What do Dictators Have In Common with American Animal Pets? Kim Il Sung, Hun Sen, Other Third World Dictators Have Bogus College Degrees
By Nate Thayer
After handing over all cameras, passing through metal detectors and patted down by soldiers of the Korean People’s Army checking for explosives and weapons, passing through a purification chamber with powerful jets of air to remove any specks of dirt clinging to unwashed foreign visitors, boarding the world’s longest moving walkway normally reserved for international airports, pausing to admire a large white statue of Kim Il-Sung bathed in a pink and blue lighting while music plays in the background, visitors to the mausoleum are granted access to a dimly lit room with high ceilings in the center of which is a glass coffin containing the actual corpse of Kim Il Sung.
After paying homage to the Great Leader, visitors are escorted to yet another room and issued audio headsets with a British accented English voice weeping in dramatic tone on the demise of the man described as the greatest leader in the history of mankind while viewing a giant world map depicting every place Kim visited during his lifetime, and mementos of gifts bestowed, personal possessions, and awards granted.
Prominently displayed there is a PhD Doctor of Philosophy diploma from Kensington University of Glendale California.
But Kensington University is a fake degree program long shuttered as a fraud degree issuing mill where it was once located run out of an obscure lawyer’s office in Glendale, California.
Kensington University has since been closed by the government of California since 1996 for being a fraudulent diploma mill issuing anything from a bachelor’s degree to a doctorate in exchange for cash requiring no actual work, without ever attending a single class or meeting an instructor, no classrooms, laboratories or dormitories with the entire campus housed in a lawyer’s office in a non-descript building in California. In its decision to close Kensington University the state Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education ruled Kensington awarded degrees lacking ‘credible academic standards” with “little or no rigor or credible academic standards are necessary in order to be awarded an advanced degree at Kensington University.” It relocated to Hawaii until that state government shut it down for good in 2003. The State of Texas passed a law making it illegal to use a degree from Kensington University on a job application, and other states which refused to recognize the university included Maine, Oregon and Michigan.
These revelations have not, however, sufficiently concerned the Pyongyang government enough to deter them displaying the Kensington University PhD diploma alongside his embalmed corpse at his mausoleum in Kumsusan Memorial Palace, in Pyongyang, along with a peace medal from Japan, which lies next to his “Medal “For the Victory over Japan”” awarded by the also now late Soviet Union in a room dominated by large paintings and photographs of Kim Il-sung meeting various world leaders, most of whom have since been violently overthrown by their own people during popular revolutions, including Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Nicolai Ceauşescu of Romania, Erich Honecker of East Germany, Gustáv Husák of former Czechoslovakia, Wojciech Jaruzelski of Poland, Todor Zhivkov of Bulgaria, János Kádár of Hungary, Houari Boumediene of Algeria, and Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania.
Kim Il Sung is not the only high profile dubious political leader to have obtained a degree from Kensington University.
Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, since overthrown in a popular revolution and fled the country in January 2011, had a diploma from Kensington University hanging on his wall in his palace–a doctorate in political science awarded in 1999.
Shaikh Arshad Madani , an Indian Muslim cleric who runs an outfit called “AskFatwa.com” and holds the title of “Editorial Consultant – Online Fatwa” and runs IndianMuslimObserver.com says in his official biography that he has “an MBA and also did his MPhil. from the ICBM College, Hyderabad, affiliated to the Kensington University, California, USA. Sheikh Arshad Madani is now Editorial Consultant – Online Fatwa and will guide the readers and answer their questions on subjects such as Basic Tenets of Islam; Hadith & Its Sciences; Quran & Its Sciences; Fiqh of the Family; Principles of Fiqh; Etiquette, Morals and Heart-Softeners; Knowledge & Propagation; Psychological and Social Problems; Islamic History and Biography; Pedagogy Education and Upbringing; and Islamic Politics.”
Ask Fatwa instructs interested parties to “Write to Us giving Subject Line “SEEKING FATWA ONLINE” for Fatwa and “LEARNING ISLAMIC DAWAH TECHNIQUES” for Islamic Dawah. We will publish your queries on Indian Muslim Observer in FATWA and ISLAMIC DAWAH sections under ISLAM category. You can seek guidance on the following Islamic matters” which include “Basic Tenets Of Islam”, “Etiquette, Morals And Heart-Softeners”, “Islamic Politics”, “Human Rights”, “Criminology”, “Problems Like Global Warming And Its Solutions From Islam”, and “Animal Rights In Islam
Former Thai Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Parliament, Bhichai Rattakul, says in his biography that he holds “a Doctorate Degree in Political Science from the Kensington University in California.”
A Member of Parliament for nine terms since 1969 and Leader of the Democrat Party, “Bhichai Rattakul is Honorary Vice President of the Thai Scout Council. He has also served as Chairman of the Anti Corruption Commission, Anti Drugs Commission, National Audit Commission and the 13th Asian Games Organizing committee,” according to his official resume.
