#1: From the personal and corroborated testimony of one prospective buyer of Homeschooling Today magazine while owned by James M McDonald V. (This is an an individual whose personal account I found online, contacted, spoke with and have corroborated his testimony with others over the phone -- real person, real events...):
Because James couldn't meet the print deadline, he began to label the editions according to the season, e.g., Winter Edition or Spring Edition. I noticed this and told him that this was dishonest. When I found out that he wanted to use another print company to print his magazine because he still owed too much money to his regular print company, I told him that this was not ethical. He wrote back that it was ok because he had the intention to eventually pay his regular print company. I was asked to sell anyway, which with a good conscience I could no longer do. When James terminated our work relationship I could only say that I had completed all tasks he had asked me to do that I believe I with a good conscience could do.
#2: A second person I encountered online declares herself a "co-owner" of Homeschooling Today magazine. I would post her identity and a link to her blog here, but she was most zealous to have her public admittance removed from online. I do not want to inflame her anymore.
Since confronted with this information about Homeschooling Today Magazine (HST), she seems to have removed references to the magazine from her blog. Prior to the Autumn of 2008, this woman's blog boasted that she and her husband sat on the board of HST because they gave money so that her husband could bear the title of "board member." She was posting on a blog, defending the McDonalds, though she falsely claimed to have no duty to the McDonalds. We confronted her, for she was not only what she called a "co-owner" of HST on her own blog, she also once served as a moderator of Stacy McDonald's "Patriarch's Wives" Yahoo Group. Online, I asked this Mother of four if, as a co-owner of the magazine, whether she had settled the old unpaid debt owed to the magazine's creditors. She stopped posting on that blog, protesting criticism of the McDonalds. At that time, she sent me this email and has subsequently removed references to the magazine from her blog:
Cindy, I'm sorry for contacting you after everything.
I had no idea about anything regarding the "Smiths" (or any unpaid debt). We were financial investors only. My husband's name was listed on the but that was in name only. We never made a single decision (or a single dime) with anything related to HST.
I will pass the website onto my husband so we can prayerfully proceed.
A few long-time participants of the Patriarch's Wives Yahoo Group told me that they recalled that this homeschooling mom and her husband invested funds in HST, and then they suffered a very terrible tragedy soon afterward that really does break my heart. Another former participant of the Patriarch's Wives believes that this couple actually incurred debt to come up with the sum to invest which made their tragic circumstances all the more difficult, [1Mar09 addendum: which is well documented]. When this "investing family" went to the McDonalds to recover their "investment" in order to pay for outrageous medical debt in the midst of their terrible grief, the McDonalds could not return the money [1Mar09 addendum: which is understood and documented by former participants of the Patriarchs Wives Yahoo group]. I understand that there was no money -- only debtors, debtors, debtors and unpaid bills. (That is why they were soliciting "investors" and "board members.")
The McDonalds used the magazine and their other groups such as Family Reformation ministries to solicit funds to help this family with their debt, and they raised a somewhat sizable sum of money given by kind Christians who took compassion on them. I do not recall exactly what sum was raised. I believe that, per the old postings on the mother of four's blog, it was abouut $5K, but I recall that it was under $10K (an amount that was marginal compared to the medical bills). For that reason, completely unknowlegable about the terrible financial state of HST at the time, they perceived this as a virtuous act on behalf of the McDonalds.
But needless to say, the information no longer appears on her blogs.
I believe that the McDonalds "offered to sell" something that people believed was partial ownership of the magazine in a desperate attempt to raise funds in any way that they possibly could. These "investors" received nothing in return, except that James likely "throwed them the bone" of being able to claim that they were "co-owners." But this seemed to mean nothing. They lead more than one person to believe that they actually had a viable interest in the magazine so that they would participate in the operation of the magazine.
There is the personal account that I am preparing to post here by an individual I have renamed "Jefferson Smith" who believed that he was assuming ownership of the magazine, but he had no funds. It should shed more light on the activities of the McDonalds. I believe that this individual was seriously mislead about the intentions of the McDonalds as well concerning the sale and ownership of HST.
And I wonder how many other "investors" there are out there that also contributed to the McDonald Cause, all ignorant of the yet unpaid debt (21Feb09)? I found these without trying.