Total waste of time and money

I took one weekend of the PDC course and it was a total waste of time. The content covered was about 2 hours worth and you had to pick it out of random stories regurgitated from viral videos off the interned that had been debunked by Snopes, random scripture quotes from the Bible, not quite accurate and not really related to the topic being discussed definitions of thermo dynamics, all from an egotistical, messiah complex, woman hating, passive aggressive jerk. The only thing you should learn from these guys is managing you internet image. They have managed to block bad reviewer and cleanse there internet image like you wouldn't believe. The demonstration garden is full of disasters. And Nicolas gave me seeds for an invasive species. There is nothing Earth care about distributing invasive species. The only thing sustainable about their life style is that they take money from people and get people to work for free to "learn". Nicolas was also in the middle of a juice fast. He described it as taking 14 servings of vegetables and juicing it into a 16oz nutrition concentrate. There is nothing Fair Share, Earth Care or People Care about selfishly consuming excess. There are plenty of books at the Dallas public library where you can learn permaculture without fake news interjections. There are online videos from Geoff Lawton. Permaculture has much to offer. Learn it from anywhere but the School of Permaculture. I wish I had believed the reviews on this website. Everything seemed so absurd and over the top. It's all true. Also look at the FB 5 star reviews. They are mostly people who have never taken the classes and live far away and must be friends. Plus his wife. They did return some of my money eventually. They claim since I was at the class, they can't refund my money for the time I was at the class. Of course how do you figure out it is not what was advertised until you go to the class. And I went to two days because I figure he must have just had a bad first day and it would get better. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I was wrong. It got worse.
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ID
#1183164 Review #1183164 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Plano, Texas
Product
School Of Permaculture Course
Reason of review
Not as described/ advertised

Against Homosexuals

The director of School of Permaculture is against LGBTQ. He has posted 'pray away the ***' posts on his facebook and has lost me as a follower because of it. I don't care what kind of excuses he makes or that he took down the post now. This is too much! Permaculture is supposed to be free of religious coercion. He has made jokes about gays being stoned, using bible references. And speaking of the separation of Permaculture from religious coercion, in his PDC he praises Jesus throughout his lectures and the guy doesn't even believe in outer space. He thinks it's made up. He says nobody can prove outer space exists. Do what you want, but know that if you are ***, he is not supportive at all.
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2 comments
#1207156

Anyone that is interested in Permaculture no matter who they are in their private lives can learn from us, Wildflower Ecovillage. We have lost our founder and are finding our way, but we have no prejudices. http://Facebook.com/dfwecovillage.

#1203211

Well, I certainly don't think happy people should be stoned. All of us deserve to be happy.

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ID
#906489 Review #906489 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Denton, Texas

School Of Permaculture - Review in Education category from Colleyville, Texas

I was hired by the charismatic cult leader to operate an excavator for his class. He didn't have money to pay when it came down to it (isn't that what they all say?) but he would trade me for some of his edumacational classes. Fat chance when he won't respond to communication. Interesting lunatic.
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1 comment
#1207601

Sorry that happened to you. I've worked for him, too, and didn't get paid.

Was told I'd get a lot of clients by doing the work for him, but instead he embarrassed me, embarrassed himself and nothing came of the day I put in--for free! Never again.

I keep finding more people who have had a similar experience with him.

ID
#898796 Review #898796 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Colleyville, Texas
Reason of review
Problems with payment

Felt harassed and did not like his very poor grasp of the subject

i attended a PDC with Nick and was also sexually approached,in the form of touching and innuendo as well as a number of high level disclosures like,"I have a large appetite for food and women"especially those who wear glasses.I wear glasses.He really creeped me out.He also spoke alot about himself and did not respond well to feedback that was not in line with his teaching.I told him in some areas swales where not appropriate,he responds to these types of questions with well"Geoff Lawton"is my mentor so I have it on good authority.He seemed to tell lots of stories based around how good he was,and who he knew and who he worked with.He liked to spend a lot of time brushing his hair and putting make up on so he would look good in the sessions that were video taped,often being quite rude to the person taking the film.The whole experience was terrible,I only stayed 5 of the 12 days.Give it a miss.
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1 comment
#1115270

I'm so sorry this happened to you. When did this happen. No one should be subjected to this type of predatory behavior.

