Here is a progress report snapshot on our crowd-funding project with that we launched yesterday…

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.19.50 AM

In one 24-hour period YOU have provided 51% of the funding required for our first project goal!!

For all who have donated…THANK YOU SO MUCH!

If you haven’t donated yet (as little as $10), please donate and help us build our campus (one orchard at a time).

If you have already donated, will you please pass this on to your friends and family and ask them to donate even just $10.

With your help, we will make history as the fasted funded project on



We Are Building An Apple Orchard!

Is sustainable food production important to you?

Does the idea of college students raising their own food excite you?

Please support the Monticello College Apple Orchard Barn Raiser project.



We just launched 3 hours ago and we have already raised $260.

CLICK HERE to take a virtual tour of the campus.


natural-lawMonticello College announces our one-of-a-kind Masters Degree in Natural Law available for enrollment beginning in 2016.

We want to kick off the Masters Degree in Natural Law with full enrollment in 2016 so we are offering a One-Time 50% Tuition Discount, but first let me tell you about the degree itself.

Click Here to start the application process.


Western philosophical and theological doctrines, both political and legal, find their roots in the concept that there are certain unchanging universal laws determined by nature, which pertain to man’s nature, which can be discovered by reason, and to which man-made laws should conform, even must conform for happy outcomes of positive law. Many of these natural laws have been discovered in sacred writings.

The philosophical doctrine that the authority of the legal system or of certain laws, id derived from their justifiability by reason, and indeed that a legal system which cannot be so justified has no authority.

The doctrine that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things that can be understood by reason. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature — both social and personal — and deduce binding rules of moral behavior from it.

Natural Law and the concept of the consent of the governed  (John Locke) are the foundation of the American Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Universal forces or laws of growth, formation, and motion impressed or infused on or into bodies or beings determined by nature. The invariable tendency or determination of any species of matter to a particular form with definite properties, and the determination of a body to certain motions, changes, and relations, which uniformly take place in the same circumstances.

Natural-law-300x231Sir William Blackstone*, the grandfather of modern Anglo-American law, said, “[T]he law of nature . . . is binding over all the globe, in all countries at all times. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this.” This statement—an echo of great philosophers and statesmen such as Joshua, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Cervantes, Turnbull, and Montesquieu—is the foundation of western and all other civilization.

Their collective point is that there are laws that are higher than manmade laws. Such laws are called natural law, and they are the basis of all freedom and all success. This is what Jefferson was referring to when he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .” When we violate natural law—as individuals, organizations, governments, or nations—there are always negative consequences.

As a people, we have lost this understanding in modern times, and this loss is also our biggest challenge as only the application of true principles can fix our nation and lead to real progress.

Monticello College is thrilled to offer this wholly unique and foundational degree, which is a response to the challenges facing our nation today. Learn from the same sources the American founders studied. This degree covers the great discussion about law and government from ancient times down to the American founding era, and beyond.



Reading these great works is like getting the kind of education young Thomas Jefferson or James Madison got, in the rich tradition of the greatest books on freedom throughout history. This course of readings forms the underpinning of greatest education about government, politics, law, and freedom available anywhere and provides applicable solutions for America’s problems today.




The objectives for this program are as follows:

  1. Increase the student’s capacity to make decisions based on a through understanding of human nature that will enhance productivity and effectiveness in the workplace as well as family life and the community at large.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of the historic/contemporary and practical application of natural law in the areas of wealth development, familial and community relations, business, governance, diplomacy, and international relations.
  3. Develop the ability to read and write legislation and constitutions at the local, state, and nation levels that correspond and are in harmony with universal natural law.
  4. Increase the student’s ability to read and understand difficult or antiquated text, distilling principles and truths for modern application.


Program Structure

This program is structured to follow the seminar format. Each major topic consists of intense required readings for several weeks at a time with annotated summaries and commentary, colloquia on required readings (colloquia are deep discussions from required readings that can last up to 8 hours), and a publishable article or research paper. Each semester will end with a written (essay) and oral examination.

This will occur in each of the first four semesters, the last two semesters are dedicated to publishable articles regarding modern application of natural law in two of the following topics; the institution of the family, business, jurisprudence, economy, culture/religion, governance, innovation, international relations, and the completion of the thesis.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

There are a multitude of occupational or employment advantages for a student in this program. This program, through the study of natural law, will necessarily delve deeply into Praxeology, Political Economy, Human Nature, and socio-historical patterns. A study of these fields greatly enhances read comprehension, writing, problem solving, and decision-making skills—skills demanded by employers and entrepreneurs to meet the many challenges in our rapidly morphing business world today.

Due to the intense academic nature of this program, students will greatly expand their ability to take-in and sift through large amounts of data and communicate both verbally and in writing at a level far above the modern corporate career expectation.



As many historians have often acknowledged and as was so well stated by Santayana, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” We could have easily titled this degree, MA in Leadership. The study of natural law is a study of humanity and civilization sometimes getting it right and sometimes getting it wrong in relation to human legislation and positive law, family and other human relations, business and trade, and the general laws of the Universe. To truly become a leader, requires the student to study the failures and successes of the past, particularly regarding law, governance, and human nature. This degree meets all of these conditions.

The employers I have relationships with—to a person—tell me that graduates from this kind of degree will greatly enhance their businesses. We desire to offer this degree for all of the above reasons, but also because although it was a common course of study in 18th and 19th centuries America, today we are unable to find other institutions where it is being taught beyond an occasional class here and there. The knowledge of natural law is vital for true honorable success, but virtually lost in America today. The offering of this degree is our effort to restore America back to her destiny of a beacon of freedom for the whole world.

First Cohort Tuition Discount

This is a 3-year program of study with a tuition cost of $18,000. But we want to have 20 students enrolled by the end of February 2016 so we are offering a 50% tuition discount locked-in for life for the first 20 accepted and enrolled applicants.

The first 20 students enrolled by February 25, 2016 will enjoy the First Cohort 50% tuition discount with total program tuition of $9,000:

Year One –             $2,000

Year Two –             $3,000

Year Three –          $4,000

First Cohort –        $9,000

Click Here to start the application process or call me directly to discuss your application questions: (435) 590-1661.



Introduction to Natural Law Concepts
Natural Law in the Greek Tradition
Natural Law in the Hebrew Tradition I
Natural Law in the Hebrew Tradition II
Natural Law in Roman Institutions
Historical Contexts of Natural Law: Plutarch
Natural Law in the Medieval Tradition
Natural Law in European Traditions
Natural Law in British Traditions I
Natural Law in British Traditions II

Natural Law Philosophers I: Montesquieu
Natural Law Philosophers II: Locke
Natural Law Philosophers III: Coke and Grotius
Natural Law Philosophers IV: Pufendorf
Natural Law Philosophers V: Blackstone
Natural Law Philosophers VI: Enlightenment and Beyond

Natural Law and the American Founding I
Natural Law and the American Founding II
Natural Law and the American Founding III
Natural Law and the Federalist Papers

Natural Law and European Institutions
Natural Law and American Institutions I
Natural Law and American Institutions II

Modern Issues and Current Events in Natural Law I
Modern Issues and Current Events in Natural Law II

* A strong case can be made that the first written legal foundation for western culture’s “Judea-Christian Ethic” and the basis of law and jurisprudence in English Law and subsequently, American Law is the 1766 2-volume set of Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone. Blackstone makes it very clear that honorably practicing law requires an understanding of the creation and execution of man made laws in harmony with Natural Law as the bedrock of all human freedom.

This is in sharp contrasted with the modern philosophy of disregarding Natural Law in favor of Positive Law. But Blackstone is merely continuing the admonition of the ancient voices of Aristotle, Cicero, Polybius, Aurelius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Pufendorf, Culverwell, Grotius, Lord Kames, Hutcheson, and Turnbull to mention only a handful of the hundreds of authors and writings on the forgotten subject Natural Law.

To question the importance and role of natural law today is evidence of a weak and shallow education system that has lead to a disturbing decline in America’s stature in the world. Current cultural trends that contradict the natural law on many fronts highlight the need once again for Americans to understand and accurately apply natural law in our families, churches, businesses, and government.



Click Here to start the application process or call me directly to discuss your application questions: (435) 590-1661.


