Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Farewell

Some of you may have noticed that Andrews blog is missing. Well he has taken it off. I asked him why and I got this email. (making sure he has no problem with me publishing this). It will explain why he is suddenly gone from the magic community. Please read the whole thing.







------------------------- R.I.P. Ye Olde Magick Blogge, 2005-2012 -------------------------

With regards to what you asked for, Roland, here it is.

Midway through August of this year I received an email from a guy calling himself "Jerry Lukins" who basically said he was starting a blog dedicated to magicians he considered blowhards who needed to be gotten rid of. On the list were four: myself, you, the Smiling Mule (the guy who runs the excellent Phantom Notebooks blog), and Steven Youell. To hear Lukins talk about it, he was sick of all the debates over at the Magic Cafe and on the blogs, and was basically going to come after us until it stopped. His first post directed my way was a wedding invitation for myself and Tyler, and it it was funny enough for what it was. Obviously, though, that sort of union could never happen, because of all the times I visited Minnesota, Tyler never put out, and I'll be damned if I'm getting involved in a loveless marriage.

Anyways, I basically told Lukins that he was out of luck, because a week prior to his idea to come after me, I'd already publicly sworn off all future debates with Steven Youell. I had my last words, Youell had his, and that was pretty much it as far as I was concerned, and I assume as far as Youell was concerned as well. Lukins, however, decided that wasn't enough, and in follow-up entries on the blog, he soon posted the following (I've included it as an attachment to the email, so people can refer to it if necessary).


Let's make something clear from the get-go. I work both as a magician doing kids shows and as a teacher for children. Tossing around jokes that I might have something to hide in a background check is not only disgusting and offensive to me personally, but it poses a very real threat to my livelihood, both aspects of which require an untarnished reputation when it comes to working in close proximity to an at-risk group. Being in a foreign country doesn't help much either, as one cannot rely on their ability to understand when a joke is a joke, when this sort of thing is concerned.

So anyhow, it was clear at this point that "Jerry Lukins" wasn't interested in trying to clean up discussion at all. He was going into full-blown character attacks because he wanted to, the sort that could have a very real and detrimental effect on the future of two different career paths, not to mention my current job which has one foot planted in each of those paths. Each and every time I've gotten involved in hardcore debates or colorful remarks or unflattering observations, it was meant to stay within the magic community. This is a whole other level I can't even begin to fathom, in a realm so indecent that it frightens me to think who'd seriously want to go there.

After a couple of weeks of inactivity, a more recent development saw "Jerry Lukins" write me a personal message over at the Cafe informing me that he'd started up a new website dedicated to us. Yesterday, I sent off an email asking him why he was continuing with this even though I'm out, and there's been no response.

So it comes to this. Are you reading, Lukins? Because I don't know how Roland or the Mule or Steven Youell feel about it, but insofar as I'm concerned, I'm out. Since only pretentious and annoying magicians say "I'm going underground" in order to bolster their mystique and street cred, I'd like to say that I'm going underground. There's always email and skype, and I'm lucky enough to be a member of the fantastic Magic Pebble, so if I need to get my magic discussion ya-yas off, I can do it one of those ways. And to everybody else, sorry, but if you want access to my brilliant and groundbreaking work on the 2 Card Brainwave, good luck, because we undergrounders are a tight-lipped bunch.

For anybody who read the olde blogge over the years, I just wanted to say thanks. For anybody who actually commented over there or got in touch with me about it, the thanks is multiplied, because your feedback kept me going. At Blackpool, R. Paul Wilson mentioned that he and Juan Tamariz spoke briefly about something I'd written, and while the very idea of that sort of thing is more awesome than a band of ninjas, I'll never know for sure exactly what they said about it. You guys who read and commented on what I wrote, however, were truly awesome. Like, more awesome than an army of ninjas. Riding Grizzly Bears. Dancing Gangnam-style.

You get the picture.

For those who've messaged or emailed me asking me why I've gone off the grid, this is the whole story, and my last public word on it. Both the old ye olde and the newer "sleightly" ye olde are dead. The last thing I plan on posting over at the Cafe is to see if anybody wants to buy the domain name.

That's really all I have to say about this specific situation. If Lukins wants to keep trying to poison my reputation, I guess maybe I'll take a closer look at the data I've accumulated on the guy and see about what actions can be pursued. Participating in the internet leads to a lot of footprints -- I already know what timezone the guy lives in and who he does business with for webhosting, and that he was active on the Magic Cafe a couple of years ago during a short time when a video of mine was only briefly made public. His diatribes haven't exactly betrayed him to be an intelligent man, so he was likely sloppy in other regards as well. If he's still around and active a few months from now I may decide to pursue that and see how much further the guy can be narrowed down. My final comment for Jerry Lukins: if somebody were to start digging through whatever clues you've left as to your real identity, if it ever gets out who you are, if you really are in the magic community, and if by some chance we ever end up at the same convention or whatever... I'd advise you not to cross my path. After the above joke, being anywhere around me would be foolish.

