There has been a trend around some parts of the paranormal biz of late. An increasing number of people seem to be claiming that they have fairly high level degrees. When examined, however the “degrees” turn out to be from completely uncredited “institutions.” Diploma mills for the most part. Bogus “paranormal universities at best.
One fellow rants and raves about how “ignorant skeptics” have to “lie” about everything, all the while portraying himself as a “Doctor.” This would seem to be a classical red herring as his “PhD” is as phony as a three dollar bill. He actually has an “honorary” degree from his local church (which church he conveniently does not disclose.) Then, this person creates a whole slew of mail order certifications for his spooky investigation club. This is all well and fine, however there are people who take this fellow seriously and really think he’s a Doctor (and give him money.)
Boy! Am I in the wrong business!
Why do I even mention it? People can claim all the stupid shit they want, that Santa is real or the Easter Bunny. That big smelly unknown hominids groove with them in their backyards. That strange alien beings travel millions of miles just to take blood samples because THEIR blood is special! Or that they have somehow magically figured what ghosts are and where we go when we die etc.
Why is this annoying? Sure, it doesn’t hurt me, not even a little. But something else occurred to me.This kind of thing is harmful, very harmful. Not to me. I really don’t care, but people who brag about fake credentials tend to do it for two reasons.
- they want recognition and feel frustrated in a world where they have to work for it. (i.e. they are lazy.)
- They don’t look beyond the moment. So the equation that nobody will notice you really don’t have a PhD seems like a pretty good idea! You can contribute just like the big-boys in those snooty universities do. After all it’s just a dopey ivory tower that some shithead set up just to keep me on the ground, (i.e. they are stupid.)
(For those of you who don’t know what “i.e.” means, please consult this.)
You people are not fooling anyone. No credentials are a hundred times better than fake credentials. I know some people in the paranormal biz who have no credentials for much of anything and they are well respected. James W. Moseley comes to mind.
Others actually do research, (at least they think they do.) They write entertaining books about their exploits into all manner of spooky places. A few people seem to like their books. It’s good fun! I have nothing against it. Unless…
When they brag about having PhDs they don’t have, I have a difficulty with that.
I recently had an email conversation with a fellow, he posted a panicky thing on his blog entitled. ‘PLEASE READ : Yes I am a REAL Ph.D By Dr. (So and So.) He felt that somebody in the paranormal “biz” was about to finger him as a fake. This fellow has a certificate from the University of Metaphysics which says “PhD” on it. That much is true. But this fellow is not a “Doctor of Philosophy no matter what his cert says.
I asserted that perhaps his “lama matter” (the University of Metaphysics ) might be a sincere institution which really wants to give it’s students a top notch education, it was still not accredited and it should be if it wants to become legitimate.
He said in one of his retorts to me.
If I am understanding your logic and viewpoint. It would be a fair statement in your eyes to say for example that there is a man/woman who is a race car driver. They travel around to several states and race at various local events and often times they win. They have been doing this for the last 4 years. But in your view it would be ludicious for them to actually tell people that they are a “real” race car driver since they don’t race in any national top events such as the Daytona 500 that you place value on. In fact it would even cheapen and demean the sport for them to claim they are “real” race car drivers.
Well that’s not exactly the same thing, it would be more like someone on the bush league dirt track circuit telling people he is a professional race car driver, like for NASCAR. People can enter the local race circuit for very little money and a modest amount of skill vs NASCAR which takes millions to enter and the drivers are the very best, drawn from the very same bush league dirt circuit. What would happen one of those bush leaguers strutted around the local dirt loop claiming they were a big shot NASCAR driver? Not only would they be laughed at, if they ever aspired to really become a driver for NASCAR, it would hurt them. Also, race drivers, pilots etc should never brag about qualifications they don’t have for obvious reasons.
Also; he’s suggesting that logic is a subjective thing. It is not, it cannot be or it would not be logic.
In academia, who you are has some bearing on what you say. Not that you are automatically listened too or you are assumed to be right. A PhD does not mean you are smart, I know many Dr’s who are blithering nincompoops about many things. I know some PhDs who are quite brilliant. But the sheepskin does suggest that you know how to do research.
I don’t personally know anyone who would claim academic standing that they didn’t have. Why? Very simply, one of the things you learn in post secondary education is how to do research and you are drubbed unmercifully if you do not. So people in academia know how to look things up. If you fake stuff, (like your credentials.) they will know and they will laugh at you, they will call you a fraud and dismiss you even if you are right!
If say, ten years from now you actually get a real PhD from an accredited institution you may still be called on your false claims ten years before. You can’t escape it, you attempted to pull the wool over people’s eyes and they will remember!
Now my “Dr” friend has an even worse problem, he may truly believe that a certificate from the University of Metaphysics in Sedonia AZ is a recognizable PhD. He’s wrong. The UMS is not an accredited institution, his degree is a divinity degree at best, it’s not a PhD in the general sense. It might fool the folks on the dirt track and this segues into my next bit.
However, if my “Dr” friend knows and understands that he has no academic standing, then he is actively trying to fool people into believing that he does.
That my dear funseekers is fraud.
I asked my “Dr,” friend, after going a few rounds with him if he thought that his “PhD” would allow him to teach at the same institution that bestowed it (let alone an accredited one!) This is how he responded.
Dear Odd Emperor,
I have not posted you last comment and have taken down all of your previous comments and my corresponding answers. The reason for this 2 fold. Out of curiosity I looked at your website and if I am reading right it is your “thing” so to speak to stir up trouble. Second the questions you keep asking will always end in a stalemate between us so it is a waste of time on both of our parts.
Best wishes to you,
A civil reply mostly and I respect that. However, apparently he thinks I’m correct about my point and won’t talk about it (a very typical response to this sort of question.) Also; my “thing” is to speak out out about issues, not stir up trouble (necessarily.) People who have things to hide don’t like folks talking about them do they?
He may think that talking about issues in the realms paranormal is stirring up trouble. Apparently pointing out that somebody’s 1 year PhD from a non accredited institution IS trouble – for him anyway. I suppose that’s too bad. The questions are real ones, the fact that he cannot answer them proclaims volumes about what he’s doing.
I know of several people in the paranormal business who actively engage in this kind of fraud. They get their little mail order degrees, then sell courses and books based on them which say “By Dr’s So and So” on the cover. Are they really doctors? Not on your life. They are not even authors! Nearly all of them self-publish (and Publish America IS a vanity press no matter how you spin it.)
I can’t take such people seriously, they are beginning a conversation with me by telling a lie. “A lie is an extremely poor way to say hello.”
Now – I don’t think this debases the academic community. Academia has been around for more than a thousand years. No goombah with a fake sheepskin is going to destroy that.
It does debase the people who are faking their degrees. It’s a big problem to the Paranormal community which already has a bad reputation because of people defrauding it. If the para community would like to change that, the first and easiest thing would be to start challenging people on their academic standing, for if they can’t even get through an undergraduate program, what would they do if they were really challenged?
OK, you say.
“Well who the vug are you to talk Mr Odd Emperor! Your not really an emperor are you smarmy pants!”
You are 100% correct, I don’t claim ANY academic standing. I also don’t try to make money and I don’t really give a shit if you respect me or not.
The Odd Emperor!
Share and Enjoy