Once upon a time, (June of 2013 to be exact) Earl de Blonville (self-described as ‘Australia’s preeminent Arctic Explorer’ and a ‘global leadership expert’) wrote a glowing “endorsement” on LinkedIn about another self-described explorer, Englishman Ripley Davenport. The endorsement is Earl in a nutshell; Pure fantasy served in a grandiose “word salad” dressed with oozing self-importance. Earl has never met Ripley. Ripley made up his story about being an explorer just like Earl made up the endorsement.
July 2021: The Danish newspaper Fyns Amts Avis published five separate articles detailing the pathetic story of the Oceanic Research Institute “fleet”. COURAGE, Earl de Blonville’s ship is sunk and abandoned in Rudkobing and will be destroyed at the expense of Danish taxpayers. Earl has never paid a “red shrimp” in fees since 2013, according to the harbormaster. Earl now claims, laughably, that he sold the COURAGE “a long time ago” to a guy from Rostock, Germany. Earl can’t remember his name and “a long time ago” Earl forgot to inform the harbormaster. Earl has produced no bill of sale. As early as 2017 Earl knew that COURAGE was resting on the bottom. As late as the end of 2019 Earl was still seeking donations to “upgrade” the fleet.
According to the private shipyard in Svendborg where the La Boheme is moldering, nothing has been paid in mooring fees or repairs completed since 2013. The shipyard owner just wants the bills paid and the ship moved. Earl and Jennifer are simply shameless in repeatedly posting pictures of the La Boheme as part of their fundraising, pictures which falsely portrayed the ship in great condition. And they were asking specifically for donations to fix up their own, private, sailboats!
If you don’t read Danish and don’t want a subscription to FAA, contact me for English translations of the articles. email@example.com
May 2021: According to the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) Oceanic Research Institute received $150K in donations in 2019 and 2020. As an Approved Research Institute (ARI) all donated funds must be used for research. Research may be a broad category, but there is no public evidence that ORI has conducted anything that would resemble research. ORI has no employees, their “research vessels” are not seaworthy for service and rotting in Denmark. Their announced campaign to produce the “first” ocean literacy curriculum for Australia consists of a “Coming Soon” webpage which appeared in August 2020 and disappeared in December of 2021.
The ORI Facebook page is largely posts promoting the private business interests of the directors. All this begs the question: “Who are the donors of $150k and how was the money spent?” For instance, the La Boheme has been docked at a private shipyard in Denmark for about 8 years. Who is paying those fees? (We now have the answer, courtesy of the Danish newspaper Fyns Amts Avis… No One is paying those fees, they are unpaid for years.)
April 2021: Earl de Blonville has consistently claimed that none of his friends or professional colleagues have responded to my inquiries or otherwise engaged in discussions about their experiences with Earl. This is wishful thinking on Earl’s part and simply balderdash. Just this month another genuine professional guide and photographer that has known Earl for years and who Earl unsuccessfully tried to snow with grand claims of participation in a Greenland adventure confirmed “I smelled a rat and bailed out.”
September 2020: A brand new contact confirms, “Earl worked 1979 to 1981 as a shop assistant in an outdoor equipment store in Melbourne and did not hold a full-time position at Peregrine Expeditions as his CV implies”. Earl did lead one trip down the Sun Kosi in 1980 for Peregrine and was then dropped as a guide [ed. note: confirmed by Bob Ashford, the owner].
Earl did not lead any trips in 1981 or later for Peregrine and the evidence is his absence from the original Peregrine brochures that list all guides and their experience. So much for the claims that Earl ‘Designed, marketed, researched and led a series of new high-quality adventure packages’ and also ‘set new operational quality standards for industry’. Ashford also confirmed that Earl did NOT lead the first commercial trip down the Sun Kosi River, as Earl has claimed.
Death Threat by Dixie Chicks? Earl claims I made a death threat against him by tweeting a link to a Dixie (now just) Chicks video called Goodbye Earl. The tweet wasn’t addressed to Earl. The video was brought to my attention by one of his ex-girlfriends who was much poorer but wiser for the experience of Earl in her life. It was ironic, dark humor. Earl is apparently still hiding under his couch.
August 2020: Earl has yet ANOTHER anonymous website at Issuu.com to spew his bile. https://issuu.com/KMcampaign is more childish ranting and includes a claim that Prescott College doesn’t exist and I didn’t graduate with a degree in 1975. Ripley and Laura Davenport are also posting the same bile here. Also, I am lying about being the Honorary Consul of Mongolia. Earl should work in the Trump campaign. He has the requisite skill of completely tuning out reality even when it bites him on the ass.
Laura Davenport wrote to Prescott College asking if my degree was real and valid. The answer was a clear, unequivocal YES. Earl got a copy of the confirmation email. So did Jennifer Gidley and Earl’s lawyers. But still, he persists. The new scandal Earl has breathlessly unearthed is how I “exploited Mongolia”. I served as HonCon for 13 years and as the attached note from the Foreign Affairs department shows, left the position in September of 2019. The scandal? That I didn’t immediately change every reference to being HonCon on my resume and social media on September 8, 2019. Oh, the horror!
Earl de Blonville has declared himself “Viscount de Blonville of Saxmundham”. He even printed up calling cards!
Whether this is the ultimate expression of oblivious narcissism or a desperate cry for relevancy I will leave to the reader to decide. But Earl’s “title” can be purchased from one of several companies in England that specialize in issuing these fake claims to upper-classness. And obviously, they are the perfect expression of a lack of any personal class.
These companies literally let you pick any place name… so you could be the Viscount of Labradoodle or the Viscount of Bloviation. Then, with a wee bit of the $1800USD fee you pay them, they register a plot of land 8 inches square… yep.. 64 square inches of land under the name of Labradoodle or Bloviation or Justplainpathetic and presto… you are the “Viscount of Justplainpathetic” with all the attendant imagined honors.
