The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter July 2012 

     Happy 4th of July and Summer!


Celebrating 20 years  

 of Serving People! 

       1992 - 2012


Mr. Shulman's Birthday

June 27th!



Quotes of the Month


"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." --William Faulkner


"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." --Abraham Lincoln.


"Freedom's just another word for noting left to lose." -- Janis Joplin


"The funny thing about freedom is how easy it is to lose & how difficult it is to find." --Anonymous


"Freedom, ultimately, is a state of mind rather than a state of circumstance." --Victor Frankel



Stats of the Month 


-It takes companies on average of 24 months to discover expense account fraud. Certified Fraud Examiners


-45% of U.S. workers (or 62 million Americans) observed misconduct in the workplace in 2011; only 65% of those observing misconduct reported it. 2012. Ethics Resource Center


-Bank robberies in the U.S. account for $43 million in stolen funds annually; cyberthieves steal data worth $114 billion per year. FBI and Symantec Corp.


-Fraud and other white-collar crime is on the rise: more than 1/8 million complaints were reported in 2011, a 19% increase over 2010. The top fraud reported once again was Identify Theft.



Person of the Month 


James Hillman 


The noted Jungian analyst, educator, author and men's movement progenitor died late last year at age 88. Co-author (with Michael Ventura) of the seminal 1990's book We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and The World is Getting Worse, 


Hillman was  a controversial figure and often lamented our western culture's focus on youth, selfishness, and a focus on self-improvement over "world improvement."  


Hillman was also a fan of Joseph Campbell and the power of using myth, dreams and archetypal analysis to take our individual and collective lives to a deeper level. 


Hillman, along with Robert Bly, Michael Meade, and others in the men's movement of the 1990's prodded men to own their shadow sides and gather with their fellow brothers to explore and use their grief and rage for the betterment of the world.


I read several of Mr. Hillman's books and found him fascinating and passionate. He will be missed.



Books of the Month:


The Honest Truth about Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone Especially Ourselves. (Amazon, 2012 by Dan Ariety)


I just finished reading this book which is the basis for one of our feature articles this month. Similar to the Freakanomics books, it is chock-filled with interested stories about human nature and motivation that will delight and surprise you!




Film of the Month:


"Hysteria" Directed by Tanya Wexler. (2012)


"Hysteria" is a charming and funny based-on-true event story of the invention of the "vibrator" in late 1800's England. Starring Maggie Gylenhaal, Hugh Dancy, and Jonathan Pryce, this is one part love story, one part history, and one part social commentary on the sexes. 


While rated R for adult content, there is little nudity or graphic sex. As a matter of fact, my wife and I saw this film with my friend, his 25-year old daughter, his 90-year old mother, and a few of his mother's younger 80-year old girlfriends.


The story deals with the increasingly common complaints of women of all backgrounds who suffered from everything from various physical complaints to "bad" moods. Routinely, in England as well as around the globe, women were diagnosed with a catch-all malady of "hysteria" which, in many cases, resulted in the unnecessary removal of women's uteruses. 


An English doctor discovers a novel treatment: using his hand to manipulate his female patients' privates to bring them to orgasm. The only problems are that he and his newly hired apprentice have neither enough hands nor enough time and energy to service the boom of patients.


Accidentally, a fellow colleague invents the vibrator and, the rest, as they say, is history.


See our updated websites at:


Mr. Shulman's books now in e-books through


Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery


Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic


Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping


Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Stealing, Spending & Hoarding 




If you're a therapist and wish to be trained & certified in the assessment/treatment of compulsive theft, spending and/or hoarding, PLEASE CONTACT THE SHULMAN CENTER NOW! See  our website:


The Shulman Center on the move and in the news!!!


May 25--Mr. Shulman appeared on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show to discuss shoplifting addiction (show taped 2/5/12). See: 


May/June--Mr. Shulman's article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding runs in Addiction Professional Magazine. See


May 31--Mr. Shulman co-presented on hoarding disorder at metro-Detroit older adult residential center. 


June--Mr. Shulman's article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding ran  in Sante Center's Summer Newsletter. See 


June 19--Mr. Shulman presented on hoarding disorder from 7-9pm at The Birmingham Community House. Call to register.


July 10--Mr. Shulman to present a 2-hour seminar on men's issues in therapy at Birmingham (Michigan) Community House.  


