Sunday, November 12, 2017

'All of us can be harmed': Investigation reveals hundreds of Canadians have phoney degrees


Marketplace buys 3 fake PhDs from world’s leading diploma mill

By Eric Szeto, Nelisha Vellani, CBC News

UPDATE: After this story was published, Gilbert Correces's lawyer contacted Marketplace and shared Correces's master's degree in social work from the University of the Philippines.

Marketplace also received a copy of a 25-page dissertation Correces alleges to have submitted for his PhD from Almeda University. He also said he understood his work was received and approved by Almeda.

Marketplace has verified that more than 30 per cent of this essay was plagiarized.

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A Marketplace investigation of the world's largest diploma mill has discovered many Canadians could be putting their health and well-being in the hands of nurses, engineers, counsellors and other professionals with phoney credentials.

Fake diplomas are a billion-dollar industry, according to experts, and Marketplace obtained business records of its biggest player, a Pakistan-based IT firm called Axact. The team spent months combing through thousands of degree transactions, cross referencing personal information with customers' social media profiles.

The investigation revealed more than 800 Canadians could have purchased a fake degree.

"Keep in mind this is just the one operation," said Allen Ezell, a former FBI agent who investigated diploma mills for decades. "This does not give you totality of how many are being sold throughout Canada by all schools that are operating."

Ezell, who co-wrote the book Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas, estimates half of new PhDs issued every year in the U.S. are fake.


Former FBI agent Allen Ezell estimates half of new PhDs issued every year in the U.S. are fake. (CBC)

The impact of fake degrees is twofold, he said. They devalue legitimate degrees that people spend years and thousands of dollars earning. More importantly, professionals like engineers and health-care workers who lack the proper skills and expertise can put the public at risk.

"All of us can be harmed by any professional that … does not have the full extent of training that his credentials purport that he has," Ezell said.

"We can be harmed across the board, every day."
GO PUBLIC| Toronto lawyer out $100K after hiring fraudster with fake law degree

Axact's school websites are slick, and names like Harvey University, Barkley University and Nixon University give the supposed U.S.-based schools an air of Ivy League authenticity.

There are hundreds of Axact-linked schools that offer a range of educational opportunities with faculty ready to assist 24/7. Some schools even have a degree verification department for any third-party requesting transcripts or proof of attendance.

But none of the schools has a physical address, faculty photos are often stock images, and even the accreditation bodies the websites cite are fake.

One can often qualify for high school diplomas, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees or PhDs based on "life experience" and can purchase them for as little as a few hundred dollars.

As Marketplace discovered, Axact customers aren't shy about touting their degrees on their LinkedIn profiles, or displaying them proudly on their office walls.
'Those are my certificates'

Gilbert Correces didn't need any prompting before showing off his credentials to two undercover Marketplace journalists posing as a couple seeking counselling at his Toronto office.

"Those are my certificates up there," Correces said, pointing to a framed PhD in biblical counselling from Almeda University.


A picture of counsellor Gilbert Correces's doctorate in biblical counselling. Does it look official? (CBC )

Correces was working as an independent contractor at A1 Counselling. According to his A1 profile, he's a counsellor, social worker and psychotherapist who specializes in helping people cope with substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and the trauma of child abuse.

"I went to the [United States] to work and study at the same time," he said of his time working on his dissertation at Almeda University in Boise, Idaho.

His LinkedIn profile says he finished with a 4.0 GPA.

But the PhD and Correces's alma mater are both fake. Almeda University is affiliated with Axact's international diploma mill scheme, and is not an accredited post-secondary institution. There is no campus, just a website where customers can trade "life experience" and money for a degree.

"Counsellor" is not a protected title in Ontario — meaning anyone can call themselves a counsellor, regardless of their credentials. "Psychotherapist" and "social worker" are protected titles, requiring a certain level of education and registration provincially with the appropriate professional bodies.
'Therapy and counselling is not just a benign endeavour — it can provide harm.'- Dr. Alan Leschied, psychologist and professor at Western University

Correces is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. But Marketplace could not find his name in the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario database.

Dr. Alan Leschied, a psychologist and professor at Western University in London, Ont., said it's preposterous people are able to work with questionable credentials.

"Therapy and counselling is not just a benign endeavour — it can provide harm."

He reviewed parts of the Marketplace counselling sessions with Correces and said there was cause for concern.

"You don't disclose things of a personal nature, inappropriate, that are focused on yourself ... If you're just telling these stories because you're trying to be seen by your clients in certain ways … those are boundary violations."
Play

Caught on camera: Man practises counselling with fake degree
JUMP TO BEGINNING OF THE TRACK SKIP BACK 15 SECONDS WATCH SKIP FORWARD 30 SECONDS
ADJUST VOLUME

00:00 02:02 SHAREDOCK PLAYER TO CORNER OF SCREEN FULLSCREEN



Caught on camera: Man practises counselling with fake degree2:02

Marketplace enrols

To see what it takes to get a fake degree, Marketplace — using the anagram Peter Ma Lack, and with the help of former FBI agent Allen Ezell — decided to purchase a PhD in biblical counselling from Almeda University, like the one hanging on Correces's wall.

