Australian Lie Detection Labs


State of suspicion


Sensitive ... lie-detector expert Paul Woolley says fears of infidelity make people crazy. Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

PAUL Woolley didn't see the knife until it was almost too late. The forensic psychophysiologist was analysing a lie-detector test when the woman opened her handbag, removed a blade and went for her husband.

"She was only little but she wasn't happy," Mr Woolley, founder of Australian Lie Detection Polygraph, said.

"When she found out her husband failed the test, she said, 'Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands'. Out came the knife."

Mr Woolley, based in the Logan City suburb of Springwood, says infidelity makes people crazy.

The woman, one of thousands of Queensland clients who have paid for personal polygraph tests, had to be subdued.

Mr Woolley said the aggro occurred minutes after receptors were removed from her husband's fingers, chest and abdomen.

The highly sensitive instruments, attached to a laptop computer, checked the man's heart rate, nervous-system reactions and perspiration levels during an interview about an alleged affair. The man failed the test.

"Over the years, three clients have come in with weapons and you learn to expect the unexpected," Mr Woolley said.

On another occasion, an armed man arrived at Mr Woolley's house at 3am. The man, whose wife left him after he insisted she take a lie-detector test – which she passed – blamed Mr Woolley and wanted revenge.

"I asked him to leave and he became violent," the 39-year-old said.

For practitioners, it's the flipside of an otherwise lucrative industry. In the past two years Australian lie-detection agencies have experienced massive growth – good news for businesses that charge up to $1500 a test.

Industry insiders say the Sunshine State has become a gold mine for polygraph companies, private detectives and organisations selling everything from hidden cameras to GPS car trackers.

OzSpy stores, the brainchild of Brisbane entrepreneurs John Vlamis and Craig Mitchell, have set up six franchises between Townsville and the Gold Coast. Desktop hidden camera clocks and keyloggers – devices that monitor computer key strokes, emails sent and websites visited on home computers – are available in suburbia.

"It used to be people wanting cameras to catch staff stealing at work," Mr Vlamis said.

"But in the last 12 months it's swung around to husbands and wives, people trying to catch cheating partners."

Professional Detectives said Queenslanders were willing to spend up to $10,000 on partner-monitoring equipment such as hidden bedroom cameras and dollar-coin-sized bugs linked to portable radios.

"There's also GPS trackers that can be fitted under a car and used to monitor where the car goes, how fast it goes and how long it stops at any destination," Mr Rahim said.

"Others prefer to fit the family home with cameras and sound-recording equipment."

"Some people have the money and they just want to know. The warning signs are there and they want answers, so we provide the technology to make it possible.

"There's a way to test whether or not someone you love is lying to your face and there's a huge market for it."

Australian Psychological Society spokeswoman Heather Gridley said infidelity was at an all-time high. "Some people are chronically unfaithful and can't cope with the idea of putting all their eggs in one basket," she said.

Jane, 39, a Brisbane mother of three, agrees. She and husband William, from Carseldine on Brisbane's northside, have each had three polygraph tests at a total cost of $6000.

The troubled couple hired two interstate polygraph experts and flew them to Brisbane.

"I thought my husband had slept with my sister and he thought I'd slept with someone else," said Jane, 39.

"So we decided a lie-detector test was the only way to figure it out."

The first tests were conducted at the Brisbane domestic airport.

"I failed the first test and William passed," said Jane.

"But I wasn't happy with the way the tests were handled, so we contacted a different organisation and got a much better operator."

Four tests later, Jane was satisfied. 

"My husband had slept with my sister, who later admitted it," Jane said.

"I slept with someone while we were separated . . . the tests helped resolve things."

Polygraph spokesman said all sorts of people signed up.

Age and lifestyle were not a barrier – but men were more likely to request a test.

"Men are more suspicious so we see more wives tested than husbands,"  "Men also fail more."

60 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women failed the tests.

"Men are more unfaithful," he said. "Women are certainly more intuitive. I believe in women's intuition. It's like a sixth sense."

A 19-year-old woman took a test to convince her 22-year-old fiance she was a virgin. She failed.

A woman in her forties wanted to know if her husband had cheated. He had, but not with a woman.

An 80-year-old man believed his wife cheated 40 years ago. She had. A DNA test later revealed one of the couple's three children had a different father.

Mr Woolley, who completed a psychology degree at Griffith University before studying polygraph science in the US, said: "It's all kinds of people from different socio-economic groups.

"The tests aren't cheap but people who really want them find a way to pay."

Rockhampton resident and mother-of-two Sally said her husband of 10 years took a test late last year.

