By JENNY YUEN, SUN MEDIA
A disgraced Toronto doctor who had his medical licence
stripped for repeated sexual misconduct 16 years ago has hung out a new
shingle: Sex guru.
"Dimitri the Lover" insists he can teach men who attend
his Toronto Real Men meetings and workshops how to make women "worship" them.
Billing himself as the "World's Greatest Lover and
Seducer," Dimitri boasts that even average Joes can learn to woo and "expertly
pleasure" the opposite sex.
Toronto is home to several "seduction lairs" and there
are dozens in major cities across the country.
Self-described gurus and pickup artists such as Dimitri
have been around at least since the '70s, notably when Eric Weber's book How to
Pick Up Girls became a bestseller and a hit movie.
In the late '90s Clifford Lee, a consummate networker,
began his Cliff's List Seduction Letter as a central voice of the community.
And most recently the se -duction community gained some
publicity with The Game, a book written by journalist and pickup artist Neil
Strauss (known in "the community" as "Style").
The Internet has allowed these women hunters to trade
techniques, organize meetings, arrange to cruise for chicks and popularize
their own jargon -- "negging," "sarging," "peacocking" and "wingman" to
describe strategies, techniques and tactics intended to help them get wo -men
Frank B. Kermit, founder of the Toronto Seduction Lair --
one of the first groups in the city -- said dating gurus exist because men are
too scared to approach women, especially in Toronto, which is known as a frigid
Kermit, 34, who recently left the Lair to become a
relationship guru, said it was frustrating being lumped into the same category
"One of the good ways to find out if they're legitimate
or not is to find out what their story of pain is," he said. "This industry
attracts the worst type of people."
Although each guru's philosophy differs, they're all
cashing in. Through seminars, boot camps, membership fees and merchandise,
seduction gurus can make between $30,000 and $1 million a year.
And there appears to be no shortage of men willing to pay
for the advice.
Upstairs at Rancho Relaxo, a Mexican restaurant and
lounge on College Street, Dimitri in a bold pinstripe sport jacket and black
jeans has a group of 15 guys sitting in a circle, talking about techniques and
schemes to meet and sweet-talk a woman into bed.
"I'm not sure what my problem is," asks one guy. "I can't
just go up to a woman and talk to her."
According to Dimit -ri, Canadian men suppress their
natural sexuality because the media tells them that being assertive of "macho"
is equal to being abusive.
He advocates a more "European" approach to picking up
Dimitri tells the guy that compliments are his best bet
if he wants to land her in bed.
He's suddenly authoritative -- the way cops interrogate
"Smile and go up to a woman and tell her she's beautiful,
make up some shit," he says. "I swear, when they start flipping their hair, you
know you can hit on them."
Apparently grocery stores are a haven for loose and
frustrated women, and babes in the city are a lot more uptight than suburban
His theme this month is cruising for women in the 905.
"Downtown Oakville is full of chicks," Dimitri says. Some
of the guys have begun taking notes.
"Lots of nice cougars," he continues. "But the best is
Oshawa Centre ... a lot of them work in the GM plant and they make really good
money. They're not looking for sugar daddies."
'BEAUTIFUL AND EASY'
"In Newmarket, Upper Canada Mall," he says. "Beautiful
and easy. Problem with 416 area code ... they all think we're Paul Bernardo
until proven otherwise."
The most promiscuous women, according to Dimitri's
website, are saleswomen (especially real estate agents), nannies,
schoolteachers (especially elementary and early childhood education), nurses
and lawyers (criminal and civil litigation in particular).
Dimitri charges $40 to attend one of his weekday
meetings, $269 for an annual membership to his "lair" and as much as $2,997
plus GST for a two-day workshop advertised on his website, dimitrithelover.com,
where "Dimitri The Lover creates a powerful identity for you that women will
In an e-mail to the Sun, Dimitri insists he's not in the
guru business for the money.
"Men pay me thousands of dollars just to spend a day
watching me seduce women, and I make loads of money in my full-time business,
so money's not an issue.
Dimitri is associated with Trillium Mortgage Services
Inc., a company in a strip mall on Consumers Rd., near the 401 and Victoria
He also founded the Second Opinion Medical-Legal
Consultants Group Inc. in 1994, which says it provides forensic medical
investigations into malpractice, sexual harassment and wrongfully accused
"People do not understand the benign, positive, healthy
nature of our meetings," he insisted to the Sun.