Qualifying for a PhD wasn't difficult. Lack provided Almeda University's "Professor Keith Evans" a backstory over the phone detailing his work experience and past education. He immediately qualified without ever providing a resume.

Evans then tried to upsell Lack a PhD from Gatesville University, another Axact-affiliated school that claimed to be based in Stockton, Calif.

Lack insisted on a degree from Almeda University, so Gatesville University came back with a package deal: a PhD in psychology from Gatesville University and a PhD in biblical counselling from Almeda University for $3,200 US. After complaining about the hefty price tag, Gatesville lowered it to $2,500.

A parcel arrived in the mail after several weeks, but there was a problem: only one degree was included — a PhD in psychology from Gatesville University.


Check out Marketplace's marks from Gatesville University. No school work required. (CBC)

After hassling Gatesville University for weeks about the missing biblical counselling PhD from Almeda University, the school sent Lack another degree, this time via email.

But there was another problem: the PhD was in psychology, not biblical counselling.

After even more hassling, Gatesville emailed another degree, this time with the correct label.


Marketplace's PhD in biblical counselling — very similar to the one that was hanging in Gilbert Correces's office in Toronto. (CBC)

In total, Marketplace received three PhDs (one for free), transcripts (3.92 GPA) and record of attendance papers.

Total cost: $1,550 US.
Customers 'not innocent'

With the help of former employees, court documents, and by piecing together digital clues online, Marketplace was able to identify more than 100 fake online schools and accreditation bodies connected to Axact.

Yasir Jamshaid, a former quality assurance employee at the company, said 95 per cent of the education customers "were crooks themselves."

"They knew they're buying something that is not real but they're still going for it. They're not innocent."

But he said when he blew the whistle on Axact in early 2015, he recovered approximately $600,000 for about 20 customers who he believes were actually duped. He said some of those customers spent tens of thousands of dollars on their fake education.

"You can tell in his own conscience this person wanted a real education," he said. "This guy or girl or woman couldn't get an education while on the job … and they're really genuine victims."

Pakistani authorities raided Axact's office following a New York Times report on the company that quoted Jamshaid. After the company shut down, authorities recovered hundreds of thousands of blank degrees, certificates and other documents from its offices. Several high-level officials were charged. None of them was ever convicted.


Umair Hamid, Axact’s assistant vice-president of international relations, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in New York’s Southern District Court. (Elizabeth Williams)

But in December 2016, the FBI arrested Umair Hamid, Axact's assistant vice-president of international relations, who was trying to set up a bank account in the U.S. He originally pleaded not guilty, but in April he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in New York's Southern District Court.

Hamid was sentenced in August to 21 months in prison. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $5 million.

Despite the conviction, it appears to be business as usual for many of Axact's schools.


Here's one of Axact's offices, located in Islamabad, Pakistan. Marketplace obtained company business records that revealed more than 800 people across Canada have purchased fake degrees. (CBC)

In a written response, Axact's U.S. lawyer, Todd A. Holleman, said the company "does not own or operate any online education web sites [sic] or schools, and there has never been any evidence produced to show that Axact owns or operates any such web sites [sic] or schools."

Holleman indicated that the diploma mills were created by clients of Axact and that it "does not condone or support any alleged wrongful or fraudulent conduct by its clients, who are independent businesses."

Who's responsible?

So who should be responsible for cracking down and protecting Canadians from people with fake degrees?

Ezell believes there's plenty of responsibility to be spread around, from individuals to professional bodies to police.

"It's everyone's problem," he said. "The people have to do their homework when they're getting ready to sign up with a school.

"It then goes to the employer when they're presented with the credentials to check it out. And then if you find something irregular, notify law enforcement."

Uttering a forged document is a criminal offence that can lead to jail time, said Michael Juskey, a Toronto criminal lawyer.

"If you act upon the document knowing and believing it is not genuine, you are potentially liable for that offence," he said. "It's fraud. It's a crime of dishonesty. Absolutely, you're opening yourself up [criminally]."
'I did not cheat'

Weeks after the counselling sessions, Marketplace approached Correces about his fake PhD and asked whether he thought he was violating the trust of his clients.

"I'm not," he said. "I'm using my skills."

Correces said he "did not cheat" when asked about having a similar Almeda University PhD as the one Marketplace purchased without doing any school work. Correces insisted he completed his dissertation in order to acquire his degree from Almeda.

A1 Counselling told Marketplace Correces's contract has since been terminated but would not explain why. His LinkedIn profile has also been taken down



Original story can be found here: 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Reader feedback on Travis Fox

Finding out that Travis Fox was holding a fake doctorate degree came too late for me.  In your blog you wrote:  "Do not trust them, do not go to them, do not give them your money. They are lying to you from the start. If they have to LIE about their credentials, then they are lying about being able to help you."  The following is my story - I lost all my cash by putting my faith in "Dr." Travis Fox's word.

