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An Open Letter to Jason King of Seans Outpost

Published on November 14th, 2014 by BenDoernberg

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Editors Note: At the authors request, no comment has been solicited from any involved party pre-publication

Hi Jason,

First off, I want to say that I believe Seans Outpost has a tremendously valuable mission. Any organization that has served over 125,000 meals to the homeless is doing amazing work, and deserves to be commended for that.

When it comes to charitable organizations, I believe that transparency and accountability are extremely important. It is always the responsibility of a community to ensure that the individuals and organizations it entrusts with funds are using those funds responsibly. When an organization chooses not to make use of either cryptographic safeguards like multi-signature controls and public blockchain accounting, or the traditional structures for transparency and accountability such as 501c3 status and public financial filings, that communal responsibility is increased.

For the past few weeks Ive been trying to get a full understanding of Seans Outposts operations. Based on my conversations with a number of people, there are several questions that have continued to be troubling. Obviously you are under no obligation to answer these questions, and they may seem aggressive, intrusive, and unfriendly, and for that I apologize. As I stated in my private message to you a few weeks ago, I'm not trying to be a dick, just trying to create sustainable best practices to protect people. I believe these are the sorts of questions that anyone asking for peoples money should have to answer, even if it is unpleasant to do so.

  1. On September 26th, the State of Florida initiated administrative dissolution of Seans Outpost for failure to file an annual report. On October 27th you said in a comment on reddit,

We have already done the process to become in good standing again it's just not reflected on the sunshine website. It is quite embarrassing, but ultimately doesnt effect operations at all.

According to the State of Floridas Corporation Annual Reports/Reinstatements office, they have no record of any action initiated to reinstate Seans Outpost, and the people I've spoken to affiliated with Sean's Outpost were not aware of the dissolution until yesterday. Can you explain this discrepancy? Surely being legally dissolved has at least some impact on operations? As one example, this Florida statute which can be found here seems to prohibit the solicitation of funds prior to the approval of a charitys renewal statement.

  1. In conjunction with your Bitcoin Across America project, in-browser wallet company Kryptokit provided Seans Outpost with an RV. Whose name is that RV currently legally titled in? Is it being used for Seans Outposts operations in Pensacola or Dallas?

  2. In regards to Seans Outposts finances, has anyone other than you had direct control and access to the cryptocurrency donations to Seans Outpost since the organization was started?

  3. What is the total amount of cryptocurrency donations received since Seans Outpost began? What percentage of these funds have been spent on Seans Outposts activities in Pensacola and Dallas? What funds remain?

  4. Since August of 2013, Bitcoin address publicized on the Seans Outpost website (1M72Sfpbz1BPpXFHz9m3CdqATR44Jvaydd) has received a total of 483 BTC. On at least one occasion, a QR code provided by Seans Outpost caused a donor to give funds to an address other than the publicized address. You initially said that the alternate QR code had been inserted by a malicious hacker, but later explained that it was an inadvertent mistake by a web contractor that had been resolved. Are there any other occasions where a donation was made to Seans Outpost to an address other than the ones publicized on the website? If so, how much has been donated that is not factored in to the 483 BTC total above? What address or addresses were used to accept donations prior to August of 2013?

  5. On October 27th you stated in a reddit comment that you

do not derive any salary or monetary compensation from Sean's Outpost. In fact, the cost of running Sean's Outpost has greatly outpaced the amount of donations we have received. The additional costs of operating have to date been covered by wife and I.

Are there any of your expenses paid out of Seans Outposts donations that you don't consider to be monetary compensation? For instance, have donations paid for your meals, lodging, and travel to conferences? If so, how many BTC/how much USD would you estimate has gone towards these expenses? Finally, how much money/BTC have you and your wife donated to Seans Outpost, outside of the time you have donated?

  1. Are you the same Jason King who was involved with the following companies and projects?
  • The Ambrose Estate ScrollQuest game/treasure hunt project. There appears to be a large community of people who believed they were the victims of fraud in conjunction with this project.

  • Aeon Integrity Systems, which was dissolved in a tax forfeiture proceeding. There is a Jason King listed as a company director.

