Pseudoscientist “Dr.” Charles Humble Attempts to Censor AntiPolygraph.org

Charles Wayne Humble in “Heartbeat of America” promotional video

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).

In his letter, D’Loughy, of the law firm Advisorlaw, which specializes in helping clients protect their assets from creditors, demands that AntiPolygraph.org remove twelve URLs that comprise a substantial portion of the website.

NITV’s offices at 11400 Fortune Circle, West Palm Beach, Florida (Google Street View)

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.

D’Loughy avers that a default judgment in a lawsuit NITV filed against its competitor, Dektor PSE, and which, among other things, compelled Dektor to remove a website with content critical of NITV, also compels AntiPolygraph.org—which was not a party to this litigation and which has no privity with Dektor—to remove the twelve links.

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:

  1. A recent blog post titled Federal Judge Orders Immediate Removal of Website Critical of Computer Voice Stress Analysis;
  2. A blog post from 2018 titled NITV Hires Disgraced Ex-Cop Jerry W. Crotty II as Director of Law Enforcement Operations;
  3. A message board thread titled Jury Returns $575,000 Award Against NITV for Defamation;
  4. Every post on the AntiPolygraph.org News blog tagged “CVSA”;
  5. The entire AntiPolygraph.org News blog (yes, really);
  6. A blog post about a presentation on polygraph pre-test interviews (we are uncertain why this is of concern to NITV and Humble, who are not mentioned in the post);
  7. All blog posts in the category “voice stress” (the demand at #5 that we delete the entire blog should have covered this);
  8. A message board thread dating to 2011 titled Canadian police and press believe in CVSA;
  9. A blog post from 2009 titled Baker DVSA Loses a Customer;
  10. The RSS feed for our message board forum on “CVSA and other Voice Stress Analysis Applications;”
  11. Search results for “cvsa” on our blog;
  12. A recent blog post titled NITV Threatens Competitor’s IT Consultant with Federal Lawsuit

For background on NITV and Charles Humble, see ABC Primetime’s 2006 investigative report on the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer:

NITV Threatens Competitor’s IT Consultant With Federal Lawsuit

NITV’s logo, a seeming misuse of the Great Seal of the United States

In July 2018, the so-named National Institute for Truth Verification (NITV) of West Palm Beach, Florida, which markets a scientifically baseless lie detector called the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), filed in Florida a federal lawsuit against competitor Dektor Corporation and its sole proprietor, Arthur Herring III, of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. Dektor markets a similarly scientifically baseless voice-based lie detector called the Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE).

Among other things, 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.”

On 17 May 2019, a magistrate judge granted a default judgment to NITV after Dektor failed to timely reply to a motion. Among other things, the judge ordered that Dektor and Herring “immediately remove from public view/unpublish the www.NITVCVSAexposed.com website in its entirety.” The aforesaid website, which contained a great deal of unflattering but apparently true documentation about NITV and its founder, Charles Humble, has been taken down in compliance with the court order, although a mirror of the banned website as it appeared on 18 May 2019 remains available.

Evidently not satisfied with its success in removing criticism of itself from the internet, on Saturday, 1 June 2019, NITV, through its lawyer, threatened Dektor Corporation’s IT consultant, Matt Vanderhoff of Center Valley, Pennsylvania, with a federal lawsuit that would be filed in Florida if he did not within four days agree to “the transfer of any ownership or use rights [he] may have in the PSE software/intellectual property/source codes etc. to NITV” and to enter “into a permanent injunction that prohibits [him] from further assisting Mr. Herring with his anti-NITV activities.”

The threat evidently worked, as in reply to a request for comment, Mr. Vanderhoff stated, “Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, due to being forced to an agreement my lawyer and NITV’s lawyer’s [sic] have jointly worked up I am unable to disclose any details. It is very troubling to say the least but I am not in the position to fight an enemy that has deeper pockets.”

