A new Trump appointment to, and this is a real thing, the Commission on Presidential Scholars is raising some eyebrows today. You might have assumed that something called the Commission on Presidential Scholars would have been one of the first things defenestrated when the current gaggle of book burners took over; instead, it appears Republicans are going with a redefinition of what the word “scholar” means.
Because the newest Trump-appointed member of that commission, George Mentz, is a bit of a character. The Denver Post notes that Mentz isn’t just a Trump donor and Newsmax writer (Newsmax itself being the project of a loyal Trump ally), but “a prolific author of self-help Illuminati books.”
“Mentz’s books include The Illuminati Secret Laws of Money, The Illuminati Handbook, 50 Laws of Power of the Illuminati,” says the Post.
Ah. Of course.
Mentz downplays the Illuminati bit, saying it is just a “marketing” ploy, and in this case that’s a very credible explanation. With other titles under his belt like, also noted by the Post, Spiritual Wealth Management: The Abundance Bible & Prosperity Manifesto or The Prosperity Secret to Win with Magical Spiritual Power, Mentz appears to be an author willing to fish for
suckers self-help-needers using as many Official Gullible People buzzwords as be brought to bear. (It’s no How To Gain Financial Independence by Growing Your Own Magic Beans, though, which means my own forthcoming entry into the genre still has a nice little niche to fill.)
Of perhaps more concern is that Mentz appears to take a similar approach in his “scholarly” dealings. Mentz is the owner of a company that appears to be a rather generic accreditation mill, allowing applicants to become an “accredited life coach” or many dozens of other certifications, after previously heading a near-identical-seeming company that was exposed by the Wall Street Journal for handing out such accreditations with no coursework and no requirement that the certificate-purchaser prove even basic competence in the field for which they were being accredited. Apparently professional accreditation, too, is something that can be best gained with Magic Spiritual Power?
This is Republicanism now, by the way. Not sure how many more times it needs to be said, but from Rudy Giuliani to Tucker Carlson to … this guy … run the common threads of conspiracy-obsession and lining one’s pockets by pandering to the dumbest people in every room. Sure, whatever, appoint the Magical Spiritual Power guy to a presidential commission on scholars. It’s not a damn stitch different from putting Larry Freaking Kudlow in charge of the nation’s economy.
Fear not, however. The Commission on Presidential Scholars does not have the ominous powers that one might expect of the name, and if the Illuminati is involved, they are keeping a low profile. The commission is primarily responsible for selecting each year’s presidential scholars from among the nation’s top-testing high school seniors. Winners get a White House ceremony and a medallion out of the deal; if they want to become an accredited life coach they’ll still have to pay extra for that.