Despite having personally sent multiple requests to both Alex Dali and Allen Gluck for clarifications on key points both prior to and during the running of our coverage on their G31000 group, they refused to reply. Mr. Gluck actually “advised” Mr. Dali not to respond. Which is curious, since Mr. Gluck has now taken to the restored G31000 LinkedIn site to post his side of things in a forum where — of course — I can’t answer.
I won’t tackle all of the stuff Gluck says, because it’s turning into “he said, she said” and will probably be vetted in a forum with a bit more legal firepower anyway. But a few points are worth addressing, if for no other reason than correcting the record. (The original reporting has been updated to include a link to this article.) Bet let’s get one thing out of the way: Mr. Gluck’s misguided attempt to telegraph a lawsuit against Oxebridge on the grounds that having their LinkedIn profile investigated (by LinkedIn) was a violation of Federal law. Specifically, Mr. Gluck said the following:
Our protagonist, (who has done this many times before to many international organizations) has not considered that G31000 North America, Inc. is a US corporation, and that interference in interstate commerce is a federal crime under Section 18 USC – 1951.
I want to make this very clear: I welcome a chance to appear before a court and have a judge decide if reporting a profile for false information, using the site’s own Terms of Service, and yielding to that site’s own investigation procedure (not mine) is a violation of law in that it limited G31000’s ability to conduct “interstate commerce.” Once that’s established, we can then have a formal, judicial reading on whether the many years’ of banning and censoring of other LinkedIn participants (including myself), by Mr. Dali and Mr. Gluck, likewise constitutes a violation of those person’s rights to interstate commerce. If so, then G31000 is participating in unfair trade practices. I’m not sure that’s a can of worms G31000 wants to open up.
And let’s be honest: does Gluck really want to have Alex Dali sit in front of a judge?
But one thing is crystal clear: G31000 views its LinkedIn work as “commerce” and nothing else. They are not interesting in having discussions, debates or honest exchanges regarding ISO 31000. They are in it to make money, and will do whatever it takes to ensure that no democratic notions of speech and intellectual debate get in the way of G31000’s gravy train. The fact that they are so overt, so transparent about it — is just shocking.
Updates and Clarifications
Mr. Gluck raised a few points that need to be addressed to ensure our reporting remains accurate, however.
Regarding the Formascope situation, we did update the previous report already correcting the record that Alex Dali did, in fact, work for a company named Formascope. There are a few more details, however, that went on behind the scenes. I wrote Dali and Gluck, along with fellow G31000 trainer Jacquetta Goy, and asked for clarification on March 7th:
No one answered, instead holding fast to the direction of Gluck a day earlier:
Like “protagonist” above, it’s clear Mr. Gluck doesn’t know what “repudiate” means, unless he really meant to say that he did not intend to renounce the claims, inferring they were true after all.
Nevertheless, after the LinkedIn shutdown, Mr. Dali was forced (by LinkedIn policy) to prove he actually worked at Formascope, and provided them a document that did just that. As we’ve already mentioned in our corrected reporting, the Formascope he worked for was a different French company, apparently just another name for his consulting company, Atlascope. Dali’s response did not address the disparities in the number of years he claimed to have worked there, but it did at least confirm the company.
Had Mr. Dali provided the information ahead of time, instead of abiding by Mr. Gluck’s misguided and amateur legal advice, none of this would have been an issue.
Kinda Sorta Published, Sorta Kinda
In that LinkedIn post, Gluck also clarifies the missing ISBN numbers for Alex Dali’s alleged publications. The answer is worth reporting, to correct the record, but still not demonstrative of the main point, which is that Mr. Dali’s claim that he is “currently … involved in the publication of articles and books, focusing exclusively on ISO 31000 standard” is an exaggeration, at best, utter falsity at worst.
The publications listed all have problems associated with them. Even with ISBN numbers discovered, they cannot be verified as to their content. The “book” allegedly published by RIET Singapore cannot be obtained because RIET is defunct. Another “book” was already debunked by Oxebridge as a self published PowerPoint presentation by “Atlas Service Partners” which was, according to this link, just part of Dali’s consulting firm, Atlascope. As previously reported, the other publications were also discovered to be PowerPoint presentations, and not actual books. Mr. Gluck fails to mention this fact.
