Prostitution and the poly

This is a weird topic I have not seen covered.

I have a friend going through the FBI interview process. They are a good person, pretty clean record. However when they were in college they visited the red light district in Amsterdam gave in to peer pressure and had sex with a sex worker.

The incident was about 6 years ago, my friend is young but I happen to think is a person of moral character. They want to confess during the poly but they are afraid this will ruin their future prospects.

Does anyone with more experience have any idea if this indiscretion would be disqualifying? Giving the willingness to be upfront.

Thank you

One concern would be if he was employed by the government in any capacity at the time, even as a contractor. I believe there are prohibitions against this (for USG personnel) due to human trafficking concerns.

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19 year old still in college.

As long as the person wasnt underage, what you described shouldnt be an issue.

Though legal in Amsterdam…it can call into question their character. Trafficking is a huge concern and basically the government in Amsterdam is the trafficker there. But it works for their society.Many companies have policies against legal prostitution in foreign countries as well. I know mine does. Add in the Secret Service indiscretions a few years ago…generally speaking it is quite frowned upon.

The FBI, like other federal law enforcement agencies (with the exception of CBP, which uses a different technique, and the US Marshals Service, which does not polygraph applicants), uses a polygraph screening format called the Law Enforcement Pre-Employment Test (LEPET).

One of the relevant questions is, “Have you ever committed any serious crime?” Your friend’s conduct in Amsterdam was not a serious crime, or a crime at all, under applicable law. He would be wise to keep his mouth shut about it.

The scope of that relevant question is discussed in detail at p. 15 of the above-linked PDF.

Knowing it was legal there…and feeling guilty about it? Two entirely different things. As you posted endlessly it isn’t about detecting lies so much as stress responses. If he registers a change of stress…pauses…breathing rate changes, heartrate increases…the polygrapher can see it and believe it is an indication of deception. In peeling back the onion asking about it if he says I paid a prostitute in a foreign country…I can tell you my company would fire a person. It is not in keeping with the standards of the US government either. Your advice to say nothing likely causes harm to the applicant. Could it be your sour grapes abotu failing a poly makes you want others to fail and eventually prove it is a boondoggle? It doesn’t matter if you feel it is meaningless. Certain government functions require it and they believe it works.

If I understand you correctly, you believe that failure to confess to a polygraph operator behavior over which one feels guilty increases one’s chances of failing a polygraph “test.” Is that correct? If so, why do you believe that to be true?

Your suggestion that I “want others to fail” the polygraph is dead wrong. The opposite is true.

Those who bother to read the LEPET operator’s guide linked above will note that it specifically states, “Sexual activity between consenting adults (legally defined as a crime or not) shall not be targeted or reported unless it resulted in an arrest or police involvement.”

No. I’m saying this person clearly feels some measure of stress and guilt for this sexual moment. I guarantee they will “feel” this during the poly. Depending on the skill of the polygrapher they will measure that and see that and ask questions about that…telling a person to not speak to this is bound to cause stress and that is measurable. How he then answers those questions goes back to peeling the layers of the onion. Even military members are warned against legal prostitution overseas. Therefor though you wish to call it legal…it isn’talways legal for US Citizens to engage. Same as smoking pot in a legal country…doesn’t make it legal for a US Citizen Telling a perosn to not speak to these types of situations is irresponsible at best and sabotage at worst. .

You have no basis for guaranteeing what any person will feel during the asking of any particular question during a polygraph interrogation.

You have no basis for supposing that confessing things over which one may feel regret or embarrassment will prevent one from showing physiological reactions to potentially related questions.

What is true, and beyond dispute, is that the original poster’s friend’s conduct as described is not responsive to the FBI’s pre-employment polygraph question, “Have you ever committed any serious crime?”

If the original poster’s friend volunteers that information, it may very well end up in the polygraph operator’s report, even though according to the guide, it shouldn’t. And then it would be a permanent record that may be shared with other federal agencies. The friend can only be hurt by making such an irrelevant admission.

The key to passing the polygraph is to make no disqualifying admissions and to show stronger reactions to the “control” questions than to the relevant questions. Although I think applicants for positions of public trust have an ethical obligation to answer relevant questions truthfully, making derogatory admissions can only hurt, and never help, the examinee.

I learned the hard way to never, EVER concede information on the CI poly.

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I think after 6 years it is mitigated by time…more than likely anyway.

Advising people to knowingly “show” stronger responses to control questions is advising a person to be deceptive and unacceptable in this forum.
My position stands. You are reckless in your advice. The fact you applied for a poly position and were denied due to what they considered either inconclusive or deception should be in every one of your posts.

I have not advised anyone to show stronger responses to control questions. However, those who show stronger responses to relevant questions will fail. This is a fact that you can verify for yourself by consulting pp. 6-7 of the LEPET guide as well as the National Center for Credibility Assessment’s Numerical Evaluation Scoring System Pamphlet, which provides more detailed documentation of test data analysis procedures.

With respect to my personal experience, I was deemed deceptive on every relevant question in the FBI pre-employment polygraph, even though I answered every relevant question truthfullly. I don’t see the need to mention this in every post, but those who care to know more about that can read about it here.

My advice on polygraph matters is not reckless. It is based on the federal government’s own documentation, more than two decades of research, and feedback from many individuals who have been through the process.

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On my first poly, they did it 3 times. I was accused of an admission but I “passed”. I was furious. When I took it again in 2015, I went in VERY angry and passed in about an hour. Go figure.

Anti you rant and you rave about your negative experience. I agree it is onerous. But frankly, you give awful advice that likely leads to a failure for others. Period.

Having sat through many I know the right questions will lead a person to speak to past experiences concerning them. Once that onion starts getting peeled back…things such as prostitution overseas for a US citizen can get dicey. No matter it was legal there…it isn’t legal for a US citizen. Same with smoking dope in Colorado. It is legal there…not for clearance holders. If a person states they never illegally smoked dope…it begs the question “have you ever legally smoked dope?” But then maybe that is my investigator mind. I’m not a polygrapher but I can certainly walk a person down that path and get responses.

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As I see them…I choose to not believe a word anyone in Poly says. If they say my numbers look great and I am out fast…super. But I hold no hopes that means I am done with poly. If they tell me I am hiding something I remain expressionless and look at the wall ready to go again. It is a frustrating experience, one I despise actually. But as long as the government believes it works and has faith in it…I will continue to suffer every 5 years. I cruise about every 18 months so I know I will always be the guy getting selected to Poly. Some actually get renewed with no poly. God bless them.

No, I do not rant and rave about my negative experience. I only mentioned it since you brought it up.

You may very well think that I “give awful advice that likely leads to a failure for others,” but you haven’t provided any evidence to support that allegation.

You are also wrong on the law. There is no United States law that prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging the services of a prostitute abroad where such services are legal.

I stand by position. It can come up and place the candidate in a tough to dig out of position in this metoo era where ALL prostitution is viewed through the human trafficking lens. Your mileage obviously varies. We all get you do not like or believe in the poly process. That you cannot conceive how during that process certain things would make a person have self doubt…stress…measurable stress…so much so they reach out on this forum…and you believe it will be zero problem because in your eyes it isn’t illegal. Good luck with that. In your own case I believe you maintain you are not guilty of anything…yet you were denied a cleared position. How did that happen? I’m thinking you insisted you did nothing wrong…but some measurable stress was questioned. Enough you were denied a clearance. It is exactly those situations I am speaking too. So when you claim I have no basis for my advice? You sir are my basis for that advice.