Normal Topic TO read or not to read the the truth behind poly (Read 5696 times)
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TO read or not to read the the truth behind poly
Mar 13th, 2003 at 8:07am
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  I have a poly coming up for a police dept job and was wondering about the the truth behind the poly report.  I am reading the post and some are saying dont read it and others are go and read it.  Will educating myself by reading what goes on along with countermeasures help me or give me a false positive?  Very tempted to read it due to I want to do anything that will help my chances to get in but I dont want to jinx/mess it up either
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #1 - Mar 13th, 2003 at 8:42am
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2die4,

Educating yourself about the polygraph can only help you. It is true that the "test" is predicated on the assumption that the person being "tested" is ignorant of how the procedure really works. But polygraph "testing" has no scientific basis and is without validity -- whether or not the person being "tested" has informed him- or herself about it.

Polygraph failure rates among law enforcement applicants tend to be high. For the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, that rate is about 50%. Many truthful applicants are being wrongly branded as liars. I was called a liar by both LAPD and FBI polygraphers despite having told the truth.

I wish I had known more about the pseudoscience of polygraphy before agreeing to be polygraphed. Gino Scalabrini and I co-authored The Lie Behind the Lie Detector to help applicants and employees protect themselves against polygraph abuse. I strongly suggest that you read it. Ignorance about polygraphy is no bliss.
  

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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #2 - Mar 14th, 2003 at 10:09am
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Thanks I will read it.  One question though do you suggest using countermeasures that are stated in your book? I haven't read it Im going by postings saying there are some mentioned.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #3 - Mar 14th, 2003 at 10:50am
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2die4,

I believe that it is prudent for anyone submitting to a polygraph "test" to use countermeasures to protect against the risk of a false positive outcome. Ultimately, whether or not to do so is a decision only you can make.
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #4 - Mar 14th, 2003 at 9:59pm
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George,

Is there any limits put to your use of the word "anyone"?

Is that limited to anyone who is taking a pre-employment polygraph?  Or is it anyone taking any type of "screening" polygraph?  Or could it also include anyone who is accused of a crime, but innocent, and now taking a polygraph? 

Or could your "anyone" include someone who has commited a crime and is taking a polygraph?  Let's say someone who has, oh lets see, abducted a young girl from her home in the middle of the night.  Would you "believe that it is prudent" for that  that person to utilize countermeasures?

Batman
  
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #5 - Mar 14th, 2003 at 10:49pm
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Batman,

You do make a proper case for the moral dilemma surrounding the dissemination of countermeasure techniques. For the sake of debate, let's assume I am accused of stealing money from my employer. He thinks I'm the one, but the investigation has turned up no witnesses, no suspicious activities like living beyond the means of my salary, no large deposits in my bank account, no large ammounts of cash in my sock drawer. You get the picture. So now the police will resort to a polygraph, the results of which can't be used in court. I know this, and so does my lawyer. So, what do I care whether I pass, fail or draw an inconclusive? Why would I even bother with CM's? Om the other hand, if the police have the evidence they need to charge me, and the DA's office thinks they can convict, then why waste time and money on a polygraph that can't be used against me? Bottom line is, I don't see many people using the information on this site to avoid prosecution for an offense they are guilty of. And the few that may be doing so are far outnumbered by the people being arrested, ostracized, fired, etc. due to "false positives".
  

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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #6 - Mar 14th, 2003 at 10:57pm
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Orolan,

I would agree, if one is innocent, there may be nothing to be gained from submitting to a polygraph, other than to elimante oneself from any suspicion, if one deems this to be necessary. 

However I would still like to hear from George as to any limitations to he "anyone".  Hopefully he will lower himself to answer.

Batman
  
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #7 - Apr 30th, 2003 at 11:30pm
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Batman
If the polygraph community claims it can detect countermeasures then, whats the difference who uses them, you would be found out.
Now if countermeasures are a valid deseptive tool for a polygraph then the polygraph itself is useless.
If you wanted a response only from George regarding the universal "anyone" I think thats silly
  
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #8 - May 2nd, 2003 at 5:14am
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This is just a copy of my experience with the polygraph. I thought this forum might be more appropriate for those facing, or having recently faced, a polygraph....


