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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Just took my first poly... (Read 21928 times)
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #30 - Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm
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nonombre wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 7:40pm:
Jeffrey,

I guess the potential "honorable and potentially stellar agent" you are referring to is you?  Making a bit of an assumption here, aren't we???


The only one makeing assumptions here is you (I hope your control questions aren't that bad).  I was not referring to myself in that post, but to the many others denied a career opportunity due to your quack science.
Quote:
And exactly which "proper investigation" methods are you referring to?  Please lay out the investigative plan you would have utilized (without use of polygraph of course) which makes you so sure you would have solved this case.  
There are many investigative tools.  Are you saying that polygraphics is the only way to solve a case?  Surprise; I'll admit.  I'm not an expert investigator, but my plan would not be "let's just polygraph every perv and see if they confess."  (and no, I'm not implieing that was their plan either)
Quote:
Jeff, I tend to go with what I see. (e.g., walks like a duck, etc).  In this case, I see a very bad guy, caught by the use of polygraph, when other methods had failed.  Confession obtained, body recovered, another pervert off the street thanks once again to the use of polygraph.

Read the news pal, he may be back on the street due to a sloppy investigation that relied too much on the polygraph.  It'd be a shame to have his confession kicked, and the lack of any other evidence let this guy go.  Had a thorough investigation been done, there'd be other evidence.
Quote:
The problem I still see it, is that the people who live on this site would have been quite comfortable if Mr. Couey had read TLBTLD on line from his jail cell and managed to successfully evade detection by the methods taught by this site (much like the anti-urinalysis sites I have mentioned in my previous posts).  Of course, from what I have read, Mr. Couey has alot of people with similar interests posting to this site.  (and I am not attacking blindly here.  I have read MANY posts from convicted sex offenders on this site.  Birds of a feather?)

The only thing that meks me uncomfortalbe is a system that'd actually assume that soembody passing a polygraph with flying colors was being truthful and drop their investigation on that person.  If somebody uses CM information on this site and passes a polygraph, shame on YOU for your over-reliance on the polygraph, not shame on this site for making the info available.  And lumping people adamantly against pre-employment polygraph screening in the same boat as convicted sex offenders is completely pathetic and wrong.
Quote:
And by the way, how dare you unilaterally attack the detectives and agents who busted their asses for days and weeks on that case (long hours, little sleep, driven soley by the dedication they felt to find the piece of human crap who did that to that little girl) by smugly sitting in front of your computer screen and making statements like, "That of course would have required more *work*."

A complete investigation would have required more work.  They already had their sites on the guy, and as I understand it, had already searched his house when the girl was still alive.  He'd eventually have been caught, and convicted with evidence and not a confession that may now be tossed.  You're again making too many assumptions.  I had no untent of maligning the police who searched for the girl; but their reliance on a polygraph induced confession perhaps cuased their investiagtion to end early, and now that confession may be gone too.
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #31 - Jul 4th, 2005 at 11:24pm
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Nonombre,
I would have to respectfully disagree with and your assessment of this as a “Mexican standoff.”  I would not characterize the polygraph issue as one in which the “anti” crowd advocates the use of undetectable countermeasures while the “pro” crowd warns that if you are caught using them you can count on failing the test.  That is a tangential issue at best.

A much more fundamental part of the issue is; if the polygraph is a valid test firmly grounded in legitimate scientific method, why would any polygraph examiner be disturbed by a web site which gives advice on how to pass or even “beat” a polygraph?  How should it even be possible to “beat” a polygraph if the test is a valid method of detecting deception?

It is a bit disingenuous of you to mention one high-profile case and offer that up as proof the polygraph is a useful law enforcement tool.  For every high-profile case where the polygraph was helpful in obtaining a confession or other useful information, there is at least one equally high-profile case where the polygraph failed in the function for which it was used.  If you wouldn’t accept evidence of, say, the Aldrich Ames case as evidence that the polygraph is useless then don’t expect anti-polygraphy people to accept the Couey case as evidence that the polygraph is accurate and useful.

By the way, if you were offended by Jeffrey’s comment about investigators having to do some work, why would you include in your post a comment that convicted sex offenders and people who post on this board are “birds of a feather?”  If you felt that including a derogatory remark made Jeffrey’s post less respectable, why would you include a similarly derogatory remark in yours?
  

