Quote of the Day

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Solicitation

According to The Spectrum, an Andrew Groft of Enoch, Utah was arrested for solicitation on December 10th, 2010. Article here. (UPDATE: Salt Lake Tribune article here, Deseret News here.)

I don't know if this is the same Andrew Groft associated with GWU, but if it is, the reason I am posting this is to illustrate that these are normal, fallible men behind TJEd and GWU.

For any of you out there that have put your faith in men, rather than a sound philosophy (I'm talking about education here, not religion), this might be a cathartic soul-searching moment. Question whether that faith is properly placed.

UPDATE
Here is the booking photo:


CLARIFICATION
Let me be absolutely clear. When we lean on others for conviction that the principles of a cause are correct, we put ourselves at risk: if those people fail us, our faith fails with them.

Much better to gain one's own conviction.

This incident can be an inflection point for TJEd and GWU adherents. Do you really know the philosophy is sound, or have you been leaning on others for your conviction?

I encourage any TJEd adherent willing to question assumptions to read the eight excellent posts by a homeschool dad at whyidontdotjed.blogspot.com.

Fellow parents, you've got one shot at raising your kids; be just as sure as you can that you are leading them down the right path. And I'm not talking about an emotional surety; I'm talking about an intellectual understanding that the principles of this movement are sound.

I submit that they are not.

Use this moment to re-examine for yourselves, and have the courage to make any--and I mean any--necessary course corrections.

GWU appears to be breaking off into its own direction, independent of TJEd. If that is truly the case, I applaud the GW Foundation board for making sound course corrections. I have said several times that, with a proper foundation and disciplined execution, the school can turn into a strong force for good.

If the school acknowledges the shortcomings of the past (via an honest, written history) and divorces itself from those shortcomings (disavowing all life experience degrees would be an excellent start), the sky is the limit.

UPDATE
Dr. Schulthies (yes, he has an accredited doctorate so I'll actually refer to him as such) released the following statement last night:

"Andrew Groft has not been associated with George Wythe University for several months. His employment terminated on June 15, 2010 and his association as a trustee ended on August 19, 2010 along with all related duties. As an institution, we do not oversee or monitor the behavior of former employees, trustees or other previous associates. We are shocked and saddened by the charges recently filed against Mr. Groft and we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and children at this difficult time."

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is indeed the Andrew Groft associated with GWU. See mugshot at http://ironsheriff.ironcounty.net/jail/bookings/book.html.

Anonymous said...

Fallible? Yes. Normal? No.

Felidae said...

I believe the more accurate term is *formerly* associated with GWU, since after being replaced by Schulthies, Groft dropped off the website's board of trustees page sometime back in August or September. Looks like the board got rid of him just at the right time.

Interestingly, SUU actually had one of their current VPs get caught in the same sting operation.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50855818-76/president-suu-vice-curtis.html.csp

J.L.L said...

wow. This is no small deal. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law of course. But...
wow.

Felidae said...

By the way, TRGW, I think you've made excellent post here, and I like the way you've handled this topic. This is a great wakeup call for people who treat TJED as a religion, and also for us GWU students. I can see this becoming a great lesson to be included in Schulthies' new ethics emphasis in the curriculum.

J.L.L said...

BTW, TRGW, I would suggest saving copies of all the comments before people start deleting their comments, particularly regarding how wonderful Andrew Groft is. Things tend to go down the memory hole suddenly.

I did that with my blog.

Eme Pack said...

I attended GWC and Andy was my peer. I have been friends with him for 15 years and can say that he is a good-hearted and special man who made a whopper of a mistake. This does not shake my love and appreciation for all who support TJEd or for Andy himself. I adore the Groft family and will support them as they sort this out. God bless them all.

Anonymous said...

With a PhD in constitutional law I'm sure Groft will be just fine. I noticed that he has been teaching at a private school with his wife. It looks like Groft's punishment is more severe than the suu administrator, because he is no longer on the school's website. The suu admin got paid administrative leave.

I wonder what his defense will be. Research? I didn't think it was real? Thomas Jefferson did it too? At least it wasn't an intern like that liberal Bill Clinton?

I can't say how disgusted I am with this Andrew Groft guy. Anyone who would literally place his life on the table for 20min with a prostitute, not to mention his wife's health (think stds here), deserves the public humiliation that he is now receiving. I pray for Groft's wife and children.