Dear George,

I have been visiting this site for a couple of months now. I originally ran into the site through word of mouth while discussing polygraph experiences with co-workers. I find your site very informative and I wish you luck in abolishing the polygraph. It is merely an interrogation tool that allows unethical polygraphers to arbitrarily accuse people of dishonesty often times because of a persons attitude, appearance or a mere "hunch" on the part of the examiner. 

I am a 7 year Police Officer,  I have worked for 2 departments, I am a Defensive Tactics Instructor and Firearms Instructor. I am thankful every day that I have been given the opportunity to work in this field. I was afraid when I began the process, in 1995, that I would be DQ'd for violating the "Drug/Substance Use" policy of the department. I was well outside the timeframe for use of marijuana (5 years) but I had exceeded the number of uses (20 times or less). I could not recall the number of times I had used marijuana, but between the ages of 17 and 20 I knew I had used it more than 20 times. I had no other violations or criminal conduct that result in being DQ'd, so I decided to give it a try. During my process, I had several friends from high school that also applied with local PDs shortly before I did. These gentlemen were, to my knowledge, not guilty of anything too horrible in their backgrounds that would have removed from the eligibility. Nothing aside from some high school pot use and maybe some underage drinking, but nothing "serious". All 4 of these individuals were DQ'd after the polygraphs. This made me very nervous and I considered withdrawing from consideration as my polygraph was going to be within the next 30 days. 

However, before I took my first poly I had the incredible luck of running into a friend of the family from years past who was a former Police Officer and had become a PI and a poly examiner. I began to explain to him my dilemma and boy did he open my eyes! He was VERY honest with me about the machine's flaws as well as the prospect of unethical examiners and even took me to his office to further acquaint me with the machine. He explained control, relevant, irrelevant questions, etc. We even conducted a couple of mock exams.

I took my first "official" poly about 3 weeks later and totally blew it away. I  started out with a smaller department (about 80 officers) to get my foot in the door and about a year later applied with a large municipal department (about 3400 officers) and the Highway Patrol in my state. After processes with both agencies, which included polygraphs, I was offered a position with both but elected to work for the city as the Highway Patrol wanted to relocate me about 250 away from my home. Both of these agencies had guidelines similar to the original department I worked for. Yes, when it boils down to it, I LIED. However, I decided to do so KNOWING I would make an outstanding officer and also KNOWING I would serve my community with integrity and honesty. I was not about to let a couple bad decisions I made when I was "young and dumb" stop me from pursuing my goals.

To date I have received several letters of commendation, made countless arrests, gotten many of society's undesireables off the street and have served my community and profession with pride and integrity. To think this all may never have happened if, like so many others, I had walked into the examiner's office as his or her pigeon and spilled my guts, only to be told "no" is almost sickening to me. 

I would encourage anyone who is considering a pre-employment polygraph to educate themselves, so as not to become a poly examiners "victim". The polygraph is NOT accurate and should be trashed as a pre-employment screening tool. 

Good luck all!

Keep up the good work George!

PK
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #9 - May 3rd, 2003 at 10:48am
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What were the methods you used?? I have a poly coming up and dont want to blow it.
  
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Re: TO read or not to read the the truth behind po
Reply #10 - May 4th, 2003 at 10:26am
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Alika,

I will assume that you're question was directed toward me. If that's the case, to put it simply, I recognized the control questions, momentarily applied the breathing countermeasures along with thoughts to provoke an emotional response (news of a loved one being in an accident, falling off a cliff, etc.), and a slight tongue bite. The best advice I can give you is to read the TLBTLD until you thoroughly understand it. I don't want to be assuming, but it appears that there are a number of individuals on this site who could help in any area you may have difficulty understanding. Personally, I found beating the so called "lie-detector" to be fairly simple.


I hope this helps.

PK
  
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TO read or not to read the the truth behind poly

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