Faux Ph.D. Ed Gelb Polygraphs Frederic von Anhalt for Inside Edition

Following hard on the heels of NBC Dateline’s shameful use of the lie detector as a ratings gimmick, syndicated television news program Inside Edition will today feature a polygraph “test” of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband, Frederic von Anhalt, regarding his claim that he might be the father of the late Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn.

A video preview shows von Anhalt sitting connected to the polygraph instrument of the infamous Edward I. Gelb, whom AntiPolygraph.org some four years ago exposed as a phony Ph.D. Gelb is a business associate of fellow polygraph operator Jack Trimarco, whom in February 2007 was hired by Fox News to conduct a polygraph examination of von Anhalt for The O’Reilly Factor. Von Anhalt ultimately did not proceed with that examination.

Lie Detector Producer Jon M. Crowley Responds to AntiPolygraph.org

On Friday, 5 May 2006, veteran newsman Kevin Broderick mentioned this blog’s article, Phony Ph.D. Ed Gelb Gets $150,000 Long Beach Contract in his influential LA Observed blog:

Lying in Long Beach: The website AntiPolygraph.org says the city of Long Beach has hired Intercept, Inc., a Los Angeles company “headed by celebrity polygrapher Ed Gelb, who fraudulently passes himself off as a Ph.D. Guests who appeared on Gelb’s television show, ‘Lie Detector,’ have reported to AntiPolygraph.org that the ‘tests’ he conducted lasted about 10 minutes from hello to goodbye, which is sub-standard even by the low standards of the polygraph community.”

Jon M. Crowley, who produced, wrote, and directed the Lie Detector television program featuring “Dr.” Ed Gelb, responds in his Hollywood Thoughts blog in a post titled, Lie Detector Expert Labeled a Liar:

Well, gang, I can tell you that as the supervising producer of “Lie Detector,” the folks at antipolygraph.org have their facts, as usual, all wrong.

In addition to being a morally upstanding individual, Ed Gelb never spent less than a TWO HOUR PERIOD with any polygraph subject. There are strict rules that all polygraph administrators must follow as established by a governing board of polygraph experts. Ed Gelb never did less than follow the ‘letter of the law’ of what is considered the highest standards of testing.

So why would Antipolygraph make such a posting? Who would make these spurious claims?

I offer a suggestion:

People found to be lying.

Why wouldn’t someone who appeared on the program — and revealed as a liar — want to continue the charade?

Additionally, I strongly suggest you research — via a google search — a brief background on the (disappointing) polygraph career of Antipolygraph’s moderator.

Sour grapes.

While AntiPolygraph.org has no direct knowledge of what went on during the polygraph sessions held for Crowley’s television show, the fact remains that we have heard from two different guests who appeared on the show that Gelb’s polygraph examinations lasted a total of about ten minutes. As for the assertion that “[t]here are strict rules that all polygraph administrators must follow as established by a governing board of polygraph experts,” it is Crowley who has his facts wrong. The polygraph trade is completely unregulated in the state of California. Anyone can purchase a polygraph instrument, hang out a shingle, and start giving polygraph “tests.” No license is required. There are no rules, no governing board of experts.

Lie Detector guest Bob Smitty reports that his request for a copy of Gelb’s polygraph report so that he could have it independently reviewed was not honored.

And for reasons he would know best, Crowley chooses not to address the central criticism that “Dr.” Ed Gelb obtained his “doctorate” from an unaccredited diploma mill. Instead, Crowley makes an ad hominem attack on AntiPolygraph.org co-founder George Maschke. You don’t need to use Google discover his background with the polygraph. See his public statement, “Too Hot of a Potato: A Citizen-Soldier’s Encounter with the Polygraph.” But it is not clear how any of this detracts from the overwhelming evidence that Ed Gelb is not a legitimate Ph.D.

“Bullshitting the Lie Detector”

Harmon Leon writes for SF Weekly. Excerpt:

This ad appears on Craigslist:

Has your parole officer accused you of doing something you haven’t done? Could this put you back in jail? Then we want to help.

Call us and we’ll clear your name.

We’ve got a show to help you prove who’s telling the truth.

If selected, we will profile your story on a new national TV show where guests are polygraphed to get the truth out.

I’m intrigued. My e-mail reply: I am on parole!

Going by the name Hank, I express how much, I, who-is-on-parole, would love to be on their TV show (whatever the hell that might be). Immediately the TV producer e-mails back, thrilled to hear from I, who-is-on-parole. She leaves a phone number. I, who-is-on-parole, phone her. I weave an elaborate tale involving weapons and drug charges. This pleases her. I elaborate. I have something to prove to my probation officer. He said I flunked a recent drug test, which landed me back in jail for 20 days. The producer’s even more pleased.

A day later the producer phones back. She wants me on the show! That’s right Bubba, I’m booked on Lie Detector (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.), a program on family-friendly PAX TV that has a motto: “The lie detector holds the power to reveal the truth and expose deception wherever it might be found.”

For discussion, see the AntiPolygraph.org message board thread, “Lie Detector” TV Show w/Rolonda Watts & Ed Gelb.

