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George W. Maschke
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #15 - Dec 8th, 2011 at 7:38am
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quickfix wrote on Dec 7th, 2011 at 7:45pm:
How articulate you are.  Judging by your command of the English language, you have no business being in a profession that requires intelligence.  Go back to school and get an education.


Stay classy, Quickfix.
  

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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #16 - Dec 21st, 2011 at 2:04am
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BPA,

I had EXACTLY the same thing happen to me.  I'm still discouraged and angry to this day about my polygraph experience. 

I'm curious...did you take this exam in the Seattle office?  The reason I ask, is that what you describe was VERY similar to my experience.  I'm wondering if all polygraph examiners utilize the same unethical tactics.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #17 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 1:54am
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Hello,

After reading this thread I've been compelled to respond as I myself am a recent part of this 60%.  I will not sit here and say that I had the displeasure of being with the same polygrapher as the original poster mentioned, however let me share my experience with you as well.

I took my polygraph today in Washington DC, with hopes of also becoming a  BP agent. I full and well admit that I have made my share of past mistakes; these were listed on my eqip and beaten to a pulp in the initial interview prior to being hooked up to take the polygraph.

Imagine my dismay when I am told after the initial test I have failed on all questions -
1) drugs related crimes - I've never done illegal drugs in my entire life.
2)  Serious criminal offenses - I had a underage possession of alcohol charge; this was disclosed in my EQIP and pre-interview.
3)Intention to hide something on the EQIP-  I had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing this.

I was told to just admit whatever I was hiding and he could help me out.  My head was filled with ideas of "maybe you got really drunk and decided to smoke a joint, its ok 99.9 % of people have done drugs".  I was practically being begged to offer some form of confession, and I admit that after awhile I almost decided to make something up to try and please my examiner so I would not lose this opportunity.

I was trampled on yet again when I was also sent out of the room for roughly 10-15 minutes and then called back in for another set of questions.  These "questions" were part of the "character assessment".

After these questions were done with, I was told  that I also failed these.  I was talked to again asking for a confession; told that I could either confess to 'what was bothering me' or that "I" (as in me) could end the test now by not confessing to something. 

After some deliberation and confused thought I thanked the gentleman for his time and the opportunity, and stated there was nothing more I could say.  At this time we parted ways and he wished me luck.

I cannot even begin to state how badly this situation has bothered me.  You could literally speak with ANYONE I know -work related or personal and I have absolutely no doubt anyone you spoke with would say anything other than 'he's fair, he's honest, he's sometimes an asshole'.

Having one person determine someone's fate who has literally waited three years to become a Agent is absolutely absurd and makes a mockery of the Department of Homeland Security and the Government.

Where the hell are the polygraphs for Congress and the President since they are so ACCURATE by the way???



  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #18 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 3:35am
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TruthSinger

I am the largest letter writer to the U.S. Congress that you will come across. I have written many about the polygraph, to both Republicans and Democrats, and have yet to get ONE response. But one letter writer has no impact on Washington. It takes 100's of thousands in a small period of time. I belong to quite a few conservative websites and we send 100's of thousands petitions to Washington each month and most of the time we get results. Too bad that none of these websites are interested in the polygraph. However, that kind of action is what it going to take to have an effect on the polygraph. Poluted-ticians pay attention to the numbers. Without sufficient numbers, they will stick with their personal agenda. That's why we are almost a third world country right now and I still can't get people to write. If Obama is reelected next year we will achieve third world status by the end of 2013. One of biggest mistakes is he's pushing Israel to the curb and supporting the Arabs.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #19 - Feb 4th, 2012 at 11:02am
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YoungGun wrote on Mar 17th, 2010 at 10:21am:
I was set to graduate in May of 2009 from a great school with a Bachelor's Degree in Law Enforcement. I have wanted to be a police officer for a long time and growing up I was always doing things with the police and staying away from drugs and crime.

