Quote of the Day

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

TJEd'ers Encouraged to Shill for DeMille

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this twitter post. The DeMilles are offering to compensate followers for reviewing their books on Amazon.com. Just email for details.

So how does this work -- you leave a review, email it to DeMille for approval, then you get your stuff shipped free? That's the DEFINITION of shilling.

Remember that a shill is "a person paid to endorse a product favorably, while pretending to be impartial."


Degrees No Longer Offered

George Wythe University has offered many degrees in its 17 years, sometimes for nothing more than a shoddy book manuscript, and sometimes, apparently, for nothing at all.

Degrees no longer offered:

-Youth and Family Counseling
-Near Eastern Studies (Rachel DeMille, 1993)
-Education (Andrew Groft, Ph.D., date unknown; (Julie Earley, Ed.d, date unknown) UPDATE: Masters still offered
-International Business (Mark Siljander, Ph.D., sometime in the 1990s)
-Business Management
-Health Sciences (Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D., sometime in the 1990s)

Expert witness
By the way, Ann Tracy puts herself out as an "expert witness" based on this degree, and apparently has testified at several trials. At one in Arkansas -- a child rape case, where she was TESTIFYING ON BEHALF OF THE ACCUSED -- she was forced to admit that the degree came from George Wythe College. Her testimony was thrown out. (David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas, Opinion delivered September 5, 2001)

Does anyone else find that disturbing?

Tracy explained to the Deseret News that "the Ph.D. was awarded for 'lifetime experience,' specifically for the writing of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? which she says she has been told is the equivalent of, or 'far beyond,' a dissertation."

The Deseret News then noted that the self-published book "contains spelling and punctuation errors and incomplete sentences."

The school's response (given via administrators' edits to the school's Wikipedia article) is that it cleaned up its act in 2002, and that it now has a sharp focus on Statesmanship and Constitutional Law -- no more psychology or business degrees.

Interesting doctorate
One final tidbit. Shanon Brooks reports that his Ph.D. from George Wythe, received in 2004, was for Constitutional Law AND Entrepreneurship. Wow, I can't even find where that degree has been offered. I would love to see the dissertation (in fact, I would love to see ANY dissertation for one of these "doctorates")!

Let me know if I'm missing any!

UPDATE: Brooks says in his CV above that he earned his doctorate in 2004. However, in this article he wrote in 2003, he is already calling himself "Dr. Brooks."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quick news items

Three quick news items while I work on my second Feynman post:

Coral Ridge site gone
First, it appears all Coral Ridge Baptist University (www.crbu.net) web archives have been removed from archive.org at the request of the site owner. (You'll recall that CRBU is where DeMille got all his degrees after BYU, before he got them before BYU, but then... Forget it, it's pretty confusing.) For a sampling of what that site contained, read this article by Richard Stout.

GWU no longer delinquent
Second, it appears Andrew Groft and team have finally cobbled together the money to renew the George Wythe Foundation's delinquent filings with the State of Utah. Whew! How can you send your kids to a place that can't even do the basics like this? (Incidentally, Groft is now the registered agent instead of Shanon Brooks.)

DeMilles' new venture
Third, the DeMilles have begun offering online TJED classes "with the same system used by George Wythe University." That would be Elluminate. These classes are through their new venture, TJEd Academy and Prep School, an extension of their TJEdOnline.com website (which, coincidentally, is now delinquent in its filings).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Richard Feynman and Becoming a Statesman

Okay, so I think we've made it clear on this blog that George Wythe is poorly managed, struggles with transparency, is essentially a money hole for anyone looking for a good education, blah, blah, blah. Yes, the school may sputter along, but it will never be what it claims because of its terrible foundation.

Which brings me to Richard Feynman. When I was in college--GASP, not George Wythe College!--I read a great essay by Feynman for a critical writing class. Below is an excerpt from that essay followed by my discussion of how it applies to a college seeking to "Build Statesmen."

Feynman was a visiting physics professor at a university in Brazil when he had the following experience, related in his essay "O Americano, Outra Vez!":

"In regard to education in Brazil, I had a very interesting experience. I was teaching a group of students who would ultimately become teachers, since at that time there were not many opportunities in Brazil for a highly trained person in science. These students had already had many courses, and this was to be their most advanced course in electricity and magnetism - Maxwell's equations, and so on.

"The university was located in various office buildings throughout the city, and the course I taught met in a building which overlooked the bay.

"I discovered a very strange phenomenon: I could ask a question, which the students would answer immediately. But the next time I would ask the question - the same subject, and the same question, as far as I could tell - they couldn't answer it at all! For instance, one time I was talking about polarized light, and I gave them all some strips of polaroid.

"Polaroid passes only light whose electric vector is in a certain direction, so I explained how you could tell which way the light is polarized from whether the polaroid is dark or light.

"We first took two strips of polaroid and rotated them until they let the most light through. From doing that we could tell that the two strips were now admitting light polarized in the same direction - what passed through one piece of polaroid could also pass through the other. But then I asked them how one could tell the absolute direction of polarization, for a single piece of polaroid.

"They hadn't any idea.

"I knew this took a certain amount of ingenuity, so I gave them a hint: 'Look at the light reflected from the bay outside.'

"Nobody said anything.

"Then I said, 'Have you ever heard of Brewster's Angle?'

"'Yes, sir! Brewster's Angle is the angle at which light reflected from a medium with an index of refraction is completely polarized.'

"'And which way is the light polarized when it's reflected?'

"'The light is polarized perpendicular to the plane of reflection, sir.' Even now, I have to think about it; they knew it cold! They even knew the tangent of the angle equals the index!

"I said, 'Well?'

"Still nothing. They had just told me that light reflected from a medium with an index, such as the bay outside, was polarized; they had even told me which way it was polarized.

"I said, 'Look at the bay outside, through the polaroid. Now turn the polaroid.'

"'Ooh, it's polarized!' they said.

"After a lot of investigation, I finally figured out that the students had memorized everything, but they didn't know what anything meant. When they heard 'light that is reflected from a medium with an index,' they didn't know that it meant a material such as water. They didn't know that the 'direction of the light' is the direction in which you see something when you're looking at it, and so on. Everything was entirely memorized, yet nothing had been translated into meaningful words. So if I asked, 'What is Brewster's Angle?' I'm going into the computer with the right keywords. But if I say, 'Look at the water,' nothing happens - they don't have anything under 'Look at the water'!"

