Relevant Questions

Doug Williams – Polygraph Expert

A special sneak preview of next season!

Doug Williams has been waging a one man war for decades against the polygraph machine (aka the lie detector).


Doug’s website is

(in order of appearance)

Ulfur – Molasses – White Mountain

Eric Spencer – Tijuana Serenade – Surf Guitar A Go Go

Laurel Halo – Situation – In Situ

Sarah Davachi – Aurum – The Untuning of the Sky

Pierre Henry – Sacrifice – Machine Danse

Galt MacDermot – Duffer in F Version 2 – Kilmarnock, 2000 – Up From The Basement (Unreleased Tracks Vol 1)

Syrinx – Better Deaf and Dumb From The First – Tumblers From the Vault

Ulfur – Molasses – White Mountain

Various Artists – Elsol – Justement Music

Pausal – Song From A Cloth Pocket – Pausal EP

Colin Stetson – All The Days I’ve Missed You (ILAIJ I) – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

Jan Jelinek – Lemminge Und Lurche Inc – Kosmischer Pitch

Jean-Michel Vallet, Patrick Jean Chartol, Claire Guillot – A Mysterious Witness – Investigation Unit (no link)

Stars of the Lid – Articulate Silences – And Their Refinement of the Decline

Various Artists – Plantation Blues – Unknown (no link)

u-Ziq – Jewel Tea – Somerset Avenue Tracks

Kid Juggernaut – Giants (Instrumental) – Xenology

Loscil – Drained Lake – Monument Builders

Relevant Questions
Doug Williams – Polygraph Expert

I’m gonna take your mind to a state of enhanced mental imagery. You will clearly remember everything I tell you, and you will do everything that I tell you to do.

I want you to imagine being on a beautiful, deserted beach. I want you to picture yourself lying on a beach chair, staring out at the ocean. You’re watching the waves gently rolling into the shore… Wave after wave, gently rolling into the shore. With each wave, you’re becoming more and more relaxed, calm and at peace.

You can feel yourself relaxing now. You’re watching wave after wave, gently rolling into the shore, and you are now totally relaxed, calm and at peace. I’m now going to count from one to five, and when I get to the count of five, you will remember to do what you have been trained to do, and you’ll be awake, alert and absolutely confident that you will pass your polygraph test.

One… Two… Three… Four… Five.

* * *

I actually couldn’t believe they actually paid me to do it. I loved it so much, especially the first year. They sent me to New York City for polygraph school, to the National Training Center Of Lie Detection in New York City, and in 1972 I became a certified polygraph expert.

After that I just was running polygraph examinations for criminal suspects, police applicants and all internal affairs investigations. When you’re working in internal affairs, you have narrowed your circle of friends down to a big, fat zero, because the police officers are all frightened of you too because they’ve seen you come into their little break room prior to their shift change, and walked in there quite a few times. They’d be in there shooting pool, having fun, talking to one another, and I’d walk in and they’d get dead silent; everybody look at me…

I’d run two or three tests a day, or some days I didn’t have any at all to run, but… That’s all I did, I ran polygraph tests.

I became very cognizant of the fact that fear has a very distinct smell. I’ve heard it described as a mixture of shit and spinach, and that’s a pretty close description. It truly does have a very distinct odor. The smell lingered in my office, I smelled it every day. It was there when I closed up the office at night, it was there when I opened up the office in the morning… Almost like a fog, or something.

I got really good at doing what I did. I could literally scare the hell out of people with that thing. For instance, one of the props they told you to use was a little plastic heart, like the doctors have in their office, that comes apart and shows the left ventricle and the right ventricle, and the cutaways and what have you… And it gets you that and leaves that sitting on your desk.

When you get into your interrogation, you tell everybody that comes in “Okay, now when you lie, you’ll not be able to control yourself.” You’ll reach over there and you’ll get that little heart, and you take it apart and you put one part in your left hand and one part in your right hand, and you start getting them and you say “Okay, now you know, when you lie, your heart’s gonna start beating faster and faster and faster and faster…” and you slam those pieces of heart back and forth, back and forth, faster and faster and faster, and you will not be able to control it. You will not be able to lie to me without your heart going “Bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam!”

