New Giorgio Commentary

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/24/02 01:46 PM

This will be of interest to some Magic Castle members (or those considering joining) only. If Castle politics hold no interest to you, please move on to another post.

It has been nearly five months since his last installment, but there is a new commentary from Tony Giorgio on his web site: http://www.tonygiorgio.addr.com/

This particular one revolves around the Castle BOD's apparent inclination toward censorship on their previous forum and their close control over the new one.

I disagree with Tony on several points here (and I told him so). Though it is a complex argument, ultimately I feel that BBS operators have the right to maintain control over what is said on their web sites.

That having been said, (and if you are an AMA member, or considering joining) I still recommend reading this commentary (and the other installments on Tony's site). While the Castle BOD may have the right to squelch speech on their site, it's another thing to exercise that right if all that is being done is a legitimate questioning of the actions of the Castle's governing body from one of its members.

I have a question for the BOD (and I wish I had asked this at the recent Town Hall Brawl ---err---Meeting):

"If any of the comments that are stated as fact (and not opinion) which Tony Giorgio prints on his web site constitutes a lie or distortion of the truth, why hasn't the AMA taken the legal steps available to them to have removed those lies and distortions?"

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/02 03:31 PM

Once again, this is of interest only to AMA members or those considering membership.

After nearly five months of silence, it seems Tony Giorgio is now on a roll. After only six days since his last offering, Mr. Giorgio has posted yet another interesting item on his web site:

http://www.tonygiorgio.addr.com/

You might ask, "why, Dustin, are you doing this? The Giorgio lawsuit is over, let it go. Whose side are you on?" If that is how you see the issue then let me make it clear that I'm not on Tony Giorgio's side, nor am I on the BOD's side. I am on the membership's side. I am not telling you what to think; I am not really telling you everything that I think. What I want is for you to read the information, digest it and come to your own conclusions. Yes, the lawsuit is over. But there are issues that continue to directly effect the membership that are a direct result of, or were brought up as a result of, the action brought by Mr. Giorgio. It's up to you to decide how you feel about those issues. I know that I am emotionally torn by the whole thing, and I'm not sure what it will take to resolve that (other than resigning, which I don't want to do).

All of this, of course, assumes that there is such a thing as the Academy of Magical Arts. Of course there is, in name's sake; that is certain. But the more I read, the more I absorb, the more I begin to believe that the AMA is an illusion. It's a fact that it was resurrected (from an organization created by their father years earlier) so the Larsen brothers could get around Los Angeles City laws and obtain the liquor license for their nightclub. Face it, without that, there's no club. And I have no issue with the AMA being a legal means to an end, none whatsoever. The issue arises when the reality and the illusion collide. If the AMA is a real entity, then it needs to be run like one, under the laws and ethics that govern such an entity. But there are issues and testimony posted on Mr. Giorgio's site that can be interpreted as evidence to the contrary and that disturbs me.

And the BOD remains quiet. If it was I, and I knew I was correct, I would counter Mr. Giorgio whenever he makes a post (in fact, Tony and I have had "arguments" - if you will - via email regarding the interpretation of some issues). If I were right, I would be taking legal action to stop him from posting distortions and/or lies. Of course, there's a problem: Tony Giorgio is, for the most part, only posting deposition transcripts. Granted, he makes conclusions, but are these conclusions lies or distortions? Perhaps they are opinion, in which case Mr. Giorgio cannot be stopped via any legal means. Then why doesn't the BOD say something so we the members can hear their side? Don't they realize that their silence speaks volumes for Giorgio's arguments?! A very wise man pointed out at the town hall meeting that whether true or not, there are things that the membership perceives as true and that can be as bad as the issues being true! The lack of communication from the Castle BOD over the years is what has hurt them the most. Because when they do answer questions (like at the town hall meeting) they are accused of skirting the issues. To quote one member, when Dale Hindman asked if, "we [the BOD] have answered all your questions?" the member said, "We got answers."

Many of the individuals involved in this whole mess are people that I like and/or respect, so it kills me when I read these things, things that they are saying under oath, that contradict other things I have heard them say or contradict what they said under oath elsewhere! There is one thing I learned a very long time ago about telling the truth: when you consistently tell the truth, you have no lies that you may be required to remember later. That's why it's so much simpler just to always tell the truth; it never changes.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/30/02 03:50 PM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
There is one thing I learned a very long time ago about telling the truth: when you consistently tell the truth, you have no lies that you may be required to remember later. That's why it's so much simpler just to always tell the truth; it never changes.
Folks, I read the site and the pleadings and the thrid party descrptions of persons of odd character and actions which seem deplorable if not actionable. Page after page of this sorry tale. In a nutshell, the story reads like a lawyer taking MANY pages and much time to NOT discuss a basic question. This being: What is the MC position on a large outstanding loan and how does this affect the not-for-profit public organization status the AMA organization seems to hold?

I did hope to one day see the Magic Castle dinner club and meet some of the LA closeup gang. I don't know what to think of the situation from what I've read. I hope things get stabilized before I have a chance to visit. I would like to enjoy a visit to the club.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/02 05:15 PM

Jonathan,

May I say to you and all others that read my posts: I am not suggesting that the Magic Castle is in any way a bad place to go! I would still recommend to anyone visiting the area make every attempt to see this wonderful establishment. I hand out guest passes whenever I can and praise its benefit to the guests. It is, after all, one of the few places in the world where one can see good (for the most part) magic on a nightly basis. If I felt the Castle was a "bad" place to go, I wouldn't do that. Milt and Bill Larsen opened a magic nightclub, and from this aspect it has no rival. All of these other things are internal AMA political issues that haunt this wonderful place, but you will not see or feel this specter during a visit to the Magic Castle.

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Postby Jeff Eline » 11/30/02 06:31 PM

For those of us that are not members, could you briefly summerize the lawsuit? Is it ongoing or is it settled?

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/30/02 11:58 PM

It is over. The lawsuit was not settled; it made it into a court of law. The Judge rendered her decisions in favor of the defendants (Milt Larsen and several members of the BOD during the period in question, which was 1996).
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