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If you would like to write an article for publication here, or if you have any polygraph-related document(s) that you think should be included here, please contact AntiPolygraph.org. Anonymous submissions will also be considered.

Polygraph Reading Room

Quick links to sections of special interest on this page:



Polygraph Articles, Letters, and Book Chapters

Polygraph and Voice Stress Analysis Documents

  • The Countermeasure Files (added 7 April 2013, updated 9 June 2018)
    A collection of polygraph community documentation on polygraph countermeasures. This information has been closely held by the polygraph community and has not previously been published in any public forum. These documents reveal that while polygraph operators publicly claim that countermeasures are ineffective and that they can easily detect them, they are less sanguine when behind closed doors speaking amongst themselves. AntiPolygraph.org features prominently in their discussions.
     
  • NCCA Countermeasure Course Files (These documents, primarily from the National Center for Credibility Assessment's Threat Assessment and Strategic Support Branch, are associated with NCCA's 40-hour comprehensive countermeasure course (CE 839) and shorter Countermeasures II course (CE 847)). PDF versions of PowerPoint presentations were prepared by AntiPolygraph.org and display the presenter's notes. For discussion, see "NCCA Countermeasure Case Files Leaked."
     
    • Countermeasures Comprehensive Course Syllabus Instructor Template (180 kb PDF | 40 kb DOCX) This template provides the schedule for NCCA's week-long (40-hour) countermeasure course. Homework assignments include going to AntiPolygraph.org and reading Chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.
       
    • Block #1 Introduction "Back to Basics" (18 MB PDF | 17 MB PPT) 80-slide introductory presentation.
       
    • Block #2 Physiological Features (11.4 MB PDF | 8 MB PPTX) 52-slide presentation. Presenter's notes for slide 5 characterize this presentation as "the cornerstone for the Comprehensive CM course" and, although the presentation is not labeled as being classified, states "During this discussion (which will be classified SECRET) we will identify and classify features that are atypical and consistent with CM."
       
    • Block #3 Internet CM Exercise Slideshow (2.3 MB PDF | 736 kb PPTX) 24-slide presentation reviewing the information about polygraph countermeasures available on AntiPolygraph.org and Polygraph.com.
       
    • Block #3 Countermeasures Laboratory Exercise Instruction Sheet (332 kb PDF | 236 kb DOCX) 12-page document instructing students to perform the countermeasures suggested by AntiPolygraph.org and Polygraph.com, as well as other maneuvers, and examine the charts.
       
      • Case Review 1 (4.8 MB PDF | 3.4 MB PPTX) Charts of a U.S. Secret service applicant who used unsophisticated countermeasures (spelling words and singing songs in head, tightening muscles in feet, moving hands, "altered" breathing).
         
      • Case Reviews 2-4 (6.3 MB PDF | 4.2 MB PPTX) Case 2 involves a subject who "altered his breathing and focused his attention elsewhere so the examiner would not know if he was lying or nervous" and "attacked the comparison questions." Case 3 involves a subject whose tracings showed movement in the seat cushion at "control" and relevant questions. Case 4 involves a subject who "recit[ed] positive thoughts in his head" and "used the terms 'pretest interview' and 'post test interview' during the examinee's pretest which alerted examinee [sic, correct examiner] to watch for CM."
         
      • Case Review 5 (7.5 MB PDF | 5.3 MB PPTX) Includes charts from several examinees who admitted to using unsophisticated countermeasures.
         
      • Case Review 6 (5.1 MB PDF | 3.5 MB PPTX) Starts with review of "an NDI case with no suspected CM - Ground truth is not known for sure since this is a field exam" and notes, "This is a reminder that CM identification is not necessarily easy - It also should reveal the importance of being inquisitive. If you suspect CM then probe." A second "NDI" (no deception indicated) chart is reviewed as well as a third where the examinee employed unsophisticated countermeasures (deep breathing).
         
    • Block #4 CM Research (4.5 MB PDF | 2.6 MB PPT) 36-slide presentation. Provides details of a secret 1995 countermeasure study by NCCA (then DoDPI) researcher Gordon H. Barland in which subjects were taught mental countermeasures for an hour. Eighty percent succeeded in beating the Department of Defense's primary polygraph screening technique. NCCA's counter-countermeasure techniques were developed by two non-scientist polygraph operators, Paul Menges and Dan Weatherman, and NCCA has not been able to teach computer software to implement their purported method of countermeasure detection.
       