Anonymous said...

John 8: 3-7

Anonymous said...

By pointing out a crime, one is not casting stones. Besides, I can honestly say that I have not desired a prostitute.

Should the sheriff, prosecuting attorneys, and judge avoid justice for the sake of avoiding casting stones? We do have law and order in this country. We also have freedom of speech. If you don't like somebody talking about crime, you also have the right to throw out bible verses.

Bipolar Attorney said...

This thread bothers me. I know GWU and TJed claim to build leadership and morals. But so does BYU.

My beef with these folks is academic and the results of loose academic standards. I would never vouch for the morals of all of the teachers and graduates of any of my schools including BYU.

GWU and TJed succeed or fail upon the merits of their educational products and not upon the moral failings of individuals. My personal opinion is that there are flaws. But I don't think this arrest or even a conviction has anything to do with those perceived flaws.

The Real George Wythe said...

Bipolar,

My point in posting is this: many TJEd adherents--unfortunately--follow the movement as they would a religion, with quite a bit of faith placed in the leaders.

Such faith is necessary because several underlying principles--like, for example, loose academic standards--don't quite make sense to outside observers.

Seeing a leader fall may open up the underlying principles to more scrutiny by the followers.

(Yes, it's weird this sounds so much like a religious discussion.)

I certainly don't want this thread to devolve into a personal attack.

I hope my reasoning makes sense.

TRGW

Felidae said...

I have to agree with TRGW on this. At George Wythe we are taught that a central purpose of a liberal arts education is to learn to think independently and even stand up to our mentors when we disagree. That obviously includes being willing to see them as fallible. I agree, though, that there's a set of previous students and perhaps even a few current ones who have been weak on that -- although not usually past the the sophomore year. There's no room for "cult of personality" in a true liberal arts education, and I think that the new leadership at the school has brought a strong modesty ethic. They would be the first to reject anyone trying to prop them up.

Where I might disagree with TRGW is any assumption that loose academic standards are somehow a principle at GWU. That seems more a relic of DeMille and Brooks' irresponsibility that I don't see any evidence of today.

Still, I have no problem with Groft's unfortunate errors being posted and discussed here. It can help those remaining stragglers from prior years to focus instead on the timeless principles of a traditional classical liberal education, just like the rest of us do.

Bipolar Attorney said...

I get the point RGW. It is as if Karl G. Maeser exposed himself on Provo's Main Street. That would shake my faith in his ability to educate.

Alison Moore Smith said...

Why did I just find this blog today? Maybe I just forgot about it, but good stuff.

And my old mystery friend, JLL is here. too. :)

Here's my favorite comment:

"My point in posting is this: many TJEd adherents--unfortunately--follow the movement as they would a religion, with quite a bit of faith placed in the leaders. "

AMEN! The religious faith aspect is often extreme. Even in the face of so much evidence of misinformation, all you hear is "la lalalalalalalala, I don't hear you!" How many times can DeMille change his resume before it looks suspicious??? I haven't ever changed the PAST in my resume, only added new things.

Credibility matters.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Guilty until proven innocent? I don't know the man and I don't know if he is guilty or not.

But I do know that the allegations may be false. It certainly wouldn't be a first. There are a few reasons off the top of my head that would innocently put him in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see. Good rule to live by.

Your comments in this blog post may have some merit once there is a conviction. Until then, your comments in connection to this story are premature and out of line. So eager to point out the truth, yet so eager to jump to conclusions, especially if they support your arguments.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the president of GWU has posted an official statement:

Andrew Groft has not been associated with George Wythe University for several months. His employment terminated on June 15, 2010 and his association as a trustee ended on August 19, 2010 along with all related duties. As an institution, we do not oversee or monitor the behavior of former employees, trustees or other previous associates. We are shocked and saddened by the charges recently filed against Mr. Groft and we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and children at this difficult time.

Shane Schulthies
President
George Wythe University

You can read it on their news page: http://news.gw.edu/

Anonymous said...

From Andy Groft's facebook page tonight:

I cannot express the sorrow I feel. I apologize for the embarrassment this has caused my wonderful wife and children, as well as my friends and colleagues. I am committed making restitution as far as that is possible, to rehabilitate, to seek forgiveness, to regain trust and to someday serve again. Thank you all for the outpouring of love, and for your forgiving hearts. Please keep my family in your prayers.

