of great distinction given a Doctorate ofnDivinity.nThe theory behind this was laudable.nSociety should have some way of recognizingnand honoring its great men andnwomen. Unlike England, where outstandingnindividuals can receive the titlen”Sir” or “Dame” at the hands of thenqueen, Americans have been contentnwith this less aristocratic form of recognition.nBut human nature being what it is,nthe honorary doctorate was being widelynabused by mid-20th century. To benelected governor of a state was to bringnan honorary doctoral degree from thosenstate institutions aspiring to biggernbudgets, while any wealthy donor whongave a large sum to an institution obviouslynwas qualified to be a doctor ofnsomething or other.nWhere the great universities pioneered,nthe small teacher-training collegesnfollowed, and the honorary doctoratenwas soon cheapened. Schools thatnwere not accredited to award any graduatendegrees were handing out honoraryndoctorates wholesale. So widespread isnthe abuse of honorary degrees thatnmany states have passed laws forbiddingnthe practice at state colleges and universities.nNow these institutions give outn”Distinguished Service Awards” or, ifnthe recipient is a graduate of that institution,na “Distinguished Alumnus Certificate.”nAnyone who gives a sizable sum to anuniversity no doubt deserves some publicnrecognition. Few would quarrel withnDistinguished Service Awards or DistinguishednAlumnus Certificates. Nornwould most people quarrel with thenTHE CHILD ABUSEn’CRISIS’:nFORGOTTEN FACTS ANDnHIDDEN AGENDASnAn air clearing analpis of one of the mostnmisunderstood and controversial issuesnfacing Americans today,nSPECIAL ISSUE ORDER FORIVlnEnclosed is S2.50 ea. for copies ofnThe Cliild Abuse ‘Crisis’nAddress _nCitv . State. . 2ip .nSend to:nTire Rocltford Institute Center on The Family in American934 North Main Street • Rockford, IL 61103 6/89n44/CHRONICLESnhonorary doctorate for those of genuinenaccomplishment. However, almostneveryone would agree that the sale ofnwhat purport to be genuine diplomas isna fraud.nFor years officials from the Post OfficenDepartment and various other governmentalnagencies have been trying tonclose mail order diploma mills. Thosenwho peddle such degrees seem to congregatenin California, Texas, and Florida,nbut they offer their wares throughnadvertisements in national magazinesn— even occasionally in academic journals:n”Enrollment now underway fornundergraduate and graduate degrees.nCredit given for non-collegiate experience.nEarn a Ph.D. in just threenmonths.”nThose who answer such ads areninformed that, for a fee ranging from anfew hundred to several thousand dollars,nthey can become an engineer, annaccountant, a medical doctor, or a doctornof philosophy. Many such diplomasncome instantly. The completed applicationnand accompanying check getsngrades assigned, a full transcript completed,nand a diploma suitable for framingnmailed.nThere are a few higher-class mailnorder institutions that make applicantsnswear to have completed a requirednreading list of several books. Then thenapplicants fly to the “university” to staynin its facilities for a’ week-long “seminar”nor two. Those who fail the firstnexamination are guaranteed that theyncan pass the test if they enroll forn”remedial tutoring,” which requires anothernweek or two at the institution’snfacilities. Then the degree is awarded.nSuch institutions apparently do angood business, for ads continue to runnwhere they can easily be seen. Therenalways are sufficient egotists aroundnwho want to hang a framed diplomanproclaiming themselves to be a Ph.D.nand who are willing to pay for thenprivilege. Others buy such diplomas innorder to get good jobs. I recall a fewnyears ago when one such institution innTexas was shut down by the authoritiesnamid wide publicity about the fraudninvolved. In a neighboring state severalncounty school superintendents resignednin a hurry because their only academicncredentials were from this tainted institution.nFor those individuals in America whonwant a doctorate from an accreditednnninstitution, not one purchased by mailnorder, there are many private collegesnand universities still awarding honoraryndoctorates at every commencement. Innfact, it is the genteel awarding of suchndiplomas to wealthy donors that keepsnmany such schools solvent. The goingnprice these days,’ I understand, is aboutn$200,000 —although if one shopsnaround the degree can be had for less atnthose church colleges with the proverbialnwolf at the door.nIn fact, it is these schools that practicenone of the greatest frauds in the doctoralnbusiness. At every commencement atnmost small church colleges, the institutionnawards five or six Doctor of Divinityndegrees to practicing ministers.nThese recipients, for the most part, donnot make a personal donation to thenschool in order to receive the degree,nnor do they have to demonstrate greatnpiety or wisdom. Rather they usuallynare preachers whose churches make ansteady donation to the school to helpnwith its financial problems.nThe president of one such schoolnconfided to me recently that but forndonations from ministers aspiring to annhonorary doctorate he would have hadnto close his institution. And, he added,nhe always made certain that any preacherngetting an honorary doctorate had hisnchurch donate at least $10,000 a yearnfor five years before awarding the degree.nThis president said such was hisnpractice because he had noted that thenminute most preachers received annhonorary doctorate from his school,nthey ceased the annual contribution.n”They no longer want to have anythingnto do with us, no connection,” he toldnme, “for they are embarrassed at hownthey got the degree.”nHowever, such preachers are not toonembarrassed by the process to ignorentheir new stature. The minister willninstruct his staff and his faithful congregationnto address him as “Doctor.” Andnhe will change his title from “Reverend”nto “Doctor” on the bulletin boardnoutside the church and on its printednliterature. I know one such preachernwho immediately had new businessncards printed.nIf you think this an exaggeration, thennext time you are introduced to anpreacher using the title Doctor, ask himnwhat kind of doctorate it is. The oddsnare he will say a Doctor of Divinity.nAnd on the bulletin board outside then