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Topic: David Blaine allegation
Message: Posted by: Colin (C.J.) (Oct 20, 2017 05:59AM)
I hate the way the press sensationalise these things before a trial has even taken place. What happened to innocent before being proven guilty? https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/david-blaine-accused-of-raping-former-model-in-2004/ar-AAtJYr7
Message: Posted by: rjs (Oct 20, 2017 08:47AM)
I don't think the original article was sensationalist.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-former-model-accuses-david-blaine-of-rape

In the present climate (post-Weinstein) celebrities will face increased scrutiny.
Message: Posted by: BCE (Oct 20, 2017 08:52AM)
Never a good time, but worst possible time for the Blaine-centric GENII issue.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 20, 2017 03:59PM)
The post in the Genii Forum about this incident was removed. The timing certainly was bad with the Blaine issue about to come off the presses.

It's a bad time to be a man these days. Our laws are designed to protect women and children. A fabricated story against a man by a woman or child can land him in jail pretty fast.
Message: Posted by: Goldfield (Oct 21, 2017 12:45AM)
Leo,

That’s bull. It’s been horrible for woman in a system geared in favour of men. The ‘growing pains’ you and many other men are experiencing is due to your reluctance to give up some of your power to return balance in the world.

These allegations should be taken seriously. David has stated that he has nothing to hide and will answer any questions.

Ps: if it were your daughter, sister, wife making claims, would you not want to have the matter investigated?
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Oct 21, 2017 04:32AM)
Unfortunately, celebrities make great targets. An accusation alone is sometime enough to bring a nice settlement.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 21, 2017 10:38AM)
[quote]On Oct 21, 2017, Peter Goldfield wrote:
Leo,

That’s bull. It’s been horrible for woman in a system geared in favour of men. The ‘growing pains’ you and many other men are experiencing is due to your reluctance to give up some of your power to return balance in the world.

These allegations should be taken seriously. David has stated that he has nothing to hide and will answer any questions.

Ps: if it were your daughter, sister, wife making claims, would you not want to have the matter investigated? [/quote]

How would you feel if your wife fabricated a story against you in order to have you arrested as it happened to me? How would you feel about that? Do you work in the school system with children? I do. They looooove to fabricate stories.
Message: Posted by: Goldfield (Oct 21, 2017 04:14PM)
Magicians loove to fabricate their life stories..

See how harmful generalisations are?
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 21, 2017 08:37PM)
[quote]On Oct 21, 2017, Peter Goldfield wrote:
Magicians loove to fabricate their life stories..

See how harmful generalisations are? [/quote]

On the other hand--generalizations can help one avoid harm--rather than run headlong into it from being too trusting...capice?
Message: Posted by: Goldfield (Oct 21, 2017 09:15PM)
Your generalisation of women and children fabricating their experiences as victims of sexual harassment is both ignorant and harmful.

If you truly do work with children then your main priority would be to ensure their safety. Reading your comment, you seem to view them with contempt and assume that they all fabricate stories of sexual harassment. You should seriously consider another line of work.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 21, 2017 10:19PM)
[quote]On Oct 21, 2017, Peter Goldfield wrote:
Your generalisation of women and children fabricating their experiences as victims of sexual harassment is both ignorant and harmful.

If you truly do work with children then your main priority would be to ensure their safety. Reading your comment, you seem to view them with contempt and assume that they all fabricate stories of sexual harassment. You should seriously consider another line of work. [/quote]

Since you don't seem to work with children, you have absolutely no idea what you are saying. When you work in an environment where there are children, you priority is your own safety against a false accusation by a mischievous child, which is taken very seriously by the authorities.

Obviously I watch out for their safety but I also fiercely guard mine. Admonishing me that I need to watch out for their safety is like telling me I need go inside when it rains. And by the way, I don't tell you how to do your job.