Otherwise, I'm out. Not only in terms of the online magic scene, but all this stress has made me rethink wanting to be a known quantity in the greater magic community at all. Back when I was "erlandish", some people would publicly denounce what I had to say because I was apparently posting anonymously. After hearing that enough times, I gave it some thought and asked what I might have to lose by posting under my real name. After all, knowledge of one's real name is a requirement over at the Magic Pebble, where the quality of conversation and level of etiquette is quite high. Turns out that sharing my real name was the dumbest decision I could have made, because letting a sociopath have access to that sort of information is tantamount to career and professional suicide. Not worth it. I'd rather just perform for regular folks.

Additionally, I'd like to wish the best of luck to you, the Smiling Mule and Steven Youell in dealing with Jerry Lukins guy. I don't know much about the Mule except for the fact that I enjoy reading his blog, and while my views on Steven Youell both as a magician and a person are well-known, well-documented and unchanged, I wouldn't wish this sort of thing on anybody, even him. And while it might seem superfluous to offer you my support, Roland, I wanted this included so that those amongst your readership would know the whole story and would be willing to chime in with their support for you as well.

And with that... Bye!

37 comments:

The Smiling Mule said...

It's rather obvious that Lukins is Youell. The "attacks" aimed at himself were merely an attempt at a swerve.

For the most convincing evidence, I refer you to the exchange on my blog where he gets all gestapo about logical fallacies and then makes a silly little "challenge."

His previous comments had Youell written all over them, but this one nailed it in.

Intensely Magic said...

I hate to see him go. His level of passion and intelligence is needed - REALLY needed in magic. Just look at the Genii Forum to see what we've evolved into. We spend way more energy on the color of Charlotte Pendragon's underwear than we do on magic. Sad - very sad.

Mule's theory on Lukin's identity is interesting. If it truly is, his holiness, Stephen Youell, that would be quite a revelation.

i/m

Matt said...

As the "blowhards" blog is hosted on a UK domain it is not protected under US first amendment rights, instead UK Libel law dictates the offending material be taken down. Libel under UK law is defined as "defamatory material in a permanent recorded form - in a newspaper, a book, on a TV or radio programme, a website, a blog, a drawing, or even a letter sent from one individual to another". A UK takedown may be an appropriate angle to have the more offensive material removed.

There is a great deal of difference between artistic critique of a magic trick or sleight, or even a performers ability and posting a photograph of a performer for children and youth worker next to an insinuation of paedophilia.

Hopefully we can all appreciate the difference, even the anonymous blogger in question.

Steven Youell said...

It's hard for me to believe that some have come to the conclusion that I am the guy-- particularly based on the scant evidence mentioned above.

It's even harder for me to believe that the Mule, Andrew and Roland are complaining about "personal attacks" when they all have blogs dedicated to personal attacks. I've surely made my share of personal attacks, however I've never dedicated a blog to them.

This is the last time I'll post here. I just wanted to share my perspective and/or side ofthe story.

C'Ya!

Roland said...

Hey Steven, I'm certainly not complaining. But I do draw a distinct line between accusing someone to be a bad magician or to do illegal things. One is opinion the other one slander. One of them can have legal consequences.

Roland said...

You say the blog is hosted in the UK. It's not... blogspot recently made a change where your main blog is mirrored across different servers. If somebody's living in the UK, they see myblog.blogspot.co.uk. If somebody's living in germany, they see myblog.blogspot.de. That extension doesn't say where the blog is hosted.

Stijn Hommes said...

I've seen this sort of accusation before, and every single time it forced the accussee offline. It doesn't matter where the site is hosted. It's slander, libel or defamation, all of which have legal consequences.

Don't let such a sleazebag get away with this.

The Smiling Mule said...

Yes it is rather moronic to compare baseless suggestions of pedophelia with using evidence-based ridicule to expose horrible magic and performers.

Funny that Mister Lukins used the same "this will be my last post on the subject" tactic over on my blog. Which is, by the way, just a symptom of those people who just must have the last word.... "I'm telling you in advance that I will not post again so the last word is, by default, mine." Don't announce it, just don't post. It is similar to the tactic of *telling* someone you are adding them to your ignore list.

So transparent.

Zane Kinkade said...

"It's rather obvious that Lukins is Youell."

I've checked the exchange, and I gotta say... there are some eye-brow raising coincidences. It's all circumstansial, but in terms of writing style, I see similarities. Youell uses a double hyphen (no space) after a name: (e.g., "Dai Vernon-- the pass...") So does Lukins. So do lots of people.

