After NITV lost a demation lawsuit brought by competitor Elwood Gary Baker, Humble began running substantially the same business under the rubric of “NITV Federal Services, LLC.”
NITV, LLC never paid its judgment debt to Baker, and litigation by Baker in an attempt to collect on that debt is pending. Humble’s bankruptcy filing appears to be a naked attempt to stiff his creditors.
Humble lists $761,443.09 in unsecured claims against NITV, LLC. Apart from the quarter million dollar judgment debt to Baker, Humble also reports owing $329,076.19 in attorney fees to Brinkley Morgan of Fort Lauderdale and $139,266.90 in attorney fees to Seiden, Alder, et al. of Boca Raton. Humble also reports a $43,100 debt to himself for money loaned to NITV, LLC to pay attorney fees.
The authors of “Shadows into Light: The Investigative Utility of Voice Analysis with Two Types of Online Child-Sex Predators” declared to the journal that they have no conflicts of interest to report. However, an investigation by AntiPolygraph.org reveals that both the article’s primary author and the source of the data used for the study have ties to NITV that call into question the article’s credibility.
The Journal of Child Sexual Abuse is published by Taylor & Francis, who on their web page on “competing interest” or “conflict of interest” state: “Competing interests can be financial or non-financial in nature. To ensure transparency, any associations which can be perceived by others as a competing interest must also be declared.”
NACVSA is an arm of NITV, which has used the article Stathis co-authored with Chapman to claim in marketing copy that “according to an independent, peer-reviewed, published 18-year study” CVSA “has an accuracy rate of 98%.” However, an earlier investigation by AntiPolygraph.org revealed that the Chapman & Stathis article was published in an obscure publication of the Ukrainian government that has dubious claim to being peer-reviewed and that, in any event, the study was not based on NITV’s CVSA, but rather a different voice stress analyzer whose manufacturer went out of business some three decades ago.
In January 2013, Stathis, a resident of Maryland, gave a presentation at NITV’s Advanced Continuing Education Course in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the topic of “Current VSA Research.”
Some of the highlights of the conference were lectures by valued members who have advanced knowledge in specialized areas. One such person was Marigo Stathis, a neuroscientist who co-authored a peer-reviewed field study of the CVSA with Professor James Chapman. Marigo has a deep understanding of the scientific workings of the CVSA, but she’s also great at translating the data into everyday language. Her lecture discussed the protocols of the Chapman study and described how they discovered that the CVSA has an accuracy rate of 99.69%, a precision rate of 99.67%, and a verified confession rate of 96.4 %.
In response to a request for comment, Stathis denied having a “close and continuing” relationship with NITV and affirmed that “[a]ll of [her] efforts pertaining to the ‘Shadows into Light’ article were of a pro-bono nature…”
Nonetheless, a reasonable person might conclude that Stathis’ above-documented association with NITV constitutes a conflict of interest that should have been declared.
In “Shadows into Light,” Stathis and Marinakis write that “[t]he data contained in this paper originates from a southeastern US Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, an organization that successfully uses both advanced interviewing techniques and investigative tools when eliciting disclosures.” Stathis and Marinakis do not specify which ICAC Task Force produced the data on which they rely, but AntiPolygraph.org’s investigation confirms that it is the Central Florida ICAC Task Force, and that the key person involved was former detective sergeant Jerry W. Crotty II of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
2015 – D/Sgt. Jerry W. Crotty II: Jerry is with the Manatee Co. Sheriff’s Office (FL) and was the recipient of the fourth annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence. He developed innovative strategies using the CVSA to protect the safety and welfare of children in Florida and elsewhere. Jerry is assigned to the Federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and he introduced the CVSA as a screening tool during investigations of ‘Traveler and Pornography Cases.’ His efforts have resulted in more accurately determining the past predatory histories of these offenders, and also has directly led to the identification and recovery of multiple ‘live victims’ of sexual predators. As a direct result of Jerry’s innovation and creativity the CVSA has been acquired by many ICAC Task Forces across the USA, which have also adopted Jerry’s specialized interviewing approach.
His work is…the subject of an article published in the Journal of Child Sex Abuse, where his use of the CVSA was analyzed in online sex traveler and child porn offenders. Using this technique, he was able to recover 87 unknown live victims of child sex abuse.
