Questions for the Vaughns

For background go to Adoption as a Public Event: Media Perception and the Grayson Wyrembek Case, and The Adoption Industry Does the Innuendo: The Misappropriation of Adoptee Rights and the Demonization of Ben Wyremek


Early Friday morning I posted the following questions on Jason and Christy Vaughn’s Keeping Grayson Home webpage forum under the thread, Grayson’s Abuse. These are questions I discussed earlier in my “Innuendo” blog directly below this entry:

1. What is Why is not locatable through any web search?

2. Is Keeping Grayson Home a 501 (3)(c)? Does it have a tax number? If yes to both or either, under what name(s) are they incorporated? If they are not incorporated, especially KGH, who is the Fiscal Agent.

3 Why is the case being promoted as an “adopted children’s rights” case when there is no such thing as “adopted children’s right.” There is neither a right to adopt nor a right to be adopted.

4 Why is the genuine adoptee rights movement being co-opted and our language misappropriated?

I have also asked several times why, if their case is so egregious, that no adoption reform organization or pro-adoption professional or lobby group has stepped up to support them. At no time have I accused the Vaughns of “tax evasion” or other illegal acts.

So far the Vaughns have not responded, though some of their “friends” have, (all spellings from the original)

Two people claim that tax status is not my (or anyone’s) business. Another referred to me as a mindless sheep who doesn’t “no anything.” Oh, and I am immoral, too. There’s also some bad karma down the road for anyone who questions the Vaughns’ actions:
there is a balance and a counter balance to life and the lack of moral foundation for so many of you who lack the basic tenant of life, compassion, it will be paid back…

This, because I reminded the poster that emotions and laws are two different things, and that any of us can claim that someone is “our child,” “our spouse” or “our parent” emotionally, but that doesn’t make it so legally. (These folks must love spiritual birth certificates.) For that, we learn that “law is developed by falible men and women who are conformist.”
A person who supports my line of questioning has been called “trash”and told to return to her “trailor park.”

I posted the following comment tonight regarding Federal Tax ID (EIN) and non-profit status explaining for a second time, why proof of non-profit status actually IS important. For everybody:

Having a tax number issued by the Federal government is proof that an organization has filed for non-profit status. Without that non-profit status, any fundraising sends up a red flag to IRS. Moreover, donors don’t send money into a black hole. Smart donors want accountability, which a tax number and non-profit status indicates. Certainly there are crooks in the non-profit field, but non-profit status protects donors to a large extent. Without it, there’s no protection.

A tax ID number is not that difficult to get, though incorporation is not finished (which takes at least a year.) Collecting (note: I should have said soliciting) funds before a Tax ID is issued is not a smart practice. It can lead to co-mingling of funds, and if other organizations are involved in the fundraising, they can be investigated by the IRS as well, fined, and otherwise sanctioned. Most cooperating businesses or organizations demand an official tax ID approval [document}, before they donate funds, merchandise, or services. Although the IRS does not require a tax filing for organizations with less that $25,000 in the bank, they will investigate if a complaint is filed.

501(c)(3) is the most common non-profit status. It allows donors to take donations off their income tax, but limits the organization in its lobbying efforts, though some is allowed. A (c)(4) status permits organization to lobby extensively on issues (not candidates), but there is no tax deduction allowed.

If people did not care if their donations were dropping into a black hole then there would be no need for organizations like where you can download 990s and other organizational information. And there would be no need even for the Better Business Bureau.

Since someone on the KGH FB page claims the organization has non-profit status, the responsible thing to do is to prove it. One does not have to post a tax ID, but should post on appropriate resources tax status and the name under which it is filed.

I have not accused the Vaughns of anything wrong. For the protection of all, however, this needs to be addressed.

Now mother-in-law Phyllis Vaughn, who has unintentionally done more to bad rep the Vaughns, than any “enemy” could ever do intentionally, goes ballistic complaining that questions about non-profit status are meant to make the Vaughns “suffer.”

I am not asking these questions–either about the denigration and misappropriation of bastards and our rights or the more practical organizational status problem–to make the Vaughns “suffer.” I’m willing to give Jason Vaughn a couple days to reply to my questions. He should answer them in his own best interest.

I have been polite. I have never accused the Vaughns of any wrong-doing vis a vis fundraising, and am not into turning them in to the IRS. I went into these questions assuming at least the fundraising was being done on the up-and-up. I simply couldn’t believe that their legal beagles would have it any other way. For doing so, the Vaughn’s friends, supporters and Grandma Vaughn go defensive and act as if I’m trying to send them up like Al Capone. All I’m asking for is clarity.
Addenda: Just as I was going to hit the publish button, I checked back one more time on KGH. Much to my amazement, I am now designated a terrorist. Seems I’m “terrorizing the Vaughns” by asking inconvenient questions. Call out Homeland Security!
NOTE: I apologize for the wanky formatting at the top. I can’t fix it.