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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #32 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 1:26am
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Jeffery wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm:
Read the news pal, he may be back on the street due to a sloppy investigation that relied too much on the polygraph.  It'd be a shame to have his confession kicked, and the lack of any other evidence let this guy go.  Had a thorough investigation been done, there'd be other evidence.


Yes, I have also read about problems with the interrogation of this perpetrator.  It seems the police may have violated his rights by not making a lawyer available when he first asked for one.  This mistake was prior to any polygraph testing however.

What is interesting to me is that apparently he was more than happy to B.S. the police investigators (and of course deny the crime) all day long.  Until polygraph was mentioned.  Then his immediate reaction was to ask about a lawyer (and I admit he probably should have been provided one at that point).  However, rightly or wrongly, he was not.  Now that part of the case will be up to the courts.  Also, it should be noted that when advised of his rights immeditely prior to the exam, he waived his right to legal counsel, so this will be an interesting one to watch to be sure.

Yes, it seems Mr. Couey was quite comfortable lying and betting he would never be caught, but the instant polygraph was mentioned, he froze.  Apparently he now feared he would indeed be caught, for as soon as the polygraph was complete, he realized the jig was up, immediately confessed to the crime, and took the police to the body.

As far as your statement, 'had a thorough investigation been done, Jeff, you have no idea how thorough an investigation had been done.  You just don't know.  Neither do I.  Neither one of us were involved in this case.  This polygraph exam was likely the last shot they had at this suspect before he would have clammed up permenently.  Look at the case in Aruba right now.  Evidence seems to imply that the young kid that in all probability has all the answers, got his stories straight before he was ever questioned by the police.  Frankly, as a police polygraph examiner I would love to have a shot at him.

Jeffery wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm:
The only thing that makes me uncomfortalbe is a system that'd actually assume that soembody passing a polygraph with flying colors was being truthful and drop their investigation on that person.


Good point.  However,  remember that in the vast majority of criminal cases, the polygraph is the very last thing that happens before a case is closed.  I suspect that is why I have seen so many hopeless cases be literally saved by the polygraph.  If the guys passes and the case is dropped, in many situations it was on its way to being dropped anyway. 

Jeffery wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm:


If somebody uses CM information on this site and passes a polygraph, shame on YOU for your over-reliance on the polygraph, not shame on this site for making the info available.


Our anti-urinalysis friends make the same argument.  So do people who provide information on buying college term  papers, hacking into corporate and government computer systems, and provide the words and phrases to use to convince your prison counsellor that you are a situational child abuser and not a preferential abuser.  Therefore you are rehabilitatable and should be released back into the community.

Nobody who makes this sort of information available ever, ever takes responsibility if the information is misused.  "Shame on society for placing such weight on things so easily manipulated."  "If somebody bad gets ahold of this information I'm making available, and misuses it, its not fault.  I just made it available."

Jeffery wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm:
  And lumping people adamantly against pre-employment polygraph screening in the same boat as convicted sex offenders is completely pathetic and wrong.


Come on Jeff.  That is not what I meant by the reference.  I meant that I suspect there are a large number of convicted sex offenders who have this site bookmarked and have a copy of TLBTLD on their coffeee table hoping to successfully use the methods within to defeat their maintanence exams and stay out of prison.  If you thought that I linked those folks with police applicants, then I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

Jeffery wrote on Jul 4th, 2005 at 8:32pm:
  A complete investigation would have required more work.  They already had their sites on the guy, and as I understand it, had already searched his house when the girl was still alive.  He'd eventually have been caught, and convicted with evidence and not a confession that may now be tossed.  You're again making too many assumptions. 


Jeff, I am afraid you and I are both guilty of making to many assumptions.  You cannot say with any certainity that "...He'd eventually have been caught, and convicted."

Regards,

Nonombre

  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #33 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 3:25am
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #34 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 3:26am
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Nonombre-

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree on this.  I'll continue to characterize your viewpoint as "Nonombre doesn't care if hard-working, honorable, decent people are victimized by inaccurate polygraph testing, so long as a few criminals get caught" and you'll continue to assume my position is "Jeff doesn't care if a child molester walks, so long as good people aren't burned by the polygraph."