The 31-year-old said he offered to take the test when she accused him of cheating.

"I'd been suspicious for so long . . . I tried to dismiss my fears but they were there and in the end I couldn't ignore them any more," Sally said. "It was making me sick. I was convinced he was being unfaithful, so when he offered I thought it could save us."

But Sally said her husband was shocked when she actually booked the test.

He failed and later admitted he was having an affair with a female co-worker. The couple split.

"It was hard at first, really hard, but I feel better now. Nothing could be worse than living with lies and slowly going insane."

Others who have passed the tests have walked away in disgust. "Some people can't get over the fact they were asked to take the test," .

"They feel disgusted their partner would ask them in the first place and it changes the relationship."

Industry insiders say the tests are between 96 per cent and 98 per cent accurate. The results, accepted in American courts and used as evidence in family and civil cases in Australia, are a collection of physical responses to questions.

A blood-pressure cuff is attached to the upper arm, a strap with sensors to the upper torso, a second strap to the upper abdomen. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, perspiration and other physical responses are mapped while the subject is questioned. Signs of anxiety are linked to untruths. The higher the stress, the greater the likelihood the subject is lying.

"But the questions have to be specific," 

"Most people who come in want to ask everything from 'Has he cheated?' to 'Does he have hidden bank accounts?'

"But we have to ask something along the lines of 'have you had sexual intercourse with a woman other than your wife in the last 12 months?' "

Mr Rahim, who conducts polygraph tests in New South Wales and Victoria, said some questions could not be answered.

"I had a case recently with a couple in their 50s, both married for the second time, and they were fighting because the woman thought her husband looked at other women during their morning walk," Mr Rahim said.

"That would be almost impossible to prove and simply ridiculous. In some cases we just say No."

Mr Woolley said ,Others get answers. A Gold Coast woman, convinced her husband had sexually assaulted her while she was drunk, made him take the test.

The woman, who was intoxicated and blacked out, became suspicious when she woke with bruising to her upper thighs and buttocks. It turned out the husband, who said his wife fell out of a spa, was telling the truth.

A husband of 23 years failed when asked if he had slept with a man in the last 12 months. He later told his wife he frequented male prostitutes and regularly fantasised about men.

Relationships Australia spokeswoman Sherry Wright said it was a sad state of affairs.

"Anyone who tries to convince a partner they need a polygraph needs to realise the trust has already shattered somehow," she said.

"Statistics show us divorce rates have fallen in Queensland but it seems mistrust is very much alive and well."



How much longer can this liar remain on the loose?

Last Friday, get-rich-quick spruiker Henry Kaye agreed to a request by Channel Seven's program Today Tonight to take a lie detector test.

And last night, Monday September 15, Henry Kaye was branded a liar on national television.

It all started to go horribly wrong when Henry baulked at the first question:

"Have you ever lied to make money?"

"No, I am not going to answer that question," replied Henry.

"Why not?"

"Because it's a stupid question. Of course the answer is yes," retorted a flustered Henry. "Every single time I teach my clients to do it."

What did he say?! Lying to make money is obvious. Therefore it's a stupid question. And he teaches people to lie to make money. This is fraud. It can't be happening. But it got worse.

The next question: "Have you ever lied to a consumer to make money in real estate?"

"No," replied Henry.

Lie, said the machine.

"Have you ever lied to real estate agents to make money?"

"Yes," said Henry.

True, said the machine. His first truthful score is when he admits he is a liar.

It goes on:

"Have you ever lied about the value of a property?"

"No," says Henry.

Lie, says the machine.

"Have you ever promoted property in your seminars that you have a financial interest in?"

"Yes," says Henry.

True, says the machine. Amazing admission.

Lie detector expert, Paul Wooley, said the results of the test showed that Mr Kaye is a liar and a dishonest person.

But not according to Henry. This man uses a different dictionary from most people. "It depends what you mean by dishonest."

Well, try this.

Dishonest is telling lies to decent people in order to get them to part with their savings. Dishonest is teaching people how to earn money by using lies. Dishonest is recommending that your clients purchase real estate without them knowing you are earning thousands of dollars from the properties they buy. Dishonest is lying about the values of properties in order to obtain a financial advantage for yourself.

But not according to Henry Kaye. He seems to feel that dishonesty is acceptable business practice. And why wouldn't he feel this way? He has been getting away with dishonesty for several years. Making millions out of lying to consumers.

Within 30 minutes of the end of the national television program which exposed him as a liar, Henry commenced a national campaign, the purpose of which, he says, is to "silence his critics". That's just a smoke screen. It's Henry Kaye's method of turning bad publicity into a stunt to exploit more consumers.

