Quote of the Day

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Glenn Beck

I've been a fan of Glenn Beck for several years. I've never listened to his radio show, but I was a regular viewer of his cable show on CNN HN. I'm disappointed that he has agreed (I'm sure he's being paid) to speak at a fundraiser for GW next month.

Here is an audio invitation from Beck himself. I have done my best to get through to him, invite him to read up on the history of the school, but as yet I haven't received any response. I'm sure that if he researched the school's tactics, obfuscations, checkered history, etc., he would be reluctant to associate with it, but there it is.

Hopefully, increased focus on the school resulting from Beck's association will only serve to shine more of a light on the facts. My goal, in the end, is that people have the facts about this school so they can judge for themselves.


Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense to me: Beck is a product of unorthodox education, and he'll get paid handsomely for the event.

Anonymous said...

Lately his radio show has been promoting the "5,000 Year Leap" by Skousen. All DeMille would have to do was to tell him that he was mentored by Skousen and he would be in.

Anonymous said...

I called Glenn's show manager a few months ago and left a mesage about this. He did call me back and asked some questions. I sent him an email with links to the wikipedia article and some other sources. I mentioned the questions around Demille's doctorate. He thanked me for my concern. Sadly, I guess they are still going through with the fundraiser.

Anonymous said...

Kind of a general comment here. I just came across your blog. It isn't the first time I've seen views opposed to GWU, Oliver DeMille, etc, but it has further piqued my interest in this view point.

Full disclosure, I am a new, part-time off-campus student at GWU. I have quite honestly loved the classes I have taken so far. I feel that I've learned a lot from them even though they have been very difficult and demanding. It is a unique educational methodology, but one that I feel is well suited for me. I am an entrepreneur and am concerned primarily as to knowledge obtained, and I care little for transferable credits, degrees, or diplomas to hang on the wall.

So, I've browsed through your blog, but been unable to reconcile in my mind this: if GWU and Oliver DeMille better fit into the "fraud" category as your blog wants to suggest, then how is it that they are able to provide such interesting classes that I learn so much from??

Now mind you, I am a new student, and do have other options--other options that I have considered, and would consider again if I was convinced. So without studying in depth the wealth of information on your blog and links, what would you tell me is the #1 reason I shouldn't attend GWU?

And some more disclosure on your part--Have you ever been to a GWU seminar, or class, or talked in person with any member of the faculty?

The Real George Wythe said...

Re: Anonymous on 5/3

The intent of this blog is to piece together the history on GWC / GWU, and to get the word out. As I learn new facts -- positive or negative -- I put them out there. If, based on all the available information, someone still decides to go to the school, that's fine by me. At least they're doing it with their eyes open. It sounds like you have looked things over and decided it will still work for you. I don't have a problem with that.

I am providing this blog as a service so individuals don't fall into the same trap as my relative and blow through their college savings (or accrue debt) before realizing what's going on.

I visited the school once several years ago, when it was in a retail center under a dentist's office. (Obviously, location doesn't matter as long as the school is good. I don't fault the school one iota for its facilities.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. I am glad to hear that you aren't on a total rampage. ;)

However I still don't understand. You said that you are providing this blog, "so individuals don't fall into the same trap as my relative and blow through their college savings (or accrue debt) before realizing what's going on." So my question is just that. Succinctly put, what IS going on? This isn't a veiled attack on my part, I sincerely want to know what is going on that you think isn't already represented to students and potential students.

I see that you have spent a lot of time covering what you see as a dubious history. I've read your account, Oliver DeMille's response...and I still don't see what the big deal is. Yes, you bring up some interesting facts about DeMille's history and associations. But how does this affect students of GWU today? I appreciate that you are putting out what you see as important information for people--but where is GWU not delivering what it is they represent?

Once again, I'm looking for a brief overview of what you see as the biggest problems with GWU. I would suggest that you write a summary--all these posts about the Wikipedia editing might make sense to someone that is following your crusade, but for someone like me that just came here, I don't understand what is going on. Fights over what is represented on Wikipedia certainly isn't anything new and isn't anything dubious in and of itself. I am honestly trying to figure out where you are coming from and a summary of all of this would really help.

