A MetaFilter post on fake self-help “doctors” lead me to this blog post about a series of fake, mail order universities (there’s a great exchange between a reporter and representitive of one here). Some of the links were outdated, so I decided to search Google for one of the fake colleges, Brentwick University.
The funny thing is, about half of the 70 or so results are about the place being a fraud, but among the remainder are people openly purporting to be Brentwick graduates (some with multiple degrees, and even some claiming honors!). There are company leaders boasting masters degrees, city supervisors with staff purporting to be graduates, and whatever a life coach is supposed to be.
The most brazen graduate is a city council member in El Paso, Texas. Listed on her election campaign page last year was her bachelor’s in political science from the mail order degree program. After fighting hard against breaches of ethics among her fellow city council members, she was even outed as a fraud in a local El Paso paper. But the absolute kicker is that she still holds her city council position even though her degree is a meaningless piece of paper purchased for a few hundred dollars, most likely in response to some spam she was sent years ago.
Some resumes from people reporting to have graduated from these fake colleges: Harrington, Brentwick, University of San Moritz, and Glencullen University, which happen to be all operated by the same guy, out of several P.O. boxes throughout Europe.