I followed up on a tip I got via email. This also appears at adultdvd talk
Sharon Mitchel got her doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from, the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality which certainly sounds legit.
I even looked at the list of California State Approved and Exempt Institutions (http://www.cpec.ca.gov/CollegeGuide/PrivateSystemInformation.asp), and found them there as recognized by the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
Post secondary means after High School, Vocational means basically technical training with no degree. Just for the record a PhD is a POST GRADUATE degree.
The WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is the organization that covers the typical 4 year colleges and universities that most people are familiar with, including UCLA, UC Riverside and all the UC campuses, all the CAL State campuses, Berkeley, Stanford, Loma Linda U, Cal Tech, Claremont College, Pomona College and so on. The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is NOT on this list.
The admission requirements for the Institute for Advanced Study of Sexuality, for their Masters in Public Health ask for your education records, and for any relevant job experience.
Both the UCLA and Loma Linda U. Schools of Public Health, that are accredited programs by the WASC, require that all people admitted to their programs have a bachelors’ degree from a 4 year college and have taken the GRE exam. This stands for the Graduate Record Exam, and is used by nearly all graduate programs to determine if an applicant has the necessary academic background to begin graduate studies.
To people reading this, this may seem like so much gobbledy-gook, but for those who have been through the rigors of obtaining a graduate or medical education, these things are important, and are relevant when discussing a person’s qualifications, particularly when he or she is making decisions that affect the health of others.
In short Sharon loves to confuse people by calling herself Dr Mitch, which implies that she is a medical doctor, which she is NOT. post graduate doctors would refer to themselves as Sharon Mitchell, PhD to avoid this confusion. But truth is her PhD is rather meaningless as she did not have to possess any proficiency whatsoever to get into this “Masters Program” she didn’t even have to have a Bachelors degree, which to the best of my knowledge she does not possess.
Most people would call this sort of diploma…”Store Bought”. Maybe THIS explain why she lacks the ability to do simple math.
As a medical student, I find it highly insulting that she would chose to present herself as a doctor, or even as a Ph.D., especially given the fact that the “institution” that bestowed the Ph.D. upon her is *NOT* accredited by the US Dept. of Education or a Council for Higher Education Accreditation or US Dept. of Education approved accrediting body. You can view her Ph.D. info here or Google cache here and the institution’s page here.
Aside from the humorous fact that the first words mentioned on their website is “Note: We now accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover”, the requirements for this Ph.D. is are shady at best.
From their web page, the institute requires a whopping 5 trimesters of work, plus a thesis, to receive the degree. Unlike the name implies, a trimester is not four months, or one-third of a year. As their website states, a trimester is roughly *HALF A MONTH*. They define their Spring trimester as Feb 7 – Feb 22 and their Fall Trimester as Oct 3 – Oct. 20.
What this means is that for the whopping academic commitment of as little as 2.5 months, anyone can earn a Ph.D. They don’t even require an undergraduate degree as long as you can prove you have “experience” in the field! Their main interest seems to be collecting the exorbitant $4,950 per trimester fee, for which no federal or state student loans are available since it’s not an accredited educational institution.
This barely qualifies as a shade above a diploma mill and is an insult to all of us who put in the usual 4 years of undergrad work and 5-6+ years of extremely challenging graduate work and contribution to the academic community for our doctoral degree.
The fact that Sharon Mitchell knowingly purports herself to be a “doctor”, despite lacking a degree from an accredited college or university, is nothing short of unethical.
I also find it highly disturbing that the medical institution in charge of ensuring the industry’s safety is headed by an individual with a fraudulent degree.
“Very Scary”, Mary Carey:
I just had to use that slug line…Mary Carey, former candidate for governor of California says theis is all “Very Scary”
Why is everyone upset with AIM over this?
Largely because AIM has made everyone feel comfortable that they were safe. When Sharon Mitchell, PhD makes statements like “back to back testing every 30 days is absolutely sufficient” (www.spectator.net) and “We have eradicated HIV” (www.avn.com), that brings people to believe that they are safe. When they find out that they were not safe, it’s much easier to point the finger and say “she lied” than it is to say I didn’t educate myself, I just let someone else tell me what to think because I am too dumb, too lazy or to apathetic to do it myself.
AIM set themselves up as a torch bearer and they did so pushing a test that they knew to be no better than the standard ELISA, as a matter of fact it was even pointed out that it may be inferior. They left people feeling like there was no risk.
