False Confessions is a true story about Doug Williams and his crusade against the Polygraph, and the multi-billion dollar Polygraph Industry.
Starting as a U.S. Air Force cryptographer which led him to become the Communications Specialist in the Situation Room located in the White House under Presidents Johnson and Nixon. From there his career blossomed as one of the most formidable and feared Polygraph Operators in the country. He personally conducted over 6,000 polygraph examinations over a six year period which resulted him to become the "King of the Polygraph."
One afternoon, Doug was scheduled to give another polygraph examination to a potential suspect. It was just another day for Doug. "Just another potential suspect," Doug thought to himself. However, this day would change the rest of his life! It was on this day, an older woman would change Doug Williams forever.
After reviewing the file and conferring with the arresting officer's, Doug came into the interrogation room as he did over 6,000 times before, ready to make it 6,001. He started with a barrage of accusations to the older woman sitting on the opposite side of the table. Immediately, she started sobbing uncontrollably. Unable to continue to take Doug's abuse, the woman fell to the floor and screamed, "What is wrong with you? I didn't do it! I...did...not...do it!"
These words pierced Doug's soul so quickly that he then asked himself, "What the hell is wrong with me? Something isn't right?" From there Doug left the room and took the rest of the day off struggling with what he just encountered. He tried to figure out what was wrong with the machine, let alone what was wrong with him.
After toiling with this dilemma, Doug decided to meet up with a friend to take his mind off his situation. His friend being a cop too; told him about a high-speed chase he recently had and how is body reacted to the fear factor of being in that high-speed chase. After that comment, it was like a lightning bolt had struck Doug head on. He further grilled his friend over and over about this reaction.
Doug soon left his friend, went home and tried this experiment on himself. He soon conducted more research and tests. It was then, at this point, Doug discovered the "Pucker-Factor!" Briefly, how some body functions, reacted to fear.
What he found was that most of the people who sat across from him while he was conducting his exams reacted the same way as the fear reaction as told by his buddy and supported by his research and tests. He thought, "These could have been innocent people he intimidated and manipulated to give him a response he wanted." He now knew these body reactions could manipulate the readings of a polygraph machine. Then, instantly, Doug thought about the older woman and that experience. It was clear to him. The polygraph machine was in fact not a Lie-Detector at all.
Doug then set out on a crusade. Giving up a good career that provided a steady paycheck and benefits to right a wrong he felt he was doing as his time as a polygraph operator.
The noise he was making, advocating now against the use of the polygraph not as a member law enforcement but now as a private citizen was now responsible in assisting in enacting the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) as well as the Supreme Court ruling that prohibited Polygraph results from being admissible in courts of law in the U.S. as proof of either innocence or guilt.
Doug took one step further. He started to teach people how to beat the polygraph machine. He wrote a manual and gave classes. News traveled quickly and his popularity grew. He then appeared on popular shows like Nightwatch and 60 Minutes with Diane Sawyer. He did several appearances on other mainstream media outlets that only put a target on his back.
Threatened by his countermeasure techniques, the government put an elaborate "sting" into place to trap him. Doug was arrested and put in federal prison where he served his time and was released in the summer of 2017.
Doug still continues his crusade as he feels the need to get rid of this Orwellian instrument of torture.
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