Here are a couple of letters from employers and former students who understand what we are doing and see the value:

Dr. Brooks,

YES!  Please offer this degree in Natural Law!  Our nation needs more individuals equipped with the knowledge that this degree will provide.  As a parent of three boys, I am training them up to be leaders, statesmen, husbands, fathers, and men of courage.  I want degrees of high caliber, like this one, available for my sons and their generation because they have monumental challenges to face.  I also know that my husband, who is considering running for office once retired from the military, will benefit greatly from a degree like this and will be better able to serve in office.  This degree is a must have!  Thank you Monticello College for putting this degree together.

Eli Schultz

722 W. Park, St Guthrie, KY 42234


Dr. Brooks,

As a former chairman of the Arizona State Constitutional Commemoration Committee and board president of Choice Academies, Inc. which is the parent company of Adams Traditional Academy and Jefferson Preparatory High School, this degree is essential to restoring the knowledge of natural law.  Natural law is the basis of upon which our Constitution was founded and many of the problems our nation faces is because of a lack of understanding of natural law.

Lisa Fink

Board President Choice Academies, Inc.

2323 W. Parkside Lane Phoenix, AZ  85027


Dr. Brooks,

When I first learned that Monticello College was considering offering a Master’s Degree in Natural Law, my mind started racing. I am so excited to start this program. When I look at the choices our society is making in government, business, education, family, and community, I only wish this degree were more widely available.

We need more Americans who understand cause and effect, choice and consequence, as only natural law can teach. I would not hesitate for a second to hire someone with this degree. It would benefit my business and my community immensely.

Any civilization worth defending and preserving for generations to come must be founded on adherence to Natural Laws; and the better its citizens know and work to uphold those laws, the better our society will be. I can’t wait to enroll in this program as soon as it’s available. Please let me know what I can do to make that offering a reality.

James Malmstrom

Co-founder Eclipse Product Development, Inc.

Salt Lake City, UT



More Support Letters (from more than 50 letters)


From: <>

Date: December 31, 2013 10:11:05 AM MST

To:” <>

Subject: Re: Nat Law

Yes, I love this degree!  These are the things that need to be studied in our country to maintain freedom and help prevent repeating the mistakes of the past.  We need to be more empowered with this kind of knowledge.

Amanda Woodward




From: Bonnie Jones <>

Date: December 30, 2013 9:22:38 PM MST

To:” <>

Subject: RE: Nat Law

I love this!  You absolutely should offer this.  I especially like the literature and biography selections, expanding the philosophical foundation of the degree.  Bravo!

Bonnie Jones





Dr. Shanon Brooks

Monticello College

PO Box 1174

Monticello, Utah 84535


Dear Dr. Brooks:

I was very excited to learn about the proposed Master’s Degree in Natural Law. As a Computer Scientist at Hill Air Force Base I have been looking for an opportunity to continue my education not only to further my career but also to be a better leader in my community.

I was considering some local MBA programs but they don’t seem to offer the skills I’m interested in, plus I’m looking for something to set myself apart from the crowd.

All civilization are founded on the idea of following Natural Laws, and the more people who know those laws the better for the society. As I have learned the basics about Natural Laws I have been shocked to see how much application they have to every aspect of my life.

Please keep me informed as progress is made on this degree and other opportunities at Monticello College.

Thank You,

Brandon Mitchell

Kaysville, UT



From: Devirl Barfuss <>

Date: December 30, 2013 9:52:07 PM MST


Subject: Re: Nat Law

Dr. Brooks,

I appreciate the effort you are making and the influence you are having on young and old alike.  Some of us are promoting agency-based education in our communities.  It is well received among the home educators.  I understand there are 80,000 children being home educated in Utah and the number is growing.  These students should be prime candidates for Monticello even for just a semester or two.

Thank you for making such a huge effort.  I know it’s hard.

D. Barfuss





Date: December 30, 2013 7:40:00 PM MST


Subject: Masters in natural Law

Dr. Brooks

Yes, I feel that a Masters in “Natural Law” would be very valuable to any who held such a degree.


Gene F. Danforth

Danbury, New Hampshire






Abigail’s Oven: A New Entrepreneurial Venture

Long time friends of mine, Allen and Martha Levie are approaching the first year anniversary of their family business – Abigal’s Oven in Provo,Utah.

AO Image

I recently spent a week working in this sourdough bread bakery and experienced the hours and work schedule of a bread maker.