Youell has a tendency to invoke "fallacies"-speak in a rather clumsy way, an effort to ape smarter people. So does Lukins. So do lots of people.

Youell's signed off his posts with "".* So does Lukins. So do lots of people.

Youell makes a big show out of saying "this will be my final post." So does Lukins. So do lots of people.

The blowhards site is down but, if I recall correctly, what I found most curious about Lukins self-appointed do-gooder site was not the "bullies" he targeted but the bully he didn't. For some reason, as I recall, the biggest blowhard in the online world escaped notice (I shouldn't have to mention his initials). I wish I could double-check against the site, but the idea of a demented blog cloaked in self-righteousness is reminiscent of Youell.

I also remember "blowhards" posting a video of Hemming, and then pre-empting criticism by clumsily invoking copyrights. It was too long ago, but the chickenshit nature of it reminded me of Youell.

I'm sure a lot of people may think this is too Rorschachy. I remember a forum ten years ago where someone noted a consistent writing style that was reminiscent of a notorious and previously banned member. People said he was crazy for even raising the parallels. As it turned out, he was correct.

There's also the fact Youell does not "quite understand" the difference between calling someone a crappy magician and suggesting someone sexually abuses children.

*https://www.google.com/search?sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=%22steven%20youell%22%20%22yawn%22&pbx=1&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=

The Lukins/Mule exchange can be found here: http://phantom-notebooks.blogspot.com/2012/08/can-you-imagine.html#comment-form

-Cain

Steven Youell said...

Crap. Now I broke a promise, but you addressed me directly.

Roland-- you wrote on your blog that I am the very reason WMF exists. You also wrote that you were of the opinion that I took money under false pretenses by faking my illness and financial situation. That's pretty much accusing someone of illegal activity.

I read the guy's blog-- he crossed the line. But he also published a screenshot of you admitting that I can actually do stuff but that your posts regarding me are made because I've "Bad Mouthed" people. Yet, that is exactly what you've done for years: "Bad Mouthed" people. See the hypocrisy?

So:

a) You did accuse me of illegal activity.

and

b) You've said one thing on the blog about my abilities and contradicted yourself in an email to the Slimeball in question I know this because he posted a screenshot of it on his blog. (Which, BTW, I can't find anymore.)

Finally-- a few years ago, someone who called himself "Magician X" accused me, Andrew Wimhurst and a few other friends of pedophilia.
So yeah-- I know how it feels. But none of you three were there to complain about that, right?

Here's a quote from your blog on the page that explains how not to be listed as a Weekly Magic Failure:

"And generally: Stay off the Internet! There are a lot of idiots out there who mean to harm you. I am one of them. If I cannot find you, you will not end up on this blog."

Translation: I will continually harass you until you conform to my views.

Combine that with about 12 other quotes and your intentions and hypocrisy are made pretty clear.

Now I'll leave you all to continue doing what you do.

Glenn West said...

Aren't you just giving him exactly what he wants by removing your blog, and self from the public?

Glenn West said...

Aren't you just giving him exactly what he wants by removing your blog, and self from the public?

Roland said...

Why do you care?
Well, please don't confuse what I said, with what you believe to understand. That thing with you being sick and Steve Brooks asking the community to buy your stuff to support you did really happen. It was a global pm by Steven Brooks. I never said anything about you faking it. My word were: "Wow a sales pitch based on the premise of a sick man. Now that is sick." Also this: http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.de/2009/09/out-of-order.html No mention of fakery either. So where do you get that from? Only your mind.

Barry Solayme said...

Just for the record, Andrew has always been faithful to ME, AND ME ALONE!

I'm not gonna tell you exactly how old I am, folks, but I was there when Steven Youell was conceived. LET'S JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT, WHADDYA SEY?

My pectoral muscles may be a tad droopy, and my varicose veins sometimes squirt pus onto my bunions. But Andrew loves me just the way I am.

As does Roland, frequently. (Sorry Andrew.)

BS

Dave said...

Andrew is a fine writer... on magic or any subject. I hope he decides to bring his POV back online soon.

J.T.S. said...

Mad respect for Andrew, on so many levels.

Matt said...

I wonder if the blog was removed by the anonymous author or if Google actually intervened to take it down after receiving notice?

Under UK law the position is rather complex but the starting point is that, not only authors or editors, but also "secondary publishers" who make the information available to the public, such as website hosts or operators of website forums, can all be held liable for online defamation.

In this example the blog's content is liable under applicable local laws where the host serves the content - for example in the USA Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act fundamentally states that Internet services like Google.com, Blogger and many of Google’s other services are republishers and not the publisher of that content. Therefore, these sites are not held liable for any allegedly defamatory, offensive or harassing content published on the site. That is not the case in the following countries - Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, who all have their own laws and definitions of both libel and slander.