Anonymous said...

Admittance of guilt is better than a conviction.

This discussion in the context of this arrest now has merit.

It is critical to be able to discern for ourselves true principles and not put our trust in the arm of flesh.

The mistakes and sins of one man or several men do not automatically make the principles he/they promote not true. It may warrant another look at the principles though if your faith was based on the man as TRGW has suggested.

Luckily for me, I learned long ago not to put anyone on a pedestal. It is not fair to them. It is not fair to me. It just sets us for disappointment for we are all fallible human beings. It is true that at one time I allowed myself to put some of the GWC/TJEd promoters/speakers on such a pedestal and found myself let down.

Those things and other experiences did lead me to do exactly what TRGW has suggested. I have considered the principles of TJEd from many sources including your links and postings here and I submit that the principles are TRUE. Nothing that GWU or any of the founders or presidents or board members do can change this. I also submit that whether the principles are true is something we all need to answer for ourselves, not relying on anyone elses reasoning or status.

This blog has served to strengthen my understanding of the principles and where my trust truly is, a priceless gift. As for TRGW and I, we will have to agree to disagree on this one thing regarding whether these principles are true. There is much more that I am sure we see eye to eye on.

Thank goodness I was not hardened to the principles outlined in the TJEd philosophy/methodology because of disappointment or anger. That could have happened so easily for me. Applying the principles in my home and in my life have made all the difference. The journey has not been easy, but it has been and is worth it, every day. It works! I see it all around me.

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "I have considered the principles of TJEd from many sources including your links and postings here and I submit that the principles are TRUE."

Indeed, but how they are understood and how they are applied makes all the difference.

Anonymous said...

"Indeed, but how they are understood and how they are applied makes all the difference".

Here is a principle to be understood..."There is an ideal, and a right; and right is much more important than ideals. Here is the thing: when a person knows what's right for her and she is doing it, two things happen. First, she gets positive and focused and gets the job done. Second, she naturally tends to think the same path would be right for everyone else.

"The first point is right on, the second is often false. Teach the ideal, and support what people feel is the right thing for them. Also, realize what is right will eventually bring them back to the more ideal." --Oliver DeMille, A Thomas Jefferson Home Companion, pg. 176.

Anonymous said...

If the apology posted by Anon 10:48 is real, then I think it is nice, but one can only speculate what he would be doing right now had he not been caught.

It is doubtful to me that this was Groft's first experience with a prostitute. I'm very internet-savvy, but I wouldn't even know where to start to find an internet prostitute, nor do I want to.

Groft had been teaching at Williamsburg Academy, a private high school run by James Ure (until his name was removed from the website).

That being said, he needs to be convicted, but I don't think jail time is warranted here. Public humiliation is a greater punishment.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Ure said...

Williamsburg sent the following statement to the parents of all students within 24 hours of Andrew Groft's arrest:

"We regret to inform you that because of conduct unbecoming a Mentor, Andrew Groft's employment with the Academy has been terminated. While we love Andrew, and are praying for him and his family, our primary concern must be for the welfare of our students. Andrew has been charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. After a diligent inquiry, we have found that these charges are totally unconnected to his work at Williamsburg. However, the serious nature of these charges, and the evidence supporting them, warrants his immediate dismissal."

Durango said...

All I can say to Bob and others who have posted here saying that the TRGW is sullying the integrity of GWU is that in a quick instant Mr. Groft has done that all by himself. I am very sad for the family, but Groft should get what he deserves.

Anonymous said...

The only name Andrew Groft has sullied is his own. And i would say that even if he was still affiliated with GWU because i don't think the SUU VP caught in the same sting has sullied the name of SUU at all. He, also, has only sullied his own name. So to say Andrew Groft has sullied the name of GWU would be entirely inaccurate.

Durango said...

Groft has done some damage to the school. Because of his actions and association with Glenn Beck this story has gone outside the realms of Cedar City and perhaps will make national news. Already there is a posting of Groft's activities in the Huffington Post and Jon Stewart's Daily Show. I'm not saying the school should be sullied, but unfortunately they are not getting positive press from what Groft has done.

Anonymous said...

I've read nothing i would call negative news (negative speculation maybe but nothing that's actually news), and i've read the Huffington Post report. All they could say was that he is formerly associated with the school and post the current presidents comments. Which is all they should do, anything else would be speculation. I'm not sure i would call that negative, just news/facts, neither positive nor negative.