Here’s my email exchange with just one such company, Elite Titles (Read from bottom up for proper chronology):
Earl(e?) de Blonville is enamored with being “first” (i.e., ORI is “the world’s first independent, fully sustainable oceanic research organisation”; “Earle de Blonville is the pioneer of a radical new leadership system that will change everything”; “Postformal Leadership itself is revolutionary” and “will totally change how advanced Leadership is practiced into the 21st century”).
All this revolutionary “firstness” is ironic in view of Earl de Blonville’s derisive public quote about “plentiful and tiresome I-Was-There-First types”. But that irony seems lost on Earl as is the irony of declaring yourself the sole savior of “leadership” based on an academic “discipline” which you made up and no one has ever heard of.
“Our Leadership philosophy is: “Leadership is neither born nor taught, but circumstance calling forth a champion” (The use of “Our” begs the question of whether Earl has adopted the pronouns of monarchy or perhaps he has a mouse in his pocket). If that philosophy raises more questions in your mind than answers, rest assured because “Earle de Blonville is a world leader in the radical new leadership system that will change everything.” The condensed Cliff Notes version of Earl’s “leadership system” is “quit high school, start a small business, lead expeditions then claim to be a business coach and leadership expert. Whatever you do, don’t actually study anything but rely on intuition fueled bombast (and something called ‘self-talk’)”.
There, I have saved you the cost of a coaching session with Earl.
Surely we can rest assured that this “radical new leadership system” has resulted in a well-documented and peer-supported solid track record of leadership success for Earl. Would that it were so.
The qualities of an effective leader will always include honesty and trustworthiness in the top tier. Consider this 4/23/2020 tweet:
Here’s how this incident was described by the expedition videographer who was filming the incident:
“Bloomfield decided to forge ahead, having seen me filming non-stop. In a bold attempt to showboat, he made a rash decision to careen over the corner of a small ice floe, but balance made him pay for his error and his kayak tipped sideways, dumping him upside down in the frigid waters. He was submerged for moments before attempting an Eskimo Roll technique to right himself. His first attempt was in vain as he reversed back into a submerged position. He tried again. He got halfway back up then returned once again to the icy water. It seemed, by now, that he’d abandoned the roll technique and squeezed out of his kayak beneath the surface. Like a sailor overboard, he quickly resurfaced and clung onto his capsized kayak until the rest of the team pulled alongside him, including the Zodiac. He clambered into the Zodiac shaking, quivering and, not the least, embarrassed. I spotted Joy from the corner of my eye and he was straining himself from guffawing out loud in amusement. Larry and Pompeii took control of Earl’s partially submerged kayak and assessed the damage. Bloomfield had completely waterlogged his entire kit including the latest Nikon reflex camera and the ultra expensive zoom lens.“
Anyone can make a mistake. It takes honesty and character to resist making life-threatening melodrama of your misjudgment. One does have to give credit though, for a superhuman sense of balance. Few mortals can “stand on” their kayak with such nonchalance.
In an effort to avoid answering and/or to discredit the questions I have asked about his professional claims Earl de Blonville has disparaged me in many creative ways. They include claiming I am all different flavors of psychopath, that I am dying of prostate cancer, a failure in business and my personal life, a cuckold, an “Aspy” an OCD sufferer an embarrassment to my family and much more. Of all these imaginary “facts” cited by Earl, the most bizarre is Earl’s obsession with the notion that my behavior is because I am a closeted gay man (a “closet queer” in Earl’s own crude words) and my behavior stems from a homo-erotic fascination with Earl and Ripley Davenport. Earl flatters himself incessantly, relentlessly, every time he writes about himself on his vanity websites so it’s creepy but in character for him to imagine he, at 70, is someone’s lust interest.
But what the public should find disturbing about Earl’s obsession with this canard is that he wields it like a derogatory cudgel. Someone needs to tell Earl that in 2020, sneering put-downs like “closet queer” are grossly sexist and homophobic. Like ranting at a mirror, the name-calling indicts the speaker, not the target of the smear. As it happens, I am happily married to the same woman for 40 years. But Earl’s put-downs beg the question: what if I WERE gay, why would being gay make a journalistic interest in Earl’s fraudulent career any less valid? Is it Earl’s view that any LGBQT journalist is automatically suspect in their motives? Only older white, straight men can document, analyze, question, and publish?
“Aspy” and “OCD” are also part of Earl’s repertoire of disparaging put-downs. Earl has repeatedly claimed that I have something called “High-end Asperger’s” and that makes me incapable of empathy. There is no such thing as “High-end Asperger’s”, full stop. Earl plucked that term from his butt. Don’t take my word for it, ask Susan Hyslop of Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). Susan also explains how wrong using “Aspy” as a put down is. Here’s how Earl sees people with Asperger’s.
“But not you, Mr Madin, because you are not sane, are you? Far from it. Your repetitive behaviour, basically a one-note opera, has in my case stretched over 7.5 years. That obsessive behaviour, repeated everywhere, clearly marks you as driven by Aspergers Syndrome. And repetition is exactly what your type of Aspys do, because they have limited intellectual comprehension and are easily addicted to repetitive behaviours. Not only repetitive, but your behaviour also reveals another classic Aspy characteristic, a complete lack of empathy for others, making you appear to some to be an inhuman monster. “
In 1984 Earl was the travel companion of a refined older gentlemen, a practitioner of music and divinity, Knight of Malta and OBE. They traveled together through Europe and to Crete to camp and hike. One has to wonder what that older gentleman would make of Earl’s crude, casual use of “closet queer”. (Crete was the site of Earl’s triumphant “First Australian Solo Ascent of Mt. Ida in Winter”. It’s a queer claim (pun intended) in that the climb is a walk up and how would Earl know if he was the first Australian to do it?) Read the first example of Earl’s obsession here, from nearly 10 years ago.