In both cases, good investigative work can either backup or refute polygraph results.  It is often not done in employment screening and should always be done in criminal cases (and if it is not, then shame on the investigators).

For the record, I hate to see perverts cheat the system.  But a system so easily cheated is simply a flawed system.  You can point fingers at this site for publicizing the flaws in the system (The lie behind the lie detector) and we can point fingers back at you and lay the blame at your feet for your over-reliance on this flawed system.  I would hope that a simple polygraph test is not the only thing keeping pervs out of prison.  I'd expect actual investigations to ensure their continued compliance -- communications monitoring, random searches, ankle-bracelet monitoring and anything else that can legally be done to people who have lost their liberty through commiting a felony should be used; not simply a polygraph and guess.  I'm sure the criminals would probably also prefer this system, since it actually gives them a chance to reform and prove their compliance (as opposed to the word of an "all knowing polygraph witch-doctor).  Society would probably prefer this type of compliance monitoring, since it would eliminate the risk of a criminal actually beating a polygraph -- that is, of course, unless every sex offender always fails their maintenance exams (due to polygrapher bias).

Comparing polygraph "testing" to chemical drug testing is a joke.  In one case somebody with a few weeks training uses Oijia-board like magic to gaze at a chart; in the other case, REPEATABLE chemical reacions occur that give indication if a substance is present.  One testing method can be done completely blind; the other depends on the subject's ignorance of the process, can be beaten by altering one's breathing pattern (or whatever other effectve CM we decide to argue about) and is subject to somebody's subjective opinion (based on prejudical assumptions they make during a "pre test interview" to derive control questions).

Here's a question for you: Do you see greater numbers of suspected CM usage after an examinee admits to researching polygraphics prior to their exam, or do you also accuse people who deny researching polygraphics of using CM's?

Also, with my knowledge of polygraphics and open hostility for such, would you give me a screening exam if I happened to apply at your department?  Would you simply fail me or accuse me of CM's if I expressed my feelings in a pretest interview?
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #35 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 4:07am
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Nonombre wrote earlier:

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How do we protect against the false positive?  Especially in screening? (not as significant a problem in criminal testing, I am pretty sure)  Well, I have a few ideas about that too, but I do not know if they would be well received in this forum.  


Please elaborate on your ideas.  What information do you hold that may be helpful to the truthful examinee?  Please do not respond "just be 100% honest" as this is the standard and tired respone to this inquiry.

Nonombre also wrote:

Quote:
Jeff, I tend to go with what I see. (e.g., walks like a duck, etc).  In this case, I see a very bad guy, caught by the use of polygraph, when other methods had failed.  Confession obtained, body recovered, another pervert off the street thanks once again to the use of polygraph.


We have differing opinions on this topic.  "Mr." Couey was brought into custody due to investigative methodology and would not have been in custody if not for investigation.  Due to his personal belief that a polygraph examination would expose his guilt he confessed.  This speaks to the utility of polygraphy in investigation but not to its accuracy or validity.

I am curious about your opinion in another matter which has to do with the "I provided it but didn't do it" argument (i.e. the information on this site aids criminals in avoiding polygraphic detection).  Do you hold the belief that firearm manufacturers are responsible for homicides committed with firearms?  Firearms are owned and used by numerous lawful and honest citizens.  Should these citizens be denied their rights to own and keep firearms?  I view this argument to be very similar to the one presented in this thread.

Keep in mind this site does not provide information as to the proper way to successfully commit a crime and avoid detection.  If this site did in fact provide such information we would both agree that it should be immediately closed.  But it does not.     Smiley
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #36 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 5:42am
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Nonombre wrote earlier:


Please elaborate on your ideas.  What information do you hold that may be helpful to the truthful examinee?  Please do not respond "just be 100% honest" as this is the standard and tired respone to this inquiry.

Nonombre also wrote:


We have differing opinions on this topic.  "Mr." Couey was brought into custody due to investigative methodology and would not have been in custody if not for investigation.  Due to his personal belief that a polygraph examination would expose his guilt he confessed.  This speaks to the utility of polygraphy in investigation but not to its accuracy or validity.