And lastly (on the topic of your post), I can't help but to smile about how you "respect and admire" Glenn Beck, but obviously have it out for DeMille and GWU. That is why I asked if you have been to seminar's or spoken to faculty face to face. Glenn Beck is from the same basic camp as DeMille and GWU. Your not understanding this means that you either haven't kept up on Beck of late, or that you really have only been focusing on DeMille's history and paying no attention to what he is actually doing and teaching. As another poster said, Beck himself is a product of "unorthodox" education. He has sighted many times a study of classical founding literature as his educational material. Beck has many times encouraged listeners to study original works. His promoting of The 5,000 Year Leap and The Real George Washington pushed both books to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. You likely didn't attend the Webinar DeMille recently hosted (of which you were actually quite critical), but if you had attended, and then listened to Beck recently, you would find that Glenn has been addressing the very conclusions that Demille came to in this lecture. Either Beck paid the $30, or they are just coincidentally on the same page. Either way it doesn't matter--consistency demands that you either need to start thinking much less of Beck or rethinking DeMille and GWU.

Armed with a blog that comes up in Google searches and collects however many hits, I think you are well aware of the influence you potentially have. Just be sure that you know that your crusade is just and right and not a product of misunderstanding or differing opinions.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous on 5/3 and 5/4,

I am not the Real George Wythe, but I am critical of GWU. First of all, interesting classes is not a reason to say that a university has academic merit. Some of the most un-interesting classes that I have taken in my 10 years of undergrad and grad school have produced the greatest learning experiences for me. Statistics, research design, biology, language and cognition, are not completely "interesting" topics. However, my professors knew what they were talking about, they had real Ph.D.s in their fields, and they had knowledge that I couldn't exactly get out of a book - knowlege that comes from real experience in those fields. That is my problem with the majority of GW professors - they are academic children of Oliver DeMille who has few real academic credentials. Sure classes may be interesting because they appeal to you either emotionally or intellectually, but few professors at GW have the depth that comes with outside experience. That is why most universities hire faculty members from other universities (it is a rule is most cases).

That is good that you don't care about getting a diploma, but may I ask why you would spend $20,000 per year attending classes, doing homework, etc. if you had nothing to show for it in the end? The point is that you probably do care about having some degree or another when you are done, otherwise you would save your money, get a "Great Books" reading list, head to your library or amazon.com and save the $20,000.

I have been listening to Glenn Beck too - isn't it completely possible that Oliver DeMille is getting some of his ideas from Glenn - not the other way around? Either way, these ideas are nothing new.

I hesitate to say what the #1reason that you shouldn't attend GWU, because I don't believe that you don't care about obtaining a diploma from there. Nobody would waste the time and effort without some payoff in the end. Look at DeMille, he spent time and money (more of the latter) obtaining his "diplomas" because a degree adds credibility to a person's words. GWU wouldn't exist if they didn't have a tangible reward in the end. In addition, I don't know you, so I can't offer personalized advice.

Maybe you should get a tarot reading, go to counseling, or buy some fortune cookies - they can tell you why you shouldn't attend that school.

Oddly enough, people criticize my university all of the time (using the most vulgar language, etc) however, I have never had to question anyone why I should or shouldn't attend. Nor have I ever spent hours trying to edit wikipedia to make my school look better. Why do GW students have to defend so often? It is like a religion rather than a university.

Anonymous said...

So for you this boils down to the authenticity of DeMille's supposed academic credentials? And then in turn GWU's academic credentials? And then the fact that much of the faculty are made up of former students of DeMille? And that they have edited related Wikipedia articles?

Okay, I can accept that. There is no need to demean my inquiry and tell me that I just as well buy a fortune cookie to tell me why not to attend. I am really trying to figure out what all this concern is about.

You said, "but may I ask why you would spend $20,000 per year attending classes, doing homework, etc. if you had nothing to show for it in the end?" I really don't understand this. Why do you think that there would be nothing to show for it in the end?

DeMille is getting his ideas from Beck? I hadn't thought of it that way. I mean it could be, but much of the timeline doesn't match up. And I'm not necessarily suggesting that Beck is following DeMille. I am saying that they are from the same camp so to speak on a host of issues and causes and that it is therefore ironic that you like what Beck is doing, but strongly dislike everything that DeMille does. If you pay much attention to the criticism the Beck receives, part of it is that he really isn't educated and has no background to speak authoritatively on whichever issue of the day. This seems to be along the same lines in which you criticize DeMille.