Here are some of Earl’s emails from late May, 2020 which all refer to me.
More Twitter selections from Earl. At least Earl and I share a common disgust with many politicians, including Donald Trump. But the best Earl can offer is homophobic sneering and grotesque food references.
As part of documenting Earl’s narcissism and lack of introspection, I collected over two dozen (but not all) of the carefully curated headshots that Earl has used in just the last ten years in his self-promotional web pages. Earl changes his headshots on his Academia.edu, earldeblonville.com, Southern Cross University, LinkedIn etc. pages far more often than he changes the text. If you have a web page, ask yourself how often you change your headshot.
But for a narcissist, the only answer to someone posting a collection that starkly illustrates an obsession with your own looks, is to conclude that it is an act of homo-erotic interest. And unlike the casual narcissism of “selfies” so prevalent on Facebook, Earl’s headshots are carefully staged, posed, selected and even photo-shopped for maximum effect. For a man urgently striving to save the oceans, Earl has a lot of time to gussy up his images like this andthis and this and this. And the pièce de résistance! (where Earl had his beret-wearing photo taken in a Melbourne restaurant, then photo-shopped himself into the Arctic).
4/17/2020: Earl has added another jaw-droppingly bizarre 6 page missive at Issuu.com. It seems Earl knows everything he knows about Montana from old Westerns. Of particular interest is the comparison of Montana to North Korea. Download the missive with annotations here:
The websites of Earl’s various schemes over the years, arcticexplorer.com, arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com, earldeblonville.com (Earl de Blonville’s ORIGINAL website) were all archived at archive.org (Wayback Machine). In late 2019 de Blonville went to the considerable trouble of demanding that archive.org destroy those records.
He has intentionally obliterated the online records of his own professional history, of which he is the sole author.
“Seventh Journey” (about the 1986 Arctic Kayak Expeditions) was touted as on the verge of publishing for about five years until Earl finally published the book in 2009. This is Earl’s only book and less than 500 copies were published. In 2016 Earl reissued the book (originally touted as a NEW book) when in fact it was the very same book, minus the color plates and with a new, lurid name and cover, “Savage Coast“. Savage Coast made much more financially feasible through the advent of Print On Demand publishing but there is no evidence it enjoyed any more robust sales since it’s re-packaging.
The book is long (400+ pages) and contains considerable human history and natural history information that is quite interesting if you are into Greenland. But it is important for the reader to remember that none of the other expedition members participated, commented, were asked to review galleys or even received a copy after it was published. In other words, Mr. de Blonville wrote the story, 25 years after the fact, ENTIRELY from his own perspective and with the spin that it would substantiate his claims to having unique insight into the world of “leadership” (and hence be a powerful marketing tool for his C-Suite Coaching, book sales, academic career, etc.). If you must read Savage Coast then also go and read the expedition cameraman’s book, Through the Lens of My Eye, by Michael Boland. Boland, among the most experienced members of the expedition, dismisses de Blonville (named Bloomfield at the time) as a “Walter Mitty”.
A couple of other things to note: Seventh Journey was edited by de Blonville’s girlfriend at the time (who, out of respect for her subesquent loathing of de Blonville, I will not name. She is easily found in a copy of Seventh Journey). She had a professional background in editing and design and not only worked for free but loaned money toward the project, never repaid. She designed the front cover and was arguably the only reason this decades long project was ever completed in the first place. In Seventh Journey, she is the final acknowledgement, for her “tireless work that let’s the story shine”.
In Savage Coast the former girlfriend is erased and the new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley (who had nothing to do with the creation of the book) gets the glowing dedication, replacing the original dedication, “To the people of East Greenland”. The lurid, purple cover of “Savage Coast” initially included “Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales” but was removed when Clarence House, the office of the Prince, objected.
And lest we forget, both books were published by something called Bear Books. Given that there was a publisher and publisher’s logo on the book (and given that de Blonville didn’t apparently tell the admissions staff at RMIT University the book was self-published) it’s slightly excusable that the book was used as the core reason for accepting de Blonville into a PhD program. This, in spite of de Blonville dropping out of high school in his second year (something else he didn’t tell RMIT). Bear Books is nothing more than Earl de Blonville. Bear Books has published one book… Seventh Journey/Savage Coast. It is literally just a name for a publishing company that Earl made up.
Here are the three book covers, chronologically from left to right. Note on “Savage Coast” how “Patron” has been changed to “Expedition Patron” after admonishment from Prince Charles’ office. And how the purple cover with “No possibility of rescue!” and “Leadership for a Turbulent World!” gave way to the cover on the far right. Yes, that is de Blonville, front and center.
Self-proclaimed “ultra-endurance athlete”, adventurer-explorer, and rescue swimmer Ripley Davenport’s trek across Mongolia was supposedly well-documented, making much of the tracker automatically showing his locations.
Although Ripley later acknowledges the map of his campsites were just guesses.
Cory Allen, then Bozeman City Attorney, summed it up nicely: It is not a crime to call a fraud a fraud. The City, having found communications from Laura Davenport and Earl de Blonville, “unprofessional, arrogant, and insulting”, closed the case against me, with no resulting charges filed.
“Oceanic Research Institute“, “La Boheme”, “Jersey” and a Jersey Red Ensign have been photoshopped onto the picture. Click the picture for another version.
Earl de Blonville has claimed the appearance of this image is a copyright infringement. I contend that is false. First, there is no commercial benefit gained from reproducing the image here and it’s appearance is consistent with investigative journalism. Second, The Copyright Act expressly identifies “news reporting” as a purpose for which use of a copyrighted work is not an infringement of copyright. It may therefore come as a surprise that including a photograph in a news report is not always protected as fair use. Whether such use is considered fair depends largely on whether it is “transformative,” in that it adds some new expression or meaning to the original photograph.
Recent court rulings have emphasized that, in order to be considered transformative under the fair use doctrine, a news article that includes a photograph must contain either a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.
