Thursday, March 17, 2011

False Professor Sentenced

The newspaper Volksfreund reports that the district court in Bitburg has sentenced a man to 2 years in jail suspended for 4 years for falsely calling himself a professor.

The man was born in 1941 in Leipzig, in 1964 he completed training as a physical therapist and then continued training as a nontraditional healer (Heilpraktiker). He also studied acupuncture in Hong Kong. In the 70s he came in contact with practitioners in Hamburg and Tübingen and began calling himself "Professor GUS" (GUS is the abbreviation for the Commonwealth of Independent States, former Soviet republics. In Germany, if you have a foreign title you have to include the name of the place after the title).

The man felt that he was entitled to call himself this, because he had been a guest "professor" on cancer in Kiew, Ukraine. Apparently, he had been hounded by courts for using false titles and had been repeatedly fined for using them. But he still kept on, feeling that at least in foreign countries, he was considered an expert. He blames a Belgian group for stirring up all this "slander" about him not having a proper title, and is now so poor that he can't afford to attend conferences.

Why the court only gave him a suspended sentence, despite past crimes in the same area, is beyond me. The Wiki esowatch has a page that sounds very much like him, and his home page still lists him as Prof. h.c. GUS. So the question comes up - even if someone is taken to court and found guilty of using a false title, who goes around and checks that they remove all traces of this false title?

2 comments:

  1. Asking that 'title offenders' are sent to prison sounds a bit extreme to me. As far as I understood he didn't harm anyone. Sure, it's illegal to call oneself Prof. if you don't really have the title but I think there are bigger crimes.

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  2. This guy is selling people with cancer on his "cure". He is pretending to be a professor, when he actually appears to be a snake-oil salesman. He has previously been sentenced to fines for calling himself titles that he does not have - and he continues. So a prison sentence that would give him a little time to think about what he is doing might not be the worst thing in the world.

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