As for Jon Stewart. I don't watch him at all, let alone as a source of news. He's a comedian/satirist and media critic, not a journalist. So someone else will have to let me know if he's actually said anything about it on his show. All i could find on his website was a show suggestion from some anonymous guy with nothing but speculation. And speculation isn't news. Describing Groft as a friend of Beck is a bit over the top, too. GWU paid for Beck to speak at a fundraiser during Groft's stint as president. That doesn't make them friends. Beck has had nothing to do with the school since then, so even attempting to infer an association is a bit of a stretch. Again, someone will have to let me know if Stewart actually took that speculation-filled suggestion and did anything with it on his show. I doubt it would be worth his time.

Durango said...

All I'm saying is whatever you want to call what's being said, it is not good for GWU. Even KSL is reporting Groft's arrest and has interviewed Schulties. And if it's nothing as you insinuate, why the damage control by Ure and Schulties?

Matthew73 said...

Does anyone have any idea why Andrew was referred to repeatedly as "Dr. Groft" for years by GWC but is now referred to as "Mr. Groft" in Dr. Shultheiss' statement? Has GWC revoked his degree?

The Real George Wythe said...

Matthew,

Good catch, I didn't even notice that!

Here's hoping GWU is taking this blog's advice to heart and disavowing all dubious degrees awarded in the past.

TRGW

Jed and Kaydence said...

I have to say, I just heard about this blog last night and I've been reading it in my spare time ever since.

I was a student at GWC and graduated from there. I was also an employee there for a time and I can honestly say that this blog has only confirmed some things that I had been suspicious of.

The dishonesty, the lack of communication, the lack of continuity in the curriculum, and irresponsible financial practices have been the demise of GWC.

The people who are so passionate about defending GWC are perhaps confusing principles and personal experience with facts. I had a great personal experience there. I met my husband, I saw a new way of thinking that opened me up to a new life plan. But those were good personal changes that just happened to coincide with my time there. Perhaps some of you have learned some truly valuable things. Perhaps you've gained an insight that has given you a way to be your full self.

But that doesn't change the fact that these people are not being honest. Plan and simple. I saw it first hand. I used to tell people, "This place will never go anywhere because it's so shady in it's dealings." How true that has proven itself to be.

I remember in my final oral bringing up the lack of articulate students at GWC. I felt GWC had been claiming they were going to train leaders, but I was reading papers by some of these students who could not, literally, write a sentence (I was a student teacher for a short time as well). My professors disregarded my concerns and felt I was deflecting from my oral to take the pressure off myself.

They were always unwilling to admit their imperfections. Or maybe it wasn't so much that they were unwilling, so much as they were just blind to them. They had deluded themselves so much they just honestly didn't think they could make a mistake.

For those of you faithful GWC-ers, I understand you are defending the IDEA Of GWC, but this is the truth: The people who founded the school didn't know what they were doing. I'm not saying Dr DeMille isn't smart, it's obvious he is. I'm simply saying they had no idea how to run a school or a business. I could give you numerous examples but I don't have the time.

I find it disturbing that some of you are hitting so far below the belt as to attack each other's Christianity. That's just ridiculous. This isn't about religion. This is simply about bad business. I've read through many of these posts and I haven't found anything that equals an "attack". The information is clear. Let's leave religion out of it.

And for the person who said this blog "stands alone"... I can think of 10 students off the top of my head that I knew personally that left GWC unhappy with it's practices. If there's no one commenting here about being unhappy with the school, it's because they've all moved on with their lives. Like I have. I have no association with them and asked that my name be removed from their website. The only reason I'm saying anything now is because this website was just brought to my attention and I thought it was interesting.

I probably won't come again, but I just wanted to go on the record in support of full disclosure. If people are going to spend money on this school, they deserve the honest truth.

With all that being said, I wish the new generation of GWC the best. With Dr Schulthies in charge there is hope that this institution can be viable educationally and financially. I look forward to seeing where it goes after starting with a clean slate and competent people in charge.

