Quote of the Day

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

Definitions

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:

Textbook
(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.