Does Your Health Guru Have a Fake Nutrition Degree? : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Wednesday Jun 6 | BY |
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no nutrition diploma here
At Renegade Health, there’s no deception. WYSIWYG, baby, WYSIWYG (Internet speak for What You See Is What You Get.)

Natural News founder and friend, Mike Adams has done some amazing work in the last few days exposing the credentials of a known health expert, as well as hundreds of others around the globe who have the stones to order a fake Master’s or Doctorate degree from an online diploma mill.

Basically, a diploma mill is a place where you can get a fake diploma, transcripts and recommendation letters that makes it seem like you graduated with a particular degree — from a fake academic institution.

His focus started with “Dr.” Aajonus Vonderplanitz, who according to Mike is not a real doctor of anything — except spin — but had purchased his nutrition degree from one of these companies. (Read the complete article here)

Mike’s investigative reporting has now expanded to hundreds of others around the world who have used these services to fake their way into employment positions they likely wouldn’t have gotten into if they didn’t have their “degree.”

So, who’s sharing health information around the Internet?

The truth is, we really don’t know.

I had Aajonus on our program a while back because he was requested by our readers — plus I was interested in what he had to say. He advocates a raw food, raw animal food diet and has been doing it for many years. This is not a diet that I eat or promote, but I’m always interested in listening to different opinions. Once you close up your mind to new ideas, you’re as good as stuck.

Now, he is quite extreme. Some of the things he advocates are eating rotten meat (gross and ridiculously dangerous) and eating your own stool from time to time (again, gross and ridiculously dangerous), but he also has fought hard for health freedoms in the realm of raw milk.

As with everything, there is the good and the bad. And isn’t it true that most raw foodies would be considered extreme also — even if what they’re doing could heal people from many ailments and diseases?

I, of course, did not let him talk about eating poo or rotten meat on my program because that would not have done anyone any good. We discussed the legality of raw milk and talked a little about bacteria and diet.

I didn’t know he had a degree from one of these diploma mills as Mike has suggested, but at the same time, I interview plenty of people who don’t have degrees at all.

Does a fake diploma discredit all of the expert’s information?

Well, on face value, it doesn’t. Someone can have great information and have a fake degree. This analogy is similar to something like this — being a criminal doesn’t mean everything you do is bad.

Not all criminals are bad all the time. Just like someone who has a fake degree isn’t always wrong or have fake or false knowledge.

What the exposure of having a fake degree does, is completely blow their integrity to shreds.

As I was reading the article Mike posted, I couldn’t get past the fact that any one (or any) of these people who have these degrees typed a term similar to “fake diploma” into a search engine thinking that something good would come of it.

It’s a type of deranged thinking that I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand.

I know why people would want credibility.

I know how people are lazy.

(Heck, I used to write papers for my college friends for a fee. $10 a page, plus a $1 for every page I had to read for research.)

I know that some people like to cheat.

I know that people don’t like to get caught.

But to put them all together and pay for a degree from a mill like this is a symptom of a personality deficit disease — likely narcissism.

It’s just not right. You know it, and so do I. Why don’t they?

I’d think that it would eat them up from the inside.

When we started changing our diets, we made it public that we were doing so. It was not easy.

We had based our blog and business around raw food and veganism. We weren’t vegans anymore.

For me, I couldn’t stand to not be open and truthful about it. It’s not my DNA.

I told everyone on the blog despite what some of my close friends told me. My decision was that sharing my transition was the best way to go — regardless of our business — but for my own health, self esteem and for your own benefit as well. Heck, my transition might have saved someone as far as I know — it saved me.

I’m not perfect, though…

I admit, there was a month or two when I was holding back, because I needed to process it. I didn’t just come out with the news the first time I had an egg.

For me the transition time was hellish. It was eating me up inside not to be congruent — but I knew I would eventually share. I needed to have some time with myself before I announced this to the rest of the world.

What I also knew, was that I was tired of going to the farmer’s market, getting some eggs and covering them up with heads of lettuce and kale in my shopping bag.

