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1976: Seckel attends Cornell summer and fall semesters as a special student (provisional admission, not a degree

candidate). Summer: gets F in physics. Fall: takes Pearce Williams science history class (gets B), calculus (grade of
not attending), and repeats physics (no grade reported).
1977: Seckel applies for Cornell spring semester admission but is rejected.
1978: Seckel attends fall semester as special student. Takes only German, gets D. End of Cornell attendance.
1980 June: Seckel marries Laura Mullen (Cornell 80).
1980 or 1981: Seckel visits Bertrand Russell Archives (McMaster Univ., Ontario).
1980: Suzy Shaw, formerly married to Greg Shaw of Bomp Records, begins relationship with Brett Gurewitz of
punk-rock band Bad Religion. She continues to help Greg run Bomp.
1981 June: Seckel elected Vice-Director of American Atheists Los Angeles chapter.
1981 Nov 9: In letter to Dick James, Madalyn Murray OHair accuses Seckel of plagiarism in article about Hypatia
(she and Queen Silver had both previously written about Hypatia).
1981 Nov 22: Seckel and other officers of American Atheists L.A. chapter resign following dispute with national
leader OHair. Atheists United formed soon after as independent group.
1981-1984: Seckel writes flyers for Atheists United, some co-authored with AU director John Edwards.
1982: Seckel gives speech for Atheists United at an Orange County high school.
1982: Seckel quoted by Debbie Cohen as saying he hosted 1982 Jerry Andrus lecture at Caltech (perhaps referring
to 1985 SCS lecture?).
1982 or 1983: Atheists United flyer by John Edwards and Seckel with Darwin fish drawing (drawn by Edwards).
1983 Dec 13: Seckel and Milton Timmons give speeches for Atheists United at Cyprus College.
1984 Oct 4: SCS (Southern California Skeptics) incorporated; Seckel files for non-profit status. Operates it from
his home:2096 Brigden Rd., Pasadena, but with Redondo Beach POB address. Lectures are at California Institute of
Technology. SCS is founded as a local affiliate of CSICOP, whose Paul Kurtz provides under-the-table CSICOP
funds for its start-up.

1984 November 9-10: Seckel attends CSICOP conference at Stanford University. Meets with skeptics, asks for
assistance in forming a local group in southern California.
1985: SCS begins activities under Seckel. Seckel describes himself as physicist, historian of science in SCS
newsletter masthead (Laser). Board members include Murray Gell-Mann, Paul MacCready, Al Hibbs, Ron Crowley,
Joseph Kirschvink, James Randi, and David Alexander. Molly Squire:Laser (newsletter) editor.
1985 March 5: Stephen J. Gould gives (non-SCS) Caltech-sponsored lecture. Seckel had wanted Gould for an SCS
lecture, and later falsely accuses McIver of calling Gould and conspiring to interfere with the SCS (i.e. Caltech)
1985?: In her 2007 book about Bomp, Suzy Shaw writes that immediately after breaking up with Gurewitz, she
headed to Caltech to go boyfriend shopping and within a week was helping to run SCS. At SCS she became
friendly with Crick and Watson, Gell-Mann, and especially Dawkins.
1985 Apr 21: Los Angeles Times article reports that Seckel has Cornell physics degree, lives in Redondo Beach.
1985 May: Los Angeles Times article reports that Seckel has Cornell degree and is Caltech doctoral degree
1985 May: Article about SCS in Engineering & Science (Caltech alum magazine) by Robert Finn, writer for
Caltech Media Relations.
1985 June: Seckel scheduled to present at CSICOP International Convention in London.
1985 July: At California public curriculum hearings Seckel claims he worked with Carl Sagan at Cornell and is grad
student at Caltech; this is reported in fall education newsletter.
1985 Nov 1: State of California requests SCS financial information but never gets reply.
1985-1988?: Seckel refuses to pay Jerry Andrus his SCS lecture honorarium, accusing him of stealing an
illusion. Ray Hyman investigates and proves Seckel wrong. Seckel also tries to avoid paying Schadewald,
Thwaites and Awbrey, and doesnt pay Klass.
1986 Jan 26: Seckel debates creationist Duane Gish in ACLU-sponsored event.
1986 Aug: James Randi wins MacArthur Fellowship. Seckel had written to him saying he was a judge, and could
get him the award; Randi apparently believed him, and asked him to do so. Judges are not disclosed.) Seckel has
also claimed to be on MacArthur Foundations Board of Directors.

1986 Aug 18: At National Press Club (Wash. DC) press conference, Seckel announces filing of Nobelist brief in
Supreme Court creationism case (amicus brief opposing teaching of creationism signed by 72 Nobel laureate
scientists). Attorney Jeffrey Lehman (Cornell 77, and same high school as Seckels) is primary author.
1986: Seckel writes Skeptical Inquirer article (vol. 11, no. 2) on Supreme Court creationism brief. Seckel has
claimed co-authorship of brief, and credit for organizing it (Gell-Mann is generally credited as organizer).
1986 Oct: John Edwards listed as SCS Treasurer
1986 Nov: Smithsonian article describes Seckel as a physicist.
1986, 1987: Seckel edits two books of Bertrand Russell essays and excerpts. (Later, Prometheus Books reportedly
hears about problems with these books.)
1987 Jan 5: McIver sends letter to SCS and CSICOP members about Seckel, criticizing him for self-promotion,
publicity seeking, misrepresenting himself, and taking credit for work of those assisting him.
1987 Jan 24: Los Angeles Times article quotes Seckel extensively, describes him as "graduate of Cornell in physics
and math, who took leave from Caltech, where he was a candidate for doctoral degrees in both relativistic
astrophysics and biochemistry."
1987 Feb 7: Kendrick Frazier, in letter to McIver, admits there have been many complaints to CSICOP about
1987 April: CSICOP holds annual conference at Pasadena, with SCS as local host and Carl Sagan featured
speaker. Mark Plummer of CSICOP calls McIver a few days before start, complaining that Seckel had promised to
make local arrangements but had done nothing. McIver helps instead. Michael Shermer attends (Shermer, then an
ultra-long distance cyclist, had introduced himself to Paul MacCready, who introduced him to SCS).
1987: SCS publication (Science & the Paranormal) describes Seckel as a physicist, and SCS as non-profit.
1987: Mark Plummer of CSICOP phones McIver detailing further Seckel wrongdoing, says CSICOP has gotten
many serious complaints, and that Seckel keeps no real SCS financial records. (John Cole, Plummers predecessor,
also reported similar problems.)
1987 Oct 1988 Jan: Seckel writes four (total) L.A. Times columns ("Skeptical Eye"); at least two seem plagiarized
(with text nearly identical to unattributed articles by Robert Sheaffer and Randi).
1987 Nov 4: Seckel gives SCS lecture at Cal State Fullerton, hosted by CSUF physics professor (and SCS
Chairman) Ron Crowley.

1987 Dec 1: SCS non-profit status is revoked by State of California because Seckel never provided any of the
required financial information.
1988 Feb 15: Richard Feynman dies. Seckel continues to claim they were extremely close friends during the 1980s
at Caltech (e.g. webpage Al Seckels Richard Feynman,, socializing and
going camping together, as well as scientific colleagues, and that he was one of three grad students who Feynman
1988 Feb-May: Seckel writes column for Santa Monica News (Linda Feldman, ed.). All articles describe SCS as
tax-exempt non-profit organization.
1988 April 13: Pearce Williams lectures to SCS for second time (first in 1987). Two days later he is featured
speaker at SCS banquet.
1988 May 25: Seckel lectures in Santa Monica News building, claiming near doctorate in both physics and
molecular biology at Caltech; this is witnessed by McIver.
1988 May-Aug: SCS Laser newsletter prints 1987 financial statement, which Mark Plummer of CSICOP said was
false (it included claim of payment to CSICOPs Prometheus Books which was never made).
1988 June 1: Seckels lawyer sends letter to McIver promising to sue for libel if McIver continues to criticize
Seckel (referring to McIvers Jan 5 letter). Letter claims McIver accused Seckel of (among other things)
plagiarismthough McIver complained of Seckel taking credit for work of those assisting him and never
mentioned plagiarism.
1988 June 28: Letter from Kent Harker of Bay Area Skeptics to Seckel stating that Sheaffer had not given Seckel
permission to publish account Sheaffer had written which Seckel published under his own name in his L.A. Times
column, and that it was obvious that though Seckel had merely edited it, though claiming authorship.
1988 July: Los Angeles magazine article reports that Seckel is a Cornell graduate in math and physics.
1988 Aug 1-3: Seckel is speaker at Humanist World Conference (hosted by Paul Kurtz), on Bertrand Russell.
1988 Oct 1: McIver letter to Seckel responding to lawsuit threat; McIver states his criticisms are demonstrably true
or legitimate opinion, and that he can document them.
1988 Oct 4: Altadena/Pasadena Weekly article quotes Seckel, describes him as Cornell-educated mathematician,
on hiatus from earning his doctorate in physics and microbiology.

