The following references indicate that these are both shady
The first is an extensive post on Google Groups, on the
alt.education.distance group, by Earon Kavanagh. Note that
the date on this post is 6/18/2000, and the AMRI is said
to be located in Vancouver. It seems unlikely, as we shall
see from the association with the Open International
University of Complimentary Medicines, that this is an
entirely different organization from the one referenced
on Dr Stephen Byrnes' website which is said to be, as you
noted, in Gibraltar, European Union. Dr Byrnes page is here:
The posting on alt.education.distance:
"Today, the torch of academic excellence has passed from
Col. Munro to Egbert Phipps, MD, PhD, MSc, BSc (all degrees
from the London-based Royal Society of Health), who runs the
Alternative Medicines Research Institute (AMRI) in Vancouver.
How does the Institute compare to Senior? Phipps promises
prospective students a doctoral degree in alternative medicine
as fast as they can dispatch their resume and a letter
detailing their enthusiasm and research experience in the
much-misunderstood field of the 'laying on of hands.'"
"A mere week after speaking with Phipps I received a
congratulatory letter embossed with a fake gold stamp.
My voice mail and e-mail mentioned my real first name,
and I was forced to use "Neil" in a series of
back-and-forth messages to the Institute to prove my
bona fides: So Phipps's letter was addressed to
"The Most Honourable Doctor Neil Caulfield."
I had passed already! Even without seeing any of my
qualifications, Phipps was "pleased to convey the
recommendation of The Board of Directors and Trustees
to award you the Doctor of Philosophy degree specializing
in Holistic Medicines." My telephone manner had clearly
impressed him. But he would be even more impressed, he
wrote, if I shelled out US$550 for the "Committee's
review fees" in addition to "processing and graduation
fees" of US$100. Since Calgary Tech is now defunct, this
means AMRI is the best deal in Canada for a quick and
dirty degree. When he's not busy laying on hands, it
seems, Phipps runs another Vancouver-based diploma-mill,
George Washington University, Inc., which offers degrees
at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels --
also without the irritation of real coursework."
Highlighted link for easy reference:
The second reference, to the Open International University
of Complimentary Medicines in Sri Lanka, comes from a pdf
file on the site of the Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research in New Delhi:
"Copy of CSIR letter No. 17/66/27/94-PPS dated 18.11.1998
to all Heads of national Labs./Instts.
*Sub: D.Sc. Degree awarded by Open International University
for Complimentary Medicines, Colombo- No recognition to be
I am directed to forward herewith a copy of letter No.
IOE/D/98/1381 dated 27.8.98 from Dr. S.K. Jain, Director,
Institute of Ethnobiology, C/o NBRI, Lucknow alongwith a
copy of letter dated 12.8.98 from UGC regarding nonvalidity
of D.Sc. Degree awarded by Open International University for
Complimentary Medicines, Colombo and informing that no
recognition should be given to the Degree/Diploma or any
other academic distinction conferred by this University,
for your information and record."
"Copy of letter No. F.7-3/90(FU) dated 12.8.2000 from
University Grants Commission, New Delhi to Dr. S.K. Jain,
Director, Indian Instt. of Biotechnology, Lucknow.
"The Commission is grateful to you for bringing to its
Notice about the award of Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees by the
Open International University for Complimentary Medicines,
Colombo, Sri Lanka. Subsequently to receipt of your letter
No. IOE/D/97/1089 dt. 28.1.1998, the Commission also
received a letter from the Vice-Chairman, the Bar Council
of Gujarat informing us on the above subject. In support of
this, he has also enclosed a letter No. UGC/L/81 dt.9.2.1998
from the Chairman, UGC, Sri Lanka, stating that the Open
International University for Complimentary Medicines has
not been established or recognized as a Higher Educational
Institution/Institute, under the Universities Act. No. 16
of 1978 as amended. Therefore, any such Degree or other
academic distinction issued by this institution is not
valid in law in Sri Lanka. A copy of the letter is enclosed
for your information. The Commission is issuing a circular
to all the Universities/Deemed to be Universities/Institutes
of National Importance/IITs asking them not to give any
recognition to the Degree/Diploma or any other academic
distinction conferred by The Open International University
for Complimentary Medicines, Sri Lanka."
Much more on the highlighted Google cache page:
Original pdf file:
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Additional information can be gleaned from further exploration
of the links provided above, as well as those resulting from the
Google searches, outlined below.
Searches done, via Google and Google Groups:
"Alternative Medicines Research Institute"
Open International University Complimentary Medicines, Colombo, Sri Lanka
AMRI "Gibraltar, European Union"