As it became more and more clear that the public was on to her apparent fraud, Aldort began spinning a number of contradictory "explanations" for this purported "misunderstanding." In one private correspondence, she writes:
I have a Ph.D. It is a long story. It is not in psychology... I don't want it by my name.
This link naomialdort.net is new to me. I have no idea who created it. Strange.
My publisher insisted on Ph.D. by my name on the cover of the book. I refused.
We compromised and put it only on the back. Insurance wanted it, so people can collect for sessions... so you see. It is all so so silly and irrelevant...
If you can give me all the links where you see it, I would love that. So I can take care of it fully.
She has a doctorate degree and it's a long story? Or did her publisher make her make that claim? But wait...her book is self-published. Or was it to collect for sessions, for health insurance? Wouldn't that be insurance fraud? Take care of it fully...you mean, complete a cover-up operation? That's going to be difficult, seeing as Aldort has been tooting her horn as a "psychologist" just about everywhere:
In email correspondence with a different person, however, Aldort told a different story:
From: Naomi Aldort
Date: July 3, 2011 4:02:07 PM EDT
I am shocked. This is a strange mistake. Someone, on an interview, calls me "doctor" and I did not correct them (Probably because it was a live interview and would make them wrong and confusing and waste of short time.)
There should be non on my site though. where do you see it?
Where do we see it? Aldort began claiming she had a Ph.D. on her website's bio page in 2005 and continued to do so for years, as shown in these screen captures:
At this point, Aldort appears to have run for the hills, letting her 20-year-old son take over the task of deflecting blame. Lennon Aldort writes:
Tell your buddies in the online discussion forms that it's getting old, and that it's time to move on. I too will miss the hilarity of the discussions, but all things must come to an end at some point.
If you're genuinely curious about Naomi's credentials, she will shortly be publishing an official statement of apology and clarification about the whole "Ph.D" confusion.
In fact, on July 4th, Lennon showed up in person on the TWWS and MDC forums to “set the record straight,” as it were. (Source: http://www.mothering.com/community/foru ... t_16537407)
The clarification statement, which has been edited since it was first posted, was apparently composed by Lennon, at Naomi's direction. (The blog is shown as belonging to Naomi Aldort.) At any rate, what it presents is yet another story that doesn't line up with the previous ones:
I removed Ph.D from my name two years ago, and continue to remove them as I find them on websites. I assure you, as I will clarify here, that what lead to this title is an innocent error. I had no intention to deceive. I was very naive and downright stupid. I studied music both for BA and graduate school (incomplete). I earned a Ph.D. in psychology, or so I thought, from a distant learning university in London in Dec. 2003.
Then, a couple of years ago, I learned that it was a scam and that I was duped. I was shocked and deeply disturbed. As soon as I suspected that, and even before I was sure, I rushed and removed the Ph.D. from everywhere that I could and planned to eliminate it promptly from the next production of anything in print.
It clearly is not true that Aldort had attempted to remove the credential from her name everywhere; her Amazon profile still lists it as of July 7, 2011, various websites of hers and those of her sons listed it as of June this year, and of course, her Facebook page still listed her as a Ph.D. only days before this "clarification." It could only be true that Aldort had attempted to remove the credential from her name everywhere if she maintained no control over all of these various sites that are directly connected to her personally and for which she holds the copyright.
Interestingly, in her attempt to validate her use of the credential and her practices, she cites her experience learning from some notorious leaders who have been accused of cult-like practices:
I developed my theories and teaching based on studies which included workshops with great psychologists like Virginia Satir and Will Schutz. I also studied the works of Gerald Jampolsky, participated in seminars of Harvey Jackins’s Re-evaluation Counseling, studied with Werner Erhard, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Richard Bandler’s Neurolinguistic Programing and others.
Questions were immediately raised regarding this statement, and Aldort's son fielded them for her,in a Q&A post. What was this supposed “scam university?” Wiltshire University, a now-disappeared mail order diploma mill in the UK. An academic in Illinois has compiled a dossier on Wiltshire and its questionable practices, showing that it was active in the early 2000s and that it allowed people to purchase sham “degrees” for $3,000. (Source: http://www.hep.uiuc.edu/home/g-gollin/oregon_north_dakota/#wiltshire)
Why was her June 2011 e-mail newsletter still signed "Naomi Aldort, Ph.D."? Well, she says she just cuts and pastes her newsletter text in, and the signature is automated, and she doesn’t proof the newsletters before they are sent out to subscribers.
Why was the Ph.D credential on her Facebook page? She says she didn't create her Facebook page...Lennon did so, without her knowledge. (The obvious followup questions to this--why would Lennon do that, why would Naomi not so much as look at it, and WHY would a son not know his mother's educational background while creating a publicity page for her--remain unanswered.)
Why did she call herself a psychologist? The answer to this question is, as we’ve learned is typical, in two contradicting parts:
She thought she had earned a Ph.D in psychology. If one has a Ph.D in psychology, one is legally called a psychologist. I think she also had no idea that the word "Psychologist" is a legal word. She used it as an english word describing the act of offering emotional guidance.
Most telling of all, why did Aldort not pursue a legitimate Ph.D. after discovering Wiltshire University was a scam? (Assuming she did not know it was such when she made her purchase.) In an answer since edited out of her clarification blog, Aldort said:
I never had in mind doing the regular amount of work to get a Ph.D. I never wanted or needed one. When I saw Wiltshire Universities (sic) offer, and didn’t know it was a scam, I figured it couldn’t hurt to have it.
So there it is: Aldort never wanted to do the work of an accredited Ph.D. in psychology, and felt entitled to practice as a “psychologist” without said degree. After all this "clarifying," and despite the handful of fans who have sprung to her defense, a few things are clearer than ever: Naomi Aldort is not qualified to dispense advice as a psychologist. Naomi Aldort does not have a license or degree in psychology. And Naomi Aldort will say whatever she thinks you want to hear to keep you buying her products and services. Or, if things get too tough, she'll send her son in to take care of it for her.
Update: as this was going out for publication, Aldort added a disclaimer statement to her homepage, linking to the “clarification statement.” No further explanation, apology, or offer of refunds--or to stop her counseling practice--has thus far been issued.