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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.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Respected Leader In Yugoslavian Homeschooling

The name “Jefferson Smith” once meant something. You must imagine where I came from when I arrived to Houston, having worked for the very respected private company, the Slavic Company. I was a highly visible leader in Yugoslavia, being the Director of what “The Taylor Machine” often referred to as “The Taylor Machine” of Yugoslavia (in cooperation with the “Slavic Company”). My wife (“Clarissa”) and I often met with some of Yugoslavia's highest politicians — presidents of state senates, heads of counties, mayors and even the Yugoslavia’s vice president of the European Parliament, who sometimes addressed me as Mr. America and once told me that I had a very convincing wife.

When there were problems with families in “Pidderbirth,” the Yugoslavian government sent one of its top international negotiators to meet with us and these Russian Slavic families. As it turned out and after another meeting, we won this man over to our side. He was quoted in one of Yugoslavia's leading newspapers to say that these “Pidderbirth” families should be left alone. It wasn't long and we heard that he had been retired.

We were mentioned in the press throughout Yugoslavia and the press liked our stories. We were somebody to be reckoned with. We had a name both in Yugoslavia and in America. James was hiring someone who would bring him and his operations prestige. In the 1990's homeschooling was very little known in Yugoslavia. If you were to tell someone that you homeschooled your children their mouths would fall open. What on earth is homeschooling?

Even government officials we met during this decade were not familiar with the homeschool movement in America. This all changed when we began our work in the year 2000. Beginning with the “Herding” family we went public in a big way. News outlets across Yugoslavia were running to write articles about homeschooling. We were being called for interviews and asked to be on radio and television programs.

There were many articles written in America about the “Jefferson Smith Family” and the work they were doing in Yugoslavia. In the 2005 May/June issue of Homeschooling Today magazine, I was referred to as the Lafayette of Yugoslavia. What was interesting here was that “Joseph Harrison Paine” (“Joe”) called us after the publication of this article and for reasons only he could understand was very angry at James for allowing this article to appear in his magazine. He said that he was going to tell James that from now on any articles he wanted to place in his magazine that had to do with Yugoslavia first must be cleared through “Joseph Paine.” This puzzled both my wife, “Clarissa,” and me.

Later, when I had just begun to work for James, I had an idea of a product I believed would sell well in America and that would allow us to finance our now lain-on-ice ministry in Yugoslavia for lack of funds. I called a close family friend, a man who has been a large figure in the American homeschool movement to tell him about it and to ask him to put me into contact with someone who might be interested to finance it. He told me that “Joe Paine” had told him that anything that had to do with Yugoslavia had to first be cleared through “Joe.” This puzzled me and my wife. What should “Joe” have to do with this? What was it his business? But after all, “Joe” was a trusted friend so we believed that he must have had a good reason.

James McDonald wants $60,000 per issue ad revenue James and I emailed back and forth and spoke on the phone during October and November of 2005, while my family was still living in Yugoslavia. In one email, he told me that it was his goal to increase the ad revenue of his magazine to $60,000 per issue. Now, upon my arrival to begin work, he told me that he wanted it done by year's end. I was not aware what this meant but later understood that it was an almost impossible task he was asking of me. It took me some time and difficulty until I finally estimated that when I began work the ad revenue was around $20,000 per issue.

I used my name and the work we had done in Yugoslavia as my selling point. It worked wonders! Many ad buyers wanted updates of what was going on in Yugoslavia. They believed that they were at the right address talking to me. To make a long story short, by the end of March, a mere three months after I had begun my job I had already achieved the goal of $60,000 per issue.

I cannot tell you how many calls I received from advertisers who were disgruntled because James had failed to publish several issues of his magazine. One was the March/April 2005 issue and the other was the November/December 2005 issue. I was not aware that these issues had not gone out before I began my job. The loss of the Christmas edition was the worst. Advertisers had special offers that ended January 1. They felt terribly cheated because this was the most important issue of the year in which to place their ads. I addressed these complaints by assuring them that James had for too long been understaffed and that this is why he brought me onboard. From now on everything would work just fine.