In Nov. 2008 I applied for the United States Border Patrol and passed the written test with a 93%. I was a very good student, had years of Spanish under my belt, and was more physically fit than many of the kids my age. I was READY to work the Border.

As the hiring process went on I passed everything beautifully, like I knew I would, like the oral, medical, physical exams and even the majority of the background investigation. I remember waiting anxiously for any news about my status, seeing that I would be graduating from college in less than 6 months and was ready to have a job lined up.

I got a call one day from a polygraph examiner by the name of Mike Cerot (or Serot) who basically TOLD me that I had to report to take a polygraph on a specific day at a specific time less than a week away. Being ready for a job and having nothing to hide I made the 400+ mile drive to the nearest CBP location to take the test. I didn't research polygraphs because I didn't have anything to hide and wasn't even nervous.

I remember getting to the building and waiting in the waiting room. Mr. Cerot came  out to greet me and led me to a window-less conference room in the office suite. There was one door in, a large table spanning the length of the room in the middle and two chairs at the far end of the room, one in the corner.

I was directed to sit in the chair in the corner and told to relax while I watched as Mr. Cerot set up a laptop and attached various cords and whatnots to it. I was actually interested and intrigued as to how the whole process worked. While he was setting it up he began explaining to me that he has performed polygraph examinations for over ten years with the Central Intelligence Agency and is now working with the Customs and Border Protection to polygraph new applicants. I remember him telling me "Your body is going to tell me if you lie. You are going to know it, and you are going to make it known to me. Let me tell you, this never fails. It always works. Always."

I didn't know what to make of that and I actually believed that my body would let him know. (Had I done some research I would've known that he was full of crap and that he was using scare tactics on me).

Once he was done setting up he began talking to me and asking me all sorts of questions asking about personal relationships ("Do you hate your parents?") and weird questions ("Have you ever had sex with any domesticated animals?"), all of which -even though weird- I answered truthfully. This little interview didn't last very long and Mr. Cerot was very reassuring adding comments about his own personal experiences that seemed to match mine.

He told me that he was going to hook me up to the machine so he could get it tuned and explained each of the parts to me as he put them on. I was still fascinated by it. We began a practice test which consisted of him writing the number 4 on a piece of paper and having me say "no" when asked if the number was a 4. I thought it was stupid and pointless at the time, but whatever, this guy knows what he is doing.

When the real test was about to begin he said he would go over the questions to make sure I wasn't surprised by any of them. I can't remember them all now, but they were common questions about lying to loved ones, stealing, using drugs, etc. etc... things I haven't ever experienced or had a problem with.

We did the test. It took a while. I felt completely comfortable and fine.

We took the test again. Same thing. Fine as wine.

After the third time the test ended Mr. Cerot (who had appeared friendly to me throughout the entire experience) became very agitated and began typing and clicking on his laptop. I just continued to sit in my chair, happy to be done with the test and wondering when I could go to the bathroom and have a break (we had been in the room for almost 3 hours). With a loud exhaled breath Mr. Cerot became angry and spun the laptop around showing me a series of graphs with waves running across the screen. He said to me "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT?"
"No."
"THIS IS QUESTION 3. YOU HAVE BEEN HIDING SOMETHING FROM ME, SHOWN EACH TIME YOU ANSWERED THE QUESTION (pointing to a specific crested section of the charts). DO YOU KNOW WHAT QUESTION 3 IS?"
"No."
"QUESTION 3 IS THE DRUG QUESTION."

When he said those words, my mind went berserk. I had never even SEEN or SMELLED any drugs! How could I fail THIS question???? Out of all of them, the DRUG one?!?!? I was so shocked! I didn't know what to say to him and I imagine that I looked white as a ghost.

I remember him saying "You aren't telling me something. I know it. You know it. Tell me what it is. If you tell me what it is I can make it all go away. I have a magic eraser that can make anything go away, as long as you tell me what it is."

I was scared to death. I sat there trying to think of anything that I had experienced in my lifetime that would even be close to USING DRUGS.  Embarrassed  I remember shaking my head constantly and repeating "I haven't ever done anything like that"...