You appear to be living in a cave and don't read the news, work with women, or children for that matter. You're probably better off inside there because you don't want to risk being on the receiving end of a false accusation from a woman or child...or perhaps that is what you require to wake you up?
Message: Posted by: MJE (Oct 21, 2017 10:47PM)
Unfortunately, what Leo said is true. I work with teachers often and find that they are taking every available step to protect themselves from false accusations. The latest example I came upon is a rule to always have the door fully open and the lights fully on if it is necessary to meet one-on-one with a student. Clearly, this is not to protect the student from harm but, rather, to protect the adult from the child's accusation (often prompted by a vindictive parent). These certainly are interesting times.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 21, 2017 11:01PM)
Thank you MJE! You understood my message and know exactly what it's like to work in the school system with children. As opposed to those who willfully remain ignorant.
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (Oct 22, 2017 01:09PM)
We do not report on unsubstantiated claims and allegations at Genii.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Oct 22, 2017 08:32PM)
My wife was a teacher for 38 years; and she claims that women teachers were often sexually harrassed, esp after school. The greater danger remains attacks on women who have for so long been fearful of speaking up. There of course will be unsubstantiated and false claims made, and incidents must be considered case by case; but women do have a right to speak up NOW in these interesting times. As far as celebrities being targets, it's good to recall Trump's infamous comment on tape that celebrities can "get away" with a lot of this. Lynn
Message: Posted by: normative (Oct 23, 2017 05:22PM)
It's understandable that none of us wants this to be true, but it's disappointing to see the discussion so quickly pivot to bemoaning the harm a "fabricated story" can do, and even more so to see the publisher of a major magic magazine treating a serious charge so dismissively. Realistically, it seems unlikely that precisely what happened more than a decade ago will ultimately be "proven" by the standards applicable in a criminal court. It is surely, nevertheless, in itself newsworthy that a person who formerly associated with Blaine has advanced a claim that British authorities found sufficiently credible that an investigation remains underway. I see nothing "sensationalist" about reporting as much. Indeed, we've seen that initial public reports are often the catalyst that emboldens others to finally come forward with their own stories. If our default as a community is to reflexively take the side of the accused—to the point of declaring that discussion of alleged misconduct is to be actively censored until "substantiated" (by what? video evidence?)—we contribute to a climate in which abusers thrive and victims are deterred from speaking up.

I can well understand why someone who's had their life upended by a false accusation would be particularly attuned to that species of harm. But at least judging by my own conversations with the professional women I know, that is much, MUCH less common than men in positions of power getting away with various forms of sexual misconduct, often for years, because their victims are intimidated into silence, or afraid they'll be smeared as attention-hungry fabricators, or simply want to try to forget what happened as quickly as possible rather than rehearsing it ad nauseum (whether for the police or HR). When a Harvey Weinstein is finally exposed and brought down, it's often simply because enough women have finally spoken up that it becomes untenable to ignore any longer, rather than because there's hard forensic evidence of any particular incident.

Men who do not themselves behave in this way tend to underestimate both just how common it is and how formidable are the social pressures to keep quiet and "just move on." (I include myself: I was well into my 30s before I really absorbed that nearly every woman I know has some horror story or another, and that most conclude it's not in their interest to report it.) None of this, of course, is to say anyone should presume Blaine's guilt at this point, but I think as members of a mostly-male community, it's incumbent on us to think a little bit about the signal this kind of reaction sends to women who may have found themselves on the receiving end of sexual misconduct. Because the signal I'm reading here is: "If you do summon the courage to speak up, and don't happen to have three witnesses and a DNA sample, this community will default to treating your account as slanderous, vindictive gossip unworthy of notice, except perhaps as an occasion for commiserating with the unfortunate accused." And then we'll have ourselves another thread stroking our chins about why there aren't more women in magic. Must be something to do with sleeves, right guys?
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 23, 2017 10:34PM)
[quote]On Oct 23, 2017, normative wrote:
It's understandable that none of us wants this to be true, but it's disappointing to see the discussion so quickly pivot to bemoaning the harm a "fabricated story" can do, and even more so to see the publisher of a major magic magazine treating a serious charge so dismissively.[/quote]

The subject discussed here of "fabricated stories" and the harm they can do to their victims IS relevant to the Blaine story. If Blaine is innocent of the accusations by that British woman, he would undoubtedly be "bemoaning" that.