Concordantly, in “Shadows into Light,” Stathis and Marinakis write, “…as a result of voice stress analysis procedures, 87 previously undiscovered live victims were identified.”
There can be little doubt but that Stathis and Marinakis’ data is based on CVSA examinations conducted primarily, and perhaps exclusively, by Jerry Crotty.
In response to a request for comment, Stathis stated, “I received the data relevant to ‘Shadows into Light’ in 2017 from a Southeastern US ICAC team that consisted of several individuals who originally approached me in 2016, none of whom was associated with or worked for any forensic or truth verification software/hardware company at that time.”
Nonetheless, a reasonable person might conclude that Stathis and Marinakis’ data source’s association with NITV constitutes a conflict of interest that should have been declared.
Stathis & Marinakis’ “Shadows into Light” is also beset by methodological flaws and omissions that make it difficult to generalize the authors’ conclusions to any other population:
What were the total arrest figures for the ICAC unit during the relevant period?
How many arrestees refused all interrogation?
How many were interrogated without CVSA, and what were their admission/confession rates?
How were the CVSA charts scored? Manually by the operator? Or automatically by the CVSA software?
How many CVSA operators were involved? (Evidence suggests that the number is one, but the authors should have included this data point.)
Stathis and Marinakis write that “[t]his study’s de-identified raw data can be furnished upon reasonable request from the corresponding author.” In order to better understand their research findings, AntiPolygraph.org requested this data by email to the corresponding author, Marigo Stathis, on 22 July 2020 and received no reply. However, in October 2020, following AntiPolygraph.org’s request for comment for this article, Stathis wrote:
…we have appropriately considered your initial July 22, 2020 request for the study’s raw data. However, we additionally require a detailed description of how you intend to use the data. As the corresponding co-author, I will then be able to forward your request to the agencies that comprise the US ICAC task force (that generated the data) with the stated reasonable potential use of such data in order to get their consent to release the data. The latter will be contingent on having met specific criteria re a written limited rights data use agreement, with appropriate protection of the data and defined limited reasonable use.
Given that Stathis did not reply to our request for the study’s data, only addressing it more than two months later when asked for comment for this article, her claim that she needs more information to entertain our request seems disingenuous.
The late astronomer and science communicator Carl Sagan famously observed that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Stathis and Marinakis’ claim that CVSA—a scientifically baseless device that NITV itself has acknowledged in court “is not capable of lie detection”—produced no false positives and a 100% confession rate from those who failed is an extraordinary claim indeed.
Regrettably, the evidence of Stathis and Marinakis’ “Shadows into Light” is murky.
An investigation by AntiPolygraph.org reveals that:
The study cited by NITV/NACVSA has dubious claim to being peer-reviewed;
The study did not involve NITV’s CVSA, but rather a different voice stress analyzer called the PSE-101 that was marketed by Dektor Counterintelligence and Security, Inc., a company that has been defunct for some three decades;
The study is not “independent” in that its primary author had an undisclosed close and continuing relationship with NITV/NACVSA.
The citation for the study touted by NITV and NACVSA is:
Chapman, James L. and Marigo Stathis. “Field Evaluation of Effectiveness of VSA (Voice Stress Analysis) Technology in a US Criminal Justice Setting,” Criminalistics and Court Expertise, 2012 Annual Edition, Number 57.
However, a search of research libraries returns no publication titled Criminalistics and Court Expertise. As James R. Wygant noted in a 2014 commentary in the American Polygraph Association’s APA Magazine, “no trace of a publication by that name can be found on the Internet, although copies of the article itself are available.”
It turns out that the article appeared in a yearbook of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice whose Russian title is Криминалистика и судебная экспертиза (Kriminalistika i sudebnaya ekspertiza). This periodical published Chapman and Stathis’ article in Russian under the title, “Оценка эффективности технологии VSA (Voice Stress Analysis ) на основе практики уголовного судопроизводства в США” (“Otsenka effektivnosti tekhnologii VSA (Voice Stress Analysis ) na osnove praktiki ugolovnogo sudoproizvodstva v SSHA”).