"I adore women," said his e-mail, in which he referred to
his meetings as a "community Service" where he helps shy and sexually inhibited
men meet and have relations with women.
His website suggests otherwise.
"Learn the secret physical, verbal and psychological
techniques used by Dimitri the Lover to seduce, pleasure and sexually enslave
women," says one of his program outlines.
Or this: "A man's 'basic operating system' is composed of
'rapist' and 'murderer' programs which have been hard-wired into his brain.
"If there were no laws within society, the man would be
constantly jumping women on the street."
DESCRIBED AS 'SLUTS'
Women are repeatedly referred to as "sluts" and his
website is filled with immature and juvenile sexual references and animations.
"I have no issues with co-operating in the writing of an
article in that the Toronto Real Men have nothing to hide," Dimitri wrote in
his e-mail to the Sun.
"Although I am a perverted sex pig, I am the most
non-misogynistic man you will ever meet.
"Oh, and make sure to mention in your article that I am
strikingly handsome, more charming than Barack Obama, exude a sensual aura, ...
oh, and don't forget humble!"
University of Toronto feminist philosophy professor Amy
Mullin said it's dangerous and unhealthy to buy into Dimitri's depiction of
women as sluts.
"I thought it interesting that he claimed to be sexist
but non-misogynist because he 'loved stimulating women's bodies and minds,' "
Mullin said. "You need to think of women as more than instruments to your own
pleasure, which he tended to reduce them to."
She also said that because women's pleasures differ from
men's, "it strikes me as highly unlikely that someone following his methods and
goal of "penetrating 10 new female orifices a month would be a good lover."
In his ads, Dimitri suggests his pickup and seduction
techniques are medically sound.
"Combining his medical training with years of field
research on the streets of Toronto, he has figured out a way in which to
identify women who crave (sex)," states one of his blurbs.
"Dimitri The Lover is the ONLY pickup guru in the world
WITH PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS TO BACK HIM UP who has conducted IN-FIELD MEDICAL
RESEARCH ON SEDUCTION!!!" he proclaims in another.
However, his troubled past and medical credentials are
hardly worth bragging about.
Dimitri the Lover's real name is James N. Sears.
Sears' childhood was hardly idyllic. One parent was
abusive and alcoholic and the other struggled with mental illness, according to
court transcripts and disciplinary records from Ontario's College of Physicians
Sears, as a child, was "subject to compulsive ritualistic
behaviour and had developed an attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity,"
states a 1992 college record on sexual impropriety charges against him.
Sears was also exceptionally bright. He claims a 170 IQ.
He entered medical school at the University of Toronto in
1983. Within two years, at age 22, he came under scrutiny from psychiatrists
for erratic behaviour.
By 1986, Sears was in the Canadian Armed Forces and while
still a third-year medical student was evaluated by a military psychiatrist who
suggested there was "something seriously wrong" with Sears.
He was shunned by fellow students because of his
behaviour. A female officer complained he repeatedly tried to enter her room,
and military police found "a can of Mace, several knives, two empty smoke
grenade canisters and an electronic stun gun" in his room following an
As a result of his antics, Sears had to repeat a year of
medical school. Despite documented reservations, he graduated from U of T as a
doctor in 1988.
During his internship at Doctors Hospital in Toronto,
Sears skipped duties, drank while on call, indulged in "inappropriate self-use
of prescription drugs," according to the College hearing record.
Sears was judged "immature" in a subsequent psychiatric
assessment and it was noted he displayed "inappropriate behaviour towards
female staff members," and was viewed by peers as "un -trustworthy, cynical and
He underwent psychotherapy and was admitted to Ottawa's
National Defence Medical Centre in 1990 for evaluation and treatment.
There, "record was made of numerous, random and obsessive
telephone calls to women during which he would sometimes masturbate," and
evidence suggested "prescribable substance abuse," according to the College
However, after a conclusion of "no clear evidence of
major psychiatric illness," Sears was cleared to return to medical practice.
He apparently found military medicine boring, "which led
to compulsive masturbation up to six times per day, which was accomplished by
going off to the washroom in between patients," the records state.
Psychotherapy and pharmaceutical treatment was
recommended, and Sears was transferred to Toronto to receive treatment at the
Clarke Institute, but no grounds were seen to prevent him from continuing to
work as a doctor.