I am curious about your opinion in another matter which has to do with the "I provided it but didn't do it" argument (i.e. the information on this site aids criminals in avoiding polygraphic detection).  Do you hold the belief that firearm manufacturers are responsible for homicides committed with firearms?  Firearms are owned and used by numerous lawful and honest citizens.  Should these citizens be denied their rights to own and keep firearms?  I view this argument to be very similar to the one presented in this thread.

Keep in mind this site does not provide information as to the proper way to successfully commit a crime and avoid detection.  If this site did in fact provide such information we would both agree that it should be immediately closed.  But it does not.     Smiley



Brandon,

Both you and Jeffrey ask some very good questions.  I will try to answer you first in this post and get back with Jeffrey later.

Concerning your first question:  "What information do you hold that may be helpful to the truthful examinee?  Please do not respond "just be 100% honest" as this is the standard and tired respone to this inquiry."

I was hoping somebody would ask me about this.  Okay, before I articulate my proposal, lets address again the two types of polygraph testing.:

1.  Criminal testing:

2.  Screening:

Since my proposal addresses screening, lets attack it first.  I will get to criminal testing later:

Police pre-employment polygraph screening is only one of several steps most police applicants must successfully navagate to get to the final point of being hired.  For most departments, the post-application steps are:

1.  Written test
2.  Psychological testing
3.  Physical test
4.  Polygraph Exam
5.  Interview/panel
6.  Background investigation.

The order might be different, but these are the basic steps.  (some departments add-subtract various things, but these are the usual basics).

Okay, here is what I propose.  How about we weigh the various steps according to what a particular department feels are important, then numerically score each step with an eye torwards understanding that if an applicant "bombs" one particular area (including the Polygraph), he can still get the job.

You see, if you look at all the steps closely, you will see that most are actually quite subjective in nature:

1.  Written test - Some people just don't "test" well.
2.  Psychological testing - Oh please, psychology is the
     "softest" of the sciences.
3.  Physical test - Okay, pretty objective, but once the
     average cop has a couple years on the force, the
     donuts do tend to take over.
4.  Polygraph Exam - Arguementively Subjective, with a
     documented error rate.
5.  Interview/panel - NOTHING is more subject than this.
6.  Background investigation.  High false negative rate.

As I see it, we provide a numerical value to each of the steps and come up with a minimum "pass" number.  Additionally, we design the scoring system to specifically allow an applicant to to do badly in any one area and still get the job (Yes, that includes the polygraph).

Now, if the applicant does sufficiently poorly in more than one area, he is out of the running.  That will allow someone who is otherwise excellently qualified but fails the polygraph (or some other area) to still get the job.

However, if anywhere during this process, information develops that specifically disqualifies the applicant (e.g., he admits during the polygraph/psychological interview he has several bodies buried in the backyard), he is likewise out of the running.

This way, we have gone a long way to protecting against the "false positive." 

Now you can still argue against all the weaknesses of the polygraph, but as I have indicated, virtually all the steps towards employment  have distinct drawbacks.

Okay, what do you say?  Might this work a little better?

Now about criminal testing:

John Couey happens to fall into a group of criminals which  polygraph testing happens to have a 60+ year history of properly identifying.  I would argue that over the years, thousands of criminal cases have been solved by the very thing that caused the Couey case to be solved.  Namely, Couey, faced with the polygraph results, confesses, and takes the cops to the body.

Case closed....

Do we truly want to take such a useful tool away?  Especially since our criminal justice system already protects suspects from being convicted or even charged based on the results of a polygraph exam.  The criminals are already protected and as I indicated earlier, in most cases, polygraph is the last step anyway.  So if a false negative occurs, all we are going to do is close a case that was going to be closed anyway.

I see a no lose situation here in regards to criminal testing.   

You ask some questions regarding firearms.  Please let my tired mind address that one another time...Smiley

Lastly, you argue, "...this site does not provide information as to the proper way to successfully commit a crime and avoid detection."

I would argue that point.  If the countermeasures taught on this site do indeed enable at least one criminal to commit a crime and avoid detection (through the use of polygraph), then are you not helping that criminal?