ID
#792369 Review #792369 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Praia Grande, Sao Paulo
Reason of review
Poor customer service
Loss
$1100
New Reviewer

School of Permaculture - PDC Re-examined

In light of more people coming forward about the poor quality of instruction received by Nicholas Burtner, I felt I should share my experiences, too. I came out of my PDC VERY disappointed and wanted to ask for a refund. If the other instructors had not contributed and carried the weight of his lack, I definitely would have. Lots of name dropping, project claims, and accomplishments were cited but no backing was ever provided. I asked to see his portfolio and was told he was "working" on it. To this day (almost a year later) it is still not available to see. His writing is barely legible and his designs are entirely too conceptual. As evident by this recent review: http://school-of-permaculture.pissedconsumer.com/review-in-tutoring-category-from-wylie-texas-201508****5272.html I think anyone who is a novice or has very basic knowledge could easily be lured in by his charismatic and flamboyant way. That's what is really scary to me. It's predatory behavior. He is condescending and narcissistic, often cites conspiracies without scientific backing and exaggerates accomplishments; including personal methods and resources. Is NOT a legally listed non-profit. Is not forthright about how he's supposedly transitioned into a permaculture lifestyle. Volunteers have done almost ALL of the work he claims to do. He seeks glory, fame, and credit through the diligence of others. And uses religion as a marketing tool to garner blind support. Several women in our class came to me with feelings of unease. He was making inappropriate advances and while he had a girlfriend at home. Very open about the fact that he "was" a sex addict and had to "quit *** cold turkey" These kinds of behaviors are ingrained. Also, where do you draw the line with self-disclosure in a professional environment? Is that Christian behavior? Or do we just forgive and forget? I think the lines are blurry there. There are SO many other things I would like to add but it would take all day. The truth is starting to seep out. I hope people will research the many other options available for permaculture design courses, consultations, and advocacy, in the DFW metropolitan area. This work IS important and is being done with tact and skill in so many places.
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2 comments
#1027435

I'm afraid for any young women who have to be alone with him, including massage therapists. He accused me of being a ***--I AM A LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST.

I was just trying to learn about Permaculture. He lured me to his home telling me others would be joining us for a big work party. Nobody showed up. He kept asking questions about my massage practice and accusing me of being a ***.

I kept assuring him I was completely legit and licensed, but he would not let up. I had to leave. I told my boyfriend and he wanted to confront him. I just wanted to stay away from him.

I was happy I found some other Permaculturists to hang out with. Ladies, please be careful.

#1027479
@PissedConsumer1027435

That is HORRIBLE! I am so sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing your story.

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ID
#687455 Review #687455 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Plano, Texas
Cons
  • Lacking knowledge
  • Unwilling to accept feedback
  • Exaggerates accomplishments
Reason of review
Bad quality
Loss
$750
Preferred solution
Please be realistic. Please provide comprehensive portfolio for future clients. Please provide release forms, for safety, for use of likeness in your marketing. Please accept feedback from those trying to help you better and improve your business.

Nicholas is an excellent communicator and highly experienced permaculturist

Nothing happened except a bunch of fake reviews on this site. Nicholas is probably the most experiences permaculture consultant in the DFW area. I've spoken to most of them and had several out at my property. He spent 3 hours with me touring the property and providing the most relevant and insightful feedback of all. The time spent with him was well worth the money as I'll avoid thousands of dollars in mistakes that I would have made otherwise. I highly recommend School of Permaculture. Judge for yourself, go meet Nicholas, spend some time with him and you'll find that these reviews are not credible. Actually, spend time with all the permaculturists before you hire them for a big project. I recommend you find someone that you enjoy being around and has a similar world view.
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2 comments
#1023729

did you get a crayola design for hundreds of dollars like in his article?

http://permaculturenews.org/2015/02/03/charge-permaculture-design-consultant/

also notice he recommends people to start doing paid consultation after they take a permaculture course, can be quite dangerous physically and legally to both the client and the consultant.

glad at least one person has had a good experience.

#1023354

If he was so fabulous, why are you posting on PissedConsumer.com? Who are you?

