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Topic: Save Vladís magic library
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 30, 2018 08:32AM)
Hello magicians of the world,
Vlad is an awesome guy, and people who read his threads on the cafť know it.
He is in trouble at this time and Iím trying to help him via GoFundMe so he can save his magic library.

My message on the following link says it all.

https://www.gofundme.com/save-vlad-library

Thanks for him
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Oct 30, 2018 10:52AM)
Well, situation like this obviously sucks...

Now, is the 5000 euro (which is a lot of money) the total shipping cost of all of the books from Netherlands to USA?

How come the books can be dumped in the garbage? Where are they now?

Anyway, I hope everything will have a happy end.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Oct 30, 2018 02:44PM)
It's true, I always appreciated reading Vlad's contributions and I wish him all the best personally.

Starting a campaign is a classy and admirable move of yours, hands down. However, if I may suggest so, the campaign listing does NOT say it all, actually. :pout:

[i]"...he had to leave very quickly and return to the US..." [/i]sounds quite enigmatic, honestly, and I could imagine that possible donors would want to learn more about the reasons for the sudden escape (unless they are too personal to be publicly stated, of course).

My hope is that with a more detailed description you might raise more funds than with the listing in its current form! :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 30, 2018 04:52PM)
Done.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 30, 2018 05:02PM)
Your questions are all legitimate.

Vlad gave me an estimation cost of 3000 $ for bringing back all his books and magic stuff to the USA. I didnít know which amount to fix for the goal. But when I saw on the website that the amount can easily be changed, I put more than needed. Maybe itís a bad strategy. Itís the first time Iím doing that sort of thing so any advice would be much appreciated.

You are right, the text doesnít tell everything. Iíve tried to suggest, not give every details, because of privacy. My personal past can enlighten the story. Sometimes, marriage can be one of the most wonderful thing in your life. Sometimes, it doesnít work. At times, it can be an awful experience. For me, I entered hell, without completely knowing what was in front of me...My ex wife told me that if I left her, she would burn all my magic books. And her insane eyes was telling that she could do that, and worse. And she has done soÖ

Too much on myself.

His library is on its way to be safe, to my knowledge.
Message: Posted by: camron (Oct 30, 2018 08:01PM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2018, Rachmaninov wrote:

My personal past can enlighten the story. Sometimes, marriage can be one of the most wonderful thing in your life. Sometimes, it doesnít work. At times, it can be an awful experience. For me, I entered hell, without completely knowing what was in front of me...My ex wife told me that if I left her, she would burn all my magic books. And her insane eyes was telling that she could do that, and worse. And she has done soÖ

[/quote]


One of my ex-psycho's said the same thing!! She said she'd destroy all of my books and make false accusations against me to prevent me from travelling. She made the allegations, the police saw right through her stories and threw the case out!!

I'm praying for you Vlad!
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Oct 30, 2018 09:08PM)
Years ago, I was also in a very bad relationship. When I finally managed to escape, my partner actually burned all my belongings!

I would be glad to help Vlad. However, I can only donate via PayPal. Is there a way to send money directly to Vlad?
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 31, 2018 12:50AM)
Hello Arthur,
Iím going to ask him if there is a way to reach him via PayPal.
Thanks to all of you for your generosity.

Iím surprised to see that my psycho ex wife was not a rare state. I felt so alone at that time. Camron, it seems you know exactly what I endured.
Message: Posted by: camron (Oct 31, 2018 07:21AM)
[quote] Camron, it seems you know exactly what I endured. [/quote]

I really do... there's a lot more to the story, believe me! I almost lost my life..
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Oct 31, 2018 09:30AM)
Woah. Burning books? That's Hitler-level evil.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 31, 2018 10:23AM)
Tenchu,
You have no idea what those women can do. Iím 6 foot 4, she was 5, Iím athletic, she was in very poor shape. It didnít prevent her to beat me ! And for no reason !
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 31, 2018 12:51PM)
Vlad sent me an email with the actual cost he has calculated. Itís arnound 2000 euros. So Iíve just reduced the goal down to 2000. We have never been so close !
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Oct 31, 2018 01:33PM)
Hi guys,

What I am going to write is very hard to do but, as there are questions I feel I should answer them, but, I would like to clarify a few things. First off, I want to thank Rachmaninov for his very kind offer. Sometimes in very bad situations one feels very alone. Then I received a message from him and it consisted of much more than magic. Merci mon ami as I feel less alone now. I want you all to know that I am not good at asking for help and my post here is not meant to ask for help or create some sort of guilt tripping. Rather, I just feel I should share. Lastly, and most importantly, no matter how things turn out, this community has been AMAZING and I owe you a deep debt of gratitude for making me a better performer and a better person. So, here goes.

I am a survivor of 18 years of horrific physical and sexual abuse. The abuser, whom I am loathe to refer to as my "father" was the abuser. He is currently serving two life terms plus 67 years for two murders, racketeering, kidnapping, and other RICO offenses. Anyhow, the abuse was so bad that I suffer from PTSD and have to depend on clonazepam just to be able to get through the day. The only time the symptoms disappear is when I am performing magic or music or pursuing academic studies. Life has dealt me some bad hands but I refuse to give up. I also refuse to become bitter. Except for him, I have no hate in my heart and I believe in doing good for others. When people enjoy my magic and music it makes me happy because perhaps I have helped them, at least for a brief time, to escape whatever darkness may be haunting them.

My elder brother had cerebral palsy and I learned recently that he too was abused. To say I was hit in the gut is a gross understatement. Anyhow, thanks to EMDR treatment, the nightmares that manifest from PTSD have lessened.

I am also an artist. I work in traditional and digital media. My mom was a bank teller and back in the day, they didn't make much money. She scrimped, sacrificed, and saved for my first year's tuition to the Pittsburgh Art Institute. I was so excited for that autumn! Then, she sat me down one day and told me that he stole the money. For quite a few years I quit creating because it just seemed that nothing was going to work. I had been involved in live theater and was spotted by a director who had a show starting off-Broadway. I was 17 at the time and Pennsylvania law required that both parents - even divorced parents - had to sign a waiver allowing a minor to leave home. My mom signed. My "father" said, "you're a ******* bum, you will never amount to nothing and I am not signing this ****** paper. The director wanted me so badly in that role; he considered the performance he saw as my successful audition. He tried everything but my "father" finally threatened him. I guess you know how that ended.

My Irish great-grandma was a huge reason I didn't end up dead or in prison or on drugs. She taught me never to give up and to always do good. May her memory be eternal.

When I moved here to the Netherlands in 2012 I really thought that my life could turn around. I taught my step-daughter how to play piano, I taught my step-son to draw and to write and he will be a fine novelist. I helped my partner learn to sing. I'm not perfect but I was always faithful and always trying and all I wanted was just a thank you.

