June 29th, 2023
‘The Italian Ministry of Education argued that Cinzia Paolina De Lio was completely absent from her workplace during her first decade as a professor, and [she] justified her continued absence in the next 14 years with a variety of documents, from maternity and breastfeeding leaves to permissions to assist disabled family members.’


June 24th, 2023
AND She Teaches Ethics.

Via her reader, Seelye, UD learns of the latest iteration of way-bogus psychology scholarship.

She’s named Francesca Giro and she has a really cool website.

We’re all looking for easy steps to a better brighter you, and Happiness + Efficiency experts oblige us with studies showing that, like, thinking of eating meat makes you more boorish and less social. (I read this particular result, from world-famous Diederik Stapel, to Mr UD, who laughed merrily.) H+E experts (Dan Ariely – a co-author of Francesca Giro’s! – Marc Hauser – who shares with Giro the Harvard affiliation – Jens Förster, etc.) are always flooring us with amazing whodathunkits, and we fall for this shit every single time cuz it comes out of Harvard or cuz we just want to believe it or because we’re thrilled by the weird.

But Uri Simonsohn (a name known to readers of this blog) doesn’t fall for it. At all. He finds discipline-destroying lies enraging, and sets about, with a couple of colleagues, to keep the field reasonably clean through exposure of research fraud. The miscreants make stuff up and manipulate numbers in order to keep generating attention-grabbing amazements and giving amazing TED talks re: the amazements and Uri’s right behind them, running the numbers.

How can we protect ourselves from marauding high-profile psych frauds?

Step One: If something sounds bogus, it’s probably bogus.

May 24th, 2023

“In Canada, estimates are that between 100,000 and a quarter million people are pretending to be indigenous… About 25% of indigenous university faculty in Canada are estimated to be frauds.”

Jean Teillet

May 11th, 2023
Yeah, I know. Another pretendian.

Here’s the long version, from the relevant campus paper.

She’s, like, totally innocent and only claimed the identity cuz ma and pa told her she had it; it never occurred to her to, like, confirm it before she began reaping its bennies. Whoops!

[O]thers are … skeptical of [Elizabeth] Hoover’s intentions… [Another academic of confirmed Native American extraction] has “long been baffled” by Hoover’s claim to Native American descent, and … Hoover’s statement comes as “no surprise” to herself and many other Indigenous scholars. [She commented that] “it is bizarre if not unconscionable” to claim to be Indigenous without confirming genealogical relationship or legal connection to a first nation“She deliberately misrepresented herself,” [another Native academic] alleged in a statement. “Hoover was facing calls for accountability in American Studies back at Brown University... It is deeply upsetting to think of the higher education resources—from Williams College to Brown and now Berkeley—that could have supported the professional advancement of a young Native woman scholar instead… It’s important to note that Hoover never apologized for wrongdoing in her statement.”

April 17th, 2023
Fox Trots

The Fox/Dominion Voting trial has suddenly been delayed, and people speculate that Fox may be trying to settle mucho money on Dominion so it can run away.

And babe, when I say mucho, I mean like a billion. Cuz Dominion has little reason to settle; plus it knows the rest of us are desperate for things to proceed so that more astounding revelations about Murdoch’s trash enterprise may emerge.

April 1st, 2023
Fox Aflame in a Forest Fire

Things are hotting up for Fox News.

March 24th, 2023
Whee! UPMC Update.

Whether it’s Philip Esformes or this dude, UD always eagerly welcomes back our country’s most inventive and prolific medical system… er… manipulators. Esformes, author of the biggest rip-off of the federal medical payment system in history, was pardoned by Trump, but he did SO MUCH shit wrong he has easily been brought to trial again on related charges. That’s one to watch.

Then we have the return of Pittsburgh’s most … uh… prolific surgeon, a guy who made buckets of money by performing like three surgeries SIMULTANEOUSLY babe and I ain’t kidding. He’d leave the geezers (he specialized in complex invasive surgery on the very very elderly — just what they need!) lying there on the table with a bunch of interns sort of standing around the anesthetized body waiting for hours for the guy to come back. Two patients lost limbs because of this sadistic protocol, but can you imagine how much money the guy made? While fragile ninety year olds lay there falling apart physically, robbed of any vestige of dignity while waiting for unnecessary and destructive surgery?

So UPMC and its star surgeon settled a WHOPPER of a federal lawsuit, after which I assume the dude went back to ravaging – in other lucrative ways – our oldest and most vulnerable in their final days.

But he and the school have refused to allow the government to keep an eye on them! The feds want to audit the dude’s billing; they want him to cooperate with a “corrective action plan.”

As part of the settlement, the government asked the defendants to sign paperwork — known as a corporate integrity agreement — that would place them under additional oversight. They refused.

Hell, I’d refuse too if I were making money amputed hand over fist!

So the feds are just designating him “high risk-heightened scrutiny,” and if I’m reading this right his patients are allowed to know this.

Just another day in the life of our well-meaning, absolutely pathetic, medical reimbursement system.

March 13th, 2023
“The G.W.U faculty ought to have had an inkling of Carrillo’s trickery. Ten or so years ago, David Munar sent a letter to administrators there saying that Carrillo was a fraud, but he received no answer.”

A New Yorker article about a literary/academic fraud named Hache Carrillo, who was a colleague of UD‘s (she sat on the tenure committee that wisely turned him down, unlike the unwise GW history department that tenured his fellow fraud Jessica Krug, and as a result spent years very publicly paddling up shit’s creek), has appeared.

