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Thread: Bill's Picasso story

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Seems to me that if the gallery owner has the drawing again, then all is settled. She bought a drawing with a COA from that expert, she did not buy a drawing with a COA from Picasso's daughter. Now if Bill had given her a forged COA from Picasso's daughter, that would be fraud. But she still has the drawing with the COA she purchased. She can still try to sell it on with the COA from the expert, with full disclosure, perhaps at a loss.
    This makes a certain amount of sense, too. Thanks, TomKat

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)

    Lisa, the gallery owner, claims she refunded the purchaser but received no insurance money to cover her losses. This seems perfectly believable. It's also perfectly believable that you would have figured she was insured. She would have to prove to the court that she wasn't insured I imagine, before the case against you proceeded.
    Yes, I'm certainly prepared to believe Lisa's on-record statement that she had no insurance. I really did think she must have had, and I was assured that by a friend who knew the art world quite well. ("Of course she was insured", I was told. "All art dealers are.")

    For the record, Kevin emailed me exactly this last night, and he said I could quote it if it was 100% unaltered. I told him I'd be happy to respond on the thread, as I have here.
    LISA THE ART DEALER WAS NEVER COMPENSATED BY ANY INSURANCE STOP LIEING YOU HEARD HER ON THE PHONE SHE WAS COVEERED BY NOTHING YOU RIPPED HER OFF BY NOT TRYING TO PAY HER BACK YOU LIER
    I know enough about debt collection to say that the worst thing Bill could do is send Lisa a partial payment. Perhaps that's why Kevin is trying to get Bill to do that. That would be an acknowledgement that the debt was valid. Debt collectors trying to collect an old debt will try to get a payment of a dollar. That starts the credit cycle again and puts the debt back on the credit report. A defaulted debt should stay in default or be negotiated for a lower, paid-in-full, payment. But I doubt Bill owes Lisa anything. She got exactly what she paid for, not the bargain she thought she could double her money on.

    I'm glad Kevin is using a video format because it's clear he's not very literate.
    So, if I understand correctly, do you feel that there are enough grey areas here that the whole case should be rendered invalid?

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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Where's Satori when you need him?
    That's life, and I can't deny it
    Many times I thought of cuttin' out but my heart won't buy it

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Kryztian (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Gracy May (here)
    I can't help but wonder what an artsy fartsy, big city slicker art collector like Emile Wolf, was doing wandering around Ghana with a then unknown charcoal drawing from Picasso, in the first place.
    I have no idea! I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time.
    This is speculation on my part, but Picasso was inspired by African art and sculpture and is an artist who might be described as being a "Primitivist". Also, African art became quite collectable in the 60s and 70s and I am sure that many savy gallery owners visited West Africa at this time to acquire such art and were able to see it for a tremendous profit back in Europe or North America. Knowing that people do sometimes barter instead of receiving cash payments, he may have bought the print with him to trade.
    Excellent speculation, Kryztian. I was thinking too that Picasso did several warehouses of paintings and sketches and it would be really easy to miss documenting cataloguing everything. Authentication relies not just on style but on materials used, paper stock etc...If the sketch doesn't appear to his daughter to be done by her father, she could be mistaken. This is about as grey an area as there can possibly be. Modern material analysis makes it a little more easy, but still doesn't guarantee a slam dunk.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Some eccentrics go to Africa for the indigenous art, which I believe is quite abundant and creative.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Where's Satori when you need him?
    Well, as is often the case, legal claims can be viewed from more than one or two perspectives.

    Bill, it seems from what I gathered, exercised due diligence getting the COA. The art dealer who bought the sketch on the faith of the COA may or may not have exercised due diligence vetting the COA and the person who issued it. I do not know. Do any of us?

    In every case the material relevant facts must be considered; which are often not fully known or presented. Then, of course, there is the applicable law. The law breaks down generally into two categories: substantive law and procedural law. The former is basically whether and why you have a claim, or not, based upon case law, statutes, etc... The latter is how you, as a litigant, go about prosecuting or defending against a lawsuit. They are both important. Both have consequences.

    Procedure, is as important, if not more so, than substance. A part of procedure is time. Cases must be filed timely. Things must be done timely. An example is the statute of limitations. Also, judgments must be collected in a timely manner.

    If I were Bill’s lawyer at this time my first set of questions would be: is there a judgment against him, from what state, and when was it obtained? (I think I read California but I’m not clear on the date of any judgment.)

    If there is a judgment and there was no timely appeal, as a matter of law, it is very likely that at this time there is nothing Bill can do about it.

    But, if the judgment is stale, as a matter of law, he owes no one anything. By stale I mean that the time in which the judgment can be enforced has expired.