In 2014 I was offered a very rare thing: a free ride PhD. I had graduated magna cum laude at Penn State and finished my Master's and ranked among the top ten percent of all graduate students in America in all disciplines. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and truer words were never spoken. I returned to America to start the PhD but she begged me to return and that things would be better. Like a FOOL I believed her and declined the PhD and the assistantship. When I returned, there was not even a syllable of thanks and things got a lot worse. I am no more than a butler here yet I have to tread carefully or she'll not allow me to get the medication I need. If you look up withdrawal symptoms from clonazepam, you'll see that they can literally be deadly. I want to get home, get on my feet and off the meds because they are a constant reminder of the hell I lived through. But I am no victim nor do I want pity. I am a survivor and I know there are others who are far worse off than I.

Guys, I cannot do this anymore. I hate to seem selfish but I need to live again and that means coming home and starting over. I have sacrificed too much: my future, my Orthodox Christian (Greek Orthodox) faith, and I feel at times I have sacrificed my soul. I have some things that keep me going while in survival mode: God, my mom and step-dad, my dogs, music, and magic.

Magic was one of the things that literally saved my life growing up. So much so that it is as much a part of me as my limbs. This community has been for me more than a place to exchange ideas. It has become a haven for me. I have met some remarkable people here. The list is very long and I am so very thankful. Some have told me that some of my posts have helped them. That REALLY makes me happy. I know that I have learned SO much from this community that the debt I owe would amount to something beyond the dreams of avarice.

I am still in the Netherlands and because of the meds issue I must get enough for a few months until I navigate the American healthcare system. I don't know what lies ahead for me when I get home in December but I DO know I will do all I can to make my life worth living so I can help make the lives of others in need better. Magic is a way to do that and for me to hit the ground running and make a few bucks so there is that prosaic consideration. But you see, these books are not just resources to me, they are part of who I am. They saved me and through the words from their creators I just know that life can be amazing. To lose them would be devastating but if that happens, then, still I must soldier on because I believe that giving up is not an option.

I don't know what else to say. I look over at them and I am afraid I will forever lose them and the thought terrifies me. I would never have asked for help because there are others more deserving. When Rachmaninov messaged me it was like some sort of miracle because he shared his story and I am blessed because he chose to share. I just learned today that he initiated the fund page. I saw this thread and there it was, and, your questions which, you are right to ask.

I have weeded out some stuff and I think 2000 USD will cover getting most of what's left back and safe. Geez that was even hard to type because I feel like a pathetic beggar. So, I want you to know that I do appreciate all the help, and, I don't mean just the money. I've received PMs from a few people offering their hopes and prayers and those mean SO much. Why? Because you took the time to make sure I was okay and to offer your hopes. You are the people my Irish great grandma told me about.

Thank you for reading this and if I could ask just one thing, it would be for anyone who has negative comments to please keep them to yourself? I realize I made wrong choices and I'm paying for them.

My apologies to Larry Barnowski and Rick Holcombe. I'll be getting my review and impressions of your upcoming products done ASAP. Right now, I am just trying to get home.

Blessings to you all.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Oct 31, 2018 02:02PM)
Keep your head up Vlad, with a masters degree, ranking among the top ten in all disciplines in america! Man, you can be super wealthy if you put a little bit of effort into it. You have a huge advantage most people don't! don't forget that! I wish you the best my man.
Message: Posted by: fonda57 (Oct 31, 2018 02:04PM)
You've always been a nice dude, Vlad. A very positive outlook. I always look forward to talking with you. I'll throw in for sure
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Oct 31, 2018 02:36PM)
Vlad, you are one of the most knowledgeable, generous and intelligent people Iíve ďmetĒ here on the Cafť. And I applaud you for opening up about your situation. That took an amazing amount of courage.

Years ago I was in a similar position and due to a vicious divorce, ended up walking the streets of NYC for 8 months, homeless, penniless and friendless. I lost everything, including my magic books. So if today I can help a fellow magician in need, I will do so gladly.

To all Magic Cafť Members: I want to encourage everyone to contribute whatever they can to help Vlad. If anyone truly deserves our support, he does.
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Oct 31, 2018 03:03PM)
Thanks for your oh-so-open words, Vlad. Must have been hard to write them down... :(
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 31, 2018 09:40PM)
Iím overwhelmed by Vladís story. It took me time to fully realize all the difficulties (some of them are extreme) he had to overcome. He definitely deserves help from our community and beyond.
Message: Posted by: Maxyedid (Oct 31, 2018 11:04PM)
Wow - no words. I will try to share this link on Facebook as well.
Message: Posted by: Montana76 (Nov 1, 2018 05:04AM)
Vlad I s the reason I come to the Cafť. He is always incredible helpful and knowledgeable.

I hope things turn around for you Vlad! I value you!!
Message: Posted by: TeddyBoy (Nov 1, 2018 07:30AM)
Vlad is one of the most insightful and sensitive members that I have encountered here. His insights and encouragement have definitely had an effect on me continuing with card magic. I am glad to say that I have made my visit to the Go Fund Me page.
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Nov 1, 2018 09:03AM)
Hi Vlad,

We had no contact in the last few years, but you know me.
http://maigret.org/trailer/who.html

Let me first of all say that I feel sorry for you and that I hope that the future may look a lot better for you.

However, some things are not clear to me:
On the GoFundMe site is written that ďyou had to leave very quickly and return to the US, without any of his magical stuff.Ē
In this thread you write in your post: "I am still in the Netherlands" and "I do not know what lies ahead of me when I get home in December".
So I assume that you are still in the Netherlands and that the text on GoFundMe is a little mistake by Rachmaninov (Mathieu Berquet).

That the books would end up on the garbage seems to me just impossible and easy to avoid with some imagination.
You can send the books from the Netherlands to me (Belgium) and then I will keep them safe for you until you have the necessary funds to send them to you in the USA. (no costs for storing them)
Perhaps the initiator (Rachmaninov) can also offer you this service if he has a place to keep the books. He lives in France I suppose.
Post rates from the Netherlands to Belgium and France are the same. (47.5 euros for 30 Kg sent by registered post).

So for the books there is a relatively cheap solution and no danger if you want to. That you need funds for your medication and a small reserve for an uncertain future is very understandable and there is nothing wrong with that. But for the books there are solutions.
(Even if you do not get the funds in the future to have the books sent to the USA later, there are solutions to recover at least a part. The books can be sold by the "safekeeper" on eBay and the proceeds can be transferred to you via Paypal.)

