The Wizards' Journal

Addresses new and interesting links to other sites (not listed on the Genii website) that merit attention.

Postby Spellbinder » 07/05/03 07:37 AM

A new on-line e-magazine devoted to Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry is about to debut at The Magic Nook ( ) and I'd like to invite all Genii Forum fans to get a free look at the first issue (July 2003). If you e-mail me at , I'll send you a free access code to check out the first issue knowing that if you saw it in here you must be a legit magician. Don't forget to mention Genii to get your free access code to The Wizard's Journal. You can go to the web-site right now and see the Table of Contents before you write to see if it's something you would be interested in. Hope you enjoy it!
Phineas Spellbinder
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Postby Guest » 07/07/03 12:23 AM

I find your site deeply disturbing. Let me point out that I am not a harry potter basher who thinks that children can't discern the world of Rowling's fiction from the real world. Nor am I a magician who opposes the use of occult imagery in adult magical performance (Long live Andruzzi). However I find your site puzzling. Your new journal (the wizards journal) is clearly full of fairly standard magic given an occulty kind of flair, however the rest of your site is clearly targeted towards children, and offers (for a price) to teach the such flim flam as scrying to divine the future. I encourage other genii readers to check out your site, particularely the message board: "ASK PROFFESSOR SPELLBINDER", and post their reactions. The "message board" (its unclear whether these are actual posts or your fictitios imaginings) reveals the age of your target audience (and students?). Some of the more perturbing responses include one student who cant figure out how to use the wand he apparently bought from you because it won't actually levitate a feather. Spellbinder advises the student that he isn't speaking the wands language!!??! And another student posts that he wants to learn to type better so that he can participate in the classes offered through the site. I don't think its ethical to sell such basic magic tricks as sponge balls and THE WEB on one hand (and many other bobbles directed towards children), and on the other offer to teach children to "genuinely" divine the future. A child may happen upon your site and order your store front bobbles and souvenirs, not realizing that they're just going to get some lame dime store tricks in the mail. Actually, if they're lucky the only ordered dime store tricks, and not the 50$ dancing broom stick thinking it would actually fly! This seems more like the Magikal grifting of children. This breach of ethics bothers me more than a million store front psychics or John Edwards who at least have the decency to grift grown-ups.



Don't you think its a little uh... I dunno...retarded to sell flash paper on a site directed towards kids, even if you state that the paper can only be ordered by grown ups. Why don't you just post up some gun powder or blasting caps and enticingly point out that they can only have it if mummy or daddy say so. Have you given this any thought?!!?!

Postby Jeff Haas » 07/07/03 09:47 AM

Here's my favorite part of the site:

"Magic Supplies for First Years:
The supplies listed on this page supplement the requirements of the textbook, First Year Magik by Professor Spellbinder."

And here's the list of Potter-esque supplies...

- Crystal Ball and Matching Hand Mirror
- Scrying Tea Glass
- Red 2 Inch Sponge Balls

As Pete Biro would say, :confused: :confused:

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Postby Spellbinder » 07/08/03 10:31 PM

I knew my site would draw out a few dementors (see Harry Potter Book #3) but I am pleased that so far there have been so few of them. I haven't heard from all of the visitors who actually went to my site and READ The Wizard's Journal, but the ones who responded afterwards seemed to be looking forward to the next issue.

Mr. jiggyjer, besides not actually reading The Journal, makes a few errors of judgement with the parts of the site that he does attempt to read. The targeted age of the site is NOT children, as he implies. What so many fail to realize is the great number of ADULTS caught up in the Harry Potter enthusiasm, and the links to sites I provide are mostly inhabited by adults ROLE-PLAYING the parts of child and adult characters from the novels.

It is true, however, that the site is open to any child who wishes to seek it out... but how far will a child get without a CREDIT CARD or a PAYPAL account? He will get to read the stories and look at the photos of magic props, and window-shop on the outside of the magic store the same way I did when I was a kid.

If a child convinces an adult to sign him up for First Years' Magic Lessons, what will he see? Again, Mr. jiggyjer didn't check out the contents of those lessons. Lesson ONE is about the DIFFERENCE between Magik and Conjuring. Any child, or adult, who gets through lesson one will have no doubt where we stand on the subject. He will learn the basic rules of magic that we all should have learned when we started out and if he objects that he is learning "dime store tricks" instead of some imagined "real magik," he won't go any further than lesson one and the point of that lesson is that "Magic is in the Mind of the Beholder."