Travis Fox was CEO of 3Form Media, Inc.  In November of 2014 I received a request from Travis to loan 3Form Media, Inc. monies in connection with a mutual friend, Tony.  Dr. Fox assured me that these funds would be returned in January of the following year or no later than December 7th in 2016.  The business was located in Irvine, CA at this time.  In January of 2015 I phoned Travis to see if the expected funds were in.  He said that they were working on it.  So, I waited until the contract maturity date of December the 7th of 2016 - no funds returned and by this time 3Form Media, Inc. closed its Irvine office.  3Form Media closed its doors in Irvine shortly after receiving my funds - without informing me.  I inquired of Tony - what happen to 3Form Media?  My emails to Travis were being returned undelivered and phones were disconnected.  He would later inform me that Travis moved 3Form Media to Nevada because they were going to get involved in the gaming industry and thought that Las Vegas, NV would be a cheaper and better location.  I was in a state of shock because I was never informed of the move, not by email, not by letter and not by phone.  My only connection with 3Form Media Inc., was through Tony.  Tony supplied me with Travis' current email and phone number.  I made contact.  From December of 2016 until now - I received several emails regarding 3Form Media, Inc. "active" status.  What did I lose?  A whooping $40,000.  When Travis was asked about the status of getting my monies back - he emphatically stated in an email with "clarity" that he is not personally liable for any funds loaned to 3Form Media, Inc.   He further stated that he lost monies too and was attempting to get them back.  However, he was my only contact and the only one convincing me to loan the monies.  I live in [OMITTED] and it would be a hardship to go to Nevada and to court.  However, I am now open to that possibility.

In short, I trusted him - thought he was smart and honest.  I lost.  Please get your message out.  Dr. Fox made a lot of promises then disappeared.  What if I did not know Tony - than I would have spent more monies on a private investigator.  3Form Media, Inc. website remained up for a long time leaving one with the impression that they are still in business in (Santa Ana) Irvine, CA.  

I am too low on monies to hired an attorney - what actions would you recommend?  

Now, I have no monies, not even to pay my house note or car note.  I am old and tomorrow will be going for a job interview.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Vanessa Lindgren, Leesburg, VA - Fake Doctorate

Vanessa Lindgren of Modern Hypnosis Works (at the Integrative Family Medicine Center) in Leesburg, Virginia falsely claims to have earned a doctorate in hypnosis. As readers of this blog are aware, there is no legitimate doctorate in hypnosis anywhere in the world. In her listing on Psychology Today, Vanessa Lindgren claims to have earned the "Doctor of Clinical Hypnosis" at the "Eastern Institute of Hypno[therapy]." While at one time there was a business license registered to the Eastern Institute of Hypnotherapy, it is in no way, shape, or form an accredited educational institution with any authority to bestow legitimate doctoral degrees. Also, judging by her own published qualifications, it doesn't appear that Vanessa Lindgren holds any legitimate academic degree. We reviewed the website at the office where she practices with others (the Integrative Family Medicine Center at https://fivestoneswellness.com) and it states that she holds a Master's degree in Hypnosis (again, there is no such legitimate degree anywhere in the world). On the same site she claims to have a bachelor's degree in Holistic Health, which also makes us quite skeptical since she fails to mention any institution.  You will also see by the screenshots shown below, that Vanessa Lindgren refers to herself in numerous sources as "Dr.," which make it appear that she is either delusional or desperate to heighten her legitimacy. Buyer beware, go elsewhere.







Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Elsa Stokes - PhD Fraud Update

Elsa Stokes (see our previous blog on her at http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2013/04/elsa-stokes-bay-harbor-islands-fl-fake.html wrote to us requesting to remove our blog about her. She wrote:

You had no right at all to post about me and that my PhD is fake, I am Board certified as a Alternative Doctor with the American Alternative Medical association, please feel free to call them and get the details, I am requesting you remove this off your site immediately I will report you to Google and any other measure I see fit including a law suit. You can see the certificate on my website. www.AngelHealingWings.com under the about tab. Just because you do not agree with what I do gives you no right to lie.

Our response:
Simply put, we don't lie. We carefully engage in a great deal of research before posting here. But we looked at your certificate:


It is very pretty. However, it is not worth more than the paper it is printed on. According to this list of Unrecognized Higher Education Organizations (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecognized_higher_education_accreditation_organizations), the American Alternative Medication Association (AAMA) made the cut. Your esteemed organization is not recognized by any legitimate authority. 

Even Stephen Barrett, M.D. of QuackWatch.org, who is a legitimate doctor, distrusts the AAMA (See http://quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/nonrecorg.html). 

But let's not stop there. Take this article about an 18 year-old who was arrested for going to hospitals and inviting himself to OB/GYN exams (see http://wonkette.com/599158/the-snake-oil-bulletin-teen-charlatan-just-like-the-grown-up-kind). Where did he claim to have received his doctorate? Of course, the American Alternative Medical Association. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Yvonne Oswald - Updated - PhD Fraud Upheld

We received a response from Yvonne Oswald. She wrote:

Dear Sir,
I have received an email from a friend of mine saying that you wrote a blog stating I have a fake PhD.

