Banned from Blackpool for my "Safety"

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Tom Frame » 08/22/09 09:20 AM

Quentin Reynolds wrote:Why would anyone want to continually return to anyplace that upsets them so much?


I imagine that he does so because he loves magic.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/22/09 10:23 AM

I wonder if the rules of FISM itself allow people to be banned for no good reason other than expressing an opinion--a right that is protected speech in the UK (I assume). I'll be contacting Eric Eswin for an informed decision about this.
It seems outrageous to me.
Craig, I think you might be able to find an attorney or rights group in the UK to take your case pro bono, because this certainly deserves a lawsuit since it infringes on your rights. You may be a picky bastard, however you are still a person with rights. Denial of service requires a valid reason.
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Postby Kenardo » 08/22/09 10:27 AM

I wonder what kind of legal alternatives Craig could pursue if he wanted to invest the time and money.
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Postby Roger M. » 08/22/09 10:45 AM

FISM can't ban Craig from attending, and likely will "un-ban" him as soon as they either see this thread, or have enough time to think about the consequences.

FISM isn't your local burger joint, deciding they won't serve you because you don't have a shirt on.......it's the world body associated with magic clubs in each country represented.

Either way, the local organizing group has already displayed their hand, and now have the appearance of a bunch of babies who've been tasked with putting on a FISM event.

If satisfaction isn't achieved for Craig, it sounds like he should contact FISM as a international body, and if satisfaction isn't achieved at that point.......then FISM becomes an instant joke and a bit of a laughing stock.

This is very risky playmaking on the part of the Blackpool FISM folks, and to date Craig hasn't indicated that his style is to "give up and go away".

Please keep us informed Craig, this doesn't deserve to be shoved under the bed, which will likely be FISM's first response to the issue.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/22/09 10:49 AM

Richard,

Reading Mr Lever's letter to me - the security concerns appear to surround the Blackpool 2010 event and that I am "no longer welcome at Blackpool Magicians' Convention."

As such - I assume I have been banned from the Blackpool Magicians Convention only. Unfortunately for Mr Lever I do not believe it is within his rights to ban an official delegate of the General Assembly from attending FISM. Especially for so heinous a crime as freedom of speech.

Having said that - any threat of a tourist being physically assaulted in Blackpool is a matter of grave concern and should be reported to the police. If vigilantism is as large a problem as Mr Lever makes out - we need to question whether other visitors to Blackpool in 2010 or FISM 2012 may be at risk ?

What is interesting from a consumer rights perspective, is that the Blackpool Magicians Club Ltd ( a for profit company ) did take my money and did send my entrance tickets many months ago. From that perspective a valid contract has been concluded. Now discriminating against a customer for no apparent legitimate reason in law - may indeed call for further examination of their trading standards.

Despite Mr Lever's ill-feelings towards me, I have extended an open invitation for him to visit at any time. I would value the opportunity to officially meet him in person and guarantee a warm welcome.
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Postby Tom Stone » 08/22/09 11:26 AM

Roger M. wrote:FISM can't ban Craig from attending

I think they can.
The dutch magician Andr Du Lord voiced some critizism against FISM in 1976, and instantly got banned from attending.
Dagens Nyheter, a big Swedish morning paper, asked about the incident, and Hank Vermeyden answered: "The people who get banned are primitive and uneducated people who speaks about things they know nothing about." (Dagens Nyheter, August 1, 1976).

Similar things happened in Sweden in 2006, as well.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/22/09 12:12 PM

Tom Frame wrote:
Quentin Reynolds wrote:Why would anyone want to continually return to anyplace that upsets them so much?


I imagine that he does so because he loves magic.


Tom, I love magic too, and there are literally hundreds of conventions around the world I could attend. If one upset me, I'd simply go elsewhere.

If I come to your psychotherapy practice as a patient and tell you that I attend a convention every year and so detest the place that I feel compelled to complain about it on multiple internet forums, yet I still want to go back, what would you advise?

