The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

Let me just start this off by saying, wow. What a journey it has been these past two years.

I began homeschooling in my junior year of high school with the Ron Paul Curriculum. My classes were great for the most part, and I was just struggling with getting into the swing of things. I had teachers like Tom Woods (my favorite!) and Gary North (we will get to him later). After completing all of my classes for junior year, I decided to re-enroll and finish my senior year with the RPC too. This is where things get interesting.

In my first year, I took notice of how Gary North talked to students; especially in comparison to how other instructors regarded students. (For anyone who does not know, the instructors do not grade your schoolwork, and all communications are through online forums. The forums are probably about 95% student moderated, and all posts are visible to all members.) Although I enjoyed his courses, I was met with animosity whenever I asked a clarification question, and I was not the only one. Since I was so new to the curriculum, I mostly just kept my head down when I saw North making an effort to belittle students.

The way he spoke was not with authority, but rather, arrogance. Students as young as freshmen were subjected to public embarrassment and humiliation on the public forums;  and each and every question asked was answered with another question: “do other students feel the same?”. If other students would confirm that they agree, he would again ask more questions to avoid fixing his mistakes. Under no circumstances would North accept advice or requests from the students.

Within 6 months of being in the curriculum I had seen an encounter between North and another student that actually upset me so much I contacted the support email for the RPC. North was far beyond disrespectful towards the student, and was clearly aiming for public humiliation in an attempt to deter him/her from asking North to fix his course mistakes. It was my understanding at this point in time that Ron Paul was the founder of the curriculum (hence the name) and it was my honest intent to have Gary North spoken to about his demeanor. Instead, I discovered that Gary North is the founder, and that it is his curriculum. He also puts out a great deal of the courses himself. Ron Paul’s only involvements are his name and his photo on the front page (which is extremely misleading). I was basically told to deal with it. (And suddenly the relentless displays of power and rudeness all made sense.)

In my two years with the RPC, I have not once seen Dr. North directly answer a student’s question, or offer to fix any of his mistakes with the coursework. It did not take very much observation to gather that Gary North sits on a horse so high he has to shout down upon middle and high school children. I was however taken aback by his most recent actions.

(Disclaimer: I am not here to justify my actions; I was not as polite as I could have been. Two years of being disrespected and talked down to in a curriculum I helped pay for myself is atrocious. Students deserve to be respected just as much as instructors do. If I wanted to continue the treatment I received in public school, I never would have left in the first place. When I first began with the RPC, I was extremely polite and kind with North. That behavior lasted up until the past few months.)

This is the final conversation that broke my patience and kindness:

STUDENT 1: Hi I have just started Business and am greatly enjoying it. Thanks Mr. North for the wonderful course. I have a few questions about the lessons and assignments however.

In Lesson 12 below the videos, you state this: For the next lesson, make a list of three things: “How will I add value that is worth paying for in 2030?”. What exactly are you trying to say? How will I make people want to pay me for something that robots can’t do? If you could clarify this I would appreciate it so I can do the assignment with a clear vision for what I have to do.

Then in Lesson 18, I feel that you are telling us to make a goal list for our life but I can’t quite tell. Is there something I missed that tells us straightforwardly that we should?

Finally in Lesson 19, you tell us: For tomorrow’s lesson, you will be required to write an essay on the program you selected, and why. Then in Lesson 20, you say: No writing assignment. What are we meant to do? If you didn’t contradict yourself it would help a lot.

Thanks for everything. I really appreciate this course and am trying to get the most out of it as I want to start a business myself.

STUDENT 1 (after no response): What I am trying to ask is if you could clearly write out the essays and assignments you want us to do on each lesson. Thanks again for the wonderful course!

GARY NORTH: Are others confused?

If so, suggest new instructions.

STUDENT 1: Would you just be able to answer my question? I would greatly appreciate that instead of you just making your own question for other students. Thanks.

GARY NORTH: There is an old rule: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I think you are needlessly confused. If I change the wording, others will be needlessly confused.

I want to see if others are confused.

STUDENT 2: Hi Paul (that’s your name right? 🙂 ),

It can get a little confusing, but here’s what I did:

1. I made my own opinion about how I think robots couldn’t replace us. You will write an essay on this for lesson 15 (I think), so that’s the purpose of the question. Here’s my essay: https://baroquemyriam.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/robots-and-jobs-employment-in-2030/

So, I believe what Dr. North wants is that we develop our opinions on the subject.