I am appalled that you would do this with no basis in fact. My PhD in Clinical hypnosis took me 6 years to complete and was one of the most gruelling things I’ve ever done in my life. It was with the American Pacific University with Tad James, now Kona University. I spent $10,000 US to complete it and my defence took place with three of the most respected professors in the industry. Brian Walsh PhD, one of the most well renowned hypnosis experts in the world, from the west coast of Canada, was one of my defence examiners. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/walshseminars

Please stop spreading gossip immediately or I will take further action.

I have two different Master’s in Hypnosis, a Master’s in NLP and Trainer’s Trainings, as well as a best selling book now in eleven languages. I have spent well over $100,000 on my education in Hypnosis and NLP. My work speaks for itself. I work with people who have PTSD, suicidal thoughts, cutters and people who have been abused emotionally or sexually. I would hope if you are a serious member of my soul group that you would do good work instead of spreading nasty rumours.

Please cease and desist immediately and withdraw any comments on your blog.

Thank you

Yvonne Oswald PhD

416 494 2233

Please feel free to call me on my cell if you have any further questions.


Our Response:
Yvonne Oswald of Global Welcome and The Healing House of Niagara Falls, ON, Canada confirmed that she "studied" at American Pacific University.  Readers of our blog know that American Pacific University is not accredited (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unaccredited_institutions_of_higher_education). Our educated readers also know that there are no accredited master's or doctoral level degrees in Hypnosis anywhere in the world. Further, she claims to have master's degrees in Hypnosis, again of which there are no such accredited programs anywhere in the world. There are also no accredited degree programs in NLP.

Thank you for turning us on to Brian Walsh. We look forward to investigating the legitimacy of his doctorate.

Your threat of "further action" does not intimidate us as no judge with a legitimate jurisdoctorate will take your fake PhD seriously.



--------------
Dear Yvonne Oswald, NLP trainer at http://globalwelcome.com,

Every single one of your marketing mechanisms highlights your "PhD" yet you provide no evidence, school, or program.

Ms. Oswald, you have seven days to respond to us with evidence of your degree. If you do not comply, you will join the ranks of your esteemed colleagues on this site.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jim Wand Update

Jim Wand is a peculiar individual. First he claims to hold a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California (See our original post about Jim at http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/jim-wand-fake-doctorate-and-cocaine.html).

Note that on the day of our original posting, Jim Wand of Wand Enterprises stated on his website that he "holds a PhD in the field of Psychology." See below:


And then, after our blog was published, Jim Wand changed his biography to read that he "holds a PhD in Philosophy." See below:



However, the Jim Wand's outlandishness continues in his "official statement in response to the blog post being circulated..." He wrote:

This is my official statement in response to the blog post being circulated about myself. In the blog post, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack by a competitor, I have been accused of not possessing a Doctorate from USC. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college in Iowa, my Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin. I also earned my Doctorate from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy (AIH), a southern California-based educational establishment licensed by the State of CA at the time of which I was granted the degree. Until recently, I believed that AIH was part of the University of California system and, because of this, had stated that I obtained my degree from USC. AIH was not part of the system. I misspoke about where I received this degree, and I apologize for doing so.
This same blog post also falsely accuses me of using cocaine and misrepresents information from a court decision. Let me be clear - I am not, nor have I ever been, a user of cocaine. Thirty years ago, I was asked to assist in a police investigation by purchasing cocaine, with government funds, as a part of a sting operation. I was involved in the situation only because law enforcement requested my participation. The documents included on the blog are from an appeal made by the primary target of the sting operation that was found to have no merit. I have never been charged with or convicted of a crime related to illegal drugs.
I have worked successfully as a stage hypnotist for decades. I am proud of my education, my experience and my commitment to this profession. Any suggestion that I am unqualified or otherwise unfit to do my job is blatantly false.” - Jim Wand


So now Jim Wand suddenly earned is doctorate at the unaccredited, illegitimate American Institute of Hypnotherapy, but had always thought it was part of the University of Southern California. He must have read the recent blog we wrote about Scott McFall and the American Institute of Hypnotherapy (See http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/scott-mcfall-not-doctor.html) Regardless, Jim Wand doesn't hold any legitimate doctorate in any way, shape, or form.

IF YOU ARE AN EVENT PLANNER THINKING ABOUT BOOKING JIM WAND, DON'T JUST RELY ON THIS BLOG. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND ASK FOR HIM TO BACK UP HIS CREDENTIALS.

About the cocaine....
What makes Jim Wand so special that the law enforcement community would recruit him to take down a drug dealer? Nothing. The legal opinion posted in our original blog is clear as to what Jim Wand was doing with cocaine.

