Bachelor of Science Fiction

Bachelor of Science Fiction

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In September 2008, Sam Cohen told me that he is a Bachelor of Science. I did not think anything of it, until I noted that he says that he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rajshahi University in India. I smelled a rat when I realised that Rajshahi University is not in India. It is in Bangladesh. The university was built after India and Pakistan separated. Below is a signed and sworn Affidavit submitted by Mr Cohen on the 3rd of May 2010 to the District Court of NSW. [UPDATE: This matter went to court and Mr Cohen was convicted of lying. He now has a criminal record. He does not have a Bachelor of Science Degree. Click here to read about the Conviction.]

Why would Mr Cohen not remember where his beloved university is located? This would be like someone saying that they went to The University of Sydney in East Timor. It rings alarm bells. So I started to investigate. I contacted the university and its Registrar and Deputy Registrar. They were unable to locate Mr Cohen’s files or a student by that name on their system. I contacted the High Commissioner to Bangladesh in Canberra, and he kindly offered to assist me to get to the bottom of the question: Does Mr Samuel Faraj Cohen hold a Degree from Rajshahi University? The High Commissioner gave me his personal attention, and also assigned his Second Secretary to the task. While they were communicating with the University, I was trying other angles, including the Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh (in Dhaka) who wrote to assure me of his assistance, while involving a range of staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including the Senior Research and Communications Officer who in turn contacted the University and its Controller who personally inspected all the available documents and reported that he ‘could not find anything to track down Mr Cohen’.

You can also click on this arrow below to hear the audio recording from the hearing:

[audio:|titles=Tight_Excerpt Sam_Cohen_CTTT_re_expertise_10_06_10_Low_res]

During a Tribunal hearing (CTTT) on 10 June 2010, the Presiding Member (Mr J Levingston) was asking Mr Cohen about his qualifications, and below is the transcript from the exchange that culminated in Mr Cohen saying, ‘I’m a Bachelor of Science’.

Mr Levingston: Are you an expert?
Mr Cohen: Forty years.
Mr Levingston: Yes, forty years of what?
Mr Cohen: Of doing hair.
Mr Levingston: Ok. Do you have medical qualifications?
Mr Cohen: I’m not a doctor.
Mr Levingston: So what expertise do you have?
Mr Cohen: [Mr Cohen searches through his papers to produce a newspaper article.]
Mr Levingston: Do you have any qualifications?
Mr Cohen: [Mr Cohen continues to search for a newspaper clipping.]
Mr Levingston: You see, expertise is based on two things. One, is a recognised field of study, and the second is expertise gained through experience. So…
Mr Cohen: Can I show you something? [Mr Cohen approaches the Member holding promotional news clippings from 1973 and 1976. Click here to download copies]
Mr Levingston: No, I haven’t got into evidence yet. I’m just asking you some questions.
Mr Cohen: This is showing you that I’m doing hair in Sydney for forty years.
Mr Levingston: Yes, but what’s your expertise?
Mr Cohen: My expertise is dealing with…
Mr Levingston: You’ve got forty years of experience, so what are your qualifications?
Mr Cohen: I came here with a bald head, I’m 74 years old.
Mr Levingston: That’s not, that’s not qualifications…
Mr Cohen: I designed hair pieces, and then I went to do treatment; I worked with Ashley & Martin; I worked with Ashley & Martin for thirty-three years.
Mr Levingston: Ok. Right.
Mr Cohen: And my job is to tell customer what I; can; what can be done to his or her baldness.
Mr Levingston: Alright.
Mr Cohen: I send them to their doctor. The doctor makes a prescription. And my chemist makes the topical solution. [Holding a stack of prescriptions in hand and showing the member] These are all prescriptions by doctors.
Mr Levingston: Yes. What I’m asking you sir, is what are your qualifications.
Mr Cohen: My qualification; I’m a Bachelor of Science.
Mr Levingston: That’s all you needed to tell me.
Mr Cohen: Well I thought… [Indecipherable]
Mr Levingston: That’s all you needed to tell me. Yeh. Ok. You’re a Bachelor of Science. Ok. So there’s your qualification. And your experience is forty years of experience. Ok well that’s good. Ok.

As part of his defence-papers against me, Sam Cohen sent a series of documents to the Tribunal (CTTT) that included a 1997 Annual Report from Clinics Australia, which was the parent company of the old Ashley & Martin (before that company folded (note that the old Ashley & Martin has nothing to do with the company that is operating today)). That document said that Mr Cohen ‘holds the degree of Bachelor of Science from Rajshahi University.’

So there can be no mistake that Mr Cohen has repeatedly promoted his Degree. The question is, why, after searching high and low for it, can no-one at the university find it or any records of a student by that name? The university could not find any such person with either of the two dates of birth that exist for Mr Cohen at ASIC. I gave Mr Cohen the opportunity to set the record straight. I issued a Summon which asked for any of his qualifications.

Mr Cohen wrote to the Tribunal asking for an extension. Despite being granted another two weeks, he turned up to a Summons Hearing empty-handed, except for a letter from his solicitor, arguing that he does not wish to produce any of the documents. Not once has he furnished anything in his defence, despite my giving him every opportunity. When he does try, he produces fabricated and fake documents, which I expose, thereby strengthening my argument. I have boldly stated that Mr Cohen has lied about every single thing he has ever uttered to me. And here was Mr Cohen’s chance to set the record straight. Alas, he refused to provide any proof about his alleged degree. I have every reason to suspect that Sam Cohen has no degree. He might have one. It’s just that the university does not know about it. If he would like to send a copy of his university transcript and certificate, I will send them off for verification, and I will then upload them here with an apology. Until then, I will hold the view that Mr Cohen was pulling my leg. [UPDATE: This matter went to court and Mr Cohen was convicted of lying. He now has a criminal record. He does not have a Bachelor of Science Degree. Click here to read about the Conviction.]

Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners

The Public Health (General) Regulation 2002, Schedule 3, stipulates the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners. IHRB and Sam Cohen are obliged, by law, to obey the Codes. Amongst them are references to qualifications, including the following which all seem to me to have been breached by Mr Sam Cohen:

3. Health practitioners to provide services in safe and ethical manner

(1) A health practitioner must provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.

(2) Without limiting subclause (1), health practitioners must comply with the following principles:

(a) a health practitioner must maintain the necessary competence in his or her field of practice,

(b) a health practitioner must not provide health care of a type that is outside his or her experience or training,

(b1) a health practitioner must not provide services that he or she is not qualified to provide,

(b2) a health practitioner must not use his or her possession of particular qualifications to mislead or deceivehis or her clients as to his or her competence in his or her field of practice or ability to provide treatment…

12. Health practitioners not to misinform their clients

(1) A health practitioner must not engage in any form of misinformation or misrepresentation in relation to the products or services he or she provides or as to his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations.

(2) A health practitioner must provide truthful information as to his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations if asked by a client.

(3) A health practitioner must not make claims, either directly or in advertising or promotional material, about the efficacy of treatment or services provided if those claims cannot be substantiated.


P.S. IHRB is the name of the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty run by Sam Cohen of 105 Pitt Street Sydney. It is also written as Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty or Institute of Hair Re-growth and Beauty.

The Health Care Complaints Commission has slapped Sam Cohen and IHRB with this Permanent Prohibition Order and issued this statement on its website on the 23rd of February 2011.

You can learn more here.

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