“Internet Organ Donor Disputes Polygraph Test”

This Associated Press article published by the Denver Post is cited here in full:

Chattanooga, Tenn. – A televised polygraph test has indicated that a kidney donor did not answer truthfully when he denied receiving more money than the law allows from his Internet-arranged organ donation to a stranger from Colorado.

Rob Smitty, a 32-year-old meat salesman, said he wants another test after the broadcast on the PAX program “Lie Detector” Tuesday night.

Last October, Smitty donated a kidney to Bob Hickey of Edwards, Colo., in a procedure in a Denver hospital. They met on an Internet site dedicated to matching recipients with willing donors.

Eight days after the surgery, Smitty surrendered on a warrant for failure to pay delinquent child support. Questions were raised about whether the donation was in fact a sale, but Smitty said Hickey paid him only $3,050 for expenses and lost work time.

Federal law prohibits profiting from the sale of body parts for transplant. It does not prohibit soliciting a donation.

The polygraph test was taped in November in Los Angeles.

Mark Phillips, executive producer of the television show, said he stands by the results.

“He’s generally a nice, sweet fellow,” Phillips said of Smitty. “I just think he is in over his head.” Smitty said he has a book deal but has no publication date and has received no money yet.

Hickey, who had needed a transplant since 1999 due to kidney disease, met Smitty through MatchingDonors.com. Hickey paid the Web site $295 a month for three months to seek a donor.

Hickey avoided a waiting list maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit group with a government contract to allocate organs from the dead.

For discussion of PAX TV’s “Lie Detector” show, featuring the bogus “Dr.” Ed Gelb (he obtained his “Ph.D.” from an unaccredited diploma mill that was shut down by the federal government), see the AntiPolygraph.org message board thread, “Lie Detector” TV Show w/Rolonda Watts & Ed Gelb. Another of the show’s guests, whose appearance has not yet been aired, has posted his experience here.

“Double Charge for Cop Exams”

Beth Barrett of the Los Angeles Daily News reports on the non-competitive contract recently awarded to US Investigation Services to provide polygraph support for the Los Angeles Police Department. Excerpt:

Without seeking bids, Los Angeles hired an East Coast security firm — at double the going rate — to perform lie detector tests on LAPD recruits to speed the hiring of new police officers, the Daily News has learned.

The firm, found through a brochure, has no polygraph examiners of its own and is hiring local lie detector experts who work for about half the fee it is charging the city.

With few questions asked, the City Council approved the $615,000, six-month contract last week, as well as up to $62,000 in travel reimbursements that would have been unnecessary if local examiners were hired directly.

The money for the contract comes from an unexpended fund originally intended to provide each officer who completes the Police Academy with a $2,000 signing bonus, a recruitment incentive city officials said isn’t effective.

The firm, U.S. Investigation Services Inc. of Vienna, Va., is being paid about $395 a polygraph, even though the local rate is about $200.

“I don’t understand how they could use such a stupid system to get an important service,” said Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. “It seems like a system fraught with potential fraud and one almost guaranteed that you’ll pay a very high price, because you’re not exposing it to competition.”

Edward Gelb, past president of the American Polygraph Association and head of a company that does lie detector work for six local police agencies, called the contract a “sweetheart deal.”

City officials who negotiated the deal defended it as a badly needed stopgap after they were caught unprepared for a surge in recruitment that’s approached all-time highs for the decade. Since the Rampart Division anti-gang unit corruption scandal, those recruits are required to take lie detector tests.

Capt. Paul Enox, commanding officer for the LAPD’s Scientific Investigation Division, said the department wasn’t able to hire enough skilled polygraph examiners or train others to meet the demand immediately. He said discussions with the Sheriff’s Department encountered bureaucratic obstacles.

To respond to the backlog, Enox said he made it “very clear” to the city’s personnel officials they would have to find outside resources to catch up, noting some recruits were being made to wait a couple of months to take the exams.

“The backlog was big and growing bigger, and recruitment is one of the highest priorities for city government,” Enox said. “Personnel was scrambling to find a way to address the backlog quickly and efficiently.”

Phyllis Lynes, assistant general manager for the Personnel Department’s Public Safety Bureau, said she knew about U.S. Investigation Services and had obtained a brochure describing their services.

Lynes said she contacted them, and asked whether they could provide the polygraph service as the number of backlogged LAPD tests was approaching 600.

Lynes said she remembers grilling the company about its prices, but said she couldn’t recall how its officials justified the $395 per exam figure, except that quality control services were included.

Gelb, the past president of the American Polygraph Association, said he was “astonished” that as one of the more prominent experts in the field, he was not contacted.

Since U.S. Investigation Services has been hired, the polygraph backlog has dropped from about 600 to 180, Lynes said.

“The other alternative was not to staff the Police Department, and that’s not an acceptable alternative,” she said.

A better alternative would have been to scrap the LAPD’s polygraph program altogether. The $615,000 spent on pseudoscientific polygraph “testing” is taxpayer money wasted.