It's fascinating how like-minded people stick together in the hypnosis profession. Those who "liked" Jim Wand's statement and support him included the following individuals:

Sean Michael Andrews
Robert Geigle
Gyula "Julius" Kovacs
Maureen Amen
Jeffrey Richards
Rick Green
Angie J. Hernandez
Tom Roth
Shawn Fetters
James Mapes
Brian Madrid
Blaze Driscoll
William Mitchell
Colton Frankenberg
Michael Mayo
Monica Augustine
Ari M. Silver
Joel Groth
Derrick Watkins
John Moyer
Robert Stremcha
Julie Jj Lahr
Doug Thompson

Robert Stremcha wrote "Thanks for clearing that up Jim, I was one of the few who stood up for you."

William Mitchell wrote "I can confidently attest to the high caliber of Hypnotic work of Jim Wand. He will always be Dr. Jim Wand to me. He is truly one of the greats of our profession!"

Jay Tee wrote "Jim, those hypnotists who know what we are about, also know how well you have led the field of hypnosis for years, and we appreciate your hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, there will always be those few who hate high performers, because they cannot do as well. And they will try anything to hurt those who have the audacity to keep on going on. The best thing you can do is to allow them to continue being their mediocre selves forever.
We've got your back, my friend."

If you do not support individuals falsifying their credentials or involved with drugs, then do not support any of the above named people who have the "back" of slime balls like Jim Wand.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Scott McFall - Not a Doctor

We found Scott McFall of Fort Myers, FL, thanks to Jim Wand's website (see our report on Jim Wand at  http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/jim-wand-fake-doctorate-and-cocaine.html). McFall claims to hold a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy. The screen shots at the end of this blog show just a few of the many times he has referred to himself as a "doctor" as part of his marketing campaigns. Followers of our blog know all too well that there is no legitimate doctoral degree in hypnotherapy or hypnosis anywhere in the world.

Scott is the owner of the Christian Hypnosis Connection and the Christian Hypnosis Association.

Scott needs to reread his Bible:
"You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another."  Leviticus 19:11 
“A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.” Proverbs 14:25
The American Institute of Hypnotherapy was owned and operated by Al Krasner.  Deirdre Barrett wrote in "Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy:"
Krasner had founded the American Institute of Hypnotherapy, which later morphed into American Pacific University, another unaccredited school/diploma mill according to Consumer Fraud Reporting Organization (2009) and the Oregon Department of Education. (See p. 131 or click here)
 Unaccredited + diploma mill = Not a doctorate

Interestingly, when we leaked our upcoming report about Scott McFall, he made a public announcement which was forwarded to us by a Facebook user:
I understand that I am being attacked by bloggers now. These attacks began at other hypnotists like Jim Wand and others. But since my qualifications are being attacked... For the record, I was trained in the 1980s by the National Guild, Then I went through the program at American Institute of Hypnotherapy under Richard Neves owned by Al Krasner (licensed by the state of California as an academic program). I started practice at the Oldenburg Clinic in 1984. During this time I worked in general practice of hypnosis through referral with various chiropractors etc. My grandmother and family were trained through Harry Aarons. My father and grandfather were students of Thurmond Fleet. During my years of practice I opened offices in multiple cities and and states. 5 of those practices were sold to other hypnotists after years. I then founded the IHTC group of schools that created vocationally licensed schools in multiple states. Some schools were operating under state exemption. Through seminars in multiple states I personally trained at least 300 stage hypnotists and over 1,000 clinical hypnotists.




Much like "Slick Willy" Will Horton (See our reports on Will at http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/william-horton-worthless-doctorate.html and http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/will-horton-update.html), Scott McFall completely skirts the issue of his illegitimate doctorate. We will call this a "Hortonism." Instead, McFall pleads with his readers, attempting to embellish all of his alleged accomplishments. Nothing he said addresses his fraudulent use of the title "doctor." If his accomplishments were so great, he would have no need to utilize false credentials.

Like many others boasting fake doctorates, Scott McFall is a champion of both the National Guild of Hypnotists and HypnoThoughts.







Monday, February 8, 2016

Will Horton Update

Yesterday we exposed William Horton for the worthless doctorate he claims to hold (See http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/william-horton-worthless-doctorate.html). Nevertheless, on the Hypnothoughts group that celebrates people with worthless, phony credentials (see Melissa Tiers' post below his -we exposed Tiers'  phony doctorate in 2012, see http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2012/12/melissa-tiers-new-york-ny-fake.html) he published a response to this. He wrote:
Teaching At Hypnothoughts this summer
Hey everyone just a quick note:
I am a licensed Psychologst [sic]
State of California (Psy)
State of Florida (LL)
International (and Florida) Certified Addictions Counselor
I post this as their [sic] was a question about credentails [sic]
Also been to FBI Training Quantico (Hostage & Crisis)


For somebody who allegedly holds a doctorate, his spelling is atrocious. Funny how he completely skirts the issue of his worthless doctorate.  In fact, not a single mention of it.

Yes, he indeed is licensed to practice psychology in California, a fact that we never contested-which also has nothing to do with the phony doctorate we exposed. However, Will Horton would never be approved to practice psychology in California today had his worthless master's degree not been grandfathered in.