So what does this story have to do with George Wythe University?

One of the things Feynman wondered about was why a country like Brazil had so many physics students, yet virtually no physicists. It turns out that the students were taught what to think, but not how to think. Not surprisingly, their education bore little fruit.

George Wythe College was founded to systematically produce statesmen. (DeMille himself said his vision was to put people in Congress.)

Where are the statesmen? Yes, a while ago some students went to a UN conference. Yes, there is some work going on in Africa that is loosely connected with the school. But these are isolated cases with negligible impact.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence 9 years after he finished reading law under George Wythe. This school has been around for 17 years.

Where is the fruit? Where are the statesmen?

(public domain image: Nobel Foundation)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Below are images of the documents referenced in today's guest post. The poster gave this blog permission to publish them. The poster's name and other personally-identifiable information have been redacted; otherwise the documents are unchanged.

Let me note that this blog has previously published positive information on George Wythe University. I truly hope to be able to write about the positive resolution of this very unfortunate situation. Here's hoping for a happy ending.

Disturbing Guest Post

(Ed. Note: I received the following message from a former student who loaned a significant sum of money to George Wythe College / University and was not repaid. This individual has agreed to have the message presented as a guest post. UPDATE: While the representations in this post are those of the guest poster alone, everything I have seen to date related to this leads me to believe her. She has given permission to publish the loan agreement, etc., which I have now done in a new post. /UPDATE)


I have visited your site often. At first, I could not understand the malice expressed here. Now I do. I was a student for 4 years and such an avid supporter that I recently LOST MY HOUSE because of George Wythe.

This video of the Hyland Hotel was shown to me by Shanon Brooks in October of 2007. He stated to me that he had raised enough money to purchase the hotel, and that it would be the first Monticello campus building. He "had most of the money raised, just needed $150,000 to finish the purchase."

Brooks wrote up a contract. Besides guaranteeing repayment of the loan, the contract included tuition for perpetuity for me, tuition for my children and grandchildren, and promises of land for a Permaculture Institute.


Instead of using my money to purchase the hotel as promised, the school leased it. Shanon and his family lived there and ran a class for about 10 students out of it.

They also used my money to build some outdoor bathrooms and construct a metal pavilion.

Brooks made promises of a big development and showed me plans for a subdivision, assuring me that the school had had a $1 million dollar donation.

It had not.

It had a 100 acre donation of land in Monticello from Carl Barton. This land is owned by GW free and clear. Another resident, Denny Reznik, made a donation of 100 acres, conditional upon them putting a building on the land. GW purchased another 240 acres with a loan.

The school has since defaulted on the loan for that land and it is my understanding that it will be foreclosed on if funds are not paid by the first of the year. I have seen the contracts.

In the meantime, GW's claim of $1 million in assets is ridiculous. I am aware of much record changing.

This site has my permission to disclose the contract I had, as well as my attorney's letter. According to Condition D, the University was to repay me. They were bankrupt at the time I sent in the request.

Unfortunately, I am a single mother with 3 young children whom I homeschool. Because of their default in repaying me, I had to sell my house in Enoch, Utah (in the same neighborhood as Oliver and Andy and Shane).

Their treatment of this situation has been DEPLORABLE and in complete opposition to what they teach.

The entire Board's way of dealing with this is deplorable and I will continue to disclose the details of this situation.

Since I live from child support check to child support check, I have no assets to hire an attorney. IF there is anyone out there who could represent me in this matter, I need to recover the $150,000 they took from me.

I have filed a complaint with the Utah Division of Securities and will continue to ask for help from the Utah State Attorney General.

Thank you for this blog as a forum to reveal the REAL GEORGE WYTHE UNIVERSITY...one which I believe is appalling.


Former Student

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hyland Hotel


Remember the Hyland Hotel, which was to become the "George Wythe University Reception Center" in Monticello? The one the school is still soliciting donations to purchase?

What ever happened to that?

Buckley Jensen from the San Juan Record reported in 2008 that the school had leased the building. But then a Monticello resident reported to this blog that the school abandoned it just before Thanksgiving 2008.

The same resident also reported that Shanon Brooks was actually living in part of the building until it was abandoned.

(I hope we see those free living arrangements included as part of Mr. Brooks's compensation in the 2008 IRS 990 filing, which is due no later than 5/15/2010.)

Does anyone out there have any additional information on what the school's current activities in Monticello are, and why they decided to abandon this building? Do they still own the pavilion they built, or has that land been foreclosed?

video source: www.gw.edu

Monday, November 9, 2009

George Wythe Foundation Delinquent

As of end of business on October 12th, the George Wythe Foundation is delinquent in its renewal filing with the Utah Department of Commerce.

12/1/09 UPDATE:
The foundation has officially moved into the "Failure to File Renewal" delinquent status:

George Wythe Land Auction

Silver Oak LLC deeded 4 lots from the Garden Valley Ranchos subdivision near Newcastle, Utah, to the George Wythe Foundation back in June.

George Wythe appears to have turned around and put the land--about 4.5 acres--up for auction -- current bidding is at $3,600! Clearly, the donations to George Wythe University continue to roll in.

If you'd like to bid on this land or just view more photos of the property, go here.

Important question: is the front-end loader pictured above the same one Shanon Brooks posed on at the $1 Billion Monticello Campus Dedication?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

George Wythe Alum Elected Mayor of Leeds, Utah

hat tip: RC

It appears the school has born some positive fruit: out of 316 votes cast in Tuesday's Leeds, Utah, mayoral race, 185 were for 2006 GWC graduate Hyrum Lefler. His 59% to 41% margin over opponent Elliott Sheltman is a landslide by any measure.

Congratulations to the 27-year-old Lefler (born in 1982)! Hopefully the principles he ran on--transparency and fiscal responsibility--will rub off on his alma mater!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nothing Has Changed...

The more things change, the more they remain the same! Despite George Wythe University's recent deck chair shuffling, it appears the school's sandy foundation of obfuscation and half-truth is still there, shifty as ever.

The Wikipedia editor, Ibinthinkin, whom we previously established to be a GWU leader (or at least a 40-something male with access to DeMille's social security number, college transcript, and his mother's scrapbooks), has wiped clean the article on GWU and did some burnishing on the DeMille article (including a plug for the new Oliver DeMille / Shanon Brooks book, TJED for Teens).