At that time he said "Alright. Im going to give you a break to walk around and use the bathroom, and I am going to make some calls."

I was booted into the hallway outside of the suite. I couldn't breathe, my mind was racing, searching, struggling to find something. Anything. Nothing was coming to mind. I waited in agony for 15 minutes racking my brain until I was invited to come back into the suite.

We went back into the room and sat back down. It felt different that time. His attitude made me feel like he was going to pull out some rolled up torture tools and start pulling out my fingernails... "SO" he asked "have you thought of anything you want to tell me?"

"No. I honestly can't think of anything to tell you sir" I said holding back my tears. I was SO frustrated!  Cry

"Well I am afraid that there is nothing I can do for you further if you aren't going to tell me what you are hiding. I know that you are hiding this from me and I don't know why. Like I said, I can make things go away. A guy that I tested yesterday admitted to using drugs 3500 times and guess what...  HE gets a job! It's that simple. If you are done talking then I am afraid that we are done here. You can't ignore this. THIS is huge. Like ignoring a 400 pound Gorilla in the room."

I was absolutely devastated inside. Physically, mentally and emotionally drained.

When I told my family and friends that I failed the test because of suspected drug use, they all laughed and thought I was joking with them; knowing that I don't have/never have had anything to do with drugs. Some people suggested that they were just messing with me to see if I would change my attitude or admit something during the test, something I tried to believe.

I got a letter in the mail two days after graduation informing me that I was no longer being considered an applicant for the Border Patrol.

It haunted me. I was petrified of the drug question and polygraphs. I remember asking myself at random times "Have you ever used illegal drugs?" and then responding to myself with a stern "NO."

Applying for police officer positions in the United States that don't require applicants to take a polygraph is tough. The only state that doesn't require polygraphs is Michigan, and they are laying off more police officers than anywhere.

I applied and tested for a PD in Northeastern Wyoming in May of 09. Passed everything gloriously, except for one question. On the polygraph. The question that I had been DREADING hearing since the last time it was asked of me. I failed. The examiner called me a liar and told me that I was full of $hit and that he wasn't buying any of my story. I didn't get that job.

The polygraph has haunted me. I am thankful for this site because I NOW know that I am not alone in my struggle and that many are struggling with me, ESPECIALLY now since seeing the article recently put out about the Border Patrol's failure of 60% of the total 10% of applicants over the past hiring year.

With my career in jeopardy, I don't know where to turn. I want to be a police officer but I have a very large mountain in my way resembling the polygraph. At 23, I am now forced to stick with my security job or entirely change careers.

Good luck everyone. And thanks for letting me vent. Smiley

  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #20 - Feb 4th, 2012 at 11:15am
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I love how it kept the quote and deleted ALL my information so I have to write it all again. If I didn't know what you all were going through, I probably would have quit already. That being said, here it goes.

It seems quite a few of you failed the "drug" question. Let me know.... how was the question phrased? If they asked did you ever use drugs? And you said no. Then you probably did lie. Now, don't get upset, let me explain. Did you ever take a Tylenol for a headache? Vitamins for a healthier body? Pepto when you were sick? etc. Guess what... all drugs. If the question was, Did you ever take illegal drugs, that's a bit different. But, did you ever take pain killers for a broken arm, perhaps? If any of my questions above you have answered yes too, and you said no on the polygraph, you lied and your body gave you away. I doubt you did it on purpose, as I wouldn't have thought of all of these things without over 100 hours of polygraph research. Even if you don't think about taking vitamins or Tylenol, your mind remembers and that gives you a fail. If you're thinking, but illegal drugs wouldn't be taking pain killers when prescribed. Again you're right, but its your subconscious talking, and with all the hype recently about people using legal drugs ILLEGALLY, your subconscious likely screwed you, for lack of a better word.