I wish you a lot of courage.
Danny
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 1, 2018 09:54AM)
Danny,
Your solution was offered to me by Vlad. Even more, he told me that he wanted to send the books to me in France as it is way more cheaper. From here, he wanted me to give his books for free to anybody in the world, providing that the person pays shipping cost. That shows Vladís despair and generosity. I refused and told him not to give up magic, that those books are more than just his, they are part of him. I convinced him to try anything to keep them. So the idea of godundme came to me. Iíve seen very generous donators who have given a lot of money, but just a bunch of dollars would be sufficient if a lot of people give.

You are right, I was thinking Vlad was back in the US, but he is still in the Netherlands. Danny, the garbage risk is not from the postal service, but would come from his ex wifeÖ
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Nov 3, 2018 06:33AM)
Hi all,

A couple of updates:

I received the troubling news that my father is petitioning for release from prison. In my long post I mentioned that he is serving two consecutive life terms plus 63 years for two murders, a number of arsons, racketeering, and other crimes. I have to do all I can to prevent his release as he has threatened my mom and others. So when I hit the ground in America, on top of all, that fight begins. (I can forward the news story about him to anyone in America if you want to know. EU laws prohibit viewing some newspaper/news site due to EU/EEA Privacy Laws. I offer this to anyone still questioning the veracity of what's going on).

I have been in contact with a dear friend of mine who volunteered to help we with a plane ticket. So things are close to wrapping up here.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your words of encouragement. To say I am humbled is a gross understatement. Please know that you have all helped ME through the years far more than I have helped you I suspect and for that I am eternally grateful.

Danny, I know it's been a while but thank you for reaching out. I appreciate your solution but for me to try to pay shipping for the books even to Belgium is way more than I can afford. When I had suggested to Rachmaninov that he could care for them and give them away to magicians he judged in need, I was wracking my brain to create a way to get them to France somehow. He talked me out of that and I think that giving up magic would be like giving up the biggest fight of my life waiting in America. I am no quitter. I still hope to be able once I am back to performing again to help magicians in need by gifting resources to them in the form of gifts from Lybrary.com. It gets them resources and they don't have to pay shipping. But, that's a ways down the road. As for the books, it's do or die. THAT SAID, however this turns out, I cannot thank you all enough for your support.

You have my love and gratitude everyone! Your prayers are needed and give me strength.

Blessings,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: supremefiction (Nov 3, 2018 05:48PM)
Vlad, I am not in a position to contribute money but if it matters I send my support. I do not know how I might help as I don't have much specific subject matter expertise that might apply but if there is something I might do by all means send a PM.

It's easy to be glib in this setting, but I will say this--from what little I know of you I have faith you can get through this and I urge you to keep the faith.
Message: Posted by: supremefiction (Nov 3, 2018 06:02PM)
One thought got me chuckling, maybe you too--Im sure at minimum the vast majority of members here would be pleased to mail you a brick of new decks if you're ever lacking. As far as that goes, if I may paraphrase, you're the richest man in town.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Nov 3, 2018 11:09PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2018, supremefiction wrote:
One thought got me chuckling, maybe you too--Im sure at minimum the vast majority of members here would be pleased to mail you a brick of new decks if you're ever lacking. As far as that goes, if I may paraphrase, you're the richest man in town. [/quote]

Am I? I appreciate your first comment and yes I will get through this. I am not here to beg. Your words in your first post heartened me. I opened my soul in answering questions that people rightly have. I hope that you do not find that act of mine to be one subject to levity. That said - and again I thank you for your words of encouragement - this second post of yours is rather cruel unless I have mistaken your meaning.

I am not here to beg. And if I lose everything, what I will remember are the kind words I've read in this thread including yours. This community gave me a lot over the years and I am and shall be forever grateful. No, I would not ask for even a single Joker from the community. You should now know me a little better. In fact, I shall ask Rachmaninov to cease the GoFundMe and the funds returned or donated. I am not sure how these things work.

Thank you again and I hope this message finds you well supremefiction.

Best,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: supremefiction (Nov 4, 2018 06:54AM)
I'm very sorry. It was no editorial on you or your situation, just a weird thought and any levity was dirtected at myself and the mentality of people like me.
Message: Posted by: supremefiction (Nov 4, 2018 06:59AM)
If you've seen the movie I quoted from it means the richest man is the one with many friends, and I guess in my unfortunate way I was saying you have many friends here. I apologize.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Nov 4, 2018 08:14AM)
[quote]On Nov 4, 2018, supremefiction wrote:
If you've seen the movie I quoted from it means the richest man is the one with many friends, and I guess in my unfortunate way I was saying you have many friends here. I apologize. [/quote]

No apologies needed. I get your point and I do know my wealth but I thank you for reminding me, I truly do. I just misunderstood the "chuckle" part. My friend I wish I could chuckle. As I write this, I am looking at this library that is so much MORE than that. I have to come to terms with the fact that a lifetime is going to be gone. Magic was one of the things that saved my life my friend and I do mean that literally. Now when I return to America, I have to take on the biggest fight of my life. IF the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania releases my "father" from prison, he may well act on his threats to murder my mom. I am even considering buying a Glock and an open and concealed carry license for my protection. I abhor violence yet I believe in self-preservation. I never ever dreamed I would ever consider carrying a firearm. I must navigate the court system, federal and state to prevent a miscarriage of justice. I will gladly PM you the link to the newspaper article.

I AM wealthy. This community and this art enriched me. Do you know what means more to me than the donations? The PMs I received plus the open posts here - including yours - that have heartened me. People apologized for not having the means to donate. No apologies were needed because what each of them and you gave me may not get my library home but I received MUCH more, namely, the true gift of hearts that all the wealth of kings and David Copperfield combined.

I still rehearse but I do not have the heart to open any of my books anymore. I should be out of the Netherlands by month's end. All that is left is to get enough meds to tide me over. So my HOPE is that MAYBE there will be a way I can appeal to the netter angel of another's nature and have the books given to a magic club in Holland for instance. It could be that there's an abused kid whose life *I* can save with the help of every mentor I had in those books.

I apologize for misunderstanding your reference and your intent. I hope you'll forgive me in that I am not exactly thinking clearly.

