Speed Reads

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Trump names author of The Illuminati Handbook to presidential scholars commission

An Illuminati-loving self-help author is now in charge of honoring the smartest high school seniors in the country.

Last week, President Trump named Colorado lawyer George Mentz to the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which chooses academically excelling high school seniors to honor with a national award. Mentz is "a prolific author of self-help Illuminati books and operator of an education company that sells more than a hundred types of certifications," reports The Denver Post.

Mentz, a longtime Trump supporter and donor, is the author of The Illuminati Secret Laws of Money, The Illuminati Handbook, 50 Laws of Power of the Illuminati, and 100 Secrets and Habits of the Illuminati for Life Success. Several of those books are co-authored with someone named "Magus Incognito," and generally share how mindfulness can lead to prosperity. Mentz cautioned The Denver Post about getting "too excited" about his word choice, essentially saying the term "Illuminati" is used as a marketing tactic.

Mentz is also the current owner of the Global Academy of Finance and Management and former CEO of the American Academy of Financial Management, both of which "award certifications, allowing applicants to add an alphabet soup of titles after their names," The Denver Post writes.

A Wall Street Journal article from 2004 found that for one certification:

Applicants who already have certain professional designations, like a CFA or CPA can simply take the test without going through the course. In some cases, they can skip the test altogether and just pay for the certification, according to George Mentz, the Academy's general counsel.

"It's not a comprehensive course," Mr. Mentz says. "That's why we call it a certification, not a designation." [The Wall Street Journal]

Another Journal article from 2010 found that AAFM listed people on its board of advisers who said they'd never advised the company.

Read more at The Denver Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect changes in the The Denver Post's original reporting.