A live polygraph test designed to decide the fate of an accused Call of Duty: Warzone cheater came to an abrupt end this week after doubts about the validity of the polygraph and who was conducting it surfaced.
As reported by Dexerto (opens in a new tab)the April 5 event was the brainchild of esports commentator Jake Lucky and Full Squad Gaming’s Grady Rains, who invited accused cheater ShiftyTV (opens in a new tab) to their Los Angeles studio to prove his innocence (or guilt). The planned route for the stream would start with Shifty playing Warzone on a “clean” PC setup to test his performance against his home PC. The stream would end with the results of a polygraph test conducted by John Grogan, a for-hire polygraph examiner who conducted similar tests for Dr. Phil, Vanity Fair and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Moments before Grogan shared the test results with viewers, Rains stepped in to ask for a break. “Hold on, hold on, let’s take a break. Let’s take a break real quick. Let’s take a break,” he said. “Can we throw up a sign and take a break real quick?” The show then went into a hold screen before ending.
Video credit: fault (opens in a new tab)
It’s hard to know for sure, as the event archives were quickly deleted by Full Squad Gaming, but Rains likely ended the stream to respond to the growing number of viewers in the chat highlighting Grogan’s reputation in the community. polygraph. In 2008, retired FBI Special Agent Jack Trimarco (another polygraph operator who regularly appeared on Dr. Phil before his death in 2018) publicly declared Grogan a “polygraph parasite”. (opens in a new tab)was reportedly convicted of “26 counts of fraud.” Grogan refuted those allegations and later filed a defamation lawsuit against Trimarco which was settled out of court in 2009.
After the broadcast, Lucky apologized to the viewers and hinted at the reason for the sudden end of the broadcast. “Ultimately, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing these results and I think it was the right choice,” he said.
At the end of the day, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing these results and I think it was the right choice. Thank you so much to everyone who came because beyond that big gaffe, it was so much fun for me. More important updates coming tomorrow.April 6, 2022
The allegations were apparently enough to erode Lucky’s trust in Grogan, but they haven’t stopped Grogan in the past. In recent years, he has become the go-to man in Hollywood (opens in a new tab) when you need someone to look at a polygraph test and confidently say whether someone is lying or not. He’s tested deception in celebrities big and small, including Hailey Baldwin, Machine Gun Kelly, The Jonas Brothers, The Try Guys and Pete Davidson. He will apparently test anyone with $145 to burn (with appointment).
Aside from apprehensions with Grogan, another good reason to stop taking a polygraph test is, of course, because lie detectors don’t work. (opens in a new tab). This is a fact that was reported to Lucky and co. numerous times on Twitter before and after the April 5 broadcast, but no one involved responded. This fact is also routinely ignored by all the other YouTube channels and TV shows that hire people like Grogan to “detect lies”. You could say polygraphs are a fun, imaginative activity that makes for a great video. You could also say that it is misleading and dishonest to present polygraphs as trustworthy.
Meanwhile, Shifty, who at the end of the stream was deemed neither a cheat nor innocent (although his gameplay looks suspicious to me!), seems to be pretty okay with how it all turned out.
“Made history today just hit,” he tweeted after the aborted polygraph stream.