There is no statute of limitations in Great Britain for sexual assault so Scotland Yard has been trying to get Blaine to return and answer their questions. After 13 years since this supposedly happened, and with no apparent evidence, it seems pointless to pursue the matter.
Message: Posted by: normative (Oct 24, 2017 01:02PM)
I’m not saying it’s “irrelevant”; obviously if the charge is false, then this must all be awful and unfair for Blaine. But it’s pretty screwed up that a woman comes forward to say she was raped and *all* the initial reactions here are along the lines of “boo-hoo, how very hard it is to be a man these days and have to suffer these accusations, poor David Blaine”—to the point, apparently, that a prior thread discussing these news reports was deleted out of a concern for Blaine’s reputation.

Because yeah, false accusations and distorted memories happen, but mostly when women say they’ve been sexually assaulted—especially when they’re prepared to put themselves through the significant ordeal of reporting to police—it’s because they’ve been sexually assaulted. (Sure, celebrities occasionally attract genuinely delusional accusers whose relationship with the accused is wholly imaginary, but this clearly isn’t one of those, and such cases rarely go anywhere.) The initial responses seem utterly dismissive of the possibility that she’s saying this, not to get attention or somehow extract a payoff, but because it’s true and she’s been the victim of a hideous crime. Instead we’ve got a series of posts empathising with Blaine and taking his perspective exclusively, as though Blaine’s the only real person involved here, and the woman’s account is self-evidently unworthy of being taken seriously. I mean, is this how you’d react if the parties were two acquaintances of yours? Overflowing with solicitude for the accused and casually dismissive of the accuser? I hope not, even if your own unpleasant experience makes it understandable why your first instinct might be to identify with Blaine here.

As for “pointlessness”—surely there’s a point even if it’s unlikely that this ultimately results in a case that can be proven to the standard required for a criminal conviction. Again, we’ve seen plenty of cases of prominent and powerful men getting away with abusive behavior toward women for years, until someone is finally willing to go public and inspires others (who may have thought themselves the only one) to come forward with similar stories. In my own professional field (technology policy) I’ve seen it happen twice with quite prominent figures just in the past year or so. And of course, even if there aren’t others coming forward, finally speaking out may just help provide a sense of resolution and closure for the survivor, which would be point enough.

Look, there’s nothing wrong per se with acknowledging this must be a terrible ordeal for Blaine if he’s innocent. But when that is SO much the dominant sentiment that people are *only* taking Blaine’s perspective, *only* taking his interests into consideration, and giving no indication that a woman’s report of a sexual assault deserves any kind of weight—again, to the point where another thread about this was summarily deleted by the moderators—that’s unhealthy, and wrong, and it creates the kind of environment that empowers abusive men.
Message: Posted by: MJE (Oct 24, 2017 05:26PM)
Norm, I don't see any rash of people claiming that a false accusation was made. I see two who warn of that possibility. I'm pretty sure all members here find this a nice place to discuss things that happen in the very small world of magic. I see no reason to discourage such conversation.

Many of us know someone who HAS been falsely accused of something. Sometimes the truth comes out in court; sometimes it's less expensive to agree to a settlement (while, unfortunately, many see this as an admission of guilt). Such tactics do exist and, because magic is such a small world, there are bound to be discussions on it when "one of our own" may have had it happen.

In this case, no formal charges have been made and Blaine has stated that he is willing to cooperate with the investigation. It's perfectly reasonable to acknowledge the possibility of a fraudulent claim. He's certainly not running away from it.

Of course, the possibility exists that the accuser is being truthful. I think it's safe to say that we all hope that isn't the case. We have more than enough rapists on the planet. Even one is far too many. It almost seems that you hope it TO be true. Truth gets harder to rise to the top the more time passes. Since she waited over ten years to mention it to anyone, the truth may be a bit difficult to get to, but I'm sure she has some plan in mind. Or some lawyer does.