I suspect you might draw me towards two conclusions. One, accept it for what it is, deal with it and quit moaning. Two, Stop going there.

Otherwise aren't we heading towards a version of Battered Wives Syndrome?
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/22/09 12:20 PM

For those of a legal bent, I have just been advised by an attorney that I am entitled to ignore the repudiation and insist on keeping the contract alive. Should they fail to adhere to the terms of the registration, their repudiation of the contract amounts to a distinct form of breach and potentially makes the Blackpool Magicians Club Ltd liable for specific performance or consequential damages ( non-refundable hotels, flights etc. which amount into the thousands of dollars )
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Postby magicman1953 » 08/22/09 12:30 PM

OUTRAGEOUS .......
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Postby Roger M. » 08/22/09 12:34 PM

Tom Stone wrote:
Roger M. wrote:FISM can't ban Craig from attending

I think they can.
"The people who get banned are primitive and uneducated people who speaks about things they know nothing about." (Dagens Nyheter, August 1, 1976).

Similar things happened in Sweden in 2006, as well.


This type of behavior is dangerous, and from a customers point of view really does just look like children playing with toys.

The liability upon FISM in this instance is present regardless of whether they want to acknowledge it or not.
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Postby David Alexander » 08/22/09 02:17 PM

This is interesting. Up to this point I thought Craig Mitchell was just the Children's Magic Instructor at South Africa's College of Magic.

I never saw him as POWERFUL. Apparently, I was wrong. Clearly, FISM's Thug-In-Chief has recognized Craig for what he is: a man with an opinion and therefore DANGEROUS.

Obviously, Craig can't be allowed to continue expressing his own thoughts to the point that he must be banned from FISM and other associated events at Blackpool as well as his words being censored for the on-line magic community. God knows, we all march in lock-step thought here.

Who knows where the idea of having independently-formed opinions could lead? A free, healthy, and open discussion of problems? Perhaps even, gasp, Democracy? (Apparently that hasn't quite made it to Blackpool, yet.)

Good move on FISM's part to move to shut Craig up. This idea of "speaking one's mind" could spread. Someone else may catch Craig's "disease" and, well, FISM just may crumble under the onslaught of a few people's opinions.
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Postby Chad Findlay » 08/22/09 02:32 PM

I think Mr Lever needs to hire a publicist ... I don't think PR is one of his strong points ...
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Postby Mark Paulson » 08/22/09 02:33 PM

Hey Craig, if you decide not to go, can I have your tickets to Blackpoo?
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Postby Magic Newswire » 08/22/09 02:56 PM

I've heard from many of this "Ban List" and always assumed it was an exaggeration. I guess that this demonstrates the truth of it. I've also been told of a second club in Blackpool that wears as a badge of honor the experience of having been banned from the other. Fascinating. Is there something in the water in Blackpool... wait.. never mind.... forget that I asked... ;-)
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/22/09 02:59 PM

Mr Lever does have legitimate concerns over my safety at Blackpool.

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Blackpool does have one of the highest rates of physical violence in all of England - twice the national average!
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Postby Terry » 08/22/09 03:39 PM

Craig,

Considering what has been posted about past Blackpool conventions, you must be a masochist for wanting to go. LOL

FISM China apparently sucked since you and MAGIC blasted it.

One thing to remember - if you don't get to see Mr. Lever before it rains, piss on him.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/22/09 04:58 PM

Hi Terry

I haven't read Magic's article - but I by no means said FISM China sucked. Sure there were issues - but overall we had a most enjoyable time ( see my final post for a summary ... http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... Post199875 )
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/22/09 07:30 PM

I would say that Wittus Witt didnt really blast FISM in his MAGIC article. I know from my own experience that negative comments tend to stand out in even overall positive reviews let alone in those that are mixed, such as Mr. Witts piece. As a result, it is the negative that is taken away.

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Postby Kenardo » 08/23/09 12:08 AM

Craig, might the consequential damages they could be responsible for be only the monies paid by you before their barring notice was received by you? Any payments made afterwards they might not be responsible for. I would guess an English lawyer would know. It probably is basic contract law over there.

