The 3 Most Spectacularly Full of Crap 'Experts'
Experts. We look to them and their highly specific knowledge to guide us through life's tricky travails. All we ask is that they at least be proficient in the one talent they claim mastery over. Is that so hard?
Area of Expertise: Weight Loss
Dieting is a bitch, and losing weight is her evil, elusive sister. So when Heidi "Kimkins" Diaz lost 198 pounds and went from flab to fab in just 11 months, she certainly had something to crow about.
"None of my old pants fit, but I'll save a fortune on circus tents!"
Eager to cash in on her success, the newly svelte diet queen became a millionaire after Woman's World published her Kimkins Diet plan, along with her personal before-and-after pictures.
"Losing weight taught me how to use makeup!"
Like most things too good to be true, Diaz's miracle diet was complete and utter bullshit, and even more disturbing, it was dangerous. Side effects like hair loss, amenorrhea and heart palpitations prompted an investigation that ultimately revealed that the diet's creator was not the trim hottie splashed across the pages of Woman's World and the Kimkins website, but actually a 300-pound woman whose sexy "after" pictures were lifted from a Russian mail-order-bride website.
Heidi Diaz, apparently smuggling several other gurus under her shirt.
The investigator, hired by former Kimkins Diet Club members, said he was stunned. "Here she is supposed to be this petite lady, I saw her come out of the apartment and she was quite large."
"Thankfully, I had a wide-angle lens."
According to the class action lawsuit filed by disgruntled diet club members, Diaz "remains ... morbidly obese."
Area of Expertise: Relationship Guru
Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D., built a one-woman empire and earned millions of dollars based on her self-created role as "love teacher." She's the best-selling author of numerous relationship books, including Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know, Are You the One for Me? and How to Make Love All the Time. She appeared for two years on CNN as a relationship expert. Often referred to as one of the world's premiere relationship psychologists, you've probably seen clips of her "Love Secrets" or "Making Love Work" seminars on late night TV.
Make love the scary orange woman way!
We have to hand it to her, in terms of having a wide variety of practical experience. With five husbands at last count, De Angelis certainly has most people beat. One could argue that being married five times is a bit excessive, but then one would be arguing with a doctor.
But not exactly. Barbara De Angelis' doctoral degree is from Columbia Pacific University. In 1997, the deputy assistant attorney general for the state of California called Columbia Pacific University a "complete scam" and a "diploma mill" offering degrees that are "worthless." Columbia Pacific University was closed down by California State court order in 2000, although Dr. De Angelis still uses the professional-sounding title on her website and official literature to this day.
Related: 15 Dark Secrets of Self-Help Gurus
Area of Expertise: Highway Safety
Sheila Burgess is the director of the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division. Her job? To reduce accidents by promoting good driving practices and educate the public on the hazards of speeding, texting while driving, driving while impaired and failing to wear a seat belt.
Basically, she's against everything fun you can do in a car.
In what appears to be a 30-year campaign to become the unofficial poster child for the "safety is no accident" adage, Burgess' driving record includes seven accidents, four speeding violations, two failures to stop for a police officer, one failure to stay in her lane, one driving without registration or license in possession and one driving without wearing a seat belt. There are 34 entries on her driving record dating back to 1982.
The most recent of her seven accidents occurred a few months ago while Burgess was driving a state vehicle during work when her car veered off the road and slammed into a rock outcropping. Because of injuries she suffered during this crash, Burgess is on paid leave from her nearly $90,000 a year salary, but will be reassigned to a "different role" within the state Office of Public Safety and Security, according to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts governor.
"We think she'd make a great bus driver."