2011 Annual Retail Theft Survey Results

Over 1 Million Shoplifters & Dishonest Employees Apprehended in 2011 by Just 24 Major Retailers According to the 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International


Wesley Chapel, FL - Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole over $6.0 billion in 2011 from just 24 major retailers, according to the 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. These 24 surveyed retailers apprehended over 1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2011 and recovered more than $161 million from these thieves.


"In 2011, both the apprehensions and recovery dollars from shoplifters and dishonest employees rose; up 5.8% and 11.4% respectively," said Mark R. Doyle, President of Jack L. Hayes International. "While shoplifter apprehensions rose 6.0% and dishonest employee apprehensions rose 3.3%, the recovery dollars from these apprehensions was up 13.9% for shoplifters and 5.6% for dishonest employees. It should also be noted that shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars have increased 8 of the past 10 years!"  Mr. Doyle added, "The seriousness of retail theft is a much greater problem than many people realize.  These theft losses are driving retail prices higher and putting some stores out of business."


Highlights from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:

  • Participants: 24 large retail companies with 18,518 stores and over $589 billion in retail sales (2011).
  • Apprehensions: 1,076,508 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2011, up 5.8% from 2010.
  • Recovery Dollars: Over $161 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2011, up 11.4% from 2010.
  • Shoplifter Apprehensions: 1,005,003 shoplifters were apprehended in 2011, up 6.0% from 2010.
  • Shoplifter Recovery Dollars: Over $113 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2011, an increase of 13.9% from 2010. An additional $37 million was recovered in 2011 from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, up a considerable 13.5% from 2010.
  • Employee Apprehensions: 71,505 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2011, up 3.3% from 2010.
  • Employee Recovery Dollars: Over $47 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2011, up 5.6% from 2010.
  • On a per company basis, one in every 36 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2011. (Based on over 2.8 million employees.)
  • On a per case average, dishonest employees steal 5.9 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($665.77 vs $113.30).

Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. has been in the Loss Prevention/Shrinkage Control consulting business for over 30 years, and is recognized on an international level as the foremost loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm in the world. See

Highlights From The "The (Honest) Truth Abut Dishonesty"
A New Book by Dan Ariely


Chapter 1: Testing the Simple Model of Rational Crime


Mr. Ariely, attempts to debunk the conventional theory about why most people commit dishonesty--i.e. that people typically engage in a pure cost-benefit analysis in which we weight the perceived likelihood of some reward and the value of that reward against the perceived likelihood of getting caught and the consequences thereof. Mr. Ariely describes his own research and experiments into human behavior and suggest that the flaw in the conventional theory stated leaves out a person's morals/values about right and wrong and whether his decision to be honest or not can be influence by morals/value. Further, he cites that the "pure logic" cost-benefit analysis doesn't take in account the inherent irrational aspects of humans and human thinking which is akin to the terrible decisions people make while addicted.


Chapter 2: Fun with the Fudge Factor


Mr. Ariely, describes the power of rationalization for our dishonesties, including why we speed, why we might cheat or lie on our taxes, and other crimes and misdemeanors. As we might expect, these rationalizations include: it won't really hurt anyone, everybody does it., I'm entitled due to (fill in the blank), and a pervasive feeling that it's okay to cheat "a little." Mr. Ariely suggests that reminding people of their morals/values is more effective in reducing dishonesty than increasing oversight or penalties for getting caught. He notes an experiment where people filled out various expense forms and found a marked increase in honesty when people signed at the top of the page that what they were about to fill out was honest and true rather than singing at the bottom of the page (when the form, and any errors or lies already had been inscribed). He offered this suggestion to the IRS for their tax forms to reduce cheating. The IRS said "no thanks."


Chapter 2B: Golf


The popularity of golf, known as "the gentleman's sport, is also chock full of opportunities and examples of cheating. Ariely covers everything from the "mulligan" (named after a Scottish guy named Mulligan who was (in)famous for his "do-overs"), to keeping score properly, moving the ball, etc. He notes one experiment where golfers made ethical distinctions between moving a ball with one's hand, foot of golf club; it appeared most felt that moving a ball with your hand was the least ethical, followed by moving with your foot, and then your club. Ariely surmised this shows how we don't view honesty as "black and white" or cut-and-dry and the further we get from an action physically or emotionally (even if we're involved) the less bad we feel about it.


