And this, as you might have guessed, is Whirled-class blog fodder because Mentz happens to have penned a number of selfish-help and financial books using "the Illuminati" and other popular McSpirituality/esoterica concepts as a hook, e.g., The Illuminati Secret Laws of Money -- The Wealth Mindset Manifesto: The Life Changing Magic and Habits of Spiritual Mastery. Then there are these gems. Why, there's even a book about "Quantum Bliss!" As you may recall, "quantum" this and "quantum" that were all the rage back in the heyday of the Universe's most successful New-Wage moviemercial, The Secret. Mentz's book was about eight or nine years behind the trend, but one should never leave a good exploitation stone unturned.
Mentz's Illuminati shtick kind of reminds me of the ways Kevin Trudeau used his own Illuminati-like "Brotherhood" as a hook for his massive GIN scam. In a recent interview with The Denver Post, however, Mentz laughed away the Illuminati angle, saying that it's just a marketing thing -- but seeing as how he has also penned several McSpirituality works under the pen name Magus Incognito, I'm thinking that he's just a big ol' liar.
According to their web site description, the Commission on Presidential Scholars is "a group of eminent private citizens appointed by the President to select and honor the Presidential Scholars." The Scholars, of whom 161 are chosen each year from a pool of high school seniors across the US, "demonstrate exceptional accomplishments in academics, the arts, career and technical education and an outstanding commitment to public service." Sounds pretty impressive.
Given all of the above, you may be asking, "What actually qualifies someone like George Mentz to be appointed to such a prestigious education board?" Well, first of all -- and I don't mean to be overly critical if you're asking an honest question, but... since when did genuine qualifications and credentials have anything to do with a Trump appointment or nomination for any position, particularly where important areas like education are concerned? I mean, come on... Betsy DeVos, anyone?
But since you may have asked, I'll answer. George Mentz's main qualification, besides his apparent ability to fudge the facts about his own nuttiness (and/or cynical New-Wage crapitalism), is almost certainly his utter loyalty to Herr Twitler. From The Denver Post, which first reported the nomination on October 16:
In 2015, Mentz wrote a blog post predicting Trump would win the 2016 election. The next year, he became a member of the Trump campaign’s economic coalition. On his website, Mentz says an unnamed publisher has bought the rights to a “blockbuster book” about Trump’s “success principles.” In an interview, Mentz said he did the research and expects the book will be written by someone else next year.Mentz has also donated substantial sums to other Republican candidates and causes (see link in the second paragraph of the above excerpt). And he writes finance columns for the conservative website Newsmax.
Mentz said his support of Trump dates back three decades, to when he met Trump at the Superdome in New Orleans, where Mentz is from. Trump was kind and gracious with his time, Mentz said, and he has been a fan ever since. He has donated thousands of dollars to Trump’s campaign and political action committee.
In all fairness, however, Mentz does have an "education" hook as well. In the real(ish) world, he is, as I mentioned, a lawyer, and he's also a professor of a couple of online courses on wealth management at the Texas A&M University School of Law (see page 8 of this document).
But wait, there's more! Much like Scammer in Chief Trump with his defunct Trump University scam, Mentz has a bit of an edumucation scheme of his own. He currently owns something called the Global Academy of Finance and Management (GAFM), which is registered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. And he was previously CEO of a similar Colorado Springs company called the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM). From the Denver Post article cited above:
Both companies award certifications, allowing applicants to add an alphabet soup of titles after their names. For a fee, you can become an accredited life coach, a certified political scientist, a master Islamic financial specialist or more than a hundred other titles. Having such a certification “makes you one of the next generation of global leaders,” according to a message from Mentz on the GAFM website.The Huffington Post piece I linked to in the first paragraph of this post (here's that link again) elaborates:
For $378, the company awards certifications to individuals who can then list official-sounding titles and acronyms after their names. (The certifications are “valid” for two years and then “members” must renew them annually.) At least 118 such titles are listed on the GAFM website, including “Certified Chartered FinTech Professional (ChFP),” “Master Business Analyst (MBA)” and “Registered Islamic Financial Specialist (RIFS).”The Denver Post piece continues:
A Wall Street Journal article in 2004 found AAFM awarded certifications to applicants who had never taken a course and, in some cases, had not taken a test to prove they knew the topic at hand. In 2010, another Wall Street Journal article found several people listed on AAFM’s board of advisers had never advised the company and were unaware the company was claiming them as an adviser.So... maybe not exactly like the faux-degree industry I used to snark so much about back in the day, but definitely not exactly unlike it, either.
Mentz defended his certification processes in the interview Friday. He says his companies have rightly used college degrees as a “pathway” to certifications.
“Our standards are pretty basic,” Mentz said, using a journalist as an example. “If you took 135 hours of college education to get your degree from a particular university and satisfied a major in journalism, then you’re qualified for certification in that area if you had a GPA or 3.0 or higher. So, instead of having someone go to Sylvan Learning and take a quiz to be certified, we would allow somebody like you to apply directly for a certification.”
"Oh, Cosmic Connie, you're just jealous of accomplished individuals," you might be saying, as so many others have over the years, in response to something they read here. To validate your point you might direct me to Mentz's page on the site of the American Academy of Financial Management -- the company of which he was formerly CEO -- which expounds on his impressive credentials. (Try to ignore the typos and other glitches, such as the fact that in the third-person blurb that was fake-written by someone else but clearly written by Mentz himself, he forgot to use the third person consistently throughout.)
Oh, goodness, a true Renaissance Man. I stand humbled.
Anyway, I've been thinking that in light of Mentz's Illuminutty leanings, there really is a place for poor caged Katie -- that would be Kevin Trudeau, of course -- somewhere in or around the Trump administration. Granted, Katie hasn't been able to actually give Trump money, at least that I know of, but he has been relentlessly rooting around in Trump's aperture for several years -- and the two have so much in common! -- so surely that should count for something. Now if only he and his persistent minions could persuade Trump to commute Katie's sentence and pardon him, a goal they've been pursuing for years... Unfortunately, Drumpf seems to have other things to occupy his mind besides uncaging Katie, such as avoiding the cage himself.
But as long as the devil is still sitting there grinning at that crossroads, anything could happen.
* Bull Sh-t Artist, of course
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