (maybe radio shack was selecting for cokeheads), but it did make me ‘nervous’, and i was almost to the point of asking him ‘why the fuck are you continuing to grill me on this when i told you the answer ?’…

the point being -and i recall reading an article about this very phenomenon- you end up selecting FOR borderline/sociopath types who can lie without blinking an eyelash; while ultra-truthful (semi-aspie) types like me, who feel guilt over nothing and get flustered when challenged face-to-face, will ‘fail’ such tests, even though 100% truthful…

its all a bullshit game…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

FlashPanHunter says:

Dude wasn’t in trouble for teaching how to beat the lie detector (sic), he got in trouble for advising people to deny in interviews that they had received an education on how to reliably beat a polygraph machine. If you’re educated on the scam that the polygraph is, and admit as much when asked? You don’t get administered a polygraph.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Dude wasn’t in trouble for teaching how to beat the lie detector (sic), he got in trouble for advising people to deny in interviews that they had received an education on how to reliably beat a polygraph machine.

And what makes that illegal?

I can advise you to lie through your teeth to Federal agency about your name, age or residence and I am still not liable if you actually lie to them.

Erik Grant says:

The article is somewhat incomplete. I’m not weighing in on whether or not he deserved 8 months in jail for what he did, but he didn’t go to jail for teaching people to beat a polygraph. He went to jail because people told him how they were going to use the knowledge (I believe including sex offenders) to lie about their illegal activities.

This is a point that does actually matter though. It isn’t illegal to sell a gun in this country, but if you sell it to somebody who tells you he’s planning on shooting his ex-wife, you’re damn right that would be a crime.

If you’re curious for a more detailed write-up, Ars has one.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The first one seems clear enough, if he knew about a crime and helped to conceal it (free speech aside).

I’m a bit confused as to what the crime was that he concealed. From the linked article:

They also listed nine unnamed sex offenders Dixon trained across the country, though training those people was not a federal crime because their cases fall under state law.

It wasn’t about the sex offenders, so what crime was “obstructed”?

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There were two undercover agents who “confessed to a crime” and asked for his help to conceal it.

Interesting. I don’t know all legal intricacies of such things, but that sounds like a form of entrapment to me.

As in: “We are charging you with covering-up a crime that never happened and never will since it’s just a made-up fantasy in some law officer’s mind.”

Erik Grant says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

From the Ars article:

“Ultimately, Dixon ended up “training” undercover agents. One agent told Dixon she used to smuggle contraband into a jail, accepted bribes, and was an active drug user. “Dixon instructed the agent to lie about her past criminal activities and taught her how to obstruct the polygraph test,” according to the Department of Justice press release. Another said he had sex with a minor and was involved with a drug cartel “involved in cross-border crimes including drugs, extortion, murder, and kidnapping.”

I don’t know what the borderline is between entrapment and a sting, but I don’t see how this is any different than going undercover and visiting either a prostitute or a drug dealer. The cops made up a fake story (a pretty fantastical one at that) and engaged in his services, and the guy at that point in time believed he was helping them in a criminal enterprise.

It feels like a lot is being made of the polygraph test, and to be honest I think that’s because of the reporting. In reality it doesn’t matter what the guy did – whether he rented a house for the “drug dealer” cop to cook meth in, or he was a mechanic who fixed up a getaway car, the point is that he engaged in a business that knowingly supported serious criminal activity.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

It feels like a lot is being made of the polygraph test, and to be honest I think that’s because of the reporting. In reality it doesn’t matter what the guy did – whether he rented a house for the “drug dealer” cop to cook meth in, or he was a mechanic who fixed up a getaway car, the point is that he engaged in a business that knowingly supported serious criminal activity.

Yeah. OK. That makes sense.

So basically, if this guy had been smart enough to make sure he didn’t know why people were taking his class and had retained enough plausible deniability concerning their motives he would have been in the clear.

That makes even mores sense when you take it beyond the polygraph test, otherwise every author who writes a book on integration techniques or falsehood detection could be criminally liable every time someone used their information to be evasive with a Federal officer investigating a crime.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

There were two undercover agents who “confessed
to a crime” and asked for his help to conceal it.

Interesting. I don’t know all legal intricacies
of such things, but that sounds like a form of
entrapment to me.

That’s no more entrapment than an undercover cop walking up to a drug dealer and asking for a gram of coke.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

That’s no more entrapment than an undercover cop walking up to a drug dealer and asking for a gram of coke.