Chapter 3: Blinded by Our Own Motivations


In this chapter, Ariely demonstrates through experiments and real-life examples how susceptible many or most of us are to cheating, lying, or engaging in dishonest acts when, obvious as it sounds, there is some benefit to us--be it financial, relational, career, reputation, etc. How many times have we heard about people in high places being fired for lying on or embellishing their resumes? How about salespeople ("everything is sales," it's been said) who lie or lie by omission to make that sale for our own interest or push or recommend a product or service that may be unnecessary or even dangerous?


Chapter 4: Why We Blow if When We're Tired


This was a fascinating chapter that suggests when we're not feeling well or are fatigued that there's a natural part of our brain that not only craves comfort food or unhealthy food but is prone toward immediate gratification in general and poor decision making--including lying, cheating and stealing. No wonder the 12 Step Programs are fond of the acronym "H.A.L.T." to keep our self-care good so we don't too (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).


Chapter 5: Why Wearing Fakes Makes Us Cheat More


This chapter outlined some fascinating experiments with people who wear faux or "knock-off" designer clothes or accessories. Acknowledging the power of branding and how many people do feel better when wearing higher or designer brands. Questioning the integrity of those who would buy knock-offs to begin with and their rationalizations ("it doesn't hurt anyone" and "the designer brands are outrageously high"), Ariely's experiments reveal that those who wear knock-offs are likely to behave more dishonestly when wearing those knock-offs or after having just acquired them. He also notes the dilemma of illegal downloading of movies and music and file-sharing.


Chapter 6: Cheating Ourselves


In this chapter, Ariely explores resume embellishment, steroid taking, impersonating others, looking at answers to tests, and taking various short-cuts--like the time he and a friend used a wheelchair at the airport to circumvent long lines. Ariely's theory: given the right circumstances and pressures and our increasing competition to get ahead, we are vulnerable to dishonest acts and fooling ourselves into feeling or appearing better than we really are. 


Chapter 7: Creativity and Dishonesty: We Are All Storytellers


This was a really interesting chapter in which Ariely asserts through studies and experiments which show that, generally speaking, the more creative a person is, the more correspondingly dishonest he may be. Part of this has to do with the nature of the creative brain--always thinking outside the box, rules and laws often are re-thought. My Dad, a very creative man (he was a child-prodigy pianist, writer, and trial lawyer) used to have a favorite saying: "if there's a wall, there's a way around it." Sometimes this provided good role-modeling but sometimes not. Ariely even quotes Picasso as having stated: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." He discusses how creativity can have both a good side and a dark side. When I was stealing, I was a somewhat creative thief. Now, I turn my creative side to my work: counseling clients, writing books and articles, figuring out different ways to help others and run my own business. 


Chapter 8: Cheating as Infection: How we catch Dishonesty germ


This chapter delves into how groupthink and peer pressure can influence even the most moral and ethical to bend their values. Particularly in this climate where we have seen so much in the news about corrupt politicians, corporations, cheating in schools (by teachers as well as students), it's easy to feel like dishonesty is a virus that is spreading like wildfire. Ariely also notes the power of the "one bad apple" in influencing the opinion of a group and, sometimes, the behavior of the group. I know from working with many theft addicts that when they are exposed to dishonest parents, friends, institutions, employers and co-workers, that it becomes very hard for most to resist giving in to temptation. 


Chapter 9: Collaborative Cheating


Building upon the previous chapter, Ariely suggests that if people find a partner in crime (so to speak) that, more than just witnessing cheating from afar, people in greater numbers succumb to "conspiracy." This may be why there are laws against conspiracy itself because it not only leads to more follow-through criminal behavior but the frequency and degree of the behavior likely escalates. Think about Bonnie and Clyde or the mafia or Ocean's Eleven.


Chapter 9: A Semioptimistic Ending: Why We Don't Cheat Enough


In a tongue-in-cheek tone, Mr. Ariely wraps up his book with a reminder that we're not as honest as we think but, on the other hand, he wonders: how come we don't lie, cheat and steal more than we could? Most of us are pretty honest and pass up that unlocked bike, return that lost wallet, earn a hard and (relatively) honest day's income, and remain (somewhat) faithful to our partners. Most of us are different, Ariely asserts, from the "real criminals." He talks about dishonesty as a habit that can grow over time without our recognizing it. And he talks about the need to constantly revisit and reset our moral compass, to exercise our honesty as if it were a muscle that can atrophy in time if we don't.


