Quote of the Day

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!


Anonymous said...


Since GWU is so progressive, I might add: "Diploma enterprise, not diploma mill"

Anonymous said...

lol. This was pretty funny. #7 is right on.

James F. said...

A well thought out "Seven Keys" RGW. While I agree with some of them, I think you draw some long lines in proving how GWU fits the bill.

#1. Hyperbole, not Accuracy. Yes, technically by this reasoning GWU is also the worst. :) That one made me laugh. However I don't see how this is not typical of any organization or business in marketing work. You try to find and talk up points of interest about the product you provide. This seems to me no different. They really believe in their product and so even though they are in a very small niche market, they choose to look at it optimistically and say they are the best, and not the worst.

#2 Obfuscation, not Articulation. I concede and I hope that GWU improves on this in the future.

#3 Argumentum ad hominem, not Argumentum ad rem. So DeMille generalizes in labeling critics "bashers"? It seems a rather ironic complaint coming from the author of many posts which have generalized the supporters, students, and staff of GWU.

#4 False Choices, not Free Thinking. Once again, one person's education is another's indoctrination. You don't agree with their system and consider it a "false choice". To those who choose to leave the conventional education model it IS very much "free thinking". Just because you don't like what people do when they think freely doesn't mean it is a false choice.

#5 Pretenders, not Professionals. If your claim is that teachers at GWU don't lead by example then I think that you simply haven't taken the time or had the chance to actually get to know them, what they stand for, and what they are doing. My experience has led me to much different conclusions. Those in the faculty that have talked up their work and qualifications are accused of lying, and those that don't are accused of having no real qualifications. Either way, by your reporting they both loose. While it is true that only one faculty member has a doctorate from another University, I have heard no acknowledgment of this accomplishment lending any credibility to him or his common work with the school. It seems it really doesn't matter to you either way.

#6 Conspiracy, not Reality. You openly declare your affiliation with the LDS Church, so I don't feel it inappropriate to point out that your religion believes in "secret combinations" especially in the so called "last days". You might disagree with DeMille on who is involved in those combinations, but it once again seems rather ironic to unequivocally denounce such talk coming from DeMille while there is rich tradition supporting such talk within the LDS Church.

#7 Skousen not Jefferson? This is where I really wish you would just take a class or extension course from GWU. Out of all the seminars and classes I have taken from GWU, a book authored by Skousen has yet to be on the reading list. While "Jefferson" is used in their advertising, admittedly it isn't all about him. Nor Skousen. There is a wide variety of classics that make it to the reading lists. To say that the school is based on Skousen's philosophies really makes no sense. The very link you posted does show the reading requirements, listing 2 books authored by Skousen and a full 20 others you left unmentioned--20 others of various authorship with potentially dozens more that would make up the degree.