Quote of the Day

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

American Founders University

The Salt Lake Tribune reports this morning that American Founders University has gone under.

What does this have to do with George Wythe University? AFU and GWU share founders: Donald Sills and Glenn Kimber, co-founders with Oliver DeMille of George Wythe College, went on to found this online, for-profit, liberal arts school with an individual named Rick Koerber.

Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney for Utah announced a 3-count indictment against Koerber for allegedly defrauding investors of more than $100 million.

The following comes directly from the AFU website:

Who is Rick Koerber?
Rick Koerber is the Founder and CEO of American Founders University and FranklinSquires Companies, LLC. He is a highly sought after motivational speaker and business consultant. He has worked with, represented, and held key positions in companies such as FranklinCovey, Toshiba America Business Solutions, Carleton Sheets Personal Coaching and IKON Office Solutions. His broad background also includes seminary teacher for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, high school instructor, parliamentary/policy debate coach at Casper College in Wyoming and founder of six businesses. Although only in his thirties, Rick has in his own words “had a lifetime of experience in both headaches and wonderful triumphs.” Rick’s establishment of the Equity Milling™ process—a successful, creative real estate technique—has resulted in his acquisition of over $100 million in real estate. To find out more information about Rick, visit www.rickkoerber.com.

Who is Glenn Kimber?
Dr. Glenn Jay Kimber is the President of American Founders Academy. He is also a former member of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Brigham Young University. A native of Grouse Creek and Brigham City, Utah, Glenn is the founder of five businesses: KimCo, Inc., Textbook Publishers, Beit-Lehi Tours, Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies, and Kimber Academy. His vocations have included serving as a general contractor, a private school owner, school principal and instructor, tour guide to Israel, Executive Vice President of The National Center for Constitutional Studies, author, and lecturer. Dr. Kimber has traveled for over 30 years throughout the U.S. presenting over 1,000 patriotic seminars and conferences on the subjects of American history and the United States Constitution to audiences exceeding one million. He married Julianne Skousen in 1965, and together they have authored over 28 textbooks. Glenn and Julianne live in Alpine, Utah.

Who is Don Sills?
The son of an Oklahoma farmer, Dr. Donald N. Sills has served as a Baptist Minister for over 50 years and has spoken from the pulpit in over 25 countries. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, including several appearances on Phil Donohue Show, Larry King Live, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, and James Robinson. He has served as President of the Coalition for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. (1984-1995), Executive Director for the World Council for Religious Liberty in Geneva Switzerland, and President of Family Entertainment Network based in Texas—a business that has generated $25 million dollars in sales in the field of animated Bible stories. As a teacher and advocate of the American Constitution and the Word of God, Dr. Sills currently serves as the Director of Eagle’s Nest Academy, Manager of World Resource Partners: Hong Kong, Chairman of the Board to George Wythe College, and Director of the Institute for International Educational Development. Dr. Sills is the Vice-President of American Founders Academy. He and his wife, Katherine, reside in Mapleton, Utah.

Kimber received his doctorate from Coral Ridge Baptist University. According to the GW history, he did the initial curriculum design for George Wythe College.

Although the AFU website still lists Kimber as president, according to an individual with the Kimber Academy, "When [Glenn Kimber] found out some of the things going on with Rick, he left American Founders." This individual clarified that Koerber is not involved with Kimber Academy.


John Roylance said...

So what does this mean?? Are you trying to spread guilt?

The Real George Wythe said...

John Roylance - "So what does this mean?? Are you trying to spread guilt?"

This is significant because AFU was founded by some of the same people as GWU, and was also a "liberal arts" school dedicated to the founding fathers. It is what it is.

R.C. said...

I think that The Real George Wythe was pretty clear why the indictment was issued, which has nothing to do with GWU. However, it is relevant for this blog for the reasons he mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. The plot thickens...

James F. said...

Shabam! GWU and Oliver DeMille! You are guilty by association!

Yeah, so one of my friends growing up is serving time in jail right now. My outlook on life just grew a little more dim as I now realize that perhaps I am guilty for his crimes too.

J.L.L said...

My wife came back from a conference one year with a manual on American History from Glen Kimber. After reading about 2 pages, something struck me as being wrong. I've tried to avoid the Kimber Academy and his writings since then.

I did notice that the Kimbers seemed to be close to Rick Koerber and the Free Capitalists, but I was not aware how close. It's interesting that the news quotes the co-owner of the Kimber Academy that Glen Kimber was currently "out of the country." Yeah, that's probably a good idea.

I didn't realize that Glen Kimber was the president of the Founders University. That explains a lot. They have a warped view of America, patriotism, etc.

You know, I have thought about writing an article on my blog about manipulation and deception and how they are used in TJEd. I even started writing it, but I thought that that wasn't really why I didn't do TJEd and I thought it might diminish the impact of the other articles, so I never finished it. Most good people do not understand manipulation. Most people are not very good at detecting it at all. It's not because of intelligence. In fact, a lot of people do it without realizing it (or maybe they do). This whole fiasco with FreeCapitalist isn't exactly the same, but it rhymes, so to speak. It feels the same, and lo and behold, we have some cross-over with characters involved.