What was I hiding?

I was doing something that worked for me. I shouldn’t have been ashamed of it. But I was.

It wasn’t until I let it go that I was free from the shame, doubting and hiding I had been experiencing.

Which is where I am now. Free to share without anything deep and dark inside of me.

I never once thought I’d be able to live a lie. I knew I was going to share no matter what the consequence.

Unlike anyone who’s gotten a fake diploma.

It must eat them up emotionally.

When you do something bad, you always think about when you’ll be caught.

I remember when I was in high school, going out and partying with friends then coming back home worrying the whole time if my breath smelled enough like alcohol that my mom would smell it if she happened to be up.

It was torture.

Imagine having a fake diploma and wondering if you’d ever be exposed. That’s not something I’m willing to pay any money for.

Luckily, these days, we can get health information from so many people.

The good news is that you don’t need to get your health information from anyone who has a fake degree or is dishonest or spreads misinformation.

In Internet-land there are so many experts that you can find someone who teaches exactly the same diet or protocol that resonates with you without having to question if they’re trustworthy and upfront.

The WWW has allowed us to find many more experts than in the past (where you’d only find them in bookstores) and given us the ability to dig around a little more before we wholeheartedly drink anyone’s Kool-Aid.

So if your expert isn’t exactly who they say they are, don’t worry, there are so many more who are.

Credibility can come from degrees, but not from fake ones.

I went to school but stopped, twice.

I wanted more credibility — first, when I was getting a Master’s degree in English / Writing. I thought I needed a degree to write.

I took two years of classes, then quit with 6 credits left — I only needed to complete my thesis, but decided I was done. No degree, but a ton of knowledge.

My mom thought I was crazy.

Of course, here I am, no degree and writing 800-2000 words a day.

I’ve published 5 books on health and fitness, plus multiple programs on the topic as well.

My mom’s finally coming around and I know I made the best decision. Sometimes you have to listen deep down and get answers.

My inner voice said, “Kev, you’re done.”

So I was.

The second time around, Ann and I signed up for a nutrition program. We got all the books, started studying and realized that we weren’t doing the program for the love of the knowledge, we were doing it because we wanted the credibility that came with the degree.

At that time, I kind of felt inadequate. Like I needed to have a peice of paper that affirmed that I knew what I was talking about.

We stopped the program — not because it wasn’t any good — but because I listened again to my inner voice.

It said, “Screw the paper, you’re good enough.”

So I did.

I didn’t need any more credentials to continue to do what I was doing. I accepted that I had gathered years of experience and knowledge around to topic of nutrition and health — as well as hundreds of connections — that allowed me to have a deep understanding of the topic. At times, an even better one because I was willing to look at all sides of an issue, where other practitioners were stuck on one philosophy or dogma.

It was freeing.

Credentials can sometimes seriously mess up the world.

The American Medical Association recently has been speaking against GMOs. They’re position is that there isn’t enough science that proves if they’re dangerous or not — this means they don’t have to be labeled. Their position is ridiculous. GMOs are different and in the very least should be labeled as such — simple. No science needed. I, as a consumer, want to know if my food is grown a specific way and I have the right to that. The AMA doesn’t feel the same way because they’re being influenced by industry that has a lot at stake if labeling laws do pass. So what the industry has done is essentially “borrowed” the credibility of the AMA — very similar to buying a diploma from a diploma mill.

They’ve in one way or another lobbied the AMA to stand against something they know little about — but because they have credentials, the public takes them much more seriously.

If you were to privately poll the MDs in the AMA I’d be sure that many of them have never taken more than 3 minutes to study what a GMO is.

Scary stuff.

It’s kind of like off label prescriptions.

In this case a credentialed expert or organization is doing the equivalent of something in the pharmaceutical industry that is called off-label prescribing. This is when a doctor prescribes a medication for a disease that the FDA has not approved that drug for. In this case, the drug is like the credential. Just because it is what it is, the assumption is that it’s credible and effective.

