Indiana State Police Video Discourages Applicants from Researching Polygraphs

earnest-pageThe Indiana State Police have produced a video that discourages applicants from educating themselves about polygraphy. The video quotes new recruit Earnest Page stating:

You learn that you do not believe that everything is [sic] posted on the Internet, so the best thing for me is to keep my mind free because when you think of that stuff, that can cloud your mind and also, you know, can alter your test scores, so I just stayed away from anything like that.

Grammar issues aside, the intended point is that applicants should be leery of information about polygraphy that is available “on the Internet” (as if the Internet were a monolithic source of information about polygraphy, all of which is wrong).

But a polygraph community presentation on countermeasures describes the information provided by as “accurate,” and polygraph operator Louis I. Rovner, Ph.D., testified in court that “He [ co-founder George W. Maschke] has provided a sophisticated and accurate account of what goes on in a polygraph test, essentially what I did in my research, but his is so thorough and complete it’s just breathtaking how good and accurate the information is.”


The video also quotes Indiana State Police polygraph examiner Sgt. Paul Hansard saying:

That would be one of the important things, is to make sure that they don’t look up or research anything on polygraph as well.

Why would it be “one of the important things” to make sure that an applicant hasn’t done their homework on polygraphy? And what does Hansard propose to do with honest applicants who admit to having researched polygraphy? The video doesn’t say.

To drive home the point that applicants shouldn’t educate themselves about polygraphy, the video cites probationary trooper Earnest Page once more (emphasis added):

I would just come early, get a good night’s rest before, clear your mind, stay away from the things on the Internet, be willing to answer all questions, don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to explain your answers. So after that I think you’ll be fine.

When an amplified voice tells you to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, perhaps you should investigate.

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