1988: Seckel (in 1991) claimed to Pat Linse he personally got $60,000 out of SCS in 1988. (SCS positions are all
volunteer and unpaid.)
1988: Seckel featured by CSICOP in Skeptical Inquirer articles, conference. Seckel article included in book Not
Necessarily the New Age (from CSICOPs Prometheus Books) which describes him as physicist and molecular
1988: Seckel writes brochure on how to set up skeptics group. Says ads, publicity, and lecture halls can be gotten
free, with all work done by volunteers; and that the only expense is flyers and possibly honoraria. Says State of
California funds SCS, and it is easy to get $400-600 per lecture.
1988: Seckel has entry in Contemporary Authors reference series, listing education as 1980 Cornell BS.
(Information comes from authors themselves.) Describes books he is supposedly writing.
1988: Michael Crichtons book Travels has postscript about being invited by Paul MacCready in 1987 to speak at
the Pasadena chapter of CISCOP at CalTech (i.e., Seckels Southern California Skeptics). The invitation fell
through. In 2006, at a Skeptic conference, MacCready recalled that the planned lecture was called off because
Seckel was hospitalized and SCS was being disbanded.
1988-1990: Suzy Shaw handles SCS financial accounts, writing checks and making deposits, though Bart Hibbs is
officially listed as Treasurer. Shaw later privately reports that Seckel altered checks, and that many bounced. Pat
Linse also reports numerous bounced checks and complaints of non-payment. Shaw allegedly invested (and lost)
$250,000 with Seckel, but is reluctant to testify against him because he knows about her past tax problems. Shaw
had also been handling financial accounts of Bomp Records prior to and during this period.
1989 May-Sept: Seckel reportedly discarding SCS files and equipment (according to Linse), preparing to abandon
SCS because his fraud is now apparent to SCS volunteers.
1989 June: Anonymous postcard (from David Alexander) to McIver announcing that SCS is in desperate financial
trouble and that Seckel is probably stealing funds. Alexander had expected to replace Seckel as SCS head when
fraud became apparent, but Seckel objected because Alexander had no degree (!), and Seckel stayed on himself.
Alexander later said he wanted to write a book about Seckel after his death. (Alexander himself died 2010. When
contacted re McIver v. Seckel, Alexander characterized Seckel as scum.)
1989 Aug: Pasadena Today article (L.A. Times suppl.) says Seckel has Cornell math and physics degree and was
doctoral candidate at Caltech.
1989 Sept 10: Seckel gives SCS lecture.
1989 Oct 21: Douglas Hofstadter gives SCS lecture.

1989: Seckel still claiming non-profit status in SCS newsletter Laser.

1989: British Museum buys 16th century clock from Seckel.
1990 Jan 16: Steve Allen gives SCS lecture, without charging any fee, though audience is charged admission. (SCS
volunteers say some SCS lectures now bring in $5,000-10,000.)
1990 Spring: Final SCS lecture. At least one membership check is cashed although Laser (SCS newsletter) had
ceased publication (according to Linse and Shaw) and SCS was no longer in operation.
1990: Seckel still claiming non-profit status in summer 1990 flyers, according to SCS volunteer Molly Squire.
1990 Sept: First written Caltech reply to McIver: Caltech says simply it is "unable to verify" his attendance.
1990 Sept: City of Pasadena files claim against Seckel. (In her deposition, Linse said Seckel was evicted from a
Pasadena house, and Dan Meier then helped him move into a new one. Elsewhere she said Seckel bought a house
with Meier and Suzy Shaw.)
1990 Nov 6: Seckel files complaint against the Blumkas in antique clock deal (Bacchus clock), claiming it was
defective. Later, when sued for defaulting on his Ferrari lease, Seckel claimed Blumkas refusal to pay him back
caused the default. (Ferrari dealer won $70,000 judgment against Seckel.) Clock expert Winthrop Edey also named
as defendant. Seckel reportedly so obsessed with trial he neglects SCS (according to Blumka attorney).
1990 Nov 10: Erik Beckjord accuses Seckel in Saucer Smear (UFO newsletter) of fake credentials and financial
fraud. Saucer Smear publishes many more items about Seckel up to 1993, all highly critical. Some written by
Molly Squire, Beckjords girlfriend (after she broke up with magician and skeptic Bob Steiner of CSICOP).
1990 Nov 28: Cornell letter in reply to McIvers query confirms that Seckel did not graduate. (When Seckel found
out earlier that people were inquiring about his Cornell claims, he had his record sealed, which delayed this
response. When his record was sealed, Cornell allegedly took names and addresses of inquirers. Cornell replied to
McIver because he provided documentation of Seckels widely published false credential claims.)
1990 Summer: Seckel dropped from CSICOP consultant list in Skeptical Inquirer. Consultants are official
"members" of CSICOP.
1991 Jan 5: Saucer Smear editor Moseley reports that Klass told him an audit cleared SCS of financial fraud
allegations. Molly Squire letter in same issue urges skeptics to check SCS tax-exempt claims for themselves.
1991 Apr 4: McIver sends letter to SCS requesting forms 1023 and 990 (required financial information); it is
returned unopened, marked closed, unable to forward.

1991 May 1: First McIver letter in Saucer Smear. Several letters about Seckel had already been published in
previous issues. Klass had insisted to Smear editor Moseley that SCS non-profit status was not revoked
although Smear had reported it was; Klass (according to Linse) offered to bet him it wasnt.
1991 May 3: McIver delivers material and documents from Linse and SCS volunteers criticizing Seckel for
mismanagement to Klass at CSICOP conference. At conference, Kurtz tells McIver that CSICOP non-response is
moot because Seckel told him he has terminal cancer.
1991 May 5: Klass threatens to sue Moseley if his Saucer Smear pursues Seckel affair.
1991 May, June, Sept: Seckel seen at Kaiser Hospital Sunset and Southern Calif. Permanente Med. Group Sunset.
1991 June 19: Letter from Feynmans secretary Helen Tuck to McIver about Seckel confirms Seckels dishonesty
about his Caltech status, and says Feynman immediately stopped seeing him upon finding out he was a fraud.
1991 June: Super-model Denice Lewis leaves London for Hollywood, hoping for new acting career. She had dated
celebrities such as George Hamilton, Dodi Fayed, Pierce Brosnan, Tim Jefferies, Steve Wyatt, and Timothy Dalton.;
1991 June 21: Linse asks Cornell about transcript; afterwards Seckel displays a completely different transcript (a
fake) to several people, listing advanced standing, many advanced courses and top grades, and fellowship award.
Some CSICOP leaders and some SCS supporters, such as Shneour, believe him.
1991-1993: Extensive McIver correspondence with Klass (hundreds of pages) about Seckel. For months Klass
vehemently denies allegations and evidence about Seckel; then, he blames McIver for the affair and begins smear
campaign against McIver which he boasts about mailing widely (e.g., his report McIvers Laws:How to Use
Falsehood to Villify [sic] the Innocent, which he claimed had four printings, and a series of McIver Forked
Tongue flyers).
1991 July 16: Klass falsely reports that McIver used an alias in his inquiries about Seckel (suggesting continued
communication between Klass and Seckel).
1991 July 20: Klass first concedes (after long denial) that Seckels credentials are phony in letter to McIver, but
continues to deny financial allegations.
1991 Fall: Robert Anton Wilson prints story about Seckel in his Trajectories newsletter; mentions fraud, phony
credentials, and CSICOPs non-reaction.

