The Success of PASSTool in Afghanistan

SSRM Tek is a technology that we at NPT have developed that screens the response of the subconscious mind to virtually any stimuli. We have incorporated that base technology into a software called PASSTool which we have been operationally testing in Afghanistan over the last 2 years.

Human beings are frequently the “weakest link” in mitigating threats to national security and commercial industries. People can be manipulated to conduct espionage against their sworn nation, conduct sabotage operations against a government or commercial facility, and even inflict mass casualties as a suicide bomber or carrier of a pathogenic biological agent. People are frequently influenced by harmful negative factors such as drugs, alcohol, and traumatic events which radically affect their performance and reliability. Current technologies to “detect” these issues before they become problems are practically non-existent. Where technologies are available to address some of these issues, they are frequently invasive, intrusive, and expensive.

Background investigations, as envisioned by Western standards, involve a detailed review of historical and personal records. These types of records simply do not exist in Afghanistan today. It is easy for an Afghan citizen to change his name and make up a cover story or personal legend to evade counterintelligence and/or law enforcement checks. Given the nature of the violent insurgency in Afghanistan, probes by hostile foreign intelligence services, lack of national-level records and electronic communications, and the expected high degree of corruption and use of personal vices, an effective personnel security screening program is nearly impossible to introduce using well known and established Western standards.

Traditional investigational methods of observing the human psyche, including the active methods of presentation of various test problems, the analysis of the dynamics of learning, and questioner data collection, are insufficient. This is because in-between the researcher and the psyche of the subject being tested is the conscious mind, which mediates all actions and processing of information and modifies all reactions.

Humans are the product of information of their surrounding environment. Any traits, influences, abilities, etc. are described and experienced through words, pictures, sounds etc. Information is categorized and prioritized by emotions throughout one’s life. The major content of the human’s informational being is not accessible to his/her conscious mind as it belongs to the subconscious mind.

The mission of this study was to choose and test technologies capable of conducting investigations to determine the trustworthiness and suitability of selected members of the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) being the bases for granting Afghan MoD security clearances up to a top secret level.

The main technology tested is called the PASS Tool and it is based on the measurement of an individual’s emotional “reaction” to visual stimuli – words or pictures evoking a strong semantic connotation and subsequently affecting motor-skill response. A word or picture is displayed via a computer screen at a fraction of a second called the “probe” – visual images pass through the retina and are “seen” only at the subconscious level but not at a conscious level; then masked by a row of random 15-digit numbers (for text probes) or a scrambled image (for picture probes) which is the only image the person taking the test registers at the conscious level. The person taking the test is trained to press a button when he sees the random string of numbers or scrambled images. If the subconscious-based probe evokes a strong-enough reaction, the person taking the test presses the button either more slowly or more rapidly as compared to subconscious control stimuli which are random strings of numbers or scrambled images. These subconscious-based probes and controls are shown randomly throughout the testing cycle in word or picture “groups” and the results are statistically calculated and presented in an easy-to-read format.

All 50 Military Intelligence officers successfully followed PASS Tool testing procedures providing meaningful data. To validate these results a “subjective review” was conducted involving senior officers who did not take the PASS Tool test. It did serve to establish a level of “confidence” comparing the PASS Tool results to what military intelligence officers had on file. The comparison between the PASS Tool testing and the subjective reviews was overwhelmingly positive, see full article for results.

PASS Tool was identified in the Afghan environment as an excellent screening technology that rapidly “passes” individuals that do not display a measurable reaction to chosen stimuli and points out the individuals who require further investigation.

We concluded that the subconscious-based PASS Tool is an innovative solution to high-throughput personnel security screening requirements providing a highly unique, real-time reporting capability indicating potential serious problems which require subsequent investigation. Although the austere Afghan environment demands such out-of-the-box solutions, this tool is equally valuable in solving some of our homeland security challenges such as access to sensitive programs (surety programs, restricted areas, etc.), security clearance programs; screening for post-traumatic stress disorders; routine inprocessing protocols; border crossing sites, and visa applications.

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