In 2010, a scandal swept Pakistan with scores of politicians accused of holding fake university degrees after revelations brought under serious question whether President Asif Ali Zardari ever graduated, as he claims, from a London business school. Pakistani authorities ordered checks on hundreds of politicians after it emerged that dozens may have faked their degrees in order to win their seats. The Pakistani Supreme Court asked the Elections Commission to examine the degree certificates of almost all the country’s 1,100 elected officials. The Higher Education Commission said officials had identified 35 members of parliament who had not filed their university degrees along with their nomination papers, while the diplomas of 138 members were illegible. At least one sent a friend to sit his exams.
Nawab Aslam Raisani, the chief minister of Balochistan when asked about the issue by reporters, said “A degree is a degree. Whether fake or genuine, it’s a degree. It makes no difference.”
In 2008, the Iranian Interior Minister, Ali Kordan, an ally of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the official in charge of guarding against fraud and forgery in Iran’s then upcoming presidential elections admitted than a law degree from the prestigious British Oxford University he submitted on his resume as evidence of his qualifications for the job, was fake.
Dr. Yap Sin Tian – a controversial Malaysian leader and chairman of the Dong Zong organization pushing for Chinese education bought his doctorates from the Internet, including a PhD from the Kensington University in 1993 and another doctorate in Business Administration from Kensington University in 1991.
Dong Zong is a political group known as the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia that has demanded Government intervention tackling the shortage of Chinese language school teachers and demanded that non-Chinese speaking teachers be removed from Chinese schools. Dr Yap is also the chairman of the board of the New Era College. In addition to the two doctorates from Kensington University in 1991 and 1993, Dr. Yap Sin Tian’ resume claims a third doctorate from the Southern Cross University in Australia, another unaccredited entity accused of issueing fake degrees in exchange for cash and no work.
Kensington University has no classrooms, no laboratories, no dormitories, and its so-called campus is housed in a small Glendale office building in California.
Other graduates included Florida State Representative Jennifer Caroll, who bought a Master in Business Administration from Kensington university and was forced to resign from the National Commission on Presidential Scholars after being exposed for having a degree from Kensington University and Rene Drouin, the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation president, who sat on an advisory committee at the U.S. Department of Education.
The North Korean dictator didn’t go quite as far as the Cambodian dictator Hun Sen, who left school to join Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in the jungle as a teenager. He was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. in Political Science by Hanoi in 1991 and another honorary Ph.D. in Politics from the Southern California University for Professional Studies in the USA in 1995, another fraudulent degree issuing for cash outfit. But his most treasured accolade was when, in 1996, he was presented with an Honorary Ph.D. of Law by Iowa Wesleyan College, USA. He publicly declared that he was now an accredited lawyer and on September 15, 2004, Hun Sen was accepted and sworn in as a member of the Bar Association of Cambodia, licensed to practice law in the Cambodian courts.
In another lavish public ceremony in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen was bestowed a Doctorate in Political Philosophy from the bogus Irish International University (IIU), which offers worthless degrees and has no offices, instead operating out of a Dublin Post office Box mailing address, and having since been shut down there, moved to Monte Carlo. The IIU, which has 5,000 students worldwide and thousands of graduates, maintains the illusion of a valid education through an elaborate but misleading website, enhancing its reputation by renting space at the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Universities to stage its award ceremonies, photographs of which appear on the IIU website showing students receiving awards at the UK’s best seats of learning. One IIU award ceremony was held at the Oxford University Divinity School. The IIU university head and Executive President is Professor Hardeep Singh Sandhu, a Malaysian businessman who claims that the IIU’s educational programmes were accredited and quality controlled by the QAC-UK Ltd – the Quality Assurance Commission, based in North London, which Professor Sandhu claims is an “independent body” that maintained the quality of education in the UK and elsewhere, but a BBC investigation showed the QAC is in fact owned by Professor Dr Sandhu, who himself holds a doctorate awarded by another unaccredited university based in the Caribbean and his professorship is “honorary”, awarded by a European association set up to give out professorships.
Sandhu, on his website calls himself “Sir H Sandhu” but his knighthood was not bestowed on by the Queen of England.
But perhaps the most audacious of world political leaders to pad his resume with bogus accolades is the eccentric African dictator, Gambian president Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh has received Honorary Doctorates from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, Norman Academy, and National Taipei University of Technology, all but the latter fraudulent degree production factories. He has received awards through the an eccentric multi discipline fraudulent organization, the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, which bills itself as a higher education accreditation organization , including a peace award, the honorary title of Kentucky colonel and the award of Nebraska Admiral in the Nebraska Navy. A spokesperson for the Nebraska Governor’s office later said “We regret that this individual has attempted to embellish a certificate for a Nebraska admiralship, claiming that it was a high honor bestowed upon him by the governor, when to the best of our knowledge, this person has no relationship with or ties to Nebraska. ”
President Jammeh official biography lists “HIS EXCELLENCY SHEIKH PROFESSOR ALHAJI DR. YAHYA A.J.J. JAMMEH President of the Republic of The Gambia and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces” as having a series of “Honors” accorded him, including the “Grand Croix dans l’Ordre National du Lion”, “Orders of The Distinction of Liberia”, Libya’s Highest Honour “The African Medal by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi”, “ World Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA”, “1999 Platinum Record for Exceptional Performance by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA”, “Outstanding People of The 20th Century by the International Biographical Institute, Cambridge, England”, “the 2000 Millennium Medal of Honour from the American Biographical Institute of the United States of America”, appointed “Deputy Governor of American Biographical Institute Research Association (ABIRA) North Carolina, United Stated of America”, “Awarded the Doctor of Civil Laws Degree from St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada”, appointed “Honorary Admiral, Alabama State Navy by the Governor of The State of Alabama”, awarded “The Gold Record of Achievement for 1997by The American Biographical Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA”, “Man of The Year by the American Biographical Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina”, “Decorated with the highest Chinese Insignia -The Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand CORDON of The Republic”, “Appointed Honorary Lt. Col. ADC, Alabama State Military, and appointed Honorary Citizen of the State of Georgia, USA”.