Jed and Kaydence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Durango:

It's not nothing. I don't see that i ever insinuated such. I'm pretty sure i said it was news. I'm certainly not against the relation of news so long as it's based in fact and not assumption. I simply disagree that the name of an institution Groft was formerly associated with or currently associated with has been damaged by what he's done. I guess i just don't see how the relation of facts about a person's personal mistake would damage an institution that wasn't involved in that mistake. But you have me interested. Is there an ingrained idea of "tainted by association" in society, and if so is it consistently applied? How do you feel about this SUU VP who was caught in the same sting? Has the name of SUU been damaged as well? Have they been practicing "damage control"? since they've put the guy on paid leave and issued a statement of their own? If you don't feel the same about SUU as you do GWU, i'd be very interested in knowing why.

I can see why you would call it damage control, so i actually do find it a little odd that i don't seem to feel like it is for
any of the schools involved. I think it's due to the nature of the institutions. I feel what all of them have done in regard
to these men has been very appropriate due to the fact that these institutions are servicing young people. If these men had
been building cars for a car company or something similar, it probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if they hadn't been
fired. But where these institutions are set up to serve young people, a certain level of integrity should be involved. I think it's just good business practice due to the nature of the business. But i can see "damage control" somewhat so i guess i won't make a big stink over it. It was helpful to think it all out and decide why i don't feel like it is, though.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone else has pointed this out, but GWC alumnus, Mark Siljander was convicted of multiple crimes which basically resulted in money being funneled to islamic terrorist organizations.

So, we have Ann Blake Tracy out there spreading lies about ssris, Mark Siljander funding islamic terror, Andrew Groft chasin hoes.

Anonymous said...

O Ye Hypocrites!

This man has given speeches titled

"Moral Courage for Future Husbands and Fathers"

Obviously he didn't bother to practice what he preached!??

I don't pity or pray for this man. He brought this upon himself. His ego,arrogance and his pride are... "were" larger than life. This man was and is a fake, a liar and a fraud and now is dealing with the shame.

A wife and 7 (SEVEN) kids!!!

Now he has some time to think about them, and the possible life long damage he has caused them. If there is anyone you followers/worshipers should be praying for...its his family!

Anonymous said...

I am one of those husbands and fathers whose lives have been influenced for good by Dr. Groft. There's no doubt this whole situation is quite the blunder, but it doesn't make untrue every good principle the man taught and stood for. I am a better father today because of Dr. Groft's teachings. That fact would not change with his death. It doesn't change now.

King David blew it. But that didn't undo the good he did for Israel before or afterward. I can't vouch for Groft's eternal soul, but I can vouch for the good he has done in my life and the lives of many others.

Just my two bits.

Anonymous said...

I can't say this story is all that surprising.

I was a student at GWU 10 years ago (back when it was still "college") and Mr. Groft was my professor. To my best recollection, all of the faculty there behaved strangely and were largely unconcerned with the progress of the average student.

I left GWU during my second year because I felt that the school conducted itself in a very "cloak and dagger" sort of way.

Thumbs up to the principles that GWU is founded on, but boy did the school miss the mark trying to implement them. I hope the new administration can turn the boat around before it sinks.

Anonymous said...

So if I anoint myself with the title Dr. will you all please refer to me as one. Yeah Demille gave it to me so it must count for something cause HE "earned" a law degree from Lasalle!

"Dr. Groft" is no Dr. thank you very much!

Why do so many of you insist on this title?!!!

what makes him a Dr.?

Perhaps the early GWU PHD standard: Life Experience+Tuition payment=Bogus PHD

I suppose in the early days of GWU they had a highly rigorous vetting process? Please!

For people that actually "earned" a PHD or any advanced degree for that matter, calling Andy a "Dr" is absurd!

I know GWU has changed significantly thanks to the New president and professors, but lets all quit referring to the old guard with these ridiculous titles.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the title of "Dr." - It is absolutely true that years ago, some people at GWU absolutely did NOT do enough to earn their degrees. The paradox is that it's also true that others did more than enough. You can usually distinguish the second group by how annoyed they get when learning about the first, especially when speaking of advanced degrees.

Despite his shortcomings, I can confidently say that Dr. Groft did, in fact, work very hard academically. Angered and disappointed as I am this week, I still have to give him credit for that.

Still, compared to the years I was a student (and we did work hard) the school has improved immensely with Schulthies. I've seen a sea change in the consistent application of standards, which is very welcome indeed.

Anonymous said...