    • Block #5 Other Testing Techniques (5.7 MB PDF | 6.7 MB PPT) 46-slide presentation on counter-countermeasure techniques including the "Repeat the Last Word Test," the "Focused CM Technique," the "Yes/No Test," and the Concealed Information Test.
       
    • CM Research (1.1 MB PDF | 100 kb PPTX) 14-slide presentation on academic research on polygraph countermeasures. Presenter's notes opine "The fact that the anti-polygraph sites take what the academics claim work in the way of CM and publicize it, is of no concern to Academia."
       
    • Anti-Countermeasures & Counter-Countermeasures (1.9 MB PDF | 480 kb PPTX) 17-page presentation presenter's notes begins with the following frustration-laden complaint: "The anti-polygraph sites have one of two possible roles in life. • End all polygraph - because they (the one's pushing these issues) cannot pass a polygraph. • Or, they are doing it for money..."
      Techniques include providing an "anti-countermeasures statement," calling irrelevant questions "control" questions, telling the examinee to move a toe or finger slightly so the operator can adjust the movement sensor, the "Repeat the Last Word Test," the "Yes Test," and the "Silent Answer Test."
       
    • Interrogating Suspected Countermeasures Cases (2 MB PDF | 600 kb PPTX) 10-page presentation. Provides tips for obtaining confessions to polygraph countermeasure use.
       
    • CM Refresher Training (29 MB PDF | 19 MB PPTX) 186-slide presentation. Reviews NCCA's so-called "countermeasure factors" and devotes special attention to AntiPolygraph.org and Polygraph.com. Includes review of polygraph charts of examinees who admitted to using countermeasures.
       
    • Atypical Tracings (12.3 MB PDF | 15.1 MB PPTX) 108-slide presentation. Provides historical background on NCCA's Threat Analysis and Strategic Support branch. Reviews features in polygraph charts that NCCA thinks are indicative of polygraph countermeasure use. Includes the disclaimer (at slide 7): "The following information is yet to be scientifically validated. It has, however, seen significant confirmation through hundreds, perhaps thousands, of verified CM charts. Not all of the following atypical physiology is deliberately produced. Some are side effects of otherwise unrelated activity." It should be noted that nothing about polygraphy has been scientifically validated.
       
    • CM Slideshow (9.8 MB PDF | 6.5 MB PPTX) 66-slide presentation. Covers what NCCA considers to be "atypical tracings" with examples from "confirmed cases." Acknowledges "No silver bullets...yet!"
       
    • Physiological Features (60 kb PDF | 24 kb DOCX) 2-page document succinctly listing the criteria that NCCA believes are indicative of polygraph countermeasure use.
       
  • Other Polygraph Countermeasure Documentation
     
    • Countermeasures: How they're trying to beat you...and what to do about it (16.7 MB PDF | 10.5 MB PPT). A 397-slide presentation delivered by former National Center for Credibility Assessment (then the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute) senior countermeasure researcher Gordon H. Barland in July 2003 before the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Forenses in Mexico City. For discussion, see Gordon H. Barland on Polygraph Countermeasures.
       
    • Timeline Detailing the Countermeasures Classification Issue (288 kb PDF | 140 kb DOC) by Gary Light, Chief, Quality Assurance Program, National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA). Created 15 August 2012. This "white paper" argues that "CM [countermeasure] detection information from its inception has been researched, developed and implemented in an unclassified environment. CM procedures were not, are not and need not be classified when teaching the detection process." For discussion, see NCCA White Paper on Polygraph Countermeasure Detection Training
       
    • Countermeasures (14 mb PDF) by retired FBI Special Agent Robert Joseph Drdak (14 mb PDF). This 48-page, 2011 document is distributed with the Lafayette Instrument Company's polygraph software. Retired Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence officer Scott W. Carmichael credibly alleges that this document is derived from a 2003 National Center for Credibility Assessment paper by Dan Weatherman and Paul Menges that was in turn based on a classified study by Gordon H. Barland. It includes countermeasure "detection" criteria so broad that virtually any polygraph examinee could be deemed to have used countermeasures should the polygrapher so desire. However, the document includes no coherent methodology for detection of the kinds of countermeasures outlined in AntiPolygraph.org's The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.
       