The image on the ORI websites indisputably gives a false impression of the condition of La Boheme. This website provides “a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.”
Here is a link to de Blonville’s claim of copyright infringement and it begs some questions. First, why is Earl making this complaint if the image is property of Jennifer Gidley? Google is just supposed to take his word that he is authorized to speak on her behalf? Second, saying “Kent Madin, Bozeman Montana, known to Police in five countries” is clearly an effort to suggest that I am a bad guy, when the fact is I am known to police because they have fully investigated Earl’s specious allegations and found them, officially, baseless. I am known to police who have determined that I am not a criminal. Third, if the information contained on these pages is false, Earl can provide proof (he’s not being held hostage in the Ballina Ramada Inn). But he could not provide proof to the aforementioned police. As to damaging ORI’s reputation… ORI has no reputation to damage. It has done nothing other than create a deceptive web presence and look for funding and fail. The image in question of the La Boheme is the definition of “fake news”… intentionally created to fool people.
This is a screen print of the page at DomainTools which shows that Earl de Blonville is the original purchaser of kentmadincyberstalker.com on January 10, 2014. There are three pages that you access by clicking on the lower-left corner of the page. Anyone with a DomainTools account can search this record and confirm it.
Earl de Blonville and his lawyers have written several Cease and Desist letters which you can read, with comments, below. Such letters have no legal weight but are intended to intimidate the recipient and serve as a precursor to filing a lawsuit.
The most recent, was written by an associate at Mitry Law Firm in Sydney, Amelia Hagley
Shot in a busy (and loud) Sydney coffee shop, this comically pretentious and amateurish video offers a crash course in Earl de Blonville. Terry Burgan ran a “speakers bureau” representing paid, motivational, inspirational speakers and Earl was briefly part of his stable of speaking studs. In this video Earl has apparently convinced Terry money can be made marketing Earl as a expert speaker on the subject of cyberstalking. In essence, Earl’s pitch is that he has discovered the grave danger because he has been a victim of cyberstalking and now he has it all figured out and wants to save C-Suites across Australia from this plague on the corporate world.
The first minute captures many signature elements of Earl’s style. There’s the hint of the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain bellowing like a God. Here we see and hear Earl periodically drowned out by the clatter of dishes and coffee shop Muzak, distractions that reflect Toto tugging on the curtain. Yet even in this haphazardly unprofessional environment, Earl doesn’t lose his somber tone, consistent with previewing the end of corporate life as we know it.
Then there’s Earl’s signature braggadocio and credibility by association. Of course the motorbike/coffee shop is the coolest thing in Sydney and of course Earl is pals with the owner (name drop) and of course the owner is rich and famous (Mr. Mambo).
Then we have the classic self-deprecating Earl (NOT!). “So, who are you and what do you do?”, asks a rapt Terry Burgan… with a humble shrug, Earl explains “Well, look, I am generally regarded as a global leadership expert (partially drowned out by loud customer). After a bit of pretentious blather about “leadership” and “millennials” Earl gets to the cyberstalking and why he should be hired. Notice he never really explains what happened to him.
Earl lies to Victoria Police Constable, resulting in an investigation using false information and taxpayer dollars. Victoria PD Senior Detective, Sergeant Rhonda Brown later stated, “No further action will be taken.”
Earl de Blonville has been trying, since 2008, to gain academic credibility for himself and his concept of “Postformal Leadership”, a term that de Blonville just made up. The only references to it in literature are circular references back to de Blonville. In other words, de Blonville has declared himself an authority on an obscure discipline he invented, a discipline which, in Earl’s view is needed to “save the planet”. Earl did not graduate from his high school, Ballarat School, and has no traditional academic credentials beyond second year of high school. No college time, no BA, no MA. He is, apparently, a certified practitioner of a scientifically dubious discipline called Neurolinguistic Programming. He has falsely claimed on several applications that being a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) is the equivalent of having an MA degree in Geography. He also claims that he was awarded a “Masters by Research (equivalence) by the School of Business at RMIT. RMIT’s Catherine McConville of the ‘Office of the Academic Registrar’ can find no record of this claim.
In 2008 Earl enrolled in Rushmore University, an unaccredited online university commonly understood to be a “diploma mill” and sought a Ph.D. on the subject “Seventh Journey”. This is also the title of his self-published book about leadership. According to Rushmore, de Blonville completed his assignments (such as they were) and would have received his degree if he had paid the balance of tuition he owed. His failure to complete his Ph.D. at Rushmore did not constrain him from twice publicly declaring himself “Dr. de Blonville”. Three years later in 2011, Earl applied to a Ph.D. program at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) where his new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley, was on the faculty. de Blonville was accepted in spite of his lack of traditional credentials and his thesis was on “Postformal Leadership”. No mention of his previous tenure at Rushmore was on his CV. After questions were raised about the vetting process and the veracity of de Blonville’s CV, he left RMIT without a degree and under murky circumstances. In RMIT documents obtained through the FOIA process, de Blonville himself refers to being “kicked out”. Earl currently refers to his Ph.d research as “deferred”.
