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A short - unauthorized - biography of
Liz Greene



For some visuals, go here.

Update of 20 September 2005

As readers may know, I've been curious for some time about Liz Greene's Ph.D. Some new information has come to light:

Liz Greene was born Elizabeth Leigh, in September, 1946, in New Jersey. I am informed she attended Westfield Senior High School in Westfield, NJ and graduated in 1963. After high school she attended a school in Boston. I do not know which school, nor if she graduated. While in Boston, she briefly studied astrology with Isabel Hickey, dropping out after two classes (The Mountain Astrologer, interview with Nick Campion, Feb/Mar 2002). Hickey exposed her to Theosophy, which Greene didn't like. Didn't much care for Hickey, either, or so I hear.

Except for the high school & year of graduation, all of this is well-known.

In June, 2005, when I was stuck trying to find an author's whereabouts, I noticed a reference to Debbi Kempton-Smith on his website. So I dug out her number & phoned. To my surprise, Debbi Kempton-Smith and Liz Greene knew each other years ago, before either had made their marks in astrology.

Debbi told me she first met Liz Greene in early 1969, in Los Angeles when Greene was teaching evening astrology classes in rented office space at 6430 Sunset Boulevard, which was just down the road from the Cinerama Dome. Today that address is a big black office building with the letters "CNN" at the top. The name of Greene's school was The University of Love & Brotherhood. Greene & Kempton-Smith remained in contact, in Los Angeles, and, later, in London, until the mid-1970's.

In an interview in the February/March 2005 issue of The Mountain Astrologer (pg. 45), Greene says she was asked by Denny Cordell, an English/Argentinean record producer (one of her clients) if he & Leon Russell should form a record label. As the resulting label, Shelter Records, was established in Los Angeles in January, 1970, this consultation presumably took place in Los Angeles, in 1969. According to Greene, a couple of years then passed before she was inspired to ask them to hire her as an employee, which would be 1971. She said she did so because I was not happy working as a psychotherapist (op. cit. pg. 45). This would imply that she was, in 1971, aged 25, already a practicing psychotherapist. She then spent the next two years with Shelter Records. Greene says her first trip to London, a business trip, was on behalf of Cordell. Kempton-Smith confirms this as 1973.

Greene liked what she saw, pulled up stakes and, in 1974, moved to London permanently. Once there, she continued teaching astrology (Patrick Curry interview, The Mountain Astrologer / Mercury Direct, December 2004 / January 2005, pg. 13). Although born and raised in New Jersey, Greene's father was English, and she obtained permanent residence in the UK without problem. She says, I came to London on a company business trip and thought, "I've come home." (TMA, Feb/Mar 2005, pg. 45.) Initially she lived in South Kensington (sources: Curry & Kempton-Smith), which even back then was a nice area.

In 1976, Samuel Weiser (York Beach, ME) published Saturn, by Dr. Liz Greene. Debbi tells me, I remember, vividly, when Liz first started putting the letters Ph.D. after her name --- because her first book, Saturn, had "Dr." Liz Greene' right on the cover.

Which I recall clearly. In the current printing, "Ph.D." and "Dr." are missing, as they are on all other current Weiser books by Greene, except that "Dr. Greene" still appears in the blurbs on the back covers of Relating (1978) & Saturn.

Which brings back the issue of Liz Greene's Ph.D. in Psychology. Greene has claimed it for nearly thirty years, but, to this day, we do not know when or where she got it. So, using what we know, and adding to it what we can deduce, let's try & find out. Here is a time line for Liz Greene, as best I can establish it:

September, 1946, Elizabeth Leigh (her maiden name) is born in New Jersey.

September, 1951, Elizabeth Leigh turns five years old.

September, 1952, under New Jersey law at the time, Elizabeth Leigh is of kindergarten age.

Circa June, 1965, Elizabeth Leigh presumably graduates from high school, presumably in New Jersey.

Age 19: (i.e., September 1965 - August 1966, or thereabouts) Elizabeth Leigh was presumably in Boston.

1969: From her own statement, Elizabeth Leigh, now known as Liz Greene, is in Los Angeles, where she and Debbi Kempton-Smith met. There were two marriages, the first to a Mr. Greene, the second to a Mr. Johnson.

1971 or 1972: Liz Greene joins the staff of Shelter Records.

1973: Visits London for Shelter Records.

1974: Greene settles permanently in the UK. Sources: Debbi Kempton-Smith, as well as Patrick Curry (Patrick Curry interview, The Mountain Astrologer / Mercury Direct, December 2004 / January 2005, pg. 13) both put her in London at this time.

  • Now for the Ph.D. Let's see if we can make this work:

In response to my earlier notes about Greene, on September 19, 2003, I got an email from the webmaster at Astrodienst, one of Greene's business associates. He wrote: Liz Greene holds a PhD in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. I.e., UCLA. (emphasis added)

So, in my research for these notes, I phoned UCLA Department of Psychology & spoke with Dena Chertoff, a graduate counselor. She's been with the department since the 1970's. Back then, she said, the UCLA Ph.D. program in Psychology took seven years. It could be done in four (presumably if you ate, slept & dreamed classwork) but often required more than a decade. (And to this, remember to add four years as an undergrad.)