I find the barrings at FISMs to be revolting. If those barrings can be substantiated with evidence, I would think that a party with a British lawyer could bring that up to the proper authority in England who would contact the Blackpool group and the international FISM body and advise them of whatever consequences if it happens - if it is against British law.

Good luck, Craig.
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Postby Christian » 08/23/09 04:24 AM

Even if I don't agree with everything Craig writes, his reports are much appreciated and I enjoy them very much.

Before reading about this, I hadn't made up my mind about FISM in Blackpoo. After all, they already have a large convention which I have attended many times (despite the location). So, what can it offer me that I haven't already seen? I know that I wont be spending much time sight seeing, nor will I enjoy a good time at the hotel.

Anyway, this was the final nail in the coffin. I will not be attending anything organized by the Blackpoo club.
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Postby Tim Ellis » 08/23/09 05:29 AM

Maybe Craig will get a special mention in the 2010 Blackpool Programme like Carl De Rome did this year...
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/23/09 06:01 AM

WOW !
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Postby mrgoat » 08/23/09 06:17 AM

Quentin Reynolds wrote:This must be the most ironic thing ever posted on the GENII forum.
He should be sponsored by Blackpool Tourism:

"The man who hates Blackpool so much he cannot stay away!"


or

"The man that loves magic so much, he will even put up with a [censored] like this!"
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Postby naquada » 08/23/09 07:06 AM

i would be EXTREMELY careful with that twitter id.. terms and conditions of twitter state,amongst other things:

"You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Twitter users."

they take things that like extremely seriously.. as would anyone.. firstly impersonating Derek Lever.. secondly the ID was obvisouly set up to fuel this argument (it was set up on the 23rd august 2009)
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Postby naquada » 08/23/09 08:01 AM

is it then right to bullying someone electronically? using a system that someone probably doesnt understand or use to impersonate them ?

regardless of the person, the history or anything else, it is not right to use their name and assume there identity to push out statements and comments that appear to be from them.

but I'm glad you removed it.
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Postby mrgoat » 08/23/09 08:40 AM

naquada wrote:is it then right to bullying someone electronically? using a system that someone probably doesnt understand or use to impersonate them ?

regardless of the person, the history or anything else, it is not right to use their name and assume there identity to push out statements and comments that appear to be from them.

but I'm glad you removed it.



There are hundreds and hundreds of fake blogs, fake twitter accounts, fake sites. It's called satire.

I have deleted it because I was asked to by the poor man Lever is bullying. Not because of any moral reason.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/23/09 02:49 PM

It seems that Mr Lever has indeed 'banned' many, many people over the years from his Blackpool Magicians Club. The below was sent to me:

"Derek Lever has banned Alan ( New owner of Tommy Cooper Magic Blackpool) plus all, his Family and friends, Including Alans 13 year old daughter who has done no harm to anyone at all, and loves magic, But because of her banning she is not allowed to attend the Blackpool Convention."

There now appears to be a widespread belief that Mr Lever has extended these 'bans' to automatically include FISM 2012. Alan Chester - owner of the Tommy Cooper Magic Shop in Blackpool - writes:

"Anyone banned from blackpool magicians club events and manchester events are also barred from FISM when it comes to blackpool but don't worry folks our shop will still be open and look out for our magic auction at the end of september"

FISM's stated aim is to "enhance, promote and develop the Art of Magic"

I have requested Eric Eswin - FISM's International President - to confirm with Mr Lever that he is indeed NOT attempting to exclude any dealers or registrants from attending FISM 2012 on the basis of Mr Lever's personal ban lists.

