Jul. 24, 2004. 08:11 AM

Fidelity detector makes house calls
Couples say it with a polygraph
`Relationship test' $400, plus GST



Burned by love in the past, a high-powered Toronto businesswoman lays out a condition before she'll let a budding relationship develop into something more serious: She tells the man to take a lie detector test to prove he hasn't been cheating.

Etobicoke-based certified forensic polygraph examiner John McClinton administered two tests for two men on her behalf. "Both failed and she got rid of both of them."

For decades, polygraphs, invented in 1921, have been used in law enforcement, the legal community and in the workplace, though not in Ontario, where testing employees is prohibited.

About 80 per cent of McClinton's business comes in the form of spouses who suspect their partners of wrongdoing. The "relationship test" costs $400 a shot, plus GST. He's had six calls in the last month alone.

When Jerry Springer, and other American talk show hosts of his ilk, began featuring polygraph examiners administering tests to men and women suspected of cheating, the small group working in Canada as private certified polygraph examiners many of them retired police officers found their client base widening to include private citizens in pursuit of the truth.

Most are couples who show up at McClinton's office because one suspects the other of betrayal, usually after amassing "circumstantial evidence."

"It's the crunch time here. Are you guilty of cheating on your partner or spouse or are you not? If they pass, they smile; if they fail, they usually don't go out holding hands, that's for sure," he says.

One couple flew to Toronto from England and were on vacation in a hotel when the urge to set the record straight set in. "This had been brewing for five years in the relationship and they were on their holidays, and all of a sudden it flared up and they decided they needed this done right away." She failed.

McClinton, who was a Canadian military intelligence officer when he completed his polygraph training in the late '80s, makes emergency house calls.

He drives around Greater Toronto in a green van covered in bold white lettering that asks "Need The Truth?" and "Partner Cheating?" while offering "Relationship Tests." If he's asked to visit a residential area, "and they don't want the van seen by other people on the street ... they ask me to either rent a vehicle or park the van two blocks over and I walk in with my suitcase."

Once inside, he sets up in a quiet area and then, alone with the subject, begins asking the yes and no questions that record changes in physiological phenomenon such as respiration and sweat gland activity. These changes are supposed to indicate if someone is telling the truth.

He requires the person taking the test to sign a consent form authorizing the release of the result to the other interested party. He gives some sample questions.

"Since January, 2000, until the present, did you ever have sexual intercourse with anyone other than your partner David? Since January of 2000 to the present, did you ever have oral sex with anyone other than your partner?"

McClinton makes a point, before revealing the results, of packing up, then "if something transpires, I'm out the door. My job is to find the truth. What they do with the truth is their business."

Few spouses who are asked to take the test by their partner feel they have a choice. "What are you going to do, say no? ... It's almost like an admission of guilt."

If a polygraph test indicates a spouse has strayed, "at least they have closure, they can move on," he says.

` If they pass, they smile;

if they fail, they usually

don't go out holding hands.'

John McClinton, certified

forensic polygraph examiner


While McClinton has embraced the new demand in polygraph testing, his colleagues are more reluctant.

Frank Wozniak, who retired this year from the Toronto Police Service after 30 years of service, 17 of them as a polygraph examiner, will only dabble in domestic affairs if a client, mainly private investigative firms, sends him a referral.

Hamilton-based polygraph specialist Alan Kaine calls them "horrible cases." He's been administering polygraph tests for more than 20 years and says he goes along with this new demand reluctantly. "It's not something that you really want to do ... but they're very insistent and usually it's always an urgent thing," he says.

"It's usually about a partner that's screwed around, and usually the marriage or partnership is hanging by a thread," says Kaine, adding "most of the time it's the males accusing the females."

Neither is surprised, though, against a pop culture backdrop that features a TV program called Cheaters, where spouses confront lovers in full romp as the cameras roll. Wozniak, who's based in Brampton, also points to pro-adultery Web sites, such as AshleyMadison.com, the online dating service "for attached women and the men who want to meet them."

Marion Goertz, a registered marriage counsellor and magazine columnist, says anyone considering a polygraph as a way to test faithfulness has many things to consider.

She wouldn't advise either way but warns that the readings are "not infallible," and would ask people to consider "what will it mean to you and what will you do with that information? What are the impacts, potentials? What is the fallout from this? What does it mean to you to have this done? What does it mean to you to be asked to have this done?"