UntitledAbigail’s Oven is a local family bakery.

Little Abigail started this door-to-door venture when she was ten years old and it has grown into a family business that now serves thousands in their local community.

Often, this is the only bread that their gluten intolerant or diabetic customers can eat.

This is also a favorite bread of health enthusiasts, providing a healthful high-carb alternative to commercial yeast breads.

By searching the history of bread making they discovered the hidden truth of healthy, sustainable, good tasting sourdough bread using only three ingredients: wheat, salt, and water.

Allen dutch ovenTheir ancient natural leavening process is the secret to gluten free, commercial yeast free, fermented, low glycemic, unbromated, no-pesticide, non-GMO, “better than organic” bread.

Abigail’s Oven uses only wheat from local non-GMO, non-pesticide farmer Grant Evans at West Mountain Wheat and salt from Redmond Minerals or Real Salt, again a local premium salt supplier.

Bread in handThey bake nearly five days a week and supply thousands of customers in the Utah Mountain West including the Real Foods and Good Earth outlets in Utah County.



They are just now developing local weekly bread drops (just like the food trucks that meet people where they are on a regular schedule) and supplying food co-ops all over Utah and Salt Lake counties. Learn more about this historic and health promoting bread by calling 435 590 1661.

I am writing this post because I want to applaud the Levie’s and all other small family businesses in America. The foundation of America is family business and the more we return to this model the faster America will heal herself.

SeedAllen Levie is especially interested in healing communities through bread.  The simplified version of his vision is to start with the construction of a community bread oven.  Owned collectively, the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods would come together and bake weekly bread and build community bonds in the process.

Abigail’s Oven  sourdough bread is very tasty and a perfect way to consume healthy non-toxin complex carbohydrates. More and more people who suffer from gluten intolerance, diabetes, and a host of other ailments are finding that this bread is a welcome addition to their diet.

At the Spanish Fork Farmers Market a couple of months ago a woman begged Allen to never close his bakery because his bread was the only bread she could eat considering her health problems.

For Allen, this is reason enough to get up at 4:00am.

Be sure to visit any Real Foods and Good Earth outlet in the Utah Mountain West .

Essays Worth Reading Again: The Law

The-Law-by-Frederic-Bastiat-Book-CoverAnyone building a personal library of liberty must include in it a copy of Frédéric Bastiat’s classic essay, “The Law.” First published in 1850 by the great French economist and journalist, it is as clear a statement as has ever been made of the original American ideal of government, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, that the main purpose of any government is the protection of the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens.

Bastiat believed that all human beings possessed the God-given, natural rights of “individuality, liberty, property.” “This is man,” he wrote. These “three gifts from God precede all human legislation.” But even in his time—writing in the late 1840s—Bastiat was alarmed over how the law had been “perverted” into an instrument of what he called legal plunder.

Far from protecting individual rights, the law was increasingly used to deprive one group of citizens of those rights for the benefit of another group, and especially for the benefit of the state itself. He condemned the legal plunder of protectionist tariffs, government subsidies of all kinds, progressive taxation, public schools, government “jobs” programs, minimum wage laws, welfare, usury laws, and more.

com-welBastiat’s warnings of the dire effects of legal plunder are as relevant today as they were the day he first issued them. The system of legal plunder (which many now celebrate as “democracy”) will erase from everyone’s conscience, he wrote, the distinction between justice and injustice.

The plundered classes will eventually figure out how to enter the political game and plunder their fellow man. Legislation will never be guided by any principles of justice, but only by brute political force.

The great French champion of liberty also forecast the corruption of education by the state. Those who held “government-endowed teaching positions,” he wrote, would rarely criticize legal plunder lest their government endowments be ended.

The system of legal plunder would also greatly exaggerate the importance of politics in society. That would be a most unhealthy development as it would encourage even more citizens to seek to improve their own well-being not by producing goods and services for the marketplace but by plundering their fellow citizens through politics. Bastiat was also wise enough to anticipate what modern economists call “rent seeking” and “rent avoidance” behavior.

These two clumsy phrases refer, respectively, to the phenomena of lobbying for political favors (legal plunder), and of engaging in political activity directed at protecting oneself from being the victim of plunder seekers. (For example, the steel manufacturing industry lobbies for high tariffs on steel, whereas steel-using industries, like the automobile industry, can be expected to lobby against high tariffs on steel).

