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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Secret of Protocols revealed!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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truthteller
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Quote:
On 2006-03-22 23:14, bonedaddi wrote:
What's with all this rambling semiotic nonsense? The fact still remains that many people bought the book expecting some kind of practical secret and were sorely dissapointed when it turned out to be something very different. What compounded the problem was that people were told to keep the contents of the book a secret - a rather large inside joke - and I think in turn many people felt, rightfully, ripped off.



In spite of the ad by Minch, which stated that the book was not a "practical secret." Couple that with the money back offer, and the point becomes moot. How can people be ripped off if any disatisfaction was resolved with the money back offer?

The semiotic post is an attempt to discuss what the Protocols book actually was. It was not a "how to book," it was something more literary.
Brad
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Quote:
In spite of the ad by Minch, which stated that the book was not a "practical secret." Couple that with the money back offer, and the point becomes moot. How can people be ripped off if any disatisfaction was resolved with the money back offer?

Mr. Brad,
So far only a few people have admitted to be aware of the money back offer. This was given only to people who personally phoned M, apparently. There is no proof other than people's statements. I hope I am not wrong here.
To provide the other side of the coin, let me give you a different example. People buy "Mein Kampf" to add to their library. DOes this mean that they enjoy reading the writings of Hitler? Protocols has a money value being a limited edition book. It does not mean that those people who refuse to return the book love that book."Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me". Smile
I would love to read your posts, if they were a little shorter.
This discussion will go on and on. People hate this book. People love this book. Is this the best work of Maven? I doubt it! Is there a point in such a book. Apparently there is, to some people. But Majority seem to not approve the strategy behind this book.
-HJ
To believe is Magic.
bonedaddi
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'The semiotic post is an attempt to discuss what the Protocols book actually was. It was not a "how to book," it was something more literary.' - As Vernon would say, 'Too Late!' The money has been spent. I will go out on a limb here and posit that 99 % of all the buyers thought they were buying into some kind of limited run of a practical magical secret. (That's why it sold out in a flash)

If the book had been offered as a cool pondering of magical semiotics I would have been amazed if 25 copies had found their way off the shelves.

Kindly

Bonedaddi
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Y'know what is fascinating is that the book has spawned these threads that lead to discussions on the ethics and perceptions of magical secrets - and how it should be transmitted etc...

The funny thing of course is that (and I may be wrong) that this thread is truly named because if no one figured out now what the secret was after reading the discussion, he or she should turn in their IBM card (or whatever else would be symbolic)!!!....

I don't own a book by the way - but since I respect Max Maven I'm not going to write down what I think is the secret (since no one asked me not to - except that the unspoken / unwritten code of magicians should be respect each other's secrets (which I have a feeling the book talks about!?!?!))... eeks I better shut up on this tangent.

In the end, those who bought the book and are now having a lively debate because of it can determine if it was worth the $50 bucks admission; the ability to reflect and observe own's own ethical stance of selling the book back or putting it on e*bay for $500; consider if it a magical collectible if you are a collector (I am - I'm just waiting until this all dies down in a few years and then buy a copy for fun to put with my Max collection))...; and weigh out $50 value....

Anyone who looks at the title of the book should have stopped a moment to think of the implications - he warned all buyers in a certain literary/historical way - and again everyone will have different opinions (as they should)... but I think this was an attempt to create a meta-point in the community - it beats me still if it was a success or failure since not all buyers I am sure come here to the forum to express their opinions!

Semiotics??? I wish Umberto Eco would join the Café and throw in his 2 cents...!
(Hmm... he has a great essay in his book "Travels in Hyperreality" that involves the quest drive of people for the perfect replica or something - as opposed to the actual something itself.... why do I got a feeling it applies here...)