You’re probably not interested in the patented New Yorker long-form details of this pretty trivial cultural figure, but the article does feature a neat and sweet summary of the many literary frauds (venture even slightly out of just this one fraud category, and you’ll end up with an article too long even for the long-form New Yorker) who’ve tried to put one over on us in the last decade or so.

Go ahead and think of all the successful, high-functioning frauds who must as we speak be running around our literary landscape befrauding everyone cuz they haven’t been (won’t be?) caught.


I guess administrators like the one in my title are worth thinking about. Before we condemn this anonymous person, let’s stipulate that a lot depends on the letter this person received. Was the letter writer a credible source? Oh yes. Is it likely that the letter was a naked example of envy, paranoia, nuttiness? Very, very unlikely. Does an administrator routinely get letters warning that a faculty member is a fraud? No. Does that mean you dismiss it as just a weird thing and throw it away? No.

Maybe you worry that anything you do could trigger litigation from Carrillo if he gets wind of it and so you toss it.

Okay, but let’s say you should do something. Fraud being as popular as it is, you should indeed do something. What do you do?

UD suggests that you pass it along to the dept chair/head of creative writing basically without comment. Maybe you scrawl a couple of question marks atop the letter by way of saying huh I dunno you deal with it. Hell, maybe that’s what was done, and the person we need to talk to about doing nothing is/was inside the English department.

But anyway we fired the dude, and he died a few years ago, so none of it amounts to much beyond another lesson universities should learn (most won’t) about the not inconsiderable number of people out there laying siege to their schools through fraud. Schools spend a lot of time worrying about larcenists and sexual predators, as well they should; but frauds do really really serious harm, and the fact that GW had two in succession – and tenured one! – is an institutional embarrassment.

February 28th, 2023
‘Although she has already handed in her resignation, her profile on AFSC’s website is still up.’


As always in identity hoaxes, the question is: what next? Most outed hoaxers have long since rejected their … inconvenient … families; and what with big news coverage, pretty much all employers see them coming.

And, wishing to avoid the embarrassment the American Friends Service Committee currently squirms beneath, employers are going to be discouraging, no matter how garish the poncho and massive the earrings.

Yet further, because most identity hoaxers are certifiable, there is no going back to any non-hoax rough-sketch of whatever they were before they assumed a new identity. Like their precursor, Alfred Jarry, they are at this point so jumbled up about whether they are, well, Ubu, or Roxanne Lebowski, or maybe Zdzisława Brzęczyszczykiewicz, that they are going to be flailing for at least awhile.

The one path open to them at this point is of course the memoir, in which – as in The Three Faces of Eve – they recount the lurid formative experiences that made them what they are today.

February 28th, 2023
‘Freshman Republican Rep. Andy Ogles (TN) says he’s a trained economist, but in reality, he only took one community college course on the subject—and he got a C… . It took Ogles 17 years to attain his degree, graduating in 2007 with a 2.4 GPA.’

But (see post below) at least he didn’t go to Yale!

February 21st, 2023
Bronzers futures look robust.

Race hoaxers typically need to use a lot of face bronzer – every day, when they wake up, they must apply browning agent anew to their stubbornly Euro complexions – and the latest hoaxer is no different from her tawny precursors.

Bronzer manufacturers are not the only beneficiary: tanning salons are also having a field day.

February 6th, 2023
‘There was the dad (water treatment entrepreneur Devin Sloane) who had his son pose as a fake water polo player in the backyard swimming pool in Bel-Air, procuring the necessary gear on Amazon. There was the Hollywood socialite (Jane Buckingham) who proctored her son’s ACT exam in her house. There was the glamorous, Harvard tennis star turned standardized test whiz (Mark Riddell) whom Singer recruited to take, or correct, kids’ tests for them. Then there was Singer himself, a tightly-wound workout junkie and former community college basketball coach, who detected decades before college consulting became a cottage industry, that there was money to be made in helping parents navigate the increasingly complex world of admissions.’

Are you afraid, as Varsity Blues concludes with its mastermind’s prison sentence (he got a few years), that we’ve seen the end of colorful, fun, characters like these?

DO. NOT. FEAR. When God closes a door, He opens a window.

First of all, Philip Esformes is headed for a retrial, and nothing Varsity Blues has to offer comes anywhere near Philip Esformes.

Plus if you’re not watching the State of South Carolina’s multipart adaptation of the greatest William Faulkner novel of all time – As Murdaughs Lay Dying – you are missing the glorious reincarnation of Flem Snopes and his clan. The trial is ongoing, available live on YouTube.

January 5th, 2023
‘One of the first red flags, Landsem said, was that LeClaire liked to tan — a lot. Landsem had even given LeClaire rides to tanning salons because LeClaire said they had a vitamin D deficiency. But then Landsem and others started noticing that LeClaire would also carry around a bottle of spray tan.’

As yet another faux minority person bites the dust, UD thinks nostalgically of Jessica Krug, a colleague of hers at GWU, who was similarly given to pickling herself in Brown Skin Girl.

December 20th, 2022
Spiritus Santos…

… or “Spirit of Santos” refers to sightings of the ghostly presence of newly elected congressperson George Santos, a man only able to be perceived by people of faith as he has made his … putative … way from Baruch College to Goldman Sachs to Citigroup and beyond. No school or workplace he lists on his resume has any record of him; nor do his ‘friends’ killed at Pulse Nightclub seem to have any connection to him; nor does the animal shelter he claims to have established quite exist.

The spirited Santos refuses to take up any of these lies; instead, like his treasured Trump, he lashes out at the evil left trying to kill him.

Stirringly, he concludes his self-defense with a famous quotation from Churchill that Churchill never said.

December 19th, 2022
If you’re gonna go…


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