Dektor proprietor Arthur Herring III told AntiPolygraph.org that while Mr. Vanderhoff has been his IT consultant for some ten years and had programmed his software and designed and hosted his (Herring’s) websites, he (Vanderhoff) had no ownership interest in Dektor Corporation or its software. Herring expressed concern that the source code he had paid Vanderhoff to program for him would be lost to him and handed over to his competitor, NITV.

NITV’s legal threat to a rival’s IT consultant seems extortionate. AntiPolygraph.org has obtained a copy of the e-mail that NITV’s lawyer, Daniel DeSouza of Fort Lauderdale, Florida sent to Matt Vanderhoff on 1 June 2019, and believing it to be newsworthy, we reproduce it here in full:

From: Daniel DeSouza ddesouza@desouzalaw.com
Date: 6/1/19 2:35 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Matt Vanderhoff mvanderhoff@vanderson.net
Cc: “James D’Loughy – Advisor Law PLLC (JDLOUGHY@advisorlaw.com)” JDLOUGHY@advisorlaw.com

Subject: NITV – FOR SETTLEMENT PURPOSES ONLY

Mr. Vanderhoff,

This e-mail is sent pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 408 and is for settlement purposes only.

I recognize and respect your prior e-mails asking that we not contact you further regarding this matter, but unfortunately this e-mail needs to be sent and it is my hope that you review it carefully (preferably with your own legal counsel). Through our review of the documents produced during the forensic investigation, conclusions reached regarding the ‘damaged’ hard drive, and positions taken by Mr. Herring concerning ownership of the PSE intellectual property, it is our intention to file a Complaint against both you and Vanderson Corporation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida for aiding and abetting Mr. Herring in his tortious activities and for conspiring with him to engage in such activity. Please note I am not sending this e-mail to convince you that we are right or to argue the point with you back and forth – the bottom line is that our client has pushed for a lawsuit to be filed against you and your company for some time now and we agree with our client’s position.

That said, I am not looking for my client to spend more money on this matter than necessary. My expectation is that the lawsuit with Mr. Herring will soon be over, with a monetary judgment against both Dektor and Herring and a permanent injunction entered. We are awaiting dismissal of Mr. Herring and Dektor’s bankruptcy cases before we proceed in that manner. Given the above, we have 2 choices on how to proceed here. The first option is you ignore this e-mail (your right to do so) and we proceed with suing you in Florida as we did with Mr. Herring. The second option (which I sincerely hope you give serious thought) is that we enter into a settlement agreement wherein NITV will exchange mutual releases with you and Vanderson (with no money to be paid by you or judgment entered against you) in exchange for: (a) the transfer of any ownership or use rights you may have in the PSE software/intellectual property/source codes etc. to NITV and (b) the agreed entry into a permanent injunction that prohibits you from further assisting Mr. Herring with his anti-NITV activities (with a liquidated damages provision in the event of a violation). We would need to agree on the language and other material terms, but that is the gist of what my client will accept in lieu of filing a lawsuit against you and seeking a money judgment therein. The above would also be contingent on the Court allowing entry of an injunction against you as a non-party – if not, we would probably need to file a lawsuit with agreement to immediately dismiss it upon entry of an injunction.

Again, I encourage you to review this with counsel, but understand that we are poised to move forward with the lawsuit if you are not willing to settle along the above terms. If you are interested, please let me know by Wednesday, June 5 at the latest. If I do not hear back from you by then, we will proceed with the lawsuit.

Daniel DeSouza
DeSouza Law, P.A.
3111 N. University Drive | Suite 301 | Coral Springs, FL 33065 (Mailing Address)

101 NE Third Avenue | Suite 1500 | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

954.603.1340 (office) | 954.551.5320 (mobile)
ddesouza@desouzalaw.com | www.desouzalaw.com

Federal Judge Orders Immediate Removal of Website Critical of Computer Voice Stress Analysis

Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) is a pseudoscientific “lie detector” marketed to government agencies by the so-named National Institute of Truth Verification (NITV) in West Palm Beach, Florida. Although NITV has admitted in court that “CVSA is not capable of lie detection,” in marketing its Emperor’s-new-clothes “technology,” it continues to claim that CVSA is “over 98% accurate.”