An MD who inserts themselves into the GMO argument — or any other — that doesn’t know a hoot about it, still can command attention simply because of the letters following his or her name.

But, back to buying degrees.

I’m not accusing anyone here in this article — I’m simply explaining the seriousness of credential misuse or, on the opposite side, credential worship.

The alphabet soup behind someone’s name means nothing (but at times something) — particularly when it comes to health.

I don’t want to discredit anyone who’s spend years of schooling and a bunch of money on their education. Degrees are helpful.

But unless they’ve spent time in the trenches working on their craft, the degree is hardly as relevant as it could be.

In health, the clinician — the person working day in and day out with patients — is the person I’d trust for my own health care. This is why Dr. Williams is my personal doctor. He has just about 30 years of experience working with patients.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of experts, but from them, I only recommend a small few to people who I talk to personally. All the credentials, the letters, the accolades mean nothing unless they get results. When it comes to health, that means their patients need to get better.

This doesn’t mean you don’t listen to non-doctors or people without degrees…

You know this is true, since you’re here reading this! I don’t have a nutrition degree — and don’t want one anymore. You’ve found value in something I’ve said in the past and now trust me.

I also know my limits, I wouldn’t want you to come to me for medical treatment. It’s not my thing. I don’t see clients. I don’t want to.

I also would never consider buying a degree so you could think that I’m smarter than I am.

So my rules are these…

Listen to many, be curious and open to ideas, but only put yourself under the medical care of those who have a history of successful patient stories.

Don’t fall in love with Internet health gurus.

Do your own research and question everything.

(Be particularly wary of those who tell you that 99% of their patients get better. It’s just not true.)

Don’t look for the credential first.

Be honest at all costs.

What are yours?

Your question of the day: What do you think about someone who gets a fake degree? Would you still trust them? What are your own rules for determining who you listen to or who you don’t?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

34 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Fred M. says:

    Fake degrees destroy credibility with me. If the consultant/speaker/expert does not reveal the training or research that shaped their words, then I look at them with skepticism.

  2. Faye says:

    To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to anyone’s “degree” or education. I find in my travels that most people who have higher education are not always the ones I would want to hang with or learn from. This isn’t the case always, but often!
    For example, if someone with a doctorate insists on being called Dr. then I usually just tune them out…I know a lot of people with no degrees or education that have a lot of experience and knowledge from just having read. There are a lot of “certificates” out there that say more than a degree. I am just not impressed by people who are educated. Some have “honorary” degrees! What’s that mean??
    I like people like Kevin…down to earth, real and not a whole lot of education but still integral!

  3. Thomas says:

    I agree. It’s far worse to have a fake degree for marketing purposes than none at all. I stopped purchasing from Garden of Life for this reason. You can look up a school to see if it’s on the list of accredited institutions. You can also find the myriad of nutrition-based paper mills, some that have been fined repeatedly and closed down. The ones in Hawaii and Mississippi are classic examples.

    I found it interesting that Dr. Bronner wasn’t a “real” doctor. That his sister had him committed for falsely claiming a doctorate in chemistry. He was a great chemist however, and made great soap. He was also very interesting to talk to.

  4. LynnCS says:

    Having a fake degree is so deceptive and why? Just to be able to share what we are learning at exactly the place we are…is so genuine.

    I think also that there is no problem in going to school partly for the “paper,” as you say. Nice to have that credential. I hope you finish and get the paper.

    I think you are very knowledgeable but I am disappointed that you didn’t follow through.

    We should always be able to eat whatever we want…in the food world. Stools…not so much, but an egg? Most people eat eggs. I wish you didn’t, but chances are you’ll go back to veg eventually and for now if it suits you..well, enjoy!

  5. tsimitpo says:

    Having a degree opens some doors that might otherwise be closed, but it’s a lot like the cover of a book. You still must look inside to know what’s really in it.