2. I believe Dr. North’s main purpose in posing all these questions, etc…is more than to have us make an actual list (although that’s really good) is to start thinking about this and make it part of our lives.

3. This last part is a bit confusing. I think Dr. North changed this since I did it because I had to write an essay on it, and then another the next week. (Here are my business essays: https://baroquemyriam.wordpress.com/school-essays/business/ )

So, I don’t know what you should do, other than just follow the instruction to the letter, or else write the essay anyway. 🙂

I hope this helps,
Myriam

ME: Dr. North: Yes, this is confusing. You were being inconsistent with your work/essay requests. If you typically place all requirements above the videos in text, and then you request some things verbally but do not include them with the rest of the assignments it gets confusing.
(To student 1) Unfortunately, I suggest you get used to the absence of direct answers. Dr. North (from my experience) will only answer questions with questions, and call upon other students in the process. While this seems to be his attempt at forced student to student problem solving, it does not fix the root issue. For example, in this situation another student helped you decide what to do, but the clarity of Dr. North’s request has not been improved, only avoided. The symptoms of the issue (confusion) were remedied, however the issue itself (Dr. North’s clarity and consistency) has not been resolved.

Good Luck!

STUDENT 3: I have found a few assignments confusing. Especially on Lesson 19 and 20. You mention out assignment for lesson 20 and in lesson 20 you say we have no assignment. The course is great though!

ME: Dr. North, now that we have established that it is in fact “broke”, and that this students confusion was not “needless”, are you planning on fixing these issues?

GARY NORTH: You fix them. Then get agreement from the others.

Then I will post your jointly agreed-on recommendation.

GARY NORTH: Fixed.

ME: Considering we all pay you good money for a quality education, I feel that you should be the one to fix your own mistakes. Do not volunteer for a position you will not completely fill. Take some responsibility and use the advice we have all provided here.

As per your request, I stated earlier that I believe all of the assignments and requirements should be in one place: above the videos in text. It seems that other students would want this too because the widespread confusion came entirely from your inconsistent tactics.

It is not the job of the students to clean up your messes, Dr. North. You asked if other students were confused in order to avoid fixing your issues. When it was confirmed that yes, other students were confused as well, you then dodged responsibility once again. This is seemingly consistent behavior on your behalf.

You had two options here. One: take the easy route, shift responsibility onto the students (customers) and lazily avoid fixing the problem. Or, two: take the constructive criticism that you specifically asked for, use it and learn how to be a better teacher from the whole experience. You chose option number one. That is on you, Dr. North. Not us.

(At this point, I was KICKED OUT of the curriculum. My subscription was cancelled mid-year. I was not the most polite student here, but I was also not wrong; I took it upon myself to speak to North like he has spoken to me and others. In a curriculum based on personal responsibility, you’d think that North would own up to his issues.)

GARY NORTH: Sorry, but I have not understood what the problem is.

If one person is confused, and I have no idea what the student is talking about, then I want confirmation from others.

I have understood none of the criticisms. So, a group solution is called for. If I fix what I do not know is the matter, I am like to make it worse.

There is a rule: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I do not want to break it for others by trying to fix it before I understand it.

Group knowledge is usually a good way to deal with an imperfection. Committees are not creative, but they are a good way to prevent or repair mistakes that affect a group.

Now, group, please spell out in detail what you think is wrong. I want (1) agreement on what is wrong; (2) a suggested solution.

I want to make sure that everyone agrees on the solution before I implement it.

GARY NORTH: I wish to respond to Camillie.

She writes: “Considering we all pay you good money for a quality education, I feel that you should be the one to fix your own mistakes. Do not volunteer for a position you will not completely fill. Take some responsibility and use the advice we have all provided here.”

Who is “we”? Your parents pay. You do not. The Ron Paul Curriculum has a contract with legal adults. Minors are not legally allowed to make contracts.

She writes: “As per your request, I stated earlier that I believe all of the assignments and requirements should be in one place: above the videos in text. It seems that other students would want this too because the widespread confusion came entirely from your inconsistent tactics.”

If there are examples of this, let me know. I fixed the one example I was given. I said so. Then she posted her complaint.

She writes: “It is not the job of the students to clean up your messes, Dr. North. You asked if other students were confused in order to avoid fixing your issues. When it was confirmed that yes, other students were confused as well, you then dodged responsibility once again. This is seemingly consistent behavior on your behalf.”

She is disrespectful of authority.

She writes: “You had two options here. One: take the easy route, shift responsibility onto the students (customers) and lazily avoid fixing the problem. Or, two: take the constructive criticism that you specifically asked for, use it and learn how to be a better teacher from the whole experience. You chose option number one. That is on you, Dr. North. Not us.”

She was incorrect. I had a third option. I cancelled her parents’ subscription to this site. She is now locked out. She will remain locked out. Her parents will have to find a different curriculum for her. I will give her parents a full refund, of course. I have told her that they must contact me by email for an explanation. I will provide this by sending them her comments. They will see what tone she adopted.

There is a biblical principle: count the costs before you take action (Luke 14:28-30).

Be very careful when challenging someone in authority. He may have more options that you have thought about.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

 

Gary North was in violation of a contract between himself and my grandmother; that is why he offered a refund. (He was also wrong about the money, I did help pay for my own schooling.) What he failed to mention to the other students after kicking me out was the fact that he offered me my membership back ONLY IF I never posted on the forums, and if I agreed never to write about the Ron Paul Curriculum on my blog or elsewhere. He also took it upon himself to make a new username and password for me should I decide to come back. The username was Humble and the password was Self-Restraint2016. (He really loves public humiliation as we have already covered.) I chose to retain my right to free speech and share my experiences with others. My personal experience is the most important thing to me regarding the situation now, and the fact that he attempted to silence me makes me feel that I should be speaking out even more!

Besides his social behavior, I also began having issues with his economics and his business courses. Towards the end half of the courses (and throughout other courses as well), our assignments were solely written for the purpose of promoting the RPC. Each week, we were instructed to write a specific number of good things about the RPC. Believe it or not, for a 10 day session in business, North even had another teacher do special instruction lessons on how to buy a domain name and run a website. We were expected to pay around $100-$200 to buy a domain name, and pay to run our own website in promotion of the RPC. We were supposed to sign up as affiliates with the RPC and when we got another person to join he would pay us. This was explicitly stated, not implied; as a student I was nothing more than free advertising to Dr. North, and it became more and more clear every week. I had already been creating alternative assignments for myself because I was so uncomfortable with how I was being used when this assignment rolled around. (Many RPC-promotion assignments can be found in my Business 1 course category, but keep in mind I refused to do many.)

The RPC is not about you. It is not about your children or your family. It is about Gary North. He constantly assigns articles he wrote himself, requires us to watch his own speeches, etc. As unfortunate as it may be, Gary North is the only instructor in the RPC I would not recommend for anyone, under any circumstances. I loved every other instructor and never had a single issue with anyone else.

Gary North is an egotistical man of self-preservation and promotion. He has put himself on a pedestal so far above the rest of us that the education of your children is one of his last priorities with the Ron Paul Curriculum. If you want true education, I am sorry to say go elsewhere. The only other option I would recommend would be to get courses released by people other than North (ex: Personal Finance, Govt 1A & B, Algebra, Western Civ, Public Speaking, etc.)

Good luck homeschoolers, and do not be discouraged! Although this experience was nothing like I expected, I still learned a lot from it. I have no regrets. I wish you all the best in your curriculum hunts! I hope I was able to shed some light on the truth of the Ron Paul Curriculum for you.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to comment!

 

God Bless,

Lillian

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42 thoughts on “The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

  1. Oh wow Lillie, reading about your experience makes me quite disturbed, thank you for sharing it though. I followed the discussion you had with Dr. North on the forums and I was quite amazed by it all; in fact, it scared me a bit….

    Lillie, I see so much potential in you! From what I have observed you are very smart, knowledgable, observant, and special. I hope that you will continue to grow in your knowledge and I really hope that you will continue posting on some sort of blog so that I can see where the Lord is taking you!

    Thanks again for sharing your experience!

    Allison

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read your post, “The Truth About Gary North and the Ron Paul Curriculum”. If one word could describe how I felt about it, that word would be respect. I agreed 100% with everything you stated in that post and believe all of it to be true. It’s ridiculous how he is using his students to promote the RPC and make money off of us. I just wanted to thank you for what you did there and let you know that you’re not alone. Keep being yourself Lillian, and don’t let a self-centered man like Gary North tell you differently.

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    • Thank you SO much Dawson. Your words are so kind and I truly appreciate your input! ❤ Your support means the world to me and I hope you share your experiences with the RPC for others as well! ❤ Good luck – God Bless!