Southern Cross University:
In 2017 de Blonville and Gidley decamped from Melbourne and moved to Lismore, NSW and convinced the administration of Southern Cross University to grant them both adjunct full professorships. The appointments to adjunct status were forcefully promoted by Dr. Peter Harrison, a Marine Biologist at SCU. It is clear from internal documents obtained through a GIPA (FOIA) request (“…ORI provides enormous opportunities for SCU in research and engagement partnerships and access to big philanthropic funding for ORI and therefore support for environmental researchers and research at SCU. ..the ORI process is becoming urgent and if SCU doesn’t get involved very soon we will miss an opportunity.”) that those appointments were integrally linked to the creation of Oceanic Research Institute with acknowledgment by SCU that they have entered into a business relationship with ORI. In plain language, the appointments and the business connection to SCU are a package deal. Again, given that Earl has no discernible credentials in “oceanic research” this all begs the question of what kind of vetting process convinced SCU to make the appointments. Jennifer Gidley does have a PhD but in a field (Future Studies) that has no apparent link to “oceanic research”. That did not stop SCU Vice-Chancellor Nancarrow, at Harrison’s urging, from recommending de Blonville to other staff as “very high profile in oceanic research” (GIPA document). Not long after questions were raised by multiple individuals about the process and propriety of de Blonville’s adjunct Professor appointment, Nancarrow changed de Blonville to “Professional Fellow” without explanation. Of the five levels of adjunct appointment, Professor has the highest level of requirement and Professional Fellow the lowest. This in and of itself begs for some explanation of how the original vetting of someone with no traditional qualifications could be so off the mark.
One might imagine that a couple of new adjunct full professors who are going to do great fundraising and research things for SCU would prompt SCU to actively promote the plan to the public. Instead, invoking privacy laws, SCU administration refused to explain anything about what the roles and responsibilities of Gidley and de Blonville would be or how they would cooperate with SCU and required this author to file a GIPA request to try and ascertain the answer to that question. Several months after filing, partial results were released, heavily redacted including the most obviously germane document, Earl de Blonville’s CV, which presumably makes the case for him being “very high profile in oceanic research”. Other GIPA release documents suggest that there were doubts raised about the CV. Here’s what John Jenkins, the other Vice-Chancellor signing off on the appointment had to say 30 minutes after getting Nancarrow’s email about “very high profile”. “The CV indicates he has an extraordinary professional CV as well as written, audio, and other published works though not much I can see that is truly scientific.” “Adjunct Professors would normally be outstanding leaders in their field and persons of distinction and high achievement. They should possess academic or professional qualifications and expertise comparable with those expected of a member of the University’s Professoriate.” Surely, making someone who never finished high school an adjunct Full Professor (based on equivalency) would cry out for some in-depth vetting yet the appointments were approved in very short order. Both Nancarrow and Jenkins have now left SCU.
The simple explanation for all this is that Dr. Peter Harrison drank fully of the Kool-Aid of falsehoods, promises, exaggerations and snake oil that Earl spun and proceeded to ram through the adjunct appointments. Earl had succeded in having links to this website blocked from Google searches in Australia so Harrison’s Google search on Earl, if he made one, would only have found Earl’s sycophantic pages. And the SCU admins were just lazy, or doing a favor, or hadn’t drunk their coffee yet. But clearly, they failed to make any real effort to ascertain whether Earl merited the appointment.
It bears mentioning that part of a GIPA request doubtless involves informing the SCU staff member (in this case Earl de Blonville) that documents have been requested. If Earl was his old self, that would have unleashed a torrent of accusations against yours truly while painting himself as a sad victim of harassment and stalking, potentially biasing the SCU staff. The SCU staff handling the GIPA requests did seem to slow walk everything.
This is de Blonville’s CV from 2011 and the annotations speak for themselves. There is nothing in the 2011 CV that speaks to “oceanic research”. Mr. de Blonville has made no effort to explain or refute the annotations and the various examples of embellishment, inflation, falsehood and disingenuous claims. Between when he was “kicked out” of RMIT and his arrival in Lismore, Mr. de Blonville accomplished the following; 1. talked his girlfriend into buying the Tarnan/La Boheme, 2. tried and failed to launch 9sails.com, 3. tried and failed to sell the Tarnan/La Boheme and 4. purchased a second damaged sailboat (Carola) and made no repairs. And somewhere in there, he became “very high profile in oceanic research”. Anyone Googling “Earl de Blonville” would have come across the 2011 CV and could have compared it to the CV he submitted to SCU. BUT it is now clear that months before approaching SCU about the appointments, Mr. de Blonville had succeeded in his fraudulent efforts to have this website blocked from Google searches IN AUSTRALIA only. So any vetting of Mr. de Blonville using Google search would only have shown results of his own website and self-serving interviews. SCU administration has been fully informed of this gap in their vetting and has chosen not to respond.
Multiple sources describe de Blonville as smart, well-spoken, charismatic, charming, and a prolific name dropper. Just like the administration at RMIT, SCU Vice-Chancellors seem to have just taken de Blonville’s CV at face value, at the urging of Peter Harrison. And this for qualifications that must, according to SCU’s own guidelines, be the equivalent of a genuine Phd.
If, in fact, SCU failed to properly vet de Blonville and Gidley, vesting them with the prestige associated with adjunct status and thereby boosting their business credibility, that could be an institutional embarrassment. And it can’t be discounted that invoking the privacy laws over a question as basic as “what will this guy be doing for SCU?” could be explained as an effort to cover that embarrassment.
As of June, 2022, five years after the SCU adjunct appointments ORI appears to be “dead in the water”. It has no employees, no office, no phone number, no research vessels and according to the ACNC reporting is about $18kAUD in the red. Earl de Blonville’s sailboat has been declared a hazard to navigation and destroyed at tax payer expense. Jennifer Gidley’s sailboat is still afloat but unattended and seriously in arrears for repair and mooring fees. Based on de Blonville’s record over the last 20 years the real question is what liability does SCU or any other organization potentially face from partnering with ORI?
Earl de Blonville has a history of spruiking grand schemes involving sailing ships and leadership, all with himself as the guru and central figure. None of those previous schemes ever proceeded past a nice website and unsuccessful efforts to raise funds.
Then there was 9sails.com offered in 2013. The program purported to teach already successful businessmen how to be “leaders” in the style of Earl de Blonville, himself, arguably a failed businessman. (de Blonville’s self-published book, Seventh Journey is estimated to have sold in the “hundreds”, de Blonville claims to have been cheated out of a playground company he started in Britain in the 2000’s). All this was to take place aboard the La Boheme, eating great food and wine, sailing along the Brittany coast.