I used to use the following when I would post, and I feel that it is quite appropriate now:

Namaste
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 4, 2018 11:19AM)
Donít give up your books Vlad ! We all know you will regret that decision later. We understand you are not in a state of mind which allow you to relax or to read magic books. Please prepare boxes with your books inside, and just before you left Europe, you will take the money from gofundme and send as much boxes as you can, maybe the one you cherish the most. Take the remaining parcels to a friendís house in the Netherlands, and when you will be well settled in the US, you will make them travel back to you.
Message: Posted by: supremefiction (Nov 4, 2018 11:51AM)
No problem. I have a couple of ideas--they are brilliant, or maybe stupid--that I will send you via PM.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Nov 4, 2018 04:51PM)
I'm sure you've already thought of that before but as Rachmaninov just said, you have got to know SOMEBODY in the Netherlands that wouldn't mind keeping a few boxes for safe keeping for a while. That way you can just get one box at a time shipped to you at your convenience
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Nov 4, 2018 05:48PM)
It has taken me a while to appreciate Vlad. I just recently got into cards and now appreciate him so much more.
But also, I know him through someone else who knew him, and it was good. I suffered a divorce where I did something stupid and almost died and got in legal trouble. It was only directed to myself because of the horror of being abandoned by someone you loved, who could take your kids too.
But in a strange way, I understand. So I can pray and ask you if you are able to help Vlad out. God bless you all. Yes, I had all my business stuff thrown out when I was locked up........ by my ex. Dear Vlad, I am praying for you. God can really help you and others can too.
Message: Posted by: Mb217 (Nov 4, 2018 07:01PM)
Love the man!
Message: Posted by: Michael Wells (Nov 7, 2018 04:00PM)
This drive is moving too slowly. Since we're magicians helping magicians, let's get on this and get it done. There are enough of us here who could donate a small amount we wouldn't even miss, and it could make a big difference for Vlad. Here's the link again: https://www.gofundme.com/save-vlad-library
You can do this and you'll feel better about the whole thing.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 7, 2018 08:35PM)
I agree, Michael. There are over sixty thousand of us here. I don't know how many are active, but if a total of 200 people gave 10 euros each (currently $11.43 -- compare that to a dinner out or a new magic book), we'd be there. And I'll bet Vlad has touched far more than 200 of us and made our lives better.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 8, 2018 06:56AM)
Itís exactly what I think. And itís what I wrote for that campaign. Iím a little sad to see that at this time, 13 people only have made a donation, 842 people have visited the campaign page, more than 2000 on this thread. I donít know if you can see who give what. I think there is some privacy in that regard, but someone has given 125 euros ! Thatís incredibly generous ! But like you said Bob, the main idea was that a few hundreds people would give a bunch of dollars, which is nothing for most of people, and we could remove a big stress from Vladís shoulders.
Thanks again everyone ! Iím going to give a little money again !

Iíve reached vanishing inc to see if they can send a little message to each customer at the end of their order, as they did last year for a guy who lost everything in a fire. I know they are super busy and Iím waiting for their answer. Any other idea is welcome.
Message: Posted by: Maestro (Nov 8, 2018 08:11AM)
Maybe a local magic club, magician or magic shop would hold them for you?
Message: Posted by: ChrisPayne (Nov 8, 2018 04:51PM)
I've contributed.....I have always valued Vlad's contributions and I wish him well
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 8, 2018 05:41PM)
Maestro, your suggestion is an idea we have if we donít gather sufficient money. But those boxes would stay for a long time until Vladís would be well settled in the US.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Nov 9, 2018 06:31AM)
Have you guys looked into the cost of sea freight VS air freight for international shipping? Makes a big difference in price.
Message: Posted by: Shawn Evans (Nov 9, 2018 11:54AM)
I haven't been on the Cafť much in the past few years, but Vlad is always generous with his time, and knowledge. I can't think of anyone on this forum that I have had more pleasant and helpful interactions with over the last 10 years. I am so glad I decided to stop in and see what was going on in the magic world. I sincerely hope that more than the 21 people who have donated can help with this.

Shawn
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 9, 2018 01:30PM)
Thanks for your kind words Shawn.

Bobby, it is a sea container shipping. By air, it would cost a fortune. From what I know, the cost is by m3.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 10, 2018 12:18PM)
Hi guys,
We are at 670 euros. More than 1000 views. Things are going well.
Message: Posted by: Michael Wells (Nov 14, 2018 01:20PM)
Stalled out at 670 euros. (Maybe Vlad could offer a premium for donating, such as, an invitation to come over and look through his books for some limited period of time once they're set up in the states). In any case I'm going to go donate again as a way of encouraging the rest of you to follow suit. The way I see it, this isn't just an opportunity to help save his library, but a way of reminding him that the universe has good things in store for him, not just torment. The rebirth of hope. How much is that worth? Who else is in?

https://www.gofundme.com/save-vlad-library
Message: Posted by: magicman29 (Nov 14, 2018 03:20PM)
Just contributed, is there anyway this thread can be posted on other sections of the Cafť? I think the more people on here know about this thread the more chance of getting more donations.

Kieran
Message: Posted by: Alan M (Nov 14, 2018 04:18PM)
Good idea Kieran. I just posted some info in the "Looking Out for Our Own" section of the forum: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=679394&forum=61

I hope it helps.

-Alan
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 15, 2018 09:08PM)
Thanks for posting this on other threads. Thing is Iíve contacted the webmaster asking for the permission to post a message on Vladís issues. Nobody answered meÖSo I just did it on two parts of the cafť.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 16, 2018 02:00PM)
Does anyone know which branches of magic Vlad is most interested in? We could share the work of posting to the appropriate categories.


And Rachmaninov, I imagine the moderators are quite busy -- couldn't hurt to send a reminder.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 16, 2018 03:51PM)
Yes, I think they just didnít answer because it was the quickest way to say yes. At least, not to say noÖ

Vlad is most interested by card magic. But I would say that his cognitive abilities and art sensibilities make him open minded to a lot of subjects, related or not to magic.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Nov 18, 2018 05:37AM)
Hey all,

I hope you will forgive the radio silence. Tying up things here and arranging things from 7000 plus kilometres away has been insane. Add to that trying to just keep a low profile and making sure I have enough meds to give me a safe cushion while I learn to navigate the American health system is a real relief - and quite the tightrope walk; the Wallendas would be proud.

I've read a few posts stating that people are sorry that we did not make the goal. Don't be sorry please? I wish I could share the tons of messages I've received filled with prayers and hopes! You see, my goal of finally having a real life is now in sight thanks to ALL of you and there is no dollar/Euro amount that can be put on that.

Bob, I love virtually all branches of magic and of course I have to include mentalism too. There are really just two areas that hold little to no interest for me and they are illusions and escapes. I appreciate the skill of the latter. As for illusions, well, I like to "do the work" myself. :) Beyond card magic I love coin and other close up magic. Every once in a great while in the past I've ventured with some trepidation into the coin magic section of the Cafť Anyhow, my library is a nice little collection that spans card magic, close-up, and mentalism.

