A new Washington Post article provides new details about the dire financial situation at WorldNetDaily, and it's even worse than we thought.
WND has been notoriously opaque about its finances, including lack of transparency about the money editor Joseph Farah claims it raised and where it was spent. The Post reports that not only have employees and contractors not received money they are owed, authors of books published by WND haven't been paid royalties they are due -- indeed, WND has for years been behind on payments to employees and vendors, to the point that Farah effectively bragged about that as being standard WND business practice. On top of that, it appears that WND's finances have gone to support a swanky office in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Farah's nearby house, and Farah's wife, Elizabeth, is accused of buying personal items on a company credit card. Ex-WND employees and board members have questioned its finances, the Post reported, and WND refused to let them see even basic accounting statements.
WND was not even living up to promises it made to writers to paid to have their books published by WND. We've detailed the story of Patricia Fiejo, whose story and book WND promoted but did not disclose to readers it was paid by Fiejo (to the tune of nearly $10,000) to promote it; Fiejo told the Post that WND failed to deliver on promises it would provide audio versions of her book.
The Post repeated statements for a Farah-penned book taht WND got started on "a 250-acre ranch in a stretch of rural southern Oregon known as 'the imaginary state of Jefferson.' ... They invited staffers to move there with them and called their ranch, with its cabins converted into offices, 'the compound.' The Farahs lived across the road in a log cabin." But as we've pointed out, that ranch was owned by a group called the Foundation of Human Understanding, which some have accused of being a cult. It was run by Roy Masters, an evangelist and radio host. WND managing editor David Kupelian used to run a magazine operated by Masters' FHU, and that served as the template for WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine.
The Post also highlighted Farah's embrace last year of a bitcoin derivative as a way to save WND. We documented just how shady that deal was. And it has not been a moneymaker for any of its holders so far: We never saw that particular cryptocurrency valued very high at all; as of this writing, it's trading at about 14 cents.
Perhaps most interesting, is how WND first responded to a Post reporter who contacted it seeking a response to all these allegations:
Reached by phone last week, Farah’s wife, Elizabeth — the site’s co-founder with her husband — declined to discuss the accusations in detail, but added that “the angst of a former employee does not impress me as to the legitimacy of complaints.”“It’s a he-said, she-said,” Elizabeth Farah said.
Less than two hours after she was contacted by The Washington Post, WND posted a story saying Joseph Farah had recently suffered a serious, previously undisclosed stroke.
It's probably telling of the how solid the Post story is that WND has yet to publish a response to it as of this writing on its website.
Things are undeniably a mess at WND, and now it's clear they have been for years. But if Farah is out of commission with a severe health issue, that bodes even worse for WND's future. Seeing this sort of mismanagement laid bare doesn't bode well for attracting any investors to it or even its tax-deductible nonprofit WND News Center, which has the goal of financing WND's reporting. The force-of-nature Farah juggled things (and stiffed his employees and authors) to keep the thing afloat, and no other WND bigwig seems likely to step into that role.
A few months back, WND managing editor David Kupelian wrote the story of his heart attack a couple years earlier, in which he seemed to learn the wrong lessons God was purportedly imparting to him by allowing him to suffer one -- he did not apologize to, and seek forgiveness from, all the people whom WND has smeared and libeled over the years. If one believes Farah's stroke is a message from God as well, it may be that the message He is sending is that WND doesn't deserve to live.