    • AFOSI Polygraph Countermeasure Handbook (3.2 mb PDF). This 116-page document by the late U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) special agent and polygrapher Larry Victor Streepy (1933-2007) documents federal doctrine regarding polygraph countermeasure detection in the 1980s. Streepy soberly observes (pp. 1-2): "Examiners should not become complacent by holding to the idea that all countermeasures will be readily distinguishable. They should, instead, recognize that it may be difficult to identify countermeasures use..."
       
    • Countermeasures (6.6 mb PDF) | 6.8 mb PPTX). 134-slide Stoelting Co. presentation on polygraph countermeasures, based on National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) documentation.
       
    • AAPP Handbook, Chapter 15 (328 kb PDF) dated 2008. This chapter from the handbook of the American Association of Police Polygraphists is marked "Law Enforcement Sensitive" on each page. It offers approaches to dealing with a variety of countermeasures, many of which would not likely be used by a person who understands polygraph procedure (e.g. dissociation, rationalization, meditation, hypnosis, biofeedback). While the chapter mentions AntiPolygraph.org among other sources of information, it doesn't provide any clear methodology for detecting the kinds of countermeasures described in our widely-read and freely-available book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.
       
    • Effective Counter Countermeasures by James W. Bassett. Presentation delivered at the American Polygraph Association's 2010 annual seminar. Suggests "setting the stage" by using diplomas and certificates to establish credibility and dressing like a professional. Emphasizes interrogational stratagems while providing no actual information on countermeasure detection.
       
    • Countermeasures: What Every Examiner Should Know (55 mb PDF | 19 mb PPT). This 210-slide presentation was prepared by Mark Handler for the Kentucky Polygraph Association in 2009. The presentation began as a PowerPoint file prepared by Walt Goodson of the Texas Department of Public Safety and was expanded by Mark Handler with input from Charles Honts, Raymond Nelson, and Charles Slupski. It describes various kinds of countermeasures and the research literature thereon.
      Slides 67-94 are specifically about AntiPolygraph.org. Slide 96 notes: "sources like the [sic] Maschke & Scalabrini's book do contain accurate information about how polygraph tests work and about possible countermeasures" but goes on to suggest that mere exposure to the book has no effect on polygraph outcomes. Slide 104 states that the notions that countermeasures are easy to detect and that they are not effective against an experienced examiner are fiction. Publicly, however, polygraph operators make precisely the opposite claim.
      The presentation suggests strategies for identifying some countermeasures, but provides no clear methodology for detecting sophisticated countermeasures. For commentary on this presentation, see Polygraph Countermeasures: What Polygraph Operators Say Behind Closed Doors.
       
    • Countermeasures in 2009: What We Know and What We Don't Know (1.9 mb PDF). Presentation by Charles R. Honts. See especially the "Current Trends" portion beginning with slide 49. Honts discounts the notion that polygraph operators can reliably detect countermeasures. See especially slide 51: "No published scientific study shows that [sic] any person to be better than chance at detecting countermeasures, either from watching the subject or from analyzing the charts."
       
    • Polygraph Countermeasures: Where We Were, Where We Are (15.4 mb PDF | 29 mb PPT). Presentation by Paul Menges, Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, in 2005 before an intergovernmental conference in Rome on the use of polygraphs in counterterrorism. Discusses AntiPolygraph.org among other sites and questions our motives. Provides charts from examinees who confessed to using countermeasures, but provides no clear instruction on how to detect countermeasures. Menges, who specialized in countermeasures at DoDPI, had earlier argued that providing countermeasures information to the public, as AntiPolygraph.org does, is unethical and suggested that it should be outlawed.
       
    • Countermeasures (7.1 mb PDF | 2.9 MB PPT) A 2005 presentation by James Wygant. Discusses AntiPolygraph.org beginning at slide 48 (misidentifying it as "AntiPolygraph.Com") with excerpts from The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. Suggested remedies include "claim we no longer use the procedure described on the internet & we now use a procedure in which all of the questions must be answered truthfully." Does not provide any coherent methodology for detecting the countermeasures explained in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.
       
  • Countermeasure Case Files. Various federal agencies send polygraph case information to the National Center for Credibility Assessment when an examinee admits to using countermeasures. Examples of such files are provided here.
     