That brings me back to this: In all of this argument as to DeMille's and GWU's history, have you personally taken a good look at what it is they are teaching and providing for their students? I mean do you really know? Have you sat through a class recently? If you think that all they provide is a "Great Books" list to read, you ought to inquire further. My fear here is that those at this site are very caught up with a lot of facts, which truth be told, can not really be proven one way or the other. It's already history and it is more or less going to come down to your word against theirs.

In my personal experience as a potential student and now student, I was informed by faculty that GWU was not accredited and that they were only having limited success having other academic institutions recognize degrees obtained. I also understood this to translate as a risk that an employer might take issue with it also. This was well represented to me. In classes and conferences I attended before becoming a student I came to really appreciate their methodology and the principles they espoused in their educational system. I decided that it was worth the risk for what I was getting--a decision that every GWU student has made.

Once again, editing Wikipedia articles is nothing new for any well known person or institution--yes even Universities. There is a constant battle over what is represented in encyclopedias and history--the creation of Wikipedia has just brought this battle to new levels. Once again, in and of itself this is nothing out of the ordinary. The real question is the difference in what each party tries to represent--and and I do also see some discussion here about that.

I am glad that as has been expressed here, you just want to get the facts out so people can make an educated decision. But I think you're doing more than that and I think you know that you're doing more than that. These blog posts speak with contempt to any move GWU makes. It is apparent that you not only don't agree with them as a matter of opinions, but it seems that you want them to fail. Is this not the case?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It does not sound to me that the lengthy post above was a student, but a member of the faculty.

I read Oliver Demille's response to his credibility and I have a few unanswered questions. Why didn't he pursue a credible advanced degree? If studying is so simple for him and he can accomplish so much in so little time, what would be the harm in a few years earning his stripes, even now? If you have much interaction with him, there is no doubt that Oliver DeMille is intelligent. Why did he not just play by the wourld's rules (as silly as they may seem to him) and obtain a reputable degree? Did he not know that the magnitude of his vision? Did he not realize that he would confront skeptics, and to do this his degree would need to be the real deal? He cannot teach about greatness and not be the real deal.

Why did he not then encourage his staff to also go out into the world and obtain recognized advanced diplomas? Then this would not even be a discussion and DeMille and the others would have sound resumes, not resumes painted with golden paint.

I feel what will ultimately be the downfall of GWU will not be related to it's mission or ideology, but it's unwillingness to gain the respect of the critics by obtaining viable degrees.

If Demille and the others would have just played by the world's rules there would be little room for skepticism and the critics would leave them alone. They would be more able to move about accomplishing their dream and mission with a clean slate.

The Real George Wythe said...

The point of this blog is to get the word out on GWC/GWU. If there are misstatements in the blog, please point them out so I can correct them.

Otherwise, it appears that the blog is working, as the hit count is way beyond my original expectations.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that certain George Wythe supporters have such a difficult time with the correct use of "cite" (as opposed to "sight")?

See Anonymous 5/4, 9:02 pm ("[Beck] has sighted [sic] many times a study of classical founding literature as his educational material.")

Compare posts #75 and 76 on the Times & Seasons discussion of TJE:


The Real George Wythe said...

Re: Anonymous on 5/4 at 9:02 pm

I highly doubt that Beck is a DeMille disciple. Skousen disciple? Definitely. But I could be wrong.

If Beck begins promoting DeMille, I would feel very badly for DeMille. A handful of us have been shining a light on his history, and look what we've found.

If Beck plugs DeMille, watch what happens when you've got hundreds of thousands of eyes combing DeMille's history. Some will be duped, yes; but many will cry foul and crank up the lumens on his story.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anonymous at 10:50 AM. Why didn't Demille just get the real diploma? If he really is that smart, then he should have known that his background would appear shady to some people.

Anonymous said...

I think that George Wythe College could survive if they did the following:

1) Cut out the graduate programs and focus on making a good undergraduate program.

2) Rename the undergraduate program "Bachelor of Liberal Arts" and offer minors in recognized areas. They could also partner up with SUU for the minors or a double major program.

3) Get rid of the faculty who don't have at least a master's degree from an accredited university. Put DeMille, Brooks, and Groft into office or administrative roles so they at least have employment.

4) Hire faculty that are at a comparative standard for institutions of their size (or their projected size).

5) Be realistic. Cancel plans to move to Monticello and focus on Cedar City.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are all a fun bunch. No, I'm not on GWU faculty--I am a new student, just as I said, and yes, I did spell "cite" wrong. I'm sorry.