Detecting lies

"Today Tonight" Lie Detector Test

Segments of the real estate industry will criticise Neil Jenman following his participation in a Today Tonight program on Channel 7 on Monday (7 April 2003).

The segment, billed as revealing the truth about real estate agents, was supposed to subject agents to lie detector tests while answering a series of key questions (e.g. Have you ever used dummy bidders at auction? Have you ever lied to a consumer? and Have you ever sold a house with a problem?)

However, the program failed to reveal much about agents because agents were unwilling to take part. As the reporter pointed out, all agents approached by Channel 7 refused to participate after seeing the list of questions they would be asked.

Only two people were willing to take the lie detector test - the Sydney rental agent Len Pretti and consumer advocate Neil Jenman.

The testing indicated Pretti had been correct with seven of the 12 questions asked, while Jenman was correct with 10 out of 12. With the same examiner who tested Henry Kaye , Paul Woolley Polygraph Expert.

Neil Jenman says: "The real estate industry may criticise me for apparently getting two of the twelve questions wrong. But this is the same industry that refused to be tested under those same conditions, after seeing the questions they would be asked.

Sunday Herald Sun

Edition 1 - FIRSTSUN 24 AUG 2003, Page 011

Dancer to bare all on Shane


 DISGRACED cricketer Shane Warne was due to fly to England today as the woman at the centre of the latest scandal surrounding him told story.
 Stripper Angela Gallagher will be seen on TV making claims about a three-month liaison with the embattled star.
 Gallagher, 38, a mother of two, sold her story to Channel 7's Today Tonight and New Idea magazine.
 The Today Tonight interview will air in two parts, tomorrow and Tuesday. New Idea will be on sale tomorrow.
 Gallagher, who took a lie-detector test (Paul Woolley) during the interview, tells how she first noticed Warne across a room.
 ``He spotted me and it was just continual eye contact for about 20 minutes,'' Gallagher tells Today Tonight.
 ``It was a matter of about 10 minutes and a text message came through straight away. I was there to enjoy his company, he was there to enjoy mine,'' she said.
 Warne is due to appear at a speakers' night for his former Hampshire teammate Robin Smith in Bournemouth on September 11.
 With wife Simone and his children, he was due to fly out of Melbourne this afternoon.
 Warne is also believed to be fielding offers to play in charity matches in New Zealand, England and Australia.
 Warne's brother and manager, Jason, contacted the Sunday Herald Sun yesterday offering to allow photographers at Melbourne Airport in return for the media leaving the area around his home.
 Gallagher, a performer at The Men's Gallery in the city, is believed to have had liaisons with other high-profile men, including footballers, a tennis player and a TV celebrity.
 She considered herself one of its most popular strippers, and would earn several thousand dollars for each night she worked, performing on stage and privately.

Caption: Stripper: Angela Gallagher claims a three-month liaison with Warne.

The pursuit continued until Ms Gallagher decided to meet Warne, who she had come to regard as a "gentle, charming" man. She said Warne convinced her he and his wife shared a "very open marriage" and he craved affection. She said Warne made no attempt to hide their dates and they would regularly meet up with his mates at clubs. It soon became a full sexual relationship.

The affair petered out after three months when Warne went overseas and Ms Gallagher reconciled with her husband, Paul.

Attempts by The Sunday Age yesterday to reach Warne's manager, his bother Jason, for a response to the latest controversy were unsuccessful.

The new allegations follow the news that the South African woman who complained Warne pestered her with lewd text messages was not coming to Australia to tell her side of the story. Ms Helen Cohen Alon, 45, pulled out when her all-expenses-paid deal with a Gold Coast radio station, Sea FM, fell through.

Ms Cohen Alon was charged with extortion in South Africa after she claimed she had been paid $42,000 in "hush money" by a friend of Warne's, South African-based sporting memorabilia collector Gavin Varejes.

On Friday, Simone Warne came out in support of her husband. "I stand by my husband 100 per cent. I always have and will continue to, especially through this unnecessary heartache. Certain individuals are trying to destroy our family. This will not happen."

Courier Mail

Edition 1 - First with the newsTHU 13 JUN 2002, Page 001

Bosses use lie testing on staff

By Fiona Hamilton

 LIE detector tests are the latest weapon for Queensland employers in vetting prospective employees and investigating workplace thefts and frauds.
Insurers are also using lie detectors to check the veracity of claims, offering to pay if claimants pass the test.
 Paul Woolley, an examiner with Brisbane polygraph testing company, Australian Lie Detection, said he had been hired by employers to scrutinise workers for everything from pre-employment checks to questioning over fraud and theft incidents in the workplace.
The emerging trend has been slammed by privacy and legal experts who said employees could be bullied into taking tests against their wishes. They said the tests were an invasion of workers' privacy.

