Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Good news on the faux-degree front

On several occasions I have written about my plans to buy myself some genuine phony credentials to increase my credibility. (I even worked that idea into some song lyrics I recently published.) It seemed like a solid plan, not only because "credentials" and "credibility" probably come from the same root word, but also because some of the most successful hustlers in the New-Wage selfish-help industry have questionable doctoral degrees. So I was all set to buy myself a doctorate or two.

Then, tragically, some of my dreams were dashed when I found out about some potential legal problems regarding two of the prestigious online Universities (a word that probably comes from the same root word as "Universe") that I had been considering. It seemed that these two Universities were on the "illegal" list of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). In the great state of Texas, where I live, using these illegal degrees to promote one’s business could be a Class B misdemeanor.

I was dismayed to learn that both of the fine institutions I had been most seriously considering were on the bad list. There was Belford University ("No degree-granting authority from the CB & no accreditation from a CB [Coordinating Board] recognized accreditor. Under investigation by the AG [Attorney General] for operating from a mail forwarding service in Houston. Diplomas mailed from the UAE. Previously had a presence in NV or AZ."). And then there was the University of Metaphysics ("No accreditation from a CB recognized accreditor. AKA University of Sedona."). I was particularly disappointed about the University of Metaphysics, which counts among its alumni such notables as singer/actress/preacher Della Reese-Lett.

Oh, goodness.

Well, Dear Ones, I recently received some very good news about the University of Metaphysics. I announced this news as a May 8 addendum to my October 2007 post entitled, "Faux-degree plans on hold?", but thought it only fair to bring such an important (and long-overdue) announcement up to the front page as well.

Recently a commenter going by the moniker I.A.T.H. pointed out to me that the University of Metaphysics/University of Sedona are no longer on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board "illegal" list. According to this person, the institutions were mistakenly placed there and have since been removed (you can read this person's full comment by clicking here).

I sent an email to the THECB web site asking for more details, and even going so far as to ’splain why I wanted them. I received this reply:

Ms. Schmidt, The University of Metaphysics and the University of Sedona were removed from the list of Institutions whose degrees are illegal to use in Texas in 2007 following the ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in HEB Ministries, Inc. v Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) (no. 03-0995) that the THECB does not have oversight over religious institutions. I hope this answers your question and feel free to contact our agency if you have other questions.

You can read the brief about that case here. Although the case involved a Bible institute/ministry rather than a New-Wagey spiritual bidness such as U of Metaphysics, the ruling was all about re-establishing that the State cannot interfere with religion. In the wake of that ruling the THECB determined that U of Metaphysics is a religious institution. (I’m not the only person who has noticed how religions – mostly born-again Christian-type religions rather than New-Wage spiritual institutions – continually attempt to interfere with the State. The religionistas don’t seem to see any inconsistency with that, asserting that they are simply living their faith, the main tenet of which is apparently that they must shove their beliefs down as many people’s throats as possible. It's really all about power...but that's beyond the usual scope of this blog.)

But anyway. The point is that the University of Metaphysics is no longer on the Texas "illegal" list. And really, it never should have been, especially when you consider what an impressive and well-respected doctoral program they offer.

DOCTORAL DEGREES AWARDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF METAPHYSICS

  • Doctor of Metaphysical Science, Msc.D.*
  • Doctor of Metaphysical Counseling, Mc.D.*
  • Doctor of Ministry, D.Min. specializing in:
    • New Thought Ministry
    • Holistic Counseling Ministry
    • Pastoral Counseling
    • Holistic Ministry
  • Doctor of Divinity, D.D.,
  • Doctor of Divinity, D.D., specializing in:
    • Pastoral Counseling
    • Spiritual Healing

The University helpfully adds this information:

*The title "Doctor of Metaphysical Science," and the degree letters "Msc.D." and "Doctor of Metaphysical Counseling," and the degree letters "Mc.D" are copyrighted and may not be used by any other school or organization.

Mc.D… hmm, that could almost stand for McDoctorate.

