Fri Mar 27 13:55:25 SAST 2015

Harrington's varsity's address a parking lot

May 14, 2012 | MDUDUZI DLAMINI |

It seems Bishop Keith Harrington got his degrees from a parking lot and that they were awarded by a controversial preacher who believed in unidentified flying objects (UFO).

FABRICATOR: Keith Harrington with his wife Sophie Ndaba-Harrington. Picture by Veli Nhlapho

 In their list, however, the International Theological Seminary of California of Pastor Harrington does not exist 

A few weeks ago, Harrington offered a sheepish public apology for some of his misdemeanors after they were exposed by this newspaper.

But it has now emerged that, like a cow, the smooth-talking pastor, if he indeed is one, did not excrete all the dung.

After reading a series of exposés about Harrington in Sunday World, a South African working in Los Angeles, California in the US, took it upon himself to investigate the colleges Sophie Ndaba-Harrington's husband claims to have attended.

To his shock and horror, expat Sydney Bhebhe discovered that the address given by Harrington in his credentials is not a college or university, but an empty parking lot!

"The address of the university that he claims is in California is the address of an empty parking lot in a very dirty small town here in California.

"Whoever sold him that degree must be living in the apartments behind the parking lot with his degree mill business, using that parking lot as their address," Bhebhe said in a telephone interview, explaining contents of his written statement.

In his CV, Harrington claims he attended the International Theological Seminary of California (ITSC). He also claims academic qualifications that include a master's degree and doctorate degree.

"There is no university in US associated or registered by that name at consumer affairs. The university he claims to have attended is not registered by any accrediting organisation here in California. It does not exist.

"The post-secondary accreditation board of California that accredits the colleges Harrington claims he attended can be found.

"In their list, however, the International Theological Seminary of California of Pastor Harrington does not exist," Bhebhe writes.

"There's no such university in the US, especially at that address."

But Harrington insists the theological seminary exists.

He says the California state government responsible for education "may have omitted it in its listing owing to the financial difficulties it is undergoing".

"Since 2009 the school has been under financial stress and it received an exemption.

"I don't know what the exemption means; it might very well mean that at present it's not included in government listings. But it does exist," he says.

When told that the address given is that of a parking lot, he says:

"I studied by long-distance correspondence. I never participated as a full-time student, so I never went to a graduation ceremony.

"I went there as part of my holiday in 2002 after I had been studying for a long time with them.

"I know they exist. Dr Stranges and Dr Dezur have died but Dr Stranges' wife Julie runs the school now. She is a doctor," says Harrington.

But Bhebhe points out that Dr Frank E Stranges, the claimed founder of ITSC, was a controversial preacher who believed in UFOs.

Stranges even founded the national investigation committee on UFOs. His wife Julie Corocran was never a doctor, as claimed by Harrington.

It has also emerged that Jamie Dezur, whom Harrington claimed in earlier interviews was a supervisor at the school, never had any association with the claimed academy.

"The only truth about Dezur is that she is dead, but she was never a doctor. The only connection she had with Dr Stranges is an article in the The Lewison Journal dated October 11 1986.

"In that article, she said she believed all that Dr Stranges preached was about UFOs.

"She worked for a Los Angeles advertising agency and had no personal connection with Dr Stranges," says Bhebhe.

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