New Orleans is a city where titles are important. Credentials can make or break a career. It's a city where people cover their office walls with pictures of themselves sucking up to people with longe…

New Orleans is a city where titles are important. Credentials can make or break a career. It's a city where people cover their office walls with pictures of themselves sucking up to people with longer titles and bigger credentials.
I know a guy who won't call anyone "doctor" unless, as he puts it they are a "doctor-doctor." You know. Like a surgeon. Or a dentists. To him PhDs are a dime a dozen. So what if he's right? What if the PhD doctor really isn't even a PhD doctor?

What if your boss, or your doctor or, worse yet, somebody who beat you out for a promotion went the fake credentials, diploma-mill route?

What kind of insecure, sneaky rat would do that I asked, as I was shaving. Then the face in the mirror squeaked.

Someone (I think it may have been me) once referred to me as a "Man Of Many Parts." Actually most of us are either Men of Many Parts or Women of Many parts although some of the parts are different. But I think know what he (me) meant: Accomplished, talent, witty, courageous but kind, tough but sensitive, etc. Also, one of those parts is a Bishop.
So before the fake (BISHOPS, APOSLTES, and PROPHETS) out me, let me explain:

To make a long story short (too late,) many years ago I saw an ad in the Weekly World News for a church that, for a fee, would make you a minister. It was $10 to be a run-of-the-mill clergyman but for another $15 I could be a Bishop. A no-brainer, right?

So I know someone became a Bishop by promising that their check wouldn't bounce, and by promising to face Pismo Beach, California twice a week and radiate good thoughts. He did it for the certificate because where he worked his coworkers had all kinds of things - pictures of themselves meeting famous people, degrees, awards, etc. And he had zip. Except for the gold medal (which turned green) for winning a swimming meet.

The degree impressed numerous people. Especially when my newspaper did a series exposing people who bought fake (he preferred the term "enhanced") degrees including documents making one a clergyman. The managing editor asked how he had become a Bishop and whether he had performed any marriage ceremonies for any of the staff. It got him off the hook, and got the degree off the wall.

And the point is...

The latest fake degree flap to hit the news revealed that more than 6,000 people bought degrees, including medical degrees, from a fake school in Liberia. The reports said that 106 of the them are federal workers including a White House employee, and someone with the National Security Agency.

Earlier, the FBI caught up with a bunch of Georgia schoolteachers who bought themselves masters and doctorate degrees from a diploma-mill, to qualify for higher pay. In the case of the teachers, they probably "earned" (as in bought) their degrees after they were in the school system and after they had completed background checks. How the feds with the fake sheepskins got their degrees, and when, is not yet known.

Earlier this week on the Federal Drive, Jane Norris talked with Allen Ezell. He's a former FBI agent who has dozens of degrees. Most of them are fakes. They're fakes he bought from diploma-mills as part of an FBI sting. He says the degrees cost as little as $39.95 up to a couple of hundred bucks for a doctorate. Once they've got your money it takes "about 45 seconds" for you to complete and pass the course.

Ezell says fake credentials are a problem for lots of reasons. Imagine a grade-school dropout as your brain surgeon, or pilot, for example.

He says our "credentials driven society" puts pressure on people to buy degrees because the perceived value means more than actual competence.

So, have you got a catchy phrase to describe either the diploma-mills or their "graduates"? If so, let us know. Will run a list of the best. And don't worry about fairness.

So I am asking the fake Bishop's to ponder this thought!!!!

+Antonio L. Matthews

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Comment by Bishop Antonio L. Matthews Sr. on October 15, 2009 at 3:01pm
The bottom line is the fact that the Holy scripture are correct. "Your gift will make room for you" to many of our people have use that train of thought as an excuse to do what they want to do. and its done in a effort to circumvent the process that one must take. If you have a gift walk in your calling until your shepard sees and acknowledges it. We need to learn to study the scriptures in dept and not just read over it. From the Hand of Jesus Apostolic Succession has beenn past down. Now all the Fakes want to discredit that fact!!! Add a Comment

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