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19 Replies to “Questions for the Vaughns”

  1. I sincerely doubt that any major corp. or org., such as Kroger (who they say have donated to their *cause*) would donate to individuals to cover attorney fees. Kroger donating to a non-profit, I am sure would be wanting additional info on the NPO, for their tax write-off purposes. One does not hide the pertinent info of their NPO status, unless one is lying.

  2. Unless they are maybe and I said maybe using someone tax id number.

    Now I am saying they are but maybe that is why they are getting so mad and defensive.

    That of course is a big no no tell me if I am wrong

  3. There’s a finite amount of available money for charities. A dollar that goes to support legal fees for an illicit adoption battle is a dollar that is not available to the Salvation Army and others.

  4. Good “terrorizing” Marley. I love it when any of us, by being logical and informed, hits a nerve with these ash bowls. “Inconvenient truths” are everywhere, aren’t they?

  5. I have worked in numerous non-profits, both professionally and as a volunteer. I have donated money to non-profits for around 40 years.

    The reactions you are getting to your ENTIRELY normal and reasonable questions actually make me fear for that child even more than before. Their reactions to this prove to me that they have no regard for the laws in our country. Not just about keeping a child in their possession (human relationships often bring out irrationality in otherwise sane and law-abiding people), but about ANY laws that interfere with what they want to do at any given moment in time. They think the laws shouldn’t apply to them. People like that should not be allowed to endanger any children by having them in their home, period.

  6. They call Ben a violent drug addict with a host of unspecified “contacts with law enforcement” but do not respond to requests for proof.

    We ask for the name of the organization that is accepting donations for their legal fees and they say it’s nobody’s business but their own.

    Does anyone know for certain whether the organizers of the benefit have stated that the donations are tax deductible?

    There’s also an accounting that needs to be done when someone wins a charity auction. Only the amount paid over the value of the item donated is deductible. The donor’s deduction is limited to lesser of the value or cost of the item.

    I hope they have explained this to their supporters.

  7. wait…i’m confused. weren’t they taking donations for an auction? don’t you have to have some sort of tax classificaation to do that, like be a 501c3 nonprofit? if you are setting up a non-profit, don’t you have to file a 1023? and isn’t a form 1023 in the public record? i used to do volunteer work for a nonpfofit many, many years ago, so maybe my knowledge is out of date. i collected donations for auction for a local group, and i had to provide the donors, like sam’s and kroger, etc, with some sort of a tax number, if memory serves. i remember a form and number i had to submit to them along with a written request for a donation. it may have been called an ein. wouldn’t that tax number also be part of the public record?

    i mean, these businneses were very clear on their requirements before they would donate a case of chips for a meal or a gift basket/certificate for auction.

    it just seemed like sop.

  8. The thing about all this is that they have gotten away with making outrageous claims, making libelous statements, slanderous allegations and simple outright lies for a long time now, and their intensity is increasing because no one except a small few have challenged them. They have not experienced any consequences for doing and saying anything they darn well please. Hopefully, at some point, someone is going to get fed up with their chest beating and their self-promotional and now money-making activities and truly question them, in a legal sense.

    What they are saying and doing, if it is as is supposed, are criminal activities and hopefully someone somewhere will see to it that criminals have to answer for their crimes…maybe that will be a headsup to the adoption industry, too.

  9. Right, kdnp. I didn’t go into it here, but I did on their page. They are free to use a Fiscal Agent from another 501(3)(c). I sit on a board that acts as a FA for several projects and small organizations. There is nothing illegal about it, and in fact the IRS encourages it for specific situations. This could be one of them.

    And where does crimelo fit into all this. I’ve had a lot of thoughts on that, but unless more information is learned I’ll keep quiet for now.

    Whatever an EIN is mandatory. I have no idea if it was shown to all the businesses that supported the fundraiser. There is nothing on the fundraiser flyer/poster indicating tax status, but I would think the 1-page EIN approval (forget the form #)would have been necessary for donations. For example, BN is a 501(3)(4) but we are still tax exempt and our information is on file at Kinko’s so we don’t have to pay sales tax. Kinko’s just doesn’t take my word for it.

  10. I believe the Vaughns went into the adoption with good intent and faith– and total innocence. They didn’t see the snakepit. While they have fueled the flames and acted outrageously, I also believe they are being encouraged and fronted off by others with their own agendas. People don’t go this far without someone pushing them. I hope someday they wake up.