It's a constant battle to deal with these types of things.

Anonymous said...


Please find a way to get your ideas on deception and manipulation out to those of us who would really want to read them.

James F. said...

Bah. You could take any self-promoting program or organization like Amway, investment firms...and even Mormonism, and write about how they use manipulation and deception to gain more clients and customers.

As a Mormon I know that this church doesn't really use deception and manipulation to gain converts, but as a former missionary for said church I am well acquainted with that claim.

So why do people say that the LDS church employs manipulation and deception if it isn't true? For the same reason you say TJEd uses manipulation and deception. And that is because you don't agree with the system. It doesn't fit in your world view. You can't see how it is right and you are willing to employ quite nearly any argument to discredit their entire system--point by point, conceding absolutely nothing. And not only do you find the system unsuitable to you, but you find it unsuitable to anyone, even those perfectly reasonable people that have chosen to use the TJEd methodology for themselves and their children.

But keep up the good work on the blog, I'm a big fan. :)

Anonymous said...

James F: Show me the data that demonstrates how well TJED does at building leaders. Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, etc. weren't homeschooled with TjEd, but they have all been leaders of the free world!

James F. said...

Good point. TJEd must be worthless because Obama, Bush, and Clinton weren't TJEd home-schooled. Am I missing something with your line of reasoning???

In none of the TJEd/DeMille literature does it say that to be a leader you have to be home-schooled using the TJEd methodology. What DeMille does do is outline in a very basic way the principles underscoring a leadership education and then incorporate these principles into a home-school methodology that is accessible to any family.

Is it guaranteed to produce the Winston Churchhill? No, of course not. No more than merely being a member of a church guarantees salvation. It still very much depends on the individual, their diligence, and what they do to educate themselves and then what they choose to do with that knowledge.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that you are missing is that TJED is entitled: "A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century".

No, TJED is not worthless because B.O. G.W., etc. were not educated that way. I never said that. It is worthless because TJED cannot be what it claims to be: education for leaders of the 21st century.

Your line of reasoning seems to be that if somebody critiques Oliver DeMille, you rush to his defense. Therefore, you are either neurotic or Oliver DeMille himself ... or both.

James F. said...

My line of reasoning is different for any given point and never has been "that if somebody critiques Oliver DeMille, [I] rush to his defense"...which really isn't even a line of reasoning, which kind of proves that it isn't my line of reasoning. And this is my line of reasoning for this particular point.

"It is worthless because TJED cannot be what it claims to be: education for leaders of the 21st century." Hum. I'm stumped. The way you worded that is making my head spin. So I'd like to turn it back to you if you would be so kind. So you tell me, how is TJEd worthless because TJEd cannot be what it claims to be: education for the leaders of the 21st century?

Oh, and P.S. I'm not Oliver DeMille. Neurotic? Yeah, I don't know about that one, I'll have to get it checked out. But really, why do people here accuse any dissenting voice of being Oliver DeMille? With hundreds of students and thousands of TJEders it ought to be understandable that DeMille isn't the only one that believes in this stuff. I don't unequivocally support everything about DeMille and GWU and if you have followed these posts you can see that I have conceded several points since I started commenting. It is obvious that DeMille and GWU have made some mistakes. Anybody got some stones to cast?

J.L.L said...

"So why do people say that the LDS church employs manipulation and deception if it isn't true? For the same reason you say TJEd uses manipulation and deception. And that is because you don't agree with the system. It doesn't fit in your world view."

James, this is not the case. I think you may not understand the difference between persuasion and manipulation. They are different. The line isn't as fuzzy as you might think. My unpublished article goes into the difference.

There are some really good book by Joseph Lieberman that I recommend: "How to Get Anyone to Do Anything" and "Never Be Lied to Again." And, not for the faint of heart, "The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil" by Verlan Andersen.

Part of the reason I stopped working on the one article is because it is pretty harsh, pretty accusatory. I have come to the conclusion that the TJEd has seriously damaged some family relationships of some very good homes. I believe it runs counter to LDS doctrine actually, and that it is quite a feat to get good LDS families to stray, yet it happened. How it happened it quite an interesting study.

Let me include here a quote from one of Leiberman's books:

"Getting someone who is close-minded due to D [meaning that a new idea is inconsistent with his self-image] to change his mind is going to take a different strategy. The reason is that when we are entrenched in a belief, it usually involves our identity. And that means changing our mind forces us to reevaluate how we see ourselves and how we look at the world.
The close-minded person has identified himself with his belief and this is how he sees himself. By questioning his beliefs he is forced to bring his identity into question. For instance, let's say that you want your boss to move up your name on a list of executives in line for a bonus. He adamantly refuses because he considers himself to be a fair and honest person who would not corrupt the system. To do this for you would mean bringing his entire self-concept – how he sees himself – into question. No matter how strongly you argue your case, he's not budging because it's not about you, it's about him and how he sees himself.
No techniques of influence or persuasion will work unless you first address this issue. The key lies not in separating who he is from what he does. This is what we often try to do, but this person's anxiety will just increase the farther his actions move from his self-concept."

