On November 13, 2014, Douglas Williams, 69, of Norman, Oklahoma, was charged in a five-count indictment in the Western District of Oklahoma with mail fraud and obstruction.
According to allegations in the indictment, Williams is the owner and operator of the website “Polygraph.com.” He marketed his training services to help people appearing for polygraph examinations before federal law enforcement agencies, federal intelligence agencies, and state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as people required to take polygraph examinations under the terms of their parole or probation.
The indictment reveals that Williams was entrapped in a sting by two undercover agents with the Department of Homeland Security.
Williams is an outspoken critic of polygraph tests, which he says are neither reliable nor accurate. On his website, he calls them “insidious Orwellian instruments of torture,” a “scam” and a “sick joke.” Williams has made numerous appearances on television as an expert on the subject, appearing on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, Dateline and other programs. He demonstrated that innocent people can be falsely accused of lying, based on the results of a lie detector test.
“I have spent almost forty years proving that the ‘lie detector’ is just a myth, and it is common knowledge that just telling the truth only works half the time, so people are smart enough to know that they must LEARN HOW TO PASS or they will be falsely accused of lying,” Williams writes on his website.
In 2013, Williams told Oklahoma’s News9 that he believed he was under investigation by the FBI, because he wrote a book about his fight against the polygraph test and “rubbed it in their face.”
The government is well aware that polygraph evidence should be inadmissible, because of its inaccuracy. In spite of this knowledge, government agencies continue to use polygraph examinations to make investigative, security clearance and pre-employment determinations. These deeply flawed findings cannot be appealed or refuted.
Polygraph results are inadmissible in a number of states, including New York, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. In these states, even if both sides agree to enter polygraph test results into evidence, it is forbidden. The states of New York and Texas completely forbid the use of polygraph examinations in all employment and law enforcement contexts.
By criminally charging Douglas Williams, the government is sending a message to all anti-polygraph crusaders, while it continues to use an extremely unreliable sci-fi technique to make life-altering determinations.