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  3. Lillian, it was very impressive how you found the courage to speak up against Mr. North’s tactics, and also how you expressed your points so well. You were not disrespectful at all. I had such high hopes for the RPC for my children, but when I signed up last year and read these types of comments by North in the forums, I realized it was not going to fulfill those hopes and expectations. I was very disappointed by a comment he left when a parent expressed concern about course deliveries being so far behind for some classes. He publicly called out the instructor and said he would start docking him money and future class creation opportunities. So unprofessional! I immediately cancelled our account. I find it so ironic, that he is so critical about others, yet he failed his earliest stated goal of under promising and over delivering the class content schedule. It was an abysmal failure and really messed up student’s plans for those so far behind classes.

    You should be very proud of your conduct In this matter, and I am sure you have a very bright future ahead of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That truly means a great deal to me! Thank you for sharing your experience as well; I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. I believe we all had high hopes when we first heard about the Ron Paul Curriculum. How can you not love and trust Ron Paul – his school must be great! (Wrong!)
      Hopefully Dr.North will hear his customers. He has the know how to run a great curriculum, however he fails to put it into practice. I would love nothing more than to see the RPC improve and become a success, but that is impossible on this path.
      If you don’t mind me asking, what curriculum did you switch to?

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      • We started homeschooling our 3 kids three years ago with our oldest starting in what would have been his 6th grade year. Since we pulled out of the RPC, we basically have gone with a hybrid curriculum of the Robinson Curriculum with some add-ons. So for their middle school years, they have been doing Saxon Math and Hake Grammar and Writing in the Robinson way. We added to that, HistoryAtOurHouse and LiteratureAtOurHouse, which are nice online courses taught by two excellent teachers. Finally, they have read extensively from the Robinson book list. For science and speech , they do some homeschool coop stuff.

        I was hoping with my son heading into the 9th grade level, that I could place him fully into the RPC for his high school years. That’s how I found your blog post- by googling for recent reviews in the remotest hope that there have been positives changes there over the past year. I knew that hope was very dubious with the guy in charge there. I guess my wife and I will stitch together a custom curriculum for high school. Perhaps you have some good ideas since you have homeschooled those years? Did you go the Clep route like RPC encourages?

        The sad and stupid fact of your incident with the owner and how it went down, is that instead, he should have held you up as an example of what the curriculum can produce; an intelligent, independent, and courageous thinker. A student who writes and thinks very, very well.

        – Scott

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, thank you so much!
        I was just talking with another parent who found me through this post about the paths I decided to take. What is your email? I would be happy to send you my best suggestions/what I did about filling the holes the RPC left in my education. (There are plenty classes worth taking the time to complete, but financially it’s not worth it because of the $250 membership fee.) I can send you a quick breakdown if you’re interested.
        I did not go the clep route because I will be attending trade school (I want a career training service dogs). I think the information to pass the cleps is provided completely, but actually retaining every little thing is very difficult with an online curriculum.

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  4. You go Lillian! So nice to “meet” such an eloquent, articulate young lady! We homeschool, and absolutely will NOT be considering this curriculum any longer as a viable option for high school! You’ve obviously done quite well taking another path.

    Thanks for taking a stand against a tyrant; more should follow your example.
    Michelle (mother of four)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michelle! I’m so glad that my experience helped you make the best decision for your four children! I would love to hear about the curriculum you do pick; I am always looking for good recommendations to share with family and friends.
      If you don’t mind me asking, how did you come across this blog post? I am thrilled at how many people it has reached, but it has made me quite curious! 🙂 Thank you again for your words of encouragement.

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  5. Lillie, thank you for posting this link on HomeSchoolReviews. I was just about to enroll my daughter in this curriculum and will definitely do much more thorough due diligence before making that decision. Kudos to you for protecting your own right to free speech even when the “libertarians” tried to take it away. The world needs a LOT more people like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maddie, I am so glad that I was able to help you make such an important decision for both you and your daughter! It is, in my opinion, the duty of every individual to stand up for what is right in this world; even if that means standing against the ones whom you thought once stood for you. I appreciate your kind and supportive words! Surprisingly, I have found a strong and positive community through such a mess of a situation – it has all been for the best without a doubt!
      I would love to hear more about the path that you and your family do decide to walk down as far as homeschooling goes. I also encourage your daughter to share her experiences with different programs/schools- good or bad. It is our greatest tool to improve the educational possibilities for the generations to come after us.
      Thank you again for reaching out! Please keep me updated! ❤

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      • Lillie, thanks for your kind reply. My daughter is going into the sixth grade this year. We have always used the Robinson Curriculum before and been very happy with it. But this year, my daughter wanted to try a program with daily videos. RPC seems very similar to the RC, but with videos, so we thought it would be a good fit at first.

