Will admitting to knowing a lot about the polygraph tick off your examiner?

Hey all,

Applying for a job in DoD that will require a CI poly. I went through a FS poly for my internship in the IC, so I’m not concerned especially about just a CI, I know how it works. Here is the thing though, since my experience with my first poly I have read a lot about them, just out of curiosity. I was quite ignorant about them when I first took one.

I have formed an opinion about their efficacy, and their validity, frankly. I know if I take even a CI poly it is likely to come up in pre-exam if I have read about them. What happens if someone is very transparent about their deeper knowledge about them and the whole process. Would that be likely to make your examiner adversarial if they have the impression that you don’t really believe the box knows if you’re lying or not?


Worse, you could get marked as attempting countermeasures. Happened to my ex husband. Don’t recommend.


I don’t mean to make light of the matter, but the polygraph examination is as much theater and game-playing as anything else.

Play your role. Play the game. And keep in mind that it is their game and they get to make up the rules.


If you disclose your deeper knowledge of polygraphy, you will not be rewarded for your honesty. Rather, you will be painting a target on your back. Based on feedback I’ve received, you can expect:

  1. To be questioned about what you’ve read about polygraphy;
  2. To be asked what specific websites you’ve read. Notes will be taken;
  3. To be told that you can’t believe everything you read online, and so forth;
  4. To be arbitrarily accused of having used polygraph countermeasures.

The polygraph community does not abide unbelievers.

Give it a try and see what happens. Let us know how it turns out.

Im not gonna advocate lying, but you will probably not be asked this while hooked up to the the voodoo machine. There is a smart way to handle that scenario and a dumb way.

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You are correct that one will probably (almost certainly) not be asked this while hooked up to the polygraph. However, polygraph operators typically ask subjects what they know about polygraphy during the “pre-test” phase.


Honestly, its almost impossible to not have at least casual exposure to polygraph counter measure info: forensic files, ID, etc. Would I recommend buying a book. Thinking about contents on a poly? No. But you cant unring the bell. So I tell folks do not actively seek info on beating it if subject to one. Why? Because failing isnt really happening for major cause like lying about an arrest, readily provable. The bigger fear is “unresolved.” We cant prove bupkis, but we are notcomfy clearing.

Speaking of buying books, I recall that when the federal government went after the late polygraph critic Doug Williams, who offered in-person instruction on polygraph countermeasures and published a manual titled “How to Sting the Polygraph,” they put together a watchlist list of nearly 5,000 customers. Those on the list who were in government service were questioned and some lost their jobs.

I do not doubt that. Glad I no longer live in that world. Excruciatingly emotional pressure. Diagnosed with severe anxiety now. Some say be honest, if no dings nothing to care about. I met a few fringe personalities not giving a darn. If you have a conscious…or are an empath of any sort…having your integrity questioned for 5 hours…browbeat…and its for all the marbles. Dont get through it? Cant pay mortgage, no more career, cancel Christmas.

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An acquaintance who worked as a DIA analyst with SOCOM lost his career over unsubstantiated polygraph chart readings and was diagnosed with PTSD. He was subjected to multiple polygraph interrogations and, relevant to the original poster’s inquiry, admitted having researched polygraphy, which was held against him. For any who might be interested, he has discussed his experience here:


Exactly why I won’t and advise others not too. They really don’t need a reason to say no. Just “Im not feeling you.” Had one get 5 Polys, lasted 3 plus years as they were already cleared secretwith same agency. Finally they relented. And these were not for highly skilled positions.

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Just tell them everything you know you learn from The Maury Show and you are NOT the father! Lol

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