AntiPolygraph.org has obtained copies of the Chapman & Stathis study in both English and Russian.
It may seem odd that American researchers would choose to publish in an obscure Ukrainian yearbook in a language that is not their own.
Writer Bob McCarty helps to solve this mystery. In Chapter 22 of a self-published, fawning book about CVSA titled The Clapper Memo2 that is based in part on “dozens of phone calls over a three-year period” with the study’s primary author, James L. Chapman, McCarty reveals that Chapman and Stathis unsuccessfully attempted to have their article published in “a few reputable criminology-oriented, scientific journals in North America” and that it was rejected by at least two such journals.
Only after these rejections did Chapman and Stathis resort to submitting their article to the Ukrainian periodical that ultimately published it.
The article, which is referred to by NITV/NACVSA as “the Chapman study,” suffers serious methodological flaws that should have prevented it from being accepted by any peer-reviewed publication worthy of the name. One such flaw is that Chapman put his thumb on the scale by excluding cases where a confession was unlikely to be obtained, noting (at p. 12 of the English version of his study), “Contract criminals were excluded from this particular analysis, as this special type of offender is known to reject confessions, due to organized crime affiliations, etc., regardless of what their VSA results or the evidence indicate.” There is no scientific rationale for such exclusion.
Notably, the Chapman study does not mention CVSA even once. It instead refers only to “voice stress analysis.” This is because the voice stress analysis “tests” that form the basis for this study were performed by Chapman not with NITV’s CVSA device, but rather with Dektor Counterintelligence and Security’s “Psychological Stress Evaluator.”
In The Clapper Memo, McCarty discloses that Chapman “wrote a lengthy white paper” about the results of voice stress analysis “tests” that he conducted over the course of his career. AntiPolygraph.org has obtained portions of this “white paper,” which ran over 100 pages, that Chapman faxed to John J. Palmatier, who was then researching voice stress analysis, in 1993. In that original paper, Chapman writes, at p. 27:
This field study was drawn from the total number of cases processed with a Psychological Stress Evaluator, PSE-101, by James L. Chapman, Criminologist, during the eighteen years between 1971 and 1989. The procedure in each case consisted of briefing by the requesting agency, suspect interviews, questioning, and the processing of requestioning through a PSE-101, manufactured by the [sic] Dektor Counterintelligence and Security, Inc., Savannah, GA.
The fact that Chapman’s field study was based on his use of the PSE-101 and not the CVSA is unjustifiably omitted from the article published in Ukraine.
Chapman had an undisclosed conflict of interest that helps explain why he would obfuscate what specific voice stress analyzer he used.
At the time of his death on 17 April 2012, Chapman was a member of NACVSA’s Board of Executive Directors. His affiliation with NITV/NACVSA is older than that, however. Chapman’s name appears on NITV’s letterhead as a member of its Board of Directors in a letter dated 11 May 1998.3
James L. Chapman clearly had a close and continuing relationship with NITV/NACVSA. Nevertheless, in a 2011 phone call to Vancouver Sun columnist David Baines, Chapman averred that he had “no real connection” to NITV. Baines writes in a column published on 14 March 2011:
Chapman told me he has just completed a 19-year study confirming that the CVSA device is 96.4-per-cent accurate. He also said the study has been peer reviewed, but when I asked for a copy, he said it has not yet been published, and until it is, he could not provide one.
Chapman purposefully misled Baines by claiming that his study confirmed anything about CVSA.
Nine months later, Chapman delivered a presentation about his study at NITV’s 2012 Annual Advanced Continuing Education Course held 16-20 January 2012 at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On its website, NITV falsely characterized Chapman’s study as a “19-year field study of CVSA”:
NITV’s misrepresentation of the Chapman study has continued and remains ongoing. For instance, a press release dated 11 January 2013 that currently appears on NITV’s web site falsely proclaims:
A newly published research study in the 2012 annual edition of the scientific journal Criminalistics and Court Expertise reports the accuracy rate of the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA®) is greater than 95%, an assertion long made by the system’s manufacturer.
