Taking money from the gullible

The Polaris Career Center in the Cleveland area provides training for people in areas such as auto repair, cooking, operating machinery, cosmetology, etc. The usual things that such centers do. But an eagle-eyed person noticed that some of their course offerings are, to put it mildly, bizarre.

One three-hour session promised to provide people with proof that aliens visited Earth and had chats with then-president Dwight Eisenhower and vice-president Richard Nixon. And it costs just $30, a bargain. Other courses are “Dreaming with the Moon,” “Connecting with Your Angels,” and “Past Life Reflection.”

Should a tax-payer funded center be teaching such nonsense and thus giving those ideas a veneer of credibility? The authorities defend the practice saying that those particular courses are not taxpayer-subsidized and pay for themselves and even earn money for the center. But as reporter Mark Naymik says:

But the tax dollars that flow to Polaris do end up supporting silly courses indirectly. The courses, in most cases, are taught in the tax-supported Polaris facilities and are promoted in the center’s tax-subsidized catalogs.

These absurd courses also damage the credibility of Polaris and other technical centers at a time when politicians promote them as vital to creating jobs in Ohio.

Polaris should stop lending its name to these irrational courses — and certainly stop taking money from people who need real career advice, not lessons on reading Tarot cards.

I have the impression that belief in extra-terrestrial visitations is centered mainly in the US but may be wrong. Maybe this blog’s readers from other countries can tell us if this happens elsewhere too.


  1. bmiller says

    Given the lack of jobs in Cleveland, maybe reading Tarot cards is a legitimate career opportunity? 🙂

  2. Jockaira says

    In my life, I’ve known at least a dozen tarot readers, crystal-ball gazers, astrologers and such who made reliable incomes from plying their trades. So I would look upon the inclusion of such courses at the Polaris Career Center as aiding and abetting swindles, pure and simple. Giving these dubious subjects a forum and a classroom to teach them, is at the very least, allowing the teaching of bunco games.

    I suppose it might be all right to prominently display a disclaimer with the class catalogue: This class is included only for its entertainment value and no endorsement of its value in the real world should be inferred. It’s for lulz only.

  3. DsylexicHippo says

    Paste-eaters need paste. Supply and demand. I am sure right-wingers would agree.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    I’ve taken night courses in taxpayer-subsidized situations that are definitely more along the lines of entertainment rather than a strict adult education format, such as chocolate making, so I’m a little bit sympathetic to this. But no, I don’t think it’s right to use any taxpayer resources to disseminate lies as if they were true, even if it is entertaining.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    … aliens visited Earth and had chats with then-… vice-president Richard Nixon.

    Business as usual: they wanted a debriefing and to relay new orders.

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