Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath (Read 46898 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Jun 15th, 2002 at 6:36pm
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On Saturday, 15 June 2002, I e-mailed the following challenge to American Polygraph Association past president Frank Horvath:

Dear Professor Horvath:

On Friday, 14 June 2002, reporter Joe Bauman of the  Deseret News interviewed you for an article about polygraphy. Bauman's article, which seems to be based soley [sic] on your interview, appears in today's (Saturday, 15 June) issue of the Deseret News under the title, "Polygraph tests not flawless." [Note: the Deseret News is an afternoon paper, and the article actually appeared in the 14 June edition.]

Bauman consfuses irrelevant questions with comparison (or "control") questions. In the second paragraph of his article, Bauman writes:

Quote:
The tests record physiological responses to questions. The queries usually cover both a crime under investigation and matters that are irrelevant or simply technical such as: Is today Friday? Responses to these comparison questions are checked against responses to relevant questions.


You must certainly know the above statement to be false. Irrelevant questions such as, "Is today Friday?" are not comparison questions, responses to which are checked against responses to relevant questions. Irrelevant questions are not scored at all!

Comparison ("control") questions involve an element of trickery on the polygrapher's part. While the polygrapher admonishes the examinee to answer all questions truthfully, he actually wants the subject to experience anxiety-inducing doubt about the truthfulness of his answers to the "control" questions. One commonly used "control" question is, "Did you ever lie to get out of trouble?" The polygrapher deliberately steers the examinee into a denial by suggesting, for example, that the kind of person who would lie to get out of trouble is the same kind of person who would commit the crime that is under investigation.

It is hard to imagine how Bauman could have reached such an erroneous conclusion about the nature of comparison ("control") questions unless you led him to it. You are a past president of the American Polygraph. Association, whose motto is "Dedicated to Truth." I challenge you demonstrate your dedication to truth by contacting Mr. Bauman and Deseret News associate editor Steve Fidel with a correction. Otherwise, the public might conclude that the misinformation in Bauman's report was the result of deliberate disinformation on your part.

In setting the record straight, the following description of comparison ("control") questions from p. 20 of the Congressional Office of Technology [Assessment]'s 1983 technical memorandum, "Scientific Validity of Polygraph Testing: A Research Review and Evaluation" may be helpful. (You were a member of OTA's Polygraph Validity Advisory Panel.):

Quote:
The polygraph examiner does not tell the subject that there is a distinction between the two types of questions (control and relevant). Control questions are described as intending to determine if the subject is the "type of person" who would commit a crime such as the one being investigated (136). The examiner stresses that the subject must be able to answer the questions completely with a simple "yes" or "no" answer, that the polygraph will record any confusion, misgivings, or doubts, and that the subject should discuss any troublesome questions with the examiner (20). Thus, the situation is set up such that the subject is persuaded that the examiner wants the truth.

In reality, however, the examiner wants the subject to experience considerable doubt about his or her truthfulness or even to be intentionally deceptive. According to Raskin (91), "Control questions are intentionally vague and extremely difficult to answer truthfully with an unqualified 'No'."


You also told Mr. Bauman that critics will say that polygraph testing is 70% accurate. However, polygraph critics are more likely to say that polygraph testing has no scientific basis at all. I refer you, for example, to Professor William G. Iacono's article, "Forensic 'Lie Detection': Procedures Without Scientific Basis" and Professor John J. Furedy's article, "The North American Polygraph and Psychophysiology: Disinterested, Uninterested, and Interested Perspectives."

This challenge to you will also be publicly posted to the Polygraph Policy forum of the AntiPolygraph.org message board, where you are invited to publicly respond.

Sincerely,

George W. Maschke
AntiPolygraph.org

cc: Joe Bauman <bau@desnews.com>
     Steve Fidel, Associate Editor <steve@desnews.com>

« Last Edit: Jun 18th, 2002 at 8:28am by George W. Maschke »  

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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #1 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 12:30am
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Let's play Devil's Advocate for a second, shall we?  I think most people would venture to say that a regular and vehement critic of the polygraph has probably failed at least one test in his or her life.  People who pass a polygraph test don't openly criticize it.  So Mr Maschke, when did you take your test, and what were your results?  On what issue?  Please be specific.

Liar Liar
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #2 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 1:01am
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Liar_Liar wrote on Jun 16th, 2002 at 12:30am:
Let's play Devil's Advocate for a second, shall we?  I think most people would venture to say that a regular and vehement critic of the polygraph has probably failed at least one test in his or her life.


What is the point of your assertion?


Quote:
People who pass a polygraph test don't openly criticize it.


W r o n g. I passed mine.

Quote:
So Mr Maschke, when did you take your test, and what were your results?  On what issue?  Please be specific.


I'm sorry, are you inferring that failing a polygraph indicates some sort of character shortcoming?

Dave
  

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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #3 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 1:29am
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You know exactly what I'm saying - let's get some details and allow others to make some reasonable decisions rather than just hear how the poly "doesn't work". 
And since you "passed" your test, what is your criticism? Tongue
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #4 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 2:36am
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Quote:
You know exactly what I'm saying - let's get some details and allow others to make some reasonable decisions rather than just hear how the poly "doesn't work".  And since you "passed" your test, what is your criticism?


No, I don't know what you're saying, that's why I asked for clarification as to what you meant. I'm still waiting.

It's a curious thing, really; when we of the anti-polygraph community cite personal anecdotes at the travesties we've experienced in the hands of polygraphers, we're lambasted to 'prove it', to prove our assertions as to what happened-- as if we would make up such horror stories-- for what? Financial gain? Laughable. And yet, here is someone apparently of the propolygraph ilk demanding just such an anecdote.

