Disbarred criminal defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey will be the keynote speaker at a seminar jointly presented by the American Polygraph Association and the Maine Polygraph Association next Wednesday to Friday, 24-26 April 2013 in Saco, Maine. The stated purpose of the seminar is “to educate lawyers, investigators, therapists, probation and governmental officers and members of the judiciary on the current state of polygraph – often referred to by the misnomer ‘Lie Detector’ – usage in the United States.” Such individuals will be required to pay $250 for the privilege. It is perhaps fitting that a crooked lawyer would be selected as keynote speaker by practitioners of a crooked profession: polygraphy depends on the operator lying to and otherwise deceiving the person being “tested,” and the American Polygraph Association doesn’t think it’s an ethical problem that one of their past presidents, Ed Gelb, falsely passed himself off as a Ph.D. in marketing his polygraph services. Incidentally, Gelb and Bailey collaborated in a television show called “Lie Detector” (which Bailey avers is a misnomer) that aired from 1982-83.
Writing on his New York Times blog, former television show host Dick Cavett recounts the story of the time F. Lee Bailey appeared on his show to demonstrate how the polygraph works. Only it didn’t. Cavett tantalizingly reveals that a follow-up blog entry will be titled, “The Secret of How I Beat the Infernal Machine.”