by George W. Maschke
22 May 2004
It appears that the polygraph countermeasure information provided on AntiPolygraph.org (see The Lie Behind the Lie Detector) so alarms some in the United States Government that they have taken to posting disinformation on the AntiPolygraph.org message board, which is uncensored. (Because of the unreliablity of lie detector "testing," which has no scientific basis and results in many truthful persons being falsely branded as liars, many truthful persons choose to use countermeasures to protect themselves against the risk of a false positive outcome.)
Although the polygraph community has not demonstrated that it has any reliable technique for the detection of countermeasures (indeed, a public challenge by Dr. Drew C. Richardson has gone over two years without takers), there is an aphorism amongst polygraphers that, "if a reaction seems to good to be true, it probably is." That is, unusually strong reactions to "control" questions may be taken as an indication of attempted countermeasures.
On 21 April 2004, a person using the pseudonym "PolySucks" posted a message on the AntiPolygraph.org message board claiming to have passed a polygraph examination by applying countermeasures until "it made [his/her] butt hurt." Thirty-two minutes later, a person using the pseudonym "Cancerman" posted another message (from the same IP address!) agreeing with PolySucks' post, claiming to have also used countermeasures to pass a polygraph examination, and urging readers who choose to employ countermeasures to "Hold it Long, Hold it Strong!!!"
As it turns out, the IP address from which both posts originated resolves to "yongsan-cache.korea.army.mil." Yongsan Army Garrison in Korea hosts the 19th Military Police Battalion (Criminal Investigative Division), which has a polygraph section, and it seems likely that the posts by "PolySucks" and "Cancerman" are deliberate disinformation posted by a military polygraph examiner.
A similar incident occurred on 10 March 2004, not long after AntiPolygraph.org placed on-line a Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DoDPI) document (909kb PDF) that explains in detail the procedure used by many law enforcement agencies to screen applicants. A poster using the pseudonym "Policeman" claimed to have had a very positive polygraph experience when applying for a job with a police department "in the Eastern US," stating that he had considered using countermeasures but rejected the idea because he did not want to "do anything that would screw up [his] chances." "Policeman" concluded his post with the assertion that he is now "certain that the test works just like the examiner told [him] it would."
But "Policeman's" message was posted from an IP address that resolves to "webcache.jackson.army.mil." Fort Jackson, South Carolina is the home of DoDPI (whose polygraph technique for screening law enforcement applicants AntiPolygraph.org had made public). After this was pointed out, "Policeman" never posted again, and his posting seems likely to be a forgery by a polygrapher at DoDPI intended to promote confidence in polygraph screening (a proceduce that the National Academy of Sciences found to be without validity).
It is truly sad that U.S. Government employees would resort to playing such games in an attempt to mislead the public that they are supposed to serve.