Normal Topic Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings (Read 2582 times)
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Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings
Aug 14th, 2016 at 6:10pm
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I've read TLBTLD and a lot of the commentary on this site, which has prompted a number of questions from me on the use (and value) of countermeasures. George, if you (and perhaps some other people on the site) would be willing to offer their thoughts on these questions, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Firstly, is there any evidence out there (even anecdotal) for the successful (result = NDI) use of countermeasures in a real world, FBI pre-employment polygraph testing?

I ask because the idea of someone being able to recognize control questions at the proper time, properly use a countermeasure breathing technique for the correct amount of time, effectively use mental countermeasure technique consistently (but without overdoing it) and be able to do this over the course of three or more charts, all while under extreme stress and the scrutiny of a Federal polygrapher who has done thousands of polygraphs in his career, (and who may have received classified anti-countermeasure training) seems unrealistic at best. Indeed, the NAS report touches on this: “Authors such as Maschke and Williams suggest that effective countermeasure strategies can be easily learned and that a small amount of practice is enough to give examinees an excellent chance of “beating” the polygraph. Because the effective application of mental or physical countermeasures on the part of examinees would require skill in distinguishing between relevant and comparison questions, skill in regulating physiological response, and skill in concealing countermeasures from trained examiners, claims that it is easy to train examinees to “beat” both the polygraph and trained examiners require scientific supporting evidence to be credible. However, we are not aware of any such research.” (p. 147)

Secondly, is it really possible to apply mental countermeasures to make your heart race on command, consistently, for specific periods of time, in real-world conditions (but again, without overdoing it)? Personally, I've tried to think scary thoughts to try out the technique, but I was not able to get my heart to race (or if it did, the effect was not noticeable). Might thoughts like “I'm going to fail this test!“ or “He knows what I'm doing with these countermeasures!” be a more natural and effective mental countermeasure, since those are scary thoughts that are actually organic to the situation?

A question for George: I know you never took a second polygraph and therefore weren't able to try the countermeasure techniques of which you write. However, have you ever tried to manipulate your heart rate on command using mental countermeasures? Were you successful?

Thirdly, can one really do both a breathing pattern (e.g.., blocking) and a mental countermeasure at the same time? Basically, that seems to amount to counting to keep track of your breath and holding it in for a certain time period while also trying to math in your head or scare yourself. There are simply too many balls in the air, it would seem, for this to really work. And I would think that the polygraph algorithms would pick up on this.

If one adopts the “scare yourself” mental countermeasure, should one simply forgo the breathing countermeasure, as TLBTLD seems to suggest?

Fourthly, should you apply mental countermeasures to every control question? Doing so seems unrealistic. Someone not employing mental countermeasures would react more strongly to some countermeasures than others. And, indeed, Robert Joseph Drdak, in his countermeasures handbook, notes that “Examiners should be cautious when reactions on comparison questions appear highly similar to one another.” (p.12) Wouldn't such suspicious “cookie-cutter” reactions be the result of using countermeasures on every control question? And, yes, I realize that the methods of detecting countermeasures in Drdak's handbook aren't “proof” of being able to detect countermeasures, but the result, for the examinee are the same if the examiner notices these things and accuses the examinee of using countermeasures (which is a damaging and damning accusation if noted by the polygrapher in a FBI pre-employment polygraph report).

Fifthly, wouldn't applying countermeasures on a FBI polygraph retest be extremely suspicious and therefore worthless? After all, the polygrapher already has a “blueprint” of your reactions without countermeasures from the previous exam. As a commenter has noted, “the sudden appearance of previously unseen "noise" on any subsequent charts will certainly be a big red flag.” 

All in all, while the countermeasure material in George's book makes sense theoretically, it just seems like it would be too difficult to actually pull off undetected, unless executed perfectly, at least in a FBI pre-employment polygraph setting (especially since, few if any, people have access to a practice polygraph machine and a polygrapher to provide real-time feedback). 

I realize these are a lot of questions, but I would appreciate any thoughts and comments.
  
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Re: Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings
Reply #1 - Aug 14th, 2016 at 7:06pm
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Many of us have LIED on polygraphs and used countermeasures to pass.  Myself included.   Cheesy

See some of our stories here:
https://antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1305073840

There are many other stories on this board.  Just do a search.  First hand testimony is the only evidence that you should need.  It can be done.  In fact, I will go on record saying I encourage everyone to read TLBTLD, use mental countermeasures on the polygraph as described, LIE YOUR ASS OFF IF NEED BE, and pass.  Then anonymously brag about it on this site.  The more people that expose the fallacy of the polygraph, the more dirty people that pass, and the more clean people that fail, will help get rid of this stupid interrogation tool once and for all.  It is easy to lie and beat federal polygraph, especially the FBI.  Trust me.  Those federal polygraphers/interrogators aren't shit.  Don't let them scare you with their bullshit.  They know nothing unless you tell them, and they can't dig up anything if there is no record of it.  The FBI will not go interview that dirty asian massage parlor you go to and flash your photo like "have you seen this guy here?  does he get happy endings?".  Won't happen.
  