Douglas Saunders, a clinical psychologist at the University of Toronto who does a lot of couples therapy in his private practice, is skeptical that a polygraph has much of a role to play in helping resolve troubled relationships.

"If a relationship has arrived at the point that people need a polygraph test to decide on their partner's commitment to truthfulness in the relationship, then there are far more serious issues between them at work here," he says.

He also raises the question about the reliability of polygraphs when administered during a troubled relationship because "there's so much emotional stuff going on at the same time."

McClinton acknowledges there is no research assessing polygraphs under such circumstances. And he says some people do come in with unrealistic expectations about what the device might be able to do.

"A lot of people come in wanting to know about feelings," he says.

"They want to know `Does he still love me or does he care about the other person that he had the affair with?' A polygraph cannot determine how a person feels or what they felt. It can only determine whether a person has done a physical act or not," he explains.

Wozniak believes the polygraph is better suited to terrorism and criminal matters. For instance, while still on the Toronto force he was passionate about using it to monitor repeat sex offenders and other high-risk offenders to make sure they were in compliance with probation or release orders.

He suggests a skilled examiner questioning a suspect gets at the truth by relying on more than just the polygraph instrument. He cites his own example of testing a person accused of stealing funds from a company.

"I'll do an examination on that issue but on the completion, if the person is deemed to be not telling the truth, I like to try to confirm my examination results by way of an admission," he says, underscoring how police use polygraph as part of the investigative process.

"I'm not trying to minimize relationship issues. I know they're important, but sometimes it's best to stay away from that sort of thing," he says.

Additional articles by Betsy Powell



WARNING: This polygraph expert John McClinton  does not have a 100% track record.

He can and does cause victims of injustice more problems. For example, if you wish to disprove false allegations, this "expert" can improperly ask questions in order to fail to the polygraph. In other words, the polygraph "expert" can form opinions and conclusions which can easily cause an "inconclusive" result. 

Be warned, if you use this character for a polygraph you could end up not proving yourself innocent but actually creating evidence that can make you look guilty. 

Many victims of false allegations are highly stressed , suffer anxiety and are not suitable subjects to be given a polygraph. That won't stop John McClinton taking your money and instead of a polygraph you get "legal advice" and an opportunity to have a later polygraph which means he can take more than $800 from you and you have a real probability of ending up a victim.

If you are a victim of false allegations, and you want to throw away a large amount of money and end up with prejudice against you, then contact John McClinton.

If you have any information or complaints about John McClinton please email Ottawamencentre@hotmail.com or call 613-482-1112


OUR ADVICE is to avoid John McClinton at all costs. He can charge unwitting victims in excess of $800 for a single polygraph by citing some technical difficulty and then billing for the appointment which consists of  unqualified legal advice and a heavy bill which must be paid before he gets a second chance to milk more money from his victim. One stunt is to refuse to do the test on the first appointment due to technical difficulties and bill the victim more than once for one polygraph.


NEVER use John McClinton for a criminal matter. 

Odds are your criminal lawyer will give you the same advice. NEVER contemplate a polygraph as a solution without first obtaining expert legal advice. If you think you can afford a polygraph financially you should get 30 minuets legal advice from an appropriate experienced and qualified lawyer. Odds are the legal advice will be to forget the polygraph and use appropriate legal tactics and reasoning to use the allegations to your advantage. A botched up polygraph can corroborate false allegations!

Again, John McClinton's activities can be described as an opportunistic mixture of quackery, fraud and extortion who preys upon victims of false allegations

John McClinton aka "polygraph examiner" "criminal investigator" "relationship tester" has a web site at http://liedetection.ca  His main office was 1 Eva Road, Suite 406,

Toronto, Ontario, M9C-4Z5
Phone: (416) 620-7111
Fax: (416) 620-1249



If you are the victim of false allegations, you probably need an experienced lawyer who has a proven track record. The vast majority of false allegations are unsubstantiated with dubious corroborating evidence made on the assumption that the victim will believe that there is a reverse onus on the victim to disprove the allegations.



SEE ALSO http://www.ottawamenscentre.com/John_McClinton_polygraph_examiner.htm