It is remarkable, in reading “The Law,” how perfectly accurate Bastiat was in describing the statists of his day which, it turns out, were not much different from the statists of today or any other day. The French “socialists” of Bastiat’s day espoused doctrines that perverted charity, education, and morals, for one thing. True charity does not begin with the robbery of taxation, he pointed out.

Plunder-and-Legal-PlunderGovernment schooling is inevitably an exercise in statist brainwashing, not genuine education; and it is hardly “moral” for a large gang (government) to (legally) rob one segment of the population, keep most of the loot, and share a little of it with various “needy” individuals. Socialists want “to play God,” Bastiat observed, anticipating all the future tyrants and despots of the world who would try to remake the world in their image, whether that image would be communism, fascism, the “glorious union,” or “global democracy.”

In the latter pages of “The Law” Bastiat offers the sage advice that what was really needed was “a science of economics” that would explain the harmony (or lack thereof) of a free society (as opposed to socialism). He made a major contribution to this end himself with the publication of his book, Economic Harmonies, which can be construed as a precursor to the modern literature of the Austrian School of economics.

This summary was written by Thomas James DiLorenzo who is an American economics professor at Loyola University.

Read the entire essay here THE LAW


Essays Worth Reading Again: Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education

This is a the first of many commentaries on “Essays Worth Reading Again.” This post features Mortimer Adler’s rocking essay from 1951, Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education 


A2R2513179C_ARISTOTLEAristotle often talks about the difference between the useful and the honorable.

What he means by the “useful” and the “honorable” can sometimes be translated into extrinsic and intrinsic ends.

An educational process has an intrinsic end if its result lies entirely within the person being educated, an excellence or perfection of his person, an improvement built right into his nature as a good habit is part of the nature of the person in whom a power is habituated.

An extrinsic end of education, on the other hand, lies in the goodness of an operation, not as reflecting the goodness of the operator but rather the perfection of something else as a result of the operation being performed well.

Thus, for example, there can be two reasons for learning carpentry. One might wish to learn carpentry simply to acquire the skill or art of using tools to fabricate things out of wood, an art or skill that anyone is better for having.

Or one might wish to learn carpentry in order to make good tables and chairs, not as works of art which reflect the excellence of the artist, but as commodities to sell.

This distinction between the two reasons for learning carpentry is connected in my mind with the difference or distinction between liberal and vocational education.

This carpentry is the same in both cases, but the first reason for learning carpentry is liberal, the second vocational.

downloadAll of this, I think, leads directly to the heart of the matter: that vocational training is training for work or labor; it is specialized rather than general; it is for an extrinsic end; and ultimately it is the education of slaves or workers.

And from my point of view it makes no difference whether you say slaves or workers, for you mean that the worker is a man who does nothing but work—a state of affairs which has obtained by the way, during the whole industrial period, from its beginning almost to our day.

Liberal education is education for leisure; it is general in character; it is for an intrinsic and not an extrinsic end; and, as compared with vocational training, which is the education of slaves or workers, liberal education is the education of free men.

I would like, however, to add one basic qualification at this point. According to this definition or conception of liberal education, it is not restricted in any way to training in the liberal arts. We often too narrowly identify liberal education with those arts which are genuinely the liberal arts—grammar, rhetoric, and logic and the mathematical disciplines—because that is one of the traditional meanings of liberal education.

But, as I am using the term “liberal” here, in contradistinction to “vocational,” I am not confining liberal education to intellectual education or to the cultivation of the mind. On the contrary, as I am using the phrase, liberal education has three large departments, according to the division of human excellences or modes of perfection. Physical training, or gymnastics in the Platonic sense, if its aim is to produce a good coordination of the body, is liberal education.

So also is moral training, if its aim is to produce moral perfections, good moral habits or virtues; and so also is intellectual training, if its aim is the production of good intellectual habits or virtues.

All three are liberal as distinguished from vocational. This is not, in a sense, a deviation from the conception of liberal education as being only concerned only with the mind, for in all three of these the mind plays a role. All bodily skills are arts; all moral habits involve prudence; so the mind is not left out of the picture even when one is talking about moral and physical training.

Read this essay in its entirety click here: Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education