Nonombre
   

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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #37 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 7:07am
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Nonombre,

With regard to the point system you propose, it may be a step in the right direction.  The most important of the steps involved is the background investigation.  This is one area in which the applicant has little to do with the result as the records generally obtained in such an investigation are not available for the applicant to change or enhance.  I personally find this step to be enormously more crucial than any other portion of the application process.  Some other points you make (good ones at that) are the subjectivity of the psychogical evaluation and the oral board.  These two phases much like polygraphy are left to the "opinion rendered" category.  The oral board I find to be the most questionable portion.  Regarding the physical fitness and written evaluations: both are objective in that minimum pass standards are defined.  Either you do or you don't.  In the last testing I completed for example the written test had a minimum pass percentage of 70% correct responses.  The physical fitness evaluation defined the number of pushups and situps that must be completed as well as the maximum allowable run-time for a one and one half miles.  Any score less than the defined minimums is automatically disqualifying.  Perhaps different point scales for the objective portions and subjective portions should be assigned.  But overall it is a step in the right direction.

Criminal polygraph examinations (not the reason I found antipolygraph.org) do have a record of exposing criminals.  A record of misclassifications exist as well causing innocent persons to be accused or remain suspect.  I have watched two episodes of "Cold Case Files" on A&E recently that have mentioned this fact.  Innocents falsely accused and under suspicion for years as a result of deception indicated.  Thankfully DNA evidence conclusively confirmed their innocence.  Another example of misclassification:  Gary Ridgway.  He "passed" a polygraph and continued his gruesome crimes for years undetected and without deserving suspicion due to a polygraph examination.  These are but a few examples of polygraph failure in the criminal arena.

The polygraph examination has utility, I agree, in criminal investigation.  Persons that believe it works as purported and are guilty are more likely to make a confession.  If a confession is gained great.  But if a confession is not made toss it.  I have also read of persons making a cofession believing that a copy machine and police radio were lie detectors.  Like polygraph, great utility but only to those that believe them to be lie detectors.

As far as countermeasures go, I have never used them.  I wouldn't do so without access to a polygraph instrument to self-test.  As you may guess, I don't have one and have many other interests in which to spend my hard-earned money.  No one has ever proved to me either way if they are detectable or not detectable.  I would conclude that physical counters would be detectable, not by chart graphing, but by visual observance.  I noticed my examiner watched me more than his monitor.  Mental counters would seem much more difficult to detect since there are no visual indicators.  No one really knows what anyone else is thinking and one would be hard-pressed to prove otherwise.


You also stated:
Quote:
You ask some questions regarding firearms.  Please let my tired mind address that one another time...

Lastly, you argue, "...this site does not provide information as to the proper way to successfully commit a crime and avoid detection."

I would argue that point.  If the countermeasures taught on this site do indeed enable at least one criminal to commit a crime and avoid detection (through the use of polygraph), then are you not helping that criminal?  


I contend that this site is no more responsible for a criminal scumbag "passing" a polygraph examination than an ammunition manufacturer is for murder by gunshot.  Intent is everything.  The main intent of this sight is in providing information for employment screening.  Much as a criminal uses ammunition and a firearm to commit a crime so might a criminal use information here to avoid prosecution due to a polygraph examination.  Good or bad or a bit of both various information is available through many channels.  Don't misunderstand me.  For example:  a web-site or other avenue of information providing information on hydroponics for the express purpose of harvesting illegal substances such as marijuana should be investigated.  However our freedoms of speech allow for such information to be published.    Smiley
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #38 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 5:17pm
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I understand that Nonombre believes the polygraph is a useful tool, and that he is as entitled to his opinion as I am. 

But, it seems he still is not facing the fundamental problem that I and many others on this board have with the polygraph.  I failed three consecutive polygraphs over the span of several years before passing my fourth and getting my current job in law enforcement.  On all three failures I told the complete truth, did not withhold anything at all, and didn’t even know what a countermeasure was, much less employ any.  The failures were for supposedly fighting/committing assaults, using cocaine, and stealing.  None of them was even remotely accurate.  To top it all off, on my fourth test I answered all the questions the same way I had on the first three (at that point I still believed the polygraph was accurate and thought this must all be a terrible mistake) and I passed.