    In some ways, a degree shows that someone has bought into “the system” and simply followed the “rules”. Credentials are great, but can be an indicator of absorbing what’s taught for the purpose of replication and don’t measure one’s learning by discovery and being fertile ground for fresh ideas borne of curiosity and seeking new solutions. A balance of both is ideal, but you can’t what someone’s made of by the credentials alone.

    I say “buyer beware” to anybody who assumes credibility by credentials alone.

  6. Really enjoy reading your articles and appreciate the down-to-earth, honest, and open presentation of all your informational views. I love the fact that all you share is free of charge with no hidden agendas! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    Just wondering about writing papers for other students and getting paid for it? Isn’t that kind of like “helping” someone get a fake degree??? But I know that was back in time for you…

  7. deb says:

    I think a fake degree brings a negative energy, a dark cloud, to a person’s work. It indicates a lack of integrity.

    A friend of mine was struggling financially, and did some tutoring to make ends meet. One client had him help the client’s son get course credit that the son needed to get into medical college. So now the son has the credits, but not the knowledge (since my friend took the exams), and the father won’t pay the bill. I expect the family will attempt to buy the M.D. degree similarly. Now there’s a fake degree.

    If you agree to do something that is wrong, expect trouble to come to you.

  8. Sarah says:

    I have been playing this paper chasing game for a very long time. I have been a nutritionist since 1996. NONE of the schools I went to are accredited. (The accreditation that a school like U.Cal Berkeley or Stanford has). My first diploma was a Diploma in Nutritional Medicine from a school in London, England. This was a two year program taught by a PhD biochemist. We had to write 25 page case studies every month and finished with a 6 hour qualifying exam. But I moved back to the US and found that my British qualification meant nothing. I could not get signed on with labs and supplements companies. So I went to two schools at the same time (Bauman College and American Health Science University). That gave me a NC (Nutrition Consultant) piece of paper from Bauman and a CN (Certified Nutritionist) from AHSU. The CN program also had a 6 hour qualifying exam I had to pass. Finally I was able to get signed on with some supplement companies and labs. I started going to all their seminars. Then Hawthorn University cam into being and I got a Masters Degree from them. I had been in discussion with them about teaching for them (I actually am a qualifed teacher and I now teach nutrition in several schools and teaching is my passion). But, get this – they decided they wanted to try to get accreditation (like Berkeley and Stanford both have) and at that point they told me I could not teach for Hawthorn because my degree was from an unaccredited school…THEIRS! This last year, a supplement company whose seminars I had been attending told me that they were changing their way of doing business and from now on only licensed people can go to their seminars. (Yup, Acupuncturists and Chiropractors are more qualified to practice nutrition than Nutritionists). And some of the labs I have dealt with for years now have come back and have told me if I want to continue having an account with them I need to be signed up under a licensed practitioner. I did all of this to be qualified enough to give my clients the best information I could, coming from an informed place. (I have also attended many many other courses and seminars not a part of a school or university). But now, I am so burned out and disheartened by all of it that I am totally ready to give up my 16 year practice and do something completely different. Quite frankly, I don’t recommend that anyone go to nutrition school. Get what you need from books and seminars out there.

  9. aida suarez says:

    Wao Champ! You’re honest dear friend! Good for you! You do not have this degree but have to much to teach us in your arsenal of knowledge. Keven, this aritcle you have written have to circulate.

    I have not read yet what Mike have to say about all this… but I pity the person that bought a mill diploma. That is pure disonesty. How could he lived with this?

    “What you do in in hidding will come on the open” the Bible says. It is just a question of time. Now this guy will be the butt of the jokes for a long time. Where is he going to hide now? Unless he repent of his sin. He only fooled himself not God. We all know should pray for him.

    What’s his name? Well… i guess his name is not important now: because he will be carrying a name for life: “the guy who bout a dimploma mill on nutrition.” Wao! Aida

  10. Ida says:

    Great post, thanks Kevin!!