So much for historical accuracy--let alone honesty. Despite DeMille's mea culpa, Ibinthinkin clearly didn't get the memo that "things have changed" and that the school would no longer be "allowing misconceptions [to be] perpetuated."

TJED parents, wake up! This philosophy does not stand on its own merits! The school has to change its history to make it palatable. Read J.L.L's blog. He clearly establishes that this is NOT the way Thomas Jefferson--or anyone of note--was educated.

Let me repeat: you are being deceived!

Sending your child to George Wythe University means sending them to a place where intellectual dishonesty, obfuscation, and half-truths appear to not only rule, but flourish.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guest Post: Steve

Steven Adams, who identifies himself as an administrator at BYU-Idaho, made some extensive comments I deemed worthy of a post. I am including them below, unedited. -- TRGW

(I wrote more but could not post that much. It seems you are sincerely interested in posting both sides and I thought you might allow me to post this completely. I will submit it in two more posts and you can compile it if you wish and put it where you like.)

I have enjoyed reading the various points of view on this blog. I am a graduate of George Wythe College and thought I would add my perspective.

While I find the information on this blog to be valuable, I find the overall tone to be distasteful. Language and images are used to create a negative image of George Wythe University and those who have worked to create it. While I do not challenge much of the information put forward, I do challenge the negative attitude and narrow mindedness that drive the discussion.

Oliver and the others involved set out to create a different type of educational program. They did not intend to conform with current accreditation standards or modern ideas of degree programs. They clearly stated their intentions and have continued do so throughout their history. Some of their programs and ideas have changed as they have gained experience and new information. They have also made mistakes.

I chose to attend George Wythe while I was a student at Idaho State University. I was receiving two full tuition scholarship, one for academics and one for leadership, but I was not satisfied with the foundations of the school. I had some great instructors and some I did not appreciate. Some things I learned at ISU were valuable, and I am glad for the experience, but it was not meeting my needs.

I was married, and we had just started our family so attending the campus in Cedar City was not our best option. I decided to take correspondence courses and worked with Oliver as my mentor. I fully understood my degree would be seen as only religiously accredited and most people and institutions would not recognize it at all. Olive talked to me about this personally and encouraged me to seriously consider my options.

The education I obtained from George Wythe College was everything Oliver claimed it would be and more. Oliver provided great feedback on my writing and encouraged me to consider ideas outside of my personal preference. He challenged me and accepted my challenge of his ideas. It was not what most people would consider a “normal” education, but it was a great blessing to me. I found Oliver to be an exceptional mentor and an outstanding human being. I admire his courage and initiative, even if I don’t always agree with his specific decisions. He has my full support, and I wish him only the best for the future.

I was not able to use my degree to move directly into the mainstream workforce, but that is not what I wanted nor do I believe it was what the Lord intended for my life. I was able to earn what money I needed for my family and gained valuable experience for the rest of my professional career. After working with several private and public charter schools I was hired as the Director of Charter, Virtual, and Home Education for the Florida Department of Education – I later worked as a consultant for several charter and virtual school organizations and now work in administration at BYU-Idaho.

With the move to Florida, I took the opportunity to look into graduate studies. I had considered pursuing graduate studies with George Wythe College, but it did not seem to be the right way for me to go. Once settled in Tallahassee I approached Florida State University and found interest in their education foundations and policy programs.

Florida is an interesting place. There is a strong history of liberal arts and independent education programs. It allows for a great deal of diversity, and I enjoyed the environment. Any time freedom is allowed to exist it generates great opportunity, which manifests great success and also failure. There are a variety of quality private institutions in the state and a few bad actors as well. It was fun to work for the department and be able to look into Coral Ridge Baptist University while there. Among some, it had a reputation for being a “diploma mill” but even knowing that did not bother most of my colleagues at the department. They gave me the chance to let my actions and work speak for my merits.

This was also the case with Florida State University. I explained my diploma from George Wythe College, which also came from Coral Ridge Baptist University, and asked if there was a way for someone with an unaccredited degree to gain acceptance to their university for graduate work. I took the necessary exam and they gave me the opportunity to prove myself by taking a few classes then evaluated me for formal admission into their program. Their policy made sense, and I was happy to comply. I met their requirements and studied foundations of education and education policy.
That world was very different from George Wythe College. There were different rules and expectations. I don’t think they were any better or worse than George Wythe College, only different. The work was not easy at either institution, and I am indebted to both for who I am and what I may yet become. To put it rather briefly – George Wythe College taught me to think for myself and find solutions that may not have been considered; FSU taught me how to be understood and have influence in “normal” education circles. Both exposed me to great ideas and challenged my thinking.

For those who care about such things, I did earn my Masters of Science in Foundations of Education and a graduate certificate in education policy. I continued in the doctoral program and am studying issues of culture and religion in the educational practices of a diverse society. The opportunity to work at BYU-Idaho brought me back to Idaho but Florida State has agreed to let me take my last two classes at Idaho State. ISU has accepted my application, and I will start those classes in January. I then hope to begin my dissertation with the faculty at Florida State.

As I have pursued my graduate studies, I have met several people who challenge mainstream educational practices in much the same way as Oliver DeMille. I have enjoyed working with and debating them, just as I did with Oliver, but he has one quality each of them was lacking. He desired not only to criticize educational practices, but also to develop new practices, or redevelop proven practices, and implement them. This is a far greater challenge than most people realize. It is far easier to go along with the current system; moving forward with pats on the back and the respect of your colleagues. New endeavors are challenged on every side. You do not have the security and comfort of wide spread support. Agree or disagree, Oliver has earned the respect of anyone who understands the effort required to accomplish what he accomplished.

I would also like to address this rather absurd notion that charging tuition for educational experiences is somehow dishonorable. I ask you to consider that private institutions like George Wythe University get their funds through free will offerings. These usually take the form of tuition and donations. The individuals making the donation or payment freely give each dollar. Government institutions of learning raise their funds through compulsion. Property is taken from citizens with threat of force to be used by these institutions no matter their quality or educational practices. When you choose to attend such an institution, you should be aware that many of your fellow citizens are paying for you to have an experience they did not agree to give you. In essence, you are forcing your neighbors to pay for a significant portion of your education. That is seen as acceptable in our society, so it is not frequently questioned, but when a private group sets out to exercise their freedom of dissent and asks only for those with similar views to provide their funding, this is somehow seen as inappropriate. I find that interesting in a rather absurd way.

