President of Unaccredited American Pacific University in Honolulu Brings in More then $3 Million Per Year on Hypnosis

I don’t know of how many readers are familiar with “Diploma Mills“.

However American Pacific University in Honolulu has been tied to them.

I just read that the President of the University, Matthew B. James, brings in more then $3 million a year!

…It can be big business. Matthew B. James, a Hawaii-based hypnotist, says he earns $3 million a year through his group-hypnosis sessions, hypnosis-related books and CDs and teaching other hypnotists through his unaccredited American Pacific University. The cost of his treatment sessions range from $95 for a two-day seminar to $2,000 for an intensive weekend-long program…

Matthew James Bio can be found here.  (update 2/20 I wonder why they deleted the bio?) Here is Mr. James Statement as the President of the School.

Sounds like he’s making big money off something a bit more then hypnosis!


19 Responses

  1. I took my hypnotherapy training through American Pacific University and I can tell you that it was exhausting and thorough. I had intensive instruction and training with Dr. John Tamiazzo and did the work required.

    I also took my Psych degree through Athabasca University. Another good distance study and online school.

  2. Its amazing that people are willing to discredit without even taking time to become informed. As far as Im aware Mathew James runs an asccredited University ang well structured hypnosis and NLP Certification programes. Both HMI and pacific u. offer high quality training. More than I can say about my regulated education.

  3. Hello all of you,

    I have taken a few courses with Matt James and I worked my but off. We had extensive training packed into several days of work with several weeks studying before the prac class. I never once was under the impression that he was anything but ethical. I am a student , there for learning. I was smart enough to know before that the curriculum was one that I wanted. The tools he presented for NLP worked. The time line therapy and hypnotherapy was in accordance with what he promised and was taught using several styles of hypnosis techniques. It is my opinion that these techniques work. They did for me. References to other noted teachers of Hypnotherapy was presented and encouraged. So with that said I must express my viewpoint, and that is that it is only mine. We can only see 126 bits at a time. Your viewpoint and mine will never be the same. It will change as you change and is based on your understanding of your world, As mine is on mine. With that said. Did you get what you looked for or did you look with an open mind? You experience your world through your learned behavior due to your past. There just is no way around that. Note there are triggers everywhere. Don’t believe me? go and see if certain memories/ feelings/ pictures are triggered when you see, hear or smell something…Good or bad…Most of your life is created due to subconscious conditioning. What you see and experience is flavored by it. Just so the saying Like attracts like. What kind of person are you? What kind of persons do you attract? What kinds of events do you attract? What kinds of lessons are you here to learn. Quantum Physics my friends and so much more… you are the creator of your own world. What you bring into it is your choice. Focus on the bad… you get bad. Focus on the good…you get good. Both those terms are also in the definition of the beholder. Have a great life. Make your own decisions based on your own experiences. Take a class. Experience the man and what he has to say. decide for yourself. You know you can only have the experience if you go looking for it. Use the techniques and make an educated judgment. or don’t.

  4. Incase anyone cared, first you can find corruption anywhere there is information, money and power involved. But that should not deter you from the information they are offering. Next for everyone interested in finding out for themselves, go the the US Dept of Education website or Google US Dept of Education Accreditation, then go to the site and type in the name of the school. Then you all will see that the school is Accreditated from the US Dept of Ed. and this blog will show no merit towards to question of accreditation, but as for thier business motives? How about a State university charging $30,000 a year for an education I can get from Amazon for a few hundred. We as a soceity have lost ourselves within the rule of Commerce, we let inventions like licenses and certifications rule our world when we all know that anyone can get anything they want with just a little money. So to say that you got a top of the line education and because that you paid more for it at a very well known school doesnt mean you are smarter or even for that matter more knowledgeable than anyone else who attained the same level of information for a cheaper price.
    Anyone want an example? George W Bush went to Yale, but has proven to be a complete idiot. He attained a degree from a prestigious university and is a complete idiot, shows you what money can buy. And how about these college athetes that go to thes big schools and get degrees? I will tell you some cannot even spell their own name but yet they get degrees.
    Maybe we should start judging education on the character, integrity and knowledge a person possess other than the place where he attained it.

  5. Wow. What an amazing and diverse body of opinions expressed here… many of which are clearly based on misinformation or ignorance. And by the word “ignorance,” I don’t mean to imply stupidity… ignorance is merely a lack of information, not the inability to understand it if it were known… everyone’s ignorant about SOMETHING in life, so there’s no shame in being ignorant about something.

    It’s true that APU has a questionable past; and I have long heard that its owners/operators danced on the line of credibility. However, part of the problem has always been that hypnosis/hypnotherapy, itself, has so long been suspect. So, then, since APU has always specialized in hypnosis/hypnotherapy-related things, that, alone, for some people, makes it not worth taking seriously. Add to that how its CEO seems to rub some people the wrong way just by his demeanor and other personality attributes, and it makes for… well… the kind of comments and criticisms expressed here.

    However, one aspect of it all cannot (at least any longer) be challenged and that’s whether or not APU is legitimate and accredited. For a long time it was not accredited; and so for those who believe that unless a given school is accredited, then it cannot possibly be credible, APU’s lack of accreditation was all they needed to know to dismiss it.

    I have made understanding secondary and post-secondary education and accreditation one of my life’s missions… to the point that I now include it among my consulting firm’s areas of expertise. I am a RABID anti-diploma mill activist; and I tend to suggest that unaccredited institutions be avoided. That said, I acknowledge that there are a great many unaccredited schools of various types which are nevertheless legitimate and credible.