  11. Joel Katz says:

    Several times in the past, I have requested that when Kevin interviews a health practitioner that they post their degrees and grantor. It does help establish their background. He has never fulfilled my request. I do strongly agree that there are many good, competent practitioners that do not have “real” degrees. But there are many more dangerous or cons parading as “doctors”. Conversely, I have known accredited practitioners that were very incompetent but they are a very small percentage of real physicians. I am a retired naturopath with a degree from NCNM. Recently in New Mexico a “naturopath” with about 6 phoney degrees including a MD granted from an online school in Beijing, China for 1 years work. He was sentenced to 7 months in prison for charging $500/treatment for what was promised to be a cure for lymes disease. I can recommend that if one is looking for an accredited naturopath in their area they can check the web site aanp.org or the sites for the accredited schools: National College Of Natural Medicine in Portland, Or; John Bastyr University in Seattle, Wa:Southwest College Of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe,Az. I hope that this is helpful information.

  12. Craig says:

    I think Credibility is important. Fake diploma
    shows me this person would cut corners in other areas such as Quality products Vs Profit etc.
    Businesses while Marketing, sometimes might cross the line with Stories that they make up to get more Sales. Results being anylysed by
    words or thoughts that sell more on a campaign.
    Unfortunetly This person with a fake diploma might justify it ,as just marketing Words to get more sales.
    Bottom line as business owners we must anylyse
    the truth of every word or reason we use too.

  13. Susan says:

    One of many things I like about Kevin and Ann Marie is their integrity with their products. I liked when Kevin revealed that when they were developing Ann Marie’s products, that they delined to put questionable or bad ingredients in the beauty products even though they didn’t have to list them.

    For the most part, I want to know if the expert is getting any money or other compensation from a product they are hawking. At least with commercials you know the actor is getting paid for hawking Pepsi. With the health web sites, it’s not always obvious. I sent the Green Smoothie Girl an email asking if she is getting any money or compensation for recommending “Arise and Shine”. I have yet to hear from her. It could be because she is swamped with email but I’m not buying until I know. In fact, I think it should be a law to require people selling products to reveal if they are getting paid or receiving any other benefit to recommend them.

  14. Lola says:

    Kevin, what do you think of this person and product?
    http://www.miraclemineral.org/
    The FDA blasts it big time, but I have no love for the FDA. As far as I’m concerned the FDA gives me no comfort about anything they do or recommend.
    Also, the AMA was founded by a quack. Did anyone know this? He claimed to have a degree from a medical school in France and it was proved later he’d never even BEEN to France. He posed as having a lab to test products that doctors came up with. (Not true.) Because he didn’t “like” the doctor who presented his discovery of Vit E he refused to sanction or recommend it.
    What a crazy world we live in.

  15. satori says:

    So I guess we’re getting Kevin with sunglasses with a tag still attach to it on renegadehealth lol. That picture above is funny!

    I like MD. MD is the only degree/license I give more credit to a health expert for. All the other degrees and credentials I don’t care for them at all.

    It’s dangerous to trust people by their degrees. I have a BA in film and honestly I don’t know sh*t about films. I can go on and get MFA (master of film arts), but I’m pretty sure I won’t be any better than now.

    If you spend time and money, anybody can get some sort of degrees or credentials. You don’t need passion or belief for it.

    Fake degree? haha. forget about it.

  16. Truthbug says:

    I am utterly Appauled at the outlash toward someone who by the medical mafia and food industry was given a TIME LIMIT on his life.. and self studied nutrition, law and more.. Does it take an INDOCTRINATION DEGREE to be qualified??? If that is your mind set, I feel sorry for all involved.. cause the mind is lost in a world of INDOCTRINATED and DEGREED Nutritional slaves to the law thereof! And YOU join in on the BASHING??? Come on folks, pull your head out of the outlandish BS over some stupid “EDUCATIONAL DEGREE” and put your mind into some deeper SELF STUDY that does NOT include the very Government that is creating this mess via indoctrination of every sense of the meaning of the word! No amount of imported food will continue to exist! So carry on with imports.. cause soon.. it will be history! It is more important to save thy soul than it is to IMPORT food… turn to the study of Natural LAW and we might just discover some deeper truths!

