Doug Williams, RIP

Douglas Gene Williams
(6 October 1945 – 19 March 2021)

It is with deep sadness that we report that longtime polygraph critic Douglas Gene Williams died on Friday, 19 March 2021, after an illness. He has been cremated.

Williams, a former polygraph operator with the Oklahoma City Police Department, quit his job in 1979 and began publicly campaigning for the abolishment of polygraphy from the American workplace. In 1985, he testified against polygraphy before the U.S. House of Representatives in a hearing that helped bring about passage of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.

Williams featured prominently in the CBS 60 Minutes report, “Truth and Consequences,” which aired on 11 May 1986 and documented workplace polygraph abuse.

In 1997, Williams launched Polygraph.com, a website through which he sold his manual, “How to Sting the Polygraph,” which explains how to pass a polygraph “test” whether or not one is telling the truth. Williams later offered in-person training on the methods outlined in his manual.

Williams’ manual soon became the core of the federal polygraph school’s course on polygraph countermeasures. So concerned was the federal polygraph community about the public availability of the kind of information Williams taught that a senior instructor at the federal polygraph school, then called the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, publicly suggested that teaching it should be outlawed.

In 2012, federal agents targeted Williams for entrapment in a sting operation dubbed Operation Lie Busters, as a consequence of which he was criminally charged in 2014. Ultimately pleading guilty, Williams was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release during which time he was prohibited from engaging in any polygraph-related activity.

Released from prison in 2017 and from supervised release in 2020, Williams had resumed publicly offering instruction on how to pass the polygraph.

Also in 2020, Doug Williams’ life story, as told to writer Jack Straw, was published under the title, False Confessions: The True Story of Doug Williams and His Crusade against the Polygraph Industry. (A review by AntiPolygraph.org is available here.)

Williams is survived by his mother, Doris, of Chickasha, Oklahoma and a sister, Janet. He was preceded in death by younger brothers Michael and Donald.

7 thoughts on “Doug Williams, RIP”

  1. Doug certainly was a colorful character. I remember meeting him at his trial. His passion against the polygraph helped many people. His story and work live on. He will be missed.

  2. So sad. RIP Doug Williams. I appreciate your work and exposure of the polygraph. I will also continue to educate people about how to beat the polygraph so that subjects will stop making disqualifying admissions and confessions. The world needs to know the truth. Even though Doug was pretty old, I heard that it is possible that someone within the U.S. government may have help contribute to Doug’s early demise as retaliation for his anti-polygraph teachings . . .

    1. It may well be the case that the stress and immiseration brought about by Doug’s prosecution and incarceration shortened his life. However, we are unaware of any allegation, let alone any evidence, that his death was a homicide or that anyone within the U.S. government had a hand in his death.

  3. RIP Doug. You had the courage, conviction, and straight up balls that we all wish we have.

  4. Very sad to hear this… he did good work. Any word on how/if people will still be able to access his manual? It’s still very much needed.

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