It was so dramatic, but I tried it a few times and it actually worked pretty good, it got people’s attention. I don’t know if it was because of the demonstration or because they just thought “Man, I’m talking to a crazy man here.”

It’s a damn good interrogation technique. Since we can’t beat the hell out of people, not physically, let’s just beat the hell out of them psychologically and coerce them into a confession. That’s what the polygraph is – it’s a psychological bully club that will coerce a person into a confession. It’s not a lie detector, and we’re stupid if we use it as such, but there are occasions when it’s real good to put a pressure to bear on a criminal to get a confession.

* * *

So you have some gear here…

Yeah, so basically what we have here is a very antiquated, very crude instrument. It was invented in 1922, and it hasn’t changed significantly since it was invented in 1922. The polygraph test itself, “poly” meaning “many”, and “graphos” meaning “tracings” – that’s what polygraph stands for… So the many tracings that the polygraph records are your blood pressure, your pulse rate, sweat activity on your hand and your breathing.

The next thing we’re pulling out here is… GSR electrodes – they record what’s known as the galvanic skin response, which is basically just an increase or decrease in the sweat activity in your hand. This here is just the cardio cuffs; it’s what the doctor uses to test your blood pressure in the doctor’s office.

What we have here is a machine that can watch you breathe, watch two fingers on your right hand’s sweat, and watch your heartbeat.

The more heinous the crime under investigation, the more likely an innocent person is going to fail. Jacob, if you’re accused of molesting the 11-year-old neighbor girl Sally, you’re already in a state of shock because just the accusation alone is enough to ruin you. You’re sitting there thinking “Oh Lord, what will happen to me? What about my job, my neighbors, my friends, my family? This is just unbelievable!” You’re stressed to the max already. You’re already starting to sweat just thinking about it.

[I’m already sweating…]

Just thinking about this situation has already got you stressed out, and it’s just an imagined situation. Imagine if it were real.

When did your doubts in the polygraph first begin to manifest?

I’ve been at it for a while, and of course, I knew I could control my breathing, but I never could figure out for sure how to control the cardio, the blood pressure and the GSR until a friend of mine came in and started talking about the pucker factor and tightening up the anal sphincter muscle when he was under stress…

After he left, I just hooked myself up to the polygraph, pumped up the air in the cuff, and tightened up my anal sphincter muscle like I was trying to stop a bowel movement, and lo and behold, there was the most gigantic, wonderful, naturally-occurring cardio rise, accompanied by a GSR rise… So just by simply tightening up your anal sphincter muscle you can cause a reaction at will; then all you have to do is figure out the appropriate time to do it. It takes an a**hole with a little training to beat an a**hole with a little training.

Shortly thereafter I quit. I wrote a letter of resignation. I was a cryptographer in the military, seeding cryptography, so I started each sentence with a different letter, just as my own little private joke. If you looked at the first letter of each sentence in my resignation letter, it spells out BULLSHIT.

I commenced my crusade… I bought a polygraph instrument, I got an old 1967 Chevy Panel truck, I rigged it up so I could live in it, made me a little fold-down bed, a porta potty, put me in some water supply, put me in a little Coleman camp stove and a little homemade desk, that I could fold my bed out and put my little homemade desk up there and put my typewriter on there.

So I would just live in my little ’67 Chevy Panel truck and work construction jobs enough to keep body and soul together.
I just moved from city to city. I started in Houston, and then Dallas, and Fort Worth, and Indianapolis, Chicago and various other places. Every city had their own talk show host, and back then out in front of every convenience store there used to be a whole bank of pay phones.

I’ve conducted hundreds of radio talk shows standing in a phone booth outside 7-Eleven swatting off mosquitoes and what have you.

Every time I went on a radio talk show I was a great success… I’d light up the phones like crazy. Everybody had a horror story about polygraph tests. How about one that goes up like this…

This is the young lady working as a private contractor. She goes in, takes a polygraph test. The polygraph operator tells her that she’s withholding information about marital infidelity. She says “I am not. I am merely married, I have not been unfaithful at all.” He says “Well, that’s what the polygraph says here. You had a reaction on this question, and as a result you’re not gonna be able to pass the polygraph examination, so you have now lost your job.”

Now, the tragic part is not only did she lose that job but she was black balled, they’d put you on a blacklist, and you are no longer allowed to ever work for the federal government again in a position requiring trust. Now, that is bullshit!