1991 Oct: Michael Shermer writes Science, Technology & Human Values article about the 1987 Supreme Court
creationism case using Seckel as primary source. McIver mentions article to Linse, who introduces herself to
Shermer, curious about his relationship to Seckel. Shermer assures her Seckel is not connected with new group he is
starting with CSICOP support (Skeptics Society) and she joins, becoming founding member and co-publisher of its
Skeptic magazine.
1991 Oct: Seckel hospitalized for sudden onset leukemia. In 1993 has elective chemotherapy for leukemia then in
remission. Seckel later claims he ran SCS successfully until stricken with leukemia, which forced him to quit.
1991 Nov: Letter from Wells Fargo Bank verifies that SCS financial records are closed to the public, contrary to
what Seckel had claimed (and which Seckels apologists such as Klass and Shneour believed).
1991 Dec 23: S.J. Gould letter to McIver confirms that he barely knew Seckel, and believes that Nobel brief was
not significant in Supreme Court decision, contrary to what Seckel claimed (and what Shermer reported).
1991: Seckel files for bankruptcy in 1991 or thereabouts.
1992 Jan: Journal of the Amer. Soc. for Psychical Research publishes article CSICOP and the Skeptics by George
Hansen, mentioning Seckels false credentials and alluding to other incidents involving him.
1992 Jan 2: Letter from Caltech Registrar to McIver confirms Seckel was never registered as student there.
1992 March 22: Randi gives first lecture to Shermers new Skeptics Society.
1992 April?: Suzy Shaw (Bomp Records) meets Patrick Boissel in France; they later team up.
1992: Skeptics Society publishes first Skeptic issue. Seckel tries to get involved with the group, then threatens to
sue Shermer when rebuffed and Shermer refuses to pay him for SCS mailing list (which was supposed to revert to
CSICOP, which was now backing Shermers new group). Later, Shermer drops McIver as contributing editor under
pressure from Klass and Shneour, but then reinstates him (dropping him again when Seckel sues McIver in 2006).
1992?: Seckel tells Shermer that IRS is investigating him and he needs letter from him saying Skeptics Society has
no connection to SCS (but later will publicly claim that Skeptics Society is merely a continuation of SCS, using SCS
mailing list, etc.).
1992 Sept: Letter from Steve Allen to McIver stating he too had suspicions about Seckel, and hoped to investigate.
1992 Sept 4: Best Service Co. files complaint against Seckel.

1992 Sept 9: Public Serv. Mutual Insurance Co. files claim against Seckel and Blumka.
1992 Nov 24: Ken Rosenthal issued patent #5165580 for water levitation device. Seckel later tries, unsuccessfully,
to patent a water levitating device himself.
1992 Dec: In letter to Jim Lippard, Klass accuses McIver of slander for criticizing his continued denials of the
evidence about Seckel.
1992: Seckel writes review of Gleicks biography of Feynman for Santa Monica News.
1993 May 15: McIver reports in Saucer Smear that Klass refused to show him any evidence of claimed SCS audit.
Klass told him that Shneour had it, but Shneour told him that CSICOP had it. CSICOP said they didnt, and referred
McIver back to Shneour, who then threatened to sue McIver if he asked him any more about it.
1993 Aug 11: In letter to McIver, Pearce Williams confirms that Seckel lied about his Cornell career, and also says
Seckel defrauded him and his son, and that he considers him a thief.
1993: Seckel claims McIver forged this Pearce William letter. Shneour believes this claim and repeats it. (Seckel
later repeats forgery accusation in Wikipedia discussion pages.)
1993 Fall: McIvers reply to Shermers 1991 ST&HV article finally published, but with all criticisms of Seckel
edited out.
1993 Oct: Klass writes to Moseley that Seckel resigned from CSICOP and SCS more than two years ago as a
result of Tom McIvers investigation into Seckels academic background.
1993 Dec 20: Shermer writes to Klass describing Seckels dishonesty. Says that Pearce Williams confirmed truth of
the letter he wrote to McIver, and that a Caltech history professor also discovered Seckels fraud and terminated his
relationship with him. Shermer says he never met anyone who aroused such vitriol so quickly.
1994 Jan 5: Klass writes to Shermer dishonestly claiming that he never once doubted that Seckel lied about his
academic career since reading the material Linse and McIver delivered to him in May 91.
1994 Nov 3: McIver article in San Diego Reader mentions Seckels financial fraud, forged documents, and fake
credentials; also Shneours defense of Seckel. Seckel never responds to this (nor does Shneour).
1994 Dec 27: Texas Commerce Bank National files complaints against Seckel and Lorah (occupants of 664
Alameda St., Altadena).

1995: Seckel sues Evolution Design re Darwin Fish design claiming copyright infringement. Lawsuit settled upon
determination that design was never properly copyrighted and had become public domain. Seckel claims he and
John Edwards (who first drew it) created it in 1983 or earlier.
1995 Dec 12: Evolution Design files complaint against Seckel.
1995 Aug-Dec: Appeal in Seckel v. Blumka re sale of 16th-century clock; Seckels lawyer is sanctioned for making
false accusation of document forgery (letterhead from Seckel stating Museum Quality Antique Clocks, Furniture,
and Rare Books"). Susan Shaw of Bomp Records named as having seen clock with Seckel, having stored records
for him, and being authorized to sign checks in his name. Seckel claimed the Blumka trial caused him to develop
leukemia, but judge sanctions him for making this frivolous claim.
1996 April 10: IllusionWorks files as LLC. Officers:Seckel, Paul MacCready, Taylor Family Trust (1405 S.
Oakland Ave, Pasadena). Stanford H. Taylor (Cornell 50) then senior executive at AeroVironment. Classified as
Art gallery, commercial, and tourist attraction; amusement and recreation services (NEC).
1996 Oct: Laura Mullen Seckel listed as living with Seckel at 701 Saint Katherine Dr., La Canada Flintridge, up to
this date.
1996 Nov: 701 Saint Katherine Drive, La Canada Flintridge, described as palatial, sells for $1,150,000.
1996 Dec: Al Seckels Homepage of Illusions, Perception & Cognitive Science, LLC website created, hosted on
Caltech domain (, and sponsored by the Shimojo Laboratory. Seckel claims affiliation
with both Christof Koch and Shinsuke Shimojo labs, and gives his e-mail address as
(Kochs lab). Alice Klarke listed as Senior Creative Artist & Designer.
1996: In initial disclosure documents for 2007 lawsuit against McIver, Seckel includes copy of 1996 book deal with
MIT Press, but with co-authors named blacked out.
1997: On website Seckel claims to be co-authoring book with Shimojo for MIT Press and also
writing new edition of Richard Gregorys book. Says he ran SCS until 1990 leukemia onset. Shimojo allows Seckel
to use his Caltech lab address. Seckel takes Shimojo lab staff on whitewater raft trip (1997?).
1997 Feb: Oxford UP (e-mail to McIver) denies Seckel is co-authoring Richard Gregory book (as Seckel claims in
his website); McIver corresponds with Brand of MIT UP about Seckels claim of MIT book deal.

1997 Feb 25: Shneour writes letter to Shermer defending Seckel and alleging that someone (McIver) is defaming
1997 June 23: Seckel files claim against Winifred Bock.
1997 July 7: Bock files claim against Seckel.
1997 Dec: Seckel files charges against Blumka in appeals court.
1997?: Seckel reputedly offered lucrative lawsuit settlement but does not accept it.
1997-1998: McIver posts criticisms of Seckel in skeptic list groups; several skeptics concur with him.
1998: Seckel says he gave invited lecture at Escher Centennial Congress (Rome).
1999: Denice Lewis has small role as Schwarzeneggers wife in film End of Days.
1999 May 23: Sunday Mirror (London) article about former super-model Denice Lewis:Prisoner 5970649 in L.A.
County Jail (drug, alcohol, and other charges).
1999 Nov 15: Seckel writes to Francis Crick about acquiring his archives with the help of Jeremy Norman. Says
Horace Freeland Judson is overjoyed at the project and wants to help in every way.
2000: Seckels first illusion book published. Others published 2001, 2002, 2004 (4), 2005 (7), 2006 (2); some
overlapping material.
2000 March: Seckel visits Vittorio Luzzati in Centre for Molecular Genetics, France, who lends him papers and
photos of Rosalind Franklin, with Seckels wife (Klarke?) photographing them. Seckel is collecting original
material for archives of famous molecular biologists with $1.5-million from collector Jeremy Norman. Luzzati
claims originals were never returned (only some inferior copies).
2000 April: Fate magazine article quotes Fritz Stevens of CSICOPs Center for Inquiry West (Los Angeles) as
saying SCS collapsed because of scandal.
2000 June: Shermer writes in Fate magazine denying any connection between his Skeptics Society and Seckels
defunct SCS.