He then goes on to describe how to get someone to do something that would normally run against their self-image of being a good person, which basically includes getting them to think that the thing you want them to do is actually consistent with their self-image,

J.L.L said...

You know, a lie is a misrepresentation of a fact. Good people usually won't fall for lies. And when a person tells a lie, the good person's processing of information hasn't changed. That is, bad data goes in, get correctly interpreted as bad, and correctly rejected as bad. Good data goes in, and is correctly interpreted as good. With lies, the processing doesn't change. You probably will not be able to get good families to stray by feeding them lies. You instead have to get them to process data differently, so that when a lie comes through, they don't correctly process it as bad. Getting someone to change how they process good and bad is worse than lying. It is ultimate deception. You are not just misrepresenting true and false, but causing them to be confused about true and false even are, and how to detect and process them.

This is what TJEd has done to these families. And it is the only way all these good families would accept all the falsehoods in TJEd: they have been deceived into changing how they process the data. First step, change the processing. Second step, feed bad data. Result: target individual accepts bad as good.

That's the thrust of my article, although I try to really detail this out by showing what the church has said about families and relationships and what DeMille has said. When you put them side by side, it's more apparent that they differ. And then I ask the question "how could good LDS families fall for this?" and then I go through the difference between deception and persuasion, how to manipulate people, and then how this is done in TJEd. Like I said, it is harsh and accusatory, but accurate I believe.

Anonymous said...


How does TJEd get families to process data differently? I'm someone who got caught up in TJEd, until I read your blog and what the RGW has had to say. Suddenly, all those questions that I just cast aside as unimportant were answered.

I do agree with James that I don't see them being in this for the money. I believe that they're trying to carry on the work of Cleon Skousen, but they're doing that on the "backs" of innocent homeschoolers who I suspect are used to raise money for GWU. I've noticed that the elite students get the "good" education and the rest get the mediocre education. The elite students are the ones who get the best mentoring and feedback. They even become advertising for the school.

It's not money DeMille and his friends are after. In my opinion, it's power - the power to influence government as they see fit. On top of this how heady it must be for DeMille and friends to attempt to leave a university as their legacy. If you are anti-government, then their spiel is attractive. They prey on fear and ego - fear of the future and "my kids will be the ones to rescue us." As someone who is L.D.S., I will rely on guidance from my church leaders and God to help me through tough times. My hope will come from my church not GWU.

R.C. is right when he says that a person can check out the classics on Mortimer Adler's list and get like-minded people to join in a discussion. This is what a 400 dollars class for 6-8 weeks would do - they're now 600 dollars. I've been to at least 3 - shame on me - and found them stimulating, yet overpriced. What an idiot I was for paying out this money and not believing that I could do this for much less money. I feel used.

I hope J.L.L. that you publish your paper for other "suckers" like me.

R.C. said...

J.L.L. - could you send me your article? I promise not to publish, cite, or steal it if you do. My email address is: random.critic@yahoo.com

It sounds like you are on to something there. I just want to read about the families you talk about.

James F. said...

I am curious, what is it that DeMille has said about families that you think runs contrary to LDS doctrine? How has this hurt families?

Would you describe the TJEd model as ultimately "evil"? Would you describe DeMille as "evil"?

So they are getting people to process information differently? Do you believe that there is a possible progression or improvement people can make in how they process information? So is it okay to get someone to process information in a better way? Using the parallel of the LDS Church since it seems to be providing common ground--a new convert must change the way they process information, don't you think? They must operate within an entirely new model. The way they look at the world changes. I have personally seen this happen. So the argument is really not against TJEd changing the way people process their info, but that it is changing it for the worse.

I really think you are on to something here. The way we "process information" is also described by other authors and thinkers as our "personal models" or our "paradigm". The very first TJEd seminar I went to, Dr. Early started off by writing "Paradigm" on the chalk board. She went on to discuss this idea of changing the way we think and "process information" as you have described. They admit in clear terms that they are asking people to experience a paradigm shift.

So once again, this isn't so much about whether it is right to encourage a change of thinking--since it could be an improvement. It is more about you thinking that TJEd changes thinking for the worse.

Perhaps it would also be a good exercise to better define some important words here. So lets outline how TJEd manipulates and contrast that with how the LDS Church persuades. I want to see how these two differ, because frankly the only difference I see so far is that you disagree with the one and agree with the other. So how does TJEd manipulate when it promotes it's way of life and learning and how do the Mormon missionaries and the rest of the establishment merely "persuade"?