And here’s the rundown on the "doctorates" sold by U of Metaphysics’ sister institution, the University of Sedona:

DOCTORAL DEGREES AWARDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SEDONA

  • Doctor of Metaphysical Science, Msc.D.
  • Metaphysical Hypnosis, Mhyp.D.®
  • Doctor of Divinity, D.D.
  • Metaphysical Psychology, Mpsy.D. ®
  • Doctor of Theology, D.Th.
  • Bible Interpretation, D.D.
  • Doctor of Holistic Ministry, Mh.D.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, D.Phil
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D. specializing in:
    • Pastoral Counseling Psychology
    • Metaphysical Counseling
    • Holistic Life Coaching
    • Metaphysical Parapsychology
    • Holistic Life Counseling
    • Mystical Research
    • Transpersonal Counseling
    • Comparative Religion

I know I’ve mentioned this before on this blog (second item down, "Doctoring up your credibility"), and I still don’t know who originally said it, but it’s worth quoting (or perhaps paraphrasing) again: "Nothing says ‘credibility’ like a degree followed by an ® sign!"

The problem some of you may have is that a U of Metaphysics/Sedona eddycashun could get to be a little bit expensive, and in these tough economic times that is a serious consideration. Well, there is a low-cost alternative for those seeking a phony education on a budget. I’ve previously mentioned these folks too (third item down, "A degree of confusion"). At InstantDegrees.com, you can earn your doctorate degree for under $200, with no coursework, and it’s "100 percent legal!"

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME with a Fake, Replica or Counterfeit degree, diploma or transcript. We provide various types of LEGALLY issued and privately accredited college & university degrees entirely via our online service. Trusted providers online since 2001.

And you even get a bunch of bonus e-books with the deal, including "Hypnotic Writing" by Joe Vitale. (This is not to imply that Joe Vitale has a degree from Instant Degrees.com, or that he has any interest in that company whatsoever.)

If you are concerned that your Instant Degrees may not look real, or at least real-ish, you need not be. You can learn all you need to know about the quality of your Graduation Package right here.

Still, if you want to go for the best, and especially if you live in Texas or some other state that might frown on inexpensive degrees, you really ought to consider the University of Metaphysics. In fact, U of Metaphysics takes pains to explain why you might run into problems if you go for a cheap-o degree.

And that brings me back to the main point of this post, which is that U of Metaphysics being taken off the Texas illegal list is really, really good news. Do you realize what this means, Dear Ones? Not only does it mean that one of the people I've snarked about now has only one fraudulent doctorate (legally speaking) instead of two, but it also means that maybe I really can realize my dream of getting the best flaky degree possible without running afoul of the law.

Who said the Universe (or at least the University) isn't on my side?

Labels:

33 Comments:

Anonymous Silent Admirer said...

Connie, get all of your blog posts into a book and sell it. They are awesome and will be amazing to read in years time when we look back at all the losers you have snarked on and say the only one right in all of this was COSMIC CONNIE.

Sunday, May 17, 2009 6:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for the encouragement, SA. I do think my blog has money-making potential, even though at this point I couldn't exactly say that all of the people I've snarked about are losers (at least not from an earnings standpoint). Anyhoo... thanks again!

Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie:

English is my second language. Are you basically saying University of Metaphysics, or Sedona University are bad? I did a search and bumped on your blog.

I'd procrastinated,left it for next week for a month, and I haven't registered after receiving the scholarship; maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something. Needless to say, I do not want to waste my money or time.

Can you clarify?

Is it a bad place to get a degree? As you, I need some degree to work with.

Thanks.

Monday, May 18, 2009 2:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 2:17 AM: Thank you for your questions. The first thing to realize is that any remarks I've ever made about my own desire to get a degree have been facetious or sarcastic -- written purely for humorous effect.

Secondly, I have never said that any of the educational institutions I write about are "bad." I am not qualified to say whether a given institution is bad or good. I would only suggest that anyone who is considering getting a degree of any kind should do some research into how -- and if -- they can actually use that degree. They should research the educational and other background requirements for any industry or company they are considering -- and this includes researching whether or not the universities they are considering have the accreditation that will help them meet those requirements.

As I stated in my blog post, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) had previously had the University of Metaphysics/Sedona on its "Illegal" list simply because the institutions had not been accredited by an accreditor that was recognized by the THECB. The Texas Supreme Court ruling on the case I wrote about established that the THECB has no authority over religious institutions, and it was subsequently determined that the U of Metaphysics/Sedona are religious institutions. So there was no value judgment one way or the other in that ruling; it was simply a matter of church-and-state technicalities.

I can't advise you about your degree choices; that is up to you. But I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide.

Monday, May 18, 2009 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, everyone: You may have noticed that there are now Google ads on my blog. This is something I'd long considered doing, as some of my allies in the blogosphere have been doing for quite some time now. Well, let's just say I'm *really* motivated right now to earn a little extra money. Consider it part of my overall effort to "refuse to participate in the recession."