I agree with some of the points made regarding embellished advertising. To claim that they are the “best” institution for training statesmen is kind of like claiming they are the best George Wythe University in the world. While I may disagree with that approach, for me, at that time and in that place they were just that. Whatever level of overzealous advertising may have been applied, it is the individual’s responsibility to understand each institution will try to give the best possible impression. Blogs like this help to inform those decisions.

The views put forward on this blog are for the most part useful information. What there is of vitriol can be overlooked by an open minded individual, and I hope the university chooses to benefit form the information gathered and views expressed. One criticism is that anonymous blog postings can be a cowardly approach to public discourse. If you are unwilling to be associated with your own comments, you may want to rethink your comments or ask yourself why you lack the courage to stand behind your own beliefs.

To close I wish to express my love and admiration for Oliver DeMille. I honor him as one of my mentors, a dedicated scholar, a good man, and one of my great privileges in life is call him my friend. I do not know everyone at George Wythe University, nor do I have enough information to comment on some of the university’s decisions, but I have known many of the individuals working there for some time. I hold Andy Groft and Shannon Brooks as friends, and I wish them only the best in their pursuits. To everyone else who has worked to build George Wythe University, I offer my deepest appreciation and respect. To the extent any of them have made mistakes, I hope they learn and grow as we all have. To the extent they have succeeded, I hope they are given the respect and honor they deserve.

Steven Adams
Graduate; George Wythe College; September 11, 1999
Email: adams@gwa.cc

Friday, September 25, 2009

Glenn Beck

Since Beck made his GWU plug this Spring, I found out which local station he's on and listened several times.

He's on at the same time as Sean Hannity, and you know what? He's hilarious!

Hannity is a drag to listen to in comparison. A lot of his rhetoric and shaky arguments make me cringe.

Beck's got his own issues with rhetoric, arguments, and even demagoguery, but at least he's entertaining.

Like I said earlier, I don't think Beck did his homework on GWU before endorsing it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crunchy Con: Wrong about "5,000 Year Leap"

Rod Dreher, author of Crunchy Con over at Beliefnet, wrote an article last week blasting both Glenn Beck (everyone's getting on the bandwagon) and Skousen's 5,000 Year Leap.

That night he actually read the book, and changed his tune.

He still believes the book is weak in the history and argument departments, but he no longer believes it to be "dangerous." More like "hokey."

Full disclosure: I haven't read the book.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Original Source!

Following is an insert included in a copy of the book The New World Order: Choosing Between Christ and Satan in the Last Days, written by Keith Lockhart (not that one) and Oliver DeMille.

In fairness, DeMille has distanced himself (see pp. 9-10) from this "youthful study of conspiracy":

"...of course there are some people in the world who meet behind closed doors and conspire to do things that are wrong in order to increase their power and riches, and of course they don’t control the whole world and they aren’t behind every little detail. The important things that get done in this world are done by those who build, not those who bash. Let’s be builders, not bashers."

The insert comes from the same time period when George Wythe College was founded.

ht on scan: another anonymous GWU critic

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan from The Atlantic for the shout-out this afternoon:

"[George Wythe University is] where Beck's mentor Skousen is still taught as part of the Mormon-American literature. And, of course, there's a blog devoted to sniping at it."

The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life

Salon.com has an article today on Cleon Skousen (with, incredibly, a GWU mention).

"Before he died in 2006 at the age of 92, Skousen's own Mormon church publicly distanced itself from the foundation that Skousen founded and that has published previous editions of The 5,000 Year Leap."

The article quotes former Salt Lake mayor J. Bracken Lee, who fired Skousen as police chief in 1960:

"The man is a master of half-truths. In at least three instances I have proven him to be a liar. He is a very dangerous man [and] one of the greatest spenders of public funds of anyone who ever served in any capacity in Salt Lake City government."

After being fired, Skousen worked for two speaker bureaus, the John Birch Society and for the Fred Schwarz-operated "Christian Anti-Communism Crusade." He gave paid speeches around the United States, feeding off the anti-Communist sentiment in the country.

The FBI, which compiled a 2,000-page dossier on Skousen, made an insightful comment that applies to present-day George Wythe University when it described Skousen's employer "Schwarz as 'an opportunist,' the likes of which 'are largely responsible for misinforming people and stirring them up emotionally ... Schwartz [sic] and others like him can only do the country and the anticommunist work of the Bureau harm.'"


While I share a handful of views with the founders and operators of George Wythe University (I'm a libertarian at heart), this does not mean that I automatically support the organization.

This school's approach and attitude--an affinity for half-truths if not outright lies--can only do the country and the conservative cause harm. It must be challenged and if not shut down, at least consistently called out.

The founders of GWU tragically chose to employ half-truths in promoting and running the school.

What a wasted opportunity.

So much work and sacrifice has gone into building the organization, but even an efficient organization built on a shoddy foundation will one day fall.

I implore the school to continue cleaning house. Write an HONEST history. Publish statistics (number of grads, past degrees offered, etc.).

Do some good for the conservative movement. Right now you're a liability.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inspiring Story

I have to say that the story of the girl and her friends raising money to attend the GWU gala is pretty inspiring. You can see Ken Krogue's take on it here.

As this blog earlier reported, Beck's pledge will eventually go to the school. It turns out the website tracking peoples' pages read was put together by the school's web person.

Good job kids on your fundraiser. Now run from GWU and TJEd as fast as you can! Don't waste your youth on this garbage!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hit a Nerve?

Lo and behold, since my post yesterday Shanon Brooks has been removed from the list of Board Members on the GWU website. Clearly, the GWU leadership is reading this blog. Mr. Groft, I invite you to comment here using your real name.

Granted, I do remember reading the newest The Statesman newsletter, in which Mr. Groft--besides telling about the first time Oliver DeMille made him cry--mentioned that Shanon Brooks had resigned from the board for family reasons.

To be clear, I'm not saying he's off the board because of that blog post; I'm saying GWU modified the website because of the posting.

(Now that I look again, there is no mention of Brooks citing family reasons for leaving--Groft must have made some edits to the newsletter.)

Groft does make crystal clear for us that Brooks founded his for-profit seminar business while he was on the board of the George Wythe Foundation (which does business as GWU):

"Shanon recently resigned from the George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees after nearly two decades of tireless work and unbelievable personal sacrifice by him...and his family. ...Shanon will now be able to devote his attention to growing another institution that has promoted leadership education for so many years. Face to Face with Greatness, which Shanon founded while at GWU, has presented literally hundreds of seminars throughout North America, spreading the message of education and liberty to thousands (www.facetofacewithgreatness.com)." (emphasis added)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tax Implications?