Americans More Embarrassed To Be Caught Shoplifting Than Cheating On Their Taxes

3/29/12 Forbes Magazine by Janet Novack


If he cries on a public service ad, will you pay your taxes? Uncle Sam recruiting poster. 


A new survey suggests Americans consider cheating on their taxes more socially acceptable than shoplifting, drunk driving or even throwing trash out the window of a moving car.


The Shelton Group, a green marketing firm based in Knoxville, Tenn. had 1,105 Americans complete on-line surveys in an effort to find out what kind of messages will make them adopt more environmentally friendly and energy efficient products and behaviors. Towards the end of the survey, the respondents were asked directly: "How embarrassed would you be if someone you knew found out that you......" and then read a list of presumably undesirable behaviors, in randomized order. 


The highest percentage of respondents-73%-said they'd be "very embarrassed"  if someone they admired found out they were shoplifting, followed by 65% for driving under the influence, 59% for throwing trash out the window of a moving car, and 57% for cheating on their taxes. Another 14% said they'd be "somewhat" embarrassed by shoplifting (for a total of 87% at all embarrassed); another 17% said they'd be somewhat embarrassed by DUI (for a total of 82%) and another 21% said they'd be somewhat embarrassed by littering or cheating on their taxes (for a total of 80% and 78%, respectively.)


In the IRS Oversight Board's 2011 Taxpayer Attitude Survey, 84% of the public said it is "not at all acceptable to cheat on one's income taxes.'' Still, in that survey, only 66% of  the participants said they "completely agree" that "everyone who cheats on their taxes should be held accountable"  and only 72% completely agreed that "it's every American's civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes"-suggesting, as the Shelton study does, that perhaps disapproval of tax evasion is not as strong as, say, disapproval of stealing from private businesses.Suzanne Shelton, the head of the firm that commissioned the green survey (it was conducted online by Survey Sampling International), said she wasn't surprised that shoplifting and drunk driving caused more embarrassment than tax cheating. 


"Americans probably think screwing the IRS out of a couple hundred is not so bad,'' she said.  While her firm has been conducting green surveys for nine years, it has never asked the embarrassment question directly before and Shelton said she was surprised by a few of the other results-the high embarrassment about littering and relatively low embarrassment about smoking. Only 39% said they would be "very embarrassed" if someone they admired found out they were smoking. "I would be embarrassed if someone caught me smoking, but I'm a former smoker,'' she said. Wait a minute, haven't both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) been known to enjoy a smoke? "I've never seen either of them do it in public. They hide it, so they're clearly embarrassed by it,'' Shelton answers.



Man Must Pay Back $1.5M Withdrawn From Casino ATMs June 28, 2012 8:39 AM


DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - It's payback time for a Michigan man who authorities say got more than $1.5 million from ATMs at three Detroit casinos in 2009 because of a computer glitch.


On Wednesday, a federal judge in Detroit sentenced Ronald Page, a 56-year-old retired Flint autoworker, to 15 months in prison and ordered him to repay Bank of America from his $2,000-a-month pension.


Page reportedly burned through the money playing blackjack over a two-week span.


Page said he's "completely apologetic." He earlier pleaded guilty to theft of bank funds.ay Page discovered he could use his debit card to withdraw unlimited amounts, but the bank caught on. They say Page withdrew amounts ranging from about $52,000 to $515,000 over 14 days.


By the time Bank of America realized what was going on, authorities say Page had withdrawn more than $1,543,100.


Defense lawyer Richard Morgan Jr. wrote in court documents Page  is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who got hooked on gambling. Morgan said the incident was "like giving a junkie crack cocaine."


Morgan said Page gambled for a 24- to 36-hour stretch without sleep, The Detroit Free Press reported. After resting, Page allegedly returned to the table and continued to gamble.


Although Page won significant amounts during the 14-day blitz, Morgan said his client eventually lost all of it to the casinos.


This is a case where something for nothing turns into nothing but jail!--Ed


Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2012 Events Calendar 


May 25--Mr. Shulman appeared on Anderson Cooper's daytime talkshow to discuss shoplifting addiction (show taped 2/5/12). See  


May 31--Mr. Shulman co-presented on hoarding disorder at metro-Detroit older adult residential center.


June--Mr. Shulman's article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding  runs in Addiction Professional Magazine.