And Rachmaninov is right that I am into a LOT of non-magic areas of interest as well. I am a committed life long animal rights activist, amateur historian, and, well, to put it succinctly, I love to learn at least three new things about everything everyday. (Geeze, this is sounding like a form one would fill out for a dating site! :P). I will arrange to donate those books to a school and/or library.

I'm not a magic club type of person so having my magic resources cared for by a magic club was never really an option. I know one magician here very well, Ferry Gerats. The man is a real prince and one hell of a magician. There is another Dutch magician here who used to post a lot but I have not seen many posts from him in ages.

All of your hopes, prayers, and wishes, as well as the donations from those who could will allow me to begin to live again. I wrote privately to Rachmaninov that freedom is going to taste strange but wonderfully so. When I hit the ground in America, my priority is to fight to keep my "father" in prison. That said, being able to kickstart my magic again will of course be good for mundane reasons - money to live - but also a break from the formidable task that awaits.

I've read SO many comments during all of this about how I have given to the community. Truth is my friends, this community has given to ME far more than I think it realizes. Over the years I have been able to become friends with some truly amazing people. They have given unstintingly of their knowledge and their humanity. So you see, I AM truly blessed, even if I wouldn't be able to get more than a few books home! I wrote at some point in this thread that magic literally saved my life. Thanks to Rachmaninov who started this campaign and to all who have "donated" prayers and such, it has again.

Once the resources arrive, I want to make a YouTube video and I want you to see my thanks as I do a few unboxings. Someone mentioned coming by and having a look at my stuff. While my library is not like that of Lawrence O, I think it's a pretty good working library; after all, books are meant to be learned from, so, come and read and we'll learn together.

The words "thank you" are woefully inadequate and if I listed the names of all who have been true friends to me here in this community through the years, I fear that Steve's servers would go supernova. To these people, I hope and pray that you know somehow how deeply blessed I feel that we have gotten to know one another here in the Green Monster.

Thank you my friends for giving me a chance a light and life again. There is no more precious gift than friendship, nothing more holy than when we reach out to one another.

You have my deep love and profound respect. You are angels all.

With love,
Joe
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 18, 2018 10:59AM)
Thanks for those kind words Vlad. As you just opened your soul to others in the precedent post, all of us can feel who you are. And we are very lucky to have you in this community.

We will find a way so EVERY magical stuff pertaining to Vlad will follow him. A few days ago, a fellow magician who wishes to remain anonymous, reached out to me to generously offer dollar for dollar match for every donation made. We will make it !
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 18, 2018 02:56PM)
Rachmaninov, this is fantastic news -- many thanks to the anonymous donor. Am I right in assuming that the donor's offer applies to the money that's already been contributed in addition to future donations? If so, then the current total is


2 x 670 euros = 1340 euros. So we need an additional 660 euros to get up to the needed 2000. Since the anonymous donor will be matching our contributions, the rest of us just need to contribute a total of 330 euros. So, for instance, if a mere 10 people contributed 33 euros each (probably approximately $40), we'd be there! This is definitely doable.


Rachmaninov, given Vlad's interest in nearly all branches of magic, I'd like to volunteer to copy your original message and add it to some of the other categories, like coins -- with your permission, of course. Time being short in my life (as it is with most of us), I'm hoping that others will also volunteer. So for now I'll just volunteer for coins, and see who else volunteers.


But Vlad, I want to ask whether you have a big enough footprint on the "Green Monster" in other branches of magic. In other words, do enough people know you on the Cafť outside of the cards categories that we'd be likely to get contributions?


And Vlad, you're an inspiration to all of us. Many -- perhaps most -- of us have experienced tragedy. I mentioned to you privately my father's early death and the effect it's had on me throughout my life. My experience pales before the horror of yours, but we each have to fight our own battles, and I empathize with you, to the extent that I can even imagine what you went through. Because of my own experience, I deeply admire people like you who are fighters -- you're not giving up.


And remember, Vlad (Joe), that it feels *good* to help other people, so that, in the complicated and paradoxical way that life comes at us, you're helping *us* by letting us help you.


With love and hope,


Bob
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 18, 2018 07:49PM)
Hi again, folks. I just checked the current total and it's 790 euros. So the situation is even better than I realized.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 18, 2018 08:05PM)
Sorry to clog up the airwaves. I was wrong. It's 800 euros.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 18, 2018 08:13PM)
ę†You are helping us by letting us helping you†Ľ said Bob. So true !
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Nov 19, 2018 10:39AM)
I just posted a plea for contributions under "Nothing up my sleeve." I find the categories confusing (though I enjoy their names), so I hope that was a good one.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Nov 22, 2018 11:35AM)
First I want to wish those who celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for this community and the friendships I've forged through the years. And again I want to thank all of you who have been sending prayers and hopes, they are most assuredly welcome! To all who donated to this campaign, the phrase "thank you" seems woefully inadequate, please know that I do not take any of this for granted.

Second, I am told that there is an anonymous donor who wishes to match Euro for Euro the donations made. I am so blessed by your generosity but, I feel that such a sum may be a hardship for you. I would rather just be able to get part of my magic resources back than perhaps creating a hardship for you. I know it is your choice and I am so thankful for such a gesture. I must ask however that you please save your money. Such a sum is really far too much. I hope you understand that whomever you are, you have my deepest gratitude for proposing such a selfless act. If you could keep me in your hopes and prayers, that would be wonderful. Now of course, if you happen to Bill Gates, well ... ;)

Folks, I want to thank all of you again for your reaching out! Will be creating a page when everything gets moving. I'll be scanning the paperwork so all can see exactly what the costs are so that you know that your kindness was well used.

Lastly, I want to thank my friend Rachmaninov. We have been communicating and I feel as though I have found a brother I never knew I had. Bless you mon ami.

Bless all of you!
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Nov 25, 2018 07:50PM)
I want to thank Vlad publicly for his generosity and kindness.

The anonymous donator has fortunately maintained his offer despite Vladís last post. So we are almost there, only 200 euros are missingÖ
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Dec 1, 2018 06:07AM)
Hi all,

Finishing up details with Immigration in the Netherlands then I should be out of here and back to America in a week and a half. I will be keep everyone apprised of the situation as to how much of my stuff I can move and when. Rachmaninov gave me access to the GoFundMe page, but, I will not touch it until ready and I will post here.

Thank you again to all who donated and to all who sent their prayers and hopes for me. We didn't make the goal but Iam so very appreciative for EVERYTHING guys! I'll get in touch with Ferry Gerats after I am home in America and I will ask him to see if he knows of a magic club that can use whatever I cannot take back.

Thus begins a journey whose end I do not know.