OK - I was up all not with my tetthing little daughter - so take all I say above as a delirous dad

Bruce
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Enigmo
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Here's my view on the book:

Far from being my favourite book, I nevertheless don't think it was worse than some of the other books I have bought in the past with supposedly more 'intrinsic' value. I do believe it was slightly overpriced for the content (as perceived by me). If you consider, the size and the content, I would have felt better if it had been priced at around $25-$30. I also think that Minch should simply have marketed it as Max Maven's answer to the question : "Is magic dead?" In fact, this would have a less questionable title for it...

In any case, it did made me think. It also made me better appreciate the reading of "The Magician and the Cardsharp".

J-L
In any case, IMHO, it doesn't warrant all the effort being invested in this discussion...
truthteller
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Quote:
On 2006-03-23 07:32, harishjose wrote:

So far only a few people have admitted to be aware of the money back offer. This was given only to people who personally phoned M, apparently. There is no proof other than people's statements. I hope I am not wrong here.


You are wrong. While only a few people knew of the buy back offer BEFORE the book was released, notice of the buy back offer was made via emails as well as through other sources. As Cloudss pointed out, making the offer public before hand would have resulted in people abusing the offer. However, my posts earlier were made to counter the FALSE accusation that the buy back offer was put in place afterwards because of some sort of alleged outrage. The buy back offer was never a secret. It was well publicized coincident with the release of the book.

Quote:
I would love to read your posts, if they were a little shorter.
This discussion will go on and on. People hate this book. People love this book. Is this the best work of Maven? I doubt it! Is there a point in such a book. Apparently there is, to some people. But Majority seem to not approve the strategy behind this book.
-HJ


First, I agree completely that some people would hate this book. For that I have no argument nor is one warranted. However, again, you make a claim which is completely unsubstantiated. What majority? How have you established this? The majority of buyers? The majority of magicians? To whom have you spoken?

All I know is when I re-read this thread I see more people positively commenting on the situation (of people who bought the book) than negatively - both in regards to the book itself as well as the marketing thereof. So I cannot see why you would make a statement as fact when you have nothing on which to base that statement.

AND THAT, is why this thread has gone on so long. Not because people didn't LIKE the book, but because people like you say things that are baseless.

Quote:
On 2006-03-23 09:13, bonedaddi wrote:
'The semiotic post is an attempt to discuss what the Protocols book actually was. It was not a "how to book," it was something more literary.' - As Vernon would say, 'Too Late!' The money has been spent. I will go out on a limb here and posit that 99 % of all the buyers thought they were buying into some kind of limited run of a practical magical secret. (That's why it sold out in a flash)



Bone, may I suggest that you read Lance's post where we talks about Minch's ad. Then, please, tell me how any literate person who actually read that ad - of which there was only one - would think they were buying the practical secret of which you speak. (And remember, the books sold out so quickly that there was a complaint by some that the book should have been advertised more heavily prior to orders being taken. The book was pre-sold primarily to people on Minch's mailing list, people who had a pre-existing relationship with Hermetic press and were, for lack of a better term, "book people." How many of them complained? Seems to me that they were able to decipher what it was they were buying.) But back to the original issue, how could anyone, from Minch's one and only ad, assume the book to be the practical secret of which you speak?

It is my opinion that, once again, that argument is baseless. Especially when you consider that had anyone misread the ad, they could have returned the book for a full refund, then you have both a baseless AND moot argument.

Finally, like Harish, what evidence do you have that 99% of the buyers thought it was a practical secret? That would mean that if more than 5 people thought otherwise, you are wrong. I think a quick re-read of the thread proves, undeniably, that you sir, are indeed wrong.

To paraphrase Vernon, regarding your alleged arguments, confusion is not logic.

Brad
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You never seize to amaze me, Mr. Brad. I am impressed by the way you stick to your opinion. Its always impressive to stand behind your friends.

Three " You are WRONG" 's do not maketh "I AM RIGHT". You obviously think what ever I say is wrong.
Good day to you sir.
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truthteller
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On 2006-03-24 17:14, harishjose wrote:
You never seize to amaze me, Mr. Brad. I am impressed by the way you stick to your opinion. Its always impressive to stand behind your friends.



