Normal Topic Send a Note to (Read 16623 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Make-believe science yields
make-believe security.

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Jul 12th, 2001 at 12:47pm
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In an 11 July 2001 article titled, "Search for Truth: Condit, Police Haggle Over Polygraph," uncritically reported the comments of polygraphers Paul K. Minor and Ed Gelb:

Regarding the Washington, DC police request that Rep. Gary Condit submit to a polygraph, quotes Ed Gelb as saying:

"If he knows nothing about it, he won't have any trouble [passing a polygraph] no matter what you ask," Gelb said."

Gelb cannot know this. By his own admission in the article, polygraphy is no more than 89% accurate. But even that level of accuracy is entirely unsupported by peer reviewed scientific research. Moreover, polygraphy has an inherent bias against the truthful, as many who frequent this message board have learned by personal experience.

Former FBI polygrapher Paul K. Minor also makes an untrue statement in the "Polygraph FAQ" at the end of the article. He says, "It's easier to beat [the polygraph] if you're real stupid. It's difficult for intelligent people because they can't control their thoughts. Generally, the more you try, the harder it gets to beat the test."

This is utter nonsense. The key to beating a polygraph test is to 1) recognize the difference between the relevant and the control questions (being stupid doesn't help) and 2) to subtly augment one's physiological responses when answering the control questions. This is described in detail in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.

ABC News made the mistake of only speaking to people who rely on polygraphy for a living. You can help set them straight on polygraphy by sending a note (you might point them to via their web-based feedback form at:


George W. Maschke
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box dimas
Especially Senior User

Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 3rd, 2001
Gender: Male
Re: Send a Note to
Reply #1 - Jul 12th, 2001 at 3:07pm
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I really hope that all of you reading these are sending those e-mails out.  I truly believe that if we all start doing something and not passing the buck we can get a big jump on revealing Polygraphy for the VooDoo science that it is.  I think all of us saw how much a few votes mattered this last election with that whole scandal in Florida.  Now imagine how many people said why should I be active and vote its not like my vote really matters only to find out how much a single vote really mattered in some of those counties.

All our e-mails matter, heck who knows it may just be your e-mail that makes them say "well heck we sure got a lot of e-mails about Polygraphs being a fraud maybe we should run a story on them"

Until that happens
Take care and get to typing and sending those e-mails out.


"But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams."&&
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Fred F.
Very Senior User

Get Educated.... Knowledge
is Power

Posts: 224
Joined: Apr 4th, 2001
Re: Send a Note to
Reply #2 - Jul 13th, 2001 at 4:44am
Mark & QuoteQuote Print Post  

This again is a fine example of hyperbole of a "high profile" story.  The Condit case has these "newhounds" examining only the side of the story they want to cover, not the complete issue. I was excited to hear just yesterday that Rep. Condit's lawyer was refusing to allow a polygraph test.  Today, I started getting nervous as they may actually SUBMIT to a polygraph and were having discussions over what questions were going to be asked.

Gino is correct when he stated that a polygraph is an interrogation "prop" that allows the police to "manufacture" a case against someone. You will read that Rep. Condit's polygraph "revealed" that he is not telling the truth about issues associated with Chandra Levy's disapperance etc. because that is the DESIRED outcome. Never mind that these revelations are useless in any court, however as a media tool and attention getter, LOCK, STOCK, and BARREL message delivered.

Everyone who associates or reads on this site, PLEASE GET YOUR E-MAILS to and to and we can deliver the message of The Lie Behind The Lie Detector

Knowledge is power..... Educate yourself

Fred F.  Wink
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