Bless all of you.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Dec 2, 2018 07:20AM)
Hi again all,

I see that the anonymous donor has matched what was donated. As I wrote in a previous post, I had wanted to refuse such a huge donation because I fear such would be possibly a hardship. I do not know who you are but I cannot express how much your generosity means to me. I pray that this will not be a hardship for you. That is a lot of money! God bless you, and again God bless all of you for everything: for the prayers, hopes, private messages, and for helping me. Many of you expressed regret that you could not help financially. Please have no regrets? The very fact that you reached out and wished me well and some even offered to give me some books! No regrets guys! Your kindness has given me some light in these very dark days.

Here is the plan:

I have reached an agreement that the books will be safe for a couple of months so I will have time to get an international moving company to retrieve and ship the books. I will as I said keep everyone informed. While Rachmaninov has given me access to the funds, I don't know how to access them. I will ask him when the time is right and I will post HERE when I have received them. I will cobble together a website with scans and such so that everyone knows exactly what is going on.

I cannot wait to get things in order, get back to living again, performing, and, I want to, in time, refund the money to all who donated. The site lists all by name EXCEPT the anonymous donors. If you anonymous angels would provide Rachmanonov with your names - and I will not ask him for them so that you can remain so - I will send HIM the money so that he can then get it back to you.

YOU have all made me believe again and I will make this community proud. I promise you that.

I want to thank the admins for allowing this thread to be here. I know that normally it would have been moved. As much to all here, your doing this deserves a deep bow from me. You too have my gratitude. :) <3
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Dec 2, 2018 07:53AM)
Hi my friend,
Iím glad you seem to feel better. Your words are always remembering our humanity. And it makes me feeling good.

Iím so amazed by our anonymous donator generosity. Itís really a godís inspired gesture. And discussing with him totally convinced me that he is an angel of exceptional nature.
This last spring, I was commenting about the high price of the Thompson set, and he reached me out offering me to pay half the setís price. I declined because I was first worrying about a scam, then I discovered it was just pure generosity, I had the money to purchase them but I didnít want to help the market to set so high price standards. I finally declined, and I was really amazed by this behavior. Itís so unusual in this competitive mega lucrative stupid marketing worldÖ

Joe, donations are not done to be refunded back. This campaign and our supporting words are just a little something to help you starting a new life, the one you deserve, with a lot of happiness, loveÖand cards !

Thanks for giving those news.

Mat
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Dec 2, 2018 04:29PM)
Just a little note to remind people that the so generous soul who has already given 800 euros will continue to match every donation. So if someone gives 30 euros, he will give 30 too.

We are close to the final goal. A few small efforts and we will be there.

Thanks to all !
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Dec 3, 2018 05:32PM)
Not sure why my comments about alternative ways to get the money was deleted. I was only making suggestions. Obviously this thread is closely monitered and only allows certain comments. Say one thing that doesn't sit well with one person and it gets reported and deleted. smh
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Dec 3, 2018 07:37PM)
Is this the comment you made, Bobby?: "Have you guys looked into the cost of sea freight VS air freight for international shipping? Makes a big difference in price." It's still here. But maybe that wasn't what you were referring to.



I reported to the moderators some extremely offensive remarks that appeared today -- and I mean offensive. Those remarks, together with a couple of responses to them have been deleted. I can't imagine why any of your remarks would have been erased.



Bob
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Dec 3, 2018 08:49PM)
Thanks Bob for having asked some help from the moderators. I was wondering to do the same, and I decided to try to answer.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Dec 3, 2018 09:43PM)
You're welcome, Rachmaninov. I tried to answer while I was waiting for the moderators to have a chance, but I don't think it was going to go anywhere.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Dec 3, 2018 10:10PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, Bob G wrote:
Is this the comment you made, Bobby?: "Have you guys looked into the cost of sea freight VS air freight for international shipping? Makes a big difference in price." It's still here. But maybe that wasn't what you were referring to.



I reported to the moderators some extremely offensive remarks that appeared today -- and I mean offensive. Those remarks, together with a couple of responses to them have been deleted. I can't imagine why any of your remarks would have been erased.



Bob [/quote]

It saddens me that offensive remarks were made. I would not be so upset if they were directed at me - I didn't see them - but I would be enraged if they were directed at members of this community that helped either with donations and/or kind words.

On one hand, I would welcome the keyboard warriors to PM me if they have some axe to grind. On the other hand, considering what I am facing back in America, these keyboard warriors are amateurs and are not worth the effort. Had I seen those comments or in any way known that such would happen, I would have asked that all donations be returned because I will not tolerate abuse of my friends nor myself.

To Bobby: I am most definitely doing sea freight. It takes ages - it's how I did it when I moved here - because it is calculated on volume as opposed to air freight as you know which calculates by weight. Even though it takes a while, the cost is WAY lower than air. Only Copperfield could pull THAT off and he would need a C-130. :)

For those who are interested, I had asked my friend Rachmaninov to lower the goal to 2000 dollars. I am leaving behind a large part of my collection including things like magazines, cards, coins, props, and some books. I felt that to try to get it all home would have felt like I was asking FAR too much of the community. You all have your own financial concerns and the very last thing I would ever want is to cause hardship for anyone. I'd rather just toss Apocalypse, my J.K. Hartman books and a few others like Greater Magic into my luggage and start from there than to cause hardship.

If I may ask one more favor: To the keyboard warriors, I don't know what was said and I will not ask. I realize I have made some enemies here over the years. I am also cognizant of the fact that perhaps a couple people may think this is some sort of scam. Magic is a small industry and it's not hard to track people down. I have said that I will be creating a site and on it will be details of everything. Look, I have posted that I am facing a very serious, perhaps deadly, situation in America. So I implore you to please keep your negativity to yourselves? Also, the people who have messaged me their goodwill have done so out of an amazing sense of selflessness. PLEASE do not harass them? Don't you think that we have too much of that already in these uncertain times in our world - and I don't just mean magic.

I am really trying to keep it together, to save strength for what lies ahead. But if you want details of what I am facing, then KINDLY PM me and I will once again share and if you're in America, I can even send you the link to the newspaper story.

Sorry all, I just feel I cannot remain silent when these happen. I never wanted any ill will nor anyone to be abused or attacked by whomever.

Blessings all, even to the nasty people - and I truly mean that.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Dec 3, 2018 10:33PM)
Vlad,


I'm going to PM you.


Bob
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Dec 8, 2018 07:15AM)
Hi,
As Joe is close to go back to the US, Iím glad we have reached the 2000 euros goal ! Ok, almost, 48 euros leftÖ
A last tiny effort please !

Thanks again to all the donators. Iím still amazed by your generosity.

Mat
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Dec 8, 2018 08:41PM)
Yeeeeees ! We did it !

Many thanks to all the donators. Your generosity, time and efforts are well rewarded by the feelings Joe has posted here. We really help him a lot to go through all the difficulties he has to handle. His passion is nicely cared.

