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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Adherence to Code of Ethics and giving away secrets (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

bbookman666
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I'm brand new to magic and am confused about the first of the code of ethics for IBM. The code states

Oppose the willful exposure to the public of any principles of the Art of Magic, or the methods employed in any magic effect or illusion

Yet I found at least one very famous magician who is a member of IBM who has a Youtube channel that exposes tons of effects. So please clarify. Can I be a member of IBM and still give away my "secrets"?

What is the difference between "Oppose" and "Do not expose"
Terrible Wizard
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This isn't about the IBM, per se, (I'm not a member), but more about exposure in general.

In my (albeit limited) experience, the Magician's ethical code against exposure is a spectrum and is pretty elastic. Some take it very seriously, most somewhat seriously, some seem to totally ignore it. There is also a good deal of hypocrisy and 'do as I say not as I do' to be found also, along with 'special passes' for famous folks.

I've come to the two following conclusions:
a) magicians are not a homogenous group - there is a huge range of different opinions within the fraternity
b) quite a few magicians aren't very ethical or consistent
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zachwyman
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Support the creators, for if it was not for them, we would not have the effects we have today.
Terrible Wizard
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I'm surprised this hasn't an official response?
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Shawn Farquhar
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Really Terrible Wizard, you are surprised that no one has officially replied to bbookman666 who has a total of one, count'em one post and it is basically starting a discussion about a "very famous magician who is a member of IBM who has a Youtube channel ..." Wow, I'm surprised too, not. Look bbookman666 has an issue, it's obvious and he wants to start something here on the Café. I personally think the Café should make everyone put their real names on their accounts, like I have, so I know who I am conversing with and not have to guess if Terrible Wizard and bbookman666 are one in the same... or I'm answering a post to a person who is a "very famous magician who is a member of IBM who has a Youtube channel ..." who needs some publicity.

Exposure is a bad thing, and if the person complaining were to have called out the person in question, listed the YouTube channel and used a real name, well then maybe someone official would have probably replied.

Cheers,

Shawn Farquhar
No one official...
Terrible Wizard
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True, I didn't really note or take account of his post count. My bad.

I agree with that point. Good catch Smile

I disagree with the idea that anonymous posters can't bring someone's attention to a problem, though (some of us have good reasons for being anonymous). That doesn't seem right. Even if the anonymous poster was simply rabble rousing, so long as the information is correct then ignoring it based upon the status of the messenger is simply an ad hominem fallacy.

I originally assumed (giving benefit of the doubt) that the reason for the lack of specific detail was to avoid embarrassing a particular individual magician when trying to initiate a wider discussion. With hindsight (given he has not come back to post) this charitable assumption of mine seems false. My bad again (though it is always better to read someone charitably at first).

With those issues aside, then, I agree with this (minus the ad hom):
"Exposure is a bad thing, and if the person complaining were to have called out the person in question, [and] listed the YouTube channel ... well then maybe someone official would have probably replied."

What I expected when I posted my surprise at the lack of official response, was the lack of an official posting something like: 'Thanks for your concern, we treat exposure seriously, here's our code of ethics ... Can you provide more specific info in a PM, please, we'll look into it.' That's all. I would have thought that was a fair expectation, but in hindsight I can see why it might be a bit much to ask.

Out of curiosity, If I posted a name and evidence of exposure by an IBM (or any other society) magician, what would happen?
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Terrible Wizard
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I suspect I've figured out two likely candidates for who the OP may have been referring to.

They are both IBM members and have youtube channels teaching (exposing?) magic tricks.

I'm not at all sure what to do with this information, not being an IBM member etc, but if anyone cares just let me know - though I guess people already know who I mean, or at least can easily find out.
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Shawn Farquhar
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I speak only as me and my experiences, but when I was in charge I had a member removed and another was chastised for exposure. Both were on television however. An argument can be made that YouTube is not television and that it is more of a video library. Books in a library are not exposure. So video's in a library might also not be exposure. It's not like the video's explaining the effects are found without the viewer making an effort. If the effect exposes material that is not considered public domain that would be another issue. As I wrote, each must be decided on an individual basis.

Shawn Farquhar
No one official...
Terrible Wizard
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True, one can certainly make an argument that videos on YouTube are instruction and not exposure. I agree.

But one could make the same argument for TV shows, after all they chose to watch the programme - as much as they chose to have a YouTube video recommended for them.

The key is whether the IBM take that line - I think the issue the OP attempted to raise is one of consistency and hypocrisy with regard to their own published code of ethics. In their magicians oath and charter info they use words like all and any - pretty sweeping and strong langauge - as in revealing 'any magic tricks'. That seems to preclude both TV and YouTube, and pretty much anywhere else.

