Quote of the Day

Friday, May 22, 2009

GW YouTube Videos

GW has posted the following promo videos (hat tip: RC).


James F. said...

"Labels: George Wythe College, George Wythe University, Propaganda, Videos, YouTube"

Hahaha, I couldn't help but to laugh at that. I mean really "The Real George Wythe" I know that this site is 100% objective, but sometimes there is wording that gives light to an agenda. I mean I know that you are being 100% objective, but others might see a word like "propaganda" and think that you have it out for GWU or something.

As far as the video clips go, it's just more of the same. I mean some unwitting person is going to come across GWU's propaganda videos and hear students give testimony about their experience and they'll actually believe them! I mean really, this whole "virtue, wisdom, dimplomacy--God in the classroom..." is getting old coming from them. It has taken hundreds of years for us to remove these things from our education system and then for GWU to come along and try to bring all this back and make it widespread? Hope really hinges on our accreditation system doing its job and making sure that this kind of stuff never makes it mainstream in America again.

Thank you TRGW for another tidbit of incriminating information about this shady school. As long as we keep this fight as far as we can from what GWU is actually doing and actually provides their students we'll win it in the end.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks that Mr. James F. is being tongue in cheek with his criticisms of GWU. From his very first post, I have not taken him seriously. I believe he is a supporter of GWU playing devil's advocate.

R.C. said...

To anonymous:

It wouldn't surprise me considering the wikipedia entries are full of whitewashes and sockpuppets.

James F. said...

My tongue is not in my cheek. Okay now it is. So you don't take me serious? You think I am a sock puppet?

Well it certainly is just a matter of perspective. One person's education is another's indoctrination. One person's propaganda is another's cheesy promotional video. And yes, one person's liberal arts, leadership, principle based University is another person's fraudulent, scam, diploma mill University.

The Real George Wythe said...

I have always used the term 'propaganda' liberally -- don't be too offended by it.

R.C. said...

Regardless of James F's status, I stand by everything I said - Oliver lied about "religious accreditation".

I could care less if a sock puppet comes here. Any phony arguments only reflect on the individual who says them. If somebody from GW comes here to set up straw man arguments, that doesn't change any thing. GW's propaganda will not change the fact that the school, the founders, and the "mentors" there are frauds.

James F. said...

I suppose the point I was trying to make in the whole, indoctrination vs. education is that this is just perspective against perspective. Or perhaps better put, world view against world view. You think GWU is illegitimate, but to students and faculty it is their life and their education.

Or perhaps this example: you call me a sock puppet. What does that really mean? Aren't we all sock puppets here? We're all posting under aliases. It is unclear what any of us really know about the topics at hand. Ironically Rachel DeMille is the only person that has commented on this site with full disclosure. I mean we know exactly who she is, what she stands for, and what her relationship is with GWU and Oliver DeMille.

So really, that leaves the rest of us in the sock puppet position in that the puppet (i.e. our aliases) are doing the talking while our real identities and real full disclosure isn't talking at all. We call a religion we don't like a cult when really any religion meets the definition. When we don't agree with what is being taught we call it indoctrination. And when we don't agree with someone on a blog we call them a sock puppet.

And I must set the record clear that I am not from GWU. I am familiar with the University and their cause, but am still very much an outsider. While it is nice that you accuse any dissenting voice of being from GWU, the truth of the matter is that it seems that everyone really from GWU is giving you the silent treatment. This is either their own strategy in dealing with you, or perhaps they're just too busy doing what they do.

But do keep going. This is all very fun. I say live and let live. I apply it to you just as much as to GWU. Blogs like this give perspective. Schools like GWU fill a niche.

R.C. said...

Ok. Strange post. Fair enough on the sock puppet argument, but you definitely troll for posts and set up straw man arguments.

I don't care if they give me the silent treatment. This blog is doing something.

I don't call religions I don't like a cult, that is plain stupid.

When I hear people say that GWU is filling a niche, I would love to know what niche GWU fills. Building statesmen is a joke, because they have not successfully built any, and very few (if any) colleges have. I think the experiences of a statesman, such as how they were raised, who their mentors were, what job experiences they had, etc. helped them become statesmen, not a liberal arts education.

Look at John Huntsman Jr. the newly appointed ambassador to China, and now former Governor of Utah. He had an Ivy League education and received "professional" conveyor belt type education (an MBA from UPenn I think).