Then I would put on seminars. The seminar would be very simple. I’ve done them in union halls, churches, people’s living rooms… I’ve had as low as five people and as high as close to 5,000. I’d have a polygraph up there and I’d say “Okay, here’s the deal… I’m gonna teach you in five minutes or less how to control every tracing on this polygraph chart.” Then I’d look around in the audience and I’d find the one who had the most skeptical look on their face and I’d point to them and I’d say “You don’t believe a damn word I’m saying, do you?” They’d kind of shrug or something, and I’d say “Come up here. Okay, here’s how the polygraph works…”

* * *

Okay, I’m gonna get you hooked up to this machine now… Just lean forward and raise both arms, and I’m gonna get finished hooking up here. So what we’re going to do today is I’m gonna set you down here on this little chair, and I’m gonna hook you up to this so-called lie detector, and in just a matter of a few minutes I will teach you how to control every tracing on the polygraph chart by simply using what I call “mental imagery.” We’ll explain more about that here in a minute; let me get around here and hook up this…

In order for you to pass this test, you’ve got to — telling the truth has nothing to do with it; you’ve got to produce for the polygraph examiner what he expects to see from a truthful person on this chart.

The premise behind the polygraph is that if you are lying, you will have a reaction on the relevant question and no reaction on the control questions. Now, what are the relevant questions? Well, the relevant questions are obviously those that pertain to the point of issue. For instance, if the test is about whether you leaked the information to the Washington Post, then the questions would be pertaining to that leak. “Did you tell the Washington Post reported about the president’s speech? Do you know anyone who had access to the president’s speech that might have given it to the Washington Post?”, on and on.

They will then intersperse questions called “control questions.” The control questions are innocuous questions that have nothing to do with the point of the issue; they are completely irrelevant.

“Have you ever lied to anyone in authority to keep from getting in trouble? Have you ever stolen anything?” All those types of irrelevant control questions…

Then what I want you to do is just basically relax on the relevant questions, and then show me a nice little reaction – think of something frightening on the control questions.

Here we go – I want you just to close your eyes and relax. I want you to picture yourself lying on a beach chair, staring out at the ocean. You’re watching the waves gently rolling into the shore. Wave after wave, gently rolling into the shore.
Now, I instruct you to do this – when you hear the relevant questions and label the relevant questions and answer the relevant questions, you will only picture yourself lying on this beautiful beach and you will only see the waves gently rolling into the shore.

Relevant questions – wave after wave… Relevant questions – gently rolling into the shore… Relevant questions – totally relaxed, calm and at peace.

Open your eyes. You know that relaxed feeling you’ve got right now?


The way to trigger that is to simply label the questions as relevant questions in your mind before you answer them, and then you’ve got to be able to manipulate a reaction on the control questions. In order to manipulate a reaction on a controlled question, I want you to live through your most frightening experience or your worst fear on the controlled questions, okay?

What kind of frightening scenario are you gonna run through your mind?

Going spelunking and losing my flashlight.

That would do it. I would absolutely — there would be claw marks, my fingernails would be gone and I’d be stark raving mad in about five minutes. Okay, so that’s what you’re gonna do now.

What we’re going to do instead of asking you questions is I’m just gonna say “relevant” and you will think “relevant” in your mind and answer “yes.” Then I’m gonna say “control”, and you’ll think “control” in your mind and answer “no” on the control questions, okay?

Okay, now we’re gonna put some air in the cuff here, and then we’re gonna get this show on the road.


* * *

Above all else, the devil hates to be mocked, and I’m mocking them. I’m showing them for the frauds and the con men that they are, and they despise me for it.

The things that motivated me to stop using this and start fighting were in part my guilt for having done it, and I’m trying to make restitution for all that I’ve done… But also, the knowledge that people were being absolutely destroyed by this in so many ways.

I used to hear them brag in their polygraph meetings that “Well, I hit the local drug store for 50 tests to fail two openings.” What that means is they’ve called 48 other people liars when they may or may not have been lying, just so that they can continue to run polygraph tests at $250 a whack.

Polygraph operators were just ripping people off and destroying people’s lives just so that they could unjustly enrich themselves.