The pro government paper the Daily Observer wrote in an editorial in November 2008 titled “Gambia: An Exemplary Leader” that “President Yahya Jammeh, on Wednesday 19 November 2008, received three awards in honor of his innovative approach to maintaining peace in the West Africa sub-region and the world at large. The International Parliament for Safety and Peace (IPSP) awards are presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the human family. The Gambian leader’s commitment to peace cannot be overemphasized, because he has always taken a leadership position on issues pertaining to global perspectives.”
The Governor’s office in Nebraska said the award of “Honorary Admiral of the State Navy of Nebraska” was arranged through the International Parliament for Safety and Peace (IPSP) Organization, whose officials presented the award to Mr. Jammeh. George Reiff, the “ambassador of the IPSP to The Gambia”, said that President Jammeh was also the vice president of the IPSP since 2008. Rieff said “We are also bringing an honor from the governor of Nebraska in the US, who appointed President Jammeh as the Honorary Admiral of the State Navy of Nebraska in US and this comes upon his good work and good deeds, which is a sign of diplomacy.”
Jennifer Rae Hein, Communication Director for the Governor of Nebraska said “He was nominated by Dr. Nasser Heydarian of San Francisco, California. It appears Dr. Heydarian is an Admiral in the Nebraska navy, as well. When we get requests for Admiralships from Admirals, those are approved,” said Communication Director Jennifer Hein, who said the Gambian head of state was among “a few hundred admiralships approved last month. Please note the context of the Admiralship – it is a certificate to be an “Admiral” in the fictional “Navy” of the landlocked state of Nebraska. There is no relationship with this person or organization and the Governor’s Office…..There are thousands of persons nominated and named Admirals every year. As I stated previously, this person was simply nominated by another Nebraska Admiral and therefore named an Admiral. FYI – I see on Wikipedia, this person is also a Kentucky Colonel. They have a similar program there.”
The Gambia Echo, an opposition website wrote in 2009 “Jammeh’s meaningless awards (are)from a questionable body whose award recipients include the worst of the worst in human society. Other recipients of this same award include Equatorial Guinea’s butcher President Obiang, Guinea’s Lansana Conte, and Hugo Chavez to name just a few. Jammeh can now join a long list of dubious political characters that share a common platform as cruel and vicious murderers. But, in addition, The International Parliament for Safety and Peace also awards college certificates that include doctoral degrees to people who have never set a foot in a university lecture room.”
The pro government newspaper the Gambian Daily Observer announced in July 2010 “Gambia: Russian University Awards Doctorate Degree to President Jammeh”, writing “The International University of Fundamental Studies (IUFS) in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, last Friday conferred on the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, a prestigious Grand Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa in International Relations and Diplomacy, at a ceremony held at State House in Banjul. This latest academic laurel for President Jammeh is in recognition of his outstanding service to humanity, his role in fostering peace in the sub-region, as well as his efforts in the improvement of the socio-economic sectors of the country. It comes at a time when the Gambian leader’s achievements within and outside the country are being recognized universally.”
On 15 May 2008, Jammeh announced that his government would introduce legislation that would set rules against homosexuals that would be “stricter than those in Iran”, and that he would “cut off the head” of any gay or lesbian person discovered in the country, threatening that his government intended to have all homosexuals in the country killed. In the speech given in Tallinding, Jammeh gave a “final ultimatum” to any gays or lesbians in the Gambia to leave the country.
In January 2007, Jammeh claimed he could cure HIV/AIDS and asthma with natural herbs. His claimed treatment program includes instructing patients to cease taking their anti-retroviral drugs and that those discharged from his program could not infect others. In December 2011, he stated his cure for HIV/AIDS was “going very well”
Fadzai Gwaradzimba, the country representative of the United Nations Development Programme to Gambia, was told to leave the country after she expressed doubts about the claims In August 2007, Jammeh claimed to have developed a single dose herbal infusion that could treat high blood pressure and also claimed to develop a treatment for infertility in women as part of what is called the President’s Alternative Treatment Program (PATP).
