By Dawn We’ll Be Free: One Family’s Courageous Journey to Freedom

About a year and 1/2 ago, I was teaching in Southern California. I always try to bring a lot of stories and historical relevance to my classes and in this particular class, I had related the events surrounding the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

One of my students, a quiet but attentive older lady approached me after the class and with a bit of an accent, thanked me for sharing the Hungarian history and quietly shared that she had lived through that revolution. This lead to a formal interview, which then lead to her writing this book.

GEORGETTE AT 19, JUST 18 MONTHS AFTER ARRIVING IN THE USA

GEORGETTE AT 19, JUST 18 MONTHS AFTER ARRIVING IN THE USA

At the end of WWII, the Soviet Army pushed the Nazi’s out of East Europe and began to occupy it. It was 1945 when they invaded Hungary and made it a communist state, one of the most repressed in the world.

Georgette and her family quickly went from a comfortable middle class life in Budapest, Hungary to being prisoners of one of the most horrific political systems in modern times.

Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Many died of starvation, and of foul conditions after being forced from their homes and made to live in camps.

Some were executed. Georgette and her family knew they had to escape or they faced the same fate as their unfortunate neighbors.

GEORGETTE IN CALIFORNIA TODAY

GEORGETTE IN CALIFORNIA TODAY

Georgette was captured by Russians soldiers, hunted by a communist spy in Austria, and suffered the consequences of a failed attempt to escape through the infamous Iron Curtain, all before she was seventeen years old.

Georgette tells the riveting narrative of a brave child and teenager, who lived through the tyranny of Stalinist communism and ultimately triumphed on the free soil of the United States of America.
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Georgette is normally a soft-spoken family-oriented woman who transforms into a passionate promoter when it comes to freedom and the dangers of loosing basic human rights.

This book provides a perspective that is difficult for Americans to imagine. This reading experience strengthens families and helps you see liberty in a vivid and deeply personal manner.

 

READ BY DAWN WE’LL BE FREE WITH YOUR FAMILY TODAY!

We are planning to bring Georgette to Utah on a speaking tour.  If you are interested in such an event please email me.

The Mount Olympus Project


mount20olympus                      

Life has changed in the 21st century. Technology is changing everything from how we dress, to how we drive, to how we dream. But It Doesn’t Change How We Feel. And no matter how life changing our technology becomes or how big our dreams are—how we feel about ourselves influences everything else.

Your self-image dictates the quality of your marriage, how your kids feel about you, how you interpret events at work and how big your paycheck is. How you see yourself—your self-image—dictates your health and happiness.

girlSelf-image is the number one thing that determines success or failure in relationships, business, and all other human interaction. Sadly, most people have never come to grips with or learned to navigate feelings such as vulnerability, shame, rage, guilt, self-love, joy, and gratitude.

These feeling and concepts transcend religion and philosophy. They are in every human heart; there is no escaping them. And the peace and success that most people ineffectively seek can only be found by embracing the birth place of all feelings—self-image.
self-image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your most cherished dreams? What would you be willing to do to achieve them? How long will you continue to suffer loss, pain, heartache, and low self-esteem? The Mount Olympus Project is a program that breaks through those barriers and delivers your dreams!

Want to be truly happy? I mean at a level you can’t imagine. Ready to a live a life of resolved guilt and shame and self-doubt? Ready to earn what you are worth? Eager to wake up every morning full of life, excitement, and joy? IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!

This program combines the wisdom of Asian, Roman, and Christian philosophy with hard work, “Feet to the Fire” mentoring, and secrets to success that have been used and endorsed by thousands of successful and happy people.

Dr. Shanon Brooks mentors this extensive 3-month course and he will guide you through radical personal change from how you see yourself now to a person of happiness, success, abundance, and peace. This course helps you develop the tools, attitude, will power, and strength to accomplish anything you desire – and that means anything.

Cost:  $1,000/person

Venue: Conference call and personal mentoring

Benefits:

  • Daily 45 min. Classes (all 3 months)
  • Customized Personal Mentoring
  • “Feet to the Fire” Personal Accountability
  • Massive Personal Break-Throughs
  • Quality Readings and Discussion
  • Liberal Arts Education

Money Back Guarantee (If you complete all assignments, I will refund $500 of your fee)

This is a stand-alone program and not part of any Monticello College Degree program. No credits or degree are presented on completion.

To Enroll or for more info: Call: (435) 590-1661 or email: sb@monticellocollege.org

 

COURSE BEGINS SEPTEMBER 14 – ENROLLMENT DEADLINE – SEPTEMBER 5, 2015

 

ENROLL TODAYTHERE ARE BOOKS TO PURCHASE AND READACT NOW!

 

 

Freemium Is Finally Here!!

 

SMN
OK, we all know that launching big things can take more time than we anticipate…this has been the case with the Strongbrook Mentoring Network (SMN) but it is here now.

All you have to do to test drive this world-class mentoring network for FREE is to CLICK HERE, and that will take you to this page.

liberty

 

Click on the Mentoring Vault taking you to this page.

 

SMN

 

Click on the ORANGE “ACCESS CONTENT” STRIP and choose one or more of the free courses.

 

les

 

Click on the orange “LOGIN TO START” button that takes you to a free account setup (seriously…it is 100% free account set up!)

 

Login

 

It is that simple and painless Because it is free!!!!

I really want to know what you think so please try it out and give me some honest feedback.

What Are The Georgics, Really?

 

 

CHICKENS ROAMING THE YARD AT MONTICELLO COLLEGE

CHICKENS ROAMING THE YARD AT MONTICELLO COLLEGE

What are the Georgics?,”  is a really good question.  Let me qualify myself before I attempt to answer this.

I grew up on a 40-acre farm with 1,000 chickens, 30 head of cattle, 10 pigs and an assortment of ducks, geese, cats, and dogs etc.

So I understand farm life and nature’s birth, growth and death cycle, puny man’s dependence on Providence for hay crops, 3:00am calving emergencies, the untimely death of a beloved animal, the threat of coyotes–you see where I am going with this.

I am also a self-styled entrepreneur.  I have not worked anywhere for the last 20 years that I did not take a hand in creating the company or institution of my employ. So when I was introduced to the concept of Georgics, it made sense to me right away. But as our culture has moved away from the concept of the Georgics, fewer and fewer people understand what this is and why it is important.

When the term Georgics is mentioned in conversation, I have observed that people usually rely on one of three responses or definitions:

1) entrepreneurship

2) farming–specifically growing and storing one’s own food, being at some level self-sufficient, working with nature to self-sustain

3) they have no clue

 

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the American trait of  “Yankee Ingenuity“, the ability to dream, to ask questions, the innate curiosity of how something works or how it can be done better or the determination to never stop when faced with a difficulty, to just keep going until the problem is solved, or even just the willingness to work hard, save and build a better tomorrow.

In a climate of freedom, this self-motivation and self-reliance on one’s own abilities is the life blood of a country.  It drives an economy and the standard of living.  It can lead to strong families and communities if used in conjunction with a belief in the Divine, but it does not naturally lead to a reliance on Providence.

 

 

Farming

Farming is likely one of the most misunderstood concepts of past 60 years.  Since the advent of corporate-industrialized mono-crop farming and the demise of small-diverse-family-farms, the benefits and image of family farming has altogether been lost on the horizon of the American consciousness.

The original American family farming concept was that the purpose of the farm was to meet the family’s needs as much as possible and trade the farm surplus for the remainder of the family needs.

 

During the 1600’s and 1700’s, the American family produced between 70 and 100 percent of their own food. By the 1850’s, it was still as much as 50%. Entering the 20th century, the average non-farming American family still had chickens, a large family garden and canned or somehow preserved a large portion of what they produced for winter and spring consumption.

As a kid in the 70’s and 80’s living in the Pacific Northwest, I remember growing and harvesting from our 1/2 acre garden.  All winter long, mom would send us (usually me as the oldest) down into the bowels of the creepiest basement in the state without a doubt, to fetch a few quarts of home canned tomatoes or beets from the shelves or maybe recover some carrots or potatoes or onions from the bins of sand and sawdust.

Not until the mid 1980’s did the idea of producing your own loose its American status and become a thing that only preppers or rednecks did.

The transition of the dairy where I spent my summers during my last adolescent years was astounding.  In less than a decade the culture changed from purchasing whole milk in reusable 1/2 gal. glass bottles right from the farm to only purchasing cartoned milk (likely the same milk) from the shelves of a super Walmart.

From a financial perspective, it was a great move for my farmer boss, he made much more money during the late 80’s selling manure and landscaping supplies than he ever did selling milk and cows.  But at what cost?

So what are the Georgics?

I have been in heated arguments about the definition of the term Georgics.  Modern, never-farmed-city-dwellers are very keen on the Entrepreneurship definition, stating that entrepreneurship and farming are really the same thing at their core and that we are now simply in a more enlightened era.

Only someone who has never grown, harvested, and relied on themselves to produce their own food and hence, missed the significance of  the process, would ever give such an general response.  On the other hand, farmers alone don’t have all of the answers, especially modern monoculture corporate farmers.

If we want to understand the Georgics, perhaps we should go to the author of the phrase–the Roman Poet Virgil.

The Georgics is a poem written by the Roman poet Virgil, likely published in 29 BC.  As its name suggests (Georgica, from the Greek word georgein, ‘to farm’) the subject of the poem is agriculture and the human relationship to it.

As Virgil describes the cycles of crops, the seasons, the weather — the birth, death and rebirth that mark the natural world, he provides us with a complex, realistic, and painful reminder of the reality of the human condition.

Georgics speak directly of the foundationalism of the earth and specifically the act of farming. This literary work communicates from more than two millennia earlier, the basic concept that man’s liberty, indeed, his life is dependent upon himself, working the earth and depending on Providence.

The Georgics had a profound impact on the American founding and the 300 years that followed. Until recently, it greatly defined the phenomenon of being “American.”

Georgics Today

I believe that the essence and modern application of the Georgics is a combination of entrepreneurship and farming. Clearly the early American farmers and ranchers had what it took in the  entrepreneurship department. But today it seems every action is defined not by liberty and self-reliance but by the dollar value of that action.  Standard of living has been hijacked and redefined as quality of life (they are not the same). Both entrepreneurship and farming have succumbed to the allure of the dollar.

This is neither consistent with happy living or economically sustainable. Corporate or mass farming or production of food takes us away from a vital and almost spiritual process of personal wellbeing. Nurturing, and caring for plants and animals that then fulfill our physical and nutritional needs, somehow completes the circle of life.

 

For more on how to family farm, read The New Organic Grower, by Elliot Coleman.

 

 

 

Because of Monticello College’s unique combination of location, mentoring, and participation, total four-year program tuition at Monticello College is lower than most 2-year colleges.

The new academic year begins in April 2016. All applications for online and on campus students are due before February 1, 2016.

**HOW TO APPLY TO MONTICELLO COLLEGE

At Monticello College we employ the Seminar Format for our classes. This means we study one subject at a time for a duration of 2 days to 3 weeks. Nearly our entire curriculum consists of original sources and most of those are consumed as whole works.  Needless to say, we do a lot of reading. As it is common to discuss one or more new books each day, preparation for a school year requires reading the next year’s curriculum weeks or even months in advance.

We recommend an 8-week (4 hours a day) preparation period. We also recommend that serious students acquire some books and begin reading even before being accepted as a student to get a jump on the readings. This means you should complete the application process long before the deadline so you can be accepted by early February and have plenty of time to prepare and complete as many readings as possible.

We recommend that you begin your application process as soon as possible and that you have all portions of the application submitted long before the deadline. You should plan to purchase the whole year’s worth of books at one time as some books we use are considered rare and are difficult to find or have a long shipping time, so plan to begin your book purchasing process with lots of lead time.

Give your student the advantages that a Leadership Education can provide. Contact us today for more information.

The Rest of the Story

I am so blessed.

Julia and I reached our 30-year wedding anniversary this year…and we are still very much in love.

Brooks Family Final 4

We have 6 beautiful children (ages 24-13) and we adore where we live.

 

 

 

MONTICELLO COLLEGE FIELD TRIP ON OUR MOUNTAIN

MONTICELLO COLLEGE FIELD TRIP ON OUR MOUNTAIN

I am the first person ever in my family to receive a university education.

And I have had the privilege of founding two colleges and to have spent the last 23 years living my mission.

ME TALKING TO GLENN BECK AT DINNER

ME TALKING TO GLENN BECK AT DINNER

I have shared the podium and  rubbed shoulders with some awesome people.

I enjoy perfect health and have thousands of friends, students,

SHARING THE PODIUM WITH THEN LT. GOV. NOW GOVERNOR OF UTAH GARY HERBERT

SHARING THE PODIUM WITH THEN LT. GOV. NOW GOVERNOR OF UTAH GARY HERBERT

and acquaintances.

ME AWARDING UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK SHURTLEFF THE WHITE BUFFALO STATESMANSHIP AWARD

ME AWARDING UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK SHURTLEFF THE WHITE BUFFALO STATESMANSHIP AWARD

 

 

Truly I have an abundance for which to be grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

But it didn’t start out that way, in fact my early life was a living nightmare.

For you to really understand how grateful I am and how important my mission of Leadership Education is to me, I have decided to be vulnerable and provide you with a contrast–To provide you with the rest of the story….

 

 

THAT'S ME AT SIXTEEN CENTER FRONT ROW

THAT’S ME AT SIXTEEN CENTER FRONT ROW

As I ran I could literally feel the blood coursing through my veins. My lungs were on fire, but there was so much adrenaline in my system that while I was terrified, I felt weirdly empowered, as if I could run for hours.

I knew if he caught me, he would kill me. That morning, I had stood up to his abuse—again. But this time his anger and violence were at a level I had never seen before. I had bruised his ego and challenged his authority for the last time. He had that “blood” look in his eyes, and my intuition told me that this was different –I was in mortal danger.

I had lived—with shame my whole childhood. None of my friends came to school with the bruises and cuts that I had, and while I knew it was wrong for a man to do that to his own child, somehow—I felt guilty—so I hid the evidence of my abuse. But with that hiding, came a sense of invisibility. I longed for someone to notice, to rescue me, to take me from this hell…but no one came.

I had never told anyone of the years of torture— of the frequent and brutal whippings as a very young child, of being rolled up in carpets, immoveable, suffocating, claustrophobic—dreading my involuntary cries that would only feed his cruel lust for my fear and pain. Having heavy bags of grain placed on my chest until I could not move or breath, and listening to him laugh and laugh as if it was great fun.

By my teen years it escalated to beatings with axe handles and knotted ropes, of being knocked through sheet rock walls, of the blood running down the inside of my pants on the way to school, of being shot with a pellet gun for not doing chores fast enough. For years I endured this treatment in silent, invisible shame.

Now here I was, 16 and running for my life. He had dragged me out of the house that morning and threatening to end my rebellious behavior for good. I broke away, and ran for the woods down our long country driveway, and I remember thinking—the woods, if I can just make to the woods.

In moments he was behind me racing the car down the drive intent on running me down, and just before the bumper crushed my legs, I jumped over the edge of the ravine to safety.

The area of the woods I had run to was crisscrossed with logging roads and for the next hour, I huddled in the heavy foliage, soaking wet, feverish, and weak from hunger, listening to the ranting of a mad-man bent on ending my life.

The next 6 months were a blur of counseling, living in different homes of friends, getting a full time job, and then losing that job due to an emotional meltdown after breaking up with a girlfriend. Feeling completely unloved and despised, I finally moving to Arizona to live with my mom.

My parents had divorced when I was ten, and I was forced to live with my father, so from the age of ten, I lived with an overwhelming sense of abandonment coupled with a never-ending flow of sadistic abuse.

So I moved to Arizona emotionally unstable.

I lived in constant fear that my abusive father would show up and drag me back to the darkness. After a few months, I was able to relax and regain some emotional stability. But I was still invisible, I was still hiding, broken, and ashamed.

NO PICTURES FROM THIS PERIOD AS THEY WERE LATER LOST IN OUR FAMILY HOUSE FIRE - BURNED TO THE GROUND

NO PICTURES FROM THIS PERIOD AS THEY WERE LATER LOST IN OUR FAMILY HOUSE FIRE – BURNED TO THE GROUND

Church was the only place where I felt any relief. I had grown up my whole life with the expectation that I would serve in the mission field, so when my time came, I reluctantly followed the dictates of my religion and went to serve in the country of Chile.

I hated it.

I couldn’t speak the language the food was weird, and the people and culture were alien to me. I almost went home several times. I spent my whole first year, fighting the system and never doing anything of value.

Then my life changed in a way that I could not have imagined. While in the mission field we worked in pairs. Every few months we would be reassigned a new 24/7 companion. My new companion was Adam Lloyd.

By the time Adam became my companion, it was well known in missionary system that I was a troublemaker. Adam knew it before we were assigned to work together.

But instead of just tolerating me as my other companions had, he showed extreme compassion and sensitivity, he truly loved me as a brother and a friend and it changed my life.

From that time on, I saw the world with new eyes. I began to feel different and started to enjoy our work of loving and serving the Chilean people in a way I had never understood before. I became very fluent in Spanish and I learned to love the food and the culture.

I was only with Adam for 3 months, but after he showed me the way thru his loving example, I found that I was actually very good at serving and loving others. In fact, I became so addicted to servicing others that I extended my stay in Chile and was deeply saddened when it was time to leave.

When I returned to my father’s home, after being gone four years, I found that nothing had changed. I didn’t stay long, within a few weeks I had secured an apartment that I shared with my brother, and within 6 months I had joined the US Navy just to get away from my family and my hometown.

After four years in the Navy, marriage to my angel wife Julia, and 2 more years in corporate America, we finally moved from Georgia back to Arizona.

At the age of 28, I enrolled in school and quickly moved through several different majors; Business, Psychology, and Law—never finding anything that filled the void of invisibility.

Then suddenly through a study group I discovered a thing called American history and freedom and I was hooked. And as I developed my knowledge base and started teaching in cottage meetings, I rediscovered the same feeling I had in Chile, the joy of helping others and feeling loved and appreciated. I was no longer invisible.

In 1992 my best friend and I—with a small group of others—started a leadership college. With them, I saw a need and went after it. I was going to change the world. I was finally were I belonged.

SHANON TEACHING AT 2004 GALA WORKSHOP

SHANON TEACHING AT 2004 GALA WORKSHOP

I gave my blood, sweat, and tears to start this college. I willingly sacrificed security and safety. I sacrificed years away from my family. I missed birthdays, recitals, competitions, anniversaries—and so many “firsts” I can’t even count. My wife went without many things she should have had, without complaint or argument.

In those early years, I traveled and spoke from one end of this nation to the other, mostly for free—or for gas money. I often went without a paycheck and without most of the things that Americans take for granted, but I did it happily because I was building my dream, a place where I could contribute, a place where I could finally be seen—I was no longer invisible.

OLIVER DEMILLE TEACHING  IN THE EARLY DAYS

OLIVER DEMILLE TEACHING IN THE EARLY DAYS

And over time the college became a reality. It took 17 years, it went from an idea in a rented basement to hundreds of graduates and thousands of students. My college impacted tens of thousands of families in several countries and spawned hundreds of other schools.

With my partner, I had become an educational maverick and I was starting to get noticed by other institutions and the media. Donors were starting to contribute big money and my graduates were beginning to make names for themselves in society.

And then—in an instant—it was gone.

People who had claimed to support my dream, people who I had loved and trusted, used power I had given them for their own selfish purposes and hijacked my dream.

One minute I was living my dream, the next minute my dream had morphed into a nightmare. I was left instantly without income, no database, no options. The emptiness was deafening. My partner became seriously ill and we stopped working together and I was on my own.

I fought to maintain control of the college for nearly a year, but with my partner out of the picture, I finally stepped away and let it go.

With my dream gone, my life vision in ruins, almost 2 decades of effort for nothing— I was at a loss of what to do. I was right back where I had started—running down that driveway—unloved, hated, broken, and invisible.

But a life mission is not that easy to kill. No matter how hard I tried to put it behind me, my dream of an entrepreneurship/leadership college had a life of its own and I could not stop thinking about it. It haunted me.

So with the help of a few close friends and another period of great sacrifice we started again to build our dream college.

And while the core of my original idea is still there, I have created the blueprint for an even better school than what I had originally dreamed of in those early days. And I am still building my dream today.

images (1)Now, the reason I tell you this story—is because we all face challenges.

We all struggle. Many of you are just trying to make it to the edge of the woods.

Just trying to dive into that ravine to save your lives—to keep from getting run down.

We all have a story. But our stories … do not define us.

My story does not define me. Does it look like my story defines me? No it doesn’t.

I could have taken a very different path. I could have gone to drugs or crime or resorted to abusing others myself, but by the grace of God—my story does not define me. By the very fabric and construct of the universe, my story does not define me.

Even if you share my story and have taken the other path, it still does not define you.

We have been given the most precious gift in the universe—Choice.

Wherever you are in this process, you can choose. It is never to late.

You can choose to be who you want to be. You can choose to be who you know you are.

Our trials and grief and abuse and trauma and devastation and bad choices and self-condemning sins—they are not us.

These are things that happen TO US. These are things we have done.

But They DO NOT DEFINE US!

You can choose to not be a composite of your trials and challenges.

imagesRegardless your circumstances, regardless your journey, regardless your wounds, your offenses, injuries, broken bones and broken hearts—you can still choose who you are and who you will become.

And when that choice is put to the service of blessing others, instead of becoming invisible, you will become INVINCIBLE.

My challenge to you is to go on the offense. My challenge to you is to live a life of choice.

And in the words of Emerson:

We are now men and women, not children and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.

Choose to be your most brilliant and confident self. Choose to be your most compassionate and courageous self. Choose to find your unique mission and contribution in life. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU TO CHOOSE.