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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 7, 2008

Meeting with “Jim Taylor”

April 7, 2006 — My wife and I, along with a witness we had brought along to this meeting, a former Texas judge, met with “Jim Taylor” in “Jim’s” own office in Willet Creek, on campus of Willet Creek College. I presented Jim Taylor with the letter of recommendation he had written for us in 2004 and asked Jim if he still stood behind it. Jim immediately responded that he stood behind it 100%.

This was important because the elder in James church had told me that Joe had said that The Taylor Machine no longer stands behind their letters of recommendation. This threw me because I knew that I only had one such letter from The Taylor Machine and that was the one from Jim Taylor. I then presented Jim with the elder's affidavit, which Jim quickly read over. I then proceeded to present Jim with the minutes of the 2003, 2004, 2005 Slavic Company board meetings that proved what Joe Paine was telling others was not true. I asked Jim Taylor if he was aware that we had been declared attorneys in The Taylor Machine’s May/June 2005 Report that went out to The Taylor Machine members. He said that none of the The Taylor Machine leaders ever believed that the Smiths were lawyers.

Sometime into the meeting, Jim Taylor retreated to another room and had a telephone conference call with ‘Happy’ Hopper and Joe Paine. Upon his return, Jim adamantly stated that the monies The Taylor Machine sent to Yugoslavia were from the beginning only for attorneys. Both Joe Paine and ‘Happy’ Hopper confirmed this to Jim Taylor during this phone conference and Joe told Jim that he had written documentation to prove it.

It appeared clear to us that Jim was not aware of what was going on between us and The Taylor Machine at this time. He promised that he would ask Hubert ‘Happy’ Hopper to investigate the matter. Near the end of our meeting, Jim asked me what I wanted. I responded that I wanted the Smith name cleared. The judge interrupted and told Jim that he believed the Smiths should be given some sort of compensation that would allow them to get back on their feet because now the relationship between Jefferson Smith and James McDonald was understandably beyond repair and so Jeff Smith would now need a job.

The judge had seen enough of the evidence to recognize that the Smiths were innocent of the charges being leveled against them by Joe Paine to others behind their back. Jim Taylor told us during the meeting and after his telephone conference with Joe Paine and ‘Happy’ Hopper that The Taylor Machine had given the Smiths over $100,000 and now they want more? (Now remember, The Taylor Machine was telling others that the money was given for attorneys and not for the Smiths! Jim Taylor said that Joe Paine had evidence to prove this!) At any rate, the truth is that this money did not belong to The Taylor Machine but rather to the people who had so generously donated it for Yugoslavia and our work. We had every right to spend the money solely for our family's living but instead used the bulk of it to pay for travel, conferences, meetings with government officials, etc.

When we left this meeting, the judge told us that these were bad guys. We simply could not believe this. Over the years we had become in our minds very good friends with Joe Paine and Jim Taylor. Several times, Joe invited us to sit at his table during the The Taylor Machine national leadership conferences held annually. This was regarded a privilege that seemed was not offered to anybody but his very close friends and associates. On May 23, we asked an attorney friend to call ‘Happy’ Hopper about our situation. We asked him to ask Jim where the report

was that Jim Taylor had promised us during our meeting in April. Jim emailed us his report the following day. In this report he admitted that the Smiths were authorized to receive monies sent to Yugoslavia by The Taylor Machine. The report stated that it was only "toward the end of The Taylor Machine’s providing funds to The Taylor Machine of Yugoslavia for the homeschool cases, Joe found out that you had been using funds raised by The Taylor Machine for personal support." This was clearly a not true.

Joe knew all along that this money was raised for the Smith’s support. Joseph Paine was the vice president of the Slavic Company Board and he knew everything that was happening with the Slavic Company. In November 2003, when we were considering going full time into our ministry of helping Yugoslavian homeschool families, we knew that we needed to raise funds to support our work. We told Joe that we would like to reach out for funds and if the Lord provided we would go full time into the

homeschooling movement in Yugoslavia. He agreed that we could give it a try. We asked him how we should go about raising the needed funds. We had never raised funds to support our ministries (Ministries included an outreach to missionaries and a Christian high school in “Bagel,” Switzerland, and our work for Slavic). We had always paid for our ministries out of our own pocket. Joe offered that The Taylor Machine would raise the funds because then the donors could write off their donations. He said that he would talk this over with Jim Taylor. An hour later, Joe called to say that Jim agreed that The Taylor Machine could do this. We were astonished!