I no more blame Sharon Mitchell for this outbreak than I blame Gays, God or IV drug users. I blame irresponsible behaviour on the part of a performer.
That said one does have to hold AIM and Sharon Mitchell, PhD accountable in an indirect manner because they set themselves up in that role. Sadly not one part of thier “system” has worked. They failed to catch Darren James HIV right after he returned from Brazil, when it was caught they failed to know what the correct quarantine proceedure was, and they are still failing at that. simple math eludes them when it comes to the exposure window and what time periods they have to test to insure proper containment. There is evidence today that they still don’t even have a correct list of people who were directly exposed to Darren James, a list they irresponsibly call “first generation performers”. Someone who would know has made the statement that he knows for a fact that theres a girl that Darren worked with who is NOT on that list. Think I am kidding go read www.pornblography.com.
If they can’t come up with the correct direct exposures then they damn sure cant come up with correct indirect exposures. There was no plan for what to do when something like this happened. Its the proverbial chinese fire drill…The three stooges open an HIV testing facility in pornoland.
The longer this goes on the more apparent it is that Sharon Mitchell PhD is WAY out of her league in being able to handle this situation.
Thats why everyone is pointing a finger at AIM more and more.
Porn Sites Crashing:
I have been experiencing HUGE additional traffic as well but this site is on a solid UNIX server and I would have to get exponentially more than I am even getting now to just slow it down.
A Porner Writes:
Thank You Thank You Thank You for having the guts to stand up and say what most of us in porn think about Rob Black, You are the only website in this industry that tells it like it is. I wish I could sign my name to this but I have to live and work with the idiots here.
An Open Letter To Rob Black Posted Here Because AVN Doesn’t Have the Balls to Run It:
You want our help as an industry? You want our respect?
Here’s a good place to start:
Make good on every single bad check you have ever written to performers, with 10% per year interest.
Make good on every single bad check you have wrtitten to production crews, with 10% per year interest
Make good on the 4000.00 dollar bad check you wrote to jim South that sits on his desk, with 10% per year interest
Make good on the bad checks you wrote to Lou Perraino and Ray Pistol, with 10% per year interest
Make good on the bad checks you wrote to your graphic artists, with 10% per year interest
Make good on on the bad checks you wrote to your printer, with 10% per year interest
If you want to be treated like a man, act like a man. AVN may hold you up as the poster boy for free speech but most of the rest of us just see you as the two bit con artist and petty thief that really are. I have gotten emails from people in this industry who think it will be a bad thing for all of us if you win, because what will you do then to try and bring us all down?
I bet this industry would be happy to pay your legal fees, provided that you left the industry forever, never to return, never to be heard from again. hell even I would chip in for that.
This is another confidential mail to you but as you know, I also shoot in Brazil (along with other scary places).
Darren James (and company) is a regular patron of the brothels in Rio, especially one called 4×4. I have also worked with a boat load of girls in Rio who say that the Americans never test them for HIV. True or not, that is the word on the streets of Rio de Janeiro from the girls who are shooting with American porn crews, and I know of a LOT of crews shooting down there non-condom.
Responsible? Hardly. I also know that cities like Salvador Brazil do not have HIV testing available, and trust me, I have exhausted myself in search of it) yet TT Boy shoots there non-condom and is allowed to waltz right back to L.A. and shoot, and everyone knows he’s been there shooting, same with the guys and companies in Rio. I also know the girls in the Philipines were not tested by certain male performers who have shot there.
I was able to get my hands on rapid tests (much like the orasure you posted) for cheap and take them everywhere I go now. They are cheap, fast and apparently I am the only one using them, as the girls are all surprised that I am testing them. They normally just take a higher fee for non-condom.
Unprotected sex with prostitutes in 3rd world countries is dangerous shit. To not test them is as irresponsible as you can get. For the industry to allow these same guys to continue working with no quarantine after such a trip is equally irresponsible. But AIM swears by their failing test, and the industry is brainwashed by them. I personally no longer test with them.
I know this guy and I know he speaks the truth. It’s sad but this has been a long time coming. The real surprise is what took it so long.