Harish, your statement regarding the existence of a buy back offer was not one of opinion, it was one of alleged fact. So, it is not a matter of standing behind my friends, it is about standing behind the truth.

Quote:
Three " You are WRONG" 's do not maketh "I AM RIGHT". You obviously think what ever I say is wrong.
Good day to you sir.


It is not about me being right, the facts are the facts. The situation, as you represented it, was not in tune with the actual happenings of life and reality. So, in that case, you WERE wrong - unless you have different facts to the contrary. And if you do, please present them so they can be verified. Until then, you are making baseless claims - not opinions - but claims without fact.

Now, when it comes to matters of OPINION, you are completely entitled to your own. (For example, if you feel the Protocols is not MAx's best work, that is an opinion. One you are completely entitled to, and one I am sure you can support with logical analysis as well as statements of personal taste. You will find no argument from me there.)

But when you make statements which are not of opinion, but of alleged fact, you do run the risk of being wrong.

Brad
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'Bone, may I suggest that you read Lance's post where we talks about Minch's ad.' ( Can't wait!) Do me a favor and forget the ad and forget all this post graduate analysis - The truth is people bought the book regardless of the ad, because they thought they were getting something special - something secret. That's the truth. Once they read it however is when things began to get sticky. Anyone can stand up after the fact and say 'I am proud owner of copy 231' but the overall sentiment is that there was a profound disappointment after all the dust began to settle. Having said that, most people like Hermetic and most people like Mr. Maven so by and large all got a huge buy... but I really believe that the paying public feels a little skittish after this experience. Most people who plunked down their 50 bucks bought the book on faith and in the fever of the moment - not after a carefull analysis of the publishers adverts.

Kindly

Bonedaddi
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<a little voice sputters, as mud is coughed up>

For those who have read the book:

What has changed in your philosophy of magic?

Before reading the book, how did you view the survival of magical performance in today's technological wonderland? What are your views now?

An artist may divide his art-time many ways. A painter, for instance, can spend 80-percent of his time at Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian museums, 10-percent looking at the light's effect on a dogwood tree, and the remaining 10-percent painting.

How would you describe your own use of time towards the study and performance of magic? Have you made any changes since reading the Protocols book? If so, what are those changes, and why did you make them?

Thank you for your time.

<hack! glurp! gurgle--blub, blub, blub...>
truthteller
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On 2006-03-25 03:53, bonedaddi wrote:
The truth is people bought the book regardless of the ad, because they thought they were getting something special - something secret. That's the truth. Once they read it however is when things began to get sticky. Anyone can stand up after the fact and say 'I am proud owner of copy 231' but the overall sentiment is that there was a profound disappointment after all the dust began to settle.
Kindly

Bonedaddi


On what do you base this?

How is this in keeping with the sentiments expressed on this thread? Shall we go over the numbers here again - you know, of the opinions of those who commented here who ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE BOOK?

Did you buy the book from Stephen? Are you speaking for yourself, or are you playing mind reader? On what are you basing this statement that the majority of purchasers were unhappy after the dust settled? Afterall, your statement runs counter to the sample seen on this thread. Do you have any proof, or is this just a case of you wanting to believe your opinion is right that your state it as fact? I bought the book based on the ad, so are you calling me a liar? Or are you being so bold as to suggest you, Bone, are somehow smarter than everyone, enough to know why they REALLY bought the product, even if they maybe did so for other reasons?

Again, on what do you base your analysis of the overall sentiment. Afterall, at last count (And I believe this is still accurate) only Bennet and the Doctor (who paid way too much on the second hand market) expressed disatisfaction with the book, though Bennet said he did not regret buying it. Of course thris thread is not a complete survey, but as a sample it is as good as any, no?

Or, are you accusing everyone else of being a liar, or less aware of their feelings than you are.