  17. Brenda says:

    Trust is big for me. Starting out your business with a lie, not a good idea.
    I will say that I do have a degree and I agree with Kevin, it is all about being in the trenches. I got my Naturopathic Degree in 1991. Most of my knowledge and experience came AFTER that. I have a bazillion hours of practice and training, some with papers to prove, most came with no papers. It is all about trust and results, knowledge and wisdom, hmm? Do you need a degree? There is so much more to know than the degree gets you. Yes Kevin, being in the trenches is where the results are. I have clients that have been with me 20 years. Trust & results. Again, awesome article. Thanks. 😀

  18. kristal says:

    I loved this post. Thanks for your honesty and freedom to share, it not only makes you a legitimate source, but gives others the freedom to be who they are and be where they are at.

  19. Julie says:

    aanp.org is a site for “NURSE PRACTITIONERS”

  20. lynni says:

    @ JOEL KATZ:

    Instead of aanp.org, did you perhaps mean

    naturopathic.org

    The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the AANP

  21. Johnny Gregory says:

    Thanks, Kevin,
    I agree with your position that it’s far better to NOT add any diploma-mill degree letters to one’s name at all. A few years ago a friend did this, adding Dr.____,PhD to his cards, website, advertising flyers all over our town.
    He did know a lot about natural health and could have easily stood on his own two feet without claiming any false degrees.
    When he started advising people on using certain weak and noncomprehensive natural methods like colloidal silver against cancers one of the local health food store owners (who sold natural remedies)said he’d crossed the line. He was asked to not put out any more cards or literature using “Dr” in the store. The owner said if anything happened to the patient or any other customers it could hurt the store’s reputation,too.
    When our vegetarian group asked the man to cease he balked and wrote us a letter saying how many alternative therapists like chiropractors and acupuncturists “use alternative degrees” (false-they earned them).
    Our friend said he had his PhD from a certain organization. We researched it and on their own website it said “Not accredited as an academic degree-do not use to give medical advice”. We pointed this up and he still railed against us for asking him to simply represent himself as who he is- and he had/has plenty to offer.
    In the beginning he could have accepted what we and the local stores had asked and acceded to just put his own name on his materials. As it went on and he had gotten himself billed on Earth Day at a local college as Dr___PhD to speak, they sent him a letter when he was discovered, chastising him morally about using a false degree when all of their student body was earning real degrees.
    Before it was over a real PhD who hosted vegetarian potlucks asked him to not come to anymore gatherings passing himself off as a doctor. No less than 5 health food stores and our local coop all trashed his literature.
    His church where he’d also represented himself as a PhD found out about it. What did he do then?
    He and his wife joined an Indian guru and changed their names to be part of an organization. There was never any correcting the mistake which could have stayed small at first. The lesson was never learned.
    I love them and they have good hearts. We are friends now. How different a local influence they could have had. He could have been a force for the good in a much bigger way. I wonder if they will ever again use their real names. I hope so. Such good people with great promise.
    I believe we are best off from the get-go doing as Maitreya says, “Be honest in your mind. Be sincere in your spirit. Feed your body with natural foods. Practice detachment.”

  22. Cindy says:

    You are very honest & that’s why I love you gusy. I would never trust anyone who is dishonest about getting a degree. You don’t know what else they might be dishonest about. Integrity is everything. I also think that experience is 100% better than any legitimate degree.

  23. Deloris says:

    I am working very hard to have a degree in Holistic Nutrition, and I want it for several reasons, one being the credibility that comes along with letters after my name. I have over 12 years of practice and research into the Holistic way of life and yet without a degree, many people do or won’t take me seriously. This is a profession I want to do full-time. I want to be a Holistic Nutritionist, and it makes me snakey mad that those of us in a Natural Health industry have an uphill climb in the first place, and then when people get fake credentials, it taints us all.

    People are aware that there are “bad apples” (for lack of a better term) everywhere, but when a high profile member of our ranks loses credibility, by cheating of all things, we’re supposed to be THE example of healthful, safe, non-toxic honest living, it does us ALL a HUGE diservice.

