Saturday, December 1, 2012


Melissa Tiers of The Center for Integrative Hypnosis in New York City is committing degree fraud as she purports to have earned a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Alternative Healing through Albert University. She also claims to have earned a B.S. degree in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology.

Melissa Tiers is a member and instructor for the so-called ethical (NOT!) National Guild of Hypnotists and the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association.

Albert University and the American Institute of Holistic Theology are new ones for us. So we decided to investigate.

We initially searched our own resource for degree mills at and found that, yes indeed, Albert University is a known degree mill. On, the administrator wrote:

"A New Phony! Albert University Today, I saw a tiny ad in the back of Natural Health magazine for "Albert University", offering doctoral degrees in hypnotherapy and "alternative healing".

The President of this fine institution, "Dr." Barry Seedman, "earned" his degree from American State U, one of the worst diploma mills, and one of the very few to be shut down by Hawaii authorities.

"Dr." Seedman modestly reports that he has won "almost every major award in his field", and goes on to list awards by a bunch of organizations I've never heard of, but no awards from any of the legitimate hypnotherapy groups. Big surprise.

The school offers mail-order Ph.D degrees, which are described as "Technical degrees, similar to Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Chiropractic, and not academic degrees". (!)

Apparently, for the hypnotherapy degree, one submits one's trance inductions on a cassette tape for review. And it's a little frightening that they offer courses that clearly fall in the realm of things that only a licensed psychotherapist should be doing. Not cool.

Oh... and there's almost a full page of accreditation apologia -- the standard stuff, probably ripped from ASU 's site. The school claims to be accredited by the probably nonexistent and almost certainly fraudulent Government Accrediting Association of Delaware.

And when you download the PDF application to the school, we find that it's campus is (surprise!) a PMB address which turns out to also belong to "JW Doan Hypnotherapy."

(That's a new one... a combination Mailboxes Etc and hypnotherapy service...)

However, you are supposed to send your application and $500 fee to the "Eastern office" which, conveniently, is in New York, where "Dr." Seedman lives.

I was hoping that this was one of those well-meaning but clueless holistic folks, but I don't think so. The $6000 fee, and very misleading statements on the value of the degree and the fraudulent accreditation make it pretty clear that the guy is out to scam people.

The amazing thing is that anyone is actually dumb enough to sign up for a program like this.

We then turned our attention to the undergraduate degree she boasts. While one's undergraduate education goes beyond the scope of this blog, we will sometimes take a look at it if something seems out of place, particularly since the term "metaphysics" is used. We couldn't find much of anything regarding the American Institute of Holistic Theology. We looked on their website at and found that not only do they not have any kind of accreditation, they boldly announce that they chose "not to seek traditional accreditation" -semantics for "we wouldn't get it if we applied for it."

Therefore we affirm that Melissa Tiers of New York, NY has NO ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS WHATSOEVER.

See also