Given my experience I’m confident you can understand why I think the polygraph is utterly useless as anything other than an interrogation intimidator.  It’s actually worse than worthless because some people think it is a valid way of determining deception when it clearly is not.  Scaling back its use in pre-employment screening or assigning a point system to its results is no more acceptable than doing such things with a crystal ball or a deck of tarot cards. 
  

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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #39 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 7:55pm
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Sergeant1107,

While I feel that a point system may be a step in the right direction, by no means do I believe it to be a fix-all.  As it is many, if not all, LEAs give a large amount of weight to polygraph results.  This would be a step in lessening the weight given.  A step forward rather than backward or a standstill.

Polygraph has utility in criminal investigation but as you believe also do I that polygraphy has no place in employment screening.  It simply does not perform.

You stated that you have 4 polys under your belt.  Three of those polys categorized you as a liar and one as honest.  Well to this point the poly has only categorized me as a liar.  Don't take my openess to discussion as a pat on the back for polygraphy.  I do not find that heated argument is productive.  So I generally speak civily until provoked to do otherwise.

Also, congratulations on your success with the polygraph.  You must have finally told the truth  (add thick and heavy sarcasm    Wink  )
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #40 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 10:16pm
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I think what really left me with such a negative impression after all four of my polygraphs was the utter dishonesty of the examiners.  Each one assured me prior to starting that not only was it flat-out impossible to conceal from the machine my body’s reactions to a lie, but they also solemnly stated that they (the examiners) were the real “lie detectors” and even without the machine they could easily detect any signs of deception in my answers.  The way it was presented to me made it sound totally believable – they said they were highly trained and did this day-in and day-out, and they could effortlessly pick up on the tiniest clues, such as breathing or holding my breath, blinking quickly or at long intervals, pupil dilation, which way I looked when I answered, whether I moved or sat still during an answer, etc…  I had no reason not to believe them, and no reason to worry about it either, since I was fully planning on being 100% honest in all my answers.

At the end of my first three polygraphs, when the examiner told me I was lying about this or that, they would tell me it was so obvious to them that I might as well be holding up a sign.  Each one reminded me that they were experts at detecting deception, and that I would be better off admitting to whatever they were questioning me about.

So there I was, making statements that were 100% truthful, and having the examiner tell me how absurdly simple it was for them to see that I was lying.  They were saying: “You can’t fool me.  It’s as plain as day to me that you’re lying.  Even without the charts I can easily see you’re not telling me the truth.”  When I repeated my earlier denials they would shrug as though they had tried to help me but I was too foolish to take their help.

Now, if they accused me of all that as a tactic to get me to admit something, fine.  If that was the case they should have reported back to the agency I was applying to that I had passed.  But in each of my first three polygraphs they reported back that I had failed because I had been deceptive about exactly what they questioned me about in the post-test interview. 

The examiners could not possibly have had any proof or even indication I was lying for the simple reason I wasn’t.  I was being truthful in all of my responses, not only because I’m a truthful person but also because I really believed the machine and the examiner would be able to detect any lies or half-truths.  But the examiners, who must have been unethical, incompetent, or both, still reported back that I was deceptive.  Either they had no idea what they were looking for or at and took a wild guess, or they just decided to fail me on a whim.
  

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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #41 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 11:34pm
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This sounds as if in one sense you were the best polygraph candidate, in that your examiner(s) had you hook, line and sinker by your own admission (this is not an insult).  You truly believed that the polygraph worked as purported and the garbage stacked on top of that belief by your examiner(s).  Human lie detector?  Sounds like these folks have taken to heart Mr. Deniro's role in "Meet the Parents."

If you were as honest as you report you cleared your mind of deceit.  The totally honest examinee, according to polygraph examiners, does not react properly to control questions which may (does) cause false positives.

From what you have written, most likely the examiner(s) that administered your first 3 "tests" were fishing for an admission in the post-test phase.  That is part of the training received regarding inquiry into a deception indicated graphing.

Behavior such as you have mentioned has left many of us with negative opinions to polygraph examining.
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #42 - Jul 5th, 2005 at 11:38pm
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Behavior such as you have mentioned has left many of us with negative opinions to polygraph examining.

And those who practice it.
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #43 - Jul 6th, 2005 at 4:39am
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Sergeant1107 wrote on Jul 5th, 2005 at 5:17pm:
I understand that Nonombre believes the polygraph is a useful tool, and that he is as entitled to his opinion as I am. 