2000 Aug: Seckel goes on dinosaur dig with Jack Horner in Montana.
2001 Feb 28: Seckel and Alice Klarke divorce case. In a declaration Klarke says Seckel pretended to be a scientist
and conned people. Includes rsum for Seckel listing Cornell math and physics degree and Caltech doctoral
studies. (Klarke apparently did much of IllusionWorks graphics.) Judgment by Court:Feb 28, 2007.
2001 June 28: Catalysis Books files for incorporation. Seckel is President. Later suspended by State of California
for non-compliance and/or non-payment.
2001: Seckel introduces Your Minds Eye exhibit for museums from IllusionWorks.
2001 July 23: Scientific Archives, Malibu, files for incorporation. Seckel is President. Address (later?) listed as
20404 Little Rock Way, Malibu. Created as financial instrument for archives acquired with Norman, with Crowley
as agent. (Company was later suspended by State.)
2001 July 26-29: Seckel gives lectures at Singapore Science Center. Billed as Rsearch Fellow in the Division of
Cognitive and Neuronal Systems at Caltech.;
2001 Aug: Horace Freeland Judson visits Seckel in connection with molecular biology archives.
2001 Aug 21: Seckel files claim against Paula Brancato re IllusionWorks.
2001 Oct 5: Les King (Working Design) files complaint against Seckel.
2001 Nov: Wellcome Institute buys Crick archives. Seckel had been negotiating with Crick to purchase them in
association with Jeremy Norman.
2001: Seckels book Art of Optical Illusions selected one of Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult
Readers by American Library Association.
2001: Seckel participates in Foundations Annual Question.
2002: Paul MacCready listed as President of IllusionWorks. Jyl Boline is listed as VP; she later said Seckel owes
her more than $4000, and that Seckel was not a researcher nor really a member of Caltech community, and that he
seriously misrepresented himself. Norman Kaderlan listed as CEO; he later says he wanted his name removed from
website and was not surprised by McIvers evidence about Seckel. William Haefliger listed as legal and patent

counsel; he later said he tried to file just one patent for Seckel, and that Seckel left him with unpaid bill.;
2002 Feb 20: $53,500 Federal defense contract awarded to IllusionWorks (694 Wendover Rd., La Canada,
Flintridge), Dept. of the Army listed as purchaser.
2002 Oct 4: Relco Industries (Rudolph J. Lowy) wins judgment of $182,914 against IllusionWorks (Seckel).
Apparently Seckel never pays.
2002 Oct 15: David Gerstel and Biblio Fund file complaint against Seckel.
2002 Oct 21: IllusionWorks Traveling Exhibit Venture files as LLC. Seckel:registered agent.
2003 Jan 23: Seckel scheduled to lecture at Harvard, hosted by Patrick Cavanagh.
2003 Jan 26: Seckel scheduled to lecture at MIT, hosted by Marvin Minsky.
2003 March 28: Caltech and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena) co-host conference, Seckel has exhibit.
Seckel later cites his listing in the program as proof of his Caltech affiliation (though listing does not give any
affiliation for him, and does for all other participants).
2003 Apr 25: Christies auction of Jeremy Normans collection of molecular biology archives scheduled for this
date, but is canceled. Norman wanted to sell collection piecemeal after Seckel failed to acquire Cricks archives for
Norman. Seckel sued Norman, and says he had the auction canceled. (Norman said he canceled it.) Scientists who
sold archives to Seckel had been promised the collection would be kept together and made available to the public.
2003 May 9: Alice Irene Seckel files for name change to Alice Irene Klarke in New Mexico. Previously she lived
with Seckel in La Canada, Flintridge.
2003 June 5: Seckel participates in Adventures of the Mind meeting (Seattle).
2003 July 31: Heritage Bookshop (Beverly Hills) files complaint against Seckel.
2003 Sept 5: Seckel found Guilty/Convicted (disposition) of Sec 273.5(A)inflicting corporal injury on spouse.
This is normally a felony charge, but judge apparently reduced sentence to a non-felony. Case number
GLN3GL02585-01, filed 6/6/03.

2004: Seckel publishes Masters of Deception book with foreword by Douglas Hofstadter. Gives his affiliation as
Koch and Shimojo laboratories, California Institute of Technology; lists Alice Klarke and Andish Martensson as
graphic artists; also lists M. Setteducati, M. Gardner, K. Rosenthal, D. Schattschneider, and K. Kay for
2004 Jan 26: Seckel gives lecture at MIT. Described as research fellow in the Division of Computational and
Neuronal Systems at the California Institue of Technology.
2004 Jan 27: Seckel gives lecture at Boston Univ., describing himself as Professor Al Seckel, Caltech, and as
Research Fellow in Div. of Computational and Neuronal Systems in poster for event with official Caltech logo.
2004 Feb: Seckel gives TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk in Monterey. Uses some illusions created
for him by Scott Kim.;
2004 Feb 9: Jessy D. Dorn (UCLA neuroscientist) files complaint against Seckel.
2004 Mar 10: Seckel gives presentation to Scholars Programme at Singapore Science Centre.
2004 Mar 25: Critical comments about Seckel posted on JREF Forum (Who is Al Seckel?). Describes him as
pompous, credit-grabbing self-proclaimed genius. Joseph Meier later sees posts, then tells McIver that Seckel
nearly cheated him out of $20,000 for non-existent incunabula and insisted he had solved Fermats Last Theorem.
2004 June 17: Seckel marries Denice Darlene Lewis. They live at 694 Wendover Rd., La Canada, Flintridge; then
at 20404 Little Rock Way, Malibu, in Balinese-themed house that rents for $13,500/mo. Seckel reportedly puts his
art collection in storage when moving to smaller Malibu house.
2004 July 30: Relco Industries and Rudolph Lowy file complaint against Seckel for fraud; Kaderlan is served for
2004 Sept 14: Seckel gives illusion lecture at Cornell, described as Presidential lecture, hosted by Cornell
President Jeffrey Lehman. Lehman also hosts Cornell Presidential Dinner honoring Seckel (according to
2004 Oct 1: Seckel files for divorce from Denice Lewis. Seckel files signed statement with court Jan 5, 2005
(signed on 11/3/04), under penalty of perjury, claiming BS from Cornell in math and science and a PhD degree.
Also states he owes first wife Laura, then living with them, $100,000 of $175,000 loan.

2004 Oct 20: Denice Lewis accuses Seckel of assault with deadly weapon (trying to run her over in his car). Geoff
Miller of Mad Cow Studios testifies on his behalf (this case or divorce?). In 2007 e-mail to McIver, Miller says
Seckels lawyer implied to him that Seckel had previously been accused of assaulting a woman at Cornell.
2004 Nov: Press release describes Denice Lewiss new career as abstract artist, incorporating ashes of deceased
relatives or pets into commissioned tribute paintings.
2004 Nov 8: Seckel keynote lecture at Univ. Arkansas, listed as Ph.D., Research Fellow, California Institute of
2004 Nov 15: Anders Martensson files complaint against Seckel and IllusionWorks.
2004 Nov 23: Seckels house (listed under Ron Crowleys name), 694 Wendover Rd., La Canada Flintridge, sells
for $2,285,000. (This house is just a few houses away from Saint Katherine Dr. house.);
2004 Nov 24: Registered agent of IllusionWorks LLC resigns.
2004 Dec: Geoff Miller, on his Mad Cow website, posts comments describing how Seckel defrauded him for Mac
computer work he did for him.
2004 Dec: Discover magazine article commemorating Einstein by some of the worlds greatest scientific minds
including Seckel ( Seckel also claimed to author Discovers
NeuroQuest column
2005 Sept 28: Infliction of corporal injury on spouse and assault with deadly weapon charge against Seckel filed
10/20/04 dismissed. Lewis had apparently fabricated the charge, recruiting a friend as a witness, after failing to
get hoped-for money from Seckel. Case number XCNBA22872-02. Foltz Criminal Justice Center; held to answer
2005 June 29: Horace Freeland Judson e-mails McIver, saying of Seckel that he had cause to distrust him.
2005 July 13: Martayan Lan lists Isaac Newton portrait for sale, $165,000. This is a studio copy of Knellers
Portsmouth portrait, painted around 1698, and was formerly owned by the Viscounts Galway.
2005 Aug: Seckel participates as a judge at Best Illusion of the Year Contest (A Corua, Spain) organized by Susana
Martinez-Conde. Listed as member of local organizing committee.