No doubt many of you are familiar with this type of advertising, and you know that it's pretty much run by 'bots who are great at picking up words in a post, but not inflections and intent. Therefore you will see many ads for some of the very things I snark about. (As soon as I figure out how and where to place a disclaimer, I will do so, as many of my fellow bloggers have done.)

All this by way of 'splainin' why you may see an add for online ministerial degrees right above this post. I can't wait to see what appears if I ever decide to write a really naughty post. ;-)

But hey, don't let the irony of it all keep you from clicking on the ads.

PS ~ In case you're wondering, the reticence in my response to Anon 2:17 AM had nothing to do with my new status as a Google-ads whore. Anon's comment just seemed to be one of those that called for erring on the side of discretion, if you know what I mean.

Monday, May 18, 2009 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

I have a few suggestions for the curriculum of your new scam/rehab facility as suggested by Ty.

http://www.snakelyone.com/12step.htm

You couls even issue, for a consideration perhaps, a photo-shopped course completion certificate.
Maybe a Ph B.S.?

Monday, May 18, 2009 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

I want to be a Doctor of Divinity! Will that make me divine? Why am I tolling away at these higher education institutes for my degrees, when I could be a Doctor of Divinity? Screw Stanford, I'm going to the School of Metaphysics. I kid, I kid...

On a different note, I thought of you recently Connie. I just finished reading Patti Stanger's, she is the matchmaker on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker, new book and she mentioned the Hicks! Stanger is a big fan of Abraham and Ester Hicks. She is also very Jewish/Wiccan/Astrology/New Agey about everything. She is much better on her television show than in print. She does give out some great tips about getting out of singledom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

It's a sign! I tell you, it's a sign!

The google ad invited me to Become a Clinical Psychologist!

I'm so excited!

~Doctor Lana De La Banana

Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off topic, but just a few days before "the annual elite meeting that shall not be named",
there was an Oprahberg meeting.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Secret-meeting-of-worlds-richest-people-held-in-New-York-45304702.html

What evil schemes has 'O' got in store for us?

Friday, May 22, 2009 7:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Greenlee said...

Dear Dr Cosmic
(that DOES sound right!)
I can't think of anyone more deserving of a Ph.D in "Mystical Research" than yourself. If they don't accept your website as a perfect dissertation on the subject - put a CURSE on them!

Saturday, May 23, 2009 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

I forgot to mention my turtle, Socrates, is now a Universal Life Minister. The Universal Life Church makers a big deal on their website about checking names, etc yet they sure didn't notice Socrates is only two years old! If you know anyone who wants to get married, Socrates is cheap and available.

Saturday, May 23, 2009 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last we can all zorb out way into the echelons of the educated via holistic crap.

Sunday, May 24, 2009 3:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie please write me out a degree as whatever comes next on your list. I want a degree the same as that Aussie Guy David Schirmer because he is shameless and I like the fact that in this day and age you can screw people over and call them liars and greedy and they can't do anything about it. Puts you in a position of control and makes you feel really important about yourself. So long as you keep adding names to your twitter and keep the competition to have the most, say the most, be he biggest idiot it will work. Thankyou.

Monday, May 25, 2009 6:39:00 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

My computer just about suffered from 2nd degree burns due to coffee being sprayed on it.

Imagine my glee at seeing an ad for the "The Masters of The Secret" website at the top of your blog.

Priceless.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I just wanted to thank everyone for the comments on this post. Most of them came in during the time I was having serious Internet challenges and I was unable to respond to all individually the way I usually do. But I really appreciate the comments and the support.

Monday, July 27, 2009 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger edwong3 said...

Hi, I am actually enrolled with the University of Metaphysics since fall of 2007, but haven't completed any of the requirements for the Ordination, Practitioner's Diploma, and the Bachelors Degree.

When I enrolled, my interest was to obtain a Doctor of Divinity degree specializing in Spiritual Healing. At the time, there was this feeling that I had a "calling" for doing that type of work.

What has happened since then is that I have thought over the idea, and am not 100% certain that in fact that is my "calling".

What most people don't realize about the U of M, is that it offers REAL educational programs in matters related to metaphysics, practical mysticism, spirituality, counseling, etc., through a series of courses that require study, completing exams.

