Prison officials did not simply accept inmate claims of sexual abuse by guards. They investigated. I was drawn into an investigation becsuse of the comments I had hear. You know, it’s funny how memory works. I don’t know much about machinery and I don’t even remember the polygraph device, how it was connected to me, or even how it produced it’s results. I know it was small, no more than 12 inches by 12 inches and that it was carried by one of the three suits from IA. All of those details are vague, but what I do remember is the unexpected results and what these results meant to me. I remember the yes or no questions I was asked, including one that required me to lie. I had no emotional attachment to the results of the test beyond my great interest in a new event, especially during the monotony of incarceration. Typical me, before I answered each question, I evaluated my answer. Took no more than a Nano second, certainly my thoughts flew by faster than I can type and you can read.
Silently, to myself, I pondered. My name? What name does the questioner mean? The nickname I call myself? My birth name? When I was asked to lie a bout the ilir I saw, it occurred to me that, the color shown is whatever these men say it is, so I’m not really able to lie. When the tester looked at the paper, he was perplexed. The only answer the tester felt sure I meant was, “yes, I heard the guard say black women are known to spread their legs for drugs.” All of my other answers were undetermined. Not indicative of deception just unclear. The lie detector could not tell if I was deceptive or honest. One of the three officials from the Department of Public Safety had expressed a lot of pride that Hawaii possessed this state if the art polygraph, a polygraph deemed so reliable for such a diverse spectrum of people that the United States military used the same model to question suspected traitors among the rank and file. Yet, this standard method used to evaluate normal people did not work on me. They left rather abruptly and I never heard another word.
I felt exhilaration and relief. Surprised to read that? I was definitely surprised by the feelings. All my life I had tried to fit in, but when fitting in appeared impossible I gave up. It’s more accurate to say that all my life I avoided social interactions. No one included me remembered me, and I thought I was doing something wrong. But the results of the polygraph seemed to say that I was naturally different from people. I had always felt different, and I was right. Somehow I felt absolved of the guilt I had over being alone.
So–I made the polygraph ineffective by arguing, mentally, with each question before I answered. I received further input on beating the polygraph from the woman who sought my advice about how and if she could claim she had a guys DNA from an interaction that did not include her. She said that if a person was planning to lie by claiming to do something that she had not done, physically act out the scenario as much as possible. For example, enter the room that’s in her story, walk down the street, etc…I don’t know if that technique works, but how often do you meet people with any input about beating a polygraph? Not too often, so I’ll share this pearl of wisdom (?). Or shall I say pearl of rumor..?