2005 Aug: Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Dept. hires IllusionWorks exhibit for $260,000
2006: Updated entry for Seckel in Contemporary Authors (reference series):still claims Cornell BS, lists career as
physicist, educator, writer and Caltech instructor, also CSICOP scientific and technical consultant and SCS exec
director. (Information comes from authors themselves.)
2006: Seckel listed as consultant for NBC reality TV show Treasure Hunters.
2006 Jan: Seckel tells Beth White that he has a Cornell BS in physics and was Sagans teaching assistant, and has a
PhD in theoretical physics from Caltech, where he studied string theory under Feynmanone of three students
Feynman was advisor to. Also tells her he is good friends with Al Gore, Quincy Jones, and other celebrities.
2006 Feb 7: Seckel sends White documents purportedly showing he was Cornell honors student, and is now Caltech
postdoctorate scholar. Also tells her he invented a water levitating device and holds a patent on it.
2006 Feb: Seckel attends TED conference in Monterey, and exhibits water levitating device.
2006 March 7: Seckel tells Beth White that he met with Steven Spielberg, who wants to buy one of his water
levitation devices.
2006 March: Seckel visits Beth White in Atlanta. He persuades her to play phone prank on his friend Dan Meier,
pretending to be one of his Pasadena City College students he has had sex with (sometimes joined by Seckel);
according to White, Seckel is highly amused by this.
2006 March: Gathering for Gardner, for which Seckel claims to be a principle organizer. Seckel attends, but only
after being warned by Tom Rodgers, one of the actual organizers, not to crash the event (according to Beth White,
who attended with Seckel).
2006 April 11: Seckel has meeting with SONY (probably including Tim Sarnoff) about doing feature animated film
project with Robert Gonsalves and Jay Redd.
2006 April 12: Seckel gives party (possibly related to SONY project). Guest list:Robert Gonsalves, Stephen
Hawking, Matt Groening, Heather Thomas, Alex Chadwick, Carolyn Jenson, Paul Kirkaas, Jay Redd, Robert
Gillespie, Martin Fisher, Lawrence Bender, Laurie David, Tom Van Sant, Arianna Huffington, Patty Fox, Mike
Farrell, Peter Diamandis, Bonnie MacBird, Skip Brittenham, Charles Fleisher, Donna Mills, Jolie Jones.
2006 April 25: Seckel files harassment complaint against Brian Vartanian.

2006 April 30: Seckel writes his own 3,500-word Wikipedia entry. Says he is worlds leading authority on visual
and other types of sensory illusions. Claims he is writing book for MIT Press, organized and co-wrote the 1987
Nobelist Supreme Court brief, and was Research Fellow at Caltech but left in 2005 to pursue business and
philanthropic ventures. Says his leukemia was in 1989.
2006 May: Wikipedia entry is edited, but still consists largely of information from Seckel himself.
2006 May: Seckel listed as a "sponsor" (for donating a prize) at 2 nd Best Illusion of the Year Contest (Sarasota).
2006 June 5: McIver proposes deletion of Wikipedia entry on grounds it is self-written self-promotion containing
misleading and false information. Wikipedia editors/administrators refuse to delete it and advise McIver to edit and
correct it himself instead.
2006 May-June: McIver edits Wikipedia entry; Seckel threatens to sue if entry not restored to original. Seckel posts
libelous comments about McIver (e.g. that he fabricated Pearce Williams letter) in discussion pages. Many of his
comments are removed by adminstrators because of possible libel. One administrator notes he has deleted
sections from the talk page of his entry, and tells him not to. Seckel responds that he removed comments by
McIver because they were not only libelous, but extremely harmful to both myself and business. Administrator
then warns Seckel that some of his own comments about McIver could likewise be viewed as libelous or harmful.
2006 June 6/7: Seckel writes in Wikipedia discussion pages that he is already taking legal action against McIver for
libel. (He reportedly pays Hornberger & Brewer a $10,000 retainer at this time.)
2006 Jun 16:Suspicious e-mail from Paul MacCready (possibly Seckel pretending to be MacCready) to McIver
inviting McIver to e-mail him his complaints about Seckel. MacCready also phoned McIver, leaving strange voice
message asking him to contact him about Seckel.
2006 June 17: Pat Linse mentions to McIver in e-mail that Seckel has been using MacCready as a character witness
in his business deals, and that MacCready himself is honest and saintly, but too nave to detect Seckels
dishonesty. Also said many people at Caltech hated Seckel but were afraid or unable to criticize him because
MacCready and Gell-Mann, who defended him, had great influence over funding and grants.
2006 June 17: E-mail from Shermer to Seckel indicating that Shermer forwarded McIvers e-mails to him to
Seckel. Shermer writes This is also everything Pat showed me in the office.

2006 June: Seckel arranges to purchase archives of William Provine with Ron Crowley through their Scientific
Archives corporation. Crowley puts up money for purchase, but unbeknownst to Crowley, Seckel used money to
purchase Provine archives with Paul MacCready instead. Title passes to MacCready in Dec. 2006.
2006 June: Seckel is presenter at Moses Znaimers IdeaCity conference (Toronto), listed as Caltech Research
2006 July: Seckels lawyers threaten Eric Krieg for posting McIvers comments about Klass (and his involvement
with Seckel) on his website. These comments were posted no later than 2002 (probably 2000) and not edited since.
2006 July 8: Seckels IllusionWorks website, formerly on Caltech domain, says it is moving. (Caltech had
written to McIver that Seckel was no longer allowed to use Caltech web domains or lab addresses). Current website
server IP is (Ecommerce, Columbus OH).
2006 July-Aug: Stephen Kosslyn e-mails (3) to McIver, saying he has never heard of Seckel, nor has anyone in his
lab. Seckel was claiming online to be working with Kosslyn at his Harvard lab.
2006 Aug 10: Seckel gives lecture at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena).
2006 Aug: Seckel has entry on online dating site under name BrainyPassionat. Includes photo of
himself, 9/3/58 birthdate, and lists Malibu residence. Gives education as PhD/MD/Post-doctorate. Entry is
publicly viewable with Google search (since hidden or deleted).
2006 Sept: Robert Lang holds Origami Conference (4OSME), with evening reception at Seckel's fabulous
Balinese-themed Malibu house" with his collection of world-class artwork. In 2007 Seckels lawyers accuse
McIver of trying to infiltrate this reception to spy on him, stating that they attended it themselves.
2006 Oct 9: Franklin Spellman (Krown and Spellman Booksellers) files complaint against Seckel.
2006 Dec 7: Revised website profile for BrainyPassionat (Seckel); still claiming PhD, and boasting of
having porno movies filmed at his house and always getting friendly with the actresses.
2006 (2007?): Seckel publishes his last optical illusion book (not including reprints and foreign editions),
2007 Jan: Seckel offers to host Leonardo/International Soc. for the Arts, Sciences and Technology fundraiser at his
Malibu house; Leonardo reports that Paul MacCready is very good potential donor and best friends with Seckel.
Leonardo, founded by Frank Malina, is now run by Roger Malina, who married Christine Maxwell (trustee of Santa
Fe Institute and VP of Internet Society Board of Trustees). ;
2007 Jan/Feb: Seckel approaches Adam Gold about Ensign Consulting investment (two antique globes).
2007 Feb 26: PicturePlane (digital illustration) files complaint against Seckel.
2007 March: Seckel and Maxwell listed as host committee members of X-Prize Foundationss Radical Benefit for
Humanity (X-Prize) hosted by Larry Page at Google headquarters. Speakers include Arianna Huffington, Paul
MacCready, Burt Rutan, Craig Venter, Richard Branson, Robin Williams, Sergey Brin, Peter Diamandis, James
2007 April: Seckel tells Ensign Consulting (via Adam Gold) about incredible rare book find in a European chateau,
and a famous Isaac Newton portrait with Nathan Myhrvold as prospective buyer.
2007 April: Seckel attends TED. Photographed for TED portrait gallery with Isabel Maxwell.
2007 April: Seckel vacations in France with MacCready (this claim made on AeroVironment webpage dedicated to
MacCready, where Seckel describes MacCready as his best and dearest friend for twenty-six years).
2007 May 1: Seckel buys Newton portrait from Martayan Lan for $168,500. (Later sold for $320,000.)
2007 May: Seckel claims to have been instrumental in building up [Bill] Gates [sic] library (e-mail to Gold).
2007 May 11: Seckel sues McIver for libel in federal court (Calif. Central Dist.), specifically denying ever making
any false credential claims, and denying all reports of SCS financial wrongdoing (including false tax-exempt claims)
and all fraud allegations. As evidence he quotes from McIvers comments on Eric Kriegs website (which had been
posted several years prior, and not edited since).
2007 May 23: On TED website, Seckel claims to be conducting research at Stephen Kosslyns Harvard lab. Later
versions say simply he is now working with psychology researchers at Harvard. (Kosslyn has since moved to
2007 June: Franklin Spellman (of Krown and Spellman rare books) posts on Intl League of Antiquarian
Booksellers website that Seckel refuses to pay $60,000 court judgment he won against him.