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.”

A mirror of the banned website as it appeared on 18 May 2019 is available on Archive.org’s Wayback Machine.

It should be recalled that in 2006, ABC Primetime did an in-depth exposé on “Dr.” Charles Humble and the “National Institute for Truth Verification”:

NITV Hires Disgraced Ex-Cop Jerry W. Crotty II as Director of Law Enforcement Operations

The National Institute of Truth Verification, which markets a voice-based “lie detector” called the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), has hired disgraced ex-cop Jerry W. Crotty II to serve as its “Director of Law Enforcement Operations”:

NEW DIRECTOR OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS

NITV Federal Services (NFS) is pleased to welcome Detective Jerry Crotty as its Director of Law Enforcement Operations. Jerry will oversee all aspects of law enforcement operations for NFS and provide direct advice and assistance to law enforcement agencies worldwide, as well as oversee our Technical Services Division.

Jerry joins the NSF team from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida where he served for 20 years in various positions, including supervisory positions in such specialized disciplines as Crimes Against Children, Domestic Violence and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).  While assigned to the State and Federal ICAC Task Force, Jerry developed ground-breaking techniques for using the CVSA® to identify and bring to justice serial child predators, which are now taught nationally.  These techniques were so significant and effective that in 2015 he received the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts (NACVSA) annual Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence.  Jerry is considered an expert in interviewing and interrogation and has a confession rate well above 95%.  He is also an expert utilizing the CVSA and is highly experienced in conducting specialized covert and structured examinations.  Jerry holds a Master’s Degree in Science from the University of Central Florida.

Charles Humble, Founder of NITV Federal Services and the developer of the CVSA, states “We are very excited to have an individual with the qualifications and strong moral character of Jerry Crotty joining our team.  With his law enforcement background, especially in the ICAC arena, Jerry will bring a new dimension to an organization that is already recognized as the Gold Standard for our industry.”

In February 2018, Jerry Crotty, then a supervisor in the Manatee County, Florida Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigative Division, “retired to avoid a demotion and discipline,” as Jessica de Leon reported in April for the Bradenton Herald. Excerpt:

Former supervisor of Manatee sheriff’s child protection division opts to retire after demotion and facing suspension

April 04, 2018 06:08 PM
Updated April 05, 2018 09:46 AM

A former supervisor in the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigative Division has retired to avoid a demotion and discipline after an internal affairs investigation concluded he had been inappropriate and demeaning toward child protective workers. His supervisor was suspended and reassigned after a related internal affairs investigation concluded he did nothing to stop the behavior and participated in the berating of others.

Former Sgt. Jerry Crotty announced he would be retiring in a letter dated Feb. 4 to Capt. Brian Schnering in the Professional Standards Section. According to an internal affairs investigation concluded on Feb. 20, allegations that Crotty violated three general orders — harassment on the basis of disability, conduct unbecoming and failing to adhere to general orders — were sustained against him.

“Over the last year, my physical and mental health has been pushed beyond its limits and this time off of work has given the clarity that I need moving forward,” Crotty wrote. “When I started my career in 1997, I told my family that the day it was no longer fun and felt like work, I would resign. That day has come now.”

Crotty had been on medical leave but anticipated being cleared by his doctors on Feb. 19, he said. His resignation as a result was effective Feb. 20, just two days after his demotion to deputy in the Crime Against Children Section became effective, according to his personnel file. Crotty also said in his resignation letter that he wished to discuss the investigation with Schnering so that it could be closed properly and because he did not wish to resign while he was under investigation.

After a related investigation, Crotty’s supervisor, Lt. Barry Overstreet, was suspended for six days without pay and reassigned to the patrol division.

