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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

Introducing Mr. Smith

I am about to tell a saga about a very real, flesh-and-blood human being who I have had the pleasure of talking with on the phone many times. I have read about him in fundraising letters and in updates on the state of affairs of “Yugoslavian” homeschooling. I’ve translated some “Yugoslavian” sources in order to learn more about him. I’ve talked with other credible, flesh-and-blood people who know this man. I’ve also been able to corroborate portions of his saga with other individuals who were peripherally involved.

I will only feature a portion of his saga here on this blog. I once had his whole account posted here, copied from another website that concerned itself with legal matters related to homeschooling. Because I received threats compelling me to take the information offline, and because I then discussed these matters with the author and corroborated them, I complied. They planned to grant me permission to repost this information, but that plan has changed since November 18, 2008 when I took the information offline. We are now well beyond the target date for the reposting of the material.

Then, several months ago, he was someone very zealous to communicate his disappointing experience. Though I do not know, I am concerned that some legal coercion has compelled him to keep silent on the matter. This individual does or did have a very serious disease, prostate cancer. For whatever reason, I believe that he is unavailable to continue to substantiate this personal account of events or provide documentation to support the account. (This is why I believe that he has been compelled to silence.)

To avoid charges of libel, I have left much of the content intact, but I have changed the names of the individuals and places, replacing them with names from a film I love dearly, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I think that the starry-eyed, naive character of Frank Capra’s and Jimmie Stewart’s Jefferson Smith fits this individual very well.

There are aspects of this saga that I do not understand, and I would say that at several junctures, this very na├»ve individual trusted too many people far too much with far too little discernment. I also do not agree with his conclusions about what was at play. I am at times uncomfortable with his focus on homeschooling which sometimes seems to me to eclipse other concerns that I believe should have taken precedence in his life, but that is all part of the liberty we enjoy in this life. We enjoy the liberty of making mistakes. Though our “Jefferson Smith” in this saga was poorly treated, I believe that his own lack of discernment contributed to his current situation. Though that does not excuse the lack of compassion and care that his fellow Christian brethren showed to him in a season of desperation, I believe “Jefferson Smith’s” own personal choices put him into a position where he was too vulnerable and lacked resources to help him cope. (And but for grace, this could apply to any one of us.)

Though I am a strong supporter of homeschooling, I believe there are those who see homeschooling as though it were as significant as the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself. I do not agree with this and I do see it sometimes in the protagonist of the story. Nonetheless, I still view him as a “Jefferson Smith” who in the Frank Capra film was said to be the son of a man who fought for “lost causes.” I’m also unfamiliar with “Yugoslavian” homeschooling, so this individual’s own sense of importance to his cause may be exaggerated.

To protect the innocent from legal reprisal and to note the story, some of the names and locations have been changed (note “quotes”), though the content has been largely unaltered. I did add a small amount of information to the content because I did condense this long account from an even longer one. This is an actual account of one man’s demise. I think this man made some dreadfully foolish decisions, but that does not excuse the treatment he received from those with whom he worked and trusted implicitly, his Christian brethren. It seems that from “Jefferson Smith” and his testimony in this personal account that once appeared online, he received the bait and switch. Unfortunately for him, he became very ill in the process, and it seems that those whom he trusted did not behave with empathy, Christian compassion or altruism but rather chose to protect their own interests. From “Jefferson Smith’s perspective, this timing combined with the lack of accountability of his brethren nearly destroyed his life.