2007 Jun-Aug: Ensign Consulting (via Gold) advances Seckel (and Isabel Maxwell) total of $651,910 to purchase
rare books and Newton portrait.
2007: Seckel acquires $25,000 worth of books from Pearce Williams library (reported in May 2012 e-mail to
2007: Peter Diamandis arranges zero gravity parabolic flight for Stephen Hawking; Seckel attends.
2007 Aug 8: Seckel sees critical JREF posts and threatens legal action (someone claiming to be Seckels lawyer-Seckel himself?telephones [sic] JREF with legal threat). Posts are removed.
2007 Aug: Seckel (BrainyPassionat) rejoins, but now says he lives in Asadabad, Afghanistan, not Malibu.
2007 Aug: Seckel and Maxwell host dinner and presentation by Eric Lloyd Wright for Leonardo/ISAST at their
Malibu house.
2007 Sept: E-mail correspondence between Seckel and Shermer regarding McIver lawsuit and Linses evidence
about Seckel. (Shermer is extremely anxious to avoid entanglement in lawsuit and does not want to supply
evidence; he is also upset and angry that Linse has become involved.)
2007: Seckel marries Isabel Maxwell, millionaire founder of high-tech and internet companies, and daughter of
billionaire media mogul (and disgraced fraudster) Robert Maxwell.
2007: Seckels book Optical Illusions:The Science of Visual Perception selected one of Top Ten Quick Picks for
Reluctant Young Adult Readers by American Library Association.
2008 Jan 8: Deposed witness in Seckel v. McIver describes Seckels stunning dishonesty, and (after being
questioned about by Seckels lawyer) mentions that Seckel liked women to urinate in his mouth. This
witness also said Seckel wrote to her that he had embezzled money from SCS. Seckel falsely accused McIver of
recruiting this witness to feign an intimate relationship with Seckel in order to spy on him.
2008 Jan 18: Al Seckel Wikipedia entry edited by (Malibu IP address), changing leukemia onset
from 1989 to 1990, and recovery from 1992 to 1994. (This shortly after Seckel provides evidence in lawsuit
discovery that onset was actually 1991.) Same IP address also deletes criticism from Robert Maxwell entry.
2008 Jan 31-Feb 1: Pat Linse deposition in Seckel v. McIver. Describes fraud and dishonesty she saw or heard about
as SCS volunteer, and later as Skeptics Society art director. Shneour (SCS President/Chairman, 1988-1989) submits
sworn declaration, claiming (non-existent) meetings and conversations with McIver, and that SCS was audited. Dan

Meier and Bart Hibbs also submit sworn declarations. All three attest to Seckels honesty, in similar style. Seckels
lawyer asks Linse about alleged meeting with Shermer and his wife in which he told Linse not to gossip, to which
she supposedly replied that she could release damaging information about him (Shermer); Linse denies saying
anything like this. McIvers lawyer objects to Seckels behavior during deposition:intimidating Linse and disrupting
the proceedings.
2008 Feb 4: Seckel files amended defamation complaint against McIver, dropping phony credential charges but
adding conspiracy and stalking charges. Still claims he was intimate acquaintance of, and won the respect of, S.J.
Gould, Francis Crick, Gell-Mann, Feynman, and MacCready.
2008 March: Seckel produces simultaneous declarations from Bart Hibbs, Elie Shneour, William Provine, and
Pearce Williams (and his wife), all similarly professing his honesty, and all ending with identical statements of truth
under penalty of perjury. Provine and Williams both say Seckel took their upper level courses from 1976 to 1980 as
well as other difficult Cornell courses; Shneour lies about meeting McIver.
2008 March: Seckel lists Eli Shneour, Daniel B. Meier, Ronald Crowley, Michael Shermer, Christof Koch, Irving
Biederman, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Richard Gregory, Patrick Cavanagh, Sheila Nirenberg, and Mark Setteducati
as potential witnesses for him in Seckel v. McIver.
2008 March: Seckel claims annual income in mid-six-figure range in lawsuit document.
2008 March: Seckel produces sworn document from CPA Kenneth Creal giving Seckels average monthly net
income from rare books business as $31,877 in 2007; average monthly gross profit from illusion business $19,611
for 2005-2006, and $2,763 for 2007 (alleging drop is due to McIvers defamation).
2008 March 6: Settlement in Seckel v. McIver libel lawsuit. Case is dismissed with prejudice March 25, 2008.
2008 May: Isabel Maxwell promises to use her personal funds to cover any losses to Ensign Consulting.
2008 June: In e-mail to Gold, Seckel claims his computer crashed, resulting in loss of all data and records and
requiring expensive repairs. Says he has no money. Says June 4 was first time Gold mentioned Ensign to him.
2008 July: Seckel offers Newton portrait to Michael Sharpe as collateral for $275,000 debt (for a manuscript he got
from Sharpe in June 2008).
2008 Aug 4: Seckel listed as Senior Advisor for Oceans at X-Prize Foundation (Chairman/CEO:Peter Diamandis;
Vice Chair:Robert Weiss; President:Tom Vander Ark; Treasurer:Gregg Maryniak; trustees include Larry Page, Ray
Kurzweil, Craig Venter, Dean Kamen, Arianna Huffington). Seckel later claims to be

former Senior Advisor and Executive Director, X-Prize Foundation. X-Prize website now (2013) lists Seckel as
Prize Development Advisor for Oceans, along with James Cameron.
2008 Aug: Seckel joins Huffington Post, and posts first of three blog entries. Bio says he stopped his Caltech
research in 2005 to focus on philanthropy, and that he spends much time mentoring gifted students.
2008 Aug: Kevin Break photographs Newton portrait, describing it as owned by Seckel and worth millions.
2008 Aug 14: In e-mail to Gold, Seckel claims I have no funds at allall savings lost
2008 Sept: Seckel claims book dealer Tiburcio stole (refused to return) several of the rare books.
2008 Sept 17: Seckel attends Saks Fifth Ave. La Prairie party (Beverly Hills) for marine biology collection with
Maxwell, and is photographed with Celine Cousteau by celebrity photographers.
2008 Nov 9: Seckel is speaker at Opportunity Green Conference at UCLA.
2008 Dec: Seckel pays Ensign $108,651, obtaining the money by pawning some of the rare books. No further
payment to Ensign is ever made.
2009 Jan: Website for Seckels levitating water device ( lists Ken Rosenthal
as his partner. Also musician Dave Stewart, Ron Crowley, Risto Sallo, Jeff Kunzelman. Website disappears soon
after. Video clip of Seckels Levitating Water Machine is distributed on YouTube sites by TubeMogul video
advertising service, with Blair (Blair Golson) demonstrating the device.
2009 Feb 6: Michael Sharpe (rare books) sues Seckel for payment of 15 thcentury manuscript.
2009 Feb 22: Facebook entry for GlobalSolver Foundation, with Seckel listed as founder. GSF described as
philanthropy with prizes and grant programs for ocean research and conservation. Co-founders:Isabel Maxwell and
Catherine Mohr. Admins: Seckel, Maxwell, Mohr, Michael Thatcher, Blair Golson. CEO:Caren Edwards. Other
Board members:Terry Temescu, Nancy Conrad, Ryan Wilson, Chris Adams.
2009 Feb 25: Corinne Brodbeck (owner of his Malibu house) files complaint against Seckel.