One needs to submit a thesis for the Masters, and a dissertation for your doctorate degree, very much like the secular university systems.

When you consider that legitimate religious organizations can confer a doctoral degree on an individual without such requirements, and be entirely legal, the U of M stands out heads and shoulders above the others.

I have made it a point to attempt to complete at least the requirements to obtain my Bachelors in Metaphysics before the end of 2009. Perhaps I will feel the "calling" once again, and continue towards earning the advanced degrees.

Friday, October 09, 2009 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Connie! The final days of 2009 brought me to your Blog and all the comments you earned.I'm in London, UK. I've enjoyed your comments about fake degrees. This has to be exposed. But I am very glad to hear the news that the U.Met.Sc. has been removed from the Black List as I feel the courses they offer, and the strict requirements about work and examinations, put them on an all-together different footing to "the rest." May I also point out that the new International Metaphysical University is one of very high standard, with some of the very greatest of present-day practitioners on its faculty. It is based in Virginia.
I wish you and all your readers a Very Happy New Year. Emeliye Ilhade

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 4:03:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

edwong & Emeliye: Thanks for the additional insight on the University of Metaphysics.

As for the International Metaphysical University, here's what I found on their web site
http://www.intermetu.com/...

Degree Options
At IMU, we offer Associates through Doctorate degrees in:

* Energy and Alternative Medicine
* Intuitive Arts
* Shamanic Studies
* Paranormal Studies
* UFOlogy

They also offer "Life Credits" that enable "self-help junkies" to get credits for learning they've done on their own.

The big question for skeptics would be the value of these courses in the "real" world.

However, in fairness, there's a larger issue regarding degrees, which has been pointed out to me in various ways by people inside and outside of the self-help industry. This issue is that even the mainstream secular academic system is, in its own way, arbitrary and arguably more rooted in politics and (old) money than in the quest for academic excellence or life success. There's no denying that colleges and universities suck a great deal of money from consumers, with no guarantees that the graduates they churn out will be successful. More than one person has expressed the opinion to me that mainstream "higher education" is an even bigger ripoff than the self-help industry.

Even so, IMO that doesn't excuse the self-help gurus who try to increase their credibility by buying doctorates that require little if any work. A doctorate from the University of Metaphysics is still kind of borderline questionable in mainstream society, whether it's honorary or earned via submission of a dissertation, and then there is the question of whether the standards for said dissertations are as exacting as they are for mainstream/secular institutions. I sense, from what I've read of one guru's thesis, that some metaphysical institutions take an altogether more casual approach to same than their more traditional counterparts.

Then again, maybe "casual" is the wave of the future in all areas of life, especially since "no one reads any more, anyway" (as more than one person has also said to me).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 9:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Connie. I enjoy your ramblings and rantings. I'd like to share my own. University, like many things, has a good and bad side. I would say that it has done much more to hold back man/woman's creative than any other organization. Does any reader really think that a four year university course couldn't be done in two years, or even less if it was taught properly. I suggest reading some books by John Gatto, a New York teacher of the year. He is a revolutionary and powerful thinker/teacher. His thesis boils down to this, anyone, given they have a mature neurology, a strong desire to learn, good modelling skills and an master to model, can learn, literally, just about anything in a week or two. Sounds extreme, I know, but give it a read you will enjoy. There are also some of his audio presentations on torrent. I figured the best way to get a degree was from a closed college that was once accredited and who's records have been destroyed. Worked for me. If you Google, "life experience degrees suck' and also YouTube it you'll find interesting material. Keep up the good work and I hope you can make some revenue. Bye now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 8:45:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Hi Connie et al,
I'm coming across this blog quite late in the game but still have relevant input on the topic of any so-called "higher education" system. I began a pursuit of a Master of Public Affairs degree at the University of Minnesota/Humphrey Institute - now called Humphrey School. The Dean was in bed with Mondale, Mrs Clinton, and Obama to name a few of his cohort. This was exemplified when they hand-selected him to head to Paris to oversee international development. Now thinking about that topic alone should raise all sorts of alarms in a fairly educated mind: not the least being along the lines of why America the failing is involved in any foreign development. The real point is in the self-perpetuation of a dying and unrealistic paradigm to the tune of over $50,000 in "quality" higher education. Quality isn't based on reality, it's based on partisanship, at least in this particular program. The bottom line is keeping the Professors employed and paid...paid well at that.