The guys pointing out that false accusations happen are absolutely right. You are saying that women have been victimized because of their gender. You are 100% right, too! Everyone should be very happy that there is this place to discuss these two correct points. Being right isn't making the other one wrong, though. It's really not difficult to accept that. Please give it a try.
Message: Posted by: normative (Oct 24, 2017 09:05PM)
I’m really not trying to pick a fight just to be confrary. I’m not even picking on any individual post as having said anything egregious (well, except maybe Kaufman). But the cumulative impression that everyone’s jumping to empathise with Blaine (and implicitly dismissing the woman’s account) is a bad look.

For what it’s worth, though, not reporting something like this immediately (or at all), which you seem to find suspect, is pretty common. In circumstances like this it may even be the norm. Survivors are often initially either shell shocked, or in denial, or blame themselves, and then later reason (often accurately) that there’s little reason to put themselves through the wringer when there’s likely no way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an acquaintance rape wasn’t consensual, should the perpetrator make that claim. That doesn’t mean, as some come close to arguing, that every accusation should be uncritically accepted in every circumstance. But it does mean we should take them seriously, bearing in mind that the substantial majority are true, rather than leaping to speculation about the accuser’s venal motives.
Message: Posted by: Goldfield (Oct 25, 2017 04:34AM)
Thank you for stepping in with a thoughtful and thorough reply Normative. I too am very concerned and disturbed by what our “community” is projecting. The silence is deafening. Change is slow but I do believe we’re at a watershed moment globally on the topic of ABUSE towards Women.
Message: Posted by: rjs (Oct 25, 2017 10:19AM)
As you probably know, David Copperfield faced a dubious rape allegation almost ten years ago. It caused quite a stir at the time, especially when the police raided his Vegas premises.
No evidence was found.
The woman in question apparently made a similar sexual assault allegation about another male in a completely different case.
This separate allegation was rejected by those investigating the matter.
Her credibility was destroyed.
Copperfield was never charged and the woman dropped her lawsuit.
Message: Posted by: BCE (Oct 25, 2017 11:16AM)
Meanwhile, the ratio of male to female magicians still averages 30:1, easily, and we're continuing to losing a lot of *male* magicians at an alarming rate. Do we seriously expect female magicians to be ok with the "uncorroborated allegations" b.s. anytime there's allegation of wrongdoing?

"Allegation" means just that - someone is alleging someone violated someone else. Not that anything was proven, only that it was alleged. I do not understand why it's so problematic to want magic to be safe for everyone.
Message: Posted by: MJE (Oct 25, 2017 05:41PM)
[quote]On Oct 25, 2017, rjs wrote:
As you probably know, David Copperfield faced a dubious rape allegation [/quote]

Guys are so dumb sometimes. You know what Chuck Berry used to do? When he hooked up with a gal, before anything serious happened, he took pictures. Lots of pictures of he and the woman smiling, laughing, hugging, and just really happy to be together in various states of undress. There's no way she could come back a week (or over a decade) later and say that Chuck forced her into something.

That was over a half century ago, but I doubt that many people have followed that smart lead. Guys with some accumulated wealth need to wake up and think with the head on their shoulders!
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Oct 26, 2017 09:07PM)
I like Chuck Berry, but that last post (MJE) just smacked of teaching celebrities how to get away with taking advantage of women. On occasion, a woman will make false allegations of sexual abuse to get money, or revenge, etc. But the essence of what's happening now is that women (and men, eg Quentin Tarantino) have been mostly silent about sexual abuse from celebrity rich guys like Harvey Weinstein; but are now speaking up, even though they know they may NOT be able to prove allegations (thus the #metoo hashtag). This isn't about any particular celebrity. Each case should be considered separately with presumption of innocence; including in David Blaine's case. Lynn
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 26, 2017 09:33PM)
[quote]On Oct 26, 2017, lynnef wrote:
I like Chuck Berry, but that last post (MJE) just smacked of teaching celebrities how to get away with taking advantage of women. On occasion, a woman will make false allegations of sexual abuse to get money, or revenge, etc.[/quote]

Or MJE' s post was a mini tutorial on how to legally protect yourself after an evening of consensual fun? At the drop of a collapsible top hat, it can dramatically shift to a horror story on a woman's whim.