Thrill us with your acumen, Mr. Bone. On what do you base these statements about the majority and their internal dialogues. You have made claims, now please, back them up.

Brad
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Quote:
On 2006-03-25 03:53, bonedaddi wrote:
Do me a favor and forget the ad and forget all this post graduate analysis - The truth is people bought the book regardless of the ad, because they thought they were getting something special - something secret. That's the truth. Once they read it however is when things began to get sticky. Anyone can stand up after the fact and say 'I am proud owner of copy 231' but the overall sentiment is that there was a profound disappointment after all the dust began to settle. Having said that, most people like Hermetic and most people like Mr. Maven so by and large all got a huge buy... but I really believe that the paying public feels a little skittish after this experience. Most people who plunked down their 50 bucks bought the book on faith and in the fever of the moment - not after a carefull analysis of the publishers adverts.

Kindly

Bonedaddi


Bone,

If I may be so bold, it does seem a bit of a reach to speak for the 500 who bought the book and the many more who wanted to, citing their motivations as specfically wanting to get something special (as opposed to wanting to get the next, best book or wanting to get a good read or wanting to see what Max had to say or wanting to own what they thought must assuredly become a piece of magic history or wanting to...well, whatever). The fact that you make such an assertion and say, "That's the truth" causes me to question it even more.

I think I kind of see what you're trying to say, but all we can do is stick with what we know. Many people bought the book for many different reasons. Some liked it and were happy, some didn't like it and were disappointed, and the rest probably fall somewhere in between. It seems that for the ones who didn't like it, there are some who would like to place the blame on Mssrs. Maven and Minch, and this is what I don't really understand. You advise us to ignore the ads and all the post-analysis, but what I don't get is why, because most people learned of the book through the ads and there was nothing in the ad (at least, as far as I could see) that was deceptive or misleading. If people had all kinds of expectations about the book that weren't met, wherein is that anyone's fault but their own?

What puzzles me is that I don't see parallels in other areas. For instance, when the same people who were disappointed with Protocols see a movie with their favorite actor or director and it turns out to be a stinker, do they write letters of complaint to the director or actor, post their dissatisfaction on bulletin boards, make claims of deception and false advertising? Or do they just say, "Wow, I didn't like THAT one." When they pick up a book by their favorite non-magic author and are disappointed, do they immediately vent anger on the writer and publisher? Do they scream "Con!" and call anyone who disagrees with them a toadie?

Or do they just assume that for whatever reason, it's a miss?

If you or I or anyone else have an expectation, even if it's based on someone else's performance, and we're disappointed, who exactly is to blame? Or...is anyone?

Cheers,



Lance
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'There was nothing in the ad (at least, as far as I could see) that was deceptive or misleading. If people had all kinds of expectations about the book that weren't met, wherein is that anyone's fault but their own?' Well I feel most people bought seeing the names Hermetic and Maven without any other considerations. My original complaint was that the books contents were to be kept a secret. ( a position vehemently help by Mr. Brad) Magic is an expensive hobby - how could anyone make a reasonable buying decision without knowing what they were in for? By the time I started to weigh in on the book it had already sold out. 500 copies. Sold out. I wanted to buy a copy but it was no longer available. Now, I ask you, do you honestly believe the book had a terrific run because the buyers were eager for a book of quotes? It was advertised as a limited one of a kind item from the Hermetic Press and Max Maven. It is not hard to assume many people jumped at the chance to own something unique. And yes I will go out on a limb and say that the vast majority of buyers assumed there was some practical effect hidden between the pages and they were dissapointed when none was to be found. Now regarding the blame dept: I had and still have a beef wih Herr Truthteller because he would not allow anyone to discuss the contents of the book even after it was sold out. He treated the book as if it were a book of secrets; a book of practical effects. But now he is offering a post graduate course on 'intrinsic value' and I say that's poor value. Why couldn't the book have been advertised as a work of philosophy or literature? And why was it so important to cloak the work as something secret?