Speaking of dime store tricks, the very first effect in this month's Journal is the old penny to dime, but without the magical "red block" gimmick or penny gimmick and using nothing but sleight of hand to accomplish what costs about a dollar in most "dime stores." But the point of all the articles is to demonstrate how to make "Magik in the Mind of the Beholder." So, our effect, if you used a dime and penny and picked up a rock from the ground, would cost you no more than eleven cents. It's not what you pay for the props, it's knowing what to do with them that creates either magik or magic or a trick.

Nowhere on the site do we offer to teach children how to "genuinely" divine the future. But I remember as a child, looking in my first magic store window at a mysterious "Zombie" that was advertised as being able to fly under the magician's control. That thought kept me going in magic... that if I persisted, eventually I would learn how to make that Zombie fly. It was years before I could afford one, but when I eventually saved up the price of a Zombie, I was so disappointed to find out how it actually worked that I put it on a shelf and let it collect dust for a few more years. Then I saw a magician actually DO the Zombie (I'm sorry, I don't remember who he was, but he knew how to make MAGIK happen in my mind). I SAW the Zombie of my imagination, flying around the stage. I couldn't believe it! I went home with a new respect for the Zombie, dusted it off, and really learned how to present it correctly. I knew I had learned the lesson when I presented it at a magic club meeting and a young kid came backstage with his cheapo styrofoam zombie and asked me what the difference was between my Zombie that actually flew, and his that just sort of stuck out there. I took his Zombie and made it fly for him and he caught on right away. He had been just doing a trick. I was an actor playing the role of a magician. Magik is in the Mind of the beholder.

The "breach of ethics" that Mr. jiggyjer claims, has not happened except in his mind. He sees me swindling children out of $50 to buy flying brooms, when no child can even attempt to buy a "Flying Broom" without a credit card or a PayPal account, and that means going to a parent and that means answering lots of questions and steering the child away from the broom and towards some beginner tricks he can hope to master on his way towards the broom a few years from now. He won't be as disappointed as I was at buying my first Zombie. The reason for the $50 price tag is that it comes with DVD lessons showing how to do it properly, how to do variations, and how to create that Magic in the Minds of all who behold it. I don't want the broom to end up sweeping out a kid's bedroom instead of having a chance to fly.

Regarding the "Flash Paper" remarks, every effect that CAN use flash paper, is also given an alternate presentation so the flash paper is always OPTIONAL for adults OR children. And, yes, even if you tried to buy flash paper in a magic store, it is only available to adults. I don't know any magic store that sells gunpowder and blasting caps, and we don't either, so relax, Mr. jiggyjer.

As for the remarks of Mr. Jeff Haas, I don't think Pete Biro, whom I have long respected for his insight and wisdom, would say anything at all without first inquiring what effects the props were being used for. These are NOT Potter-esque supplies, as you suggest, but magic props. Our Potter-esque supplies are costumes and wands, the same as at any Harry Potter oriented sites.

You may not think of yourselves as Potter bashers, but to judge books or magazines without reading them puts you into the same camp, since most Potter bashers have neither read the Harry Potter books, nor are they likely to. Any child who happens on my site will be a literate child who enjoys reading and learning from reading.

The invitation to actually READ The Wizards' Journal free of charge this month still stands for ALL Genii forum participants who merely have to ask:
Phineas Spellbinder
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Postby Guest » 07/09/03 12:18 AM

#1 Jim states that the targeted age of his site is not children because the age of harry potter fans is not restricted to children, and the Links he provides are for sites adults also enjoy.

That may be, however I doubt that many adults will find the sticky rubber hands, floating eyball candles or childish wizard hats your site offers of much interest. Nor will they find the sophistication of Rowlings novels which do indeed appeal to adults. (see my comments in my original post)

#2 Jim states that I didn't bother to read the site.