Frightening...isn't it?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 27, 2017 10:21AM)
I am sure more women have experienced the shift from fun night to horror story due to a man's whim, than the other way around.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 28, 2017 01:31PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
I am sure more women have experienced the shift from fun night to horror story due to a man's whim, than the other way around. [/quote]

Sure-but in what way does that make an innocent man a criminal? Judges and prosecutors are champing at the bit to prosecute and punish sex offenders. That the accused individual might possibly be innocent of the charges is irrelevant. Our judicial system considers prosecution of the innocent collateral damage...oh well, we goofed again.

If the prosecutor detects a weak case against the accused--and they don't like to lose--he or she will throw the carrot out and attempt to cut a deal: If the accused confesses his sins, then a much lighter sentence will be thrown, with the stigma of the crime for the rest of the accused's life. If the accused maintains his innocence, he could face a long prison sentence if it goes to trial and he loses.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Oct 29, 2017 04:56PM)
It's eye-opening to look up Wikipedia on "rape statistics", "false allegations of rape" and the definition of "rape" as well! False allegations of rape do indeed occur (US Dept of Justice in 1997 put it at 8%). On the other hand, it's considered a severely under-reported crime (estimates are 91.6% go un-reported). Marital rape was not even illegal in some parts of the US until the 70's! Rape is a severe violation of one's body, possibly causing severe emotional pain throughout one's life. It happens to gay men and children of both sexes as well! Again, "severely under-reported". The original topic was about David Blaine, whom I've long admired; and I think a good point of orientation always is presumption of innocence when such an allegation is made. But as the topic has veered off course, I'd like to uphold a woman's right to speak out (#metoo) on sexual abuse in these times. It's more than women's careers that are at stake. Lynn
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 30, 2017 10:44AM)
Hypothetical situation: There's a dog in a yard, with a fence that is easy to reach through. 90% or more of the time you reach towards that dog to pet it, it bites you. One day, someone walks up with a bite mark, and says, "That dog bit me" and the owner says, "No it didn't."

It's not unreasonable to assume that dog bit that person.

Very few reports are determined to be false accusations, statistically. Given that I can probably think of 2 or 3 dozen women who have been attacked or harassed by a man in their life, and I can only think of one man who suffered from a false accusation (Which, I'm going to be honest, I don't know if it was actually was 100% false) - I'm going to be swayed to be sympathetic to the group that's consistently attacked and who's concerns are consistently dismissed by the group who frequently attacks them and gets away with no consequences.

I am not saying Blaine is guilty. That's not my call to make, and I don't envy the person who has to make that call. But I don't think anyone should dismiss her claims just because he's famous.
Message: Posted by: Goldfield (Oct 30, 2017 04:15PM)
Another woman has come forward alleging rape: https://www.yahoo.com/news/david-blaine-two-british-ex-154937230.html
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 30, 2017 05:27PM)
Yes--another individual has indeed come forward and this time the NYPD want to question Blaine. He has had the Atlantic Ocean to protect him from Scotland Yard, but this time it's on our shores.
Message: Posted by: rjs (Nov 5, 2017 11:25AM)
Jerry Sadowitz cruelly mocks the David Blaine 'incident' in his latest one man show.
He reckons Blaine is so retarded by drug use that he no longer has the energy and agility to rape a model...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 6, 2017 11:18AM)
Here is a crazy idea. How about we wait for the facts to come out?
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Nov 6, 2017 12:44PM)
[quote]On Nov 6, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
Here is a crazy idea. How about we wait for the facts to come out? [/quote]

Exactly! And they wont come from the court of public opinion! Lynn
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 7, 2017 05:21PM)
[quote]On Nov 6, 2017, lynnef wrote:
[quote]On Nov 6, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
Here is a crazy idea. How about we wait for the facts to come out? [/quote]

Exactly! And they wont come from the court of public opinion! Lynn [/quote]

