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Focus of this Blog

James Michael McDonald, V and his wife Stacy purchased and operated Homeschooling Today Magazine unsuccessfully for a number of years before its resale. During that time, the venture turned out to be far from profitable, and the McDonalds have not been honest about how they established themselves in the homeschooling community, how they operated their business, or even about their personal lives.

Certainly no one rejoices in the drawing of attention to these matters, they must be noted in order to stop the deception. This movement of patriocentricity promotes false doctrine by perpetuating lies, profiteering off of the trust of earnest Christians who believe the shaming messages promoted by the movement. The end should never justify the means, and the Christian homeschoolers that support the McDonalds have the right to know the truth. This blog hopes to draw attention to the behaviors of the McDonalds, particularly those concerning the period of time during which the McDonalds owned and operated Homeschooling Today Magazine.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Cast of Characters in the Saga of Jefferson Smith

The Players

James Michael McDonald, V

Then owner of the magazine “Homeschooling Today.” At the time that this narrative occurs, James pastored a church under provisional ordination through the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly (RPCGA) where he had been granted pastoral credentials based on his undocumented claim of having been a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention and at the recommendation of RC Sproul, Jr. The RPCGA required that James submit documentation supporting his ordination as well as his divorce decree from Sandy McDonald, the mother of his four oldest children. According to the personal report of Dr. Talbot of the RPCGA, with information confirmed via a phonecall, James never submitted that information. (He did, however, turn in documentation of his business degree from University of Idaho, his only college degree according to the RPCGA.)

When RC Sproul, Jr was defrocked by the RPCGA, James McDonald left the RPCGA, all without ever turning in his ordination information or his divorce decree. He left the RPCGA under “deposed” status (a status of censure), though at the time of this narrative, he was still ordained as a minister under this denomination. Currently, at the time of this writing in early 2009, James McDonald presides over his own (self-established) denomination of a handful of churches as well as a local body in central Illinois.

Stacy McDonald - Wife of James McDonald

“Jefferson Smith” (‘Jeff’)

Christian, father and idealistic supporter of homeschooling. He is a native of the US but married a Yugoslavian citizen and started a family in Yugoslavia. Mr. Smith worked for a private corporation called the “Slavic Company” that provided support for families in Yugoslavia that wanted to homeschool. He became “the face of Yugoslavian Homeschooling.” The Slavic Company and Mr. Smith worked with an American organization called “The Taylor Machine,” a nonprofit organization that raises funds for causes that promote homeschooling. The Taylor Machine gave funds to the Slavic Company in support of homeschooling causes in Yugoslavia, often featuring Jeff’s endeavors there to solicit funds for Yugoslavian homeschooling efforts. The Slavic Company gave that money to the Smith family in order to help them support Yugoslavian homeschoolers.

Jeff was approached by James McDonald, the then owner of Homeschooling Today Magazine. James traveled to Yugoslavia, presumably to meet Mr. Smith and evaluate whether he could be instrumental in the running of the magazine. This section of Jefferson Smith’s testimony begins at

about the time that the Smiths traveled to Houston, TX where Jeff Smith planned to assume the position of “Director of Operations” of the magazine.

“Clarissa Smith” - Wife of “Jefferson Smith” ( a native of Yugoslavia)

“Kiska Smith” - Daughter of “Jefferson Smith”

Jim Taylor

The founder of “The Taylor Machine,” Chancellor of “Willet Creek College.”

Joseph Harrison Paine (“Joe”)

An attorney employed by “The Taylor Machine.”

Hubert “Happy” Hopper

An attorney employed by “The Taylor Machine”

Judge Horace Miller

A Judge who presided over the hearing of the case against “The Taylor Machine”

The Agencies And Organizations

Homeschooling Today © Magazine

From their website: “Homeschooling Today magazine, a distinctively Christian publication, is committed to delivering trustworthy and timely articles that provide encouragement and spiritual growth to Christian families involved in the mission of educating their children.” According to the website, the magazine was established in 1992. I understand from those who subscribed and used to subscribe to the magazine, it was initially owned by Catholic Believers who sold it to a Reformed Protestant. This narrative describes events that took place as that second owner went into debt while searching for a new owner.

“The Slavic Company”

A private company in Yugoslavia that provided support to those in Yugoslavia who were interested in homeschooling.

“The Taylor Machine

An nonprofit organization in the United States that supports homeschooling.

Willet Creek College

A Christian college in a town and region of the US called “Willet Creek.”

“Christian Assuager Services”

An organization, founded an operated by attorneys, that handles disagreements among Christians and conducts “Christian” mediations and arbitrations.