The Elephant's Debt Legal Defense
$14,775 of $35,000 goal
In October 2018, Pastor James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel elected to file a lawsuit against the authors of The Elephant's Debt, against the authors' respective wives, and against a journalist by the name of Julie Roys. The lawsuit stems from online commentary provided by the authors at the website www.theelephantsdebt.com.
As this case winds its way through the system, the authors and their wives are going to incur ongoing legal costs that are needed to defend their case in Cook County, IL. These legal costs include everything from filing motions to issuing subpoenas, to taking depositions, and preparing for trial.
Furthermore, as the legal costs accrue, funds will be withdrawn on an as needed basis, and they will be distributed between Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant as the need dictates.
If you would like to financially support the authors and their wives, you may do so through this Go Fund Me campaign.
In the future, should additional funding be required, we will launch other small campaigns like this to pay the bills as they accrue. This is our way of trying not to raise too much money on the front end.
Finally, when the case reaches its conclusion, any money that was given by donors in excess of our legal fees and other related expenses will be returned to donors on a proportional basis.
We thank you for standing with us in this season.
Scott Bryant and Ryan Mahoney
I'm not exactly sure how to open this update. To be honest, I think I'm still in shock over everything that has transpired over the past few months. Who could have ever seen this day coming?
Nevertheless, here we are; and it's time to talk about repaying the donations you made in support of our legal defense. We promised we would do this and we want to live up to our word. Approximately 2 months ago, the leadership of HBC and MacDonald entered into a formal agreement with Sarah and myself. As part of that agreement, they gave us a $40,000 settlement. Should HBC go bankrupt within 90 days of the receipt of the settlement, it is possible that the banks could "claw back" the settlement agreement from us. That's why we haven't said anything up until now. But in another month or so, we'll pass the 90 day mark and the settlement will be finalized and safe from any potential bankruptcy proceedings.
Now, let's talk money. At present, roughly $10,000 of the settlement has been spent paying for the attorney fees that were accrued during the course of negotiating the settlement. From what I'm told, this is a pretty standard fee. You should also know that this is a rough estimate, but I'm trying to keep things short.
That leaves us with approximately $30,000 left. Come January 2020, we have been told that we will likely need to pay federal and state income taxes on the entire settlement. Assuming an approximate taxation rate of 25%, we will have to pay roughly $10,000 to the government.
In the end, that leaves Sarah and I with roughly $20,000 to begin paying you folks back. In order to do that, we're going to need you to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In that email, you will need to provide us with:
(1) your name,
(2) the date of your donation,
(3) the amount of your donation and
(4) a physical address at which you can receive a check through the mail.
If I can make one final request, it is this. We would love to be finished with this whole process by the 15th of June. To be honest, we're eager to put it behind us. So if you can get us this information by that date, we can safely divide up the money between all parties and get your portion back to you as soon as possible. If I do not hear from you by that date, we are going to assume that are not interested in financial reimbursement from us.
Once again, thank you so much for your willingness to come to the aid of my family during such an unexpectedly stressful and brutal season. We wish you nothing but healing and genuine community in the days ahead.
Yours in Christ,
Scott and Sarah Bryant
We wanted to update you on the status of your donations. As we speak, we are negotiating with Harvest Bible Chapel. And at the risk of boring you with the overly complex details, let me just say that this could take some significant time. If it happens, it will happen by the close of 2019. But please do not make the mistake of thinking that we have forgotten about our promise to repay you. We are working hard to try to make that happen.
Scott and Sarah Bryant
Please allow us to begin by offering our sincerest thanks for all that you have given to this campaign in the last two months. The outpouring of support in the form of both monetary gifts and notes of encouragement have meant the world to us.
Sadly, we must report that James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel continue forward in their efforts to sue the authors of The Elephant's Debt, their wives and Julie Roys, an independent journalist. While we would all long for them to drop this lawsuit before it does even more damage to the Church at large, they do not appear inclined to do so at the moment. And thus, we must continue forward in this process.
Sometime later this spring (most likely in March of 2019), the case brought by MacDonald and Harvest will go before the judge, who will listen to our three individual motions to dismiss the complaint.
At the same time, during this season, we will begin to incur additional costs as we fight with the Bryant's insurance company in the hopes that they will provide an attorney to cover the legal defense. If the Bryants are successful in winning this case, it *could* mitigate the need to continue to raise support in the future. So we would ask that you continue to pray with us for both of these pending issues.
With inexpressible gratitude,
Scott Bryant and Ryan Mahoney