I did read the site extensively. Including the table of contents for your 1st year magic lessons and am aware that lesson #1 is about the difference between Magik and Conjuring. I am also aware of the fact that a child will have to pay for that knowledge and potential dissapointment.
Your story about the zombie effect illustrates my point perfectly. An unscrupulous dealer sold you an item that was beyond your skill for you age and beyond your financial means resulting in your utter dissapointment. No where in your description of the flying broom do you state that it's just a trick, and infact there is no disclaimer anywhere on your site that states that all this is just makebelieve, except for the 1st year magic lessons which must be bought.
What's more, on your site, you imply that some of the effects available are real while others are just "tricks for muggles (non magic folk in Potter speak)"

See for example your description of the Appearing candle:

" Apearing candle for wizards/witches. The wizard makes a bright red candle apear fully lit, in the blink of an eye... Do not mistake this for the Muggle [ implying non magic ] version. This comes complete with a CD-Rom in which Proffessor Spellbinder shows you the REAL [ Gerrish's caps]method of making a candle appear out of thin air...
And this is yet again another fire effect. As for your remarks that every effect involving flash paper in your course is given an alternate presentation, I have to argue that a child will obviously be more drawn to the more enticing fire version even if they can't get their hands on flash paper. Maybee they'll even try it with real paper, which would be even more dangerous.


Jim states that nowhere in the site do they offer to teach children to "genuinely divine the future."
However, chapters 3 and 4 of your 1st year magic lessons are titled "Scrying" and "Divination". In your store you offer mood rings, crystal balls, birth stones and many other bobbles to be used for "Clairvoyance, Scrying, and Divination."

Your own "ask proffessor spellbinder" message board (which is probably written entirely by you, but on the off chance that it is an actual message board and this is your actual advice to actual children--so much the worse) proves my point.

Faye Willow asks:

What's the big secret? Gwendolyn and I took up your challenge and used the crystal ball to determine that you will indeed be teaching one class of clairvoyance II to second years in the fall. But we kept running into interference in the spiritual vibrations. Something about a big secret that is supposed to happen in July. Are you involved in some big secret project we're not supposed to know about?
To which you respond:

"You young ladies should be in bed instead of staying up all night scrying. However, I award each of you 5 points for correctly seeing that I will be teaching clairvoyance II next term"
I mean real or fake, what's a child supposed to think? And once again, the only way for them to find out its all just a game is to sign up for, and pay for first year lessons.

You should think back to when you first bought that Zombie and then re-think your approach. At the very least you might want to consider your personal (potentially criminal) liability if some kid accidenly lights himself on fire.

I sincerely hope you give this some strong thought.


Postby Eric Rose » 07/09/03 11:41 AM

Jim Gerrish wrote:
I knew my site would draw out a few dementors (see Harry Potter Book #3) but I am pleased that so far there have been so few of them

Are you implying that jiggyjer and Jeff Haas are soul-sucking demons? :eek: :eek: :eek:
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Postby Dave Egleston » 07/09/03 12:49 PM

I read your Journal - You truly are a magician catering to the masses - Not an original thought in the whole website

An embarassment to all Potter fans

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Postby Eric Rose » 07/09/03 01:04 PM

General question - are there any spells for protection against Copyright Infringement and Mail Fraud?
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Postby Spellbinder » 07/09/03 08:03 PM

I'm not interested in debating everyone point by point about my site ( ). You either like it or you don't, and if you don't you won't be back and you certainly won't be spending any money, so it's not worth my time to try to convince you. I'm more concerned about the impression you may be giving others on this site about magicians in general.

Mr. jiggyjer seems to think I need to post warnings on my site that state that magic isn't real, it's all a fake, it's all flim flam and trickery. If that's true for me, then it's true for every magic site, but it's not true for me and I find it sad that a person who spends so much time on this magic site feels that way. If the magic has gone out of magic for you, then it's time to give it up. I find that the few visitors to my site whom I suspect to be children are literate, intelligent, and in no danger of lighting themselves on fire. Maybe one of them will take the step over from fantasy magic to what I (and most other practicing magicians) call the "real thing." But if not, it's OK.

To Mr. Dave Egleston: Thanks for your compliment about my catering to the masses. That's what professional magicians do, believe it or not. However, I find it mysterious that you have read the entire Wizard's Journal and yet never e-mailed me for an access URL to the site. How odd. But then, you ARE a magician, are you not? Perhaps you, too, know how to scry.

And finally, to Mr. Eric Rose: Yes, there are indeed spells for copyright infringement and mail fraud. The spell for copyright infringement goes by the name of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The mail fraud spell is handled by the US Post office. If you see any evidence of copyright infringement on my site, I wish you would report it to me because as far as I know, I have acquired all the necessary counter-spells known as permissions, model releases and purchase rights. As for mail fraud, I would have to take your money to mail you something and then not mail it, correct? I don't believe this has happened yet and as you will probably never order anything from me, you have nothing to fear.

The counter-spells for inuendo, slander, libel and "bad mouthing", are truth and honesty. I hope they don't hurt anyone because that is not my intention.
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