I've wondered this for a while. One of the school's founders, Shanon Brooks, has his own business giving "Face to Face with Greatness" seminars. See here. Cost to attend: anywhere from $125 to $225 per person.

This appears to be a for-profit, sole proprietership owned by Mr. Brooks (see here and search for "face to face").

George Wythe University, a non-profit, actively promotes these seminars. Notice that the seminar dates on GWU's site are exactly the same as the dates on Brooks's site. These are the same seminars.

My question for anyone out there with tax knowledge is this:

Is the George Wythe Foundation, dba George Wythe University, violating any part of its non-profit charter by using its tax-free resources to promote the for-profit ventures of one of its board members?

Don't forget the earlier discussion on the school possibly using restricted assets meant for Monticello to fund other school programs. If true, that is a serious issue as well.

DeMille Now a Biologist

Mr. DeMille has written an article on why biology is "not a science anymore," which means "statesmen and social leaders of the future had better prepare accordingly"--with an embedded link to the GWU website on the word 'prepare.'

I've got to be blunt here. I don't know what on earth DeMille is talking about in this article.

It's the first in a five-part series that concludes, you guessed it, with an invitation to get your Ph.D. in Constitutional Law at George Wythe University.

I did understand one part -- DeMille surprised me when he revealed the total graduates of the "Thomas Jefferson Degree™" program to-date: five.

The goal now is to have twenty earn this degree by 2010. Given the mind-boggling timelines in the school's history, why not? Why not make it 200 by 2010? Dole out enough life experience credit and you can have a Ph.D. in a snap (see Deseret News story on GWC grad "Dr." Ann Tracy here).

Sunday, August 16, 2009


In deference to our faithful pro-TJED/GWC commenter, James F., I think it would be a good exercise to define some terms.

I'm going to take the list James came up with here, expand on it slightly, then copy (nearly verbatim) the related definitions from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary. Later I would like to build an identical list populated with definitions from Oliver DeMille, TJED and GWU literature, then juxtapose the two.

UPDATE: I have included Noah Webster's 1828 definitions as well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TJED - "A Rotten Educational Philosophy!!"

I just read another good analysis of TJED from a homeschooling mom. She advises those interested in TJED to "Run away, run far far away!!!"

You can find her blog post here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Eighth Key

After much thought and research, I have discovered an 8th Key to GWU!

#8. "Strawmen, not Statesmen"

Whether it's arbitrarily calling things from grocery stores to schools to the entire world "Soviet-style conveyor belts," or asserting that a professional education does not teach one how to think, this hidden key is vital to spreading the mission of Strawmanship ...err Statesmanship.

You see, strawmen are much easier opponents to attack than the real thing!

It's simple to do.

Take textbooks for example. You would have a difficult time constructing a sound argument against using textbooks. After all, they are a handy way to present the principles of a subject, and serve as a great companion to those works that delve more deeply into those principles, namely Classics.

Better to make up your own definition of what textbooks are, and then attack that instead.

For example:

(noun) \ˈteks(t)-ˌbu̇k\ A "dumbed down" and "boring" work that "doesn't say anything important." Antonym: Classic.

Now attack away! What kind of fool would use this textbook thing in education? Clearly, Thomas Jefferson would never have stood for a dumbed-down work that stood at odds with the works of Cicero and Joan of Arc. ;-)

But wait. What if you yourself have written a textbook and would like to incorporate this into your curriculum without appearing hypocritical? Simple! Did you forget the 2nd Key already? Obfuscate and call it a classic!

That's the 8th Key my friends. Study these keys carefully, for they are the seeds of greatness. And if you work hard, maybe one day you too can be a mentor in Class-C office space on a frontage road in Southern Utah!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Seven Keys

In a nod to DeMille's "Seven Keys of Great Teaching" I have compiled my own list:

"The Seven Keys of George Wythe University"

#1. Hyperbole, not Accuracy
"George Wythe College is the leading college in the United States dedicated specifically to building Statesmen."

Umm, hard not to be the leader in a class of one. They are also, technically, "the worst college in the United States dedicated specifically to building Statesmen."

Here's some more hyperbole:

"Oliver had been a good student at BYU, but with Coral Ridge he typically studied over eighty hours a week, sometimes more. With this intense study, he earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and an M.A. in Christian Political Science [during 1992]. As good as the BYU studies had been, the Coral Ridge learning was truly great, much more challenging than anything he had ever done or seen. He later set out to make George Wythe College even more challenging, if that were possible" (Shanon Brooks, "The First Fifteen Years").

DeMille also claimed to complete all the coursework necessary for a J.D. that same year. We know that he carried 20.5 credit hours at BYU from January to April, then taught full-time at GWC that fall. Where he found 80+ hours a week on top of all that is a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Which leads us to Key #2...

#2. Obfuscation, not Articulation

"Beck urged supporting the private classical liberal arts university’s singular mission of building statesmen and made a personal donation of $25,000." (GWU Press Release, 3 June 2009)

"Glenn Beck donates $25,000 to build statesmen: University program launches nationally." (GWU homepage, 5 August 2009)

REALITY: Beck pledged $0.01 per page, up to $25,000, to a little girl's foundation, which in an indirect way will benefit George Wythe University. No mention of this fact in the press release or on the homepage. The school finally clarified after this blog pointed out the obfuscation.

#3. Argumentum ad hominem,
not Argumentum ad rem
(By the way, you must have a handful of latin phrases under your belt to give the impression you are learned...)

"The Bashers ... thrive on controversy. But they never build anything. They just attack, criticizing those who are trying to make a positive difference. Bashers never risk anything to make the world better, but they think they’re helping if they attack those who do." (Oliver DeMille, The Statesman, 1 Jan 2006, p. 2)

This is a frequent response by DeMille to his critics, whom he labels as "bashers."

#4. False Choices, not Free Thinking
Enough said.

#5. Pretenders, not Professionals

The school supposedly requires students to publish their work in third-party publications, but we have yet to find even a single instance of a GW faculty member doing this, let alone a student.

Classic case of "do as I say, not as I do."

Moreover, based on our review of the GWU board, a majority of members' degrees come from, you guessed it, GWU. There are a lot of people calling themselves "doctor" there; only one has a non-GWU (or CRBU) doctorate.