In 1985 I was finally invited to go testify in Congress.

[…the consideration of the bill H.R. 1212, which said clerk will report by title.
The bill to prevent the denial of employment opportunities by prohibiting the use of lie detectors by employers involved in the…]

There was a big gallery; a lot of news people back there and a lot of spectators, and during the first two or three testimonies there was a hubbub in the back, kind of like a murmuring of people talking to one another like they weren’t paying attention, because they were all spouting the same old company lines, and everything…

[…this is a rights vote, and what separates us from the Soviet Union is the debate that’s going on in this house today]

So then I start, and I still remember how I started it. I said:
“My name is Douglas Gene Williams, and I plead guilty to crimes against humanity. I was a right wing terrorist. I tortured thousands of people, documented more confessions than most Gestapo agents, violated countless constitutional rights, and had absolutely no regard for human dignity.
I was a well-trained terrorist, and my weapon of choice was the polygraph…”
I noticed as I was going through that, the murmuring stopped, became dead silent, and then I started with the rest of my testimony. And I sat there and waxed eloquent for quite some time.

I remember when I finished testifying there was a horrific uproar from the crowd, flash bulbs going off, people saying “When are we gonna interview you?” It was amazing… And then here comes the chairman Martinez, wading through the crowd. He said “We’ve never had a polygraph operator come up and testify to the truth of the problems with the polygraph.” He said “I really think this is the missing element that will enable us to get this bill passed into law.”

It was just unbelievable. That testimony there led to me going on CBS Nightwatch, and just a few days after that going on CBS 60 Minutes, and radio talks shows… It was an unbelievable response.

[Just how easy is it to lie and get away with it, and is it possible to beat a lie detector test?
It’s a sad, sick joke, this antiquated last vestige of witchcraft.
Doug Williams, a former police sergeant and polygrapher has performed more than 6,000 tests. He knows as much about lie detector tests as anyone, and he says they don’t work.”
Well, Jack, it would be unethical to tell you exactly how to beat it, but the bottom line is that you can control it with breathing and the tightening of certain muscles.]

And after that… It sounds like we’re about to run out, but I felt like there was finally a very real chance of destroying this terribly abusive legal industry, and I was successful in doing that to a large part. In 1988 the Employee Polygraph Protection Act was passed, and it put hundreds and hundreds of polygraph examiners out of business.

Where were you when you heard that that was going to become law?

I was lying on the couch and I was watching the news…

[Lie detectors – they’ve been around for a long time now, 75 years, but a majority of states don’t allow polygraph…]

The Senate passed into law the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, which prohibits the use of the polygraph in the private sector. It is now a federal crime if an employer requires an employee to submit to a polygraph examination.

It was almost like I was picked up off of that couch and just raised above the heads of these millions of people who no longer had to be subjected to this trauma… And I was just being held up there, and it was a physical sensation as well as an emotional and mental sensation. I could feel myself literally physically being lifted up off of that couch, and it was just almost as though I could hear the cheers and the laughter and the joy coming from all these people. It was an amazing experience.

If you look back in history, anybody that’s ever done anything – and I’m not putting myself in their shoes or elevating myself to their status at all, but like Solzhenitsyn or Mandela or some of the other ones who have spent their life protesting, and dissidents… I’m reminded of that picture of the Chinese man in Tiananmen Square a number of years ago – there he stood, hand up, “Stop!” Hand up in front of a whole line of tanks. He knew that it wasn’t gonna end well for him. He knew that was not a rational act, but something inside of him compelled him to stand up in front of that tank and raise his hand in protest, and I can totally relate to that.

I was charging windmills Don Quixote was mentally healthy compared to me. My dad, who was a Methodist minister taught me, if I saw an oppressive situation and it was within my power to stop that oppression, that it was my duty to do so.
I looked at myself as a guerilla soldier waging a one-man war against what I saw – and still see – as an oppressive, abusive industry. And I’ve vowed to myself that I would do whatever it took, for as long as it took, to destroy that oppressive industry.

* * *

In 1996 the Internet was just beginning to get started, and I registered the domain name I am the first one that ever put what they call an e-book on the Internet. I charged $47.45 each, and I sold in excess of $200,000 worth of books every year for about — [This call is from a federal prison].

