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Tue, Dec 09

How to beat a polygraph

Judging by Doug Williams’ business website, it doesn’t look like he thought he had anything to hide. On, Williams, a former officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department turned anti-polygraph activist, promises to teach you how to prepare for (read: beat) a polygraph test — through his how-to manual, DVD, and personal training sessions. He frames his pitch as selling to a very nervous truth-teller, rather than to a liar, writing on his site: “Remember, just telling the truth only works about 50 percent of the time — so to protect yourself from being falsely accused of lying, you must learn how to pass!”

Nevertheless, a grand jury in Oklahoma decided that there is enough evidence that Williams is doing more harm than helping innocent people calm their nerves. In November, Williams was charged with 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. Williams calls the charges against him an “attack on his First Amendment rights,” and says that he’s only being targeted because he is a vocal critic of a method that is “no more accurate than the toss of a coin in determining whether a person is telling the truth or lying.”

Read more from The Week.