A New Phony! Albert University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Chip, Aug 28, 2001.

  1. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    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.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    One has to wonder that if Dr. Bill Cosby was hired onto the staff, it would become "Fat Albert University". [​IMG]

  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    If Cosby had hijacked the domain name for the university away from Dr. Seedman, then it could be renamed "Albert Swipedyour University"

    (OK, I know it's a stretch, but I'm tired.)
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Isn't that an oxymoron?
  5. JE Brunton

    JE Brunton New Member

    I would like to set the record straight regarding the State of Hawaii's enforcement action against American State University. It is correct that the State filed suit against ASU several years ago. It is incorrect to say the State shut them down. The suit against ASU preceded the strengthening of Hawaii law in July 1999 and was primarily based on non or inadequate disclosure of ASU's unaccredited status. The suit was settled with a stipulated judgment requiring ASU to comply with the law and with the payment of a $39,000 civil penalty. The penalty was fully paid and ASU continued in business for some time thereafter. I would only be speculating as to the reasons why ASU decided to cease operations in Hawaii sometime later.

    Jeffrey E. Brunton
    Staff Attorney
    Office of Consumer Protection
    State of Hawaii
    235 South Beretania Street, Suite 801
    Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
    tel. (808) 586-2636
    fax. (808) 586-2640
    email: [email protected]
  6. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Oops! My mistake!!

    Dr. Rudy Marn, the proprietor of American State, mentioned on a.e.d. some years back, when this happened, something about a voluntary agreement that ASU would move somewhere else, or cease accepting students, or something. I'm sure that whatever he said was full of "spin", and it was that memory that I was relying on.
  7. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Definitely not.

    Milton Erickson, M.D. is considered by most in the field to be the father of modern hypnotherapy. He was a very highly respected psychiatrist and there dozens, maybe even into the hundreds, of books on clinical hypnosis and trance induction techniques based on Erickson's work.

    Bandler and Grinder subsequently took Erickson's work and essentially "reduced" it into a very mechanized form of work called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Unfortunately, though, just about anyone can get trained in NLP, regardless of background, and so there are a lot of half-baked, inadequately trained people with no credentials holding themselves out as qualified to do hypnosis. Between that and the stage-show bozos, the field has gotten a really bad rap. But the Erickson work is definitely legitimate, with thousands of well-documented case studies both at inpatient mental health hospitals and with patients treated on an outpatient basis.
  8. sophia1980

    sophia1980 New Member

    Y'all Sure it's Phony/

    The City university of New York has a "Professor" using a PhD in "Esoteric Studies" from Albert U.

    It can't be phony if a reputable regionally accredited public university has it's credentials boldly on its official pages.


    Wendell Edwards
    Associate Professor
    BArch, Pratt Institute
    MS Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University
    PhD Esoteric Studies, Albert University
    Registered Architect in the State of New York
  9. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Unfortunately, this happens fairly frequently. My guess is Professor Edwards was hired by CUNY on the basis of his bachelors and masters degree, and did not disclose his "esoteric studies" degree from Albert.

    In the past when the professor and/or school has been contacted, the phony doctorate generally disappears pretty quickly from the CV and online references.

    I also double checked in the CHEA database to make sure there wasn't a legitimately accredited Albert University, and there is not, so it seems pretty unlikely that Professor Edwards holds a legitimate doctorate degree.

    Anyone want to check with CUNY or Prof. Edwards?

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