Crotty and Overstreet both supervised the Crimes Against Children section of the Child Protection Investigative Division, which handles criminal investigations, often working investigations in tandem with the Child Protection Section. The Child Protection Section handles all child welfare investigations in Manatee County for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“Based upon a review of all documentation, evidence and interviews, it is apparent Sgt. Crotty demonstrated harassment based on a disability when he purposely spoke in a diminished tone in an effort to force Deputy Director Connie Keehner, a hearing impaired employee, to ask him to repeat himself,” Sgt. Paul Davis stated in the internal affairs report. “Furthermore, it is evident Sgt. Crotty utilized a pattern of influential comments, actions and/or omissions, as well as deliberately phrased electronic communications to forge a mindset of separation and contempt between his subordinates and the employees of the Child Protection Section.”

Read the rest of the story here.
It may seem curious that NITV founder Charles Humble would consider Jerry Crotty to be an individual of “strong moral character.” But then again, Humble doesn’t think there is anything wrong with his passing himself off as a Ph.D. based upon a “diploma” received following a 6-hour course of study at a strip mall Bible school.
It should also be noted that the National Institute for Truth Verification has admitted in federal court that the Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer “is not capable of lie detection.”

Sanford Police Department Relied on Voice Stress Analysis in Trayvon Martin Shooting Investigation

A lawyer for George Zimmerman, who on 26 February 2012 shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has told WOFL television news that his client passed a voice stress test administered by the Sanford, Florida Police Department. Criminal defense attorney Hal Uhrig made the statement in explaining why he believed that Zimmerman, whom he had not yet met, had acted in self-defense.

However, voice stress testing (of any kind) is without scientific basis and has never been proven to work at better than chance levels of accuracy. A job posting by the Sanford P.D. indicates that the specific variety of voice stress testing it uses is the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), which is marketed by the so-called National Institute for Truth Verification (NITV), a West Palm Beach, Florida limited liability corporation. NITV has acknowledged in federal court that “the CVSA is not capable of lie detection” (though it claims the opposite in its marketing materials).

For more on CVSA, see ABC News Exposé of Charles Humble and CVSA on YouTube.

Baker DVSA Loses a Customer

Dee J. Hall reports for the Wisconson State Journal that “Dr.” E. Gary Baker, the faux Ph.D. who markets what he styles a “Digital Voice Stress Analyzer” to law enforcement agencies, has lost the Jefferson, Wisconsin Police Department as a customer:

Jefferson police cancel training on voice-stress analyzer
By DEE J. HALL
608-2523-6132
dhall@madison.com

The city of Jefferson Police Department has cancelled a training session on how to use a controversial voice-stress analyzer after the Wisconsin State Journal raised questions about the technology and the qualifications of the business owner scheduled to conduct the training.

Voice-stress analysis is used by some law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, to detect “microtremors” in the voice that backers of the technology say indicates speakers are stressed and therefore answering questions deceptively.

“If everything has been exhausted in investigative techniques and they have a suspect or someone they want to eliminate as a suspect, it (CVSA) has been used,” Madson said, adding that the technology has prompted confessions from suspects. “The tool works, as far as I’m concerned.”

Detective Sergeant Tim Madson is badly misinformed. The existing peer reviewed research suggests that voice stress analyzers perform at roughly chance levels of accuracy. While these devices might be useful for scaring confessions out of naive and gullible persons, they have no scientific basis and are no more to be relied upon than a colander wired to a photocopier with a sheet of paper saying “He’s Lying” on the glass paten. Continue reading Baker DVSA Loses a Customer

Colorado Television News Program Investigates Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA)

Colorado television station KUSA 9News investigative reporter Jace Larson examines the use of the “Computer Voice Stress Analyzer” (CVSA) in the state:

KUSA – A device used by Colorado law enforcement agencies to identify when someone is lying, may not work and may be costing taxpayers money.