Mat
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Dec 10, 2018 05:51AM)
You folks are truly ARE miracle workers! I simply cannot express my deep DEEP gratitude to each and everyone of you. I will be keeping in close contact with Rachmanoinov and I'll also post here my progress. As I stated before, when it is time for me to access the funds, I will post here and I will then create a web page with all of the documentation and scans.

This means more to me than many of you know. You truly did accomplish a miracle and really, for the first time in my life, I feel that a new, good life awaits. I do not seek riches. I just want to perform magic and music again, return to my Orthodox Christian faith, and perhaps get a a couple of cats, save money to see some baseball games again - I am an absolute baseball junkie! My greatest goal is to be in a position where one day I can pitch in and help someone who was in need as I was.

The Cafť can be a battleground but I have seen the community come together so many times in the past and I can truly say that I have been privileged to forge some very good friendships here. I have found a brother in Rachmananivov - we both also are musicians so we have much in common. I have also had the privilege of having correspondence with an amazing magician who has influenced many but prefers to stay in the shadows. He is a mentor to me and a treasured friend.

I cannot wait to become active here again! I want to continue my threads on hidden gems in books and periodicals and I want to also become more active in the forum subsections that welcome and help newcomers to the art. YOU folks made it all possible! In the battle I face, and I think it is the battle I have had to prepare for all of my life, your miracle has given me even MORE strength to be the lion I need to be. There was a comment on the GoFundMe page where someone quipped that I once pulled a thorn from his paw. Well, I loved the Aesop reference and I can say that you folks have pulled a fully grown thorn TREE from my paws! :)

My deep love and gratitude to all!!
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Dec 10, 2018 12:52PM)
Iím so thrilled that the goal was reached. Vlad is a generous and talented guy who really deserved a break. Thank you to everyone who contributed. And much appreciation to Rachmaninov, who organized this tremendous effort.

Hope to see you on these shores soon, Vlad Ö with your magic library intact!
Message: Posted by: Mb217 (Dec 10, 2018 08:57PM)
You all couldn't have assisted a better person than Vlad...So happy to check back to see that the goal has been reached.

Good journey to you Vlad, my friend...Keep believing in YOU...We all do. :)

Indeed this adds to Happy Holidays ahead and Good Will Towards Men. :)
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Jan 6, 2019 05:40PM)
Now the GoFundMe campaign is over. Itís not easy to transfer the money to Vlad. Iíve made the campaign from France, and I didnít know that only a French citizen can withdraw the money (?!). So I had to ask GoFundMe to switch the beneficiary to me, I withdrawn the money, and Iím now sending it back to Vlad via PayPal. My account doensít allow me to do it all at once, so Iíve made a 1000 euros transfer today and I will do the other part as soon as PayPal allows me to do so.

As for transparency, Iím explaining everything so every donators know exactly what is in progress. And I feel really bad that the money which is not mine is partly now on my bank account, even for a very short time.

Here is the first transfer Iíve made today.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Jan 6, 2019 05:42PM)
Oups, too big file. We will wait that Joe confirms here he has the money.

To be precise, the campaign was 1933 euros. The first transfer is 1000 euros so $ 1094. I will make the second one ASAP.
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Jul 2, 2019 07:29AM)
How did all this process end? Books, move, etc
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jul 2, 2019 10:28PM)
Good question,,, Vlad?
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Jul 3, 2019 09:19AM)
May be Rachmaninov can update us if Vlad can't.
Love to hear a happy ending.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Jul 4, 2019 06:21AM)
I sent him an email at the end of the winter, he didnít seem to go so well, he was trying to handle so many things at the same time, he was overwhelmed. I have no news since that mast email. Iím going to try to have more infos on this.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jul 4, 2019 06:35AM)
This is just nuts. All that help thanks Rach, and the well wishers and helpers can't hear about the ending?
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jul 4, 2019 12:22PM)
[quote]On Jul 4, 2019, countrymaven wrote:
This is just nuts. All that help thanks Rach, and the well wishers and helpers can't hear about the ending? [/quote]

Until you walk in his shoes...

Julie
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 4, 2019 04:11PM)
Absolutely, Julie. He's got a tough brief -- tougher than most of us can even imagine. I'm sure he'll get back to us when he's able, and that might be quite some time. Naturally we all hope that we'll hear good news from him, but ultimately it's his life. Our good wishes and contributions don't give us the right to know more than he wants to tell us.


Bob
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jul 4, 2019 06:07PM)
I apologize. I did not mean that against Joe. I know him and his background much better than you would think.
But I had it extremely hard too. So hard, you would not even believe it. I am getting out of it and I appreciate the kind people in the magic community for that. I just meant the drama of this is friggin ironic. Not personal. But you aren't in my shoes so how could you know?
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 4, 2019 08:36PM)
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties, countrymaven. I hope I didn't come across as harsh; I didn't mean to. I'm glad things are getting better. One rarely knows what other people are dealing with.


Regards,


Bob
Message: Posted by: The Mysterious One (Jul 5, 2019 04:55PM)
Just seeing this thread since I camp out in other sections of the Cafť. Wishing Vlad, countrymaven, and other magicians/mentalists here on the Cafť who are going through or went through some tough challenges the best and to keep moving forward with your head held high.

The tough times don't last; tough people do. Heard that quote a long time ago and we all forget that from time to time. It is a great quote, but it doesn't help when you in the midst of facing violence, any type of abuse, severe illness, deep depression, and grief. I forgot about this quote when my young son got sick and lost all mobility while fighting for his life in the hospital. But with faith, we continued to move forward and fight on his behalf.

Wishing everyone on the other end of my computer screen a wonderful day and to remember to keep up the good fight despite getting knocked down.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jul 7, 2019 12:16AM)
[quote]On Jul 4, 2019, countrymaven wrote:
I apologize. I did not mean that against Joe. I know him and his background much better than you would think.
But I had it extremely hard too. So hard, you would not even believe it. I am getting out of it and I appreciate the kind people in the magic community for that. I just meant the drama of this is friggin ironic. Not personal. But you aren't in my shoes so how could you know? [/quote]

I will make this somewhat brief. What I am dealing with is LITERALLY a life and death situation - L I T E R A L L Y. Countrymaven, if you know even half of my "background" then you know I am not exaggerating. The kindness of those who donated to help me save my library did not and will not be forgotten. But I want you and others to understand that it is not entirely for me "to get out of." IF a miscarriage of justice happens, then a double murderer and child molester will breathe the free air again, and, his agenda is one of violence. I AM a fighter but, in THIS fight, I MUST concentrate all of my resources, my strength toward this. Lives - possibly even my own - could be at stake. I have a YouTube channel. I have not streamed anything on it since March. The last Facebook post I made on my own page was February. I still don't have my musical instruments. Music affords me an outlet that magic cannot in that with music, I can allow myself to release a lot of emotion. Magic requires a different approach. Many of my books ARE here, so, if anyone is concerned about that, don't be.