Now, one might say that he is a statesman because of his experience. Is he to you? What qualifies as a statesman. What about Barack Obama? Is he a statesman with his Harvard JD, and former position as a constituional law professor? My point is, offering a degree which basically labels somebody a statesman is a futile task. One person's statesman is a another person's anti-christ. And it is impossible to build statesman. You can't always predict who a statesman will be.

Brigham Young is an excellent example of this. Many LDS people and some non-LDS people would consider Brigham Young a statesman. He had 11 days of education. He was not well versed in the classics. He was a natural leader, and I think I can say that objectively.

Back to the niche point. Please tell me what niche GWU fills. The conveyor belt education label is a total lie. For example, I had several professors who were experts in the area of middle east studies. They had provided opinions and advice to the white house and the state departement on middle east topics. There were at most 15 undergraduate and doctoral students in their classes. They had office hours open to students to talk about the class or other topics (I remember I had a conversation about the impending Iraq war with one of them who admitted that he supported it and why...).

What niche does GWU fill?

James F. said...

If "building statesmen is a joke", it's not a very good one. I mean really...its just not funny. But bad jokes aside, I think GWU would be the first to admit that they aren't the end all of creating statesmen. Of course no school or university can "create" a statesman. Just as you have pointed out, there is much more to it than a liberal arts education. And GWU provides more than just a liberal arts education. Still after all is said and done, graduates of GWU aren't told, "Congratulations, you are now a statesman!"

A "Statesman" is of course a subjective term as you point out in asking if Obama is a statesman. And yes, a particular person is to one group of people a statesman and to another something quite different. So what does GWU say that a statesman is?

I think GWU sums up their purpose quite well in their mission statement (go figure) and they also provide what I think would be how they define a statesman: “To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.”

What GWU claims to have done, is to create and operate with an educational form which is based on the same principles that underscored the education of many great men and women throughout history (yes, once again we could slap on that vague and subjective term "statesmen").

These principles, summed up as a "5 pillar methodology" of which I'm sure you are familiar is such: Classics, mentors, simulations, field experience, and God. Now you can take any leader figure and try to argue that their education was not based on these pillars...kind of like you've done with Brigham Young. But it really is simple and wether you agree with GWU or not, I don't see any point in arguing this. I mean it is an outline--it isn't an exact curriculum or set of steps that has to or has been followed exactly.

So back to Brigham Young--Classics? You say no, I say absolutely. While we could split hairs over what study he had of conventional classic literature, we can't overlook one core classic in which he was very well versed; the holy scriptures. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are considered by GWU to be classics in the the highest regard. Yet also of course personal--while everyone must have a personal canon of study such as the Bible and or BoM, other texts can also serve as a personal canon as personal beliefs dictate. Point being, Brigham Young's education did have a solid foundation in arguably the 2 best classics available. So yes, that counts.

Mentors? Of course, Joseph Smith, and God himself are very easily seen as mentors of Brigham Young. Simulations? Simulations are an opportunity to practice a particular task or event in advance. It helps one to isolate the ideas and principles and to articulate your thoughts and points. While I am sure Brigham Young had such experiences it would be a stretch for me to try to nail this one down exactly. While training as a missionary, simulations of teaching in different circumstances was very routine. It's effectiveness in teaching and learning is obvious, but once again, I can't off the top of my head relate this to any specific event with Brigham Young.

Field experience and God are both very obvious in Brigham Young's life. So back to your question of how GWU fills a niche. Well, some people see GWU's methodology and the principles (5 pillars) on which their methodology is based, and they desire that type of education in their own life. Does it guarantee "Statesmanship" status? Of course not--that is still very much up to you as an individual. Is GWU the only place to obtain an education based on these principles? Once again, of course not and I have never heard GWU argue otherwise.

GWU is a University that doesn't just offer these principles on the side--for GWU this type of leadership education is their main focus. When it comes time for career specific education, admittedly are going to have to go somewhere else. It isn't for everyone. But for those that are looking for this, GWU is where it is at.

R.C. said...

"Is GWU the only place to obtain an education based on these principles? Once again, of course not and I have never heard GWU argue otherwise."

That contridicts the niche argument that you made before.

You didn't answer my question: what niche does GWU fill that can't be filled elsewhere (and better elsewhere...even BYU)?

You didn't answer my question about Barack Obama. What about Jon Huntsman? Are either of them statesmen?

Building statesmen is their motto. And their unaccredited B.A. is in STATESMANSHIP!

You say throughout history... GWU has Joan of Arc listed... there is nothing said about her own education.