2009 March: Seckel at Kinnernet 2009 conference (Israel) for internet professionals.
2008 March: GlobalSolver Foundation listed as attending Blue Vision Summit (Washington DC)
2009 June: Seckel participates in IdeaCity conference (Toronto), listed as Caltech Research Fellow.
2009 June 19: Ron Crowley files complaint against Seckel in Orange County Superior Court for breach of contract
regarding book and archive purchases.
2009 July 30: Seckel gives presentation at Singularity University (NASA Ames Research Center; SU is sponsored
by NASA and Google, founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis.)
2009 Aug: Seckel at Asilomar Ideas Camp (Pacific Grove).
2009 Sept: Isabel Maxwell tweets about hosting Malibu dinner with Seckel for Jonathan Klein of CNN. Also
tweets about continuing problems with Als kidney stones. On her Twitter page she titles herself Technology
Pioneer of the World Economic Forum, and lists her website
2009 Sept: Seckel presents at Gadgetoff 2009 (New York).;
2009 Oct: Little Green Cocktail Parties lists Seckel as presenter: Physicist and optical illusionist presents his secret
new company (shhh!) and their novel approach to changing the world.
2009 Oct 29: Seckel hosts presents and hosts panel on information technology and education at internet
entrepreneur Jeff Pulvers 140-Characters conference; panelists include Arianna Huffington, Jonathan Klein (CNN
chief), and Caprice Young (Milken Institute).
2009 Nov 1: Seckel gives presentation to Center for Inquiry West (Los Angeles). Reported on by Carrie Snider
(Carrie Poppy).
2009 Nov 7: Ron Crowley dies in accident. His wife and son continue lawsuit against Seckel.
2009 Nov 13: Seckel gives Monaco Media Forum plenary session closing presentation (Monaco).

2009: Seckel visits billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Florida. This is shortly after Epsteins early release from jail for
felony solicitation of prostitution with underage girls. Epsteins consort, Ghislaine Maxwell, is sister of Seckels
wife Isabel Maxwell, and allegedly helped procure underage girls for Epstein (Seckel later denies any involvement).
2009: Seckel and Maxwell move to 2401 Rambla Pacifico, Malibu, after eviction.
2010: Sharpe seizes Newton portrait for debt repayment. IRS seizes $1,259 from IllusionWorks
2010 Jan 25: Seckel gives presentation at Digital Life Design (DLD) conference (Germany). Described in
conference bio as former teaching assistant to Carl Sagan, etc.;
2010 Feb 8: John Coulter files complaint against Seckel in Malibu.
2010 Mar 1: Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon (law firm) files complaint against Seckel and IllusionWorks.
(Michael M. Krieger of BB&M, an intellectual property expert, was IllusionWorks legal counsel.)
2010 Mar 24: Seckel gives talk at Gathering for Gardner (G4G9).
2010 April 9: Seckel gives lecture at UCLA School of Management.
2010 April 13: Seckel gives lecture at TEDxUSC. Presents fake shovel-selling pole dancer story as genuine. ;
2010 Apr-May: Seckel presents at Gucci Group Conference (marketing with social media) (Miami).
2010 May 14: Seckel presents at TiEcon (Silicon Valley), the worlds largest conference for entrepreneurs.;
2010 May 15: Seckel attends X-Prize Foundations Radical Benefit for Humanity at Lucasfilm (hosted by Larry
Page, Sergey Brin, Peter Diamandis, James Cameron).
May 2010: Seckel presents exhibit at Google I/O (web technology development conference).
2010: Sharpe sells Newton portrait to third party; Seckel gets $20,000.

2010: June Seckel claims portrait is still unsold, and that he can repay Ensign with profits from water venture.
2010 July 14: Seckel and Maxwell have White House meeting with Michael Froman (then White House Deputy
National Security Advisor for Economic Affairs, now U.S. Trade Representative).
2010 July 16: Seckel and Maxwell file complaint against Brodbeck.
2010 July 20: Seckel gives Singularity University plenary address, introduced as former teaching assistant to Carl
Sagan, founder and president of Super Smart Consulting Company (etc.).
2010 Aug 4: Website Al Seckels Homepage of Illusions, Perception & Cognitive Science at,
featuring picture of Seckel, Priscilla Heard, and Richard Gregory. Site copyrighted 2003-2006, and lists books by
Seckel up to 2006, plus four more as coming soon, including Your Mind's Eye:A Comprehensive Scientific
Examination of Visual and Sensory Illusions. Boston: The MIT Press, (in progress). These four never published.
Says he officially stopped affiliation with Koch and Shimojo labs at Caltech to pursue independent research and
research in conjunction with colleagues at Kosslyns Harvard lab.;
2010 Aug 9: IP (Malibu CA) deletes mention of Seckels marriage to Denice Lewis from Seckel
Wikipedia entry. Same IP address earlier that year deleted critical comments from Robert Maxwell Wikipedia entry
and added information to Jonathan Klein entry.
2010 Oct 23: Seckel and Maxwell host G4G10 event at their beautiful Malibu home. Features Robert Lang and
Chris Palmer origami displays and guest of honor Nolan Bushnell (Atari). Attendees include Jeff Scanlan, Catherine
Mohr, Stuart Anstis, Jonathan Delbruck, Solomon Golomb, Caprice Young, Irving Biederman, Brad Templeton,
Arana Greenberg, Brock Pierce, Michael Kaliski, Victoria Skye, Amy Sterling Casil, Eric Gradman, Brian Deagon,
Philip Lelyveld, Richard Bilow, Glenn Kaino, Michael Naimark, Sanford Climan
2010 Oct: Seckel interview is lead item on Jeffrey Epsteins science website. Self-promotional claims here are
similar to his original Wikipedia entry. Says he got funding for massive interactive website on thinking skills with
friend Caprice Young (Milken Institute). Claims Tommy Gold was his Cornell advisor, and at Caltech he was in
Feynmans very close inner circle with Michael Douglas and one other person, spending hours with him almost
every other day. Claims to be very close to M. Gell-Mann, and friends with Shelly Glashow, Lisa Randall, Sean
Carroll, and Jimmy Wales.

2010 Oct 26: Former Caltech science writer Robert Finn, on Twitter, recommends his friend Seckels interview
on Epsteins science website.
2010 Nov 6: Seckel arranges and hosts Mindshift conference with Epstein at Epsteins private island (US Virgin
Islands). Murray Gell-Mann, Christof Koch, Catherine Mohr, Gerald Sussman, Frances Arnold, Leonard Mlodinow,
Paul Kirkaas, Brook Pierce, Ron Reismann, Pablos Holman, Dan Dubos, Reichart Von Wolfshield attend.
2010 Nov: Epsteins interview of Seckel on his website edited; original mention of his not having graduated from
Cornell is deleted. Did you graduate from Cornell? No, I ended up not finishing the requirements, although I
did certainly more than enough course-work, but more to my own requirements and interests, rather than Cornells
2010 Dec 22: Living Aquatic Art Design files complaint against Seckel.
2011 Jan: Seckel is listed as one of the scientists and researchers funded by Epstein on Epsteins website (others
include Murray Gell-Mann, Lawrence Krauss, Marvin Nowak, Stephen Kosslyn, David Deutsch, Marvin Minsky,
Lee Smolin). Webpage deleted soon after.
2011 Jan 26-28: Seckel is on two panels (one with Nature editor-in-chief Philip Campbell) at World Economic
Forum (Switzerland).;;;;
2011 Feb 8: Blue World Alliance website online, but title page only, with no content. Elsewhere Seckel is listed as
founder and visionary of Blue World Alliance (Isabel Maxwell: President and co-founder). Mission: to solve
tractable ocean problems within 3-5 years.
2011 Feb 14: Oceans Aquarium files complaint against Seckel in Malibu.
2011 Feb 25: Settlement in Crowley v Seckel; case dismissed without prejudice. However, Seckel does not pay
sums agreed upon in this settlement.
2011 March 4: Seckel charged with fraud by Ensign Consulting, summary of charges posted online at Courthouse
News (; Isabel Maxwell named as co-defendant.
2011 March: Epstein interview of Seckel disappears from Epsteins science website. (Some months later, entire
content of website is removed.)