NOTE: Until late 2019, the websites of arcticexplorer.com, arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com, earldeblonville.com (Earl de Blonville’s ORIGINAL website) were all archived over the span of roughly ten years at archive.org (Wayback Machine). de Blonville has now gone to the considerable trouble of demanding that those archives be destroyed. He has intentionally obliterated the online records of his own professional history.
I repeat. Earl de Blonville has intentionally erased the public records of his various failed schemes.
And for some reason, this “[sic] globally-oriented” enterprise waiting until 2008, the same year they closed, to create a website.
Google “Postformal Leadership” and you will see that all links lead to Earl. He coined the term and, as of 2020, he is the only person “studying” this academic “discipline”. If you have no academic history or credentials, one way to break into academia is to make up your own, personal academic discipline and promote yourself as the world’s expert.
“Postformal Leadership” is a three-legged stool. First leg is “Circumstance Calling Forth a Champion” a snappy, melodramatic re-branding of common principles of leadership and group dynamics i.e. different challenges call for different skills, perspectives, styles of leadership. Second is the idea that Millennial’s are a unique generation who reject ossified corporate structures and values and insist on meaning and purpose in their jobs. This is a rehash of many past generations, most recently the 60’s generation known as the Boomers. Earl de Blonville blames Boomers for everything and he is a card-carrying Boomer. Third are the qualities of Postformal Leadership (Dialogical Reasoning is a crowd favorite!) as enumerated by de Blonville and of which he holds himself up as a living example. The begged question is whether de Blonville’s personal professional story, as told by himself, about himself, is true. The facts say no. And with that, “Postformal Leadership” collapses onto the dustbin of ego-infused bright ideas that no one ever paid much mind.
Here’s a review of one of Earl’s limited talks on “Postformal Leadership”. The title, ironically, says it all: “Are you the leader simply because you, or others, say that you are?”. I would add the corollary, “Are you a leadership EXPERT simply because you say that you are?”. In a nutshell, Postformal Leadership is this: “Be a good, empathetic person with strong personal values in life and when some crisis pops up, you may turn out to be the leader “called forth by circumstance”.
Earl de Blonville claims unique insight into the weighty question of “leadership” yet his own experiences as a leader beginning with the 1986 Arctic Kayak Expedition, were anything but exemplary. So Earl is a leadership expert solely because he says he is. And in his PhD proposal at RMIT (he was kicked out without completing it) Earl’s whole premise is that he will study “leadership” by interviewing actual, famous, genuine leaders and celebrities to discern what makes them tick and this will all be valid academically because Earl is their peer, a status that is pure fantasy on his part.
Think about that for a minute. Earl A) creates an academic discipline that no one has ever heard of out of thin air and declares himself an expert in same, B) declares he is a “global leadership expert” in spite of having no track record of leadership success, quite the opposite, C) declares that he will validate his theory of Postformal Leadership by hanging out with people of genuine leadership accomplishment because he is (self-declared) expert on leadership.
Consider some of the attributes that Earl says are key to being a postformal leader:
Contrast the list below with a recent Thomas Friedman article about leadership in which honesty, humility and competence are the prime ingredients to effective leadership. Those qualities are conspicuously absent from Earl’s list below.
Reflexivity – knowing who you are and are not, being deeply self-reflective.
Dialogical reasoning – working collaboratively, not competitively, to co-create.
Higher purpose – without higher purpose, you have no purpose at all.
Intuition – the most powerful quality you can have; the conscious mind taps into the unconscious.
The obvious presumption is that Earl has these characteristics. There is no evidence in Earl’s record of professional or personal activities to support that presumption. It all sounds swell but according to participants in the 1986 Kayak expedition, Earl was a leadership flop. He took a couple of rich businessmen to Greenland in the next year but has never shared any information about that trip or it’s outcome. His consulting business flopped, his various sailing/Greenland/leadership/climate change schemes all not only failed, they never got beyond a website. He dropped out of one PhD program (Rushmore University) and was “kicked out” of another (RMIT). He has fought tooth and nail to hide details of his relationship with Southern Cross University and RMIT. His applications to Southern Cross for adjunct status and his applications to form Oceanic Research Institute and to the Australian Tax Office contain exaggerations and falsehoods. He has actively worked to erase all the archived information about his failed projects including his own, personal website earldeblonville.com.
Are these the actions of a “global leadership expert”?
In a remarkable display of alchemy, Earl has turned a 35-yearold expedition characterized by poor timing, dodgy finances, failed leadership and fractious relations among the crew into a crucible from which he alone emerged triumphant as a self-declared guru of modern leadership theory. Presto! Australia’s gift to rudderless captains of industry worldwide and “acclaimed author” of a self-published book that has sold in the hundreds. Consider the following:
“Leading this apparently doomed venture is a charismatic young man. But behind his urbane style lies an iron determination: to succeed whatever the odds, or costs, or die in the attempt. He has stipulated that should he be killed, he is to be buried on the shore and the group must continue.”
It is part of the promotion for his unpublished book (2008) and written long after the 1986 Australian Arctic Kayak Expedition had ended. A practical conversation among expedition members about “what if’s” becomes, in Earl’s telling, a Shakespearean synergy of leadership and mortality. Prose like this is the lens through which Earl’s claims of exploration achievement should be viewed; poetic, self-absorbed and mawkishly overblown.
After arriving very late in the season and after being advised by locals of the danger posed by “piteraqs”, and ferocious winds and weather that seasonally blow off the icecap, Earl led the expedition on. Lulled by some initial good weather, the group eventually were struck by a severe storm, capsized in their sailboat and survived largely by the serendipitous passing of a freighter and the quick thinking and hand held radio of crew members other than Earl. In the tradition of great leadership Earl describes (in his book, Seventh Journey) his own calculations to insure that he will survive, certain that others wouldn’t, when the boat sinks.
