Dr. John Gray - the best-selling author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" - isn't really a doctor. In fact, there's scant evidence he ever went to college at all.
CultNews.com, the Web site operated by nationally known cult expert Rick Ross, is reporting that the one-man marketing machine has been exaggerating his credentials for years.
Gray, whose "Men Are From Mars . . ." led to several spinoff titles, has turned himself into a brand name, with a syndicated national column, appearances on TV talk shows and the lecture circuit, a chain of licensed counseling centers, a roster of accredited counselors and psychologists who have trained under him, and an enormous cult following.
On his Web site, Gray touts himself as a certified family therapist with a Ph.D., a necessary degree for both the American Counseling Assn. and the International Assn. of Marriage and Family Counselors, to which he holds memberships.
But recent investigations into Gray's credentials reveal that his Ph.D. is an honorary one at best. Gray's assistant, Rosalinda Lynch, first told CultNews that her boss received his degree from Columbia Pacific University. The problem? CPU was a non-accredited correspondence university.
Lynch then said that Gray earned a second doctorate from Illinois' Governor's State University. A university spokesperson corrected the claim, explaining that an honorary degree was bestowed upon Gray when he delivered this year's commencement address. What's more, GSU doesn't have a doctorate program.
There are discrepancies about Gray's other educational claims as well. He had previously boasted of Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Maharishi European Research University in Switzerland. His assistant explained to CultNews that his degrees came from the American branch of the university, which is located in Iowa.
A call to both the school's registrar and its alumi association yielded no proof he ever attended. Gray's office in Marin County, Calif., had no response yesterday to repeated calls.