2011 March 10: Seckel claims car accident totals his Lexus.
2011 April 22: Seckel is speaker at Magic-Con (as is Martinez-Conde).
2011 May: GlobalSolver Foundation (c/o Isabel Maxwell) listed as tax-exempt nonprofit charitable
2011 May: Seckel and Maxwell leave 2401 Rambla Pacifico, Malibu.
2011 May 22: Seckel is speaker at LINT (Life in Technology) conference (Moscow). //
2011 June 8: Seckel responds to Ensigns fraud charges by filing for Chap. 7 bankruptcy (just as Ensign is preparing
to file motion for default judgment), with wife Maxwell listed as co-filer (spouse). Frank X. Ruggier,
attorney. Apparently fly in from France to file this bankruptcy petition (per Ensign v. Seckel).
2011 Aug: Seckel listed on All American Talent and Celebrity website as available speaker. Says he was cognitive
neuroscientist at Caltech and is now working with psychology researchers at Harvard.
2011 Sept 16: Court rejects bankruptcy claim, as Seckel and Maxwell never showed up for required meetings.
2011 Oct 3: Seckel and Maxwell file second bankruptcy claim. List residence as Residence de Europe [Hotel de
lEurope], Apt. 3, 13 Rue du Henri Dunant, Castillonnes, France; and mailing address as 95 Hiller Dr., Oakland
CA. Seckel claims $3,650 monthly income (royalties and consulting businesses); Maxwell claims 3,000 monthly
income. Claim assets of $12,762, all exempt; $6,255 average monthly expenses (joint) and $395 joint monthly net
income. $10,000 unsecured priority claim from IRS, for 2008 income taxes, and unsecured non-priority claims of
$635,987 from 25 creditors listed. $1,259 seized from IllusionWorks by IRS in 2011; IllusionWorks now valued at
$0, with Seckel sole shareholder. Maxwell listed as sole shareholder in Sea Basing Solutions holding company.
Claim they cannot afford rent or health insurance, and dont have a car.
2011 Oct 17: IP (from Pontours, France) posts on composer Ruth Schonthals Wikipedia entry that
Lady Gaga was her music student 2003-2005. Schonthal (d. 2006) is Seckels mother.
2011 Nov: Seckels lawyers send letters to McIver and his wife and daughter threatening jail for contempt of court
plus criminal and civil charges, citing McIvers e-mail to Mohr of link to Courthouse News article about Seckels
current court case.

2011 Nov 30: Seckel gives lecture on The Nature of Belief at Stony Brook Univ.s Simons Center for Geometry
and Physics. Introduced by Prof. Mike Douglas, who speaks about his time at Caltech with Seckel and Feynman.
2011 Dec 2: Ensign Consulting files complaint against Seckel (and Maxwell) to determine non-dischargeability of
debt in response to second bankruptcy filing. Seckels address: 95 Hiller Dr., Oakland CA. This is residence of
Christine Maxwell, Isabel Maxwells twin sister (house formerly owned by Roger Malina). Seckel and Maxwell
listed as representing themselves (pro se). Complaint alleges false pretenses, false representation, actual fraud, fraud
as fiduciary, embezzlement, larceny, and willful and malicious injury.
2011 Dec 16: In amended filing in bankruptcy claim Seckel says the $100,000 listed in original filing owed him by
Firefly Publishing is actually owed to IllusionWorks and is not property of and has no value to Debtors estate.
2011: LinkedIn profile for Seckel lists him as Founder, Chief Evangelist and Executive Director of GlobalSolver
Foundation; and former Senior Advisor and Executive Director of X-Prize Foundation (Ocean). Also as President of
IllusionWorks; Founder of EcoRocket; Board Member of Pete Conrad Foundation; and member of John Brockmans
Edge Group; the Milken Conference; Clinton Global Initiative; TED; METal (Media, Entertainment, Technology
Alliance); Skoll Forum (social entrepreneurship); Gatherings for Gardner.
2011: Seckels daughter Elizabeth founds non-profit Neurotherapy International at UCSD to promote
Ramachandranss mirror box therapy. Elizabeth Seckel is UCSD grad student and works in Ramachandrans lab.
Organization is funded in part by UCSD and associated with Clintons Global Initiatve.
2012 Jan 11: Seckel replies (late) to Ensign complaint, denies all accusations. Represented by David Lally of
Irvine. Claims Isabel Maxwell not involved with any of his transactions.
2012 Jan 28: Seckel posts photo of Newton portrait he bought on Feynman commemorative Facebook page,
claiming it is Knellers original 1689 painting. Shown holding portrait are Joan Feynman and Lisa Randall, who
Seckel says are very close friends.
2012 Jan 30: Seckel posts comments to Chris Mooneys Facebook posting. McIver also comments, but his post is
deleted within minutes. McIver posts additional comments (no mention of Seckel), and is apparently unfriended
by Mooney as a result.
2012 March 8: Epstein Foundation responds by e-mail saying they are still funding Seckel on a case by case
2012 May 2: Seckel finally responds to document requests for discovery in Ensign v. Seckel, over five weeks late.

2012 May 14: "Al Seckel, Elizabeth Seckel, UC San Diego" listed as presenters at Vision Sciences Society annual
meeting (Naples FL).
2012: Olivier Taillieu and Raffi Zerounian, plaintiff's lawyers in ongoing fraud lawsuit against Seckel, leave firm of
Zuber & Taillieu and form new firm, Taillieu Law.
2012 Oct: Isabel Maxwell gives Israel Venture Network presentation at Webit conference in Istanbul and is
interviewed by Ben Rooney of Wall Street Journal. (This despite claiming to court that she and Seckel cannot afford
any travel.)
2012 Sept 26: Nonprofit TerraMar Project launched at Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Conf. in Monterey
CA to protect high seas. Ghislaine Maxwell, founder and CEO. Supported by Sylvia Earle and Google Ocean.
2012 Dec: Eye Wonder Publishing, LLC, releases three books by Seckel, including one about the illusions of Jerry
Andrus with contributions from Barry Brilliant and Mark Setteducati: . Eye
Wonder Advisory Board: Seckel, Setteducati, Nolan Bushnell (Atari), Shawn Carlson (former Scientific American
columnist), Noah Falstein, Roger Malina. Authors: Seckel, Elizabeth Seckel (daughter), Setteducati, Adrian
Fisher, Ivan Moscovich, Kate Jones. Admins: Seckel, Isabel Maxwell, Todd Reis, Bea Krause, James Corrigan, Liz
2012 Dec 11: Seckel posts on Paul Kurtzs Facebook page about his first Eye Wonder book, urging readers to buy
and promote it ( Kurtz died Oct. 20, 2012.
2013: In updated profile on LinkedIn, Seckel describes himself as author, vision/perceptual scientist, speaker in
San Francisco area, now with Eye Wonder Publishing and Super Smart Consulting Network (President), and as
behind the science expert networker in philanthropy, as well as many other affiliations. Gives e-mail
2013 Jan: Seckel, via his attorney, announces he is not at all interested in attending mediation.
2013 Feb: Seckel hosts Jonty Hurwitz, and features him on Eye Wonder site.
2013 March 4: Seckel connects with Denice Lewis on LinkedIn.
2013 March: Via his attorney, Seckel claims he suffered heart attack from stress and has no medical insurance.
Says he cannot travel to US for requested deposition because of lack of funds
2013 April: Seckel and Maxwell partner with Insanitek (Grace Conyers, President) to sell Paleolithic stone tools
acquired in France (Flint Stone Tools:

2013 April 9: In statement filed with court Seckel claims he cannot afford travel to U.S. for court-scheduled
conference that month; demands video conference instead.
2013 April 17: Shawn Carlson travels to France for three-week stay at luxury chateau (de La Malartrie, in La Roque
Gageac). When he returns he announces he is now selling genuine Stone Age tools, having acquired large set in
France. Sells these through Flint Stone Tools (, which is owned and operated by
Seckel and Maxwell. Says these were acquired from a defunct museum and old private collections.
2013 June 4: Conference and deposition scheduled, but Seckel does not appear.
2013 June 24: Ensign files motion to compel (compel to attend hearing and deposition and to produce acceptable
responses to discovery questions). Plaintiffs lawyer says Seckels replies to discovery requests were totally
unacceptable and obfuscatory, and should be stricken.
2013 July 31: Scheduled hearing and Seckels deposition for Ensign v. Seckel.
2013 Aug. 6: Judge grants most of motion to compel, requiring Seckel and Maxwell to produce requested
documents by Aug. 20 and appear for depositions by Sept. 15.
2013 Aug. 21: Seckels deposition tentatively set for first week of Sept.
2013 Oct 7: David Lally, Seckels lawyer, files motion in Ensign v. Seckel to withdraw from case because Seckel
has failed to pay him promised attorney fees. Lally adds he may take legal action against Defendants to recover
money owed.