So the faculty should all get doctorates from other (reputable) Universities? Some of them already have such credentials. Should the rest? I'm sure as has been suggested it would help their credibility so maybe they should. I'm fine with that suggestion but of course it isn't up to me. Still, they are providing an unconventional educational path to their students. And yes, many of them themselves took an unconventional path. To you folks it is apparent that "unconventional" translates to "inauthentic" or even "fraudulent". That is fine. I still don't see the gap between what GWU represents and what they provide. You can dig up whatever dirt on DeMille and the University's history, but mudslinging is nothing new and amounts to little for students like myself that see the value of what they are providing.

I thank you "The Real George Wythe" for putting out another perspective on all things DeMille and GWU. I'm certainly not against that. I would still suggest that you put together a good summary of what information you have uncovered. I think it would make your intentions clearer and make it easier for those who stumble upon your blog to understand this side of the story.

Anonymous said...

KNRS in Salt Lake City (the station that carries Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Dr. Laura) is promoting this event. People should contact them. I don't have their email at the moment, but their website is www.knrs.com

Anonymous said...

Once again, I respect that you don't agree with their methodology and that you think they have a questionable history. But where do you make the jump from not agreeing to protesting their right to have a fundraising gala and pay for advertising on the radio?

Anonymous said...

It isn't about their right to advertise on the radio, it is about my right to protest, and leave commentary. I have the right to free speech too. Why can't we have people contact KNRS to complain?

I think there needs to be more disclosure about the purposes of a fund raiser for a university. If they need money for accreditation, then they need to be in full disclosure about their purposes. If they need money for a new campus, the same is true.

I wouldn't be surprised if they get investigated by the Utah Department of Commerce for this fundraiser. In fact, maybe people should contact them.

In many ways, I have no problem with what they are doing down there. I do have a problem with people who mock "traditional" education by calling it "conveyor belt". My university education has been nothing of the sort. If GWU folks want to mock mainstream education, I don't care as long as they can demonstrate that they can hack it in the real academic world. So far, Oliver DeMille's background should speak for itself.

Anonymous said...

I must say, I find this blog refreshing! Facts have been disclosed here that GWU has hoped could go unnoticed. Concerns have been brought up that could serve as valuable “customer” feedback – feedback that could actually help them if they had good business sense. The discussion on this blog is extremely relevant, because of the impact GWU has on lives. The impact they have on future possibilities (financial and educational) for their students as of now are not that hopeful. It is sites (notice the correct usage of the word :,)) like this blog that will help bring improvements to the product they are offering or the end of their existence. Free market at it’s best!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 5/7 at 5:29 p.m. :

Good comment. Were you ever a student there? Do you know some students there?

Jency said...

I am a current student at GWU and I love it! I know its not accredited. and I am okay with that!
Some advice, do something with your life, sitting around on a computer and dissing a educational institution because you had a family member with a bad experience or what you consider a "bad experience" is LAME!

You think they wasted their time, and maybe they did but that was there choice! If you come out of a college and think that you wasted your time its your fault not the institutions! no one can make you learn. Stop attacking something you dont understand. as far as the administration goes, personally I have never met such amazing men and women in my life, these people truelly sacafice to do what they do and if you ever sat in on one of their classes you would see that. these poeple actually care about there students, I have seen on more then one occation a mentor at geaoge wythe go the extra mile for a student to help them really understand a subject. did your and of your teachers in college have personal conversations with you about what you want out of the classes you are taking, what you want out of life and if you were happy with the tone of discussion in the class? maybe one or two but at george wyth thats what every student gets form their mentors. If you want to mock and find fault in virtue and devotion to a cause, be my guest.

The Real George Wythe said...


In response to your questions:

"did your and of your teachers in college have personal conversations with you about what you want out of the classes you are taking"

Yes. I can't even remember a class where this was not discussed.

"[did your professor ask] what you want out of life"

Several of them did. Indeed, that's the nature of college -- the idea of going is to get more out of life.

"and if you were happy with the tone of discussion in the class?"

Almost without exception. I can remember one professor who must have been having some personal issues, because he sometimes had a negative tone. Other than that, I have no memory of anything but a supportive, professional, warm tone in my college classes.

"maybe one or two but at george wyth thats what every student gets form their mentors."

I'm glad you're getting this at GWU.

"Stop attacking something you dont understand"

Do you see the irony in this statement? In your comment you are calling me out for attacking a college. But in the same breath you are attacking MY college experience, about which you have no information.