Professor Chapman used the CVSA to conduct the research and the results achieved were highly consistent throughout the period the study’s data were collected. The study’s findings revealed the CVSA, when used as an investigative support tool, can accurately predict whether a person under investigation is being truthful or deceptive. The study’s findings are supported by scientifically-accepted statistical models, and by the 96.4% validated confession rate Professor Chapman attained during the course of the 18-year study.
A 3-page synopsis of the Chapman report currently available on the NITV website similarly falsely claims that it “is based upon actual CVSA examinations.”
More recently, NITV repeated its false claims about the Chapman study in federal court in a 2018 lawsuit against Dektor Corporation (not to be confused with Dektor Counterintelligence and Security) and Arthur Herring III when at para. 50 of its Complaint, NITV falsely attested that “a 2012 peer reviewed published study…of the CVSA showed its error rate to be less than 1%….”
And in an announcement for a CVSA training session that was to be held from 10-14 August 2020 (the week that this article is being published), NITV proclaims in bold letters, “With the recently published 18-year study validating the accuracy of the CVSA at 98%, isn’t it time to acquire the latest in truth verification technology?”
In 2020, there is no peer-reviewed research showing that NITV’s CVSA works at better-than-chance levels of accuracy.
NITV managing member Charles Humble did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
The close nexus between the NITV and the NACVSA is reflected in the fact that a single entity, Voice Biometrics, LLC, holds the trademarks for “NITV,” “National Institute for Truth Verification,” “CVSA,” “NACVSA,” and “National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts.” In addition, at the time of writing, the websites for both the NITV and the NACVSA share a common IP address: 188.8.131.52. [↩]
McCarty received the NACVSA’s 2013 “Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence” for writing this book. [↩]
That letter, from then NITV Executive Director David A. Hughes to Michael G. Adsit of the Canastota, New York Police Department, explained that if that department wished to purchase CVSA equipment and training, its chief would have to sign a letter stating that “the Canastota Police Department will not allow anyone outside of their trained examiners, and specifically Rome Lab, to use or have access to the CVSA and all proprietary interest will be protected.” The U.S. Air Force laboratory at Rome, New York, was at the time conducting research into voice stress analysis and published a report in 2002. [↩]
It should be noted that no voice stress analysis technique has any scientific basis, be it NITV’s CVSA, Baker Group International’s Digital Voice Stress Analyzer (DVSA), Dektor’s Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE), or Nemesysco’s Layered Voice Analysis (LVA).
In the lawsuit, brought before the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach, NITV alleges that Baker and Savage have been marketing their competing voice-based lie detector in violation of U.S. export regulations and seeks as much as $1,000,000 (or potentially more) in damages.
COUNT I Economic Damages Against Defendants due to Violation of Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act
Plaintiff hereby restates the allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 46 as if fully set forth herein and further alleges as follows:
Both BAKER and SAVAGE, individually and by and through EXPERTOS INC and EXPERTOS SA, have exported from the United States or re-exported VSA technologies either to or between various foreign locations including Mexico, Central America, South America and South Africa.
Upon information and belief, none of the Defendants named herein have received such US Government approved Export Licenses for the multiple sales they have made from the US to foreign countries and/or between foreign countries, and are knowingly and actively engaged in the commerce of selling US Government Export Controlled commodities to various foreign governments, foreign commercial entities, and foreign national end users who have not been properly scrutinized to be granted an Export License.
The Defendants are in violation of Federal export laws, under the EAR, as well as violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. §§ 41 et seq.
The failure to comply with Federal Export Law and violation of the EAR, constitute an unfair and deceptive act and unfair practice under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Act.
Defendants’ [sic] BAKER and SAVAGE, individually and by and through EXPERTOS INC and EXPERTOS SA, deliberate and knowing efforts to export, distribute and sell the DVSA/FVAS outside of the United States without a United States Government approved Export License, constitutes a violation of 15 CFR § 730-774 under the EAR, and constitutes a criminal conspiracy to violate federally promulgated export laws, regulations and directives. Due to Defendants’ unfair and deceptive actions in circumventing export licensing requirements, Defendants have been able to expeditiously enter foreign markets to the competitive disadvantage and economic damage of NFS.
Due to Defendants’ unfair and deceptive actions in circumventing export licensing requirements, NFS has lost numerous sales to BAKER and/or SAVAGE by and through EXPERTOS INC/EXPERTOS SA.