To be clear, are you saying that the IBM accepts, or at least did accept, the teaching of magic tricks on YouTube?
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Shawn Farquhar
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Quote:
On Jun 8, 2017, Terrible Wizard wrote:

To be clear, are you saying that the IBM accepts, or at least did accept, the teaching of magic tricks on YouTube?


LOL, Did you read the start of my post where I wrote "I speak only as me and my experiences..." or at the end in my signature when I wrote "No one official..."
What part of those statements would make you think I in any way was posting on behalf of the I.B.M.?
This asking for "clarity" which is already clear I have no right to offer as an official position makes me wonder if my supposition about two posters being the same, might be correct.

I can't answer your question, I'm not the person to ask.

Shawn Farquhar
No One OFFICIAL!
Terrible Wizard
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No, I'm not the original poster.

Forgive me, but you said, 'when I was in charge' you did such and such. This is what I was referring to when I asked, 'did accept' youtube teaching as legitimate.

I understand that you are no longer in charge, but I thought you might still be a member and have insight as to what the IBM's position on youtube teaching is. Sorry if I was wrong on that, though that itself just highlights the need for the IBM to provide greater clarity on this issue to its members.

To be clearer, then, when you were in charge of the IBM, did you use the argument that 'YouTube is more of a video library' in such a way as to legitimate the teaching of public domain magic tricks, props and methods by IBM members?

Under your watch, so to speak, were IBM members allowed, without contravention of the charter or oath, to teach magic on Youtube?

As a further question to someone who clearly has much more knowledge of the workings of the IBM than I, would you agree that the IBM charter and oath needs to be updated to reflect the current context of internet teaching so as to avoid confusion (as evidenced in this thread), and the appearance of inconsistency, arbitrariness, hypocrisy and lack of diligence to both members and to those outside?

Also, as a board member of CAM, would you be able to comment regarding the position of CAM on youtube teaching?

I also note that the discussion here is another good reason why I think someone official should comment - there is obvious confusion here about the ethics of the IBM, and I have already offered to provide specific examples and details of at least two IBM members doing what appears to be in contravention of their oath and charter as it is written and available to the public. As Shawn rightly points out, this confusion and bad appearance can only be resolved by an official voice, which again makes me surprised that an official voice hasn't responded here.
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Shawn Farquhar
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I find it really interesting that you claim not to be the original poster, yet you seem to be the only person interested in this subject at all. Odd. I can only speak for myself, that when I was in charge there were no cases brought to our attention regarding YouTube, so I have no further comment as it was not an issue.. I think that the SAM, IBM, AMA, FISM and CAM purposely have chosen to make broad statements in their Code of Ethics so that it can be decided on an individual basis. Of course this is just my assumption. I am not certain if I am still a Board Member of the CAM, so I can't speak on behalf of that organization either. If, as you state, you have information you wish to share with the officials of the IBM they have an Ethics Committee and as an IBM member you have the right to contact this committee and lodge a complaint. In closing you wrote "As Shawn rightly points out, this confusion and bad appearance can only be resolved by an official voice...", however I never did point this out, and in fact I am not certain there is an issue, so please don't try to make it appear that I am suggesting or pointing out anything, other than you appear to have a issue with someone and mot likely using multiple accounts has set out to create an issue. I won't be replying to any more of your leading questions. Good luck on your quest, whatever it might truly be...

Sincerely,

Shawn Farquhar
Terrible Wizard
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Thanks for the response.

Why should the fact that no one else has responded here be interesting? Regardless, I can assure you I'm not the original poster, whatever difference that actually makes in terms of the issue being discussed.

Regarding you 'pointing out' that an official response was required I took that as the clear implication of 'I can't answer your question, I'm not the person to ask' - since you identified yourself as 'not' the person to ask, the obvious implication is that your thought there was a person to ask, which in our conversational context had to be an official form the IBM. If you feel this misread you then I'm sorry.

I'm also sorry you think direct questions like, 'when you were in charge of the IBM, did you use the argument that 'YouTube is more of a video library' in such a way as to legitimate the teaching of public domain magic tricks, props and methods by IBM members?' is leading. I don't think it is. I think my questions have been simple, honest and appropriate.

I'm disappointed that throughout this brief chat you have adopted an unnecessarily rude and accusatory tone, I'm not sure why. I suspect, hopefully wrongly, that this tone is defensiveness arising from knowledge that there is something amiss here with regard to magic societies and inconsistency, or at best a lack of clarity, in dealing with exposure in the modern age. I feel that your responses have only reinforced my impressions stated in first post on this thread.

I'm sorry that you feel you can longer reply, but fair enough. I still hope to see an official voice here provide a clear response.
Is anyone interested in the results of this survey:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=642502&forum=27
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