In March 2009 Amnesty International reported that up to 1,000 Gambians had been abducted by government agents on charges of witchcraft, and taken to detention centers where they were forced to drink poisonous concoctions. In May 2009, The New York Times reported that the witch-hunting campaign was ordered by President Yahya Jammeh, who believed that the death of his aunt earlier that year was the result of witchcraft.
In 2010, Jammeh also claimed that Gambia had “ the first Atlantic flight and the first flight from Eastern Europe (which) landed in the Gambia. ”
In April 2000, Jammeh was accused of ordering the shooting of 12 students and a journalist and reports list dozens of individuals who have disappeared after being seized by his government security, languished under indefinite detention without charge or trial.
The International Parliament for Safety and Peace (IPSP) is an Italian based for profit scam purveyor based in Palermo, Italy whose stated intention is the promotion of security and peace whose president is Vittorio Busa aka Viktor Ivan Busà, who claims the titles of metropolitan and archbishop of Białystok, president of the Republic of Danzig and the Democratic Republic of Belarus, and Grand Khan of Tartary and Mongolia, Orthodox Archbishop Metropolitan of Bialystok, Patriarch of the Western and Eastern Diaspora, President of the Republic of Danzig (sic), President of the Democratic Republic Byelorussia, and Grand Khan of Tartary and Mongolia, Viktor Timur II, ‘Monsignor’ Vittorio Busa ‘Orthodox Metropolitan and Archbishop of Bialystok, Orthodox Patriarch of the Occidental and Oriental Diaspora/ Metropolitan Grand Prior of the Pius Union of Christian Churches/ Religious Superior of the Ecumenical Ecclesiastical Community of Saints Andrew Apostle and of Caffa’.
IPSP contends it is recognized under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) and held observer status at the Technical Preparatory Committee of the Whole of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Abeba in 1992 and joined the United Nations Global Compact campaign in 2010 as a global non-governmental organization with 1400 employees, but was delisted the next year for a “failure to comply with Integrity Measures”.
IPSP claims association with many fringe world politicians and one of its many paper organizations is something called the World Parliament that one could join the Parliament for just $140. IPSP awards titles of nobility, and gives medals and honors for artistic merit for peace, educational, and political citations such as “senators for life”, which it has presented to president of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh and President of Gabon Omar Bongo, who was also bequeathed the title of “Grand Chancellor” of the organization and was awarded the IPSP peace trophy of 2006. The President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema, received a “Gold Medal for the Liberties of Peoples” from the IPSP in 2003 and is also listed as the organization’s vice-president.
IPSP secured the title of “Kentucky Colonel” in 2008 and Admiral of the Nebraska Navy”Admiral in 2010 for Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, presenting him at the same time with two awards and a letter from Barack Obama that were later deemed non-existent, as well as bestowing “Russian” and “German” honorary degrees from members of the IPSP to the Gambian head of state.
IPSP also issues its own fake diplomatic passports, which the Council of the European Union, Portugal and the Isle of Man, have declared fraudulent “fantasy documents.”
Numerous fake diploma mills which issue academic degrees for cash claim to be accredited by the IPSP, which itself is not accredited or recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. They include the Alternative Medicines Research Institute, Akamai University, European-American University, Institute of Energy Wellness Studies, Rutherford University, West Coast University, Weston Reserve University, and World Information Distributed University.
Rutherford University, for example, is declared a degree mill by the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization and moved its headquarters each time after academic operations were forbidden in British Columbia and Wyoming, finally closing its operations which were then headquartered out of Swaziland after a spate of public media scrutiny.
IPSP head Busá has a PhD degree as a special advisor to Rutherford University México, and records a 2007 PhD degree in Political Science from the International University of Fundamental Studies on his resume, which in turn lists its accreditation from the IPSP. The International University of Fundamental Studies was apparently associated with the multi-million dollar diploma mill Saint Regis University. IPSP also recognizes and accredits the World Organization of Natural Medicine, which sells the diploma of Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM).
Rutherford University México lists as a “Personal Académico [Academic Staff]” one “Senator Viktor Busa, PhD Special Advisor”
The IPSP bestows an annual “Peace Trophy” whose recipients have included Nelson Mandela and Carlos Menem (1995) Mikhail Gorbachev (1989), Lansana Conte (2002), Teodoro Obiang Nguema and Hugo Chavez (2004), and Omar Bongo (2006)
Among the alleged universities and higher education entities that the IPSP accredits are the European American University which states that “The University holds official accreditation via a Parliamentary Charter dated 29 July 2008 from the International States Parliament for Safety and Peace (ISPSP). The ISPSP is an intergovernmental association of nations founded in 1975 by Archbishop Makarios III, President of Cyprus, and Archbishop Viktor Busà, and chartered by the Presidents of the Republics of Cyprus, Mali and Senegal. It is internationally recognized under the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963. Today the Parliament is bicameral and appoints both Senators and Deputies. The President of European-American University has served as a Deputy to the ISPSP since 2003. Accreditation by the ISPSP certifies that an educational institution is in conformity with the minimum standards established by the Educational Department of the ISPSP and the legal requirements of its jurisdiction.”