Yet employers said the use of lie detectors at work was both necessary and relevant.
An inner city real estate agent manager who used a polygraph service (Paul Woolley) to investigate a $2000 theft for which two staff were suspected said it had worked in ``weeding out the guilty party''.
 `I would do it again. Tests should be a condition of employment,'' the manager said.
Australian Industry Group Queensland director David Whiting said the use of the technology was relevant in security, significant trust or confidential matters.
But Quinn Scattini law associate Melanie Hindman said that both employers and polygraph examiners could be placing themselves in a dangerous position of legal liability.
``If the employer has placed someone in the position where they felt they had no option but to take the test or resign, the employer could face legal problems such as discriminatory action,'' Ms Hindman said.

Gold Coast Bulletin

Edition B - MainSAT 18 SEP 2004, Page 052

Finding out the truth
with a polygraph test

by Tony Wilson   chief police reporter

 IT had been a busy shift at a prominent Gold Coast  restaurant and things had gone well until closing, when the owner discovered someone had stolen $30,000 from his office safe.
 The restaurateur knew it had to be one of his five staff on duty, so he approached polygraph expert Paul Woolley and asked him to carry out lie detector tests on them,
``Naturally all the staff agreed to the tests and the owner had one in mind who  was the prime suspect, but that staff member passed the test,'' said Paul.
``But I found the thief at the third test and after talking to him for while - after I told him the results - he finally confessed to me that he had taken the cash.''
This case is just one of the many modern-day uses of the polygraph test, but many people are still unsure of it and its uses.
When asked at parties what he does for a living, Paul usually gets one of two reactions.
 The script usually goes: `I could beat that thing', or `bring it out and let's have a game with it'.
Naturally, Paul will not bring the polygraph equipment out at parties. And although some of his cases are quite comical, the results are often life-changing.
Recently he gave a test to  a Queensland man jailed for raping his brother's wife.
``The man passed the test and there is a now an appeal pending, and it looks like he will be released from jail,'' he said.
``The man had always maintained that sex with his brother's wife had been consensual and when she had been confronted by a suspicious husband, she had claimed that she had been raped.
``So the tests I give can  have pretty far-reaching ramifications.''
 Although polygraph tests are not admissible in Australian criminal court cases, they have wide-ranging uses and Paul is often employed in the Family Court in custody battles.
``I was called into a case  recently when the court could not decide which party was telling the truth, although they had their suspicions,'' he said.
``A wife had claimed that her husband had molested their daughter, even though the man was paralysed from the waist down and wheelchair bound.
``The man passed the lie detector test and the court  accepted the test as final proof in this case. If he had failed, then that father would have been denied access to his daughter, so I take this work very seriously.''
Paul operates the Australian Lie Detector Laboratory out of an office at Springwood, on Brisbane's southside.
He is one of only two lie detector experts in Queensland and a handful in the country.
Trained in the US, Paul worked with the Los Angeles Police polygraph unit before setting up shop in Queensland.
``When you mention lie detector tests, most people think they can beat it. But in reality we are about 98 per cent accurate, although the sceptics would put that figure at 75 per cent,'' he said.
 ``I usually know fairly quickly if a person is lying or not, but we always go through the questions three times to be sure,'' he said.
Paul said most of his work involves infidelity cases, but there are also a lot of pedophile claims, businessmen who feel staff have stolen from them, and parents who want to know if their teenagers are using drugs.
  Tracing life of the lie detector
* Italian physician Cesare Lombroso, the father of  criminology, was the first to experiment with a machine measuring blood pressure and pulse to record the honesty of criminals in 1895. He called it a hydrosphygmograph.
* A similar device was used during World War I in espionage cases.
* The modern-day polygraph was refined by the US  Defence Department.
* The polygraph looks at the person's respiration, electrodermal skin response, blood volume and pulse rate.
* Brainwave fingerprinting appears to be the polygraph's successor and is claimed to be 100 per cent accurate.

