Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Larry Volz - FAKE DOCTORATE

Richmond, Virginia hypnotist Larry Volz, who refers to himself as "Doc Larry Volz," claims to hold a PhD in Clinical Hypnotherapy, "one of only a few in the country." That's because the degree doesn't exist. In fine print, at the bottom of his website, he posts, "Dr. Volz's PhD is a nontraditional doctorate of philosophy earned through courses and thesis work with the National Board of Professional and Ethical Standards and awarded through Breyer State University." A glance at the accreditation page on the "Breyer State University" website reads, "Breyer State University is not accredited by an accreditation agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education."  NO ACCREDITATION = NO DEGREE.
Breyer State University is a known degree mill (See here http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2012/11/known-diploma-mills-resource-guide.html) He is the self-proclaimed dean of a self-proclaimed American Institute of Clinical Hypnosis.
Update: April 17, 2013, a former client who was ripped off of more than $2000 from Volz reaches out to us. See http://fakedoctorate.blogspot.com/2013/04/former-client-of-dr-larry-volz-speaks.html

Update: On July 21, 2012, this PhD scam artist responded on his blog site. 

Response to libel against

Larry Volz PhD


[It's not libel if the information I provided to the public about you is true]

This is my response to the "anonymous" attack of libel on my character and professionalism.  A Maryland psychologist has written a blog and optimized it for search engines with headlines and keywords such as:

[We are not in Maryland]


People Who Have Fake Doctorates: Larry Volz - PhD Scammer

and


Larry Volz Scam

and


This person apparently seems quite threatened by myself and several of the individuals below that she also listed in her blog.  The first of us were all within an easy driving range of her practice and she could certainly lose business to any one of us.  I am assuming that is why she libeled us and can only think she is ashamed of her behavior and that is why she did it anonymously.

[We are not threatened by individuals who falsify their academic credentials. We are providing a service to the public and warning them about scam artists like yourself a claim to have fake credentials]

She made a couple of comments that I will specifically respond to:
1 - Breyer state university is not accredited by the USDE and therefore the degrees it offers are invalid
2 - That because my degree is unaccredited I "cannot help anyone."
3 - That using the word "transpersonal" makes someone a "sham"


As to the first:  It wasn't long ago that degrees in chiropractic were not accredited and the American Medical Association actually had a policy where doctors were supposed to tell their patients to stay away from chiropractors because they were dangerous.  Eventually the chiropractors came together and created a class action lawsuit against the AMA and won.  The AMA had to reverse it's policies and now chiropractors are a respected part of our health care system as they should be.


She said it herself that there are no accredited hypnotherapy degrees in America.  That is true.  If there was, I would have taken an accredited course of study.  But since the U.S. department of Education is a very political organization and in my opinion often behind the times, I had to make do with the best education I could in my field of study.  I took classes, passed exams and wrote a dissertation to get a non-tradtional PhD in clinical hypnosis because I believe in hypnosis as a powerful healing modality and the U.S. educational system and traditional schools have failed me.


For that matter, they have failed a lot of people in a lot of disciplines.  Many people are turning to complimentary forms of healing and accredited programs are unavailable for most.  For instance, naturopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda are all disciplines that are not regulated by or accredited by the USDE - however many people have found a lot of help through these modalities.  In the case of Ayurveda, for thousands of years.  And for that reason independent schools will offer a PhD in Clinical Hypnosis, or a doctorate in Ayurveda or a doctorate in naturopathy, etc.

[You still haven't responded to my truthful allegation that Breyer State University, a known degree mill, gave you a non-accredited degree. In fact, it is a degree mill. You are not a chiropractor and attempting to say that the U.S. Department of Education is a political organization and that traditional schools have failed you as an excuse to lie to people in order to win their business should be criminal. Who have proved nothing other than reaffirmed that your "degree" is a sham.]


"Larry Volz, PhD Scam?"

Far from being a PhD scam, these are grassroots efforts towards creating a better standard of education for those of us who have lost faith in the system.  Which brings me to number 2...

[Falsifying one's academic credentials is not a grassroots effort. Simply go to a real college, earn a real doctorate, and then you can call yourself one.]

This individual has claimed that because my PhD is not "real" I cannot help anyone.  For this I refer you to www.hypnosis.ac.  Here I have put quite a few testimonials of people who have quit smoking, lost weight, ended fears and phobias, reduced pain and achieved other goals.  There are also several television excerpts from TV news shows who had me hypnotize people in front of them and did follow-up to make sure it worked.  It did - as you can watch and see for yourselves.

[You scammed a lot of people into thinking you are a doctor. The process of hypnosis is easy and anybody can do it. But lying about your academic credentials is not helping anybody other than your own pocket.]

I have lots of additional testimonials in client folders that I simply haven't had time to post because I am busy being a therapist, an entertainer and a father.  I think the dozens already up there are proof enough for any rational person to show that far from being a fraud, there is clear and present evidence that what I do works and my efforts are a benefit to my clients and my community.

[So? You still lied about having earned a doctorate. That's called a fraud.]