My name is Doug Williams and I’m the only licensed polygraph examiner to ever tell the truth about the so-called lie detectors. Before you take a polygraph test, you must get properly prepared. Remember, failing to prepare is simply preparing to fail… So go to the store page of this website, get my manual and online video or DVD, look them over a few times, then —

And then, just by popular demand, people kept calling me and writing to me and e-mailing me and saying “Man, I understand what you’re saying in the manual, but I need to know for sure that I can pass this test. This is the only hurdle I have to pass…” I said, “Well, I’ve got my own polygraph…” I’d just set up my own little deal and bring them in and let him practice on it, and make sure they know what they’re doing.

It worked out real good for everybody. I was making a lot of money and they were getting their jobs that they went for. I did that for about 14 years, all the way up to the time I was thrown in prison.

But by this point the Employee Polygraph Protection Act was already in place… Why continue with that fight?

I wanted to fight. It was a service at that point, because people had to take a polygraph test to get every kind of job with the Police Department, intelligence agencies, secret service, on and on and on, and they knew that it was a joke… So yeah, it was a service. And it was still somewhat of a crusade, because I would love to see and I advocated that we expand the Employee Polygraph Protection Act to protect all employees, not just private employees.

Would folks come here to Norman to come to your training, or would you go to them?

Both. Most of them (by far) came here, because I hate to fly, so I would charge them an exorbitant amount of money if I had to go somewhere else, so most of them came here.

How much would you charge per session?

$1,000 if they come to me, $5,000 if I have to go to them.

Did you ever have a client who could never figure it out, who could never learn the techniques?

No. Well, you just saw what’s to learn. What’s to learn here…? “Can you think of losing your flashlight when you spelunkin’? Can you think about laying on the beach? Can you do those two things, Jacob?” “Well, I don’t know, that’s pretty hard there. Let me see… Do you think I’ll be able to do that?” Yeah…

[United States of America versus Douglas G. Williams. A dramatic reading, first undercover operation. On or about 15th October 2012, undercover A. places a telephone call to Williams’ cell phone number listed on Williams’ website, which connected Williams’ to his personal cellular telephone.]

It was a series of calls. Actually, it was a period of days…

[Undercover A. told Williams that he was an inspector at an airport and was under investigation for allowing a friend to pass through customs with contraband. Williams’ promised to assist Undercover A. to get ready and told Undercover A. there’s not gonna be one problem at all. Undercover A. informed Williams that he intended to lie to investigators about his involvement in illegal smuggling.]

…and he just kept calling and kept calling. He was the first one and only one that ever came out and said to me that he intended to lie; nobody else had ever said anything like that.

[Williams chastised Undercover A. saying “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, dumbass? Do you think you have like a lawyer confidentiality with me?” Williams continued, “I haven’t lived this long, fucked with the government this long and done such controversial shit and got away it by being a dumbass.” Williams then threatened not to conduct the training for Undercover A. stating “I don’t know if you’ve got sense enough to keep your damn mouth shut.”]

He was so pathetic in his pleading voice, and he kept calling me back and kept pleading and kept pleading and kept pleading, and…

[After Undercover A. asked if there’s any way Williams would train him, Williams stated “I’m just working on the assumption that you’re telling the truth. That protects me. You don’t have to turn around and say “Yeah, like I told you, I’m lying. I’m a lying son of a bitch.” What the fuck was the reason for that, unless you wanted it on the record that I was knowingly teaching someone how to lie and cheat?”]

About three hours later I called him back and I said, “You know, you are a believer, right?” He said, “Yes”, and I said “Well, I’ll help you out here because I just don’t want to see you have to suffer for one mistake and be accused of things that you didn’t do.”

[On 27th October 2012 Williams met Undercover A. at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia for private in-person training. Williams stated “Now that we’re alone, in private, tell me what this is all about. First things first – you’ve got my money?”
God, Steven! I hope you make me a good documentary because this is such bullshit and I’m so fuckin’ sick of reading it, I can’t even begin to tell you! You can leave that in the tape if you like.]

You know, at that point in time there was not any — he hadn’t told me all this other stuff. They got me in there under false pretenses, saying I already knew about this and there wasn’t anything else. Then when I get in there, he said “Oh, I’ve been doing this for quite a few times, and I’ve been making money doing this”, blah-blah-blah, and just off-the-wall stuff that I was confused, upset, and like I said, I felt obligated to follow through with the training that he had contracted me to do.