  11. Is this a charity or a legal defence fund? You have spent more time on the Facebook and the keepinggraysonhome site than I have but I got the impression it wasa legal defence fund. However, if it were, it would have to satisfy requirements before being set up. You either have to be a legal aid organization, a civil rights group, a public interest law firm OR a plaintiff but if you are the latter, you have to show that your goals are public and collective rather than private. This might be where the whole adoptee rights spiel comes in.

    Um, also these people have the total backing of their church. That is another angle to consider.

    My comments may not be useful, Marley, but I thought I’d throw them out there.

  12. Osolo–a legal defense fund would make sense, but I’ve not seen that term used at all. Their donation links and promotion don’t call it anything. I would think, though, companies like Kroger and Starbuck’s would not donate to a legal defense fund.

  13. i feel like they were innocent as well, and had no idea what they were getting into.

    that said, some of the behaviour fits exactly into the stereotype of adoptors i have read for years. you’d think that once in a hole, people would have the sense to stop digging, but…

    you’d further think a church would know better by now, but some of the comments i have read on that site about having sex without procreation in mind …just oy. oy.

    i do have sympathy for their feelings of loss but it’s a plain fact that adoption causes loss for the natural family. if you support adoption, you must take some responsibility for supporting the cause of that pain for the family who loses their child. one coin, two sides.

    but the natural family has rights that would-be adoptors do not have. that is the end of the story. they are just on the wrong side of the law on this one.

    starbucks? just when i have gotten to the point where i can feel okay about spending that kind of money on a nice americano i read that starbucks donated to them?


  14. I don’t pretend to know about running a non profit but here’s what I think might have happened regarding Starbucks, Avon, Gymboree and other companies cited as “doners” who have never heard of the Vaughns. Say, I work for a company and use my discount to purchase products or gift cards. I then donate the items to a radical political cause but instead of just saying its from me I say its on behalf of the company. You’d think someone would tell them using the name of such a coorperation isn’t a good idea. Just because I buy a product doesn’t mean I speak for the company when I donate it to a political cause. I only speak for myself. Hope this makes sense. Anyway, I think that may be how some of these coorperations ended of on the Vaughn “donor” list. I don’t think you have to boycott Starbucks. Clare

  15. I read the items that were donated on behalf of Starbucks and Kroger and wondered something similar to Clare. The items from said corporations were a gift basket and some dinky $10 card.

    Also, on the NOTE page, it says the following about the non-profit bank account:

    “We have set up a non-profit bank account for the Vaughn family to help with the cost of attorney fees and their defense with fighting to keep Grayson home. It is with Fifth Third bank and the account is called, “Keeping Grayson Home.”

    “If you would like to make a donation to help this family you can walk into any Fifth Third in your area and make a deposit to this account.

    “If you would like to mail a check, please mail it to the home branch where this has been created at:

    Fifth Third: Attn: “Keeping Grayson Home Account”

    8003 Preston Highway

    Louisivlle, KY 40219

    Why not try calling the bank and asking for the charitable number?

  16. The fact that the Vaughns are asking for donations under
    1) adoptee rights and 2) under the guise that Grayson was adopted is absolutely ridiculous, deceptive and a fraud.

    As Marley stated to so well they should not be co-opting valid, honest and real adoptee groups. Nor should they be misleading the public with the facts of this case either.

    Perhaps initially they were being lead down the garden of evil path by the brokers, but at this point they ought to know enough morality to stop this nonsense and leave this little boy to be with his real/natural father.

    The brokers themselves are the culprits as well in trying to orchestrate a case to override the rights of natural parents and the rights of children to be raised with their real/natural parents.

    Adoptionland and the parasitic vermin that arranges these adoptions is getting beyond greedy in this evil, reprehensible stunt.

    This little boy is where he belongs, the Vaughns are not his parents, they are not adopters and they should do the right thing and let this rest.

    Excellent blog Marley!

  17. Thanks, Osolo. I’ve never seriously entertained the idea that the Vaughns were collecting funds, etc illegally. However, the great defensiveness exhibited by their friends and family to a simple request of show us the documentation is alarming. Those of us who work in or with non-profits know that this is not an untoward question, but essential to mission and support.

    What disturbs me more is the solicitation under the name of “adoptee rights” and “adopted childen’s rights”–and of course, the industrial pushers behind it. It’s a lawyers’ game.

    (1) there is no constitutional right to adopt

    (2) there is no constitutional right to be adopted

    (3) there is no constitutional right to surrender a child for adoption

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