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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.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Owners of Homeschooling Today: James McDonald Agrees to Give Homeschool Today to “Jefferson Smith”

My wife and I met with James and his wife Stacy on February 25, 2006 to further discuss my taking ownership of the magazine and to close the deal. (I had been discussing taking the magazine since early February). It was agreed upon by all parties that I would become the new owner pending a few minor details that needed to be worked out. What was strange was that Stacy interrupted James at one point to remind him that he could not sell the magazine to me. James brushed her aside, telling her that it was ok. We ended up shaking hands over the deal and leaving to go our separate ways. “Clarissa” and I were excited because now we would have a business that would employ each member of our family and felt certain that we would eventually be able to finance our Yugolslavian mission. If my present sales volume continued we would be in fine shape in no time.

The following morning, February 26, I emailed Joe Paine, Hubert ‘Happy’ Hopper, and Jim Taylor, The Taylor Machine attorneys in leadership positions and trusted confidants to give them a heads-up that the Smiths would become the new owners of Homeschooling Today magazine. I wrote: “Well, a new turn in my situation. James McDonald has agreed to step aside and give me Homeschooling Today Magazine. My plan is to use it to instill in the next generation of homeschoolers a vision to carry on the work of their parents. You can count on me to promote The Taylor Machine and ‘Willet Creek College’ in all that I do. I will keep you informed."

Jim Taylor responded in an email on February 27: "What good news!!! Congratulations. I will look forward to working with you even more closely". ‘Happy’ and Joe did not respond to my email. Instead, Joe Paine acted behind my back, calling James in the afternoon to remind him of what he had told James before I arrived to begin my employment with James. February 26, in the afternoon James called me to complain that his selling of the magazine was now known outside of Houston. We had never agreed to keep this confidential. In fact, I had asked James if I could confer with others about it so that we could already begin to forge partnership relationships.

I emailed and called a former magazine owner and publisher to ask her if she would be interested to go into a full partnership with me. I had asked James specifically if I could talk to her and he agreed that I could. I asked if I could speak it over with James' bookkeeper and her accountant husband and he agreed that I could. James never hinted that I should keep confidential that I would become the new owner of the magazine. It was important that I be able to discuss this with others so that I could begin to prepare.

He called me in the afternoon to complain that the word had gotten outside of Houston that he would give up ownership to me. In addition to The Taylor Machine, I had also told one of James' church members of the agreement we had made with James. This man had visited me and my family in Yugoslavia and he and his family took us in when we first arrived in Houston. I thought perhaps that he had mentioned something to someone outside of Houston because his job called for him to travel a great deal.

I certainly did not expect that any of my three friends (trusted confidents!) at The Taylor Machine had said anything. I was certain that they would have contacted me first to talk it over before saying anything to anyone else. Jim Taylor’s email of congratulations is more what I would have expected from them. So, I only mentioned to James that I had talked to one of his church members. He never inquired if I had talked to anyone else but told me that for several reasons I should keep it confidential until the actual transaction took place.

James began to tell others that I had lied, and said that I had only spoken to one of his church members (I never said that I had only told this man). He also wrote emails where he accused me of telling him that I had only told this man, and making a big deal about me not being trustworthy (while he himself hid from me the preposterous charges against me told to him by The Taylor Machine attorney, Joe Paine). Following my phone call with James and honoring his request, I immediately called the church member and asked him to keep the news confidential. I also emailed Jim Taylor, ‘Happy’ Hopper, and Joe Paine with the same request.