Thursday, September 30, 2010

Polygraph test

Has anyone been randomly selected for a POLYGRAPH test? My husband is so focused on work he won't know any of the answers to financial questions and it will be a water-board experience! (The finances are MY job.) He's so honest it's maddening - the type who will show up for jury duty in a storm - yet he's been re investigated 4x in 10 years because of the level of his clearance. In 50 days he will have outlived his father, who died of a heart-attack age 61 from job-related stress. I have to do my best to get him out of this. ADVICE, ANYONE?

Anonymous

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it is a standard, routine, random security-scope polygraph there will be no financial or lifestyle questions. Only 4 or 5 questions about loyalty, knowledge and contact with foreign nationals, etc. If it is based on suspicion from other information, of if it is for a sensitive (from a CI standpoint) position, then it can be more intrusive.

Anonymous said...

1. No way to avoid the polygraph.
2. Questions focus on divulging classified information improperly.

Anonymous said...

Relax, find and view “Barney Miller” season 5 episode 13 “Voice Analyzer” and have a good laugh. Remember, the fact that you are paranoid does NOT mean that they are not out to get you!

Anonymous said...

The whole ploy of the polygraph is to make you feel very nervous and get you to confess about some awful "sin" that you may have done in the past.

As long as he plays along but realizes that only HE can implicate HIMSELF with his own mouth, he'll do just fine. Don't get sucked into the game of trying to explain away the polygraph needle. Realize that the examiners will usually tell just about everyone they see something on the chart doesn't look right (followed by... "can you explain this to me?"). Correct answer: "No."

The idea that the polygraph can somehow detect lies has been proven by science to be false. It is used as an interrogation device to get people to 'fess up. If he is not a spy, he'll be OK. If he is a spy, he'll probably already be well trained in how to defeat this machine.

Anonymous said...

DOE has made the polygraphs more intrusive. What used to be the standard questions (e.g., are you a spy?) is being twisted into lifestyle questions and questions about minor issues (e.g., have you ever stored classified documents improperly?)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the advice! (We got a well-needed laugh over "If he is a spy, he'll probably already be well trained in how to defeat this machine.") The advice about the needle was excellent. It's going to spike when they ask him his bloody NAME because he's naturally so nervous.

The letter, which I will find a way to post, says, "all questions will be reviewed with you thoroughly prior to the examination," and the e-mail hinted that it was open season an employee's financial life. (We have 2 kids in college and 3 student loans.) I worry that "reviewed with you" means that I will have to explain our entire financial life to my husband in short order, when he's so busy at work (this polygraph makes him feel soooo appreciated...) and I have to finish the taxes by the 15th. It simply won't work. "I don't know" will be the truth to everything they ask about our finances and I don't want to mess with that now.

Anonymous No. 2 -- are you saying that applying for a medical waiver will only cause more problems?

Thank you, everyone, sincerely -- keep it coming. I remember reading that polygraphs are worthless. We will definitely get our daughter to find the right episode of Barney Miller for us.

Anonymous said...

DOE has made the polygraphs more intrusive. What used to be the standard questions (e.g., are you a spy?) is being twisted into lifestyle questions and questions about minor issues (e.g., have you ever stored classified documents improperly?)

October 1, 2010 10:23 PM

This is not true, and seems to be a chicken-little response by someone who knows little about the process. For routine CI-scope polygraphs, there are no lifestyle or financial questions. Yes, they may ask you whether you have failed to properly protect classified information. How is that question not fair, if you have a clearance and have already agreed to do so? I don't agree with the entire premise of polygraphs, and think they should be banned, as they are now in private business, but to make inaccurate claims about their content is just asking for trouble, and inflaming the fears of those folks who are undergoing their first "trial."

Anonymous said...

Get some blood pressure medicine (beta blocker) and have him take it before the test. It will help him stay relaxed and get past the test. Of course you should have a doctor prescribe it for him; so try one of those internet sites. He shouldn’t take too much or it can kill him; but most people survive taking it for a polygraph. This process works for people who have taken a second polygraph after the first ended in undetermined or inconclusive results. Of course one of the questions might be “have you taken any medicines before the test?” and sometimes people are forgetful about taking their medicines.
Wrong? Perhaps, but people are doing this all the time… Makes you wander about the value of this whole process.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I have some advise. Have him quit the Lab.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous No. 2 -- are you saying that applying for a medical waiver will only cause more problems?"

No, but such a waiver is rare. Usually due to a temporary medical condition, which just delays the polygraph.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous 7. He's made an appointment for propanalol. :)

Anonymous 5 wrote, "DOE has made the polygraphs more intrusive." But Anonymous 6 wrote in response, "For routine CI-scope polygraphs, there are no lifestyle or financial questions."

How do we know if it's routine, though? The "Department of Energy - 10 CFR 709-710" (to which the Lab directed us) states, "Reviews of personnel security files and, as necessary and appropriate, personal interviews and review of financial and credit information, net worth analyses, analyses of foreign travel and foreign contacts and connections, would be employed in conjunction with the polygraph."

It seems to indicate (I haven't read all 34 pages) that this would be the case for "unresolved foreign nexus issues." (See below.) Would my husband know if there were an "unresolved foreign nexus issue"? He never travels anymore. Our daughter studies in London (giving us "financial issues" that cut back on family vacations!) but I don't see how that could be germane to LLNL. The letter he received, however, says "all questions will be reviewed with you thoroughly prior to the examination." I guess we'll find out then what the real concern is. His classification is Sigma-20, but he doesn't know anything about our finances. That's my gift to him. He doesn't have to worry.