    Polygraph Hearings and Correspondence

    • U.S. Department of Energy. In September 1999, the Department of Energy held a series of public hearings on its then-proposed polygraph rule. DOE scientists and engineers roundly -- and eloquently -- condemned the plan, but the decision to implement polygraph screening had already been made and their criticism fell on deaf bureaucratic ears. These transcripts, prepared by DOE, make for very interesting reading on polygraph policy and help explain why DOE scientists so strongly oppose polygraph screening:
       
    • U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. Senate Hearing 105-431. A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory: Beyond the Inspector General Report. 29 September 1997.

      Supervisory Special Agent Drew C. Richardson, the FBI's most qualified polygraph expert, blows the whistle on polygraph screening. The Bureau has since then exercised prior restraint to keep him from publicly speaking the truth about polygraphs.
       

      • Opening Statement of SSA Drew C. Richardson. Dr. Richardson testifies that "[polygraph screening] is completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity" and that "anyone can be taught to beat this type of polygraph exam in a few minutes."
         
      • Letter dated 21 Oct. 1997 from Sen. Charles E. Grassley to FBI Laboratory Division director Dr. Donald M. Kerr requesting a response on grounds of science to Dr. Richardson's charges. Sen. Grassely adds, "If Dr. Richardson is correct, polygraph screening should be banned from the FBI." (Download this letter as a 128kb scanned PDF file.)
         
      • Letter dated 28 Oct. 1997 from Dr. Kerr to Sen. Grassley, failing to comply with the latter's request for a response to Dr. Richardson's charges on grounds of science. (Download this letter as a 132kb scanned PDF file.)
         
      • Statement by Sen. Grassley dated 21 October 1997 responding to the appointment of Dr. Kerr as FBI Assistant Director for the Laboratory Division. Sen. Grassley warns that "the American people cannot trust what the FBI tells them."
         
      • Memorandum from Dr. Richardson to Dr. Kerr dated 13 September 1999. Dr. Richardson again brings his serious concerns about polygraph screening to the attention of the FBI Laboratory director.
         
      • Follow-up Memorandum from Dr. Richardson to Dr. Kerr dated 25 October 1999, providing a damning analysis of polygraph screening from both a scientific viewpoint and as a practical matter.
         
    • U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Issues Surrounding the Use of Polygraphs. Senate Hearing 107-294, 25 April 2001.
       
      • Full Hearing Report Includes submitted written remarks, hearing transcripts, statements submitted for the record, and follow-up correspondence. (1.1 mb PDF)
         
      • Senator Orrin G. Hatch. Senator Hatch chaired this hearing.
         
      • Senator Patrick J. Leahy Senator Leahy is the ranking Democratic member of the committee.
         
      • Michael H. Capps, Deputy Director for Developmental Programs, Defense Security Service, Alexandria, Virginia
         
      • William G. Iacono, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
         
        • Follow-up letter in response to questions from Senators Leahy and Grassley. (Download as a 24kb word-searchable PDF file.)
           
      • Jeffrey H. Smith, Esq., Partner, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.
         
      • Mark S. Zaid, Esq., Lobel, Novins, & LaMont, Washington, D.C. (Download this file in Microsoft Word format.)
         
        • Exhibit 1; "several sworn declarations executed by former FBI applicants who detail their ordeals at the hands of FBI polygraphers" (371 kb scanned PDF)
           
        • Exhibit 2; "several sworn declarations executed by former USSS applicants who detail their ordeals at the hands of USSS polygraphers" (286 kb scanned PDF)
           
        • Follow-up letter in response to questions from Senators Leahy and Grassley. (Download as a 26 kb word-searchable PDF file.)
           
      • Richard W. Keifer, past president, American Polygraph Association
         
      • George W. Maschke, AntiPolygraph.org. Written statement submitted for the record. (Download this file in PDF format.)
         
    • U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing on the Department of Energy Polygraph Program, 4 September 2003.
       
      • Kyle E. McSlarrow, Deputy Secretary of Energy.
         
      • Stephen E. Fienberg, Chair of the National Research Council's Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph. Amended written statement submitted after the hearing in light of Kyle E. McSlarrow's surprise announcement of changes to the DOE's polygraph policy. (Download amended statement as a 110 kb PDF file.)
         
      • Stephen E. Fienberg, Chair of the National Research Council's Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph. Original written statement.
         
    • Kansas Polygraph Protection Act of 2000. (This polygraph reform bill died in committee.)
       

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