So if Liz Greene graduated from high school in 1965 & if she was a normal university student, she would have graduated as a Ph.D. from UCLA in June, 1976. But by that time Liz Greene had been in London for two years, and had been in psychotherapeutic practice, by her own admission, since 1971.

Could it be that Greene, despite teaching evening classes, despite working for Shelter Records, and despite wandering, during her college years, from Boston to Los Angeles, was an exceptional student & did accelerated classwork while at UCLA, earning her final Ph.D. in Psychology in a mere six years (which includes undergraduate work)?

Regrettably, no. Not at UCLA. I phoned the Academic Records Unit of the UCLA Registrar's Office, in Los Angeles. A quick check confirmed they had a record of a student named Elizabeth Greene, but as it was a long time ago, they would have to get the details out of the files & I would have to call back the next day.

I did so. I gave them Liz Greene's date of birth. They said there was no match. I asked for more identification, that we would be sure there was no mistake. She's 29 years older than your Greene was the reply (i.e., born c. 1917). UCLA had no record of a Liz or Elizabeth Greene born September 1946. No record as a graduate. No record as an undergraduate. No record as a Ph.D. candidate. Nor did UCLA have any record of an Elizabeth Leigh.

I also asked Chertoff. She flatly denied anyone named Elizabeth Greene or Elizabeth Leigh had ever been in the Psychology department at UCLA. While UCLA is a very big school, the world of Doctors of Psychology is a very small one.

Looking elsewhere in the Los Angeles area, the requirements for a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Southern California (USC) are broadly similar. Undergraduate degree, plus four or five years graduate study, plus, if you're in practice (Greene was), another year of clinical work. A decade, more or less. If there wasn't time at UCLA, there would not have been time at USC.

Up the road at Malibu-based Pepperdine, the Ph.D. program in Psychology is presently Master's degree plus three years of classwork, plus one year of internship, plus a dissertation. The required Masters itself requires a minimum of 36 hours of classwork, of which only 10 hours can be taken per term. As there's three terms per year, the full Pepperdine Ph.D. program in Psychology currently requires more than five years. And, of course, to this add four years of undergraduate work.

Loyola Marymount, the fourth of the big four schools in Los Angeles, does not offer graduate study in Psychology. They had formerly offered a Masters.

In the 2005 Mountain Astrologer interview, Liz Greene identified her Ph.D. thesis as Hysteria, Self-Hypnosis, and Religious Miracle Cures (pg. 42). She adds, Well, by that time I'd already got into astrology, and taking a doctorate was a highly calculated, deliberate, cynical choice: "I'm fed up with people treating me like a lunatic. If I have these letters after my name, they'll think twice." (op. cit. pg. 42)

So it appears Greene has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She was a licensed practitioner, by her own statement, in 1971. We just don't know where she got the degree to do it. Not from a major school in Los Angeles, not from any serious school in Boston (not enough time spent there), not from any school in New Jersey (too young), not from any school in London (too late). Which are all the places where Liz Greene is known to have been. Strangely, Greene has never claimed a Bachelor's, the requirement for all graduate work.

The California requirements for Licensed Psychologist reads as follows:

Licensed Psychologist - has completed a four-year doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D), 3,000 hours of supervised experience, and passed written psychologist examinations (no oral examination as of January 2002). Psychologists may practice many different kinds of psychotherapy and are also trained to perform psychological testing. The license number issued by the California Board of Psychology will contain PSY followed by four to five digits. Found here.

If you're curious, 3000 hours, divided by 24, is 125 24-hour days. In eight-hour shifts, 375 days. A year has 365 days, if we subtract 52 days for Sundays, 52 more days of Saturdays, and finally subtract holidays, a year has about 250, 8 hour working days.

The California Board of Psychology has a searchable data base of all psychologists and psychological assistants in the state of California, going back at least 50 years. I cannot find a proper Leigh or Greene among them.

It would appear that, despite her statements to the contrary, Liz Greene was never licensed to practice Psychology in the state of California.

Disinterested readers may begin to wonder if Liz Greene really has a Ph.D. I've been wondering that for some time myself.

David R. Roell
July 16, 2005


September 20, 2005:

In response to a query, there was this:

-----Original Message-----
From Alice Ekrek [mailtoa.ekrek@bathspa.ac.uk]
Sent 19 September 2005 0948
To C....... M.....
Subject RE LG

Not from UCLA, from ULA univ. of LA, in 1971, no longer in existence. Weird that so many are believing this email going around. Why should they imagine she would create something like that? The email is a load of rubbish, and makes no difference. She has proof and anyone who needs to see it has.

LG does have a PhD.

Thanks for liveline info.