As to what my criticism is of polygraphy...... I invite you to read a few of my previous posts on the subject.
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2002 at 3:14am by beech trees »  

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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #5 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 2:41am
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Liar Liar,

Whether or not the polygraph is a valid test has nothing to do with whether a particular person "passed" it or not.  Mr. Maschke has argued compellingly, persuasively, and substantively that the polygraph does not withstand scientific scrutiny.  Whether he passed or failed twenty polygraph tests is irrelevant. 

If Beech Trees played Russian roulette and survived, would you be asking him why he is critical of that game?

In case you're wondering, I was an FBI agent for 9 years.  I am proud to say that I "failed" a polygraph.  More accurately, the polygraph examiner misinterpreted my physiological reactions as indicating deception when in fact I was being truthful.  By the way, after investigation, I was exonerated.
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #6 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 4:48am
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Liar-Liar,

First, Have you ever taken a polygraph. I was found "deceptive" on two separate occasions, on two entirely different issues.

You challenge Mr. Maschke on his prowess in polygraph testing. Does it really matter? Mr. Mascke is merely exposing a fraud that has cost many honest, hard working people careers in law enforcement. I am one of those people.

If I had discovered this site and Mr. Williams site before my polygraphs and been educated to the pseudo-science that polygraphy is, I would be having a fine career in LE.

As Beech Trees suggested read the personal statement section. You will find Mr. Mallahs there along with others who have been derailed in their chosen LE professions by polygraphy.

Your opinion is welcomed on this site, but you need to educate yourself to see both sides of the issue

Fred F. Wink
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #7 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 5:51am
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I hate to burst your bubble Liar Liar, but I too passed two polys, I still believe there are many victims of pre-employment poly's who have missed a chance to serve their community as a result of the poly. As a result, the community has missed out on some very good men and women. I would like to see every pro-poly person put their career on the line and agree to take say 15 polys. If you believe in them so much then you would have no problem agreeing to do so. Now I suspect that your answer would be "bring it on" but if you even worried for one second about the outcome of your poly (which I know you would) then you have validated our argument. Any subjective test should make you worry, especially when the stakes are your career. Think about it.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #8 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 9:35am
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Liar Liar,

Devil's advocate? You? Hardly.

A "devil's advocate" is one who champions the less accepted or approved cause for the sake of argument. But all you've done is to argue ad hominem. The question you put to me is irrelevant to the question raised in this message thread, which is whether a past president of the American Polygraph Association deliberately misled a reporter about the nature of "control" questions.

Nonetheless, I'll be happy to answer your question. As I explained on national television last December (see the message thread Poly Segment on CBS 60 Minutes II, 12/12/01 for a transcript), I failed an FBI pre-employment polygraph examination in 1995. I truthfully answered "No" to each relevant question, but was accused of deception with regard to each of the following:

Series I


1. Has anyone directed you to seek employment with the FBI?

2. Other than what you told me, have you ever been in contact with anyone from a non-U.S. Intelligence Service?

3. Have you ever provided classified information to any unauthorized individuals?

Series II


1. Have you ever sold any illegal drugs?

2. Have you ever used any illegal drugs?

3. Have you deliberately withheld any important information from your application?


  

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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #9 - Jun 16th, 2002 at 4:26pm
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George,

It would appear that the typical modus operandi for the propolygraph community is:

Delay

Deny

Obfuscate

When confronted with direct challenges as to their double-dealing ways, they (among other things) attack the source's character in an attempt to misdirect and obfuscate the truth behind the challenge. Pathetic, really. What utter contempt and loathing I feel for polygraphers and those who would support them.

Liar Liar, just because I passed a polygrah, you think I should support polygraphy or at least not have just cause to criticize this abomination of a pseudo-science? I was never a slave, nor have I owned slaves, but that doesn't mean I accept slavery nor decline to speak out that slavery is a heinous institution.

And, just to get the thread back on track, do you agree or disagree that past APA President Frank Horvath deliberately and with forthought LIED to his journalist interviewer?

Dave
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2002 at 5:00pm by beech trees »  

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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #10 - Jun 17th, 2002 at 4:33pm
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Hey George,

I have it from good sources that you made admissions after failing your FBI polygraph.  Is that true?????? Grin

Polycop
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #11 - Jun 17th, 2002 at 4:45pm
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Quote:
Hey George,

I have it from good sources that you made admissions after failing your FBI polygraph.  Is that true?????? Grin

Polycop



According to your good sources, what admissions did Mr. Maschke make?
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #12 - Jun 17th, 2002 at 4:51pm
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anonymous,

Didn't your mom teach you to never answer a question with a question?

Besides, I believe George can fight his own battles

Polycop


  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #13 - Jun 17th, 2002 at 4:58pm
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Quote:
anonymous,

Didn't your mom teach you to never answer a question with a question?

Besides, I believe George can fight his own battles

Polycop



I am quite confident that Mr. Maschke can fight his own battles. However, it is you claim that you have it from good sources that he made admissions after failing his polygraph. If you are not making this up, then you should be able to say specifically what admissions he supposedly made.
  
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Re: A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath
Reply #14 - Jun 17th, 2002 at 5:18pm
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Sorry Anonymous,

Not quite yet.  I have to keep my cards close. Grin  I would just like Mr. Maschke to either confirm or deny IN WRITING whether or not he made ANY admissions during ANY polygraph exam he ever took for ANY law enforcement agency....

We know the truth...

Polycop
  
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A Public Challenge to Frank Horvath

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