As you can see, his license was issued in 1999. In 2000, however, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill #400 which delineates the following:

“Prospective students should be aware that as a graduate of an unaccredited school of psychology you may face restrictions that could include difficulty in obtaining licensing in a state outside of California and difficulty in obtaining a teaching job or appointment at an accredited college or university. It may also be difficult to work as a psychologist for some federal government or other public agencies, or to be appointed to the medical staff of a hospital. Some major managed care organizations, insurance companies, or preferred provider organizations may not reimburse individuals whose degrees are from unaccredited schools. Graduates of unaccredited schools may also face limitations in their abilities to be listed in the ‛National Register of Health Service Providers’ or to hold memberships in other major organizations of psychologists.” (See http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=199920000AB400)

In short, while Will Horton can practice psychology in California (and I am sure the California Board of Psychology is not thrilled about this) his degree and licensure is worthless anywhere else. Which begs the next question, how is he certified to practice psychology in Florida?

A review of his record in Florida yields the following:

Horton skirted around the requirements for licensure by applying for a LIMITED LICENSE. What is a Limited License? The Florida statute requires the following for a Limited License:

1. An affidavit stating that the applicant has been licensed to practice in any jurisdiction in the United States for at least 10 years...

2. The affidavit shall also state that the applicant has retired or intends to retire from the practice of that profession and intends to practice only pursuant to the restrictions of the limited license granted pursuant to this section.

3. The recipient of a limited license may practice only in the employ of public agencies or institutions or nonprofit agencies or institutions which meet the requirements of s. 501(c)(3)...

While none of this has anything to do with his phony doctorate we exposed, it is interesting to note that he was only able to obtain this LIMITED license in Florida for merely having been licensed in California for 10 years. However, in that he is misrepresenting his licensure and using this to further his financial gain from his NLP organization, seminars at hypnosis conferences, and product sales, it is quite possible that he is in violation of Florida law.

Additionally, a blog reader alerted us to Will Horton's bogus claim that he is a certified alcohol/drug counselor with the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association - (IAODAPCA). As you can see from the image below, a search of their member directory yields no William Horton.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

William Horton - A "Worthless Doctorate"

Today we would like to direct our attention to the poster boy of the National Guild of Hypnotists, the founder of the National Federation of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NFNLP), Will Horton. We noticed some time ago that William Danny Horton frequently mentions his acting studies at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but rarely mentions anything about his graduate background. So we decided to look. Thanks to his relationship with the phony-PhD James Wand (See our blog at http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/jim-wand-fake-doctorate-and-cocaine.html), we were able to find that Horton claims to have earned a Psy.D. at Newport University. Newport University? Never heard of it. So we started to dig.

According to numerous website, Newport University was a private UNACCREDITED institution. In a 2003 story about Donald Stettner, a school counselor who was criminally charged with child molestation, a reporter from Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV News wrote:

"Stettner claims he received a master's in psychology from Newport University -- which KDKA discovered is an Internet school that is not accredited by the US Department of Education. In fact, in four states, it's a crime to put a Newport University degree on your resume." (See http://teachertrash.blogspot.com/2007/08/diploma-mills.html)
Not accredited.It's a crime to list this university on your resume in four states.

In evaluating others who claim to have earned a degree from Newport University, Powerof3 Consultants found the following:
Our investigation shows that Newport University (aka Janus University) is not and never was an accredited institution in the US. Therefore their degrees are worthless. (See http://www.powerof3consultants.com/news-views-information/isnewportuniversitycaliforniaakajanusuniversityaccredited)
One individual wrote:
When my son was looking for a place to get a degree I checked out Newport University because they seemed to be close to where I live. Their website was different then. I think that they were then a diploma mill (pay your money get a diploma) at best and a scam at worst.

Further, a review of the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database yielded no dissertations by Will Horton.

William D. Horton the won the Presidents Award and Educator of the Year Award from the International Association of Counselors and Therapists-IACT -owned by Robert Otto, who we previously exposed for his fake doctorate (see http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2012/12/robert-otto-owner-of-imdha-and-iact.html), the Journalism Award with the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), Raffa Award from the International Hypnosis Hall of Fame (their highest Award) (also owned and operated by PhD fraudster Robert Otto) and the Pen and Quill Award from the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) -yes, also owned by PhD fraudster Robert Otto.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jim Wand - FAKE Doctorate and Cocaine Buyer

When you've finished reading this article, be sure to read the update here: http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/02/jim-wand-update.html

We've been wanting to expose this crook for years. We wondered how many thousands of people, including colleges and gullible students, he bilked of a tremendous amount of money from believing that he has legitimate credentials. Finally, with the help and research of a blog fan, we were able to nail him. Our informant said the following, and we couldn't agree more, "I am writing this to you since Jim has wronged many people in many different ways, and he is making a GRAND living all the way..."