To help reiterate this point further I will give you an example I recently read. During a divorce case a man's ex-wife accused him of touching his daughter's breasts. He took 2 polygraphs and failed both. Distraught and knowing he was innocent, he hired help. The man he hired asked him if he'd ever wiped off his daughter's shirt, when she was a baby, because she'd spilled spaghetti or something else on it. He said, of course he has. How did you wipe off her shirt without touching her breasts? The man took another polygraph where the question was phrased "Did you touch your daughter's breasts for sexual gratification?" He answered no, and passed the polygraph.

These tests are evil and innacurate for reasons like this. A simple subconscious thought of something that was completely innocent, like wiping your daughter's shirt, or taking a Tylenol, and brand you a sex offender or drug user.

I don't know if this helps anyone here, or even fits with what you went through, but if so, I hope, if nothing else, it at least makes you feel a little bit better about failing something, knowing you are innocent. It happens everyday probably 100 times a day. You are not alone.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #21 - Feb 7th, 2012 at 5:46pm
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My deepest sympathies. I understand completely and I failed something similar with (or so it sounds) many of the same questions. Mine pertained to spouse abuse which has never happened in my life and I've today posted here about that poly exam.

I think that some might think about the so called failed questions and what they have 'viewed' or 'experienced' second or third hand in their lives. I, for instance, have felt guilty over my divorce and embarrassed and I believe that "just" those feelings will provide variances due to what is called "the physiology of psychology." This is even deeper than ANS' sympathetic responses but goes into the hand in hand response in small portions of the neurological systems when areas of memory (excitement, shame, pain, disappointment and so many others) are prodded by a question. You are innocent of that which is being asked but (I think in my case at least) it somehow prods an old memory that you only knew about, observed or even heard about (never personally doing or involved) and the system sends a glitch out that is recorded in the physiology of the test. What happened to you is a crying shame and I understand what you meant by holding back the tears. There is no recourse to a machine besides working towards getting them all banned and discounted as viable methods of evaluation. God Bless your efforts and future!
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #22 - Mar 8th, 2012 at 9:09am
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Quote:
I love how it kept the quote and deleted ALL my information so I have to write it all again. If I didn't know what you all were going through, I probably would have quit already. That being said, here it goes.

It seems quite a few of you failed the "drug" question. Let me know.... how was the question phrased? If they asked did you ever use drugs? And you said no. Then you probably did lie. Now, don't get upset, let me explain. Did you ever take a Tylenol for a headache? Vitamins for a healthier body? Pepto when you were sick? etc. Guess what... all drugs. If the question was, Did you ever take illegal drugs, that's a bit different. But, did you ever take pain killers for a broken arm, perhaps? If any of my questions above you have answered yes too, and you said no on the polygraph, you lied and your body gave you away. I doubt you did it on purpose, as I wouldn't have thought of all of these things without over 100 hours of polygraph research. Even if you don't think about taking vitamins or Tylenol, your mind remembers and that gives you a fail. If you're thinking, but illegal drugs wouldn't be taking pain killers when prescribed. Again you're right, but its your subconscious talking, and with all the hype recently about people using legal drugs ILLEGALLY, your subconscious likely screwed you, for lack of a better word.

To help reiterate this point further I will give you an example I recently read. During a divorce case a man's ex-wife accused him of touching his daughter's breasts. He took 2 polygraphs and failed both. Distraught and knowing he was innocent, he hired help. The man he hired asked him if he'd ever wiped off his daughter's shirt, when she was a baby, because she'd spilled spaghetti or something else on it. He said, of course he has. How did you wipe off her shirt without touching her breasts? The man took another polygraph where the question was phrased "Did you touch your daughter's breasts for sexual gratification?" He answered no, and passed the polygraph.

These tests are evil and innacurate for reasons like this. A simple subconscious thought of something that was completely innocent, like wiping your daughter's shirt, or taking a Tylenol, and brand you a sex offender or drug user.

I don't know if this helps anyone here, or even fits with what you went through, but if so, I hope, if nothing else, it at least makes you feel a little bit better about failing something, knowing you are innocent. It happens everyday probably 100 times a day. You are not alone.