We also have failed to identify even one GWU faculty member who has ever held elective office. Truly in this case, "those who can't do, teach."

#6. Conspiracy, not Reality

"During the coming year the secret combinations and the governments they control will do a number of things to build a Satanic New World Order. President Bush and many Congressmen, who are controlled by the secret societies, will attempt to further this cause and to continue the curtailment of Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution." (Oliver Van DeMille, The New World Order)

#7. Skousen, not Jefferson
(I am not bashing Skousen here; but to be clear, when all is said and done, this school adheres to Skousen's philosophies--NOT Jefferson's)
The Making of America, The 5,000 Year Leap. These books are required reading for GWU students. Only a few selected writings by Jefferson are required, and that's only for the "Jefferson Degree™"--of course that degree also requires reading both of Skousen's books as well. Every other degree offered includes no Jefferson, but plenty of Skousen and DeMille.

Feel free to come up with your own version and post it here!

Reactions to Glenn Beck Gala

School Clarifies Beck Donation

The school has issued a clarifying statement on Beck's donation:

"At the GWU Fundraising Gala in May, Glenn Beck pledged up to $25,000 to 14-year old Rachelle Harkey to read 2.5 million pages and earn $.01/page towards her fundraising efforts for GWU.

"Rachelle Harkey is one of nine philanthropists age 12 to 16 who each donated for a seat at the youth table hosted by Initiative Fund (IF). She raised the funds to attend the Gala by holding a read-a-thon and going door-to-door for sponsors, exceeding the amount she needed to attend the Gala by $1000, which she also donated to GWU.

"With so much success, Rachelle was determined to raise more for GWU through another read-a-thon. Before the Gala, she created a plan and a logo for her organization called Into the Next Chapter. At a tuxedo shop in Salt Lake City the night before the Gala, she and her family bumped into Glenn Beck while shopping with his friend who was getting a tux. After talking about the Gala, leadership education, and current events, Rachelle introduced her idea of raising funds for GWU. She was surprised the next evening when Glenn Beck personally pledged $25,000 at a penny a page for her read-a-thon!

"IF, an organization founded by Sara Patterson and built by youth to raise funds for select causes, is now teaming up with Into the Next Chapter to hold a read-a-thon in July and August. Not only do they want to read enough pages to get the entire $25,000 pledge, but they are also asking for sponsors to pledge a penny a page for a selected number of pages with a goal of $.05/page totaling $125,000."

This in contrast to the original press release, which cryptically said "Beck urged supporting the private classical liberal arts university’s singular mission of building statesmen and made a personal donation of $25,000" with zero mention that this donation was to a little girl's foundation (with an honorable goal I might add).

Clear obfuscation on GWU's part.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beck's Pledge / Donation - UPDATE

Forgive me if I am confused about this donation. The website www.infund.org is reporting that "Glenn Beck has already pledged $25,000 to Into the Next Chapter to support George Wythe University, a private liberal arts college. That’s a penny a page for 2.5 million pages!"

So Beck pledged the money to www.infund.org, and when/if that site/organization earns the pledge and Beck actually cuts a check to it, will infund.org turn around and cut a check to George Wythe University?

How exactly does Beck's pledge to inFund translate to "support [for] George Wythe University"? The school's press release said "Beck urged supporting the private classical liberal arts university’s singular mission of building statesmen and made a personal donation of $25,000." That implies the donation was to the school.

Or is this yet another half-truth and obfuscation on the part of George Wythe University?

I'm confused about the connection here. Can anyone help me out?

Updated List of Top Readers (as of 7/31/09):

Jefferson D. (provo, ut)
30,748 Pages
Yuko H. (Dayton, Ohio)
29,130 Pages
Martha R. (Provo, Utah)
24,061 Pages
Ammon B. (Klawock, Alaska)
22,537 Pages
Annette M. (Pasadena, CA)
22,246 Pages
JohnThomas D. (Provo, UT)
19,700 Pages
Aaron H. (branson, MO.)
19,358 Pages
Alexis T. (Kaysville, utah)
19,105 Pages
Beth B. (Springville, Utah)
18,038 Pages
Michael J. (West Valley, UT)
16,147 Pages

Note that Jefferson D. has now read 1200 pages in two days!!! So far this individual is reading on average 1 page every 2 minutes, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, since May 31.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where did Beck's donation go? - UPDATED

I thought that Glenn Beck was donating $25,000 directly to George Wythe University (through the George Wythe Foundation), but the press release is vague on this point:

"Beck urged supporting the private classical liberal arts university’s singular mission of building statesmen and made a personal donation of $25,000."

I recall seeing something about the money possibly going to a teenage girl's foundation. Can anyone confirm that the donation did, in fact, go to the school?

7/29/09 UPDATE

Let me shed a little more light on this. Beck did not in fact donate $25K directly to the school, he pledged the money to www.infund.org:

"Glenn Beck has already pledged $25,000 to Into the Next Chapter to support George Wythe University, a private liberal arts college. That’s a penny a page for 2.5 million pages!"

Earlier today, the school sent out an email saying:

"You can help the youth leading the read-a-thon and GWU by recording any pages you have read (including audio books and reading to someone else) since May 31st. You can be any age to record the pages you've read! Every page gets us closer to collecting the $25,000 pledged to GWU by Glenn Beck."

Here is a list of the top ten readers since May 31 (as of today):

Jefferson D. (provo, ut)
29,538 Pages
Yuko H. (Dayton, Ohio)
29,130 Pages
Martha R. (Provo, Utah)
24,061 Pages
Annette M. (Pasadena, CA)
22,246 Pages
Aaron H. (branson, MO.)
19,358 Pages
Alexis T. (Kaysville, utah)
19,105 Pages
Beth B. (Springville, Utah)
18,038 Pages
JohnThomas D. (Provo, UT)
17,832 Pages
Ginnie B. (Monticello, UT)
16,127 Pages
Michael J. (West Valley, UT)
16,037 Pages

The number one person is QUITE prolific, claiming to average 500 pages a day since May 31. Wow!!! I'm sure Glenn Beck will trust these numbers without question! Err, maybe not.

Re-read the press release quote at the beginning of this post. Not entirely truthful, I'd say. It said nothing about this www.infund.org website, nor did it mention that the "donation" was actually a pledge dependent followers reading 2.5 million pages.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Slash! Bam! The Latest GWU Seminar!!!

