Monday, February 21, 2011

News and papers, recycled and a little *funny*

We all know that you can become an Ordained Minister simply by filling out some online stuff, and there you have it. Ta-da.

Someone with an *actual* Ph.D. conducted an experiment to see how easy it would be to obtain completely bogus credentials in a couple of fields - he succeeded, and the person he obtained them for was a cat. Zoe is a certified hypnotherapist by the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), the International Medical & Dentistry Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH). {dentistry hypnotherapy???}

Dr. Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA.

During the process, he listed some real organizations and some fake, such as Ms. Zoe being a Consultant at the Tacayllaermi Friends School (Tacayllaermi is "I'm really a cat" spelled backwards.)

Here's the account from the source: The Credentialing Con. It has photos of the real Dr. Katze (who is a regular furry kitty and not a Sphinx as she's been recently depicted for some reason) and her papers. When I look for an MD, I do check and see if they are board certified though, it's somehow important, especially if they will potentially be cutting on me. It's disturbing that you can make stuff up and get by with it, such as the what Rand Paul did... the "American Board of Ophthalmology" (an AMA-certified board) apparently wouldn't certify him so he invented his own group called the "National Board of Ophthalmology" (consisting of him, his wife and his father-in-law) and claims to be certified by them (them? him? her?).

It's a head shaker.

Back to the story of Dr. Katze... this is an old story dating back to 2002 but has recently resurfaced and again made the rounds in a phenomenon completely unrelated to the unreliability of credentials theme I started with. I've noticed this happening before, an old story gets noticed and starts trending again (and in this case, Zoe returned as a Sphinx! That's like a con with a hoax on top!). See Time, io9, Gizmodo, then there was FARK, Raw Story, etc. and so on. Like that other "recent" story about cats-on-call, there was the cat who was called for jury duty. The story was true enough (and pretty funny as he was required to explain why he couldn't serve, and they checked "doesn't speak English") but it happened in Jan. 2010! Looks like HuffPo has the egg on its face over this one, and have added a correction to that effect, but plenty of other news outlets picked it up without question and posted it as a new story.

... and then there's Clay Henry III, the beer-drinking goat who was the Mayor of Lajitas, Texas... now that's news. Somebody run with it!

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love to see animals get ahead in the world.