Busa and his IPSP also run something called the International University of Fundamental Studies, which lists under “Registered Masters and Doctors List in 2007″ the Postgraduate Honour Holders of IUFS, of which “Victor Busa (Cyprus), Doctor of Political Science, Diploma DP 070901”
The International University of Fundamental Studies lists under “Accreditation and University Members” that it has an “Accreditation Certificate by the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, Presidential Office, Italy”
In a 2003 book “Degree mills: Bears’ Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance it states “An April 12, 2002, article in The Australian referred to Saint Regis as a ‘Dominica-based Internet degree mill.’ (which) appears to be associated with University Services (also known as Advanced University, as well as the International University of Fundamental Studies)?”
The West Coast University, which IPSP describes as “West Coast University (WCU) Panama has been granted a Parliamentary Decree that bears full validity and recognition with all member governments and nations under international law statutes recognized by the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961, (1963). WCU has been granted Parliamentary Charter conveying full authority to WCU to grant Certificates, Diplomas, Higher Diplomas, Associate Degrees, Bachelor Degrees, Master and Doctorate degrees as an Autonomous Institution, Internationally Accredited with the International Parliament for Safety and Peace.”
In 2010, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization said “Rutherford University. Wyoming, British Columbia, Swaziland, South Africa, China. Degree mill. No authority to issue degrees. Formerly labeled Stratford International University.”
IPSP also runs the “World Organization of Natural Medicine Practitioners” who Busa is quoted as saying “I must also inform you that WONMP is accredited [sic] and recognized by International Parliament for Safety and Peace (IPSP), under international law, recognized by the Vienna Convention of 1961 & 1963 (www.internationalparliament.org) Under international Law it is a crime to try to take away the civil liberty of the world people. DNM is a designation awarded to Doctors who meet the critera to receive it. There are two levels of registration for doctors/physicians of Natural Medicine as per standards established by the World Organization of Natural Medicine Practitioners.'”
To join the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, according to Busa, who also says he is the “Lord Protector of Moldavia” can be had for a fee of $140.
Senior University, Wyoming awards titles of nobility from an address in Palermo, Italy, according to the 2005 book Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas is accredited by the IPSP and the “Parlamento Mondiale per la Sicurazza e la Pace”
In 2007, on the “47th Anniversary of the Independence of Gabon” IPSP issued the Gabon dictator its “Peace Trophy”. “This prize was awarded to him by the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, a new society of Nations, for his personal involvement in seeking solutions to crises in the world and in Africa. This trophy entitles the President to the rank of International Grand Chancellor, and life Senator in the International Parliament for Safety and Peace. This is the highest distinction accorded by this institution. Former Presidents Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Mikhail Gorbatchev of the former Soviet Union and Pope Jean Paul II have also been awarded this prize.”
In the IPSP produced book presented to the Gambia dictator “The Gambia and Its President on the Road to a Prospering Future” published in Bangalore, India, it includes the passage “In 1989 the Trophy of Peace was conferred to the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail S. Gorbachev, in 1995 the president of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Nelson Mandela was solemnly rewarded as well as Dr. Carlos Saul Menem, President of the Republic of Argentina. In 2002 H.E. Lansana Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea has been honoured with the Peace Trophy. In 2004 H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and H.E. Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela were honoured as well. Finally in 2006 President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon got the Peace Trophy for his never ending efforts in promoting peace and security in his region of Africa.”
The IPSP peace award given to Gambian leader Yaya Jammeh was the handiwork of two people representing the Italian-based organization International Parliament for Safety and Peace, which, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, “provides credentials to educational institutions otherwise not accredited in their own nations, and of selling membership, titles and other distinctions for fees.
A pro Government Gambian newspaper heralded the awards in an article titled “Gambia: President Jammeh Bags Four Awards”. “The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh was Thursday presented with four different prestigious awards from the International Parliament for Safety and Peace (IPSP) upon its various initiatives in the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany, during a presentation ceremony held at State House in Banjul. The awards include the ‘President’s Volunteer Call to Service Award’, and the ‘Platinum Award 2009 by President Barack Obama’. The last two awards are the ‘Admiral of the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska’, USA’, given to the Gambian leader by its Governor, Dave Heinemana, whilst the fourth award, the ‘Honorary Vocational Bachelors Degree’ was given by the Printers and Publishers Guild of Northern Germany.”
In a 2011 article entitled “Nebraska Navy has ‘unsavory despot'” the IPSP Peace award was “was delivered to Jammeh by a representative of the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, an Italian organization that has drawn criticism for recognizing diploma mills. The group also passed along two other awards to Jammeh, purportedly from President Barack Obama. A U.S. State Department official said Friday that the White House had no connection with those awards. Jammeh’s honors were publicized in the Gambian press and soon drew attention from outside groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists initially was concerned that Obama and others were giving awards to Jammeh but later concluded that no honors were intended. The admiralship isn’t Jammeh’s first state award: Kentucky’s governor made him an honorary Kentucky colonel in 2008.”