Guess how many of my cohort of students were snatched up gleefully for CIA, State, USDA, USAID, or even local politics? Less than 10%. To boot, if you think reading MN-only authors and POETS (!?!?) is worthy of your $50k, then by all means, tap deep into your pockets in order to help keep your local Universities thriving. I've since switched to another Big 10 school. Amazingly, money and politics still drive the curriculum.

In a failing education, health care, welfare, and economic system it's hard to see a difference in unaccredited vs accredited (by the US DEPT OF ED) outcomes. Remembering that a system this size only serves to feed itself, are you sure that you want to be reductionist in your criticisms of half the total "higher education" topic?

Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie,
Thanks for your enlightment about the University of Sedona and University of Metaphysics. With all that was said about this school, I have elected to enroll in this school. I am on my second month with the course and I am truly inspired by the teachings. I have earned my BS in Business and am seeking to learn more about metaphysics. I am hopeful to gain my masters in law and still gain the knowledge through what the metaphysics will teach me. Although you may say this is a faux degree, I would beg to differ because religion is a seperation of church and state and can not be inclusive of the teachings that UoM or UoS has to offer its students. I am hopeful to gain a PhD from UoS in the next year outside of my law degree and will enhance and impact my career tremendously. God Bless You on your journey in seeking a higher education as well. Tammy

Sunday, November 25, 2012 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your *advice* about getting a degree without blood, sweat, and tears. I'd love to find something that combines quantum nutrition with comparative unity theory of healing. BTW - are you using "new wage"
in a facetious manner (sort of amusing) or are you
looking to use the convential term "new age?" Not sure.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Hillary Marek said...

I got my doctorites of divinity and my Dr of metaphysical sciences at University Life Church. I did not think any one wuld accept it but i iwas very ative ib the fourums and chat.Plus I got every book i could on the subject for free on paperbackswap.com (trade your old books for something someone else has)I was offered a Job in the feild at a wellness and detox institute for double what I was making as a local radio dj. Turned out the owner world renown Dr. Joyce Long had gotten her D.D. there in 1978. I am also in Texas and if you are anywhere around Houston there are so many free workshops and meet ups feel free to contact me anytime.btw the total cost of $30.oo usd. gets you you degree and a nice book on world religions check them out if for nothing better then the forums

Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one ever said that the UOS or UOM were offering "secular" degrees like a regular college or university. That's made very clear right from the website.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 9:52:00 PM  
Anonymous John Balla said...

After visiting the University of Metaphysics website, and downloading their prospectus, I noticed a heavy, even extreme emphasis on the founder, Dr. Leon Masters. In fact, it appears that university and Dr. Masters are almost synonymous. He is touted as having “ageless wisdom” on the home page. There’s a welcome message from him, a Q&A video, weekly mystical insights, weekly video broadcast, meditation CDs... all by Dr. Masters.

After perusing the rest of the website and reading the prospectus, I found it odd — conspicuously odd — that nowhere could I verify his credentials; just that he was Dr. Masters.

Vetting 101...

So if he's the guy I'd be learning from, and paying and investing in, surely I could find some very basic things about his background. But I got nowhere with Google either, so I contacted the University of Metaphysics, asking them, “Where did Dr. Masters earn his doctorate?” I also inquired into the “decades of consciousness research” since it is so highly emphasized on their website and in their prospectus as a major differentiator.

I have received no answer to what I consider “no-brainer” questions. Kind of a red flag for me, especially since I couldn't find anything on Google. And let's face it. You can find anything on Google. LOL! Makes me wonder if something is being intentionally hidden.

But maybe I'm wrong. So should the University of Metaphysics be so kind as to respond to my request at some later date, I will be happy to update this page with their response. And despite my puzzlement and skepticism about Dr. Master’s credentials and research claims, I’m still considering enrolling in the program for it seems that there are many happy graduates out there.

As for those posting to this page as “anonymous,” It is my hope that all visitors consider those posts with skepticism.

Friday, August 22, 2014 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous John Balla said...

As a follow-up to my previous post, I enrolled in the University of Metaphysics/University of Sedona. It was my hope that I would get my questions answered (described above) among other things.

Turns out, that was rather naive. No questions answered. Apparently, challenging Dr. Master's credentials and research disqualifies you from admission. They did, however, refund my money."