GWU has announced a new seminar. As always, you can't make this stuff up:

"What power is shared by Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Thomas Jefferson, and Barack Obama? What is the fourth fundamental force yet to be identified by scientists-the divinely primal force that set the identified three in motion? The answer is the same for both questions. This is no mere trivia; the answer and its skilled application are elementary to the success of statesmen and the cultivation of freedom.

"Want to know the answer?

"Grapple with it, bathe in it, submit to it by attending this online seminar. Answer these questions, harness the power contained and the world will beat a path to your door, Archimedes' lever will spring from your fingertips, your business will not have room to receive its blessings, competitors will shrivel under its light, and your mark will be emblazoned for posterity. Are you prepared to wield this force?"

All this for only $799!

Of course, if GWU mentors are good enough at this to teach it, why don't they attempt to publish something outside the school newsletter?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mr. DeMille has been modest in his account of his studies

This reader comment left by a DeMille Disciple made me smile.

I particularly liked the part about how Oliver DeMille "could whip [my] whiney under-grad behind with both contacs[sic?] and his writing hand tied behind his back."

Spoken like a true statesman!

First show me where DeMille has constructed a coherent essay, and then we'll talk. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beck / Stossel

Yes, I still admire Glenn Beck. And no, I do not therefore automatically admire George Wythe University.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Three Fundamentals?

Following is a synopsis of one of the "three academic fundamentals" as documented on GWU's website

"Students are expected ... not only to write, but to publish. ...Students are required to publish, or make public, their writings. ... At first, this may consist of emails to associates, letters to the editor and posts on personal blogs. As students progress and mature in their content and writing skills, they seek out more formal venues for publication."

This begs the question: Have the GWU faculty "progress[ed] and mature[ed] in their content and writing skills" to the point where they can publish in a more formal venue?

I challenge the readers of this blog to show me even one example where a faculty member of GWU has ever published something in a third-party publication while at the school. (Groft's letters to the SUU student newspaper editor don't count!)

I'm going to go out a limb and say there haven't been any -- prove me wrong!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Behold, Coral Ridge Baptist University...

...amazingly occupying one back office in this church! (hat tip: RC)
(Photo credit: Google Street View)
2967 Huffman Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246

Actually, by now that office is being used for something else, as the "university" is no longer operating. The building is still a church, and still has the same phone number as CRBU. The church is called Coral Ridge Baptist Ministries and you can see its website here.

More on Monticello Land

The school's acquisition of land in Monticello was more complicated than I thought!

According to an individual in Monticello (I found this on the person's blog), two families donated 200 acres to the foundation; I'm not sure where the foundation came up with the remaining 320, but at least some of it was purchased:

"Shannon[sic] Brooks from George Wythe College and his wife stopped in to check out the store. They think they might know a few families coming with the college who would be interested in buying it. We will just wait to see what all happens.

"It looks like [redacted] and [redacted] are going to donate 100 acres to the school and [redacted] and I are donating 100 acres, and the college will negotiate with [redacted] and [redacted] for the other 200 they need. We are buying 100 acres back, and then donate that to use as a tax deduction. ...We will be fencing this summer and maybe start on the pavilion."

All of this land was later annexed by the City of Monticello. You can read the annexation document here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Debt

It appears the school took out a second mortgage against its Cedar City building on 5/30/07. This was likely used to buy its 520-acre parcel in Monticello, which was acquired between January and June 2007.

Here's what we can surmise so far on this Monticello land. The school paid about $1 million cash, took on another $1 million in debt, and mortgaged its Cedar building for another $125,000, for a total of $2.18 million--all to buy raw land at the top of the market that may now be worth less than $1 million.

How the school expects to develop this land is beyond me. One of the biggest questions marks involves water rights.

I have done an exhaustive search of area water rights, and the school/foundation appears to own none. They own the land, but no water. In Utah, water rights are bought and sold in a way similar to real estate. Water is a requirement for development, especially in a rural area like Monticello.

Buying the Monticello land outright, with not only $1 million cash but over $1 million in debt, appears to have been a major financial blunder for the institution.

Update on Goodloe quote

It appears this blog is having at least a microscopic impact -- GW has changed the Goodloe quote on its homepage to reflect the fact that he died 11 years before it was known as George Wythe University.

A glint of transparency!

Now if they could only correct the exaggerations and obfuscations contained in the official history.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Monticello Project, Non Profit Accounting, and Accreditation

Based on GW's financial statements, it appears the school paid about $2,180,000 for its 520-acre parcel in Monticello, Utah. That comes out to about $4,200/acre. About $1.1 million of the purchase price appears to have been paid with cash (from donations) and the rest with debt.

The going price for comparable land in Monticello is currently around $1,000/acre, putting the current market value of the land at $520,000. It appears the school bought near the top of the market and may, possibly, be underwater on its loan (like so many homeowners across the country).

Given this, it's puzzling to hear Oliver DeMille say in April that "the Monticello project has especially helped our finances." He must mean that donations for that campus -- plans for which have been suspended -- are still flowing in. That's good, because those donations could be used to pay down the loan. But apparently they are being used for more than that.

Apparently at least a portion of donations for the Monticello development project are being used to subsidize the on-campus program in Cedar City. DeMille again: "[The Monticello development project] is still in the black [and has] helped provide income to help maintain our on-campus program."

This is a problem.

According to Andrew Groft, the AALE (the group from which GW is seeking accreditation) determined that the school's financials were not in line with non-profit accounting. Indeed!

Here's a quick lesson in non-profit accounting: When someone makes a donation to a non-profit and attaches a purpose to the donation, that donation becomes a "permanently restricted asset" and can only be used for the donor's purpose, even if the non-profit has other, worthy uses for it. Donations made with no restrictions are called "unrestricted assets."

Thus, a donation made to GW for "the Monticello development project" would, theoretically become a permanently restricted asset that could only be used on that project. That the Monticello project has "helped provide income to help maintain our on-campus program" is troubling to say the least, as this implies the school has been treating restricted assets as if they were unrestricted.

Based on this analysis (which is based on the facts available to this writer), it makes sense that the AALE would have concerns about the school's accounting. And if these accounting issues are to be overcome, it certainly presents a high hurdle for the school, in addition to the endowment hurdle.

The school could possibly correct this by going to the Monticello donors and asking that they revise their donations to unrestricted. Or perhaps this is not an issue at all, and DeMille misspoke when he said Monticello donations were being used to subsidize school operations.