The Government of the Isle of Man issued a “News Release, PUBLIC WARNING, FALSE IDENTITY DOCUMENTS, Camouflage and Fantasy Passports” saying “Spurious passports have the appearance of a passport, but are issued by organizations with no authority and to which no official recognition has been given. Such passports are therefore not an acceptable statement of either nationality or identity. Spurious passports and other documentation known to the authorities are: … International Parliament for Safety and Peace …”
In 2009, Rutherford University was formally banned by the Canadian provincial government of British Columbia. According to the Vancouver Sun in a story titled “B.C. Blacklists Private University” “Rutherford University continues to operate a website advertising distance learning through a ‘global’ campus. It says it is accredited by the International States Parliament, based in Italy, to offer degrees in disciplines from engineering to consciousness studies and sacred traditions.”
According to the book “The Diploma Mafias with a list of diploma factories worldwide” “Rutherford University, a diploma factory first based in Canada, escaped to the American state of Wyoming two years ago, after the Canadian government had taken action against companies selling fake university diplomas. But after Wyoming invoked its higher education laws, the university decided it was better to leave America altogether and it is now selling its diplomas from Swaziland. Its website says the university is fully accredited by something called the International States Parliament…Other institutes which look like daughters of Rutherford University even claim to be accredited by the Supreme Council of the Presidency of the International States Parliament.”
On its internet homepage the Institute of Energy Wellness Studies claims in a “Special Announcement “that the “IEWS has been accredited by the Supreme Council of the Presidency of the International States Parliament to grant certificates and Higher Diplomas, Associate Degrees, Bachelors, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees internationally as an autonomous private institution. The International Parliament desires to encourage International Education. The Official parliamentary Decree of Accreditation bears full validity and recognition with all Governments and Nations members of the International States Parliament for Safety and Peace, under International law Statute recognized by Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961.”
Weston Reserve University claims under the heading “Operating Authority & Recognition” that “Weston Reserve University and the other member’s school of UCI hold a Parliamentary Charter from the International States Parliament for Safety and Peace, Palermo, Italy. This charter is valid in all countries that recognize the Parliament.”
The World Information Distributed University holds “Accreditation and recognition of the Global Education system (GES)” continuing that “The International Parliament of Safety and Peace (IPSP) accredit the IFUS. The IPSP has given the full right to award scientific degrees of the International PhD and Grand PhD officially recognized by all States (more than 155), entering in IPSP-New Association of the Nations (NSN) as the Intergovernmental Organization of States (IOS).”
The International Biographical Centre is a publisher owned by Melrose Press Ltd that specializes in producing biographical publications, such as the Dictionary of International Biography and other awards. It is based in Ely, Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. The Government of Western Australia termed its activities a scam. The International Biographical Centre creates “awards” and offers them widely. In the mid-2000s, awards cost the recipient between US$375 and $495 each, but as of 2010 the cost was as high as $395 for a Commemorative Medal or US$440 for a laminated certificate. The affiliated American Biographical Institution (Inc.) gives out awards like Man of The Year, Scientific Award of the Excellence to many people in a year and the person may be same at a time. Every award can be purchased from them.
The Department of Commerce of the Government of Western Australia classified the Centre’s offers as a scam and said: “The material promoting the International Biographical Centre creates a false impression about the credentials of the organization. It also wrongly implies that the receiver of the letter has been picked through a special research process considering their work and qualifications.”
World leaders who have been given accolades and awards by the IBC include Jona Senilagakali, interim Fijian Prime Minister, Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia , Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the Greater Romania Party, Adrian Severin, Romanian politician and Member of the European Parliament, Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, Iranian minister, and Hamid Behbahani, Iranian minister.
The interlocking connections between the Italian based IPSP, the International Biographical Society, numerous fraudulent diploma mills, and organizations that bestow nobility and Royalty titles is a n extensive global network.
For instance the National University of Criminal and Security Sciences (NUCSS) claims to be “ a chartered national university of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom in the Republic of Uganda. The royal charter of incorporation is bestowed by His Majesty King Rukirabasaija Agutamba Solomon Gafabusa Iguru The First, the Forty-Ninth Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara. The education ministry of the kingdom approves and accepts all NUCSS programs, from certificate to doctorate levels. Current application for a provisional license to establish and operate a private tertiary institution in the Uganda Republic from the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) is pending approval. The university is located at Kwebiika Hostel, Rukurato Rd, Room No. 23, P.O. Box 1, HOIMA, Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom in the Republic of Uganda.”
In turn the NUCSS is affiliated with The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty which is accredited by “The King and the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. This kingdom, once the most powerful in East Africa, was created out of a former empire and is one of the oldest on the continent. It has an inspiring history, a rich culture, and a bright future. His Majesty Rukirabasaija Agutamba King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru the First, is the forty-ninth Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara. He is the twenty-seventh King (Omukama) of his dynasty, which is the royal Babiito dynasty. To receive a royal title and certificate, according to its website, or “to Become a Member or merely make a contribution: Please send us a check or money order, and your contact information to the following address or use the PayPal “donate” button below and donate. Membership is $30.00 or more. $500.00 or more is for permanent membership. We hope you will donate to the cause. Their listed address is: The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty (ICNR), 311 West Third Street, Suite 1234, Carson City, NV 89703, E-mail: [email protected], Message phone: (775) 887-0607, Fax: (775) 887-0738”
They are in turn affiliated with the International Biographical Institute and the American Biographical Institute.
