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Topic Summary - Displaying 3 post(s).
Posted by: Marty
Posted on: Oct 17th, 2004 at 9:37pm
  Mark & Quote
Back to the subject of the Backster interview, did you have a chance to listen to it? Was there any substantive discussion of polygraphy?


Got a chance to listen to it as this weekend. Coasttocoastam is offering "free" streaming of recent programs. Backster made the following comments about polygraphy on humans (about 10% of the show, most of the show was about polygraphing plants, eggs, yeast, blood.... I am not kidding!)

1. He would be unable to defeat the poly about anything "substantial"

2. The polygraph works by manipulating and focusing the subject into telling a lie about something that threatens his character. That an innocent person focuses on and reacts more to this little lie than the "bigger" lie that is really of interest.

He did not delve into the obvious contradction between point 2 and point 1.

In spite of what I thought was a clear explanation there was little evidence the significance and implications of this were understood by either Art or the audience.

The show was absolutely a hoot though. I especially liked the statements that saying grace before eating prepared the "food" to be sacrificed by by going into a sort of coma as a defense against the presumed pain of being eaten.

Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Oct 4th, 2004 at 8:28pm
  Mark & Quote

Perhaps you should nominate Mr. Backster the Ig Nobel? It would appear that ample time is allowed between accomplishment and award: this year's Ig Nobel prize in engineering went to a father and son who in 1977 obtained a U.S. patent for the combover, a hairstyling technique used by balding men who are in denial. It is accomplished by allowing the hair to grow long at one temple and then combing it across the top.

I offer a limerick I composed on the subject of combovers:

The Temple Worshipper

The balding man's challenge is grueling
He's constantly spinning and spooling
  But he worships his hair
  And he seems not to care
That it's only himself that he's fooling!


Back to the subject of the Backster interview, did you have a chance to listen to it? Was there any substantive discussion of polygraphy?
Posted by: Marty
Posted on: Oct 4th, 2004 at 8:15am
  Mark & Quote
Art Bell,, will host Cleve Backster at 2:00AM, Oct 4, to discuss Plant Galvanic response. Cleve, a pioneer of Polygraphy, took an interest decades ago in measuring plants with polygraph machines (at least the skin Z sensor). He concluded that when "threatened" they were quite reactive.

I wonder which research is more grounded in science?
Why he hasn't won an Ig Nobel award is beyond me.

Backster was quite entertaining discussing his "polygraph" type measurements of plants, eggs, and even the bacteria in yogurt. Seriously! He also described ad hoc plant experiments he did with hundreds of folks he hosted in San Diego from APA.

I will also give him props for succinctly describing how CQT polygraph works. That one has to construct a test that gets the examinee to focus on one of two questions. The first a presumed "little lie" the second, the potential "big lie." He stated the polygraph was based on the presumption that an innocent person would focus on the little lie while a guilty person would focus on the big lie. Art did the usual banter about whether psychopaths could pass and Backster tried to correct him an went into the above explanation. However, as succinct and clear as it was, Art didn't seem to understand it.  Of course Art's interest was in the plants!

My "leaf signature", below, was an indirect reference to his initial work.