The Gold Coast Bulletin

Edition 1MON 12 FEB 2001, Page 010

Doubts put to test

By Lou Robson

 LINGERING doubt. Paul Woolley's business is based on lingering doubt.
   Husbands who don't trust their wives.
   Wives who don't trust their husbands. Unfaithful boyfriends. Deceptive girlfriends.
   These days partners who suspect one another of foul play are paying big bucks for lie detector tests.
   Forensic psychophysiologist Paul Woolley, who runs Australian Lie Detection Laboratories, says every day couples come to his  office and pay    $990 for a polygraph test.
   Paul says 90 per cent of his work is domestic.
   There are wives who believe their husbands are cheating. Husbands who think their wives are planning to leave.
   Men plagued by the thought that their partner deliberately stopped taking the pill in order to fall pregnant. Lovers unconvinced of their lover's affection.
   Paul says his customers come from all walks of life. They aren't just wealthy couples with time and money on their hands. They are middle and lower class people who save up for the tests because they can no longer live with doubt.
  You name it, I've seen it, says Paul, who has conducted thousands of tests since starting the business in 1997.
  It's unbelieveable but I guess these things must really matter to people because they come in and have the test just to sort it out."
  Paul says one of his most memorable cases involved a married couple who came to him after a big night out.
  He says the woman, aged in her thirties, drank too much and passed out.
  She woke up with bruised genitals and became convinced her husband had molested her in her sleep.
  The woman had bruising and other wounds to her genital area and believed her husband had done something as she slept," Paul says.
   Obviously their relationship suffered as a result and in the end they came to me."
   Paul says the man was wired to the machine, asked questions and the results were analysed.
   It turned out the husband wasn't lying. His story was right all along, Paul says.
   He said he was upstairs when he heard a loud noise and ran to where the sound came from. He said he found his wife had fallen on a ceramic statue which injured her in a fairly sensitive region.
   That was pretty unusual.
   Other cases involve cheating or suspected cheating.
   One woman brought her husband in and I sat down and tested him and it turned out he wasn't just cheating with one woman,Paul says.
   He had four on the go. He knew he was in trouble.
   Paul says during the examinations only he and the client are in the room. He says he tapes receptors to the clients chest, fingers and wrists to detect changes in the heart rate, skin reflexes and other responses which indicate a person is feel- ing threatened.
   He says many clients start explaining how nervous they are and how this might effect the machine.
   He says they start protesting their innocence and stating they won't believe the results.
   I can tell pretty much straight away whether someone is guilty, he says.
   But there are times when you come up against people who think they know how to manipulate the machine and it can be hard to tell.
   But computer analysis of the results always gives us a conclusive answer.
    Paul says the fireworks start when a client leaves the room and the results are handed over to the waiting partner.
   He says most of the time people try to contain themselves but sometimes they erupt there and then.
   I've seen a woman slap and scratch her husband while I stood just a couple of feet away, he says.
   I've seen people announce that they wanted a divorce and I've seen couples fall into one another's arms.
   But it takes all sorts.

   Courier Mail

Edition 1 - First with the newsFRI 05 SEP 2003, Page 003

Jockey puts lie to cheating rumours

By Bart Sinclair

 BRISBANE jockey Mike Pelling wants everyone to know he is not a cheat -- and he's taken a lie detector test to prove it.
Pelling, 46, was so tired of rumours he was pulling up horses for financial gain that he decided on a radical plan to fight back on behalf of himself, his fellow jockeys and the racing industry in general.
In what is believed to be a world first, Pelling was prepared to be confronted with questions relating to rumours which have circulated about him over a long period.
The star jockey who has ridden more than 2600 winners in a riding career of more than 27 years and been premiership jockey four times in Brisbane, elected to go public with the findings which he released to The Courier-Mail.
Last month, Pelling was subjected to a polygraph test of nine questions conducted by examiner Paul Woolley of the Australian Lie Detection/Polygraph Laboratory.
Most of the questions involved a response to queries about whether Pelling had ever been offered a financial inducement to stop a horse from winning. Mr Woolley's report indicated there was no deception in a ``no'' answer from Pelling to each of the questions.
Pelling said he decided it was time to speak publicly to protect the name of racing and the majority of people involved in the industry.
``I can't speak for others. I can only testify what I have witnessed and about the people with whom I have been directly involved,'' Pelling said.
``I have ridden in over 20,000 races and my experience with thousands of owners and hundreds of trainers shows them to be honest.''
Pelling said from the time he entered racing he had been surprised at how crooked the participants especially jockeys were presumed to be.
``I have been dumbfounded at how this presumption continues unabated and largely unchallenged. Well, I thought it was time to challenge the people who spread rumours and the best way I knew to prove my point was to take a polygraph test,'' Pelling said.
 ``The results say it all.''
The questions in full, Sport liftout

Caption: CHAMPION jockey Mike Pelling explains why he decided to take a lie detector test to scotch rumours of dishonesty. PELLING rides Insecure home in the Queensland Guineas, one of his 2600 winners in 27 years' riding.

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