So, we’re a week into the New Year. Have you done anything you want to keep secret?
Hey, no judgement here! Believe me, there are plenty of things that I would just as soon forget as ever talk about again! Nothing, of course, illegal, or anything that would keep me from getting a security clearance, as far as I know, but things I’d rather not discuss in a public forum. Thankfully, I’ve never had to apply for anything that required a test of my veracity at the governmental level, much less a polygraph test, but there’s always that possibility. And, I have to admit, I do know a couple of guys who cheated on their wives so often that they now go through “voluntary” polygraph checks, just to set their wives minds at ease.
Here’s the thing, though; polygraphs, aka “lie detectors”, aren’t scientifically proven to work! What’s more, there are plenty of people who will sell you a book or a course on how to beat the machine.
So far, this is perfectly legal, though that’s being tested in Oklahoma where anti-polygraph activist and former Oklahoma City Police officer Doug Williams is facing charges from a grand jury on “multiple counts of mail fraud and witness tampering, for allegedly showing people how to lie and hide crimes in order to get security-clearance-level jobs with the federal government”. He claims that he’s just coaching honest people how not to be overly nervous and set off the polygraph and the polygraph interviewer’s warning triggers. But, really, since there’s almost nothing truly scientific about the polygraph and the results of a polygraph test aren’t admissible in most courts, how can there by anything wrong with it? Besides, the way to beat the polygraph is to stay relaxed no matter what question is asked and to build a rapport with the interviewer. That’s pretty much it.
Oh, and, of course, there’s always the tried-and-true method of being a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide. Not having any secrets and living in a way that precludes the necessity of a polygraph test altogether is probably the best way to “beat” that test!
Hopefully, your new year has started off without any regrets or legal entanglements.
See you next week!