The Lie Behind the Lie Detector
by George W. Maschke and Gino J. Scalabrini

Carl Bussjaeger

The Lie Behind the Lie Detector is not a new book, but it is an important one these days, as the American police state jells. If you're foolish enough to want a significant job in government, there's a fair chance you'll be required to take a polygraph examination. Heck, these days, a lot of the classified ads for private sector jobs mention this as a requirement. Private companies are relying on polygraphy to investigate workplace thefts.

And Jefferson save you if you get caught up in a feddie "terrorist" sweep.

Get this book, and get ready.

TLBTLD is compromised of four general sections. The first, On the Validity of Polygraphy, describes the weird science and abuse of statistics used to justify this form of snooping. Stripped to basics, polygraphy is the art of an examiner making a purely subjective correlation between what he suspects to be lies with a set of physical measurements.

Section two, On Polygraph Policy discusses assorted laws and regulations concerning polygraphy. It gives some interesting case history and examples. One such example involved a news team testing four separate polygraph examiners by hiring each to test four employees "suspected" of a theft. Each examiner was told that one employee in particular was the prime suspect (and each examiner was given a different suspect. Not too surprisingly, each examiner successfully determined through his testing that his assigned "prime suspect" did in fact commit the crime.

The crime that never happened. If you happen to believe in polygraphy, this section should set you straight.

And if not, the Polygraphy Exposed section will. Referring to training materials and document from the fed's own Polygraphy Institute, the authors detail the more common types of "tests" and the tactics used to intimidate subjects. These tactics include deliberate detailed lies and trickery to convince the subject of the accuracy of the test. You need to know these things to understand how best to protect yourself from a dishonest polygraph examiner.

But the final section, Polygraph Countermeasures, is the meat of the book in which you'll be most interested. This how to beat a lie detector test, and the authors break it down into three categories:

  1. Just Say No - Refuse to take a lie detector test at all.
  2. Complete Honesty - Tell the examiner that you already understand the techniques and limitations of polygraphy.
  3. Polygraph Countermeasures: How to Pass a Polygraph "Test" - The last resort; how to beat an unavoidable test.

I haven't had occasion to try out the countermeasures while wired up to a lie detector, but my informed layman's knowledge of physiology and psychology suggests that they are valid and workable. And many of the recommendations are useful in any stressful interview - or interrogation- not just those involving bio-monitoring. The authors also explain things you should not attempt.

The remainder of the book is appendices: forms, addresses, bibliography, and such useful info.

And there's no good excuse not to get this book. It's free, and you can download it any time at the website. It's a PDF file (Adobe Acrobat required), and less than 800KB in size.

But get it now: At least one feddie polygraphic weasel is demanding that that this book be banned.

The Lie Behind the Lie Detector
2nd Edition
by George W. Maschke and Gino J. Scalabrini
Published by
PDF (Adobe Acrobat required)


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