GWU defenders always fill in missing history to support their positions. To illustrate this point, you point out Brigham Young, who I agree is an example of a statesman. You fill in the 5 pillars of his life of ingredients that you and DeMille think make a statesman.

Let's do the same with Barack Obama. Classics: Bible and every other classic that he mentions in his speeches. Mentor: Jeremiah Wright and numerous others. Simulations: Harvard Law. Field Experience: Community organizing, senator experience, and president. God: he is a believer as he says in his speeches.

So, is Barack Obama a statesman? He fits the 5 pillars.

I don't think that you could say that Joseph Smith actively mentored Brigham Young, at least in the GWU definition of mentoring. Certainly, Brigham didn't pay Joseph huge sums of money to be his mentor. In the end, Brigham didn't receive a degree in statesmanship.

I don't doubt Oliver DeMille's story about being mentored by Cleon Skousen. I don't doubt the role that the mentoring played. However, I don't think that GWU students get that experience when they enroll. I even pointed out in a previous point that I think mentors are essential. However, GWU fails to deliver on that one. Who are their mentors? I have had to move across the country to get a recognized leader in the field of psychology as my advisor. My advisor is an international scholar in the field of assessment and intervention for child development. He advises and mentors me. I read the classics and textbooks, and I feel like I am getting an excellent education (time will tell if I get a job when I am done).

My point in telling you that is to say that one cannot get a recognized leader at GWU. I guarantee that I couldn't enroll there and get a mentor akin to Cleon Skousen or my advisor. The reason is that nobody at GWU has demonstrated the ability build statesmen. I don't see how GWU fills any niche.

That being said, I actually agree with many of the points that Oliver DeMille makes about the five pillars. I don't think that it needs to be a money-making scheme though.

I can go to the library and read all the classics I want for free. I just need a "Great Books List" and possibly a book like "The well trained mind" to help out with those books.

I can seek out a mentor, just like many other in history have done, and like Oliver Demille did.

Simulations... okay I can get practica, etc. and practice real life situations, or go to a real law school and get this without having to pretend like GWU students do.

Field experience, see above.

God, pick a church and go. The only problem with God as a pillar is whose God works? What if one is a satan worshiper, can they be a statesman? What if I pray to idols and worship crystals as a god? Does that fit?

James F. said...

I'm quite sure that I didn't contradict myself in saying that GWU fills a niche, but yet isn't the only place or way to obtain a leadership education. GWU has 200 some odd students that choose to study with them over studying somewhere else or doing it on their own. Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with them or not--I think that pretty clearly demonstrates that they are filling a niche. There are students that want this type of school and they provide it. Argument closed.

And I did answer your question about Barack Obama and Jon Huntsman and whether they are statesmen. As I said, a "statesman" is a subjective description. GWU uses an older definition that includes words like "virtue" and a person that "promotes liberty". My computer dictionary says of the word, "a skilled, experienced, and respected political leader or figure." In that respect Obama certainly is a statesman to those that respect him--as is Jon Huntsman. Throw "virtue" and "promotes liberty" into the mix and...well you end up with more subjectiveness and I think it does change who qualifies. However that is an entirely different discussion.

And you seem to think once again that GWU graduates are told "Congrats, you are now a stateman!". Once again, "building" statesmen implies a process of which GWU itself is really only a small part. Like most things in life, most of ones success depends on oneself. For those like yourself that are pursuing an education with a mentor--great! I really am glad that you're doing that. But I also think that what GWU is doing is great.

You said, "I actually agree with many of the points that Oliver DeMille makes about the five pillars. I don't think that it needs to be a money-making scheme though". I respect that opinion, but as with any University or organization, financial stability and profit gives you the ability to expand and increase your offerings.

As I said before, live and let live. If someone chooses to go to GWU what's it to me? If they choose BYU--good for them. If they choose to go to a progressive University and learn using a methodology and curriculum I don't agree with--well, good for them. At least they're doing something with their life. Its great that we have all these choices to fit all different tastes!

R.C. said...

I say live and let live as well. I will continue to blog, and allow others to read and critique what I say. I don't really care. Thanks for the stimulating debate.

In closing (even though you already closed the argument), filling a niche doesn't mean that they have students. In that case, every school fills a niche. It should be obvious that those students can (and should) go somewhere else.

Contrary to Oliver DeMille's assertion, there are other places that those students can go to get a leadership education. Therefore, no niche is filled. I am done with this argument too.

James F. said...