Here is my challenge:  TO THE PERSON WHO ACCUSED ME OF BEING A FRAUD - I CHALLENGE YOU TO COME OUT AND PUBLICLY POST ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE AND OFFER SOME TESTIMONIALS FROM YOUR CLIENTS TO SHOW YOU ARE EVEN CLOSE TO AS EFFECTIVE OR UP-FRONT ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT ACHIEVE FOR THEM.


In fact, I will go one step further:  I CHALLENGE YOU TO AN IMPARTIAL, THIRD-PARTY MODERATED COMPARISON OF YOUR INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES AND MY OWN AND SEE WHOSE CLIENTS ARE MORE SATISFIED WITH THEIR THERAPISTS' RESULTS!

[I challenge you to admit that you lied about your "doctorate." And I challenge you to go to college and get a real degree.]


This therapist won't rise to the challenge.  That's because she cannot.  Studies have shown that traditional counseling only succeeds one third of the time, one third see no difference and one third improve on their own.


33% effective. That's the best the U.S. Department of Education approved doctoral  programs can offer you.  Perhaps you can see where I couldn't care less about those programs.  I have taken masters degree level coursework in psychology, behavioral counseling and rehabilitation counseling at both Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University (both acredited) and universally what I hear is pessimism and frustration.  I especially hear it  from the students who work in the field.

[But you didn't even get a master's degree. How sad that you have to even post that you took masters coursework.]

By contrast, hypnotherapy works more than twice as often as traditional therapy (see statistics at www.hypnosis.ac) and studies have shown NO DIFFERENCE between licensed counselors and unlicensed.  Your minister is as likely to be able to help you as your psychologist.  And there is NO difference in effectiveness between a traditionally trained counselor who does hypnotherapy and someone who specializes in hypnotherapy.

[So, you still lied about having earned a doctorate. And, if you're practicing psychotherapy without a license, you may be held criminally responsible.]


That includes those of us with a "fake doctorate."

I can testify to that from my own experience as well as from the studies that have torn apart the traditional licensure system.  I once ran The American Hypnosis Clinic which was a referral and quality control organization that worked with 195 different therapists from around the nation.  After therapy was done we routinely interviewed the clients to see how they did.  Not only did a traditional degree make NO difference in the client outcomes, WE HAD TO LET GO THREE TIMES AS MANY LICENSED COUNSELORS AS WE DID UNLICENSED!

[Blah, blah, blah. Everything you're posting now is just gibberish to evade the fact that you lied about having earned a doctorate.]

I see it the same way I see American Idol:  How many PhD's in music theory win American Idol?  No one cares how educated you are - they care if you can sing.  If you have TALENT!  Traditional schools can't measure talent and focus on memorization of a broad spectrum of theoretical ideas.  Modern hypnotherapy schools focus on technique that bolster your natural talent.  I learned some valuable things at Radford and VCU -- but I learned 100 times more PRACTICAL and EFFECTIVE things in my "fake" PhD.

[More gibberish.]

Thirdly, she states that anyone who uses the word "transpersonal" is a "sham."  The word transpersonal refers to a spiritual/religious belief that some people will use in their therapeutic work.  Anyone who globally calls individuals a sham because of their personal spiritual belief is disrespectful and ignorant.

[And more gibberish.]

So to this cowardly, ignorant and self-righteous individual who feels safe slandering all of us because to sue her would cost us around $40,000 (according to my lawyer):I don't respect your opinion and neither should anyone else because you lack the moral character or professional efficacy to prove you can do better.  Your degree is nothing but a fragile hut to protect your dying ego.  I suggest that, rather than attacking those who care enough to do what you cannot, you focus on improving your abilities to help others.  Or at the very least, talk to our clients to learn the truth instead of seeing only what bolsters your sad self-esteem.


[And even more gibberish.]

And finally, this author made a joke about my being all "smoke and mirrors."  The fact is that after my undergraduate degree I discovered I enjoyed entertaining people with magic and comedy stage hypnosis.  When I took classes to become a stage hypnotist I discovered I could use my talents to help people heal as well - and that's when I went back for my doctorate.  And despite uptight people who think it "undignified" to both entertain and work as a therapist I believe that we should be balanced in our lives.  We should do things in life that give back to society AND do things that refill our own emotional batteries.  For me, life is in balance when I can help others with hypnotherapy, I can spend time enjoying my children and when I can make people laugh.  For that reason I proudly entertain with magic and comedy hypnosis and have even created a snake oil character to poke fun at the nay-sayers who are as ignorant as this detractor that prompted this response.


Call me a fraud if you like... but all of my successful clients and I will simply shake our heads at you and all the other counselors who have failed them to the point that they sought me out.

[Right, Larry. I've already heard from several of your former clients who want to sue you for fraud.]

Sincerely,


Larry Volz, PhD

"SCAM ARTIST", "FAKE PHD", "SCAMMER", "FAKE DOCTORATE", "SNAKE OIL SALESMAN" AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO CALL ME.