Regarding the movie analogy: Lance, I appreciate the effort but you are way off base. If you go see King Kong and hated it - there is very little you can do. Like and dislike fall into the category of taste. However, if the Exorcist is advertised as a comedy for the whole family and you bring your kids, you have every right to cry foul and demand a refund.

Most Kindly

Bonedaddi
truthteller
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Bone,

Please share with us when and how I said the book was not to be discussed. You are misrepresenting what it is that I wrote, which had to do with the nature of your hypocrisy when it came to the turn of phrase you chose. Simply put, it seems you are upset I called you out on your hypocrisy. My exact phrase was, in regard to another book, "if someone asks you not to tip something, you don't tip it." But this is an entirely different point from the one being addressed now - you have made claims (99%, remember that number), but have NOTHING on which to base them.

The "Herr" reference, however, was fabulously low, and the kind of thing that makes the internet wonderful - the descent into the claim of one's being a Nazi.

I am sorry you cannot support your claims with facts and need to call names.

But again, I must agree with Lance, the ad was VERY clear, no tricks were to be explained. How you can surmise that was the expectations of those who bought it is simply beyond rational thought.

I do appreciate how you can still speak for what when on in the purchaser's minds when you yourself were not a purchaser. You mind reading skills amaze me.

Finally, the ad was undeceptive, unlike your excorcist advert analogy. Step up to the plate and show us how the ad was at fault, after all, that was the ONLY thing anyone had to go on - the ad. So, show us how the ad led to the right to call foul.

The ball is in your court.

Will you make the shot?

Brad
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'The "Herr" reference, however, was fabulously low, and the kind of thing that makes the internet wonderful - the descent into the claim of one's being a Nazi.'

Yikes! And I thought I was being reverential. A little history lesson for you - German served as a lingua franca in large portions of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries in the sciences - noteably physics but it also extented to the arts. In short, I was alluding to your authority (real or imagined) on all matters 'Protocols' . So, if the question arose, who is offering a semiotic breakdown of 'Protocols' and its intrisic value for the modern world? Why its Herr Truthteller. Professor Emeritas Magicanus.

Regarding the rest of your missive... Unfortunately the original posts were edited out - but I am sure some members will remember your vehemance to not discuss the contents of the book.

Regarding the ad: I ask you this... Do you honestly believe that the rush on the book was because the buying public expected a work of literature?

Tally -Ho


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Monsieur Bonedaddi
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Hello Truthteller,
I do remember early in the "Protocols" posts how you urged buyers not to discuss the "secrets" of the book.

Just trying to keep the record straight.

Rudy
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harishjose
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Rudy and Bone,
You are both WRONG. Do you have any proof?
Minch had offered buyback. Everybody is aware of that.
The book does contain a killer secret. The name of the book is very much right to the context.
Those of you who did not like the book, there are people here who have offered to buy it from you. And yes, for the same $50 (even though this book has became a collector's item and is being sold on Ebay for even $200). Nobody was asked to not to discuss the contents of the book. And nobody was banned for talking about the book. The strategy of marketing is very much right. Unless you have bought the book, you have no right to pass any judgements on the Elders.
All the above said is 100% RIGHT. Anybody against this is WRONG. You will see that in the up and coming 250 word essay from Truth Teller. He will give you the proof and facts and numbers.
Have patience....
To believe is Magic.
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Yep - in fact - I'll buy a copy for $50! PM me.
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truthteller
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Harish, Finally you did get your facts straight. Congratulations.

Rudy, Stephen asked people not to divulge the contents of the book prior to everyone who purchased same having the opportunity to have the designed experience. I think that request should have been respected. During a thread where over-eager Café members were clamoring for something they did not pay for, Bone made a comment about "actual property" being given away. In his opinion, as no tricks or secrets were contained in the Protocols, no actual property was being given away should someone "tip" the contents. On another thread, concerning another book, Bone had no problem with an author who had appropriated large quantities of other's material and published it either as his own, or simply without permission. When one took Bone's statement's regarding "actual property" into context of his other posts, he was being hypocritical. I called him out on that. The thread then devolved into a discussion of the issues of secrecy, but sadly in regard to this other book.