NFS’s damages are directly proximate to Defendants’ violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Florida Statute 501.201 et seq., and specifically 501.211 of the Florida Statutes.
NFS is entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs associated with the bringing of this action pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and Section 501.2105 of the Florida Statutes.
WHEREFORE, NFS respectfully requests that this Honorable Court: A. Enter a money judgment of $1,000,000 against Defendants or an amount equal to the actual damages suffered by Plaintiff by reason of the violations alleged above, pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and Section 501.211 of the Florida Statutes; B. Enter an order requiring Defendants to pay Plaintiff’s costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and Section 501.2105 of the Florida Statutes; and C. Direct any and all further relief this court deems just and equitable.
COUNT II Injunctive and Equitable Relief Against All Defendants
Plaintiff restates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 46 and further states:
As alleged herein, Defendants have engaged in a continuous course of violation of 15 CFR § 730-774 under the EAR and Federal Trade Commission Regulations.
Defendants will continue to violate 15 CFR § 730-774 under the EAR and Federal Trade Commission Regulations causing irreparable harm to Plaintiff, the public, United States national security, and efforts by various foreign governments to combat criminal enterprises by supplying unscreened end users with technology that can be used to thwart law enforcement, military and/or national security efforts unless enjoined.
Plaintiff does not possess an adequate remedy at law to prevent Defendants’ conduct as alleged herein from continuing.
Plaintiff has a clear right to its request for injunctive relief and the public interest will be served as Plaintiff seeks to prevent continuing violations [sic] 15 CFR § 730-774 under the EAR and of the Federal Trade Commission Export Regulations which directly damage Plaintiff, the public and others. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Honorable Court: A. Grant a temporary and permanent injunction against Defendants BAKER, EXPERTOS INC, EXPERTOS SA, and SAVAGE, enjoining the Defendants from exporting, demonstrating or selling its DVSA/FVAS product to foreign customers or potential customers both inside and outside the United States without a United States Government approved export license; B. Enter an Order awarding Plaintiff costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and Section 501.2105 of the Florida Statutes; C. Order Dissolution of EXPERTOS VSA, INC.; D. Order Disgorgement of any and all monies received by Defendants’ [sic] in connection [sic] their violations of Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 41 et seq., and Section 501.201 of the Florida Statutes; and F. Direct any and all further relief this Court deems just and equitable.
It should be noted that in 2009, the same court awarded Elwood Gary Baker $575,000 in a defamation suit he brought against NITV, LLC. NITV to date has shirked payment of this judgment, and Baker’s efforts to collect continue. That action is Case No. 50-2005-CA-001771-XXXX-MB.
In addition, NITV is the defendant in a federal fraud suit, Fletcher v. NITV LLC, filed on 18 May 2020.
Bianca Fletcher, a former Arkansas Department of Corrections employee who alleges that she “was fired, purportedly for being deceptive” on a Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) “test,” has filed a federal lawsuit against NITV, LLC, NITV Federal Services, LLC, their founder, Charles Humble, NITV employee Gene Shook, and two “John Does.”
Fletcher claims damages for “libel, slander, false light, illegal exaction, negligence, and products liability, in an amount exceeding that required for diversity jurisdiction.”
Fletcher’s 6-page Complaint, filed on 18 May 2020, alleges the following general facts:
Plaintiff worked for the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC), starting in 2016.
Plaintiff was terminated on May 16, 2019, at which time she was a Correctional Officer II.
Plaintiff had come to work, and an Adani body scanning device, known to be faulty, purported to detect contraband on Plaintiff’s person.
Plaintiff did not have contraband on her person.
From the point of the purported detection of contraband, Plaintiff was at all times accompanied or watched by ADC personnel until such time as she was strip searched.
For most of the time, up until she was strip searched, Plaintiff was videoed.
No person ever saw Plaintiff, Fletcher, get rid of or hand off any contraband.
No recording device ever showed her get rid of or hand off any contraband.
When Plaintiff was strip searched, no contraband was found.
This was because Plaintiff had no contraband.
Plaintiff was given a voice stress analyzer test, which she passed.
