CBP Polygraph Statement of "Al"

24 March 2015


My name is "Al." I recently took the polygraph examination for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). I had probably the worst experience ever. I failed based on the assumption of the examiner that I was hiding some serious crime I had committed. I went on and on with this examiner, insistently telling him I had never done anything. I'll call this polygraph examiner, "Mr. D."

Mr. D greeted me on my arrival, and he seemed friendly at first. We came into the room, and he began asking personal question of me (hobbies, school, work and family). He was getting to know me. He asked me how honest I thought I was. I told him I worked for a government agency already and am looking to move up to better things. He said "That's great, I can help you get there." We started the test with a number count 1 2 3 _ 5 6. He asked to write the number 4 in, and said that when the practice test began, he wanted me to lie to the question (about writing the number 4), so I did so. He asked that I not breathe so hard during my responses. Then I was asked to leave the room so we could start the real test.

Mr. D called me back in, and he went over the questions with me before strapping me in. Everything seemed OK with me. He strapped me in and we began. He asked the questions in different ways. Mr. D then said, "You need to focus more." So I began looking at the door in front of me. He also told me again, "Don't breathe so hard." So I'm trying my best to get more focused and control my breathing so I wouldn't mess up the test. Then he asked me to repeat the last word in the question and then my response. I did so. I noticed his mood change at end of the session. He asked me to get out of the chair, and he quickly removed all the wires and asked me to wait outside.

I waited about 15 minutes outside, and then Mr. D came back to get me. This time he seemed angry. He asked to sit down, and he said to me "OK, we need to talk. I don't think you're being honest with me, and right now as we sit here, you failed." So I responded with "Yes, I have been honest." He went on saying how "it's a shame" and that [I'm] wasting this opportunity because [I] want to hide something." I was puzzled, so I asked if I could know what part is in question. Mr. D said, "Your chart spiked when I asked if you have ever committed a serious crime." I was even more puzzled, I tried telling Mr. D that I had never done anything serious. Perhaps speeding or being around marijuana, but I never used it. He did not believe me.

He told me he wanted something more serious. Mr. D insisted I was hiding something from him. He also kept saying he's here to help. I told Mr. D that I could not recall anything and that it seems he wanted me to make a story up. He became angry and basically insulted what I do now for a living. He said, "Well then I guess you'll be stuck at that dead-end job for another 5 years since you don't want to be truthful." That was very hurtful, and I kept telling him I had done nothing, and how could I have a government job now if I committed a serious crime?

He told me "None of that matters now. What matters now is that you're lying to me." We went back and forth for another 15 minutes. He then began to observe my facial gestures as he basically talked down to me. I had no reaction. My face was a wall. He then tried discretely to start recording me and talking down to me again, this time using my mother against me. Mr.D said "I cannot believe you're going to let your mother down. What a shame. After she's worked so hard to raise you, and here you are lying to me."

Then he asked why I was looking at the door, after he told me I needed to focus more. He didn't believe that. He said that makes no sense. He kept saying "No one comes in here and fails without a good reason." I kept my response the same: "I have done nothing. I don't know what else to tell you."

At this point, I had enough of this man talking down to me. I went on nodding my head to his rants about how I'm wasting this opportunity. The last thing I said to him was, "I don't know what you want to hear from me, but I've never done anything. I never killed someone, if that's what want to hear." He then became annoyed and said, "Well then, I guess I'm sending these results in as failed." I simply responded with "I guess so." He then said he would bet if I took the test again that I would fail it. Mr. D then asked if I agreed, and I said "absolutely not." Mr. D said, "I'm going to send these results to quality control and see what they say." He walked me out, and I politely said, "Thank you." That was end of it.

I just felt so bad afterwards being called a lair and being insulted like that. I don't know how I could just let this pass. I found your website and I want to share this.

Thank you.