Polygraphs, Chad Dixon, and the Propogation of Failed Systems

The trial of Chad Dixon has been in the news a lot lately. If you’re not familiar with it, the Feds are trying to prosecute him heavily for teaching people how to beat polygraph machines, or lie detectors, as they’re better known.

I have several problems with this, but first let me summarize more.


Dixon is merely the front man that the Feds are trying to make an example of in the effort to scare other instructors. Remember how they made examples out of lots of little kids and parents during the whole music piracy Napster thing? It’s kind of the same deal. Dixon is an Indiana Little League coach who trained criminals, intelligence employees, and law enforcement applicants, among others to beat lie detector tests for trials, job interviews, and security clearance exams.

Obviously, Dixon isn’t pure as the driven snow, but I’m not so sure what he did was wrong, and the way the Feds and others are pursuing him makes it even worse. I don’t think what he’s doing is wrong because he’s only exposing the holes in a test that is fallible to the point of uselessness. The Feds are going after him in a manner that stinks of idiocy and prejudice in the effort to protect the useless polygraph usage. In their efforts to protect the test they’re resorting to tactics that individuals would be sued for. But they’re the government. They can do what they want to anyone they want, right?

Here’s some of what’s been going on…

They claimed he’s aiding and abetting child molestors by training them on the test. And yet they rely on the failed polygraph system to convict these folks?

They claim he joined in the criminal enterprises of each person he trained. Under this allegation the farmer who supplies food to a restaraunt used to launder money for the mob would then be a part of that same riminal enterprise.

They say “he adopted a mercenary-like attitude towards the nation’s border security and the security of the nations secrets”. Are we talking about the same border that’s already full of holes big enough to drive a truck full of illegal immigrants through? And, seriously, we want to blame him for a cavalier attitude with our secrets? Do the names Snowden and Manning mean anything?

They say he acted “with a callous disregard for the most vulnerable in society- our children.”  And yet they rely on the failed polygraph system to protect kids? Isn’t that a bit callous?

I could go on and on, but other people, including Dixon’s attorneys, are already doing that. My point is this, why does the Federal government insist on using a testing method to detect lies that is proven to be fallible? It’s so fallible that a Little League baseball coach instructs people on how to beat it. That’s a pretty screwed up test. The Feds are beginning to look like playground bullies who get mad because the dumb kid scored better on the test.

So, how does all of this factor into my life and yours beyond the concern that the Feds need to come up with a better test? In your business, in your industry, are you utilizing systems, devices, and technologies that you know do not work, but for some reason can’t break away from?

Public education comes to mind as an example of a broken system.

The IRS.

Too many meetings at work.

Lottery tickets.

Windows Vista.

Quit messing around and change things. Quit. Buy something new. Upgrade. Whatever it takes.

For some great info on polygraph abuse, check out Anti-Polygraph. Just be careful, the NSA is watching.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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