Here's a new statement on this incident as posted on the GWU website. http://news.gw.edu/?p=248

Dear Students, Alumni, and Friends:

By now you may have heard reports in the media about the unfortunate incident regarding Dr. Groft. Given his prior years of association with George Wythe University, it is understandable that his former students and colleagues would be experiencing disappointment and concern . . .

J.L.L said...

After reading the new response on all this from Shane Schulthies, it appears that accreditation is the Shangri-la of GWU. It's always the place when GWU will finally be able to shine and take its place as a respected and influential school. It's always just around the corner, once some particular roadblock is cleared. Yet it never seems to really be that close at all, ever.

What some people in TJEd and GWU don't understand is that there is a serious trust issue that non-TJEd and non-GWU people have towards their ideas and the school. People see a faulty premise, but the TJEd\GWU people believe it and want it to be true. So their clams become exaggerated, they try to explain problems away, and they accuse critics of not understanding their principles.

I said before how I love Cleon Skousen, the Great Books, classical education, etc. so I don't really have an ideological disagreement with them. But they started with faulty principles (7 great keys, etc.)

So having Groft get busted for solicitation just reinforces that distrust others have outside the school. By their fruits ye shall know them, and granted that most people at GWU are good people and one person's actions do not invalidate any other good actions of others, this trust problem with the public has to be resolved. And it's not going to come by arguing or rhetoric.

Felidae said...

JLL, Brooks has only been gone from the organization for something like 18 months and Schulthies has only been in charge since June. Accreditation is complex and he's had a big mess to clean up. He's been clear on the biggest items on checklist, and naturally there are numerous smaller ones. The fact that the accreditation agency continues making site visits and maintaining a dialog indicates that the school is on a mapped trajectory. Go to AALE's website and you can see the procedure yourself. It all seems pretty straightforward, although difficult considering the challenges Schulthies inherited. I hear no rhetoric; I only hear work.

Anonymous said...

Groft pleads guilty:

Excerpt from the Spectrum (http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20101216/NEWS01/12160315/-1/CEDARCITY/Groft+pleads+guilty+to+solicitation)


CEDAR CITY - An Enoch man charged with sexual
solicitation following a prostitution sting by local
law enforcement last week pleaded guilty during a
meeting with prosecutors at the Cedar City
Attorney's Office Wednesday.

Andrew Groft, 38, was arrested Dec. 10 on the Class
B misdemeanor charge with seven other men at a
Cedar City hotel where they allegedly attempted to
exchange money for sex with a police confidential
informant disguised as a prostitute.

Cedar City Attorney Paul Bittmenn said Groft met with
a deputy attorney to enter his plea.

"He just came in, said he wanted to get it over with
and pled," Bittmenn said, noting Groft is the only
one of the seven charged that he knows of to have
formally entered a plea. "There are some crimes that
require a mandatory court appearance and I don't
think this is one of them."

The next step, Bittmenn added, is for the justice
court judge to accept the plea and give a sentence.

"I feel that avoiding bargains and paying the
maximum penalty that the court believes will satisfy
justice is the best way for me to begin on the path of
healing and redemption," Groft said in a statement
released Wednesday evening through his attorney,
Blaine T. Hofeling.

Groft, the former president of George Wythe
University in Cedar City and former sign language
instructor at Southern Utah University, also publicly
apologized to his "family, friends, colleagues,
former students, the community and state" in the
statement.

"I have made some decisions that I will regret for the
rest of my life," he said. "The road that led me to this
point started with smaller offenses that seemed
benign but gradually pulled me further and further
into a pit of addiction and despair. Although I
continually prayed for forgiveness and experienced
bouts of fortitude and upright behavior, the cycle of
addiction and darkness visited me again and again
and engulfed me more and more."

Anonymous said...

Wow. There is an awful lot of celebration going on here at finding someone caught in a fault and paraded all over the news. I hurt for this man and his family. Obviously he is hurting and will for a long time to come. Yes, he did wrong and he will be paying for it. But celebrating another's failures is wrong too. Unfortunately that is the point of this whole blog, to dig up and celebrate whatever slip, from misdemeanor to typographical error, you can find. Sad.

The Real George Wythe said...

Anon, he made himself a public figure. This goes with the territory.

Durango said...

I don't see where anyone on this blog is celebrating Groft'a misdeed. He held himself as a statesman but in his private life, he led a darker life. I feel sad for his family, but this situation just points out the fact that we must be careful who we put up on a pedestal. I will remember to trust in the arm of God, not flesh, since God does not disappoint.