        When we started reading about some of the problems with the RPC from various sources, especially the “my way or the highway” approach of the guy in charge (I know he doesn’t teach sixth grade), my daughter’s comment was, “So what if he doesn’t like something? You’re the one who grades me, mom; we can do whatever we want.” Haha! The kind of kid who will teach herself no matter what system she is pushed into. I like to think she’s a lot like you. But why push a child with spunk and vision into a situation like the one that apparently exists at RPC?

        So she and I looked at several other curricula, and she decided to try Monarch for this year. It has the multimedia elements she was looking for, but still lets her work independently and manage the pacing of her school year herself. It seems to be a good fit so far, although she’s only been using it for a week. My only beef is that their 6th-grade work seems substantially below my daughter’s level. I suppose we have the Robinson Curriculum to thank for that. 😉 So I may skip her ahead in her studies a little bit. We will just have to see what the future holds.

        All the best to you,
        Maddie

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maddie,

        I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear of the resilience and might that lives within your daughter! She will make a great leader one day with an attitude like that! Maybe she will even pioneer her own curriculum with the broad spectrum of experience you have gifted her.

        I have heard of the Robinson curriculum before, but this is the first I am learning about Monarch. I will surely look into it; it sounds like the whole package.

        Thank you so much for taking the time to share a piece of your puzzle with me. Education is so much more important than most parents realize, and your daughter is quite lucky to have you. I am glad that everything is going smoothly for you guys this year 🙂

        If possible, have your daughter record her experiences. Even if she doesn’t put them online, it would be awesome if you could fashion them into a review of sorts for other parents. The good stories need to be told just as much as the bad ones – who better to tell them than the students themselves!

        Every voice has the power to make a difference, especially the young ones. They have the power of faith and hope. If we encourage them to keep that fire alive while they’re still young, they will kindle it all their lives.

        God Bless, and best of wishes

        I look forward to seeing who your daughter will become – we need her in this world now more than ever.

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  6. Thank you so much for your honest review. You have saved my time and money as a homeschooling mother. That whole situation was ridiculous. He behaves like an grumpy fart. There are much better alternatives to this. Ron Paul should take his name off this, but I suspect he benefits from it in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Victoria!
      I am so glad that you found my review helpful, and I am grateful that I was able to save you the trouble of this curriculum.
      I have made a few attempts to bring this situation to the attention of Ron Paul, however he is a hard man to get a hold of. I hope Dr. Paul can get his name off of this scam before too much damage has been done.
      I appreciate you reaching out and commenting – the support means a great deal to me 🙂 I wish you all the best in your hunt for the best learning devices! If there is anything else I can ever do for you, or any questions you have please feel free to contact me 🙂 I can always be reached here, and by email at LillianHC816@gmail.com

      God Bless!

      Like

  7. Hi,

    I’m no longer a member, but I am wondering if anyone knows if the Business 2 course has been completed? When I left, it was about 2/3 of the way complete; that is, not all of the lessons had been posted.

    Thanks!,
    Jeb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jeb!
      I’m sorry but I am honestly not sure if Business 2 has been completed or not. You could always look through some of the public forums on the RPC website if you wanted and see if you can find anything.
      I wish I could be of more help! Let me know if there is anything else I can do 🙂
      Lillie

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  8. I am so glad I found your site! I have been looking earnestly for online reviews and criticism’s of RPC and they are mostly suspiciously absent. It is creepy. Even this new Parents site rpcparentsconnect.worpress. com and Facebook is completely devoid of any actual critical remarks. I searched the site for many key words relating to conflict, frustration, etcetera and nothing came up. We have had several issues that have frustrated us and our children. This is the last straw for us. Thank you for speaking out. Don’t be afraid! You are a strong woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi LuciL!
      I am so glad that you came across my review; I too searched and searched for anything else out there with no luck.
      I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences and support. It means a lot to me! ❤ Best of luck with your homeschool journey!
      Lillian

      Like

    • I truly appreciate you taking the time to not only read my post, but to share the information with others! I think that I pretty much summed it all up with this piece, but I would be more than happy to answer any questions for publication or directly to parents. Let me know if there is anything I can do, or anything you’d like to know! Again thank you for your time!

      Like

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