Yeah, “entrapment” wasn’t really the concept I was struggling to articulate.

I just seems weird to me that he was charged for abetting a crime that didn’t really exist in the first place.

Kink of like charging a grocer with aiding and abetting because your drug dealer was actually selling powered sugar that he bought at the grocery store instead of coke.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

yeah would be a thoughtcrime.

It’s different if you are knowingly helping someone commit a specific crime, and selling guns might have certainly have extra restrictions compared to everything else.. If they give you specific knowledge about a specific crime you have a duty to report it, but if you go buy crayons from target and you tell them “yeah I’m gunna do something illegal with this” is it really a crime for them to sell it to you?

I really doubt people are going to him and telling him exactly what they are going to do, and even then he isn’t helping them commit the crime only helping prepare a defence.

If they told him they were going to commit a specific crime and he actually believed them, then I believe he has a duty to report it, but that would be basically unrelated to teaching people to beat the test.

Anonymous Coward says:

Security Chief: Our new laser security system will trigger an alarm whenever a criminal breaks into the building at night.

Man: But you only have one laser sensor a foot of the ground at all the doors, what if people just step over it?

Security Chief: Leaker! You’re trying to teach people to beat our new fool proof security system! You’re under arrest you criminal.

That One Guy (profile) says:

However, O?Grady added that ?a sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others.?

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the law was quite clear that judges were specifically prohibited from increasing charges, or added them, for no other reason than deterrence, but had to go solely by what was legal and illegal in how they hand out sentences.

If judges are able to add or increase jail time simple to make a point like this, and deter other people from doing something, then for all intents and purposes they have become lawmakers themselves, as they are sentencing people based on what they think should be illegal, rather than what the books say is illegal.

BernardoVerda says:

Re: Streisand effect

As I understand it, most of whatever efficacy the “lie-detector”/polygraph has, for regular police work at least, is a consequence of the subject’s belief that the polygraph will indeed catch them out if they attempt to lie.

So this attempt to squelch training in “counter-polygraph” techniques, by raising awareness, is actually counter-productive.

The law-enforcement types would have done far better to contact the same folk who run dis-information campaigns for the fossil carbon industry against climate research (and researchers), and give them the job of discrediting the credible scientific research (and researchers) on polygraphy.

Doug Williams (user link) says:

Polygraph "countermeasures"? That's just BULLSHIT!



Describing my training as teaching “countermeasures” so liars can pass the polygraph “test” is the same thing as describing the polygraph as a “lie detector”! Both descriptions are PURE, UNADULTERATED BULLSHIT! The word “countermeasures” can only be used to describe polygraph chart manipulation by the subject of a polygraph “test” when two conditions are met: 1) The polygraph “test” must be proven to be 100% accurate and reliable as a “lie detector”, and 2) the person is attempting to deliberately lie. There is never a case where BOTH of these conditions are met. In other words, you could only claim “countermeasures” are being used to thwart the polygraph operator’s ability to detect deception IF the polygraph is able to detect deception accurately 100% of the time and that that deception would be detected were it not for the use of “countermeasures” by a person intent on being deceptive. But, since many people know that just telling the truth only works half the time – i.e. the US Supreme Court, and the NAS report, among others, saying it is no more accurate than the toss of a coin – then a prudent person would try to mitigate the very strong probability of being falsely branded as a liar by learning how to produce a “truthful” chart. That would not be using “countermeasures” – that would be using common sense!

Why do polygraph operators tell people not to research the polygraph before they take their test? It is very simple – the only way they can intimidate people with the polygraph is to keep them ignorant about how it works. When polygraph operators say I teach people “countermeasures” in order for them to “beat the test”. I simply say, that’s bullshit, because polygraph operators routinely call truthful people liars – and my technique is the only way for honest, truthful people to protect themselves from being falsely accused of lying. Go to the MEDIA page and watch the CBS 60 MINUTES investigative report I helped to produce and see the proof yourself – three out of three polygraph operators called three different truthful people liars on a crime that never even happened! You may also enjoy watching me prove THE LIE DETECTOR IS BULLSHIT on Showtime’s PENN & TELLER: BULLSHIT!