+1 for Andrew's return. His critique and insight were invaluable. It's rare we have deep thinkers in magic, for him to be hounded out in such a tawdry way. The small-minded, power struggles that dog the magic world are what keeps us from being considered an art form. Every time it looks like a performer ascends through innovation and creativity there is a rabble of detractors ready to drag them back into the world of Dippy Duck's and glittery "Chinese" boxes...

Andy said...

I used to write the world's greatest magic blog called Magic Circle Jerk. One of the first ideas the Magic Cafe had for dealing with me was reporting me for child pornography. Based on what? Nothing, it was just an idea they had to shut me up. So being accused of being inappropriate with children is a timeless strategy in the toolbox of people too dumb or uncreative to actually create a compelling argument against you.

So how did I handle it when it happened to me? I wouldn't stand for it. I refused to be falsely accused of abusing children. So what did I do? I went out a fucked me as many kids as I could get my hands on. Ohh, those tight little fannies! (Hey, I said I refused to be FALSELY accused of abusing children).

Finally, here's a piece of advice for anyone writing about magic: Steven Youell is such a black-hole of charisma that even ARGUMENTS with him come across as completely dull and unreadable. You might as well post an argument between you and a lamp-post. Avoid him.

Bizzaro. said...

Ah Andy you and your insights are missed. The internet has a void you need to fill... like a small Asian boy's rectum.

The Smiling Mule said...

http://www.stevenyouell.com/Apology.html

I take a bow.

Never doubt the Mule.

Roland said...

Nobody ever doubted you ;) Actually your comment was a catalyst that sped up the whole process. Youell's only option was taking the bull by the horns. His own.

Roland said...

He spent more time attacking Andrew again, then apologizing. Sad!

The Smiling Mule said...

Yes and his mensa comment is the irony of all ironies. Absolutely classic. I can't think of anything else he could have said that I would have enjoyed more,

BTW anyone spot the avalanche of logical fallacies in his "apology?"

;)

The Smiling Mule said...

Plus, I resent his claim that I smoked him out due to some kind of technological sleight of hand. Had he not owned up, I don't think there would have been any way to prove it through tracing IP's and what not.

No, I have to say, with my pathetic little IQ, I comprehensively defeated the genius mensa member in a battle of intellect.

Game, Set and Match to the low-IQers.

Now, post a GENUINE apology and maybe people will leave you alone.

Steven Youell said...
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Steven Youell said...
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Steven Youell said...
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Steven Youell said...

"Plus, I resent his claim that I smoked him out due to some kind of technological sleight of hand. Had he not owned up, I don't think there would have been any way to prove it through tracing IP's and what not."

Well that's the information I got from Roland. He forwarded me an email he claimed was from Andrew and asked me to consider him a "negotiator". He also said he Andrew didn't know he was sending it to me, he didn't want Andrew to know...blah blah blah.

I emailed it to you just so you have it for your records. Would you like me to post the PDF Online?

And yes, there are many ways you can trace an IP down to a very small geographic radius-- particularly those that are logged from a post. I think you can also do it sometimes with email. Given your online experience, I find it hard to believe that you claim you don't know how to do that.

And I did apologize several times for that one post. I won't apologize for anything OTHER than that one post.

Anyway-- I'll settle for whatever the outcome is. I'm done with you and folks like you.

SEY

Steven Youell said...

"Game, Set and Match to the low-IQers."

Wait. One more thing: you missed the line. You should have said:

Dead.
Solid.
Perfect.

Have fun.

Steven Youell said...

Gosh, I forgot the link: here ya go: http://www.stevenyouell.com/email.pdf

The Smiling Mule said...

<...yawn...>

The Smiling Mule said...

I said I resent the suggestion that *I* smoked you out due to the technical stuff. No, as I said in my original comment, it was obvious from your writing style and tactics.

You get it wrong AGAIN in your little pdf. The only mention of me is a reference to my comment stating that you and Lukins were the same person. I have had no contact at all with Andrew and I had nothing to do with any IP tracking or other such "detective" work.

Anneman said...

You should keep your big mouth shut, Steven Youell. Frankly you shouldn't be posting on forums at all. What you did was totally disgusting and unacceptable. To create fake accounts as an internet troll and spread false accusations of child abuse toward Andrew is the most disgusting thing I have encountered in the magic community ever.

Matt said...

The "Apology" didn't last very long. Does anyone have a copy?

Roland said...

Check out the Smiling Mule's blog. He posted the whole thing.

Matt said...

Saw it, and subscribed to The Mule :)

The Smiling Mule said...

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