Computer Voice Stress Analyzers (CVSAs) claim to measure changes in a person’s voice that indicate a lie.

However, three recent studies say the device does not accurately tell the difference between a person lying and a person telling the truth.

CVSAs have been used by 21 law enforcement agencies in Colorado.

Studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the International Association of Chiefs of

Police and the Department of Defense question the validity of CVSAs.

In 2006 a University of Florida study found CVSAs, “performed at chance-level for deception, truth and stress.” The same study went on to say, “false positive rates were high.”

Westminster Police Investigator Wayne Read doesn’t agree though. He and members of his department have used the device and swear by it.

“I know how to operate the instrument. I know how the instrument works. I don’t think I could deceive the instrument,” said Read.

Read’s belief in CVSA despite the scientific evidence against it is reminiscent of the dogged belief of polygraph operators in their own pseudoscientific form of lie detection, despite broad consensus among scientists that it has no scientific basis.

Instructors who teach law enforcement agents how to read the test agree.

“It’s not audible to the human ear,” said Ben Conrique.

Conrique works for The National Institute for Truth Verification, the company selling CVSAs.

“Voice Stress indicated whether or not a person is telling the truth,” said Conrique.

And yet the National Institute for Truth Verification admitted before a federal court that CVSA “is not capable of lie detection.”

The National Institute for Truth Verification sells each device for about $10,000.
Agencies in Colorado have spent more than $331,000 on training and equipment.

“You only spend that type of money on something that has a proven success rate,” said Conrique.

However, experts who oppose CVSAs believe the devices do not work and that they lead to false confessions by suspects.

Deputies in Maricopa County, Ariz. suspected Robert Louis Armstrong of triple murder.

They questioned him for 10 hours in 2003. After deputies told him his test showed he was lying, Armstrong confessed.

Evidence emerged later proving Armstrong was out of the state at the time of the murders and he was freed.

He sued the sheriff’s office.

9Wants to Know tried to speak with deputies in Maricopa County but they declined.

Several agencies around the county have decided to stop using the CVSAs and now rely on other methods such as a polygraph test.

Unfortunately, polygraph tests, too, are completely unreliable as a means of lie detection. They are inherently biased against the truthful, yet easily manipulated through the use of simple countermeasures. See The Lie Behind the Lie Detector for a thorough debunking.

“If you think the CVSA is going to tell you whether witnesses or suspects are telling the truth, you’re gravely mistaken,” said CVSA opponent Richard Leo.

Leo is a criminologist and professor of law at the University of San Francisco.

Leo told 9NEWS if a law enforcement agency buys this device, “You’re wasting your money and you’re wasting public money.”

“You might as well be flipping coins or reading tea leaves or reading an Ouija board,” he continued.

The following are agencies that have confirmed to 9Wants to Know that they own or have used CVSAs:

*Boulder Police Department
*Brighton Police Department
*Broomfield Police Department
*Colorado Division of Wildlife
*Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
*El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
*Englewood Police Department
*Federal Heights Police Department
*Fort Morgan Police Department
*Glenwood Springs Police Department
*Golden Police Department
*Grand Junction Police Department
*Lakewood Police Department
*Lamar Police Department
*Longmont Police Department
*Moffat County Sheriff’s Office
*Northglenn Police Department
*Sterling Police Department
*Thornton Police Department
*Westminster Police Department
*Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

For further reading and video links, see the KUSA 9News website’s feature page, The Truth About Lies. and for discussion, see the CVSA and other Voice Stress Analysis Applications forum of the AntiPolygraph.org message board.

ABC News Exposé of Charles Humble and CVSA on YouTube

A March 2006 ABC News Primetime story on Charles Humble, the phony Ph.D. behind the pseudoscientific Computer Voice Stress Analyzer, has been posted to YouTube:

For previous discussion of this news story, see Innocent Until Proved Guilty? (CVSA Exposé) on the AntiPolygraph.org message board.