    I don’t have a problem taking advice from someone knowledgable, with or without a degree, but if someone lies to get a degree, what else would they be willing to lie about?

    Just my 2 cents.

  24. Faith Minier says:

    I would like to comment on a couple of things. First, Kevin, you were just as wrong to sell papers to others to help them get fraudulent grades and profit from it, as the people trying to get degrees without doing it the “right” way. I put right in italics for a reason. I am 57 years old. I was an honor student in school, but never attended college. I raised three children, volunteered, worked part time, etc, because I believed mothers should raise their own children. Now, divorced, the world is a much different place. It doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t have a degree for most jobs that pay a living wage. I have friends my age who were told they could not do their job anymore, because they didn’t have a degree! Jobs they had been doing for years! One was “allowed” to stay where she was while she worked to get the “degree” (but was not eligible for a promotion she deserved), one was offered early retirement. I do not have the time or money to attend college and get a degree. The cost in the US is ridiculous. There are many reasons that make me think a fake degree may well be as good as a real one in some instances. I could not do it, but don’t be too self-righteous!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey guys, couple of things…

      Joel, when I read the intro for the experts usually I mention their credentials. If not, you can simply visit their website and see them there.

      Susan, there actually is a law and we’ve just been notified of it. The FTC does ask for disclosure of affiliate relationships. We’ll be updating our site for compliance ASAP!

      Truthbug, someone does NOT need a degree to be credible. I clearly wrote this. Someone who gets a fake degree has a problem though.

      Great story, Johnny!

      Hey Faith, I never said I did the right thing by writing others papers. 🙂

      Live Awesome!
      Kev

  25. Donaji says:

    Thank you Kevin for being open and logical. I enjoy reading your articles because they just make sense, and thanks for having a sense of humor 😉

    I miss the videos though!

  26. Mike says:

    That is surprising that Aajonus Vonderplanitz has a fake doctorate degree! He claims he is a doctor, but this is false. He is a dangerous person. He teaches people to eat raw meat. Raw meat is filled with parasites and dangerous microbes!

  27. Michele says:

    I love this article. For me personally, degrees mean nothing and here’s why. i feel like we live in a society that tries to put everyone in a box. We are raised to think that if we don’t have X, Y and/or Z that we can’t do certain things and what’s even more harmful is the fact that the educational system and some of society (not everyone) tells people who have been lucky enough to discover and develop what they are naturally good at that it’s not acceptable or it won’t make you lots of money so they talk them in to going to college and getting a degree in Basket Weaving and the person ends up forcing themselves to do something they don’t want to do or go to school to learn something they have no interest in. How is this productive or positive?? As for the fake degrees, well that’s just wrong. The End. For the people that share their knowledge without a degree and are open about it, i can honestly say i have learned more from people like that than anyone with a degree in any health field. There’s an innocent childlike quality that’s present when u learn because u r excited and passionate about the topic u r learning. U can see that in people who are naturally gifted in the health field but don’t have any degree. u can hear it in their voice and the information just flows out of them. I can tell u that i know these people without the degrees have done more research, read more books and done more testing by applying the knowledge in their own lives to probably get 10 Phd’s. The only difference…they didn’t do it in a structured class, they didn’t take a test and they don’t have that piece of paper. But what they do have is the knowledge and the passion and excitement to share it with others. Shouldn’t that be the most important part of all this.

    Have an awesome day!

  28. bernd says:

    science is the present state of error

  29. Woody says:

    Thank you for this post. These is so much misinformation out there, all to make money while pretending to know something.

    I read an expose on Patricia Braggs and will never again touch her products. She is not a doctor or a minister (all licenses purchased for 40 bucks each, was Paul’s lover, not daughter and has made a career of promising rewards for hard work, after the work is done the rewards are never there.