They almost never do.
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (Nov 18, 2017 06:32PM)
[quote]On Nov 5, 2017, rjs wrote:
Jerry Sadowitz cruelly mocks the David Blaine 'incident' in his latest one man show.
He reckons Blaine is so retarded by drug use that he no longer has the energy and agility to rape a model... [/quote]

Sadowitz is mentally ill. I think that's been obvious for decades. Anyone who saw my interview with Blaine at the Genii Convention knows full well he is perfectly clear of mind. Accusations of "being so retarded by drug use" are plainly libelous. Sadowitz has also made numerous libelous statements regarding me.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 22, 2017 08:44AM)
This is just so hard for me to imagine. Not enjoying a man's performance is no reason to level ridiculous unfounded charges. I do not particularly enjoy the way the man presents magic. This does not make him a drug addict.

I also would not mock another performers troubles from the stage. That seems less than cool also.
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Nov 24, 2017 12:01AM)
[quote]On Oct 21, 2017, Peter Goldfield wrote:
Leo,

That’s bull. It’s been horrible for woman in a system geared in favour of men. The ‘growing pains’ you and many other men are experiencing is due to your reluctance to give up some of your power to return balance in the world.

These allegations should be taken seriously. David has stated that he has nothing to hide and will answer any questions.

Ps: if it were your daughter, sister, wife making claims, would you not want to have the matter investigated? [/quote]


I could not disagree with you more. You obviously have no clue what happens if an angry girlfriend calls the cops on you. Plan on at least 1 night in jail plus classes and hoops to jump thru that cost a lot of $$$$. I've seen it happen several times. I'm not saying these women are liars but, some of them are, period. Also, there are plenty of sick power hungry, think they are above the law perverts out there. $.02
Message: Posted by: CR_Shelton (Nov 24, 2017 11:43PM)
I support these women, and any others coming forward with accusations of assault or harassment in our industry and community. It's absurd to believe this widespread abuse never reached our little boys club, and I hope we move forward with a zero tolerance attitude to uncover and remove any offenders as swiftly and firmly as possible, to prove to our clients and each other that a magic show or club meeting will always be a safe space.

David Blaine deserves a thorough investigation, and if necessary after that a fair trial. If I were ever accused I would expect the same, and I would also hope that the women involved were supported and their claims not dismissed until that investigation had cleared me beyond question.
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Dec 8, 2017 08:11PM)
Statistics that show a small percentage of such accusations being false does not mean only a small percentage of accusations are false. The percentage only covers those who have been caught. It does not account for others that have not been caught. Some people have served many years in jail before being vindicated. What we do know is that women are more than capable of lying. We know that some women have been caught making false allegations. We know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We know that everyone who is accused of any crime has the right to defend themselves against such accusations. We know people will say and do evil things to hurt other people.

It has become way to easy to destroy someone's life by just simply making an accusations against them. Public opinion seems to mostly side on the person making the accusations without having any proof or evidence. The accused has their life destroyed without ever being able to defend themselves. And if they deny such accusations, they are rarely believed. It's a two edge sword, and when used by a person with a personal vendetta, can be a very dangerous and powerful tool if we give it such power. I personally will not.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 9, 2017 10:47AM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2017, Danny Kazam wrote:
...What we do know is that women are more than capable of lying. We know that some women have been caught making false allegations...We know people will say and do evil things to hurt other people.
[/quote]

Yes. I know this first hand...

Doug
Message: Posted by: CR_Shelton (Dec 9, 2017 12:03PM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2017, Danny Kazam wrote:
We know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.[/quote]

Do you believe these women are innocent of filing a false police report, until Blaine proves they are guilty?
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Dec 9, 2017 07:29PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2017, CR_Shelton wrote:
[quote]On Dec 8, 2017, Danny Kazam wrote:
We know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.[/quote]

Do you believe these women are innocent of filing a false police report, until Blaine proves they are guilty? [/quote]

I do not make any judgement without knowing all the details. I will neither say she is lying, nor will I say he is guilty.