First of all this is actually scaring me.  I have nothing to hide I am not a person that does illegal stuff, but that test scares the hell out of me.  However the reason I quoted him is because it all makes sense.  Its the way they say the question.  Since I am going to apply for CBP well I got nothing to hide.  However I am the type of guy that gets nervous where my hearts beats fast and I am scared I wont pass if I do that test.

I have heard that it goes by heart beats right?  Its going to really mess me up and I have a clean record never done anything illegal nor would do it.  This is totally bumping me out hearing  the OP of the incident Sad I am scared I will end up taking such test and fail.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #23 - Mar 8th, 2012 at 4:40pm
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Liko,
I believe it is proper to approach this part of your pre-employment check with some apprehension. In fact if you were apprehensive enough so that "all" questions gave more or less the same 'physiological' feedback you would probably pass... that is the whole (to my understanding) concept of 'counter measures'... honest people 'show' little variations in the readings and that leaves the 'discerning' of a 'deception' completely up to the examiner (I'm sure that if that is not correct, others will flesh it out) which you don't really want. There are plenty of YouTube evidences of completely innocent people being called untruthful in (more or less) poly stings to demonstrate that the mind of the examiner has a lot to do with the results... not in intent but perhaps just a subjective leaning. If you can harness that anxiety "across the boards" you might have a better chance than 'just' being calm... I think.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #24 - Mar 9th, 2012 at 4:03am
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RoamingBack wrote on Mar 8th, 2012 at 4:40pm:
Liko,
I believe it is proper to approach this part of your pre-employment check with some apprehension. In fact if you were apprehensive enough so that "all" questions gave more or less the same 'physiological' feedback you would probably pass... that is the whole (to my understanding) concept of 'counter measures'... honest people 'show' little variations in the readings and that leaves the 'discerning' of a 'deception' completely up to the examiner (I'm sure that if that is not correct, others will flesh it out) which you don't really want. There are plenty of YouTube evidences of completely innocent people being called untruthful in (more or less) poly stings to demonstrate that the mind of the examiner has a lot to do with the results... not in intent but perhaps just a subjective leaning. If you can harness that anxiety "across the boards" you might have a better chance than 'just' being calm... I think.

Its hard to say though as you heard from the OP and others that messaged they all failed.  It still gets me afraid and I am sured a lot have failed when they were probably excellent candidates.  I agree with you the machine probably gets your normal level, but either way personally I get nervous and I know my heart starts beating harder.  I am just a bit discourage for some people being rejected.  I hope I get a chance to get hired since there isnt much for me to do.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #25 - Mar 9th, 2012 at 6:11pm
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Of course this (the OP date) is rather old...
First, to Iamanon... regarding the tylenol and so forth... the Poly is not (and anyone can correct me) a 'dictionary of medical drugs' and consequently unless you are 'knowingly' not telling the truth it should not pick up anything. Doctors may be cognizant of 'drug' definitions but the average person is not. I have taken pain killers that are most definitely 'drugs' (and can be decomposed down to street drugs) and passed all drug questions with flying colors. The applicant (again, I am open to correction) must 'know' that what they are saying is a lie... or have an inkling at least. I have changed all my kids and grandkids diapers and anyone who has done that knows you have to clean up and that means "touch" the child... yet I've never failed any questions pertaining to pedophilia and so forth. I was "deceptive" about something that I "know" from past experience was a deeply emotional and disturbing part of my life... it was destructive to 'me' in finances, in job, in health and so forth and so questions pertaining to that, while I was not at all dishonest, would trigger a physiological "slam" and that is the only reason I can comprehend a 'failure' and a 'lost job.'

I don't think examiners, or at least the majority, are out to hurt applicants but perhaps there is a 'batten down the hatches' syndrome where some feel under attack professionally (at least the underlying science of their profession) and consequently might be a bit less than even professionally affable. But who is to say...