Besides testosterone, what would compel Earl, as leader and therefore ultimately responsible for the safety of the crew, to continue on against the strong advice of locals and Earl’s own study of the dangers the weather posed? Apparently, the financing of the expedition was tied to a short-lived government tax-incentive program, designed to help Australians produce media that could reach beyond Australia’s shores. “Marketing Oz” in other words. Simply put, the investors of the expedition didn’t get their tax breaks if there was no film. And there wasn’t enough footage without staying longer with the inherent risk. Lives were risked to avoid an ignominious, tail between the legs return to Australia. The investors, in return, would have just bought the lads a spendy vacation in Greenland. Full stop.
None of those pesky facts have constrained Earl from relentless self-promotion after the expedition as “Australia’s preeminent Arctic Explorer”, filmmaker, leadership guru, speaker, “acclaimed” author, cyberstalking expert, etc. It was apparent to Boland, the videographer, that from the start of the expedition Earl was already canonizing himself as a worthy successor to Gino Watkins.
An Australian Geographic article from 2011, a classic example of self-promotion and disingenuous answers.
“Leading this apparently doomed venture is a charismatic young man. But behind his urbane style lies an iron determination: to succeed whatever the odds, or costs, or die in the attempt. He has stipulated that should he be killed, he is to be buried on the shore and the group must continue.” From: “Seventh Journey‘ (written by Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS describing himself.)
I’m researching the career of “charismatic” Earle de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS (nee Earle Bloomfield) for an article about modern day explorers and the business opportunities that flow from exploring. I became interested in Earl’s story when researching another story about another professional “explorer” Ripley Davenport. That story is available here: ripleydavenport.net
On ethics in exploring: “What we must learn from this is that anyone who knowingly allows patently false claims to adventure success to remain unchallenged will be judged to have conspired to keep lies secret…In this world we have to rely on trust for so many things. But to have our trust deliberately abused by the reckless braggadocio of self-styled public adventurers is particularly galling, and we are diminished as a result.” Earl Bloomfield, Letter to Victoria Sea Kayak Club 2001.
“Ambassador” Earl de Blonville:
From late 2010 until early 2015, Earl claimed on his website that he was an Ambassador for both Helly Hansen (outdoor clothing) and Wenger (knives and watches): “In 1986, during a 140 knot Arctic winter snowstorm, Helly Hansen literally saved his life, when he survived a week without food or shelter on a sea-swept rock.” 140 knots in ambient air temperature of 40 F is the equivalent of a wind chill factor of -200 degrees F. That HH gear belongs in a museum somewhere!
According to Helly Hansen’s distributor in Australia, in 2010 Earl pitched his plans for taking executives sailing in Greenland which would include giving the clients HH gear as part of the package costing over $100,000 per person. That program never happened (arcticexplorer.com) though as part of the deal, Earl was given permission to make personal purchases of gear. Earl unilaterally elevated himself to “Ambassador” which was a status HH did not confer and does not condone. Earl also talked HH (Australia) into including his 9sails program of executive leadership training as a “partner” with HH but when advised that the program was just an idea that had never actually operated, the partnership was rescinded.
Until roughly July of 2015, Wenger had Brand Ambassadors, and Earl is not one of them and never was one of them.
(Earl’s current website http://earldeblonville.com no longer has links to the Ambassador pages)
Anyone with information, context, stories or “enhanced consciousness” of Earl is welcome to contact me, Kent Madin, at firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point I am particularly interested in speaking to those who have knowledge of Arcticexplorer.com and Ursus International. (The material at the two previous sites with the strikethrough text has now been excluded, by de Blonville, from the Wayback Machine. Earl has erased his OWN professional history, a history HE WROTE.)
On his CV, Earl claims to have run two “expeditions” with paying clients to Greenland in 1988 and 1989. I am interested in distinguishing fact from fiction.
Given the vaporous nature of Ursus International, Earl’s “C-Suite” consulting business, I hope to speak with anyone who was a client of Earl and Gary Gosling. (I have since heard from Gary Gosling who had this to say about Earl “He was more storyteller than business person. His adventures read of a man that had failed many times but would try a different angle.”
9sails.com was a business of Earl’s in which already successful captains of industry would pay thousands of dollars a day for the privilege of sailing a quaint sailboat (see video clip below) along the coast of France. The businessmen won’t be “taught” leadership (since the un-teachability of leadership is a central tenet of Earl’s theories “The first thing I discovered is that leadership cannot be taught. If it is being taught, it may just be management, re-badged at a higher price.”). Instead, the participants will apparently absorb leadership wisdom from being in Earl’s presence, presumably through the French cuisine. Along for the sailing is Earl’s partner, financial, business and otherwise, owner of the Tarnan, Jennifer Gidley.
After Earl refused the Tarnan seller’s offer to share the cost of a dry dock inspection (the ship had been sitting at dock for several years) the Tarnan was to sail from Gothenburg to a shipyard in Denmark. Not long after encountering open water and strong winds, Tarnan began to take in water and the pumps failed. This video shows Earl and the “Tarnan” in action (rescue courtesy of the Danish Navy). One of the hired crew, a career naval officer on board during the rescue, later characterized Earl as dishonest, suffering from megalomania and not the leader he professes to be.
The Tarnan is now for sale, having been renamed “La Boheme”. If one reads the page about the La Boheme, it appears that the idea of 9sails and the idea to purchase the Tarnan were solely that of Dr. Jenniger Gidley. This is odd in light of the fact that prior to purchasing Tarnan, Dr. Gidley had no experience with traditional sail vessels and very limited sailing experience at all, yet she went out and splurged on a ship she had never sailed for many thousands of Euros. This also begs the question of the renaming of La Boheme. For someone professing the value of La Boheme based on her historical value, it seems presumptuous to rename a vessel after sailing on it for less than 24 hours.
Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge (Acticexplorer.net) was an Outward Bound style program proposed to take place in Greenland involving high school age students. Earl’s CV indicates the ACLC operated from 2005-09. Staff from the program say that no students actually were enrolled or went anywhere, certainly not Greenland. “Our scientific program will be delivered under the supervision of Professor Matthew England, Co-Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, Climate & Environmental Dynamics Laboratory, University of New South Wales.”
Yet, Dr. England, when asked what the program actually accomplished responded ” Hi Kent, I wasn’t really involved in this program in any significant way, so I don’t know the answer to this question. Sorry. Matt”
I am also interested, within the limits of privacy rules at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), to learn more about the exceptional circumstances through which Earl became a doctoral student at RMIT and a recipient of a government funded cash stipend, in spite of having neither a high school diploma, undergraduate degree or an MA degree.
Earl’s acceptance into the RMIT program may have something to do with his self-published book, ‘Seventh Journey’ which describes the 1986 Greenland Expedition. For perspective on that expedition, a far different view is expressed in the book, “Through the Lens of My Eye“, by Michael Boland, the cameraman on the trip.
Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS briefly expanded his research interests to include “Cyberstalking”. He was apparently inspired by the case of Ripley Davenport, a friend and fraudulent explorer/poser whose short, bizarre career was exposed in the article linked above.
“Cyberstalking: New Executive Threat “In a paper, articles for publication and a key speaking subject, Earl explores an emergent threat to executive careers. Earl’s planned paper and talk are provisionally titled: ‘Cyberstalked – How Predators Can Shred Your Professional Reputation’. As a recent victim of Cyberstalking himself, Earl has discovered first hand the almost limitless potential for damage to professional reputations faced by executives and entrepreneurs who share their personal data online.”- Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS
In fact, Earl never wrote a paper or an article for publication on the subject and there is no evidence he has ever given a talk on cyberstalking.
Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS may be a victim of Cybermocking.
Cyber-Mockers (with no apologies to Earl de Blonville) First it was movie stars, then athletes, entertainers and now Academics. We should be flattered by their attention, but in reality these people are not psychologically disturbed, narcissistic, psychopathic or anything close to murderous. Cyber-mockers are not, in fact, criminals but are hopelessly afflicted by the humor to be found in the self-important, self-serving pronouncements of self declared experts and serial embellishers. Cyber-mocking is a unique form of social commentary, participation in which is open to all ages, genders, races and levels of experience. It is, however, deeply frowned upon and deplored by those whose public behavior attracts the attention of the Cyber-mocker.
Fellow Academics, and all my personal contacts and friends, please be warned NOT to respond to any approaches for ‘friendship’ or requests for information made by anyone you have not fully researched and cleared. Psychologists warn that cyber-mockers are to be regarded as a cancer that cannot be stopped, rather like one of those infectious giggles that threaten to erupt when someone at the podium is saying Very, Very Important Things. It is advised that you ignore any approaches from anyone you are not familiar with seeking information on fellow academics, students and staff. Should you communicate with them, you could easily compromise yourself, your friends, family, colleagues, funding bodies, sponsors, your institution and yes, even the very fabric of the Universe, unleashing a torrent of Cyber-mocking for which you will be rightly blamed and probably mocked. They will go through your list of contacts like burglars ransacking your home – looking for anything of ironic or of humorous value, bits of truth and quotation they can twist to their perverse will and use to crack up others in order to mock you with their crazy-making giggling and general annoyingness.
Cyber-mockers are drawn to those who crave attention and lack any empathy: they don’t care how annoying they are or how many embarrassing questions and raised eyebrows they evoke from your colleagues. Deny them the oxygen of unintended irony, transparent embellishment and outright falsehoods and they will hunt elsewhere. Report any such activity to the authorities and police immediately, particularly if the authorities and police have a good sense of humor. Ask me if you are in any doubt, because I am not and never have been.
Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS’s annotated CV, which was formally part of his academia.edu page in association with his uncompleted doctoral program at RMIT. Prior to the RMIT program, Earl also completed a Ph.D. through the internet based Rushmore University but was never granted a diploma for failure to pay his remaining tuition. RMIT administration is silent on the question of whether or not Earl disclosed his Rushmore Ph.D. program when applying to RMIT.
Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS’s Speaking Representation. Although his website says SpeakMark is his exclusive representative, he is still listed on the sites below. Only one agency responded to a request for the last date they had booked Earl to speak and when pressed for details, fell silent. SpeakMark’s now removed youtube page touted Earl’s Postformal Leadership includes this remarkable quote “Boomer “Leadership” is merely the self-delusion of unfulfilled lives.” Ironically, Earl de Blonville is, himself, a Boomer.
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This exchange (and a transcript-ed 45 minute long phone call) document how the Victoria Police advised me that their investigation on the allegation of “cyberstalking” made by Earl de Blonville was closed and no action would be taken.
The key take aways from this exchange are:
Sgt. Brown dodged the question of whether Colban’s demand to Nearly Free Speech, without a court order or notice (to me, the owner) was legal and whether it implicitly showed Colban had already decided I was guilty.
Sgt. Brown, when asked why they had not bothered to interview me, the suspect, said “if the evidence doesn’t support interviewing the alleged criminal, then we don’t interview them”.
I asked Sgt. Brown to find out if Colban had contacted any other internet pages or services to request blocking of earldeblonville.net as she had with Nearly Free Speech. The answer came back “No”.
When I contacted Victoria Police FOI department requesting a copy of the investigation file, I was told it could not be released because it was classified, by Colban herself, as “unsolved” meaning the case was NOT closed.
In my view, Colban acted unprofessionally and naively, convinced by de Blonville to use her authority to accomplish what de Blonville wanted, the erasure of earldeblonville.net. Having been caught in the act, Colban (and later Brown) sought to cover up the mistakes rather than acknowledge them.
Read this email string from bottom to top for correct chronology.