June--Mr. Shulman is working with ABC's "Nightline" on a segment on shoplifting addiction.


June 19--Mr. Shulman presented a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder at Birmingham (Michigan) Community House. 


July 10--Mr. Shulman to present a 2-hour seminar on men's issues in therapy at Birmingham (Michigan) Community House. 


August 22-24--Mr. Shulman will be attending and presenting on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the Annual Addictions Studies Institute in Columbus, OH.


August (prospective) Mr. Shulman to present on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Annual Cape Cod Institute summer conference in Cape Cod, MA.


Summer--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Sante Center's magazine on on their website. See


September--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Counselor Magazine.


September 12--C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) metro-Detroit celebrates 20-year anniversary.


September 28--October 2--Mr. Shulman will be attending and presenting on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in Orlando, Florida.


October 25--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Royal Oak, Michigan.


November 1--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 


November 14-16 (prospective) Mr. Shulman to present on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Association for Financial Planning, Counseling and Education's Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO.


Late 2012--Mr. Shulman has penned the "Foreword" for upcoming book Shoplifters: Are They Out of Control? by California forensic psychologist John C. Brady.


Ongoing ...


The Baton Rouge, Louisiana court system has a court-ordered, facilitated educational program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from Mr. Shulman's book Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery.


Mr. Shulman created a 1-hour employee theft online course with 360 Training. Learn why people steal from their jobs, how to deter it, prevent it, and what to do when confronted with it. Enroll at:  


Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive shopping and spending called Bought Out and $pent! based on his book and Power Point presentation. The course, CEs offered, through The American Psychotherapy Association. at:




Tom Lietaert of Sacred Odyssey and the Intimacy with Money programs offers individual money coaching as well as various group workshops on money. Check out Tom's two websites at: /




Gary Zeune of Columbus, Ohio has been a friend and colleague of mine for nearly two years. He has been a consultant and teacher on fraud discovery and prevention for nearly 30 years. He is interviewed in my book Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding. I recently saw Gary in action recently when he presented an all-day on fraud to metro-Detroit accountants. 



Eve Cantor, a 30-something professional organizer in the New York City area offers in-person and Skype coaching for women in need of assistance with their wardrobe and clutter. See Eve's wonderful website and video at




Kevin Colburn, of Vancouver, British Columbia has been in the loss prevention field for many years and recently was trained in Israel to work with layered voice analysis technology. LVA allows interviewers (and interrogators) to accurately determine a subject's truthfulness or evasiveness. See: 


THE MONEY SHIFT (Book, Board Game and Seminars)


Tom Palka, CFP, a metro-Detroit area financial planner, and I recently met. He's worked in finances for over 25 years and has written a book, developed a board game, and offers seminars on transforming our thinking about money and wealth. See his website at


POSITIVE RETURNS Court-orderd Programs for Shoplifting


Terry Richardson, LMSW, of Joplin, Missouri recently contacted me and we had a long-talk by telephone. Terry worked in the correctional system before returning to school to obtain his MSW. In 2003 he was approached and soon founded the first court-ordered program for theft offenders in Joplin, MO. It seems this small town was experiencing a steady rise in shoplifting and Terry developed a program that has made a real dent in shoplifting and has helped countless shoplifters of all backgrounds. His program is available for sale. See:




Mr. Shulman's books

available for purchase now!




Something for Nothing: 

Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery (2003) 

See also:






Biting The Hand That Feeds 

Biting The Hand That Feeds:

The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions (2005) 

See also:





Bought Out and Spent 

Bought Out and $pent! 

Recovery from Compulsive $hopping/$pending (2008) 

See also:






Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: 

Compulsive Stealing, Spending and Hoarding (2011) 

See also:




Contact The Shulman Center:


Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC  


The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding


P.O. Box 250008 

Franklin, Michigan 48025




Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!



Our Web Sites:

The Shulman Center

Shoplifting Addictions

Kleptomaniacs Anonymous

Something For Nothing

Shopping Addictions 

Shopaholics Anonymous

Bought Out and Spent 

Employee Theft Solutions

Biting the Hand that Feeds

Hoarding Therapy

Hoarders Anonymous


Books by
Terrence Shulman: 


Something for Nothing:Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery

Biting The Hand That Feeds:The Employee Theft Epidemic

Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending

Cluttered Lives Empty Souls: Compulsive StealingSpending and Hoarding


All book are available for $25.00 each (includes shipping and handling).