(An aside: look at the Atlas Service Partners blurb, and see how it — again — makes an unverifiable claim regarding Alex Dali’s professional experience. This time he claims to have “worked for” the European Commission, which he calls an “agency.” )
Problematic is the fact that none of these rise to the level of what is expected when one claims to “be published” and none have anything to do with ISO 31000. According to the Dali school of self-promotion, any time you type a document in Microsoft Office you are “published.” The only article Dali alleged to have written about ISO 31000 was the one originally published by the British Safety Council, and written by Francesca Broadbent. We have since confirmed that Dali contributed to that article, but did not get a byline, and certainly had no authority to take the article and publish it elsewhere under his own name, removing the credit of Ms. Broadbent and violating BSC’s international copyright.
So nothing in the Gluck response mitigates the problems facing G31000. In fact, his claim that LinkedIn “concluded in favor of G31000” is patently false. Mr. Dali was forced to provide LinkedIn evidence, and then for the remaining issues which were raised, LinkedIn held a five-day window for evidence that the copyright holders of the plagiarized materials were taking “judicial action.”
Since I was not the copyright holder in question, and since obviously nothing happened in a five-day period, the account was reinstated. But in the process, Mr. Dali was forced to submit photo ID to prove he existed. Since this could not be done for the Madeleine LeBlanc account (the photo was for an eyebrow model, remember), it was shut down. But LinkedIn is responsive to re-examining the issue if a court action is invoked, and have provided me special links to send to the copyright holders if they wish to report a violation. Either way, their actions are decidedly neutral. There was no statement by LinkedIn that offered them any grounds for claiming the account decision was “in their favor.”
But Wait There’s More
It’s hardly over for G31000. I am getting inundated with emails with new evidence and documents about the group, all of which raise more questions on their ethics and exaggerations.
We have now learned that at least four of the alleged “partners” listed on the G31000 website never agreed to be listed. These are Coherent Advice, MashNetworks, Alarm UK and CIR. (Alarm UK has since been de-listed, but the others remain on the site.) We will update this report as we learn the status of the rest of the alleged “partners.” The use of these companies’ trademarked logos would be in violation of international trademark law as well, and false misrepresentation. This does seem to be a common habit with unaccredited certificate mills (see here, here and here, for starters.)
Meanwhile, over at Manhattanville College, the website material for Alex Dali and the College’s risk center has been scrubbed, after we escalated the complaint over the head of Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Anthony Davidson to the College’s President, Dr. Jon Strauss. Whereas Dr. Davidson — a G31000 speaker with ties to the organization — alleged the claims made against G31000 we all false, apparently someone else at Manhattanville thought otherwise. We pointed out that the risk center’s Advisory Council featured a number of people who no longer wanted any ties to Dali or G31000, or who had never agreed to be on the Council to begin with, and even gave the President the contact information so the College could verify this, something Dr. Davidson didn’t bother to do before siding with Dali. We also pointed to disparities in Dali’s biography profile on the Manhattanville site, which repeated some of the unverified claims he’s made elsewhere. Given Dr. Davidson’s personal investment in G31000 and their coming NYC international conference, it’s unlikely the college will cut ties with them, but it is interesting to see them apparently put some distance between them and Alex Dali, at least in their marketing.
We are also investigating how G31000 can offer “14 Continuing Professional Education credits” to those that take their classes, since the course is not accredited and it is not listed with any accreditation body for CPE, CPD or CE credits. That’s not demonstrative of much, since anyone issue CPE credits for anything, but accreditation of the course ensures the credits carry over as needed, aren’t confused with actual educational Continuing Education Unites (CEUs) and aren’t just diploma mill credits.
Then there is the US Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General investigations, as to whether the many exaggerated and/or fabricated claims of G31000 have risen to the level of false advertising and consumer fraud, as well as whether the fee structure under which G31000 charges students and trainers is, in fact, a pyramid scheme. To emphasize: we are just reviewing this angle at this time, and will ultimately let the FTC, Attorney General or other authorities decide.
Finally, just to get inside the head of Alex Dali, consider this document (PDF – 2.1 MB), apparently representing an early business model for the first ISO 31000 International Conference, where G31000 would have charged speakers thousands of dollars to present, rather than going the traditional route and paying them, or at least offering them free conference attendance. I am told the plan didn’t work out, but the document remains a testament to how ethically misaligned Alex Dali and the G31000 group are.
For risk management professionals, they sure are running a risky game.