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ID
#685413 Review #685413 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
North Richland Hills, Texas
Pros
  • Realistic
  • Positive
  • Customer-focused
Reason of review
Good quality

School Of Permaculture Staff Review from Wylie, Texas

School Of Permaculture Staff Review from Wylie, Texas
Burtner is very misleading concerning his portfolio and actual experience with complete design and installs. He's been cited as claiming to be as well known as people like Darren Doherty and has insinuated that he knows more about Permaculture and regenerative design than Darren. All this while having only a few years experience into the Permaculture scene. He's attempted to design an underground house and has no engineering degree and offered no Civil Engineer approved plans to the hired operator that posted this complaint on one of the Lawton online PDC groups: "Ok, I have some lessons learned to share from a project I just worked on. I am a heavy equipment operator and got hired on to do the excavation for an underground house. 1. Do not commit yourself to a project without first seeing the design. I assumed that this designer would be ready for me when I and the machine arrived. But there were no stakes in the ground, no design to be seen, and nothing prepared. I should have never gone to the project without first seeing the design. My work on the project is done but I still have not seen a design for the house. My work is some thing I take pride in and I was too ashamed to even take pictures of it. Don't let yourself get into this situation. 2. Never back down from your rate as a designer or skilled worker. I allowed myself to be talked down from my normal rate and system of billing. The idea was that I would have a good learning experience and get into the underground house community. I ended up only getting paid half of what I would have with my normal billing system and all I learned was what no to do when building an underground house. 3. Never accept favors from people you don't know. This designer got me some other work and expected me to give him respect without earning it, just because he had gotten me some work. Well the work turned out to be extremely painful for me and the client. Then when I tried to use my experience as an operator and carpenter he viewed it as undermining his project and that I should respect him because of all he'd done for me. It's better to earn things for yourself and not have to deal with peoples pride. 5. Plan your work, work your plan. Especially when building a house. You must have detailed plans and a strategy that will get you through the project efficiently. 4. This is just advice that will help on any job site. Always be prepared! Have tools on hand and be ready for any situation. Luckily i came prepared to this job site and we were able to get things done. The
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ID
#685272 Review #685272 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Wylie, Texas
New Reviewer

Nicholas Burtner - arrogant with Messiah Complex

School Of Permaculture - Nicholas Burtner - arrogant with Messiah Complex
Many people in the permaculture community have had similar experiences with Nicholas Burtner. Ranging from arrogance and a know-it-all attitude (sadly without knowing it all) to a picture of Jesus on his wall where he teaches that conveniently looks just like him. I took a short workshop with him and found his information to be very basic and when trying to correct him, he is quick to deflect or dismiss. He pays no attention to accepting feedback (a permaculture principle) especially from people more experienced from him. He also relentlessly advertises any class that he can by giving paltry information that links to his website.
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8 comments
#1113588

Even a simple question about the courses at School of Permaculture directed at Nicholas Burtner left me feeling uncomfortable. He answered my questions, but quickly turned the conversation to a religious message.

I have no problem with anyone having any belief they choose, but it is a poor business move to be evangelical during a simple conversation. Not being an evangelical Christian myself, I decided to not do business with the School of Permaculture or Nicholas Burtner.

#1025622

This guy has serious issues!

#1025621

It's actually nice to see a true review. Hopefully it will help him grow.

He needs to get a grip and stop trying to be everyone's savior. ugh. What a bummer.

Hopefully he gets a reality check soon and gets it together? we'll see.

#1025618

Yeah, totally came off as a *** to me in the end.

#1025626
@Telecia Mhw

This above comment was provided by another teacher, as feedback, after sharing the original complaint link with them. Posted with their permission.

#1025615

omg! this is soo truth about Nick!!finally someone has posted this I love it!!!

lol!! his chicken dance during the whole class?

soo unprofessional! we all were soo disappointed of his attitude and knowledge, that I felt like it was waste of money.

#1012218

I would not recommend NB for design our facilitation. Took his PDC and 90% of the students were underwhelmed.

Condescending, narcissistic, often cites conspiracies without scientific backing and exaggerates accomplishments; including personal methods and resources. Is NOT a legally listed non-profit. The women in the class felt uncomfortable from his advances. Lines his pockets on the hard-working backs of volunteers.

Misleading marketing and has put students in dangerous situations. Seeks glory, fame and credit through the diligence of others. Is a good cheerleader for permaculture but that's about it.

Has the personality of a charismatic cult leader. Ask to see his portfolio.

#1012209

I've seen him sexually harassing young women in various locations/situations as well as talking about women in completely sexist fashion in front of colleagues. He lacks experience and expertise.

View more comments (7)
ID
#671936 Review #671936 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Dallas, Texas
Cons
  • Delusional person
  • Lacking knowledge
  • Messiah complex
Reason of review
Bad quality
Loss
$240
Preferred solution
Let the company propose a solution

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