continued On March 30, Usana announced that Waitley would no longer be on its board. The company had been reporting for years that he had a master's degree. He didn't. Said the company, "Dr. Waitley recently informed Usana that an error appeared in his biography listed in the Company's proxy statement." Later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Usana could not verify that Waitley holds a Ph.D. from the former La Jolla University, as he claims. Usana and Waitley both insist that Waitley has that Ph.D. from the unaccredited La Jolla University, which lasted from 1978 to 1994. Waitley sent me an affidavit from Dr. Denis Kelleher Muhilly, who was president of the university from 1985 to 1991. Muhilly laments that the records of Waitley's Ph.D. have been lost, but the ex-president swears that upon taking the reins, he heard that Waitley had received his doctorate in 1980, although the two did not know each other. Problem: how did Waitley get a Ph.D. in 1980 if he had no master's and the school had only started in 1978? Well, explains Waitley, he had enrolled in a combined master's/doctoral program and he was given "equivalency credit for my final years in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C., and subsequent corporate management positions." Waitley says the founder of La Jolla University, now deceased, was his Ph.D. advisor, but he can't remember who was on his doctoral committee. He doesn't have a copy of his dissertation but has used its findings in his books.
Dr. David Feldman, a longtime San Diego university professor who once taught Muhilly in a class, is extremely skeptical: "No one gives equivalency credit toward a doctor's degree," says Feldman. "And I would be very suspicious of someone who gets a Ph.D. in two years without a master's degree."
McNamara resigned from Usana's medical advisory board when it was discovered that his license had been revoked by Ohio's medical board this year. He had not informed Ohio that his license had earlier been yanked by Georgia. He would not respond to my queries. He, too, has a website plugging his books and audio recordings. His motto: "Helping people secure their health and financial future with time to enjoy it!"
In addition, the company's chief financial officer and research director have admitted their biographies are erroneous.
It all brings back my first encounter with Usana 11 years ago. Rancho Santa Fe's Robert G. Allen was author of two runaway best sellers on getting rich quick: Nothing Down and Creating Wealth. But he had gone into Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. Nonetheless, he was still speaking and writing on how to get rich. Among other things, he was selling Usana products. His wife still does.