I have never met Tony Giorgio, and only saw his website late last year when the address was posted on this bulletin board. As a non-resident member of the Castle, I was surprised to hear of all these allegations. Worse still, although there very well may be a lot of acrimony and polemics that color Mr. Giorgio's viewpoint, a few things stand out very clearly to me:
1. The Castle is doing an extremely poor job of letting the members know its exact financial position.
2. The Castle's BOD is not keeping the members informed of issues pertaining to the running of the organization (I never heard any of Mr. Giorgio's claims until I read about them after coming to his web site from here).
3. Whether or not you agree with Mr. Giorgio regarding his personal claims over incidents that may or may not have happened to him at the club, there are a serious number of questions regarding the finances of the club that are not being addressed to the membership at large. I understand that, due to the lawsuit, many questions have not been answered. However, this still does not explain why the Castle/AMA does not put out a detailed annual report to its members, explaining, line-item by line-item, where the money went. Or why brochures need to be four-color. Or why decorating expenses are in the five-figure range. Or why the member's newsletter costs so much (for info that could be sent by e-mail). If the financial situation is so precarious, why are we spending so much money on these things?
I had a long (40 minute!) discussion with Max Maven outside the doors of the club last November, and he convinced me that he had the best interests of the club at heart. I think it is a shame he was not elected to the board.
I love the Castle, and it was a major joy in my life back in 1996 to be able to walk through the doors as a member. Whenever I'm in L.A., the majority of my evening hours are spent there, watching the shows and talking to people I'd otherwise only meet on the lecture circuit or read about in the magazines. I have made some great friends.
But the non-romantic side of me is pretty clear on one thing. I can only wonder when all the questions I, as a non-resident member, have about the state of the AMA/Magic Castle will be answered. If ever.
Some of us would really like to know.