But, it seems he still is not facing the fundamental problem that I and many others on this board have with the polygraph.  I failed three consecutive polygraphs over the span of several years before passing my fourth and getting my current job in law enforcement.  On all three failures I told the complete truth, did not withhold anything at all, and didn’t even know what a countermeasure was, much less employ any.  The failures were for supposedly fighting/committing assaults, using cocaine, and stealing.  None of them was even remotely accurate.  To top it all off, on my fourth test I answered all the questions the same way I had on the first three (at that point I still believed the polygraph was accurate and thought this must all be a terrible mistake) and I passed.

Given my experience I’m confident you can understand why I think the polygraph is utterly useless as anything other than an interrogation intimidator.  It’s actually worse than worthless because some people think it is a valid way of determining deception when it clearly is not.  Scaling back its use in pre-employment screening or assigning a point system to its results is no more acceptable than doing such things with a crystal ball or a deck of tarot cards. 



Wow, it seems my posts have caused a bit of a stir.  This is a good thing.  I hope honest discussion is what continues to drive us all.

Sergeant, I understand that if you failed three screening polygraph exams while speaking the complete truth,  you would have every reason to be completely pissed.  I would be too.  I mean that.

I first started posting to this board openly expressing my concern about the possibility of false positives, while maintaining that I have seen polygraph help to solve criminal cases and identify people who should never be given a gun and a badge.

I was conflicted by these mixed feelings.

That is when I started trying to think of ways to mitigate the harm a false positive could do in screening cases, while not "throwing out the baby with the bath water."

That is where I got the idea of the point system.  You see, as I explained in a previous post, vitually every stage of the police pre-employment process is wrought with subjectivity, inaccuracy, personal feelings, predjudice, and  some measure of injustice.  Polygraph hardly has the monopoly in any of these things.

You see, that is the beauty of a weighted point system.  That way, unfairness in one or more of the stages can be mitigated by shifting points earned in those areas the applicant did much better in.

I mean, look at it this way.  How would you like it, if you aced every bit of the process to include the polygraph exam, and was then "disqualified" by a couple of panel members who happened to disagree with your feelings about something you were asked, or worse harbored some concealed prejudice against you?

In most applicant systems you would be dead in the water.  With a properly weighted numerically scored applicant system, your excellent results in the other areas would qualify you for a rightfully earned position.

Oh, and one more thing, a couple of you have stressed that you would be more dependant on the applicant's background investigation then any other measure.  To that comment, I would like to say this.  Anyone who has ever conducted background investigations (and I have), know that they in fact have a ridiculously high "false negative" rate.

You see, unless you are lucky enough to find a police report, or a pissed off ex-spouse, you can be pretty much assured that anyone you talk to about the applicant will have nothing but good things to say, or will say noyhing at all.   Our civil litigation system has pretty much guaranteed that.

Once again, food for thought

Nonombre
  
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Re: Just took my first poly...
Reply #44 - Jul 6th, 2005 at 5:40am
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Nonombre wrote:
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You see, unless you are lucky enough to find a police report, or a pissed off ex-spouse, you can be pretty much assured that anyone you talk to about the applicant will have nothing but good things to say, or will say noyhing at all.   Our civil litigation system has pretty much guaranteed that.


I cannot disagree with you on this point.  As a manager for a former employer I was instructed to provide minimal information when contacted by prospective employers of former employees.  Yes he/she worked here.  No he/she no longer works here.  All of this bs due to civial litigation.  The problem therein lies that the company hired some real bafoons after having received like information.  However, I thought this was the reason an applicant signed a release for former employers, credit agencies, etc. to provide information regarding the applicant.  I know I signed a release to hold harmless the agency and polygraph examiner when I was administered a polygraph examination.  I can bitch, but I can't sue (wouldn't have anyway).

A background can look into a person's present, past and patterns of behavior.  I asked my personal references to be honest even if they thought or knew I would not like their statements (probably not many or least not all do the same).  My feeling is that the background investigator is accustomed to sugary bullshit and knows it is just that.  If it led to another contact which was not listed as a reference so be it.  My character stands on its own whether it is appreciated.
  
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