So, let me emphasize this – I DON’T TEACH SO-CALLED “COUNTERMEASURES” – I simply teach people how to ALWAYS PASS by knowing how to show a perfect “truthful” polygraph chart! The word “countermeasures” is a word that has been misappropriated by polygraph examiners – it is used to describe what they say is a means to thwart their ability to detect deception. But polygraph operators have always maintained that they can tell when a person is using these so-called “countermeasures”. If that is true, how can anyone use them “beat” the test? But, for the sake of argument, let me ask a few more pertinent questions: If people can indeed be taught to use “countermeasures” to “beat the test”, wouldn’t that prove the polygraph is not a “lie detector”? Does the validity and reliability of the polygraph test demand that the subjects of the test must be ignorant about how it works? If anyone could be taught how to produce and/or prevent a reaction on the polygraph at will, wouldn’t that make the whole idea of a “lie detector” a fraud? And wouldn’t polygraph operators have to admit their little machine is actually just a sick joke – and that the polygraph instrument is simply a prop used by an interrogator to frighten people into making admissions and confessions? And would it not be prudent for the government to quit wasting money on something that is nothing but a fraud and a con job? The fact is the answer to all these questions is a resounding YES!

Polygraph operators do not want to debate the validity of the polygraph as a “lie detector” because they will lose – and they certainly don’t want to answer any of these questions! They know they cannot prove the polygraph is valid and reliable as a “lie detector”, and they know they can’t justify their actions – so they just say that people who get my training are all lying and are only doing research on the polygraph in order to “beat the test”. Again, I say that is just BULLSHIT! I have spent almost forty years proving that the “lie detector” is just a myth, and it is common knowledge that just telling the truth only works half the time, so people are smart enough to know that they must LEARN HOW TO PASS or they will be falsely accused of lying. I don’t teach any so-called “countermeasures”! I don’t teach people how to “beat” the test! The fact is, people are getting my manual & video/DVD and my personal training because they are telling the truth and just want to make sure they pass – they know that just telling the truth doesn’t work! The methods I teach are very simple. I just show people how to remain calm when answering a relevant question and how to produce a reaction when answering the control questions so as to always produce what the polygraph operators say is a “truthful chart”. I have a manual, entitled HOW TO STING THE POLYGRAPH, and a DVD that teaches people exactly how to do this – it is available in the STORE page of my website http://www.polygraph.com. I also give practice polygraph tests on my own polygraph instrument to show them how well my technique works – for more information about this, go to the PERSONAL TRAINING page of my website.

I was instrumental in getting most polygraph testing outlawed in the private sector. In 1988, with the passage of the EMPLOYEE POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT, administering polygraph tests actually became a federal crime! Even the U.S. Supreme Court refused to admit polygraph results into evidence, and ironically it was the U.S. Justice Department who argued that the polygraph results were not reliable and should not be admitted into evidence! I was a member of the Office of Technology Assessment, (an investigative arm of the U.S. Congress), studying the validity and reliability of the polygraph – our report basically said it was worthless as a “lie detector”. I also testified in the U.S. Congress in support of the EPPA. {Here is an interesting piece of historical trivia: When I testified in Congress, I put my manual, HOW TO STING THE POLYGRAPH into the Congressional Record, and the Senators and Representatives distributed more copies of my manual between 1984 and 1988 than anyone has ever distributed – including me! They sent them out by the tens of thousands in response to requests from constituents.} But, there were exclusions written into the law that allowed the government – local state and federal – to continue to use the polygraph. They attempt to justify these exclusions on the grounds that the government needs this tool to protect national security and the law enforcement officials need it to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system. I have proved the polygraph is not a “lie detector” – the Congress, the Justice Department, the OTA, and all the scientific evidence agrees with me, so there is no justification for the government to continue to use it on the pretext that it protects our national security or the integrity of the criminal justice system.

It is FOOLISH and DANGEROUS to use the polygraph as “lie detector” – the theory of “lie detection” is nothing but junk science. It is based on a faulty scientific premise. The polygraph operators have the audacity to say that there is such a thing as a “reaction indicative of deception”, when I can prove that “lying reaction” is simply a nervous reaction commonly referred to as the fight or flight syndrome. In fact, the polygraph is nothing but a psychological billy club that is used to coerce a person into making admissions or confessions. It is FOOLISH and DANGEROUS for government agencies to rely on the polygraph to “test” applicants, or to conduct any type of investigations relating to national security. It is FOOLISH and DANGEROUS for the criminal justice system to rely on an instrument that has been thoroughly discredited to determine whether or not a person is truthful or deceptive, or to use it to guide their investigations in any way – especially when the results cannot even be used as evidence in a court of law! And it is FOOLISH and DANGEROUS for anyone to believe they will pass their polygraph “test” if they just tell the truth! When you factor in all the damage done to people who are falsely branded as liars by these con men and their unconscionable conduct, this fraud of “lie detection” perpetrated by the polygraph industry should be a federal crime! The protection provided to some people by the EPPA should be extended to protect everyone from this insidious Orwellian instrument of torture! Shame on anyone who administers these “tests” – and shame on the government for continuing to allow this state sponsored sadism!