James Sears' medical career began to fall apart in 1991,
when the College of Physicians and Surgeons suspended his licence following
complaints from female patients.
By late 1992, Sears would plead guilty to two counts of
sexual assault and he would be stripped of his medical licence for sexual
In court documents from his sentencing, Justice Hugh
Locke stated Sears made unwanted "verbal sexual overtures" toward his patients
and "sexually assaulted them by attempting to kiss and to embrace them," while
on house calls.
"That unacceptable type of conduct was obviously
terrifying to his victims," Justice Locke wrote.
By 1994, Sears was unemployed and his marriage had fallen
However, he appealed the sexual assault charges against
him, defended himself and was acquitted, subsequently stating his lawyers had
"pressured" him into pleading guilty at the initial hearing.
Sears refused a request by the Sun to discuss the charges
or allegations against him, saying they were a matter of public record.
Back at the lair meeting, Dimitri is bragging about his
"I drove up to Newmarket to get laid in a snowstorm
because she was hot," Dimitri tells the guys.
"Took 45 minutes to get there, half hour to warm her up,
an hour to service her, half hour so she didn't feel like she was used."
The guys in the room all laugh.
He calls himself a doctor. But James Sears is no doctor. He
was stripped of his license to practice more than a decade ago after being
criminally convicted of sexually assaulting female patients.
Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons took away his
license and struck him from the register, but they've done nothing to stop
Sears from calling himself "doctor" and offering medical services since.
After he lost his medical license in 1994, "Dr." James Sears
hung out a shingle in a strip mall in Toronto. He started a company called The
Second Opinion and marketed himself as North America's top medical
His website offers such services as medical background
checks for companies wanting to verify the health history of job candidates, or
assess the claims of current employees.
Sears says he looks at records that might reveal undisclosed
medical conditions that could result in numerous sick days and low productivity
down the road.
He boasts that his service will be as "commonplace as
checking references on a resume" in the future. And he dismisses concerns that
he is misleading clients by calling himself a "doctor."
"Anyone can review a medical file and give an opinion, says
Sears. "Lack of a license is a non-issue. I don't tell them unless they ask,
and most people don't ask."
Sears boasts that his clients include the Toronto Transit
Commission and Canadian Tire. The TTC confirms that it used Sears on a few
occasions four or five years ago.
A victims' advocate who sat through Sears' disciplinary
hearing is horrified at the thought of a man convicted of sexual assault
looking at womens' medical histories.
"It's an absolute violation," says Sharon Danley. "He's got
all this information to go after her if he chooses to and what safeguards are
in place for her?"
Companies using Sears' services may not be aware of his
history. There's no easy way to find out if a doctor has lost his medical
license. A primary search of the College of Physicians and Surgeons site turns
up no information about Sears' history. A more intensive search produces
results of the disciplinary hearings in 1994, but you have to be persistent to
unearth the information.
The Ontario College of Physicians and
Surgeons rejects suggestions that it should make it easy for the public by
publishing a list of names of doctors, like Sears, who have lost their licenses
for disciplinary reasons.
"I don't know if there are privacy concerns, it's certainly
not for us to do," says College Registrar Dr. Rocco Gerace.
According to Dr. Gerace, even though it is illegal for
someone to call themselves a doctor and offer medical services without a
license, it's not the College's job to investigate unless there is a complaint.
"Our authority is to regulate doctors," says Gerace. Since
Sears is no longer a doctor, college officials say he falls outside of their
mandate. "We can get an injunction and tell them that they have to stop using
it ... but we don't have any jurisdiction over them."
When asked by Whistleblower why the College has no
jurisdiction to monitor individuals whose licenses it has lifted, Gerace
replied: "If we've taken away their licenses, they're not members and so we
have no jurisdiction over those individuals."
Victims' advocate Sharon Danley doesn't buy the College's
explanation for inaction.
"When are they going to say we are going to take
responsibility here? They are self-governing, which is a privilege," says
"Dr." James Sears maintains he's doing absolutely nothing
wrong. Sears says even bad publicity is good for business. And he boasts that
his biggest problem is the fact he's got too many people contacting him.
"I have an easy way of getting rid of them when they e-mail
me. I just hit on them and they get lost," says Sears.