So, that was my stance, and is my stance. I also, at one time, commented on how magicians today feel entitled to information, even if they are unwilling or unable to earn their admission.

At the same time, there was some controversy about someone who did take steps to share the secret. He had a specific rationale for doing so. While I still thought it a "not nice" thing to do, I appreciated his reasoning. In fact, he and I discussed the matter privately and you can speak to him about my exact feelings on the matter.

So, my feelings on the secrecy factor is simply this: The furor over this book resulted from not everyone being privy to it. Magicians have created for themselves a sense of entitlement which leads to posts such as "How did David Blaine do this trick" and outrage when they are reminded that another persons' repertoire is not a smorgasbord from which to pick your own.

We in magic should respect other's secrets. And until we do, we will see more and more products that are minor variations if not outright theft. And sadly, we will see people who come to these forums and defend the thieves. And why not, the thieves allow them access to secrets and tricks which they would not otherwise know about.

While no one can speak for everyone who bought the Protocols, they sold out quickly, and did so as a result of the ADVERTISEMENT. In fact, as a result of ONE email advertisement. The book, I believe was sold out before the first print ad hit the magazines.

So, for Bone to say the ad played no part in things is simply ludicrous. The purchasers were on the Hermetic list and were informed via an AD.

However, Bone is probably RIGHT about one aspect of this. After news leaked out, and after the buzz around the book began, and AFTER it was learned that the book was sold out CLEARLY people made assumptions. In fact, we saw them all over this board. People thought it was the Gilbreath book, or one trick, etc. They were corrected, but Bone is right, people did begin to speculate - after the book was sold out.

And when the magician's realized they were to be left out, the fire was stoked. Entitlement crept in their hearts and fantasies of ethereal "one of a kind secrets" - secrets they were going to miss out on - filled their brain.

Then, the Protocols came out and we had a clamoring for information. "Someone, PLEASE, tell me. This is magicians helping magicians. Hey brother, can you spare a secret?"

And so it leaked. Not the secret mind you, but the contents. And what happened - people were outraged.

Of course, those who were outraged had not bought the book - but that is only a minor issue.

Or is it?

I think it is telling. The people who yelled the loudest on here were people who DID NOT buy the book? Why? I contend, and this is opinion, that it was because the fantasies they concocted for themselves were dashed. And that hurt. Even the person who bought it after market was upset, and why not - he had the fantasy too. And he paid 3 times the price to have it dashed. Has any of these people simply read the ad, it would not have happened. (Of course, we all know how magicians love to read.)

The people who actually bought the book before it sold out, however, were seen to be largely happy with it. Not every one of course, but a far cry from the nonsensical 99% thay BONE decided to lay down, without any basis in fact.

Why were they happy?

Perhaps because these people bought it based on an ad sent to them in an email, and in order to have known about the book, they had to ....wait for it....read the ad.

And having done so, they KNEW it was not a trick, or a method.

So, Bone has still not answered our question. He keeps omnisciently offering the conclusion that everyone who bought it bought it from mis-reading the ad, but cannot show us how that ad would lead to any misunderstanding.

And it seems like he refuses to do so. I find that telling.

But, if you realize that the people who were most outraged did NOT buy the book, and made their decisions and forged their beliefs only on the hype we as a community here on the Café allowed to occur, then he has a point.

But they didn't buy the book.

So, what is his point again?

Brad
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Quote:
On 2006-03-26 15:10, truthteller wrote:
Harish, Finally you did get your facts straight. Congratulations.

This has been the happiest day of my life.
Mr. Brad, You just don't get it, do you?
Well, I don't get it either.
To believe is Magic.
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