So, here we have this diabolical dichotomy – the government protects some people from polygraph abuse and perpetrates polygraph abuse on others! The Congress outlaws the use of the polygraph in the private sector, (and distributes my manuals, teaching people how to pass their tests), the Justice Department argues that it should not be used as evidence in court, the Supreme Courts agrees and refuses to allow polygraph results into evidence, and the OTA issues a report saying all the scientific evidence proves it is not reliable – yet, after all this, many government agencies greatly expand the use of the polygraph to numbers never seen before in the history of the country!
So what explains this schizophrenia in the government? Why do they outlaw it in one area and expand it in another? I’m afraid I know – I think President Nixon told us why the government uses it when he said, “I don’t know anything about polygraphs, and I don’t know how accurate they are, but I know they’ll scare the hell out of people, and that’s why I like to use them!” That mentality regarding the polygraph is the very reason I do what I do! I educate people about the polygraph so that the polygraph thugs can’t use it to scare the hell out of them – and even worse, call them liars simply because they have a nervous reaction on a relevant question! I teach people how to prove they are telling the truth because just telling the truth really only works about half the time! A person will probably fail their polygraph test unless they are trained to show the polygraph examiner what he expects to see from a truthful person. I have been asked this question many times: Can liars use this information to pass just as easily as truthful people? The answer to that question is YES! I have no control over who gets the information in my manual and video/DVD. But let me make this perfectly clear – I assume that people come to me for personal training because they know that just telling the truth only works about half the time. And, except for frivolous cases such as fidelity testing, or for demonstrations on television programs, speaking engagements and seminars, I will not knowingly teach a person to deliberately lie! Besides, liars can pass easily whether they have been trained or not – history is full of people who have lied and passed polygraphs with no problem. Aldridge Ames, the notorious spy, passed many polygraph exams – and he was an active spy when he took, (and passed) several polygraph tests! As a matter of fact there has never been even one spy ever caught by the polygraph! I have often demonstrated how simple it is to “beat the box” on national television programs. It is true that anyone can use my techniques to pass their polygraph test regardless of whether they are nervous or not, lying or not, no matter what. I have said that for over 40 years. I say it in hopes that those who use this instrument will realize that it is not accurate or reliable as a “lie detector” and will quit using it!

By describing my training as “countermeasures” that people use in order to pass a polygraph as a form of cheating, or something used only by liars who are trying to “beat” the “lie detector”, polygraph operators are asserting something as a fact that is absolutely false – something that all evidence proves is false; i.e. that the polygraph is accurate, reliable, and effective in detecting truth and detecting deception. All the scientific evidence available proves that the polygraph is none of those things. The polygraph is no more accurate than the toss of a coin – in other words it is only able to detect deception approximately 50% of the time. This also means that unless truthful people get prepared to pass the test, over 50% of the time the polygraph con men will brand them as liars just because they are nervous. A sad irony is that often the people polygraph operators accuse people of using “countermeasures” are those who have no idea what that even means! As a matter of fact, polygraph operators are now so paranoid that one of the questions frequently asked on the polygraph test itself is if the subject has read my manual. Many of these unscrupulous jerks will fail or disqualify people just because they are suspected of the horrible Orwellian “thought crime” of educating themselves! But trying to “catch” anyone who uses the information in my manual and video/DVD to pass their polygraph test is an exercise in futility on the part of the polygraph operator, because everyone who uses the Sting Technique will ALWAYS PASS – and the only thing the polygraph operator will see is a perfect, natural truthful chart! As a matter of fact, the information in my manual is so effective, (and because the polygraph as a “lie detector” is so ineffective), the information in my manual and video/DVD is considered to be “contraband” – it is actually prohibited by Big Brother polygraphers in the government! This proves that polygraph operators are today’s version of the thugs employed by Orwell’s Ministry of Truth!

