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Topic Summary - Displaying 4 post(s).
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2003 at 8:19pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Dear Mr. Renzelman,

Since you are no longer encumbered by your former responsibilities as director of the Energy Department's polygraph program, feel free to respond here to any of the foregoing points.

Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Mar 30th, 2001 at 2:21pm
  Mark & Quote

And despite Mr. Renzelman's earlier assertion that "we don't have the funds and the resources to go out and... and... and banter with the people who don't like polygraph," he went on to state:

We made a videotape. This videotape is... is untitled other than "Counterintelligence Polygraph Test." I hired what I consider to be one of the, one of the better polygraph examiners from the FBI, and I gave him the title "Inspector General." He's retired FBI, his name is Jack Trimarco, you can meet him, you can chat with him. His only job is to come in whenever he wants to and inspect whatever it is we do. He narrated part of this along with the anchorwoman for channel 7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is a professionally prepared videotape. Took me about a year to get it to the point it is now, and I just sold -- showed it to [name unclear] and she approved it and we're going to send it back and put a trailer on it. I'll give you a copy of that. But it tells people what to expect,  what will happen, what won't happen, when you come to take the polygraph test.

We believe this will allay many fears and misconceptions of people who read the Internet -- and that's all -- before they come in to take the polygraph test.

What fears and misconceptions do you mean, Mr. Renzelman? If you have the taxpayer funds and resources to allay the "fears and misconceptions" of those who "read the Internet" by professionally producing a videotape, then surely you can afford the low cost (free) of posting a reply here on

(To listen to Mr. Renzelman's presentation in RealPlayer format, click here and skip ahead about 13 minutes into the recording.)
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Mar 30th, 2001 at 2:18pm
  Mark & Quote

Regarding polygraph countermeasures, Mr. Renzelman stated:

Have we had people practice countermeasures? Yeah. Have people that practiced countermeasures told us they practiced countermeasures? Yes, because we're trained in countering countermeasures. I can talk about it because my program isn't classified -- their's are. But I cannot tell you what they were, but if you come to the center and you're appropriately cleared and I get blessings from the powers to [sic] be, I will show you. I... I... I will tell you what they said. It got to the point where, you know, you almost want to know "How did you study for taking this test?" when they come in because they read the Internet. There's a lot of bad information out there.

I am just so excited that you're gonna be here to see what it really is, not what somebody thinks it is who never even took the test -- and puts it on the Internet -- I'd believe that, too. I wouldn't take that test. I'd go find a job at McDonalds -- and ask them if they want french fries with that....

Mr. Renzelman, specifically what sources were you referring to when you spoke of people who "read the Internet?" To say that someone has read "the Internet" is as vague as saying that someone has read "the library." If you think that any information about polygraph countermeasures provided in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector is "bad information," please feel free to warn visitors to this website about it right here on this message board.

It should be noted that Mr. Renzelman did not claim that he and his polygraphers are actually able to detect polygraph countermeasures, only that some people have made admissions. It is appropriate to cite here a passage from The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (p. 82):

An Anecdote

During the Department of Energy's public hearings on polygraph policy (U.S. Department of Energy, 1999b), Dr. Gordon H. Barland, who is in charge of countermeasures training at DoDPI, attempted to convince his audience of scientists and engineers that nowadays, polygraphers are able to detect countermeasures such as those we've discussed in this book:

"We now are training our examiners how to detect people who are trying to manipulate their results, and we have learned a lot about how people go about doing that. Earlier this year we published a case where Doug Williams [footnote omitted] had given information to a person on how to beat the polygraph, but he was not successful.[footnote omitted]"

But Dr. Barland forgot to mention that the person "was not successful" because he admitted to having employed polygraph countermeasures! Had he not made this admission, he would have "passed."

DoDPI itself uses Doug Williams' manual, "How to Sting the Polygraph" in its countermeasures training. (Mr. Williams has granted DoDPI permission to make copies free of charge.) No one at DoDPI has come up with a reliable method for detecting these countermeasures, and Dr. Barland's misleading statement before an audience of top-notch atomic scientists and engineers is testimony to the polygraph community's consternation over polygraph countermeasures.

(This message is continued in the following post to this message thread)
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Mar 30th, 2001 at 2:08pm
  Mark & Quote

DOE Polygraph Program Chief David M. Renzelman speaking at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 14 September 1999

Department of Energy polygraph program chief David M. Renzelman delivered a presentation at the f irst public meeting of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Study to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph on 26 January 2001. In the course of his remarks, he referred disapprovingly to and to material "on the Internet" (which seems also to be a reference to Mr. Renzelman's public criticism of merits a public response.

Mr. Renzelman stated:

David Renzelman: ...I'm just ecstatic to be able to talk to you folks about this affair [?] 'cause all you can see on the Internet is adverse information. I would think polygraph is the worst thing in the world if I believed the things that you find at

Unidentified male speaker: I haven't been there.

David Renzelman: Oh, you owe it to yourself! I mean...


David Renzelman: ...I'm being careful. Umm.. and the good general [National Nuclear Security Administration chief Gen. John A. Gordon, ret.] talked about emotion. I'm... unemotional at this point.


David Renzelman: I urge you to contact the American Polygraph Association while you're here. We have members of the board seated at this table. I served as a subcommittee chairman for quality control for that organization for a long time. I served as the director of quality control for the American Association of Police Polygraph Examiners -- "Polygraphists" they call it -- I just don't like that word -- for a long time, and on the board of directors as well, as a regional director. They can tell you their perspective, but we don't have the funds and the resources to go out and... and... and banter with the people who don't like polygraph.

Without making any specific criticism, Mr. Renzelman suggests that the information provided on is not to be believed, and that the American Polygraph Association (APA) and the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP) lack the funds to "banter" with us.

Mr. Renzelman, it won't cost you, the APA, or the AAPP one red cent to post any criticism you have regarding information presented on right here on our message board. And by posting to this forum, you'll be sure to reach precisely those people who visit this site. We welcome your criticism. Don't be shy.

Regarding security clearance determinations, Mr. Renzelman stated:

You got all sorts of things that are used in addition to polygraph to make the decision, but if you read the literature on the Internet, it's the polygraph that will say yes or no, and that is so untrue. It's not fair to even be put on the Internet....

What literature were you referring to, Mr. Renzelman? I am aware of no literature on which states that the polygraph is the sole factor in DOE security clearance determinations.

Regarding research at the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DoDPI), Mr. Renzelman told members of the polygraph study committee:

I urge you to spend not a day, not a half-a-day, spend a week down there [at DoDPI] and really learn -- now I know that they only got eight hundred grand to do this with -- spend some time and see how it really is done, not what the Internet thing says.

What did you mean by "the Internet thing," Mr. Renzelman? If you were referring to, let us know what information we provide about research at DoDPI that is untrue, and we will correct it.

(This message is continued in the following post to this message thread)