Longtime polygraph critic and friend to AntiPolygraph.org John J. Furedy died at his home in Sydney, Australia on 24 August 2016 following a long illness. He was 76 years old.
Dr. Furedy was a psychophysiologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. In 2000, he was among those who reviewed draft versions of AntiPolygraph.org’s book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. His commentary was the most critical we received, and thus the most useful. We implemented all of his suggestions.
Professor Furedy frequently likened polygraphy to the ancient Roman divination ritual of entrails reading. See, for example, his essay, “The North American Polygraph as Entrails Reading: Truths and Practical Advice to Potential Users and Victims” on the Federation of American Scientists website.
In the 1990s, Professor Furedy served on the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute’s Curriculum and Research Guidance Committee, which was formed by then director William J. Yankee. The Committee advised against polygraph screening. Following Yankee’s retirement in 1995, the succeeding director, Michael H. Capps, promptly dissolved the Committee.
In 2003, Professor Furedy’s testimony in Mallard v. The Queen (PDF) helped persuade the Western Australia Court of Criminal Appeal, the highest Australian court to consider polygraphy, to reject the admission of polygraph chart readings as evidence.
In 2005, Professor Furedy retired and returned to Australia with his wife, Christine, who survives him.
Professor Furedy’s scholarly writings and commentaries on the pseudoscience of polygraphy (along with writings on his numerous other interests) remain available on his University of Toronto web page.
We are thankful to have counted John Furedy as a friend. We leave you with this TV Ontario interview in which he speaks about the psychology of lying and “lie detection”: