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.



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 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.

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.



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


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.










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


  • 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:







Freemium Is Finally Here!!


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.



Click on the Mentoring Vault taking you to this page.




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




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




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.

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.






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.



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

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



and acquaintances.





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….





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.



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.



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.



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.


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.





Can’t Fix Stupid

I went back to some of my older blog posts to see what I had said about things then.  Here is one that is worth reprinting.


Fairytale of 2011 2015

Once upon a time and in a land not so far away, there was a people who willing made personal economic decisions beyond their income capacity.  They borrowed money from lenders for not just houses and cars, but they borrowed money for clothes and vacations, homes far beyond their ability to maintain payments. They borrowed money to pay for all sorts of luxury items without much thought as to the overall cost.  Their friend, Common Sense told them that even though they were making stable incomes now, if anything changed and the economy declined or suffered from inflation, they would not be able to keep their nice things–because they didn’t really own them. 


Few listened.


Things went on like this for sometime and people began to believe that Common Sense was just acting like a frightened old woman.  They even took their new ideas about money with them to the state and national capitols to use them to run the government, it all seemed to work great–silly Common Sense.


Then one day, the lenders stop lending.  The lenders said that the government had borrowed more than it would ever be able to pay back.  The lenders said that they would be happy to just receive the interest on the debt owned and that it would take years, maybe even generations for the government to payback the interest and the principle. Other people no longer valued their currency and sent it all back.


Life changed in the land.  Prices on everything went up very quickly.  Many of the people were afraid and could no longer afford their nice things and had to give them back to the rightful owners, the banks.


Many people lost their homes.  Jobs evaporated and lots of people lost their entire savings and investments as other people in other lands lost faith in the credit of this people and their government.  Some people in other lands even talked about getting their money back by using guns and war.  It was a very unhappy time.

Simply put—today, this very day and everyday since 2007, the U.S. government has borrowed and continues to borrow approximately four billion dollars every 24 hours to keep and maintain our current lifestyle, governmental operations, social programs, military activities and economic interaction with other nations.

Legally and wisely, we have a debt ceiling, a limit placed on how much debt obligation we as a nation would be willing to carry and owe to other nations or private individuals.  The past decade has shown an absolute governmental disregard for the economic principles represented by such a ceiling.  Could our representatives in Washington really have intended this ceiling to be used as our national spending target?

I have seen children and young inexperienced couples make these kinds of mistakes, but honored and trusted governmental representatives?

And what is the plan to pay this money back?

What does it mean for the millions of unborn citizens who did not even get a chance to weigh-in on this?

During the past decade, the United States has expanded its money supply and borrowed trillions of dollars to meet an unsustainable lifestyle. And during the past twenty years, a number of economic forecasters have been predicting an economic meltdown in the near future, if these expanding and borrowing practices did not end.

Few listened.

Economic forecasting is the business of predicting economic growth and how it will impact the entities engaged in that particular economy.  One element of this kind of forecasting is called Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced and sold from the United States.  One formula used in economic forecasting is the ratio of public debt in relation to the GDP.

The February 23, 2010 issue of the Boston Globe ran a story entitled “The US public debt hits its tipping point.”

This story referred to research conducted by Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff and basically goes like this (from the article): 

In an advanced industrial society like the US, the gross public debt of the central government (“public debt’’) can rise from 30 percent to 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product with surprising little impact on inflation or economic growth. (The gross public debt includes Treasury bonds held by public investors and internal obligations like those to the Social Security trust fund.)


However once gross public debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP, the adverse effects on the economy come quickly into play. At the end of 2010, the public debt of the United States will be close to 100 percent of our GDP for this year.


How will this dynamic work? When the US public debt gets close to the US GDP, foreign investors will become concerned about America’s ability to keep its deficits under control, and will start to demand higher interest rates to buy the ever-increasing volume of US Treasury bonds. Although the recession may delay this spike in interest rates, it is likely to happen during 2011 or 2012.(This is confirmed by other forecasters including my personal favorite, Harry Dent.



Higher US interest rates will hurt consumers with credit card debt, homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages and businesses with borrowing needs. At the same time, higher interest rates will substantially increase annual payments on the federal debt.


In addition, when the public debt of an advanced industrial country gets close to 100 percent of its GDP, its rate of economic growth slows significantly. This occurs because more capital is needed to finance continuing budget deficits and less is available for productive private investments. With such a huge public debt, Congress will not have the option of enacting a stimulus program to boost economic growth.


Indeed, Congress will come under increasing pressure to cut back on discretionary spending (including defense) to stop the skyrocketing of public debt. However, discretionary spending involves less than one quarter of the federal budget – the bulk goes to debt service and entitlements.


Similarly, the United States is nearing a tipping point for federal entitlements. This year Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it receives from payroll taxes; in 2017, the trust fund for Medicare is almost certain to be exhausted. Yet any reductions in these entitlement programs will take years to impact the federal budget since politically they cannot be reduced for those already in retirement or close to retirement.

Debt-to-GDP-ratio-10-Year-Trend(2015 Debt to GDP is 102.6% – Silly Common Sense)

Wow, what a mess. And as we have seen in the last week at the capitol, not enough of our representatives are coming to grips with our reality.

Ron Paul recently asked Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve this question, “So how exactly do we decrease inflation by creating more inflation?”

I have a question – “How do we decrease our debt obligations by raising the debt ceiling?”

As my old friend the farmer used to say—Can’t fix stupid.


Liberal Arts: A Rising Trend In Education

Liberal-ArtsOne of the hot topics in college education over the last few years is the revival of the Liberal Arts as a vital and necessary part of a quality education.  A quick search online will reveal numerous articles, studies and quotes, from colleges, alumni, and business leaders praising and promoting the value of this kind of education.

A 2010 study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities revealed that employers want “colleges to place more emphasis on essential learning outcomes” such as:

* Written and oral communication – 89%

* Critical thinking and analytic reasoning – 81%

* Complex problem solving – 75%

* Teamwork skills in diverse groups – 71%

* Creativity and innovation – 70%

* Information literacy – 68%

* Quantitative reasoning – 63%
These are all skills acquired from a Liberal Arts education.

Monticello College has a two-fold objective – convey a Classical Liberal Arts or Leadership Education to our students while instilling qualities of sound character – the kind of education that America was founded on and prospered under for the first 350 years AND assist every student in creating a business or employee skill set that produces income before graduation. We fight unemployment by building entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs!

Students who attend Monticello College will study the Classics and Great Books of Western Civilization, but will also get great hands-on, practical experience from the diverse natural environment surrounding the campus.

By learning HOW to think rather than WHAT to think, Monticello College students will not only be prepared to follow their missions in life, but to lead and inspire others to do the same.

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.


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.