One member is Malaysian professor Dr. Tan Man-Ho, head of St. Clements University as well as the national University of Criminal and Security sciences. “On December 7, 2005, the Governing Board of Editors of the American Biographical Institute (ABI) has selected and proclaimed Tan Man-Ho as a Great Mind of the 21st Century (2005) due to significant accomplishments within, and mastery of Psychophilosophy as documented in the 2005 Edition of GREAT MINDS OF THE 21st CENTURY which is reserved for men and women whose accomplishments and influence are the result of Superior Conditioning of the Intellect. He was also nominated as Man of the Year 2005 by ABI. In recognition of outstanding contributions to international communities and life success for the betterment of society and services to humankind his works has been dedicated in the 2005/2006 Edition of the Great Minds of the 21st Century. The American Biographical Institute, the publisher of biographical reference directories since 1967 and whose Governing Board of Editors with over 100 years of combined experience in biographical documentation, has named him one of the 500 Greatest Geniuses of the 21st Century (2006) and one of the greatest minds of the 21st Century (2007) due to dedicated and influential successes in the field of Psychophilosophy. In 2007 he was conferred the title of Genius Laureate (ABI) of Malaysia, a title which goes beyond entry and to be won with pride. The biographical listing was published in 500 Greatest Geniuses of the 21st Century (Premier Edition, Copyright©2009, ISSN 1940-8498 by the American Biographical Institute, USA). He was listed in the Dictionary of International Biography (34th Edition, Copyright©2008, ISBN 978 1903986 30 1 by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, UK)”
Dr. Tan Man-Ho’s biography is stunningly impressive on paper.
In June 2008, he accepted the International Biographical Centre (IBC) office as the Vice President of the World Congress of Arts, Science and Communications, Cambridge, UK. In July 3, 2008, he was edicted as a non-diplomatic American Biographical Institute (ABI) Sovereign Ambassador in the ABI Order of American Ambassadors (O.A.A). He was appointed as a Charter Fellow Advisory Directorate International by ABI in July 25, 2008.
He is registered and designated as a Doctor of Humanitarian Service by the World Organization of Natural Medicine (WONM, Registered No. WDHS/2949) and appointed Assembly Member of the World Organization of Natural Medicine-Clinics for Humanity on 26th May 2008. WONM is established per World Health Organization Alma Ata 1978 Declaration, and awarded International Accreditation and Recognition by Parliament Mondial, under International Law Status recognized by the Vienna Convention 1961 and 1963. He is a registered practitioner (Ref. No.: 20091222208) with the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia under the complementary therapies category. He is active in the International Holistic Touch Initiative (IHTI) programs.
In August 2010, Professor Dr. Tan Man Ho was honored Ambassador of Knowledge, at University of Cambridge, UK.
In August 30, 2007, Professor Dr. Tan Man Ho was appointed as a diplomatic and international lobbyist volunteer for the Parlement Mondial’s peace ambassador. His activities have being low profiled and modest. He made trips to Ratchaburi, Thailand to assist the appointment of the Ratchaburi Governor and Director General of the Provincial Administration of Thailand H.E. Dr. Vongsak Swasdipanich as Parlement Mondial Senator. At the same time, he assisted the appointment of the State Minister of Sabah, Malaysia, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok as Parlement Mondial Senator. He made a trip to Cambodia to assist the honoring of H E Samdach Akkak Moha Sena Padey Dekjo Hun Sen the then Prime Minister of Cambodia as Parlement Mondial Senator-for-Life. He made 2 trips to Papua New Guinea between 2007 and 2008. The first upon invitation by the Timothy Bonga, MP for Naweb, PNG for diplomatic and international lobbying of Parlement Mondial candidatures and meet Jeffery Nape, Speaker of the Parliament in Papua New Guinea 2007. The second which was unofficial for further discussion. His diplomatic and international lobbyism slowed down at the end of 2008. However, on January 4, 2010 he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Parlement Mondial Ambassador. This time he became active again and successfully secured an official invitation by the Foreign Minister of PNG to visit PNG.
In January 15, 2011, he was appointed by His Majesty Rukirabasaija Agutamba Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I of the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda Republic as a Representative to Malaysia.
In February 11, 2011, he received The US President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House, Washington, USA and a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. He received the Order of the Knights of Rizal from the Philippines on March 26, 2011 which entitled him for a ‘Sir’ and became a Knight Commander Rizal (KCR) by the end of the year. He also received an award with honor from UNESCO-Greece for his offer to education and culture in the same month.
The purchase of one’s reputation clearly needs some reform. Limiting a credential to homo sapiens would be a good start.
There are at least several dozen cases of dogs and cats being awarded advanced academic degrees, and at least one pet goat.