Alice Ekrek
Administrator
The Sophia Centre
Bath Spa University College
Newton Park
Bath
BA2 9BN
Tel +44 (0)1225 876147
Fax +44 (0)1225 876230

By "ULA", she presumably means, "University of Los Angeles". According to our research (I've got a team now: thanks, team!), the University of Los Angeles never existed. She presumably means "LAU", ie, Los Angeles University, which, once upon a time, really did exist. Here is what we know about it:

Los Angeles University was founded in 1964 by Claude & Dolores Brimm, of 6862 Vanscoy Avenue, North Hollywood CA 91605. The next year, looking for someplace to hold classes, Claude contacted the head of the Montclair Prep School. The prep school had just moved into a new building at 8071 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91406. LAU was to rent space from Montclair for the rest of LAU's existence. (It seems to have disappeared by 1991.)

According to our source at Montclair, "He [Claude] had a deal worked with the [Los Angeles] City schools. High school teachers could come and keep their credentials fresh for continuing education. That was the only credential they had. I never heard of him giving BA degrees. It's harder to get a Bachelor's degree than Masters and Ph.D.'s." Our source "never heard of any Ph.D.'s in Psychology being given out". Says he, "Giving out Ph.D.'s is legal if they do it in religion. He gave out Ph.D.'s in religion. And Claude Brimm ordained everybody he met."

"Brimm even tried to start his own accrediting association. He tried to start a church named after the letters of his last name The Blessed ? ? of the Mercenary Missionaries was his first choice. But the LA authorities wouldn't approve that name, so he made his church the First Church of God the Father. Claude Brimm ordained himself as a Bishop." His wife ran it for awhile, but ran afoul of the post secondary council. "She was not an educator", our source says.

John B. Bear lists Los Angles University in his Guide to Earning College Degrees Non-Traditionally. This book went through some 11 editions, the last in 1993.

In Chapter 16B Unaccredited Schools (pgs. 191-2), is this entry:

Los Angeles University
6862 Vanscoy Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91605 USA
D.E. Brimm, Director
Year founded 1964
granted doctorate & masters degrees
was non-profit, independent

"Was authorized to grant degrees by the state of California. Address appears to be a private home, there are no signs to indicate it is a university. Did not respond to three requests for information on their programs."

- from Bear's Guide to Earning College Degrees Non-Traditionally, pg. 192.

As for Bear's claim that LAU was authorized to grant degrees by the state of California, we did some follow-up:

According to the California State Licensing Agency, California Dept of Education (916 445 3427), LAU "closed in 1991", but they added that they were not exactly sure, as 1991 was the year the Agency took over the regulation of schools. In their files, the Custodian of Records of LAU was the same person, at the same address, as given by Bear.

Debra Godfrey, at the closed schools unit archives at the California State Licensing Agency (916 445 3427 x 3023) said that Los Angeles University never had accreditation of any kind. Not any of the "three tiers".

However, LAU did have 'Approval to operate' from the Council for private post-secondary and vocational education. Which was confirmed by our source at Montclair Prep.

We contacted the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (510 748 9001). This is the big one. Certification by the Western Association exempts a school from state certification. UCLA, USC, Stanford, all have Western certification. They report that Los Angeles University was never accredited.

But, they also advised, "the degree might be professionally accredited (certain programs are)", and suggested we "ask the APA (American Psychological Association.)"

So we did. Their reply: "LAU not accredited any time." "Never heard of them."

The Western Association also suggested we check with the The US Dept. of Education College Accreditation in the United States. But still we could find no accrediting body for Los Angeles University. We were eventually referred back to the California Department of Education.

This would seem to be a comprehensive investigation. The result:

Los Angeles University was never accredited for anything more than casual teacher recertification.

We have elsewhere established that, according to Liz Greene herself, she was in Boston, early in 1966, during her third year of undergraduate studies (Astrology of Fate, Weiser Books, 1984, pgs. 272-5). She presumably graduates in June of 1967 (a degree she has never claimed) & goes immediately into Ph.D. work at LAU, which, at that time, was only three years old & only two years with classrooms. According to Ekrek, Greene gets her Ph.D. in 1971 (June, presumably), aged 24, and, according this reconstruction, after only 3 years graduate work. According to our source at Montclair Prep, the degree was presumably in Divinity or Theology, not Psychology. In enrolling at the unaccredited LAU, Greene passes up prestigious, accredited Ph.D. level psychology programs at UCLA & USC.

The alternative explanation, that Ms Greene was an enterprising young lady who got her credentials on the cheap, and who, up to now, has never been held to account, somehow becomes more & more appealing.

Finally, in Alice Ekrek's email is this disturbing note:

She has proof and anyone who needs to see it has.

Secret qualifications may be presumed to be phony qualifications, else, why would they need to be secret? If a university accepts phony qualifications from its teachers, its students may well wonder why they should expend time, energy & money to get the genuine article. Wouldn't it be a lot easier, cheaper & faster to get a phony degree, if universities will accept them on the sly? If such a silly thing is permitted to stand, it would lead to the collapse of the UK educational system.

I had hoped that in response to my original remarks, Liz Greene would make public her true credentials & accept whatever the consequences may be. Instead, Bath Spa University has now been dragged into this.

I wish to state publicly that I, David R. Roell, have no quarrel with Bath Spa University, its administration, faculty or students. Bath Spa University has long been an outstanding educational institution.


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