[During the training Williams instructed Undercover A. “Do not change your story, do not tell on yourself and do not admit to ever seeing me or talking to me, or anything else.”]

When it was all over, he gave me a big ol’ hug and thanked me for helping him. I even put on my Twitter that I’d helped another person withstand another traumatic polygraph experience. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with anything I did.

[Pause for dramatic effect… Second undercover operation. Man, is this the biggest pile of bullshit I ever saw in my life.
On or about 5th February 2013 Undercover B. placed a telephone call to Williams’ personal cellular telephone. Undercover B. told Williams that he was employed as a county sheriff and he was applying for a job with the border patrol. During the conversation, Undercover B. told Williams that he was worried about answering questions the CVP might ask relating to sex and drugs. Williams told Undercover B. “I will get you ready. Don’t tell me anything that will disqualify you and I can train you how to pass if you’re lying your ass off, so don’t worry about that fuckin’ bullshit.”]

Yeah, he arrived at the appointed time, knocked on the door, and I told him to come in. Then I got through my little exercise and had him close his eyes, read off the little script… I said “Okay, think of something frightening on the controls” and that’s when he said that he got sexual favors from a 14-year-old girl when he was driving her home, and that he had smuggled cocaine into the jail.

[Undercover B. tried to further explain his concerns, but was interrupted by Williams saying “Oh god, please help me… Shut the fuck up! Quit worrying about all this stuff. Listen, I’m fixing to put it all positive, okay?” Williams added, “I don’t give a damn if you’re the biggest heroin dealer in the fuckin’ United States.”]

“Why are you saying this? Why are you talking like this?” and I just lost it. I went crazy in front of him. “You come in here and make these stupid confessions to me? I’m gonna give you absolution, you son of a bitch. I’m gonna lick my finger and I’ll put the sign of the cross on his forehead and I was like [nonsense words] Go In Peace My Son, [nonsense words]” doing my best imitation of a priest speaking in Latin.

He was sitting there wide-eyed and he was getting more panicked by the minute, and then finally I just got right down in front of his face and put my nose right next to his and I said “You might already stop this crap and go catch your airplane!” “Yes, sir!” and he grabs his backpack and runs out the door, and then here comes five federal agents in bulletproof vests…

They had this long, drawn-out search warrant all printed up, and they told me “You know, this can all be over today if you just cooperate.” I said, “Man, I don’t know what you mean by cooperating. I don’t know what I’ve done.” “Will you talk to us about this?” and I said “No, I’m not talking to you at all. You call my attorney.”

At 9:30 tonight, a federal investigation has targeted Doug Williams’ work. Williams says the federal government alone spends 150 million dollars on polygraph screenings for people working with classified information, but points to the recent cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as proof the polygraph is far from a foolproof way to stop intelligence leaks.
Williams and another anti-polygraph crusader are under federal investigation for their role in teaching techniques to pass the so-called lie detector.

“I do not and will not knowingly assist anyone to lie or train anyone to lie, but by far, the majority of people who are called liars are innocent, truthful people that are falsely branded as liars simply because they’re nervous.” (Doug Williams)

Williams says he refuses to teach people who tell him they want to lie, and won’t stop working to end the use of the machine he believes is based on faulty science.]

They went ahead and indicted me, and the rest of the story you know. They were threatening all sorts of stuff, like “Okay, well this guy…” — bear in mind he really wasn’t applying for a job; he was already a customs and border patrol agent, but he was claiming that he was trying for a job, and they were saying “Okay, well you were helping this guy get a job that he wasn’t qualified for, and this job pays $60,000/year, and he’ll be working there for 30 years, so you’re gonna have to forfeit to the government 30 times $60,000.” [laughs]

Boy, they can bring some pressure to bear on you you know, it’s one of those deals where I said “Okay, shoot up here amongst us, one of us gotta get some relief. I had plead guilty, trying to save myself from being indebted to the government for like 17 million dollars. [laughs]

Now, you were a trained interrogator for many years in the Police Department, this was your job, you were a professional… Couldn’t you tell if a client was unscrupulous?