Darn it, we've already closed the argument twice, but I still have something I want to say about it.

"It should be obvious that those students can (and should) go somewhere else." See this is where I take real issue. While I understand that you have strong feelings about this--so do the students that attend GWU. They're adults and they can make decisions on their own. I know that you too would acknowledge that, so why is it that they should go somewhere else if this is what they have chosen and what they want to do with their education?

I mean what if (a big "what if" here) the students actually knew that the University they were attending wasn't accredited? What if they really knew that much of the staff were just students of the school's founder and had also received their education at GWC and not some other more reputable university? What if they knew that DeMille had talked about "conspiracies"? As you probably get, (I'll point it out to be sure my cynicism is understood) I'm being sarcastic. Students do know these things. And apparently they don't care about it as much as you folks do--as evidenced by the fact they are still choosing to attend. So why should we say that they shouldn't even being going to GWU? If they want to go and accept the responsibility, why should anyone have a problem with that?

R.C. said...

If people want to be stupid and attend a phony college, I have no problem.

If I want to speak out and offer my opinion, I can according to the first ammendment.

I don't want to get out of the argument that way, so let me clarify. The point to be made is that many of the students have been told that accreditation is coming...soon (see the references in the previous post on the topic). I think that the school downplays the importance of accreditation to their students, which is problematic.

I am not an authoritarian, and I don't think that everyone needs to fit into some academic mold, but if GWU thinks they want to play in the big leagues and have their faculty call themselves "Dr." (despite questionable academic backgrounds) and seek accreditation, then they need to be ready for the criticism.

Summary of the reasons that students should not go there:

1) The school is not accredited
2) The school lies that accreditation is coming (see previous post from TRGW).
3) Most of the professors are a bunch of phonies with unaccredited degrees and shallow academic credentials.
4) The school does not even deliver on its mission of building statesmen. The only statesman to graduate from there was indicted on funneling money to an Afghan war lord.

If students want to go there, I don't care. If people want to go to a hospital that has doctors with phony degrees, I don't care as long as the people know how dubious that hospital's staff credentials are. Most of all, if our tax dollars fund the department of education which oversees the accreditation board, I have the right to speak out.

The Real George Wythe said...

James F -

My relative had no idea about these things until I pointed them out to her, after she had already been to the school. Clearly she didn't know -- how could she?

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to this site for providing the information that it does concerning GWU. I am a distance studies student at GWU who plunked down thousands of dollars to "attend" an unaccredited liberal arts college. If I had known what I have been discovering since fall of last year, I never would have invested my time and money into this school. I might not always agree with TRGW, but I thank him for taking the time to help others discover the truth about GWU.

James F. said...

TRGW--I understand and I concede this point. I suppose it is harder for me to understand because I have fallen into this information over the course of many years. I have accepted it for what I think it is, and my opinion of GWU is still high. However I do now better see how a student that hasn't had previous exposure to GWU would be surprised upon moving to campus and seeing what the school is really like. And for that reason I do hope that this blog has the affect of making GWU realize that they need to be more open and forthcoming on their website and other promotional material to better give potential students full disclosure as to what they are getting into.

Why do I still have a high opinion of GWU? I have had the opportunity to personally attend GWU seminars, audit a class, and hear on several occasions directly from Oliver DeMille. In each of these experiences I have been very impressed with the way they encourage and inspire people to obtain the best education possible in order to better prepare for and fulfill their personal mission in life. After what I have personally seen you would be very hard pressed to convince me that GWU is motivated by their own selfishness and that this is all a big scam.

I have met these people. They are good people. They care about their students. The believe in what they are doing. They are working their tails off and I have seen no proof or anything to suggest that they are living large and making lots of money off of this. If it is a scam, its a pretty lousy one.

They certainly aren't perfect and I am realizing that they need to work on their image and branding. While trying to promote a positive image (everyone tries to) they also need to give fuller disclosure to potential students to ensure that those like your relative know what exactly it is they are getting into before they get there.

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that the school and the mentors are sincere. However, the school has obviously made some huge mistakes. For instance, purchasing land in Monticello to build a billion dollar campus. That was a blunder because the school doesn't have a large enough endowment to gain accreditation.

Another large mistake was to award graduate degrees and award some of them for life experience. Interstingly enough, the AALE doesn't even give accreditation for graduate degrees. They were moving ahead to quickly.

If they had made a truly good attempt at building a good Bachelor's program then they would probably have a chance at accreditation. Instead they have tried to expand at the expense of accreditation.