It is bad, (but perhaps understandable, and even sometimes necessary), to use the polygraph as a prop for polygraph interrogators to frighten and intimidate people in order to get confessions or admissions of wrong doing – but it is never acceptable to take it a step further and disqualify applicants, deny security clearances, and revoke probations simply because a person has a nervous reaction on the polygraph “test” or because the polygrapher accuses them of using so-called “countermeasures”. Most polygraph operators and all polygraph associations say that the polygraph should only be used as an aid to guide investigators, and that the polygraph test results should never be the sole determinant of guilt or innocence, or truth or deception, or whether or not a person gets or keeps a job or a security clearance, (see AAPP statement in footnote below) – but the sad fact is, that happens every day to thousands of people. That fact alone should be the basis for malpractice lawsuits against polygraph operators! Polygraph operators are out of control – they no longer abide by the commonly accepted protocols agreed upon by their own professional associations – they don’t answer to anyone, and they don’t give a damn about the millions of people who are traumatized, and whose lives are ruined by their arbitrary and capricious actions. That is not only wrong, it should be illegal!

After much thought, I have come to what I consider to be the only logical conclusion that can be drawn as to why government agencies, (federal, state, & local) continue to use the polygraph even though all the scientific evidence proves it is worthless as a “lie detector”. I believe they are using the polygraph as a subterfuge to avoid complying with federal equal employment regulations! What else explains the 65% “failure” rate for applicants who have already passed a very thorough background investigation? These agencies can circumvent federal laws and discriminate against people by denying employment to anyone they don’t want to hire and all they have to do is to say the applicant “failed” a polygraph test. By simply saying the person has “failed” a polygraph test, government agencies can hire and fire people at will and then just blame it on the “failed” polygraph test. There is no way anyone can appeal a hiring or firing decision that is based on a “failed” polygraph – and those who are denied employment or terminated have no recourse – they can’t bring a lawsuit for discrimination or wrongful termination! Do I believe the government agencies who utilize the polygraph are this nefarious? YES! And it is tantamount to criminal negligence on the part of those charged with oversight of these government agencies to allow them to continue to use this so-called “lie detector” testing!

Now back to the so-called “countermeasures”. I have always said that I do not teach countermeasures simply because of the negative connotations associated with the term. I teach people how to protect themselves from being falsely accused of lying simply because they happen to have a nervous reaction on the wrong question. The late Professor David T. Lykken, who was the preeminent scientific expert on polygraphy, observed “If I were somehow forced to take a polygraph test in relation to some important matter, I would certainly use these proven, (techniques taught in my manual HOW TO STING THE POLYGRAPH), rather than rely on the truth and my innocence as safeguards; an innocent (person) has nearly a 50:50 chance of failing. And those odds are considerably worse than those involved in Russian roulette.” When the EPPA was enacted into law, the word “protection” was not put in the title of that law by accident. It was put there deliberately because the legislators in their wisdom knew that people needed to be protected from this unreliable instrument, and that they needed to be protected from being falsely accused of lying simply because they were nervous. So if you’re going to take a polygraph examination and, as Dr. Lykken said, you have a 50% chance of failing just because you’re nervous on the wrong question it would only be prudent to utilize my training so as to mitigate the danger of being accused of being deceptive when in fact you are simply nervous.

So, I don’t use this word “countermeasures” to describe what I do. As I said, that is a word that is misused by polygraph operators. All I do is educate people about the polygraph and teach them how to control every tracing on the polygraph charts so as to always produce what the polygraph examiner expects to see from a truthful subject. Since many people do not have the protection afforded by the Employee Polygraph PROTECTION Act, they must have some way to protect themselves from being falsely branded as liars!

For almost 40 years, I have been crusading against the use of the “lie detector” and the abuses caused by what its inventor, Dr. John Larson, described as “Frankenstein’s Monster”. This is what Larson said about his own invention: “The lie detector is nothing more than a psychological third-degree aimed at extorting a confession as the old physical beating were. I’m sorry I ever had any part in its development.” I would like nothing better than to stop my crusade. I would love to shut down my website and quit – my goal has always been to put myself out of business. My fervent hope, a hope shared by millions of polygraph victims, is that the day will soon come when no one will need my services because the polygraph is no longer being used. I am tired of this never ending, and very frustrating fight – and I will be happy to quit the day after all the polygraph operators quit running their scam! But I can’t give up yet – I still get far too many calls and emails from people telling me how the polygraph has ruined their lives. I started this crusade in 1979 and I plan to finish it. For more information about what I have done for all these years, get my book FROM COP TO CRUSADER: THE STORY OF MY FIGHT AGAINST THE DANGEROUS MYTH OF “LIE DETECTION” – it is available in the STORE page of my website http://www.polygraph.com. You can help me in my fight by getting this book and sending it to as many people as you possibly can! But, as long as the thugs and con men who call themselves polygraphers continue to use the “lie detector” to frighten and intimidate people, I will continue to fight them! I am committed to this fight – I must continue to help people who are faced with what is the most traumatic experience they will ever have to endure, because I am the only one who can and will do it. Until the polygraph is no longer being used, and people’s lives are no longer being ruined by this myth of “lie detection”, I will teach people how to protect themselves from being falsely accused of being a liar.

