References Privacy

Hey everyone,

So today one of my best friends got interviewed for my SF-86 clearance. My mom is getting interviewed tomorrow. The investigator asked about illegal drug use which I already said “Yes” to on my SF-86 and my friend was legit with him about the usage (even though it was extremely rare). I’m just wondering if they are allowed to tell my mother about it tomorrow (when she probably will answer “no” to the same question) or whether they HAVE to and always stick to the same line of questioning and will not tell my mother anything another reference said. Really don’t want my mom finding out about using weed a long time ago. If you know the answer definitely from an investigators standpoint, I would really appreciate your response. Thank you everyone!

No, they will not tell your mom what a reference said.

They will ask about topics but never say you’ve done it, unless it’s a reference specifically provided for that reason. For example they might ask her do you know if your son dies drugs but they won’t say hey your son does drugs do you know how much.

Investigators cannot divulge any information about you, even if interviewing your mother. We basically have to conduct the interviews and ask the questions as if we don’t know a thing about you. If your mother is asked if she is aware of you using any drugs and she answers no then investigator simply moves on to the next question


Asking a reference a specific question that references past drug use, alcohol use, financial problems etc is “leading” a reference and the Investigator cannot do that.

No, they can’t and won’t ask, chill.

On the other hand, a good rule of thumb is when your employer knows, your parents know, and your background investigator knows, it is hard to be blackmailed or coerced over an issue. Otherwise, you leave yourself vulnerable.

You might be surprised what your mom already knows.


This reminds me of Dave Chapelle’s stand up bit, where he found his son’s stash, smoked it, felt bad and replaced it (or something along those lines). :rofl:

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