Jim Wand, stage hypnotist and proprietor of Wand Enterprises where he attempts to book himself as well as other hypnotists (such as Rich Alexander, Rick Allen, Capt. Andy, Mickey Angel, Terrance B., Richard Barker, Melissa Barnes, Don Barnhart, Robert Berry, Rick Bultez, Michael DeSchalit, Kim Bromley, Matt Davis, Jay Brian, Richard E. Darshwood, Joanna Cameron, Patti Freeman, Barbara Gambrill, David Fontenot (aka David Fonteneau), Chuck King, Brian Madrid, Michael Mayo, William Mitchell, Pete Mamos, John Moyer, Nadeen Manuel, Nate McVicker, Michael Night, Freddie Justice, Brent Husmann, William Horton, Kevin Lepine, Pat Boulanger, Brad Clark, Brian Eslick, Shawn Fetters, Tracy Gray, John Greene, HypnoClyde, InTranced Hyposis, Brenda Kaye, Chaz King, Chris Mabrey, Steve Marino, Mark Maverick, Michael Mezmer, Jeff Michaels, Jay Noblezada, Kerry Sharp, Al Snyder, Tony Z., Jerry Valley, Tommy Vee, Cory Osborn, Tom Roth, Kenda Summers, Derrick Watkins, The Incredible Boris, Mike Winters, David R. Wright, Dr. Z., Jon Wayes, Doug Thompson, Brian Schwartz, Steve Atwood, Laura Amoroso, Michael Anthony, Martin Baratz, Andrew Becker, Richard Cole, Gary Conrad, Joe DeVito, Michael Djavahery, Michael Doubet, Brock Edwards, Kreskin, Bob Faith, Alan Ferland, Travis Fox, Don Friedman, Jimmy G, John Greene Sr., Jeff Harpring, Cody Horton, Robert Ian, Mark Irish, C. J. JohnsonBarry Jones, Jim Kellner, Jim Kenaga, Paul Knight, Dan Ladd, Don Mannarino, Scott McFall, Doug McGraw, Jerry McLane, Christine Michele, Chuck Milligan, Jason Mystic, Mary Elizabeth Raines, Valerie J. Reeves, Susan Rosen, David Rowe, Paul Royter, Richard Rumble, Dan Sanders, Harrison Smith, Jim Spinnato, Greg Steele, Ron Stubbs, Zac Tenneboe, Leroy Williams, Kevin Wolfe, and Rusty Z) at colleges and universities, claims to have earned a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California.

No offense to the names above named on Wand's website, but if you align yourself with an individual of poor moral and ethical penchants, then you are only tainting your own selves.


In an interview written at Henderson State University, James Henry Wand stated, " I got my Bachelors in Psychology at Iowa, my Masters at Wisconsin and my Doctorate at USC." (See http://www.hsuoracle.com/arts_and_entertainment/hypnotizing-henderson-jim-wand-returns-for-th-show/article_7d377008-50cd-11e5-8fa9-8ffb8a629b14.html).


And here's another article...(See http://www.hsuoracle.com/news/hypnotist-jim-wand-puts-students-under-at-show/article_39d48a82-f066-11e1-a9b4-001a4bcf6878.html)


Yet, somebody somewhere will say, "Hey! Those reporters are fibbing!" For those of you who think this, here are the words straight from Jim Wand's lying mouth:



However, upon contacting the registrar's office at the University of Southern California, Dr. (a legitimate doctorate, by the way) James Feigert, Assistant Registrar, confirms that James Henry Wand has NEVER attended USC. Does he even have a bachelor's or master's degree? That is worthy of further investigation.



Wait! There's more! It looks like Jim Wand has a taste for cocaine. We've always wondered why he wears those stupid looking sunglasses. Now we know they're there to hide his dilated pupils. Let's take a look at Jim Wand's criminal history...


According to the Open Jurist (See http://openjurist.org/925/f2d/268/united-states-v-pregler), James Wand was implicated in a cocaine distribution operation where he was the purchaser. The court brief reads, "The evidence against Pregler included involvement in drug transactions from 1985 to 1988, including sales to a government undercover agent. Before the sentencing, Pregler's attorney stated that his objections to the presentence report had been resolved but he questioned applying the Guidelines to conduct occurring prior to the effective date of the Guidelines. The conduct occurring after the Guidelines concerned the sale of cocaine to James Wand, a professional stage hypnotist, who was a cooperating government witness...Pregler argues that Wand persuaded him, through Wand's skills as a hypnotist, to sell Wand some cocaine in 1988, thereby allowing the Guidelines to apply to his sentence. Pregler's due process rights were not violated by using Wand as a government informant. Wand was a friend of Pregler's and Pregler testified at his sentencing that once he was presented with an opportunity to sell cocaine, he went along with it. He did not raise an entrapment defense or allege that Wand influenced him unduly to sell cocaine."