A Concerned Female Porn Consumer Wants To Know:
“First I’d like to applaud the great work you’ve been doing on this issue. Second, it’s been hinted at, not on your site but elsewhere, that James was partaking in some bi-coastal action while in Brazil. I think it’s important to mention that this behavior isn’t much different than what Rocco, Nacho, Mark Anthony and a bunch of other porners are doing these days. Tranny movies have become the hottest freak fetish on the market. That doesn’t even deal with what people do in their personal lives. It seems to me, as an outsider, that people got stupid and complacent. But I think it’s important to remember, regardless of what comes out in the coming weeks, is that this very easily could have been someone else in the business. Condoms will likely hurt the porn industry, as a consumer I don’t like being reminded of the reality of things, but it will recover. The 20 man cum slam may be dead but maybe couples working together on screen will be the norm. Hopefully if anything good comes from this crisis it will weed out irresponsible porn producers. Thanks I’d like to hear your thoughts on these issues.
Concerned female porn consumer”
I know that James has been accussed of everything from playing off camera with Trannies to IV Drugs to currently working in Czechoslovaki I try to avoid things I don’t have positive confirmation on at a time like this so I don’t know. I know a LOT about HIV, but am by no means an expert, I also know that while female to male transmission is possible via straight sex its very difficult. Thats the reason the whole Marc Wallace thing wasn’t MUCH worse and its the reason that its highly unlikely that any males will test positive through indirect or even direct contact.
The bigger problams come with the more risky behaviours that are popular in porn these days, Trannies, anal, double anal, creampies, anal creampies all make for far more efficient transmission methods.
Condoms are the best defense the industry has at this point no doubt about it but lets be serious here, do you really think that all condom sex is going to become the norm, it isn’t. It won’t because we live in a market driven economic system, if you are familiar with Adams “Invisible Hand Theory” of economics you understand what that means. If we shoot condom only porn then people shooting outside this country and outside porn valley will move in with non condom product and they will dominate the all important Raincoater market.
Realistically companies like Vivid and Digital Playground don’t need the raincoater market, they do not depend on video store sales and rentals for thier profits because they have distribution through national and international cable TV and Pay per view markets.
Companies like Red Light District and Zero Tolerance for example do not have this luxury, they live and die by the raincoater market as we call them.
It’s all fine and dandy for AVN or me or anyone else to sit back and say OK we have to shoot all condom, but the reality is the market has shown us more than once that all condom product in what AVN calls the “Gonzo” market fails miserably.
Couple that with the lack of ability to constrain itself that this industry has repeatedly exhibited and you damn well that Max for instance isn’t going to go all condom, it would put him out of business.
Maybe you think he should be ut of business but the market doesn’t and economics has taught us that ultimately the market does win.
Trying to solve this problem is a lot like trying to stop traffic deaths, we could absolutely stop traffic fatalities simply if nobody drove but we know that wont happen.
Just like getting into your car whenever you have sex in this business or out of it you are assuming a certain amount of risk, you also are putting a certain degree of trust in your partner, whether he/she is worthy of that trust or not.
You cannot prevent STDs in this business, ever, you can only minimize the risk and even at that you have to balance it with your bottom line because lets not forget this is a business.
From a purely philosophical standpoint this is just Darwin in action, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger…We adapt and overcome and when we look back at all of this we will see that we made improvements to attempt to further minimize the risk while at the same time trying to adapt to the market on which our livihood depends. We will be faced with new challenges to overcome as well thats all part of the master plan so to speak.
The most regretable part of this to me is that we in this industry are notoriously reactive when we would be better off being proactive. Complacency will kill ya. It’s easy to look back and say that it could have been prevented, its much more difficult to look forward and say how might we prevent something like this from ever happening.
Currently there is no answer except that we will adapt and we will overcome and we will be presented with new obstacles.
I feel bad for the porn chick that got scammed by “Steve Strong”. She needs to know that even though she may have signed a release, the fake check renders that release null and void. She now owns all rights to the tapes, all images from them and anyone using them is liable for damages.
She should email him a demand, and if she has an address, send a 10-day demand letter. After the 10 days have passed she is free to file a civil suit. This is theft of services, fraud, and a few other crimes.
If she knows of any websites, distributors or other entities that have utilized “Strong’s” video, she should send them notification that he is in default of payment and all images of her are copy written and owned by her. Any attempt to use said images will result in criminal and civil liabilities.
I know this may be a lot for her to deal with, but I know what it’s like to work your ass off and not get paid. At least she may be able to prevent them from making any money on it.
With the advent of laser printers and computer graphics, I would advise anyone receiving a cashiers check or money order for payment of anything, only accept such payment in person at the bank the check is written on.
I sincerely hope she resolves this soon.