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Re: Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings
Reply #2 - Aug 15th, 2016 at 6:35am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Quote:
Many of us have LIED on polygraphs and used countermeasures to pass.  Myself included.   Cheesy

The digging up of dirt is also one of the key functions of the BI.  In my case, it was actually more intrusive and embarrassing than was the polygraph. Embarrassed
See some of our stories here:
https://antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1305073840

There are many other stories on this board.  Just do a search.  First hand testimony is the only evidence that you should need.  It can be done.  In fact, I will go on record saying I encourage everyone to read TLBTLD, use mental countermeasures on the polygraph as described, LIE YOUR ASS OFF IF NEED BE, and pass.  Then anonymously brag about it on this site.  The more people that expose the fallacy of the polygraph, the more dirty people that pass, and the more clean people that fail, will help get rid of this stupid interrogation tool once and for all.  It is easy to lie and beat federal polygraph, especially the FBI.  Trust me.  Those federal polygraphers/interrogators aren't shit.  Don't let them scare you with their bullshit.  They know nothing unless you tell them, and they can't dig up anything if there is no record of it.  The FBI will not go interview that dirty asian massage parlor you go to and flash your photo like "have you seen this guy here?  does he get happy endings?".  Won't happen.

  

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Re: Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings
Reply #3 - Aug 15th, 2016 at 9:43am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  
Quote:
I've read TLBTLD and a lot of the commentary on this site, which has prompted a number of questions from me on the use (and value) of countermeasures. George, if you (and perhaps some other people on the site) would be willing to offer their thoughts on these questions, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Firstly, is there any evidence out there (even anecdotal) for the successful (result = NDI) use of countermeasures in a real world, FBI pre-employment polygraph testing?


All of the real world evidence regarding the efficacy of polygraph countermeasures is anecdotal. There are no published field studies on polygraph countermeasures.

It is risky for anyone who successfully uses countermeasures on a federal pre-employment polygraph examination to publicly post about that, and so very few do. It would be prudent for any readers who contemplate posting about their experience using polygraph countermeasures to use the Tor Browser to do so, to post as a guest, to use a fake e-mail address when posting, and to avoid posting specific details that could lead to their being identified.

Quote:
I ask because the idea of someone being able to recognize control questions at the proper time, properly use a countermeasure breathing technique for the correct amount of time, effectively use mental countermeasure technique consistently (but without overdoing it) and be able to do this over the course of three or more charts, all while under extreme stress and the scrutiny of a Federal polygrapher who has done thousands of polygraphs in his career, (and who may have received classified anti-countermeasure training) seems unrealistic at best. Indeed, the NAS report touches on this: “Authors such as Maschke and Williams suggest that effective countermeasure strategies can be easily learned and that a small amount of practice is enough to give examinees an excellent chance of “beating” the polygraph. Because the effective application of mental or physical countermeasures on the part of examinees would require skill in distinguishing between relevant and comparison questions, skill in regulating physiological response, and skill in concealing countermeasures from trained examiners, claims that it is easy to train examinees to “beat” both the polygraph and trained examiners require scientific supporting evidence to be credible. However, we are not aware of any such research.” (p. 147)


Polygraph procedure is simple (and simplistic), and polygraph countermeasures are not difficult to learn. The hardest part is recognizing the "control" questions. With respect to the Law Enforcement Pre-Employment Test (LEPET), the technique used by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies, the questions asked are outlined in the LEPET examiner's guide, which is available here:

https://antipolygraph.org/documents/dodpi-lepet.pdf

Note that no polygraph operator has ever demonstrated any ability to detect sophisticated polygraph countermeasures. The late retired FBI scientist Dr. Drew Richardson's polygraph countermeasure challenge went without a single taker.

Quote:
Secondly, is it really possible to apply mental countermeasures to make your heart race on command, consistently, for specific periods of time, in real-world conditions (but again, without overdoing it)? Personally, I've tried to think scary thoughts to try out the technique, but I was not able to get my heart to race (or if it did, the effect was not noticeable). Might thoughts like “I'm going to fail this test!“ or “He knows what I'm doing with these countermeasures!” be a more natural and effective mental countermeasure, since those are scary thoughts that are actually organic to the situation?


In laboratory tests by Honts and collaborators (see citations it the bibliography of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector), about half of examinees were able to fool the polygraph using mental countermeasures after receiving a maximum of 30 minutes of instruction. Tongue-biting produced similar effects.

