HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement

The following pages contain an account of one families interaction with HSLDA. The information has been edited because the author, who gave this publication express permission to post this story has been bought off by HSLDA and has now requested that the information be removed from the Internet, effectively hiding the truth.

Homeschool Picnic

Homeschool Picnic

You may remember a few years back, HSLDA sent numerous reports of homeschoolers living in Germany being arrested? HSLDA worked with one particular family in Germany until HSLDA stepped in and crushed that family – and therefore the entire German homeschool movement.

The following pages contain a complete accounting of the interactions between the Smith (not their real name) family and HSLDA and their affiliates. A grave injustice has been perpetrated by these so-called “fine upstanding Christian men” and attorneys. They must be held accountable for their actions.

Mike Farris leads charge
Many are probably wondering whatever happened to the Germany homeschool leaders, the Smiths. We owe an explanation to all of you who donated your precious money to support our work. It is also important that I clear our name after having been accused of swindling money donated by you good people.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Who we are
I am an American whose grandfather immigrated to America in the 1800’s. My wife, Zelda is a native German who was born and raised in Germany before coming to America and marrying me. Together with my wife and 5 children, we relocated from America to Germany in 1995…

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Homeschooling in Germany
My intention here is to basically allow you to understand what is happening in Germany in the area of freedom of education and parental rights guaranteed in the German constitution. Though it is a bit more complicated than what I will present to you here, the general scope will give you a little peak into the problems facing concerned Christian parents in Germany who do not want to send their children to school.

Harder Case begins a movement
In 1999, a Russian-German couple, the Harders with 10-children decided that they could no longer with their Christian conscience send their children to the public school. They removed their children from school and brought them home and began to homeschool them.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Friendships with HSLDA Develop
Our association with Chris Klicka led to a very warm friendship between us. We had a very personal, warm and cordial relationship with HSLDA and its leadership. We trusted the attorneys, believing that they were honest and committed Christians.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Our story continues
Since the homeschooling movement in Germany was growing rapidly and we were beginning to be contacted on a very regular basis asking for assistance, we had to make a decision.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Fundraising Efforts
Shortly before the 2004 September/October HSLDA national leadership conference in Spokane, Washington, we told Chris that we needed to reach out for funds apart from HSLDA since Mike Smith no longer wanted to fund us on a regular basis. We also felt that HSLDA had done enough for us by this time anyway and we were thankful.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Philadelphia HSLDA Conference
HSLDA sponsors Zelda and Mr. Smith, to attend the September October 2005 HSLDA leadership conference that was going to be held in Philadelphia.

Homeschool Today Magazine
James and Stacey McDonald gave us a hero’s welcome. They introduced us to the Tea Shop, one leg of their operation. It was agreed that I would initially work for James in more of a sales capacity. It was the start of a wonderful relationship – or so I thought…

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Respected Leader
I was a highly visible leader in Germany, being the Director of what HSLDA often referred to as HSLDA of Germany. When there were problems with families in Paderborn, the German government sent one of its top international negotiators to meet with us and these Russian German families. We were mentioned in the press throughout Germany…

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — New Magazine Owners at Homeschool Today
My wife and I met with James and his wife Stacey to discuss taking ownership of Homeschool Today Magazine and to close the deal. 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…

Church Elder Meeting
I led him into the living room area and invited him to be seated and went to my home office to retrieve letters of recommendation I had received in late 2004 from national leaders across America for fundraising purposes. My intention was to show him that I was a trustworthy individual…

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Meeting with Mike Farris
I presented Mike with the letter of recommendation he had written for us in 2004 and asked Mike if he still stood behind it. Mike immediately responded that he stood behind it 100%. This was important because the elder in James church had told me that Chris had said that HSLDA no longer stands behind their letters of recommendation.

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Attempted Mediation
Mike Farris had suggested when this whole thing had come to light that we should allow Peacemaker Ministries to mediate between us and HSLDA. In a show of good faith, we asked that the mediation be binding. Mike Smith emailed back that inherently; mediations are not binding and requested that an attorney from Texas, be employed as a mediator instead of Peacemaker Ministries.

Home School Alumni Accusations
Two-days after our presentation to HSLDA Board, the Home School Alumni president called our son Klaus. He accused Klaus of not being a good character because he was not upright with other people’s money…

Children’s Rights Voids Parental Rights
In Germany, private education is in trouble. Most homeschool families have fled the country. Private schools will suffer more controls since the European Counsel has voted to outlaw Creation science. The parents’ custody of their homeschooled children is being taken away by the government and parents are in danger of being put into prison.

Keeping Matters Private
Mike Farris made a statement after the Cheryl Seelhoff case that Christians do not sue Christians. He went on to say that a Christian has the duty to follow the Scripture in 1 Co. 6. The Scripture is quite clear that when we wrong someone we owe them restitution.

An Open Letter to HSLDA
It is with great regret that I find ourselves needing to write this letter. For the past two-years we have done everything we can to correct unchristian behavior by the leadership of HSLDA. Using your organization, you have caused such harm to me and my family that we are now at a place where we are homeless and struggling to maintain the lowest level of living…

HSLDA Destroys German Homeschool Movement — Time Line HSLDA vs Smith
This is a chronological time-line showing the major highlights of the events and when they occured.

Supporting Documents
The following documents have been provided as partial evidents to support the grievous allegations made against HSLDA.

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