Again, I am basing my analysis on the facts available to me. With 2008 cash expenses of $1.5 million, only $250K in the bank at 6/30/08, and enrollment at half of what it was last year (less than 100), one hopes the school will be able to scrape through this economic downturn, period -- accredited or not.

(Images from www.gw.edu)

Beck Donation

GW is reporting that Glenn Beck donated $25,000 to the school after the gala. Whether this was an in-kind donation (i.e. reduction of his usual speaking fee) or a cash donation isn't clear.

According to his management company, "Glenn Beck travels from New York, New York and requires Private Jet." Bringing him out must not have been cheap (speaking fee plus travel costs on a private jet), and it makes sense that he would cut the school a break through an in-kind donation.

Beck dining with students (Source: GWU)

"'Quite honestly, the first thing that attracted me was that to graduate you have to know all of the principles behind The Five Thousand Year Leap,' Beck said." Indeed, incoming freshmen are required to read this book before any other.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Financial Statements

A recent reader comment about the school's mortgage on its Cedar City building (despite a "no debt policy") got me wondering what the school's financial position really is. As the school is really just a DBA of the George Wythe Foundation, which is required to make annual filings with the IRS (Form 990), obtaining this information was relatively easy.

Below are the Balance Sheet and Income Statement of the George Wythe Foundation for the years 2002 - 2008. Note that in 2008, the school that "would use absolutely no debt for any reason" paid $81,000 interest on $1.47 million in debt.
Balance Sheet (click to enlarge)

Income Statement (click to enlarge)

There are several interesting things here, but what really stands out to me is the $1 million jump in debt from 2006 to 2007 (look at the balance sheet, second section, second line down). I can understand the 2005 appearance of $550K, which is likely the mortgage on the Cedar building. But this $1 million jump appears to coincide with the school's acquisition of land in Monticello, Utah.

I had always thought this was a mixture of donated and outright-purchased land, but apparently not. As they have suspended plans for a Monticello campus, this idle land does not appear to be anything but a drag on the foundation at this time. The fact that they appear to have bought it in early 2007, around the top of the real estate boom, begs the question of whether the school is in an upside-down position on it.

According to GW, the Monticello parcel is 520 acres. Let's be generous and assume that the $1 million mortgage represents the full purchase price, i.e. it was 100% financed and no donations were involved. That puts the land at $1,923 / acre. A quick perusal of the MLS puts land in Monticello at about half that.

Update on Goodloe Quote -- They Did Alter It

On page 36 of GW's 2007 catalog, I found the same William C. Goodloe quote currently used on the school's homepage, but with the word "College" instead of "University" used:

"George Wythe College is really teaching students to think because it is applying the lessons of past generations. Students attend class excited and yearning to learn; they graduate motivated and dedicated to serve. Our nation, indeed our world, needs the education George Wythe College is promoting."

So there we have it. Goodloe didn't misspeak, prophesy, or come back from the grave; GWU changed his quote. Now I don't care if the school calls itself a college, university, or constitutional convention; that's not the issue. The issue is proper, honest attribution. But proper attribution doesn't appear to matter when you're providing the kind of education the illiterate Joan of Arc received, does it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Justice Goodloe Speaks from the Grave

GWU currently runs the following quote on its homepage, attributed to "Justice William C. Goodloe, Washington Supreme Court (Ret.)":

"Students attend class excited and yearning to learn; they graduate motivated and dedicated to serve. Our nation, indeed our world, needs the education George Wythe University is promoting."

Fine. Problem is, Goodloe died in 1997, 11 years before the school started calling itself a "university." Either Goodloe was a prophet, or GWU has modified his quote without being honest about it. Or he came back from the grave—I mean urn (he was cremated)—to give this quote. Or they made it up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Deseret News puff piece

I was waiting for a follow-up article on the actual Glenn Beck gala, but as that hasn't appeared, here's a link to the Deseret News article on GWU, complete with sidebars!

UPDATE: Here is an indirect report on the gala.

Friday, May 29, 2009

St. George Spectrum On Board

The St. George Spectrum published a puff piece for the school today. My favorite part:

"It's a private university offering a first-class, liberal arts education that can be earned on campus, off-site and online. The higher education institution boasts students from across the United States and the world and is actively pursuing accreditation."

I didn't realize the Spectrum ran straight PR for shady organizations!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Welcome Glenn Beck listeners! See our previous posts (here and here) on Beck.

For those looking for information on Thomas Jefferson Education (the one with no textbooks), see the blog Why I Don't Do TJED by a homeschooling father.

Please browse the posts of this blog and the linked articles along the left side. I don't have a problem with someone deciding to study with GWU after they've seen the whole picture; this blog serves to help people go in with their eyes open.

Please respect the blog rules (upper left) -- no libelous accusations, no profanity, and cite your sources.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Glenn Beck Commentary

Apparently Glenn Beck plugged A Thomas Jefferson Education and George Wythe University during his radio program this morning at 11:00 AM Eastern (thanks RC).

Beck said that he likes the no textbook rule ("Classics, Not Textbooks"), and he said that George Wythe University is today what Harvard and Yale were in the 17th Century.

Disappointing comments coming from Beck -- he clearly has not done his homework here. For example, while GWU may claim to be a liberal arts school as Harvard was in the 1600s (and still is), Harvard was not granting degrees ranging from musicology to international business with no faculty knowledgeable in those fields. And Yale? It didn't even exist in the 1600s. It wasn't founded until 1701. Even if it had, I have a hard time coming up with even one substantive similarity between GWU and these two Ivy League schools.

A cursory examination by me of GWU's record after my relative blew through her college savings there (see my profile) revealed slipshod scholarship done by academically inbred professors. To date, of the four presidents in the school's history (see current president Andrew Groft in a light saber duel to the right), not one has an accredited doctorate. Not one has made a dissertation available for review. Instead, every doctorate comes from either GWU itself, or its mother institution, the now-defunct Coral Ridge Baptist University (no affiliation with the famous Coral Ridge Ministries).

Moreover, I am sure 17th Century Harvard did not hand out doctorates for life experience, like GWU did to a student in the 1990s, who took her Ph.D. in Psychology and used it to serve as an expert witness around the country, including for the defense in a child rape trial in Arkansas (David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas, see here and here). Luckily in that case her testimony was later thrown out by the state board of appeals.

I hope Beck continues to plug the school ahead of his Saturday appearance at a fundraising event. The school desperately needs the scrutiny that will follow.