I've been a member of this Cafť for 13 years I think. I've honked some people off and some people have honked me off. However, those incidents are virtually non-existent compared to the amazing friendships I have been so fortuante to make here. This community has given me more in these past 13 years than I could ever hope to repay. If anyone thinks for a moment that I enjoy being away, or that I am purposefully "hiding" from the Cafť, you're dead wrong, that is to say, you are not thinking, merely opining. I miss this place! I ache for the day when I can return and resume things like posting Book Gems and finds in Periodicals. I miss the synergy of community and the exchange of ideas. Most of all, I miss those of you in this community who have been so wonderful to me. I gained a brother here over the last year and it is my deepest wish to one day visit him in France.

Yes, I am overwhelmed, and yes, I am terrified. However, I NEVER back down from a fight, and, dear friends and colleagues/comrades, THIS is THE fight of my life. I am a victim of this person's crimes and since I'm alive, simple deduction means it's not murder, it's the other thing. In a month or so I may have to stand before total strangers and tell the entire story. Please understand that it will require immense strength from me. I do not ask for your admiration. I do not ask to be thought of as someone special. All I ask is simply that if possible, some of you that have drawn conclusions without actually reaching out might wish to reconsider and give me the benefit of the doubt. I do not wish to self-aggrandize but I would hope that in 13 years I have demonstrated at least some integrity in this community.

There is a magician named Alberto who asked me for a routine I created. In the midst of all of this, I found it and sent it to him. I occasionally come on here on less insane days and I will answer a couple of messages when I can. I miss this place, but, right now, I must stay laser-focused on this life-defining fight. I know that most who know me at least to some extent in this community understand on some level that I simply cannot hang out here like I used to.

For those that want answers for other reasons, you will get them when I know the time is right. I can only offer my apologies to those who feel that somehow I have slighted them. It is not my intention. To those who may lack even a modicum of empathy, I know I cannot change your minds, so, I can only say that I pray you NEVER have to face what I am facing. I lost EVERYTHING to come and do what needs doing.

I only JUST got my meds two weeks ago. I have PTSD and I take a medication that, if you try to quit cold turkey, or, for whatever reason cannot get it, the withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. While fighting this fight,I am doing all I can to pick up the shards of my life. I am ***ed near out of fuel folks, but, I will find some reserves and continue on. THAT is who I am.

To those who have been concerned for me, you are a blessing. I feel very alone right now and knowing you are thinking of me helps more than you can possibly imagine.

You are a blessing. To my French brother, I WILL be writing you as soon as I can.

As I used to say when I closed posts ...

Ahimsa,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Jul 7, 2019 09:03AM)
Thoughts and prayers are with you!
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Jul 7, 2019 01:35PM)
Stay strong Vlad! Sending positive thoughts your way ...
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Jul 7, 2019 02:37PM)
I wish you the best, Vlad, and I hope you aren't having to face this alone.


Bob
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Jul 7, 2019 07:45PM)
I know Vladís story, but I didnít expect so high risk at stake, even if he told me there was. I was hoping that with time, this violent person would calm down. It seems itís not the case.

I wish I could give you some energy Vlad. I know you have a deep strength which will allow you to eventually overcome all of that. And you will enjoy magic and music again, maybe more considering what you went through.

All the magic fraternity and especially the magic cafť for which you gave so much in the past, is with you my brother !
Message: Posted by: ejohn (Jul 7, 2019 08:29PM)
Amen, Vlad! Thoughts and prayers.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jul 7, 2019 09:30PM)
Praying for God to be with you Joe. I know you really need it. Sincerely
Message: Posted by: Sixten (Jul 8, 2019 07:56AM)
Remember, Mr. Vlad, you're not alone. God Bless You! :)
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Jul 10, 2019 03:26PM)
WOW!, when I wrote my inquire on how his process was going, I was expecting an optimist reply, never imagine what Vlad is going through at this time.
Be good and I wish you the best. Keep your energy for the things to come.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Jul 28, 2019 05:03PM)
Just in case Vlad stops by, you're in thoughts and prayers.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Jul 28, 2019 08:25PM)
Wravyn, thanks for reminding us to pray for him. Sometimes that is the most powerful thing you can do.
Message: Posted by: The Mysterious One (Jul 30, 2019 08:54PM)
Same with me. Wishing you the best Vlad...
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Jul 30, 2019 09:24PM)
Vlad made reference several times about a newpaper article pertaining to his incarcerated relative. Does anyone have a link to it or could maybe pm it to me?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Jul 31, 2019 12:10AM)
I had it but it disappeared from my pm box.
I too would like to have it.
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Sep 4, 2019 08:29AM)
Vlad, if you happen to stop into the Cafť, just letting you know that you are still in thoughts and prayers.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 4, 2019 08:14PM)
His clemency was denied.
Hope you are ok ol' buddy.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 4, 2019 10:27PM)
I'd like to read the details if someone can post a link to a newspaper article.
Message: Posted by: The Mysterious One (Sep 5, 2019 12:22AM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2019, Wravyn wrote:
Vlad, if you happen to stop into the Cafť, just letting you know that you are still in thoughts and prayers. [/quote]

I also been thinking about Vlad. Ditto what Wrayvn said. Stay strong Vlad!
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Sep 5, 2019 08:19AM)
So this means Vlad's father's appeal for clemency was denied? Which is great news, no?
Message: Posted by: TeddyBoy (Sep 7, 2019 01:33PM)
Here is wishing Vlad the strength to continue his struggle. And similar thoughts to Countrymaven, albeit a little late.
Message: Posted by: Montana76 (Jan 10, 2020 05:56AM)
Hey Vlad,
You do not owe me or anyone else any explanation. We helped you from our hearts and you do not owe us anything, money, time, explanation, magic effects. All we want is for this to end well. The money I donated to you is yours. Do not spend even a second thinking that you need to pay me back or even write me a thank you note. That would only drain even more of your energy - energy that should be solely directed to your situation.
I am not religious so I cannot offer any prayers but I can offer my absolute deepest heartfelt best wishes.
I cannot start to understand what it must feel like to be in your shoes.
You have been a great asset for me in building my magic career with your always insanely positive and knowledgeable advise and insights.

Please try to stay strong. I am thinking of you.

Ps: We understand that it is almost impossible for us to help you. I would not hesitate a second to donate more money if that would help though.