Anonymous said...

Durango, trust in the arm of God, not flesh, is actually a lesson taught at George Wythe. I'm glad to see you agree with them on that one.

Anonymous said...

And TRGW, this doesn't go with the territory... this goes with your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm a former "cult-member"--- used to be associated with TJed and GWU, etc. I know Andrew well, and I have the utmost sympathy for him and his family and what they are going through, HOWEVER... There are a few problems I have with this situation: First, and most importantly, I think people's private lives should not usually discredit their academic work, BUT in this case, GWU prides themselves of having mentors who are "men and women of virtue." (I guess they do this because they don't have much else to say for themselves-- can't say "men and women of great academic credentials"). I got an e-mail a couple days ago from Monticello College (ie, Shannon) that really captured the message I had always heard from GWU and heightened the irony of the situation. I’ve pasted part of the message below (All Caps is my emphasis):
"""""
Mentors:
In a true liberal arts environment, the mentor serves one primary purpose:
A MODEL FOR EMULATION
Mentors in the liberal arts may lecture and lead students to become better writers, ask penetrating questions, and cause deep reflection, but their greatest contribution is living an exemplary personal and public life that reflects the virtues and values so often extolled in the classics.
Honestly, it is difficult to find such mentors in the 21st Century, but that is our task. We select only those individuals as mentors who embody and live by a code of conduct and a set of truths that we wish to inculcate in our students. Academic prowess is important, but personal integrity is vital. Thoughtfully considering Shakespeare or Milton is valuable, but living a life of service is of greater consequence. Understanding the complexities of Aristotle's Ethics, Euclid'sElementsand Plutarch's Lives can have life long application, but they are of no comparison to living a life of FIDELTIY and frugality.
We make no apologies.
Who our mentors are-is even MORE IMPORTANT than how or what they teach. We can direct the curriculum; we cannot dictate how a person lives his or her personal life. OUR MENTORS ARE SOMETIMES LESS THAN ACADEMICALLY CREDENTIALED. They are often successful in a field outside of traditional academia. But they are all well versed in the curriculum and passionate about living a good life, fulfilling their own personal missions, and about helping to prepare the next generation of American Founders.
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Ironic, ey?

The second thing that bothers me about this situation is the reaction from those associated with the college. I am friends with Andrew on Facebook and his wall has just been COVERED with outpourings of love and admiration. We're so sorry this happened to you, we're praying for you, you're still my favorite mentor, etc. First of all, this didn't "happen to" him, he DID it! But what really upsets me is the unwavering loyalty, even in the face of direct evidence. This is the mark of a cult! His students have every right—and even an obligation—to be disappointed in him. He does not deserve instant forgiveness, even if he does deserve eventual forgiveness.

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Anonymous said...

Sorry for the repost... something wrong with my internet.

The Real George Wythe said...

No problem Anon, I removed your three re-posts.

Bob said...

What a coincidence Anon, I was just reading about this very thing in the book Miracle of Forgiveness. It specifically stated that one shouldn’t be too hasty with their forgiveness. One should wait until all the signs of repentance are evident, restitution be completed and that sufficient years of righteous living have passed before forgiveness of any kind is appropriate. Granted it failed to detail exactly how many years of righteous living would be required. I think it also mentioned that a specific number of “hail mary’s” needed to be said, but those only count if they are sincere.

Bob said...

This whole thing is ridiculous. The idea that mentors are supposed to be perfect is a misconception not taught at GW. GW is very clear that all mankind is fallen and that there is no such thing as a perfect mortal. We are all simply on a quest to be as good as we can be. Some of us have seemingly more difficult challenges or weaknesses to overcome, but we all must do our best to continually choose the right, while at the same time serving others along the way.

Years ago I had Andy as a mentor and back then he never claimed to be perfect nor do I believe he has made such a claim since. That being said, it is important to have a mentor that you want to emulate, but nobody thinks that a mentor should be or even could be perfect. That is why it is often wise to have several mentors. I don’t expect my writing mentor to be perfect in math and I don’t expect my diplomacy mentor to be perfect in sign language.

Alma is an example that it is possible to overcome wicked mistakes through years of righteous service. So if years of righteous service can counteract wicked mistakes, must those years be served before or after the wickedness? I have been privy to much of Andy’s good. His decades of selfless service among the deaf are not made meaningless by this evidence of wickedness. His advice and guidance in my life is not now moot. Judas’ countless healings as an apostle were not undone by his later betrayal of the only perfect person to walk the earth.

It is my understanding that even if Andy never repents of this… if he lives the rest of his life as a vile sinner… that it is still my obligation to forgive him lest a sin be upon my head.

Bob said...

As for a cult following, Andy never asked for one. For the good Andy has done in his life, he has given the glory to God and for the bad, he has taken ownership and responsibility. Despite his flaws, those still sound like characteristics worthy of emulation.

By the way I would never anonymously tear another person down. If I have something demeaning to say, I would put my name on it. Not cower behind anonymity. Especially while simultaneously masquerading as their friend to their face. Look to the beam in your own eye.

Anonymous said...

@ bob:
Forgiveness is a miracle from God—from people, you have to earn it.
I'm not associated with the college anymore, nor do I feel I was tearing him down because of this mistake. People make mistakes. I don't even think this is THAT huge a mistake! In fact (ready to really hate me?) I'm an atheist and I think prostitution should be legal and sexuality should be more open. But that's not the point here:
I was a child, and I was shown these people because they were supposedly worthy of admiration. I myself was lectured by Andy about the importance of family and fidelity specifically, about the sacredness of procreation, about the holiness of the relationship in which such an act took place. I was warned that if I messed that up, I'd have messed up the most important thing in life-- that being an honest and pure partaker in the "renaissance of king" (ie progenitors) was more important by far than any intellectual renaissance I might spark. And given the shocking hypocrisy, I think it is right for me to feel betrayed.
Actually, I did put my name to these thoughts. I said what I thought to him directly, on facebook in fact. I don’t keep in touch with him much anymore and I was not rude and I have the utmost sympathy. I just don’t see why I need to put my name on a blog comment. Anyway… ad hominum much?

Anonymous said...

Am I understanding this correctly??? Did a self proclaimed atheist just lecture on repentance, forgiveness and hypocrisy?

No wonder you don’t read Andy’s facebook page anymore. Lately it’s been nothing but his testimony in living apostles and the healing powers of the atonement.

Bipolar Attorney said...

To RGW's list I would add:

(1) the denial of the scientific method;
(2) a great deal of paranoia; and
(3) a heavy dose of conspiracy theory.

The enemies change from the NWO to corruption in schools and colleges. Ann Blake Tracy preached against the pharmaceutical conspiracy. Mr. Demille is now engaged in an enterprise preaching against enemies in the economic system.

The vehement reactions to legitimate observations are those of true followers who see dangers all about.

Durango said...

Bob and his friend Anonymous - the one who insists that atheist can't speak on repentance etc. - probably haven't read Richard G. Scott's talk on "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character." What Groft did botched his character big time! Only time will tell if he rebuilds it.

Why is Groft writing about the Atonement on Facebook? Where was all this piety before? Perhaps, he should spend more time rebuilding his relationships at home and less time with his "admirers" on Facebook.

Felidae said...

In response to BP Attorney, I would say your assessment would have been accurate a few years ago, but is now rather outdated. Schulthies is quite experienced in the scientific method from his years at BYU and--no detractor of it--DeMille is gone and the school has moved on. I have also heard no support whatsoever for Anne Tracy at GW. As for revoking degrees, I believe that is a little more complex than just making a casual announcement. As the school advances through the accreditation process, it's reasonable to assume that the required degree program audits will automatically result in all the needed corrections.

Felidae said...

Correction: Schulthies is quite experienced in the scientific method from his years at BYU, and no detractor of it. DeMille is gone and the school has moved on.

Bipolar Attorney said...

Felidae,

You are right about Dr. Schulthies. I have no doubt that he is a man of learning and integrity.

I am talking about the followers. They will defend anything and everything that has ever happened at GWU. It does not matter how bizarre the actions, if taken by Mr. DeMille.

The problem for Dr. Schulthies is that he is starting from scratch with a bad record and followers that defend the absurdities of the past.

I do not know what it takes to remove the life experience degrees of the past. I do not even think that necessary. But what I do think necessary is a statement from the university administration that they do not support the mental illness theories of Ann Tracy. The administration could even refer to the excellent guidance on mental illness found at the LDS provident living website. However, I'm certain that GWU would lose supporters over such a step.

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