FISM is obviously open to any magician worldwide and it is imperative that this be known - especially to those who find themselves on the 'Blackpool Magicians Club banned list'

If you ( or know of anyone who has been banned ) by Derek Lever -and are wishing to attend FISM 2012 either as a delegate or dealer - please contact me mitch@intekom.co.za
Last edited by CraigMitchell on 08/24/09 12:49 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Awaiting written confirmation per CM
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Postby Kenardo » 08/23/09 03:28 PM

In light of these postings, I think we should all contact our FISM ambassadors and ask that FISM conduct an investigation into these past FISM bans (see Tom Stone's earlier thread) and the past bans at Blackpool and how they may affect the upcoming FISM. The ethics of a FISM host organization should be considered when choosing a FISM site and should be a factor, if necessary, for reversing an earlier decision.

If enough ambassadors are contacted and pushed to speak up, Eric Eswin and the FISM body may have to take action to prevent damage to its reputation and the success of the next World Championship of Magic.
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Postby Tom Stone » 08/23/09 04:48 PM

Kenardo wrote:In light of these postings, I think we should all contact our FISM ambassadors and ask that FISM conduct an investigation into these past FISM bans

It is likely that the individuals who have been banned or mistreated will become targets for severe mud-slinging, if questions are asked. It's easier, and less hurtful, to just accept that some of us are not welcome.
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Postby Nathan Muir » 08/23/09 05:14 PM

Wow, Tom, that's a particularly cowardly approach. Not the way we do things in the free world.
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Postby Zig Zagger » 08/23/09 05:28 PM

WOW, if only half of this is true, Mr Lever should be ashamed of himself from here to Beijing!

We will see what FISM 2012 will stand for - hopefully not "Feudal Idiots Suppressing Magicians".

A friend of mine I have talked to about this considers entering the next competition in Blackpond - in the "Mental Illness" category - as The Great Dreck Leverage, producing John Milton's Areopagitica from his square circle and slapping it into someone's face... so watch out for him!
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/23/09 05:44 PM

"... ere the house of magic can be built?"
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Tom Stone » 08/23/09 05:44 PM

Nathan Muir wrote:Wow, Tom, that's a particularly cowardly approach. Not the way we do things in the free world.

Well, when idealism run into the brick wall of realism, one get a different perspectiv of things. Some fights can not be won.

I spent 1.5 years trying to find out the reason why I was not allowed to compete at FISM2006. Did not get any real explanation, instead I became the target of an extreme mud-slinging that left me more or less alienated from the whole Swedish magic scene.
So, yes, I regret that I asked about the reason.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 08/23/09 06:02 PM

Tom Stone wrote:I became the target of an extreme mud-slinging that left me more or less alienated from the whole Swedish magic scene.


And that is why this is the only comment I will post in this thread.

In the words of WB Yeats....Thread Carefully
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Postby Tim Ellis » 08/23/09 07:28 PM

Tom Stone wrote:
Nathan Muir wrote:Wow, Tom, that's a particularly cowardly approach. Not the way we do things in the free world.

Well, when idealism run into the brick wall of realism, one get a different perspectiv of things. Some fights can not be won.

I spent 1.5 years trying to find out the reason why I was not allowed to compete at FISM2006. Did not get any real explanation, instead I became the target of an extreme mud-slinging that left me more or less alienated from the whole Swedish magic scene.
So, yes, I regret that I asked about the reason.


Tom, as Sue-Anne and a number of other Aussie magicians will attest to, I was targeted by a fellow Aussie magician because he didn't get a free rego to a convention I was organising several years ago.

(The only people who go to Aussie conventions free are the overseas guest artists).

Anyway, he was President of the local club and started gossiping about me. When I was nominated to join the club more rumours were spread and I was suddenly the anti-christ of Aussie magic. For some reason he and his colleagues got away with saying anything they wanted to about me (discussing fictional versions of my private life, non-existent restraining orders etc) but as soon as I spoke up to defend myself they used that as "evidence" to show how much of a "troublemaker" I was and all the more reason I shouldn't be in the club.

Yes, you're right, there are some fights you cannot win.

In the end a lot of the committee who wanted me to join quit in protest, only to be replaced (without club voting) by this chaps friends. He even changed the clubs constitution to bar me (and Sue-Anne) from joining. (Ironically, the person in question is also on the Blackpool banned list).