Colby Nolan, a housecat, was awarded an MBA degree in 2004 by Trinity Southern University, a Dallas, Texas-based diploma mill, sparking a fraud lawsuit by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. Colby Nolan belonged to a deputy attorney general. In looking to expose Trinity Southern University for fraud, some undercover agents had the then six-year-old Colby Nolan obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration for $299. On the cat’s application, the agents claimed that the cat had previously taken courses at a community college, worked at a fast-food restaurant, babysat, and maintained a newspaper route. Then the school informed Colby that, due to the job experience listed on his application, he was eligible for an executive MBA for $100 more. The agents then sent for Colby’s transcript, which claimed that Nolan had a 3.5 grade point average.
GetEducated.com, an online-learning consumer group, purchased an online M.B.A. for its mascot, a dog named Chester Ludlow. The Vermont pug earned his degree, for $499, from Rochville University, which offers “distance learning degrees based on life and career experience,” according to a news release from GetEducated. He got back a package from a post-office box in Dubai that contained a diploma and transcripts. It contained Chester’s distance MBA diploma, two sets of college transcripts, a certificate of distinction in finance, and a certificate of membership in the student council. The paperwork says the pug “earned” a GPA of 3.19 (for an additional $100, he could have graduated with honors).Chester is believed to be the first dog to be awarded a college degree, a masters degree nonetheless, based on his life and work experience. All documents were issued in the dog’s AKC pedigree name: Chester Ludlow. Chester also received a Rochville University window decal for his car
A former librarian got his pet goat a mail-order Ph.D. in Divinity School.
Dr. Zoe D. Katz, PhD is a cat. Her owner, Dr. Steve K.D. Eichel, PhD., ABPP, credentialed Zoe to prove that more oversight of credentialing bodies is needed. He managed to get certification by three major hypnotherapy associations and a diploma in psychotherapy for his cat. Zoe is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the American Board of Hypnotherapy, and the International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association. She is a Professional Member of the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists.
In 2009, George, a cat owned by Chris Jackson, the presenter of the BBC show Inside Out North East & Cumbria, was registered with three professional organizations, the British Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming, the United Fellowship of Hypnotherapists, and the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association, securing George’s accreditation as a hypnotherapist.
Ben Goldacre, a UK-based physician and science journalist, wrote in 2004 of obtaining a diploma in nutrition from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants for his cat, Henrietta. Goldacre said “it’s a particular honour since dear, sweet, little Hettie died about a year ago.”
On December 10, 1967, The Times reported that Oliver Greenhalgh had been accepted as a Fellow of the English Association of Estate Agents and Valuers, after a payment of eleven guineas (his two references were not verified). Oliver was a cat belonging to Michael Greenhalgh, a cameraman with Television Wales and the West, pursuing an investigation of bogus professional associations.
In 1986, Rhode Island real estate appraiser Roy Schaeffer obtained a Certified Real Estate Appraiser (CREA) designation for $75 from the Scottsdale, AZ National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NAREA) for his cat, Tobias F (for “Feline”) Schaeffer. He mounted Tobias’ certification above his litter box. NAREA sued in federal court for fraud and “for disparaging remarks about the organization to members of Congress, other appraisers and the media.” After two years and $70,000 in legal costs, the judge ruled that no fraud or defamation had occurred.
During a 2007 Fostoria, Ohio drug trial, police dog (John I.) Rocko received the same criminal justice Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and University as the local Police Chief John McGuire. At the time, McGuire was being sued and investigated for allegedly lying on his resume and application for the job of chief.
In 2010, Mark Howard QC, a member of the legal team for the defendants in BSkyb Ltd & Anor v HP Enterprise Services UK Ltd & Anor obtained a degree for his dog Lulu from Concordia College and University. Lulu “graduated” with higher marks than the plaintiff’s key witness, who lied that he had attended classes for his Concordia MBA.
In 1984 Time Magazine reported that Sassafras, a female poodle belonging to a New York City physician, had received a diploma from the American Association of Nutrition and Dietary Consultants. Her owner had bought the diploma for $50 to demonstrate that “something that looks like a diploma doesn’t mean that somebody has responsible training.”
The May 30, 2007 episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation comedy show The Chaser’s War on Everything documented host Chas John Licciardello applying online and obtaining a medical degree for his dog Sonny from diploma mill Ashwood University. Sonny’s “work experience” included “significant proctology experience sniffing other dogs’ bums.”
In 2004 Albany, NY television station WRGB ran a report in which reporter Peter Brancato applied to Almeda University for, and received, an associate’s degree on behalf of his dog, Wally. On the application, Brancato listed “Plays with the kids every day … teaches them to interact better with each other … Teaches them responsibilities like feeding the dog.” Almeda University granted Wally a “life experience” associate degree in “Childhood Development”. In a public statement, an Almeda University representative wrote: “He completed an application that included a background of the following: Eight-years tutoring pre-K children, curriculum design and development, teaching coping skills, and volunteer coaching.” In March 2008, Wally was featured in a Lake Geneva, Wisconsin mayoral campaign political cartoon, with dialogue “I graduated with Bill Chesen,” referring to candidate Chesen’s Almeda University bachelor’s degree.