    I have watched her “teach” people how to fast, wrong foods to start, makes them sick during the fast then wrong foods to break.
    So she collects money while destroying your internal organs…

    Watch out for frauds! (I know there are many more out there!)

  30. Thoko Kandemiri says:

    Hie Kev
    My 20 year son died recently of a very rare type of cancer – mesenchymal chondro sachoma. I owe it to him to learn on holistic nutrition and to get qualifications and help others who had the same dilemma as me. I searched everywhere around here in Pretoria South Africa for someone who could help me and found none. the few I got where unreachable, had to wait for an appointment for six months to see the Doctor. I would like to do online training. Could you please advise on who, and on books to read?
    Thanks
    Thoko

  31. Johnny R says:

    I have a college degree, B.A. in biology and am a certified nutritional therapist. The CNT required about a year of study, reading about 30 plus books, watching about 20 instructional DVD’s, and some major tests of knowledge and hands-on experience. No one was just passed through and everyone in the class had to know their stuff. Beyond that, I studied for about 40 years of general nutritional knowledge that included reading books and my own practical experience of what worked and what didn’t on myself.

    For someone to get a “Fake” degree or plagiarize other’s works and call it their own is not only deceitful, but without the basic understanding of the human body and how it works, makes it very dangerous. David Wolfe is a prime example of a guy that plagiarized works. Arshavir Ter Hovannessian wrote a book called “Nature’s First Law, The Raw Food Diet”? The book was blatantly plagiarized (we’re talking mostly word for word) from the writings of an Armenian man living in Iran, Arshavir Ter Hovannessian, two of whose children had died from tragic illness. He sought out the cause of true health and raised his third child totally raw vegan and cured himself of many ailments. He lived a very simple life and devoted all of his time to spreading the message of raw foods. He gave away his books for free, and refused to accept money for them. Living in Iran, which was not exactly the land of opportunity at that time, he did not have the means and possibilities that exist in America. David Wolfe, Stephen Arlin, and R.C. Dini chose to completely plagiarize his masterpiece without giving a shred of acknowledgement.

    Adelle Davis did have a degree and wrote many books, but like David Wolfe, knew very little about what the studies she quoted involved. She was sued many times and died of cancer at 72. Certainly not a good testimonial to her work.

    Having a degree is only part of the whole picture, but it certainly means a person spent time learning the basics and interacting with the teacher and the class. It is very important to evaluate each practitioner on the basis of RESULTS and to trust, but verify the information given to you.

  32. Kaila says:

    I appreciate that someone’s taken the time to expose the use of fake degrees in nutrition. However the assertion and agreements that degrees are not worth anything makes me ill and angry. Earning a degree is the culmination of a high amount of study effort and passion for many. It’s where one SHOULD go for credibility in a particular field. I value real world experience as well and think that this should go hand and hand with proper credentials. Especially in a time in which everyone thinks that every single thought they have is correctly genius and every action is worth of distribution on YouTube. Yes there are ugly souls with and with out degrees who will do their best to exploit the public, but don’t disparage and discredit those people who have put in the work and dedication to succeed academically because you choose not to. Nutrition is a difficult field because there is so much information out there that’s either suppressed or not covered by typical ‘medivine’ . But would you want a lawyer or a doctor who just read a bunch? No. They had to work hard and get those degrees before they could branch out and become the amazing professional they’d hoped to become. Go to school. Learn. Finish what you start. If you don’t get a degree because you’re brilliant and people listen to you, great. But not everyone is brilliant and it’s irresponsible to advocate turning away from education (which in an ideal world would be free and therefore intellectually competitive as opposed to financially restrictive). Sorry for the tirade but I’m exceedingly tired of listening to people saying that higher education is evil.

  33. Liz H. says:

    Kevin, one day you will be much more “closed minded” than you are now. Not because you won’t be open to new ideas but because they’re ideas you’ve looked at before. Upon cursory examination lest you overlook something new, you find there’s nothing new about it – it’s still just the same old idea repackaged & relabeled. Of course, that isn’t being truly closed minded. But you’ll be accused of it nonetheless.

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