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Topic: Petition for membership fees, clean up the Café!
Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Mar 3, 2006 11:06AM)
I have noticed a recent and disturbing trend here on the café, in the mentalist forums particularly. I do not understand why it has suddenly become en vogue to fish for routining, secrets, or information that we have otherwise spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars and hours to learn. This problem has become increasingly frustrating for me, and the other members of the café.

Generally I am not an outspoken person, but this needs to stop. If you are looking for a place to learn the craft – this is not it! This can not be your only resource for material. I am dreading the acts that come up from information assembled purely here at the café without picking up a single book, or doing a single stitch of practice.

A very big part of me hopes that the recent server growth the café needs to undertake leads to this site being a paid membership site. This would curb a great deal of the foolishness that goes on these pages. A lot of these posts and threads are a pure waste of bandwidth.

The motto of the café is magicians helping magicians, not magicians giving away their acts to non magicians and beginners. Truthfully everyone has to start somewhere. But there are many new additions to the café who do not seem to want to undertake the work necessary to be successful in this art.

I don’t want to go off on a rant here, or make it seem like I am being overly critical of the newly acquired members that the café has – but come on guys. This place really is going down hill – some one needs to speak up and let people know that this isn’t the way to go about things. We have guys coming on these boards asking to be sent copies of instructions! That is BS! I can not believe that that post was not removed and that person removed from the Café.

Secondly – what is happening now is a lot of us are VERY, VERY, reluctant to help out the new guys because there are so many lurkers, and people stealing routines (we all know you’re doing it). I’m calling out the newbies here, stop the exposure, and stop the ridiculous threads asking us to give away the farm, you know better!

I know this post is going to get me a lot of negative response – but I think I raise some very valid points. The café used to be a fun place to come; now we have mutiny about Remote Viewing, people peddling themselves, and newbies making life hard for the rest of us. What ever happened to my beloved café! Instate a pay membership for the café and save it!
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Mar 3, 2006 11:27AM)

You and a few other very important and extremely experienced and knowledgeable contributors and regular participants here at the Café have experienced the same frustration. Just recently I saw a member I respect enormously have to put his foot down, point his finger naming an individual who appeared to have little regard for the art and it's preservation, and call it for what it was. That positive contributor could easily just hang it up, lock the gates, and never contribute to deserving practicioners of the art. I hope he doesn't abandon hope for those who need him.

I don't like seeing such experienced and giving people act that way but he had no choice in the matter now that I've had time to think about the incident. It's a shame.

I've voiced this very concern as well. However, I've had to cool down that concern as I've yet been able to come to the table with a solution. That would make me just another nagging negative for the Café to deal with so I hold my tongue for the most part and ignore such leeches.

I assume from your avatar, you're not a teen kid in his bedroom lurking about the Café and asking for the free information. When you and I were kids and visited a magic shop (20 years ago there was no online forum such as this available to me) we didn't dare ask the same questions some lurkers ask her in cyber magicworld behind a blank avatar, fake name, and no profile information.

For those lurkers it's, although shameless and undeserving, as simple as asking the question and hitting the 'Enter' button. Come back and see if anyone's bitten.

I don't like any more than you do.

This will unfortunately have to be dealt with by the Powers That Be at the Café. I wish I had a solution.
Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Mar 3, 2006 11:30AM)
'm just hoping they can come up with one, or we could lose a ton of members...
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Mar 4, 2006 04:09AM)

Thanks for taking the time to voice your concerns.I very much appreciate hearing the viewpoints and various ideas presented to me by our Café faithful.

Although I am forced to agree with you in many areas and can certainly feel your frustration, I will tell you right now that [b]The Magic Café[/b] will forever remain a [i]FREE[/i] resource for all of magicdom. This policy is something that I decided on almost five years ago and have no plans on changing my position on this subject anytime soon.

[b]The Magic Café[/b] is my gift to magic, here for all to enjoy. Rich or poor, young or old - it makes no difference.
I will [i]NEVER[/i] charge the magic community for general access to this site. I believe by charging some sort of fee I may create hardship on those who are less fortunate than most, denying them the opportunity to receive help from other entertainers in our art. Little Johnny who lives in the projects may someday grow up to be the next David Copperfield. By my way of thinking, little Johnny should have the opportunity to learn the art, regardless of his present financial situation. We must always remember that the children of today will certainly become the mentors of tomorrow. It is our duty to set a good example of brotherhood in our magical community. These days not much is free, even on the internet. Our motto is "[i]Magicians helping magicians[/i]" and I stand by that statement.

Having said all that, I also believe that people need to work at learning magic. It is NOT a right to learn our techniques and secrets, it is a priviledge. I am definately [i]Old School[/i] (is there really any other?) and support the notion that the right of passage should be earned - not given.
Those who think secrets should be handed to them are also the same folks who complain and whine about a zillion other things in their daily lives and usually think the world owes them a living. I hate to be the one to break the news, but...

Regarding the [i]secret seekers[/i] and other internet pests who may wander into our forums from time to time, the best advice I can give is to ignore them. That's right, just pretend they don't exist. Pretty simple really. It is hard to beg, fight or argue with someone who is not responding back. Most members of our Café community who have been in the art for very long can quickly spot the difference between a [i]HACK[/i] and someone who is sincerely interested in learning. Those that are serious will eventually get help here, those that are not worth our time will quickly leave, searching for another board that may grant them the things that they seek.

In that light, all of our members can help by using the [i]Report this post[/i] link (available on every post made on this website) to let our Café team members be made aware of trouble makers and secret seekers. Our rules and policies are quite specific about such things, but you can be sure the idiots of the world (who may join from time to time) will never take the time to read.

By allowing anyone to join, will we lose good members from time to time? Unfortunately the answer is yes, and I see no acceptable way to avoid that situation. But, I refuse to mold the Café into some kind of elitist boys club and I'm sorry if that offends anyone. Again, I understand your position and to a large extent agree. But as I've said many times, the Café will forever remain a [i]FREE[/i] resource for all to enjoy. Thanks again for voicing your concerns and I hope that you can understand my view as well. :smoke: