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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » David Blaine allegation (41 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Colin (C.J.)
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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/......-AAtJYr7
rjs
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I don't think the original article was sensationalist.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-......-of-rape

In the present climate (post-Weinstein) celebrities will face increased scrutiny.
BCE
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Never a good time, but worst possible time for the Blaine-centric GENII issue.
Leo H
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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.
Peter Goldfield
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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?
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
jakeg
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Unfortunately, celebrities make great targets. An accusation alone is sometime enough to bring a nice settlement.
Leo H
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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?


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.
Peter Goldfield
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Magicians loove to fabricate their life stories..

See how harmful generalisations are?
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
Leo H
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On Oct 21, 2017, Peter Goldfield wrote:
Magicians loove to fabricate their life stories..

See how harmful generalisations are?


On the other hand--generalizations can help one avoid harm--rather than run headlong into it from being too trusting...capice?
Peter Goldfield
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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.
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
Leo H
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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.


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?
MJE
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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.
Leo H
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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.
Richard Kaufman
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We do not report on unsubstantiated claims and allegations at Genii.
lynnef
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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
normative
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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?
Leo H
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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.


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.
normative
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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.
MJE
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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.
normative
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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.
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