To Liko - as all posts on this site indicate, read the 'The Lie' and learn from it... there is not one guarantee that simply "being honest" will get you a pass. Good luck.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #26 - Mar 10th, 2012 at 12:12am
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RoamingBack wrote on Mar 9th, 2012 at 6:11pm:
Of course this (the OP date) is rather old...
First, to Iamanon... regarding the tylenol and so forth... the Poly is not (and anyone can correct me) a 'dictionary of medical drugs' and consequently unless you are 'knowingly' not telling the truth it should not pick up anything. Doctors may be cognizant of 'drug' definitions but the average person is not. I have taken pain killers that are most definitely 'drugs' (and can be decomposed down to street drugs) and passed all drug questions with flying colors. The applicant (again, I am open to correction) must 'know' that what they are saying is a lie... or have an inkling at least. I have changed all my kids and grandkids diapers and anyone who has done that knows you have to clean up and that means "touch" the child... yet I've never failed any questions pertaining to pedophilia and so forth. I was "deceptive" about something that I "know" from past experience was a deeply emotional and disturbing part of my life... it was destructive to 'me' in finances, in job, in health and so forth and so questions pertaining to that, while I was not at all dishonest, would trigger a physiological "slam" and that is the only reason I can comprehend a 'failure' and a 'lost job.'

I don't think examiners, or at least the majority, are out to hurt applicants but perhaps there is a 'batten down the hatches' syndrome where some feel under attack professionally (at least the underlying science of their profession) and consequently might be a bit less than even professionally affable. But who is to say...

To Liko - as all posts on this site indicate, read the 'The Lie' and learn from it... there is not one guarantee that simply "being honest" will get you a pass. Good luck.


I agree though as one of the posters I quoted said it really brings a point.  If I was to be asked the question "have you ever done drugs" I would truly of said no, however in reality I believe everyone in there life has taken drugs (from pain killers as mentioned to any other antibotic).  Now it gets different when asked have you ever done cocaine etc... I am glad I saw this thread because if I was asked the question about drugs I would know what to say.  I still worry to be honest I have nothing to hide I have a clean record and I am pretty much want a good government job to do my job, I am just afraid of getting rejected.
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #27 - Oct 2nd, 2013 at 11:35pm
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So is there any recourse once someone fails the polygraph?  My son failed also, and is devastated.  Is there any way to appeal?   Cry
  
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #28 - Oct 3rd, 2013 at 7:44am
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No, there is no meaningful recourse for those who fail the polygraph. One can appeal by sending a certified letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection contesting the results, but the chances of being hired after a failed polygraph are essentially zero. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to contest a false accusation of deception in writing, if only to document the fact that one does not accept the accusation.

Federal agencies share polygraph records, so your son's polygraph with CBP may become an issue if he ever applies for employment with another federal agency.
  

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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #29 - Oct 6th, 2013 at 4:57pm
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So is there any recourse once someone fails the polygraph?  My son failed also, and is devastated.  Is there any way to appeal?   Cry


I am constantly amazed at the way the American people have devolved into sheep being led to the slaughter.  When they are abused by the heavy handed government thugs from the Orwellian Ministry of Truth - aka polygraph operators - they whine about it and wonder if there is any way to "appeal".  To Hell with an "appeal"!  The government works for you!  If you will remind them of that by demanding that your representatives stop this bullshit or you will kick them out of office, then something will be done to end the abuse that has "devastated" your son.  But until you fight back, they will continue to kick you in the balls and laugh when you groan in pain and wonder if there is "any recourse"!
  

It is time to put a stop to this government sponsored sadism perpetrated by those who use this insidious Orwellian instrument of torture called the 'lie detector'!  Education is the most effective weapon I have to finally put a stop to the abusive practice of polygraph 'testing'.  Help me by educating yourself and others.  My book FROM COP TO CRUSADER: THE STORY OF MY FIGHT AGAINST THE DANGROUS MYTH OF "LIE DETECTION" is available on Amazon in e-book or paperback - please get this book and send it to as many people as you can - it literally destroys the myth of "lie detection"!  Doug Williams
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