Plaintiff was given a second voice stress analyzer (VSA) test, in which it was claimed Plaintiff was deceptive and lying when asked about the purported contraband.
The voice stress analyzer test result, purporting to show that Plaintiff was deceptive, was false. Plaintiff was not lying or being deceptive. She answered all questions honestly.
Plaintiff was fired, purportedly for being deceptive, based on the second VSA result.
The NITV sold the VSA that gave the test to Plaintiff to the ADC.
The NITV sells VSA devices to government agencies and private companies all over the United States.
The NITV claims that the VSA devices it sells can detect falsehoods and lies in advertisements and marketing materials. These devices are marketed to law enforcement agencies, such as the ADC, and private corporations, under the premise that these agencies and businesses can use these devices to determine when employees are lying for purposes of carrying out discipline.
This is false, and it is known to be false by the NITV. Studies have shown that VSA devices are about as likely to catch deception and lies as tossing a coin. An observant witch doctor would almost certainly do better. NITV has never subjected its devices to peer review. NITV has never conducted double blind tests to establish the effectiveness of its devices. NITV did not develop these devices using the scientific method.
NITV trains people working for agencies and companies to operate these devices. It tells them how to determine falsehoods and deceptive statements, but of course, this is bogus.
NITV’s trainers frequently consult on cold calls from the agencies they sell these materials to.
Shook consulted with an ADC employee who gave Plaintiff, Fletcher, the VSA test and claimed that Plaintiff was deceptive on that test.
As a result of NITV’s and Shook’s conduct Plaintiff’s reputation was harmed, and she was fired.
The complaint goes on to enumerate five counts against the defendants and demands a jury trial. The third count includes the allegation that “NITV has committed a fraud on the state of Arkansas, selling it devices that do not work, which it knows do not work, and also selling bogus training on these devices” (emphasis added). Fletcher seeks compensatory damages in excess of $1,000,000 and punitive damages in excess of $1,000,000.
In a 12-page Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint, also filed on 18 May 2020, defendants NITV Federal Services, LLC, Charles Humble, and Gene Shook deny any liability and request that the complaint be dismissed.
Financial data disclosed in federal court by NITV Federal Services, LLC, which markets the scientifically baseless Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) to law enforcement agencies, reflect flat revenue and a multi-year sales slump.
The financial data was divulged in NITV v. Dektor (Case No. 9:18-cv-80994 in the Southern District of Florida) to support a claimed loss of more than $2 million in revenue.
Financial figures for the privately held NITV, which was founded by pseudoscientist Charles W. Humble to market his CVSA device and operator training, is not generally publicly available. A declaration prepared on behalf of NITV by certified public accountant Kevin R. Foyteck includes (at Appendix B) quantitative historical data on NITV’s revenue and customer base. Using Foyteck’s data, AntiPolygraph.org has prepared charts of NITV’s revenue and sales.
The data show that between 2015 and 2018, NITV’s revenue remained flat at an average of U.S. $1,710,251 per annum:
The data also show that NITV has had difficulty finding new customers, with the number of new customers per year steadily declining since 2011. It would appear that the market for bogus voice-based lie detectors is approaching its saturation point:
At this time, Dektor’s website (www.dektorpse.com) is offline, and Dektor and its sole proprietor, Arthur Herring III, remain under a permanent injunction essentially enjoining them from communicating any information critical of NITV, its CVSA product, or its founder, Charles Humble, to anyone.
On 27 July 2018, the so-named National Institute of Truth Verification (NITV) of West Palm Beach, Florida, which markets a scientifically baseless “lie detector” called the Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) filed a federal lawsuit against the marketer of a rival pseudoscientific voice based lie detector, Dektor Corporation, and its sole proprietor, Arthur Herring III of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.
NITV alleged “false advertisement, unfair competition, and product disparagement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)” and “deceptive and unfair trade practices under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act” and originally sought a total of $4,080,000 in claimed damages. NITV later increased its total claim to $17,871,977.36.
Dektor and Herring, who ultimately proceeded pro se, failed to timely file responses to pleadings in the lawsuit, and the court, which also found that Herring committed “substantial discovery violations,” ultimately entered default judgments against both Dektor and Herring personally.