Quote:
A question for George: I know you never took a second polygraph and therefore weren't able to try the countermeasure techniques of which you write. However, have you ever tried to manipulate your heart rate on command using mental countermeasures? Were you successful?


I've tested my ability to create blood pressure changes using cognitive activity (such as thinking scary thoughts or trying to solve a math problem quickly) and observed timely results. I don't recall the effect on heart rate.

Quote:
Thirdly, can one really do both a breathing pattern (e.g.., blocking) and a mental countermeasure at the same time? Basically, that seems to amount to counting to keep track of your breath and holding it in for a certain time period while also trying to math in your head or scare yourself. There are simply too many balls in the air, it would seem, for this to really work. And I would think that the polygraph algorithms would pick up on this.


If this is too difficult a task for you to perform, then you would be wise not to attempt it.

Quote:
If one adopts the “scare yourself” mental countermeasure, should one simply forgo the breathing countermeasure, as TLBTLD seems to suggest?


That is an option. I'd be reluctant to forgo deliberately creating a breathing reaction, however, because it's the one tracing that can be directly controlled.

Quote:
Fourthly, should you apply mental countermeasures to every control question? Doing so seems unrealistic. Someone not employing mental countermeasures would react more strongly to some countermeasures than others. And, indeed, Robert Joseph Drdak, in his countermeasures handbook, notes that “Examiners should be cautious when reactions on comparison questions appear highly similar to one another.” (p.12) Wouldn't such suspicious “cookie-cutter” reactions be the result of using countermeasures on every control question? And, yes, I realize that the methods of detecting countermeasures in Drdak's handbook aren't “proof” of being able to detect countermeasures, but the result, for the examinee are the same if the examiner notices these things and accuses the examinee of using countermeasures (which is a damaging and damning accusation if noted by the polygrapher in a FBI pre-employment polygraph report).


Because passing requires showing a stronger reaction to the control questions, it is prudent to augment reactions to as many control questions as one clearly recognizes as such.

The "cookie cutter" approach to countermeasure detection is completely unsupported by any scientific evidence whatsoever.

Quote:
Fifthly, wouldn't applying countermeasures on a FBI polygraph retest be extremely suspicious and therefore worthless? After all, the polygrapher already has a “blueprint” of your reactions without countermeasures from the previous exam. As a commenter has noted, “the sudden appearance of previously unseen "noise" on any subsequent charts will certainly be a big red flag.”


If you failed an initial FBI pre-employment "test" and are being given a "re-test," then yes, applying countermeasures is probably futile because your "failing" the re-test is foreordained. FBI re-tests are a sham intended to produce the appearance of fairness. In reality, virtually everyone who fails an FBI pre-employment "test" and is given the opportunity for a re-test fails it.

In addition, the risk of being accused of countermeasure use on a re-test will be high, whether or not one actually uses countermeasures. The polygrapher will know that the examinee will have had ample incentive and time to educate himself about polygraphy.

Quote:
All in all, while the countermeasure material in George's book makes sense theoretically, it just seems like it would be too difficult to actually pull off undetected, unless executed perfectly, at least in a FBI pre-employment polygraph setting (especially since, few if any, people have access to a practice polygraph machine and a polygrapher to provide real-time feedback). 

I realize these are a lot of questions, but I would appreciate any thoughts and comments.


The polygraph community has no effective means of detecting the countermeasures outlined in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. This conclusion is borne out by the polygraph community's own training materials and by federal confirmed countermeasure case files leaked to AntiPolygraph.org.

Moreover, if the polygraph community did have an effective means of detecting polygraph countermeasures, there would have been no need for the federal government to entrap and criminally prosecute individuals who provided polygraph countermeasure training, as recently happened to Chad Dixon, an Indiana electrician who had a side business of teaching people how to pass polygraph "tests" and Doug Williams, a former police polygraph examiner who turned against polygraphy and had been teaching people how to pass the polygraph for over three decades.

There is also reason to believe that AntiPolygraph.org may be the target of electronic eavesdropping and that I, too, may have been targeted for entrapment in Operation Lie Busters, the federal sting operation that targeted Dixon and Williams.

It's clear that the federal polygraph community is deeply concerned about polygraph countermeasures.

That said, it should be borne in mind that polygraph countermeasures can at best mitigate the risk of a false positive outcome. They cannot entirely eliminate it.

My advice to anyone facing an FBI pre-employment polygraph is to not take it and to withdraw one's application for FBI employment. The risk of a false positive outcome, and the adverse consequences associated therewith, are too great.

Similarly, I would advise anyone who fails an initial FBI pre-employment polygraph not to take a "re-test," if offered. The chances of passing an FBI polygraph retest are close to zero, and there is a heightened risk of being arbitrarily accused of using polygraph countermeasures, irrespective of whether one actually chooses to use them.
  

George W. Maschke
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Efficacy of countermeasures in federal preemployment screenings

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