So Tom, in a nutshell, I know how you feel.

If one person is running a club or a convention they can bar who they want, they can slander until the cows come home, and still pretend to be operating in the "best interests of the harmony of the club".

However, I disagree that in THIS case, we should accept that some people are not welcome.

FISM 2012 is not, as Derek Lever has made very clear, a Blackpool Convention, it is a FISM event.

In speaking with Derek he seems a very reasonable man (he's even expressed interest in having Ellis & webster appear at FISM 2012 so he has excellent taste *g*) so I can't see how he would even be considering extending his Blackpool bans to FISM 2012.

I'd be very surprised if he doesn't submit a post in here in a day or two clarifying exactly that.
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Postby Roger M. » 08/23/09 07:38 PM

Just accepting this is truly an unwise approach, FISM isn't some little backwater magic show.

From a world-wide perspective, FISM is as big as it gets. Every magician in the world who wants to go, and can afford to go, MUST be able to attend.......really, think about it.

Just to accept that you're "not welcome" at FISM because some ass-hole who's being a bully says you're not welcome isn't on I'm afraid, and Mr. Eswin and the FISM International folks had best deal with this right now, before it snowballs into something they won't have a chance of getting a handle on............it's almost there now, so sooner than later would probably be a good plan.
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Postby Tom Stone » 08/23/09 08:05 PM

Tim Ellis wrote:For some reason he and his colleagues got away with saying anything they wanted to about me (discussing fictional versions of my private life, non-existent restraining orders etc) but as soon as I spoke up to defend myself they used that as "evidence" to show how much of a "troublemaker" I was

Yep, identical tactics. And just to illustrate the damage - I heard those rumours about you here in Sweden a few years ago, that's how far it spread.
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Postby Tim Ellis » 08/23/09 09:01 PM

Tom Stone wrote:
Tim Ellis wrote:For some reason he and his colleagues got away with saying anything they wanted to about me (discussing fictional versions of my private life, non-existent restraining orders etc) but as soon as I spoke up to defend myself they used that as "evidence" to show how much of a "troublemaker" I was

Yep, identical tactics. And just to illustrate the damage - I heard those rumours about you here in Sweden a few years ago, that's how far it spread.


Then you know the man I'm talking about then.

Thankfully, most people know me and dismissed the comments for what they were, rubbish. However, there will always be those who only hear the rumours and - as you know Tom - when mud is thrown some is bound to stick.

All the more reason that bullying tactics should not be tolerated.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/24/09 01:58 AM

The latest reports just received:

"On hearing that Fism 2012 is coming to Blackpool I decided to phone up Arthur Carson of the Blackpool Magic Club with the view to purchasing tickets for Fism. He told me I was still banned for attending Blackpool and an application to attend Fism will have to gobefore the Blackpool Committee which will be meeting in approximately 8 weeks time and they will decide whether I was eligible for a Fism ticket. However, it was express to me
that it would be unlikely that I will be able to get a ticket to attend Fism ... "

and

"i have already been told my a member of bmc that anyone derek has barred wiil not be allocated tickets for fism and i have already been refused a dealer booth and a guy who was working for me was told he would not be able to attend either if you know how i and others can get in let me know"

Perhaps this is all just a horrible misunderstanding and Mr Lever did in no way, shape or form intend to 'ban' anyone from attending FISM 2012 and the wrong information was merely communicated to the relevant parties ?

Alternatively - this was Mr Lever's intent all along and only now that this practice has been exposed will he now be made to ensure that FISM is truly an all-inclusive event.

I look forward to obtaining the definitive answer.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/24/09 04:55 AM

Further details on the above:

"Myself any of my staff family and friends ... I understand has also been barred I have written to BMC for further clarification but have been ignored"

Again - these are messages which I have received. I cannot independently confirm the contents thereof ( I can 100% confirm my banning order from Blackpool ) - but I do believe there is sufficient cause for concern to request an official response and clarification regarding admission for FISM 2012 from Mr Lever.
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