    Though I do not practice it, I received extensive one-on-one tutorial/apprentice-style hypnosis and hypnotherapy training from a psychologist at University of Chicago some thirty years ago; and I’ve kept-up with the field since. I am very realistic about what hypnosis and hypnotherapy can and cannot do; and I am well aware of all the charlatans out there who separate people from their money for little of any real value.

    I have, further, gone out of my way to learn about all the various hypnosis/hypnotherapy educational programs and associations available and/or which operate in pretty much all English-speaking countries.

    I don’t claim to be an “expert,” but I’ll bet I’m darned close… at least in this particular area, for whatever that’s worth.

    I believe that when it comes to education, there should be a law which disallows any school to call itself “accredited” unless its accreditor is an agency approved by the US Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Only those two agencies legitimately approved accreditors in the US. There is a long list of bogus accreditors not approved by USDE and/or CHEA which many diploma/degree mills routinely claim have accredited them. If I had my way, they’d all be in jail.

    But if an accreditor is approved by USDE and/or CHEA, then, trust me, it’s a legitimate accreditor with very high standards that are not easy for a school to meet.

    Someone here wrote: “DETC is a phony self-created agency. The Texas Education Coordinating Board is suing APU for representing itself as being fully accredited when it is not. Accreditation boards must be recognized by the US Department Of Ed. to be legitimate. DETC is not.”

    That is simply incorrect. DETC is (and has always been) approved by USDE and CHEA. It is in no way “phony” or “self-created” (whatever “self-created” even means, in this context). It is a legitimate national (as opposed to “regional”) educational accreditor approved by both USDE and CHEA; and meeting its standards to finally achieve accreditation by it is no small feat. A DETC-accredited certificate, diploma or degree is every bit as credible as a certificate, diploma or degree from any other accredited US school.

    And DETC has relatively recently accredited APU. So, then, any claim that APU is unaccredited is simply false. But please note that “relatively recently” part. APU has not always been accredited, and during the time that it was unaccredited, it would, indeed, seem that some of its ways of doing things might not have seemed to some as on the up-and-up as they could have been. Whether or not APU was legitimate and credible before it relatively recently became accredited is not completely clear to me. I remember going through virtually every word of its web site before it became accredited, and I found several things which furrowed my brow and made me wonder what was going on. Thatr said, I never sensed any out-and-out illegality or unethical/immoral behavior, per se; and it would not surprise me, if there were some way to see it all omnisciently, if it turned out that mostly all that was ever wrong with APU was that what it taught and the way it taught it was just too weird for some people.

    But who knows, maybe APU really was a little shady in the past. If I can fault DETC for anything, it’s its willingness to forgive an applicant school’s prior bad or unethical behavior as long as said school has cleaned-up its act prior to applying for accreditation. Nevertheless, DETC, believe me, does not accredit any school which has not, in fact, dotted all of the i’s and crossed all of the t’s of its ethical, financial and academic operations.

    Trust me, DETC is a serious accreditor which suffers no fools. No matter what is APU’s past, and no matter how off-putting might be the personal demeanor and/or attributes of its CEO, it would not be accredited by DETC today if it had not completely straightened-up in pretty much all areas of its operations. And in keeping with the policies of all USDE- and/or CHEA-approved accreditors, if APU does not maintain those high standards from here on out, DETC will revoke its accreditation in a heartbeat.

    So criticize APU and/or its CEO if you want (and there would certainly appear to be good reason to so do), but not being legitimately accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency may no longer be included in such criticism.

    Historically, there have been any number of legitimate and credible hypnosis/hypnotherapy educational/training programs in the US, however, for the longest time, only the HYPNOSIS MOTIVATION INSTITUTE ( was accredited (and its accreditor is DETC). Only it, among accredited hypnosis/hypnotherapy schools, claimed (and still claims) hypnosis/hypnotherapy as its primary thing. HMI was the first, and still remains, the only truly accredited hypnosis/hypnotherapy program in the US.

    However, other schools — like APU, for exampl, just to name one — include hypnosis/hypnotherapy as a key component of their credential (certificate, diploma and/or degree) programs; and so it’s no longer technically correct to say that the only accredited hypnosis/hypnotherapy program out there is HMI’s. It’s just that HMI is the only accredited one which calls it hypnosis/hypnotherapy and offers just that. The others offer degrees in transpersonal psychology or one or more healing arts, based largely on hypnosis/hypnotherpy.

    Another one is ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY in Virginia Beach, Virginia… founded by Edgar Cayce. It’s fully accredited (also by DETC), and offers an MA in Transformative Theories and Practices, which is heavily based on hypnosis/hypnotherapy techniques.

    Whether any of it is or could actually be helpful to anyone is another matter altogether. A lot of people think hypnosis is a lot of hooey. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. However, one thing that schools which teach it can say is that if they’re accredited, their methodologies of teaching and academic rigor, their financial condition, and their ethical standards and practices are good/sound. Accreditation ensures at least minimum quality standards, and that the student will not be ripped-off because the school is a diploma mill.

    Since APU is now accredited, one thing is for sure: It is not a rip-off, or sub-standard, or unethical; and its programs are rigorous and itd credentials legitimate. Whether they’re actually useful out in the world is another matter altogether. But at least APU, now that it’s accredited, won’t be out there hurting anyone… and that’s the most important thing.

    Hope that helps.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    • Thank you Gregg, this is the most comprehensive report about the accreditation process and APU I’ve read. Very informative.

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