Arthur F. Wayne, 2019/12/9 – Except for Avinoam Sapir, creator of SCAN, wanting to make money with this operation there’s no valid reason why the SCAN interrogation tool is still being used, widely, by police and investigators.
No one can deny that the justice systems around the world are corrupted. They have been for a very, very long time. But it’s not necessarily only in the ways that most folks can imagine.
SCAN: Scientific Content Analysis
“SCAN by LSI, developed by Avinoam Sapir, is the most effective technique available for obtaining information and detecting deception from statements of witnesses or suspects. SCAN (analysis of statements) is an essential tool for law enforcement personnel, investigators, social service personnel, and anyone else who needs to obtain information from written material. LSI provides SCAN training throughout the US and Canada, and also in Mexico, the UK, Israel, Australia, and other countries. SCAN is the original technique for analyzing statements. Don’t accept any imitations!” – LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation, Inc.
About SCAN’s Avinoam Sapir, ProPublica writes:
“He was born in 1949 in Israel. He got a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminology at Bar-Ilan University and a master’s in criminology at Tel Aviv University. His master’s thesis was on ‘Interrogation in Jewish Law.’ He served in Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 (a high-tech spy agency akin to America’s NSA). He became a polygraph examiner with the Israel police. In the mid-1980s, he moved to the United States, where he began teaching SCAN to investigators ‘on six continents’.”
The thing is, SCAN doesn’t work – at all! Several teams have already researched SCAN and none have found any hints of SCAN enabling investigators to move forward with their investigations:
Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) Cannot Distinguish Between Truthful and Fabricated Accounts of a Negative Event
Glynis Bogaard, Maastricht University:
“The Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) is a verbal veracity assessment method that is currently used worldwide by investigative authorities. Yet, research investigating the accuracy of SCAN is scarce. The present study tested whether SCAN was able to accurately discriminate between true and fabricated statements. To this end, 117 participants were asked to write down one true and one fabricated statement about a recent negative event that happened in their lives. All statements were analyzed using 11 criteria derived from SCAN. Results indicated that SCAN was not able to correctly classify true and fabricated statements. Lacking empirical support, the application of SCAN in its current form should be discouraged.”
HIG: SCAN Doesn’t Distinguish Truth-Tellers from Liars, Above the Level of Chance
The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), a “specialized inter-agency interrogation capability” created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the United States Department of Defense (DoD), also put SCAN through a sniff test. Only to conclude exactly the same, that SCAN doesn’t work:
“In the SCAN procedure, subjects are asked to write a detailed description of their activities related to an event in question, and then this statement is analyzed according to criteria that are assumed to distinguish truthful vs deceptive statements. These criteria appear to vary across practitioners. Unlike Reality Monitoring, which is rarely used in the field in spite of the body of research that supports it, SCAN is widely employed in spite of a lack of supporting research. Several studies are commonly cited but they lacked ground truth, so that any conclusion about the efficacy of the technique is difficult to assert. When all 12 SCAN criteria were used in a laboratory study, SCAN did not distinguish truth-tellers from liars above the level of chance. Both gaps in memory and spontaneous corrections have been shown to be indicators of truth contrary to what is claimed by SCAN.”
The only reason why SCAN is still around and is still widely being used, after more than 30 years of failed sniff tests, is because someone wants it to stay in place.
With SCAN still in place, those who seek to undermine societies have the perfect tool at their disposal. It, too, has made a mess of the justice systems that allow or even encourage the use of SCAN, and that mess is growing every day.