On Monday, 16 December 2019, the court issued its final judgment, ordering Dektor and Herring to pay NITV $424,673.96 in base damages, which was doubled to $849,347.92 “in light of Defendants’ willful violation of the Lanham Act, misuse of the internet to convey materially disparaging information about Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s product, and discovery misconduct leading to an additional unknown amount of actual damages.”
The final order includes a permanent injunction essentially prohibiting Dektor and Herring from communicating any information critical of NITV, its CVSA product, or its founder, Charles Humble, to anyone.
As previously reported on AntiPolygraph.org, an earlier default judgment in the case ordered, among other things, that Herring remove from the internet a website with content critical of NITV that Herring had created. Much of the content of that website was nonetheless substantially true, and a mirror of the banned website remains available online via Archive.org’s Wayback Machine.
AntiPolygraph.org has received a rather unpleasant letter from James D’Loughy, a lawyer representing NITV Federal Services, LLC (NITV), which markets a scientifically baseless voice-based lie detector called the “Computer Voice Stress Analyzer,” and its president, self-described “Renaissance Man” “Dr.” Charles Humble (who has not received a doctoral degree from any accredited institute of higher education).
AntiPolygraph.org is a non-profit, public interest website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud, and abuse associated with polygraphs and other pseudoscientific “lie detectors,” including voice stress analyzers.
NITV’s contention that its judgment against Dektor binds AntiPolygraph.org is absurd. Through our counsel, noted attorney (and former Westchester County, New York police commissioner) George N. Longworth of the law firm Grant & Longworth, we have declined NITV’s demand to remove the twelve links.
While NITV’s demand is without merit, it does serve to highlight the content on AntiPolygraph.org that most upsets NITV and “Dr.” Charles Humble, so it’s worth examining these links here:
Dektor Corporation of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, a sole proprietorship owned by Arthur Herring III, markets a competing pseudoscientific voice-based “lie detector” called the Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE).
On 27 July 2018, NITV filed a federal lawsuit against Dektor and Herring alleging “false advertisement, unfair competition, and product disparagement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)” and “deceptive and unfair trade practices under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act” and seeking a total of $4,080,000 in claimed damages.
During the pendency of the lawsuit, Herring established a website titled “NITV CVSA Lies Exposed” (nitvcvsaexposed.com) documenting alleged dishonesty by NITV. For example, Herring convincingly shows that NITV founder “Dr.” Charles Humble’s doctoral degree was issued by an unaccredited diploma mill called “Indiana Christian University.” Humble has used the unearned title of “Dr.” in marketing NITV’s products and services.
Herring also points out that the “Journal of Criminalistics and Court Expertise” that NITV claims published a research study showing that “the accuracy rate of the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer…is greater than 95%” is unknown to the Library of Congress.
Herring’s website has a great deal of additional, apparently true documentation about Charles Humble and NITV that is of considerable public interest.
However, on Friday, 17 May 2019, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon granted NITV a default judgment ordering, among other things, that Herring “immediately remove from public view/unpublish the www.NITVCVSAexposed.com website in its entirety.”
In “The Dangerous Junk Science of Vocal Risk Assessment,” Ava Kofman of The Intercept examines “Remote Risk Assessment,” a voice stress analysis application being marketed by AC Global Risk, a San Francisco-based company led by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Alexander Martin. The company characterizes Remote Risk Assessment as “a sophisticated system that uses unique voice analytics processes to evaluate and quantify distinct characteristics of the human voice related to risk.” Excerpt:
AC Global Risk declined to respond to repeated requests for comment for this article. The company also did not respond to a list of detailed questions about how the technology works. In public appearances, however, Martin has claimed that the company’s proprietary analytical processes can determine someone’s risk level with greater than 97 percent accuracy…. Several leading audiovisual experts who reviewed AC Global Risk’s publicly available materials for The Intercept used the word “bullshit” or “bogus” to describe the company’s claims. “From an ethical point of view, it’s very dubious and shady to give the impression that recognizing deception from only the voice can be done with any accuracy,” said Björn Schuller, a professor at the University of Augsburg who has led the field’s major academic challenge event to advance the state of the art in vocal emotion detection. “Anyone who says they can do this should themselves be seen as a risk.”