Jim Wand is a revered guest of Hypnothoughts Live, an organization run by Scott Sandland and Richard Clark that is chock full of likeminded "hypnotists" with questionable credentials and fake doctorates. In June 2016, Coke-Head Jim Wand will be teaching hypnosis in his home state of Iowa at the "Power House Summit" with Sean Michael Andrews and Richard Barker (See our blog on this scheister at http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2016/01/richard-barker-hypnosis-con-artist.html). It would be interesting to see if the three of them will be sharing lines of powder or if Wand will be keeping it all to himself. 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Richard Barker - Hypnosis Con Artist

While the goal of this site is primarily to expose those individuals fraudulently claiming to have fake doctorates, we sometimes like to expose individuals who are blatant frauds.

Richard Barker, a hypnotist who appeared on several television shows is one such individual. He recently self-published a book on Amazon.com (which goes to show that any monkey can self-publish) entitled "Selling Hypnotically." The "Incredible Hypnotist," as he coins himself, makes his money conning gullible aspiring hypnotists to take his "seminars" and doing hypnosis shows at fairs through his own agency, "National Entertainment Group." Instead of calling himself the "Incredible Hypnotist," we think he should call himself the "Despicable Hypnotist."

On the web page at www.sellinghypnotically.com where he promotes his book, "Selling Hypnotically," Richard Barker provided several testimonials "From All Around the World" from supposed people proclaiming how he has helped their business and marketing careers. Little do most people know, everything about these people and testimonials are fake -fake testimonials and fake photographs. Perhaps by the time you read this, maybe he will change things. However, the screenshots below will remain forever.

The first testimonial is by a man named "George James" who allegedly wrote, "Richard Barker knows his stuff. I joined his Incredible Business Master Class and my show bookings exploded. Thanks to his techniques and advice I finally understand marketing." See below:



However, our research found that this was no man named "George James." In fact, Richard Barker stole this photograph from a film producer named Christopher Riley. See below:































Then there is the lovely "Jessica Romano," who said "I have been with REMAX for 7 years now and I’ve never enjoyed so much success in my career. Getting the client to visualize and create the sale and use their imagination was an awesome practical tip I now use; this is an excellent read." See below:


However, this lady is not "Jessica Romano," the high-powered REMAX Real Estate agent that Richard Barker claims.  She is, in fact, Clementine Stowell -a Starbucks barista. See below:



























Then there is "Evan Gordon" who supposedly said, "I sell cars for a living; I love outside sales and love the people interaction. I realized I was approaching sales wrong when I read this book and it made complete sense." What a great testimonial this would be, if Richard Barker hadn't just made this up. See below:


As to be expected from "The Incredible Hypnotist," Richard Barker though, the individual pictured is not "Evan Gordon," but rather Simon McKinney, a New Zealand-based comedian. Now THAT'S comical! See below:


And then finally, who Richard Barker uses the alias "Victor Sessions," who supposedly said, "Just get the book, don’t delay or sit on the fence. Persuasion combined with Suggestion and Hypnosis – you won’t go wrong." See below:



Well, you CAN go wrong, if you waste your money on Barker's book because because the person photographed is not somebody named "Victor Sessions," but rather Morgan Stanley's Chief US Equity strategist named Adam Parker. I wonder how the real person posed "Victor Sessions" would feel if he knew about this. See below:



So there you have it. Would you waste your money on a book, show, or seminar by this con artist? We hope that, after reading this, you will make the right choice and run as far away from this snake as you can.






Thursday, December 31, 2015

Brick Saunderson - Fake Doctorate



Brick Saunderson of Crossroads Counseling Group in Parksville BC Canada claims to have earned the "Doctor of Ministry with High Distinction Honours from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana." Our research shows that Trinity Theological Seminary appears on the list of unaccredited institutions of higher education. Their website also states that they are not accredited yet stands behind the facade of a religious institution to assert their right to confer degrees. Therefore, Brick Saunderson does NOT hold a legitimate, accredited doctorate.

Brick Saunderson also states that he is a member of the following:

Registered Clinical Counselling-Hypnotherapist (Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists of Canada. which he founded)

Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist (ARCH Canada, also which he founded)

Certified Counselling-Hypnotherapist (International Medical and Dental Hypnosis Association (IMDHA) Speciality)

Certified Hypnoanaesthesia & Pain Management Therapist (ARCH Canada, which he founded)

Certified Parts Mediation Therapist (ARCH Canada, which he founded)

Certified Time-Line Protocol Therapist (ARCH Canada, which he founded)

Certified Neuro Lingistic Programming Practitioner (AUNLP)

Certified Instructor in Clinical Counselling Hypnosis (ARCH Canada, which he founded)

Certified Instructor (IMDHA, IACT (International Association of Counselors and Therapists)

Certified Mastery Coach (SCM)

Certified G-Jo® Acupressurist Instructor/Practitioner

Member of the International Alliance of Professional Hypnotists (IAPH)

Member of the American Counseling Association (ACA)

Member of the International Association of Marriage & Family Counselors (IAFMC)

Member of the Association Of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists (ARCH Canada, which he founded)

Member of the Federation of Associations of Counseling Therapists of BC

Member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology

Retired Professional Member of the IMDHA, IACT, NGH (National Guild of Hypnotists)