  • Versatile Service Solutions, which was dissolved in a tax forfeiture proceeding. There is a Jason King listed as a company director.

  • Randall Roberts Incorporated, which was dissolved in a tax forfeiture proceeding. There is a Jason King listed as a company director. There is a Kyle Swank also listed as a director.

  • Helix Broadband, which was dissolved in a tax forfeiture proceeding. There is no Jason King listed as a director, but there is a Kyle Swank listed as a director. It also appears that there is a Jason King who claimed to be the founder of Helix in a Slideshare presentation from 2010, and the same Evan Jensen who worked on Ambrose Estate also lists Helix Broadband as a previous place of employment. It appears that you and Evan Jensen are Facebook friends.

I sincerely hope that these questions can be addressed.

Updated to include Jasons initial response.

Thanks Ben.

I'm going to try and type a response out quickly as I am getting ready to fly back to Pensacola. I'm sure it will not be as through as you would like, but I will revisit at the end of the day.

First off, I don't think you're being a dick. I think anyone who has been as fortunate as I have with being able to generate this level of support for our cause needs to stand up to scrutiny. Your tactics are sensational for sure, but link bate works!

People will read the hell out of this.

Going to try and go in order...

Administrative dissolution: This is a form and a fee to reinstate. Which has been paid and filed. There is no bar to clear in terms of getting back into good standing. More so, I have deep reservations about being a registered charity. I think that asking permission from anyone to do good is ridiculous. Had we not purchased Satoshi Forest we would probably not have registered as an organization. Our organization would continue to feed the homeless no matter what our legal status. And correcting our status within the fiscal year alleviates any concerns as to our property ownership.

The RV is titled in my name and is currently in Orlando, FL and has been serving as a base of operations for starting an outreach in Central Florida. Similar to the recently publicized ft lauderdale laws, feeding the homeless is illegal in Orlando. As to why the rv is titled in my name and not Sean's Outpost? The insurance cost of the vehicle being personally owned are dramatically less. It was the only fiscally feasible option.

Cryptocurrency control has been mine. So any shortcomings on reportings are mine alone. Similarly, Mike Kimberl has control over the bank account that coins are sold into.

From day 1 we have reported our cost of producing and delivering a meal at $1.25. We have currently fed over 130,000 meals to the homeless. Which to my knowledge has never been in dispute. We are very public and frequent with our meals. That cost, plus the publicly available lease and utilities information from the other post you quote, is greater than the USD value of all public donations(not from my wife and I) given to Sean's Outpost since inception.

Can I give you an exact accounting off the top of my head. No. Is that ok? No. The main reason is we have always strived to do the most possible with the amount given. And we have done that in spades. As to my personal contributions, I have donated hundreds of BTC towards Sean's Outpost.

I am not balling or hoarding and in truth would give up all I have and will have in service of the less fortunate.

I am all of those Jason Kings you have listed. Serial entrepreneur and general asshole for most of my life. You left out my most spectacular fuck up. In 2011 I was an Associate on staff at TechStars Seattle and COMPLETELY FUCKED UP my relationship with that organization by having a very public very messy overdose from Methamphetamines and other drugs and all of the other related problems from being a piece of shit addict. Consequently that was my first brush with homelessness. I live in the utility closet in the basement of techstars "the easy" for over a month.

I almost died.

And that was rock bottom. It took a few years, but I got my life back together. And with a new outlook have dedicated my life to the service of the less fortunate In my previous response I outlined steps I thought Sean's Outpost and btc charities should start implementing to help transparency. And we are working on them now. I still firmly believe that the best thing a charity can do is show the work it does.

Which i think we have done well and publicly.

And we will do much better in the future.

Our works are public and verifiable and outnumber the value of donations given.

Our current bitcoin holdings are 2.1btc and most of that is about to pay the mortgage on Satoshi Forest.

The QR code snafu was an accident caused by Lisa Cheng who was kind enough to donate the website Overhaul for us. She corrected it immediately after notifying. I have left her name out of previous comments because i didn't think it was a big deal and was rectified quickly.

I'm sure I left out a lot and or caused more questions. Im getting on a plane so it will be a few hours.

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