Footnote: The American Association of Police Polygraphists: “Polygraph testing, forensic psychophysiology, and credibility assessment, are evolving fields of science, intended to be used as decision support tools. These tools should aid investigators and referring agencies in making decisions about the truthfulness or deception of individuals in diagnostic and screening test circumstances. The role of scientific testing is to provide information, while professional evaluators are the final authority on all matters that require expert judgment.”

Erik Grant says:

Re: Polygraph "countermeasures"? That's just BULLSHIT!

I am not going to claim to have read that whole thing, but, nobody is saying you’re doing anything wrong by teaching people how to “beat” the test. If the next guy tells you he wants to learn to beat the test so he can lie about how he violated a restraining order, then the cops might come knocking.

So teach on, friend, and woe to the man who says you can’t!

Anonymous Coward says:

what the fuck is wrong with the judges and the legal system in general in the USA? how can teaching someone this be illegal? it’s if it is used it becomes a bit iffy. the next thing will be teaching someone to drive will deserve a prison sentence because then a driver could ram-raid a jewelry store, or drive the getaway car from a bank job! it’s yet again something that someone in a high, powerful position doesn’t like, so the other someone has to pay! fucking ridiculous! any excuse to exert the power and lock some poor fucker up!!

vijay (user link) says:


Demanding or accepting bribes will become a more challenging task here as cops will have to deal with more than just prying eyes. For, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Gujarat, has decided to gift its staff new ?digital eyes? to trap state government functionaries and officials. After facing flak for its lack of latest equipment in a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report published earlier this year, the bureau has added spy cameras to its arsenal of technology.

?Over the last four months, we have purchased and provided video equipment as well as high-end recorders to all 30 ACB police stations across Gujarat. This is in addition to the audio recording equipment that the officials have been using so far,? said in-charge director of state ACB, Ashish Bhatia.

The bureau was recently allocated funds of nearly Rs30 lakh, which were utilised to procure equipment including miniscule spy cameras, recorders, laptop computers as well as servers.

However, he refused to divulge specifics. ?Disclosing the exact technology we are employing would compromise its utility, as the people we plan to trap would become aware of it,? Bhatia explained. Introduction of this new technology will smoothen the processes of trap and decoy for the bureau, which was criticised for lack of the same in an audit report by CAG of India, released in October. The report stated that each ACB police station in the state is required to have spy camera, voice recorder and other logistical instruments for effective operational preparedness.

However, there were only 2 spy cameras and 5 voice recorders for the entire state and those too were old and obsolete, it added.

In November 2012, the bureau?s director stated that a proposal for purchase of equipment worth Rs38.61 lakh was sent to the government during 2011-12. However, the government had directed ACB to make fresh proposals in the ensuing year. In the meanwhile, one set of equipment costing Rs60,000 was purchased by re-appropriation of funds from other heads in January 2012, the report stated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wait. Everyone think clearly for just 1 moment. No way can be engaged in a crime cause the machine does not work. Any discussion of teaching someone to beat is silly cause there is no such machine. So someone that acknowledges they are a criminal and want to beat the machine is irrelevant cause the machine it self is a hoax and for prosecutors to take it seriously should be reason for disbarment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Remember. There is a reason results of this machine has never been admissible as evidence in a court of law. Yes. Check the facts for any that thinks this machine really works. The reason of course is courts dont allow bs as evidence in court. Even though this silly machine has been around almost as long as finger printing and longer than dna evidence, it still is not allowed as evidence in court cause its sheer ca ca. Not even real accredited universities teach this crap because it is not real science. You have to get a certificate by some 2nd rate institution. Anyone, including law enforcement that takes it seriously is setting society back by allowing this to screw up important investigations and hiring activity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Its like me saying a rubber band connected to a paper clip can detect lies ( no diff. than the kook that took 5 machines used in a hospitable n put together and called it a polygraph) then I teach people how to beat my new rubber band/paper clip lie detector. Quite the silly proposition, so prosecutors and judges who entertain such discussion need to smoke something to clear their heads.

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