[laughs] Boy, you name me one person on the face of this earth that isn’t unscrupulous to one degree or another? So how am I gonna determine the degree of unscrupulous? Give me a damn break.

You know, you’re a trained interviewer… Can you tell at what point I’m BS-ing you and at what point I’m not? No, you can’t, and nobody can, in spite of what they say.

* * *

Okay, I just wanna go back and, um… When you first started out training people, did you have any ground rules for them?

No, I had no ground rules because I never saw the necessity of having any ground rules, because no one ever came in and told me they were going to lie, and I never told anyone I was gonna teach them how to lie.

And you didn’t ask any questions?

Okay, you’re gonna paint me into whatever corner you wanna paint me; you just go ahead and paint me, but I never told anyone to lie, nor did anyone tell me they were going to lie, and the government knows that very well, because they’ve interviewed 5,000 people that I’ve trained. Not one of them ever told me they were gonna lie, so…

I’m not managing a formal investigation against you…

Well, you certainly are. You’re sitting there saying that it was incumbent upon me to enquire as to whether or not a person’s guilty of a crime when they come in and learn about how to pass a polygraph test. It is not incumbent upon me to do that. That is not my job, nor is it my responsibility. I’m neither ethically or legally required to do that.

But were there lines to yourself to yourself that you were uncomfortable crossing?

I never crossed any lines. What lines did I ever cross? None!

* * *

Hey, Doug. How are you doing?

Well, I’m 71 years old and I’m in a federal prison… How the hell do you think I’m doing? I was sentenced to two years, so I’ve got about another four or five months before I finish my sentence. Do you hear all the racket in here? It’s 250 guys crammed into a two-story building; it’s about the size of a small apartment complex… Living in 12×9 rooms, two men to a room… So it’s always in the background, a constant uproar.

I’m in here with a bunch of non-violent drug offenders, or crooked bankers, tax cheats… This is a work prison. All I had to do was clean the windows in the visiting room at the administration building. It takes me about 15 minutes and I’m done. Then I go out and work out; I work out twice a day…

My goal is to leave here in better shape physically, emotionally, spiritually than I was when I came in here, if for no other reason than to show them they can’t beat me.

I stay pretty busy… I do a lot of reading. Just parenthetically, prisoners are probably the best reviewers of literature that there is, because that’s all they do, they read. They spend hours and hours and hours reading stuff.

Have you given any training?

Well yeah, I’ve trained quite a few people, including some of the officers here, because it turns out they are subject to the polygraph examinations on occasion themselves.

And you just do it without a polygraph?

I can teach them without a polygraph… I’ve done it for years.

And you do it in the cafeteria, or in your room, or…?

Wherever… I beat them everywhere.

Do you feel that if you have indirectly helped someone actually deceive a polygraph operator that that’s like a small price to pay for undermining this machine?

Well, let’s put it this way… I have proved conclusively that the polygraph is absolutely worthless as a lie detector… So if there’s a crime committed here, the crime is the fraud perpetrated by the polygraph operators in convincing our government and our criminal justice system to rely on an instrument that they know – and I have proven – is absolutely worthless.

So that sounds like a yes…

Well, hell yeah. I have warned them. I have told them, “Look, this is how I can teach someone to beat your damn machine. I’ve been doing that for over 30 years!”, so yes, not only have I taught people to lie, I have noised it about that I am able to do that with a great deal of frequency, so stop using that damn thing.

So you kind of feel that they’re getting what they’ve got coming to them, basically…


Do you have anything you wanna add before we call it a day?

No, just to reiterate once again that I am in fact a political prisoner. I am in prison because I have protested the loudest and the longest against the polygraph. Now, if they think throwing me in prison for a couple of years is going to stop me from doing that, they are terribly wrong. If you think I protested the loudest and the longest before, wait till I get out.

Are you planning to change up your approach in any way?

Absolutely not. I happen to be telling the truth, and I happen to be dealing with facts, and my friend, facts are real, stubborn things. They’re lying. I’m telling the truth, I can prove it, and they know it.


Doug Williams

Nick van der Kolk, Host and Director
Ana Adlerstein, Producer
Jacob McCleland, Producer
Steven Jackson, Producer

Published on: June 16, 2017

From: Episodes, Season 6

Producers: , ,

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