I'm writing a novel, and I'm thinking of cutting the part where the box of money she finds explodes. I don't know anything about explosives and I would have to research it online, which might not be a good idea. Everything I do seems to make my husband's investigations harder!

But he loves having the right answer to "Can you explain this to me?" Thanks again all of you!

Sec. 709.15 Processing counterintelligence evaluation results.
(a) If the reviews under Sec. 709.10 or a polygraph examination present unresolved foreign nexus issues that raise significant questions about the covered person's access to classified information or materials protected under Sec. 709.3 of this part that justified the counterintelligence evaluation, DOE may undertake a more comprehensive CI evaluation that, in appropriate circumstances, may include evaluation of financial, credit, travel, and other relevant information to resolve any identified issues."

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous 7. He's made an appointment for propanalol. :)

Anonymous 5 wrote, "DOE has made the polygraphs more intrusive." But Anonymous 6 wrote in response, "For routine CI-scope polygraphs, there are no lifestyle or financial questions."

How do we know if it's routine, though? The "Department of Energy - 10 CFR 709-710" (to which the Lab directed us) states, "Reviews of personnel security files and, as necessary and appropriate, personal interviews and review of financial and credit information, net worth analyses, analyses of foreign travel and foreign contacts and connections, would be employed in conjunction with the polygraph."

It seems to indicate (I haven't read all 34 pages) that this would be the case for "unresolved foreign nexus issues." (Sec. 709.15 Processing counterintelligence evaluation results.) Would my husband know if there were an "unresolved foreign nexus issue"? He never travels anymore. Our daughter studies in London (giving us "financial issues" that cut back on family vacations!) but I don't see how that could be germane to LLNL. The letter he received, however, says "all questions will be reviewed with you thoroughly prior to the examination." I guess we'll find out then what the real concern is. His classification is Sigma-20, but he doesn't know anything about our finances. He has enough on his mind.

I'm writing a novel, and I'm thinking of cutting the part where the box of money she finds explodes. I don't know anything about explosives and I would have to research it online, which might not be a good idea. Everything I do seems to make my husband's investigations harder!

But he loves having the right answer to "Can you explain this to me?" Thanks again all of you!

Anonymous said...

"Thank you, Anonymous 7. He's made an appointment for propanalol. :)

You're sharing an awful lot of information here. You've already given your husband's date of birth, the location of one of your kids, his sigmas, and his upcoming polygraph. You might want to be more careful about what sort of information you post on the internet.

Anonymous said...

"You're sharing an awful lot of information here. You've already given your husband's date of birth, the location of one of your kids, his sigmas, and his upcoming polygraph. You might want to be more careful about what sort of information you post on the internet."

How do I ask a question about a polygraph without using the word polygraph? "I might know someone who's been asked to undergo a sort of verbal water-boarding..."

It's easier to tweak a few unimportant details, like numbers, than bore people with tired obfuscations. I've communicated enough to interest (and get fun and insightful advice from!) these cordial people without endangering anyone.

(Use your imagination!)

Anonymous said...

You might want to be more careful about what sort of information you post on the internet.

October 6, 2010 10:47 PM

Too true, this lady may think she is doing her "clueless" husband a favor, but I think she is the one who is clueless. As if the Fed security people aren't monitoring this blog every day. The way you tell if the polygraph is "routine" is by noting whether other security questions have arisen. Has he received an infraction for any reason? Simply being authorized for Sigma 20 (that isn't "his classification") doesn't trigger anything other than routine polygraphs. Is he in PSAP? Has he been given access to any Special Access Programs? If so, that could trigger other than a "routine" polygraph. This lady should recognize that there is a possibility that her husband cannot fully describe to her what information he in fact has access to. In any case, she should shut up on this blog.

Anonymous said...

This is a case of the spouse being the weak link.

I think this entire post is a ruse.

First of all, you don't seek out ways to defeat a polygraph. That is considered non-cooperation.

Second, if indeed a spouse knows ones classification details, it is a problem, as those details are not public info and should not be shared.

Blood pressure medication to alter response.... this too is non cooperation.

A noisy spouse interfering with a capable guys employment.... she should be spanked.

All will be fine, he will do well with a simply polygraph, they are looking for spies not scientists.

His problem is you. Get a hobby and leave him alone.... again,if you are indeed a spouse and not a Mainland Chinese intel student conducting his first assigned ruse....

Anonymous said...

"A noisy spouse interfering with a capable guys employment.... she should be spanked."

Ooo, what are you doing tonight??? Recluse meets Party Animal...

The Spouse encouraged me to do this for his info, and, well, I thought that this kind of board was FOR this sort of conversation.

But I'm open to new ideas. When are you coming over??

It's been fun + interesting - a break from the 12-hour daze. Something to add to the next novel. The Spouse did NOT ask for a medical waiver, but how a person goes about applying for one (quite on his own), just out of curiosity, since he's busy, and Anonymous 2 was right. They said he'd have to be at death's door, and in that case they'd schedule him after death. :) Bureaucrats, famously, have to keep looking for trouble or they'd be out of a job.

Anonymous said...

Bureaucrats, famously, have to keep looking for trouble or they'd be out of a job.

October 9, 2010 6:13 PM

Bureaucrats, unfortunately, have been taken in by the pseudoscience of polygraphs, and now cannot find a gracious and believable way to get out of them. There are good reasons why they are no longer legal for private pre-employment screening. Only the troglodytes in NNSA security (mostly in CI, although there have been some very thoughtful people in CI who have been forced out), whom the rational people in charge cannot dislodge, still cling to this garbage.

Anonymous said...

<> etc.

Thank you for that! Good point. The test still hasn't taken place, so maybe they found something more important to do!

- The Spouse Who Cares About Family & Country & Anonymous Others :o)

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