Not being in Blackpool for this year's FISM, I only became aware of this story because of some information shared by our friend Dustin Stinnett. In short, the FISM program distributed to all attendees contains a letter of welcome from the President of the Blackpool Magic Club (Photo to the left) which contains the following in the second statement in the second paragraph:
There have been many detractors who have vented their spleen on the choice of Blackpool. Indeed, one South African magician who has put himself forward as a candidate for Vice President published derogatory comments on his website for over 2 years. The editor of Genii magazine openly supported vicious Hitler films shown in the internet which purported to be me as Hitler. Despite their bile I am still here organizing this great convention and Blackpool Magicians Club promise to give you a magical week to remember.
Mr. Lever is referring to Craig Mitchell when he mentions the delegate from South Africa and fails to mention that he has also put himself forward as a candidate for that post. You can find Craig's outstanding reporting on the last FISM BY CLICKING HERE. I also shared the video that he referes to in THIS POST from OCT 2009.
GENII Editor Richard Kaufman responded to the letter at the Genii Forums saying:
Not only is this false, and possibly libelous, but it's obvious that Derek Lever has never watched the YouTube videos he is writing about. If the idiot had watched them, he would have seen that Hitler is portrayed as trying to get FISM held in Berlin and is enraged that it is being held in Blackpool AND that Hitler has been banned from attending the convention Watch it yourself.
There is never any indication that Hitler is anyone but Hitler, and that Hitler is angry at Derek Lever. He refers to Derek Lever in the third person several times, so ONLY SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WATCHED THIS VIDEO could make the claim that I supported a film that portrayed Lever as Hitler.
This is parody, plain and simple, and protected by law, but I had nothing to do with producing the videos (there are several) and I find them very funny. Just because I find them funny does not mean I "support them"?
And to think that this baboon is running for the position of Vice President of the FISM organization is unimaginable. What an utter catastrophe it would be for FISM if Derek Lever, a person who makes libelous claims based on videos he has obviously never watched, should be elected Vice President.
I'll share my personal opinion by paraphrasing a running joke about Churches. "Magic would be great if it weren't for the magicians." A tip of the hat to you Mr. Lever for exemplifying what I see to the be worst side of the magic community.
I spoke with FISM President Eric Eswin in August of 2009 and we discussed the selection of Blackpool for this year's competition as well as several other related issues. You can LISTEN HERE