I leave it up to all of you to make your own conclusions.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the web-site Connie. If you havent already you might want to check out Ben Goldacre' bad science website - you guys are definitely on the same page (although you are hotter! :-)(this is a joke cos you said you are a narcissist!) (but you are hot)

I accidentally came across UMS on youtube which is how I came to your site. I'm just at the end of a four year PhD and my god it has been long hard and stressful. If only I knew about the UMS life could have been so much easier. A degree in six months, a masters in four months, and only a ten thousand word dissertation on any topic for a phd - wow that's the kind of phd I want!!!

Keep up the good work

Pete UK

Sunday, September 14, 2014 6:36:00 AM  
Blogger Reyn said...

Ms. Cosmic Connie -- it seems to me that specifically with the University of Metaphysics you are to some degree slandering them - please allow me to explain.

The University of Metaphysics requires WORK of students, actual, qualifiable work. The course of study for their doctoral is real - it is not however accredited.

Non-accredited degrees are not necessarily nor even generally fraudulent as such. They simply do not meet the extremely high standards expected by regional accrediting bodies that are part of the Higher Education Commission. Generally this may indicate that they do not have sufficient Ph.D.'s on their faculty, or that they have for some other reason been unable to attain regional accreditation.

In the case of the University of Metaphysics it is realistically a seminary style university. VERY FEW seminaries are accredited. Even major seminaries from major denominations generally cannot obtain full accreditation, especially at the doctoral level. That does not mean that their degrees are fraudulent, simply that they are not accredited. If you want an accredited theology doctorate, generally a divinity school - such as Yale Divinity or Princeton Divinity is a better bet than a seminary -- most practicing clergy (whether you like clergy or not), whether or not they have a doctorate from an accredited university as well, have generally completed some degree at a seminary as part of the ordination process.

Therefore, to treat the University of Sedona in the same way that you treat a diploma mill - realistically it is wrong, unethical, and nasty for no particular reason, or it indicates a lack of understanding of accreditation and the differences in degrees, or, perhaps it is an attack on Sedona's particular type of spirituality and religion - or on all types of spirituality and religion. I do not attack other people's religions - and I found your site through a completely unrelated search - but found it so ... well... honestly, disingenuous that I felt I had to take the time to explain accreditation.

For the record, I have worked in higher education for the State University of New York for well over 20 years. My degrees, I have several and am about to obtain another, are indeed accredited degrees - but I do not automatically discount degrees from non-accredited institutions, particularly when work is involved and they are, essentially seminaries.

Regards,

Reyn

Thursday, January 01, 2015 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Reyn: Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on this five-and-a-half-year-old blog post and explain to me some things that have already been explained to me numerous times and that I even acknowledged in this very blog post. I do understand the basics of accreditation and I understand that religious/faith-based institutions are not in the accreditation system. I also understand that many people have acquired credentials from the University of Sedona/University of Metaphysics by studying and working for them -- although more often than not, the "degrees" are in fields that I make fun of on this blog. However, the University of Metaphysics/University of Sedona and similar McSpirituality oriented companies also grant some credentials based on "life experience" and not on any actual course work. Sometimes all that is involved in order to demonstrate one's life experience is to have a valid credit card, if you know what I mean.

And I did have some very specific reasons for treating U of Sedona etc. the same way I treat a diploma mill, in addition to the above. On my posts about faux degrees I am targeting New-Wage scammers who acquire these degrees in an attempt to make themselves seem more legitimate. I suspect there are plenty of those. Joe Vitale, one of my main targets in the posts about iffy degrees, is one such example.

Like you, I don't automatically discount degrees from unaccredited institutions. I have several friends who are in the clergy and I love and respect them, even though I am not religious myself and their degrees almost certainly did not come from accredited institutions. My argument is with scammers who use their credentials -- legit or not, but they're usually NOT legit -- to bolster their credibility. Then when they are cornered about the issue they say that credentials don't matter.

You can call me disingenuous or nasty if it makes you feel better, but I have not been deliberately deceptive in any way. And "nasty" is obviously in the eye of the beholder. :-)

Friday, January 02, 2015 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Reyn said...

Thank you for your response. As I said, I do not specifically know the UoS - and if you have specific verifiable proof that "all that is required is a credit card" to get CBE (Credit by Evaluation) then I concede the point. The idea of experiential credit however is not new and is widespread. In the United States specifically, Empire State College of the State University of New York has been offering life experience credits for well over 40 years through a process of evaluative consideration of learning gained from experience. ESC is a fully accredited institution at the undergraduate and graduate levels which will shortly be offering doctorates as well (the first accredited doctoral program has recently been approved), which will make it a distributed university center for SUNY. Many other colleges have joined ESC over the decades. CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning) has been around for decades as well and has many accredited universities and colleges that are professional members of it. Credit banking is performed by some accredited institutions, although SUNY has resisted becoming part of the movement, a resistance that may soon change depending on decisions made by Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. Etc. So, as I said, if you have verifiable proof that they create life experience credits just for payment with no consideration of actual experiential learning - then you are correct and they are a diploma mill,if however they examine the claims for credit through the use of experts, then I would assert that they are simply a non-accredited institution. I originally have a degree in theology (Stevens, long gone now became culty and then closed), I only mention it in my cv as a note because it is unaccredited and I have lots of accredited work and degrees to use - however, I worked for that degree and I recognize that other people work hard for their unaccredited degrees as well.

As for scammers - as I said, I chanced on your blog post, and I haven't read the rest of your blog, simply the post that the search engine took me to -- but, what makes someone a scammer? I admit to working in fairly rarified atmosphere - but let's be honest, academics generally keep every newsletter article that they've written on their cv. I actually divide mine between professional publications (which are often position papers for various Democratic candidates, although sometimes actual "stuff" otherwise) and commercial, which includes everything I've been paid for, and I truncate the list, but that is rare. If someone seeks out and obtains a degree, if it isn't simply a piece of paper issued from a proported institution for no work - then at least it seems like they should be able to list it. Obviously accredited degrees are worth more, and are absolutely essential in many fields, but that doesn't make unaccredited degrees worthless, just less valuable.

At least in my opinion.

Regards,

Reyn

Saturday, January 03, 2015 9:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I don't have any objection to the idea of life experience creds and am aware that the idea is not new. What I am saying is that some of the "metaphysical" type "universities" set the bar awfully low and make things pretty easy for their students/customers.

A few years ago I happened to read the "thesis" that one of my blog's favorite faux-degree holders wrote to obtain an advanced-sounding credential at the U of Metaphysics. Basically it was an amalgam of content he'd already written in various books and articles; there were no original ideas or research. His style was only a tad more sophisticated than his copywriting. I suppose you could say he "worked" for that degree, but apparently not very hard.

What's interesting to me is that he has been commercially successful, and my guess is that he probably would have been successful without the dodgy "degrees" -- because you don't have to have a bunch of advanced degrees, or even any degrees at all, to make it in the industries I write about. It seemed that his "degrees" were just an attempt to make himself seem more authoritative and allow him to call himself "Dr."

What makes someone a scammer? you ask. Well, it really has little to do with degrees or lack thereof. (BTW I also acknowledge that even advanced degrees from accredited institutions are no guarantee of a successful career. I'm also aware of the ongoing conversation about how, increasingly, university education is often a waste of time and money.)

By the definition on this blog (and on others such as Salty Droid), being a scammer has to do with making big promises of health, wealth, and happiness through purchasing the products and "opportunities" offered by the scammer. It has to do with exaggerating or telling outright lies about one's fabulously successful lifestyle. It has to do with posting "information" that is misleading or downright untrue. Poke around here a little bit, and visit Salty Droid's blog as well, and you might get a better idea.

I thank you for reading and for engaging here, because it always helps me to evaluate and re-evaluate my own ideas.

Sunday, January 04, 2015 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger L. Marie Cook said...

So I am a new-agey kind of gal. I really like helping people. I use Tarot and intention setting. I like helping those who seek me, AND I don't charge or take donations. However people have asked me to run workshops. I'm not a therapist or a counselor. But I have a lot of experience, and by leading by example and word of mouth, friend and friends of friends seek me out.

I wanted to study and have some credential. However due to the religious and skeptical nature of meditation, affirmation and emotional self-analysis and intention setting, there are not a lot of options for me in the higher education, world, unless I want to be a clinical psychologist and run the risk of having my liscensed removed from having people burn letters to exboyfriends...

So If were to get the Master's from this new-wagey university, I would use what I learned.

What are your thoughts, if I an not trying to pass myself off as a therapist or prestiess, but a self-healing consultant. With a certificate from University of Metaphysics is blah blah specialty...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Reyn said...

Life couches - which is what you are talking about becoming - rarely have any credentials - a credential, whether or not accredited - at the graduate or post graduate level for a life couch would - I personally think - add to your appeal.

Reyn

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:11:00 PM  

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