    One cannot sit on one’s rights for too long.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Seems to me that being an art dealer, Lisa should have had it checked by
    her choice of of an appraiser before she bought it from you just to cover her butt.
    I certainly would have. Besides you paid an appraiser $3,000 to have it checked, so you were already out
    that much money. Did you have a receipt for your appraiser, sounds like he may have been the one who should have been contacted by Lisa, edited to add...Of all of the artist numerous paintings how could his daughter know each and everyone, did she check it in person or by a photo sent to her.
    Last edited by Sadieblue; 21st September 2020 at 01:58.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Not much for me to say that hasn't already been said regarding the drawing. My naïve, possibly more commonsensical view would be that Bill performed his due diligence by hiring a professional, the dealer purchased it based on the professional certification and it was no longer in his control but in hers. The next move was between her and her buyer, Bill was out of the picture by then.

    But that's not what we have a huge system of law libraries, lawyers, courtrooms, lawmakers and judges for.

    Regarding the question of reading PMs, a big NO, from me as well. I have been thru' the Admin Control Panel and there is no plugin that allows it. Had I found one I would have been livid.

    I had also heard the rumor that PMs could be read and it would have gone back to when Richard was admin. Anyone who was around then will remember the weird atmosphere and cliques. I would not have been surprised had it been true and it would have made sense. We were learning then that most social platforms "protected" privacy by keeping it from the public but using it in many other ways.

    But a stroll thru' the ACP will find no PM reading plugin. Since Kevin has not been there he may not be the best person to comment in the affirmative.
    A million galaxies are a little foam on that shoreless sea. ~ Rumi

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    What a load of old codswallop! 

    So Lisa, the fledgling art dealer buys the Picasso believing in the authenticity certificate.

    She then sells it, gets accused of selling a fake and decides to return the money.  If she didn't her reputation and future business in the art world would be seriously jeopardized.  THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.  

    She then tries to recover money from insurance and is denied.

    We're talking about an investment world full of antique risk when painters are dead.  This is not like buying a piece of equipment and claiming insurance if it turns out to be faulty.  Quality control measures are in place in the art world but they are not infallible.

    These investors know the risks.  It is their decision whether to take the risk or not.

    If the Picasso is a fake then everyone along the chain of transfer was duped.  Trying to go back along the chain of transfer to recover funds is ridiculous.  The buck stops with the last buyer.

    The only reason Lisa refunded the last buyer was to invest in and protect her future business dealings.  That's why she's playing the high moral card here.

    It is irrelevant that the relative of Picasso claims it is a fake. Why wouldn't she.  Why allow a new piece to be circulated that doesn't belong to, and benefit, the family.


    KEVIN MOORE when will you grow up and spend your time and energy on real con artists, real thieves, real stains on humanity? Oh that's right, you never will, because you're one of them.

    You are a drama queen constantly looking for the next dollar on your click bait by now targetting public figures who have a substantial subscription to piggyback on.

    And if ya wanna cry foul on the high moral ground, then people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    In January 2019 I watched this vlog of yours and made notes.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AxPqbsDWbgo

     In my notes @20:32 you say your past is all over the place; you're not perfect; when you had companies back in the day you were doing all sorts of crap; and then you learnt what's the right thing to do and the wrong thing and you continue to learn. 

    Funny thing is that when I just rewatched @20:32 you are saying something different.  Going back over your vlog you have reinserted yourself to make changes.  How convenient.

    At least @7:30 you confirm going into the adult industry but it didn't work out.  Bit dodgy though trying to attract minors with company name "Just 18 Ltd" (@26:30).

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)
    But I doubt Bill owes Lisa anything. She got exactly what she paid for, not the bargain she thought she could double her money on.

    No, TomKat,

    Lisa obviously didn't get what she paid for if Picasso's daughter is to be believed. I am in no way trying to undercut Bill here, just wanting to see the situation clearly, putting myself in the shoes of both Bill and Lisa. I think Bill has indicated, more or less, that the debt is valid, with many extenuating circumstances. There is no need to cast aspersions on Lisa's character. She's as innocent a victim in the weird world of art authenticity as Bill is.

    You definitely want to stick up for your friends, but sometimes the best way to stick up for them is to help them find a path out of a situation that doesn't demonize anybody. That just adds adrenaline to a legal matter that lawyers feed on.
    She negotiated a price for a signed Picasso with a COA from an expert. She accepted that at the time, but changed her mind when another opinion surfaced. Only Picasso knows the truth, not his daughter, not anyone. Unless the COA was forged, she has no case. I sold something once that was not as good as I thought it was. I refunded the price of the repair. But it was sold as-is and I was under no obligation to do so.

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)
    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)

    Lisa, the gallery owner, claims she refunded the purchaser but received no insurance money to cover her losses. This seems perfectly believable. It's also perfectly believable that you would have figured she was insured. She would have to prove to the court that she wasn't insured I imagine, before the case against you proceeded.
    Yes, I'm certainly prepared to believe Lisa's on-record statement that she had no insurance. I really did think she must have had, and I was assured that by a friend who knew the art world quite well. ("Of course she was insured", I was told. "All art dealers are.")

    For the record, Kevin emailed me exactly this last night, and he said I could quote it if it was 100% unaltered. I told him I'd be happy to respond on the thread, as I have here.
    LISA THE ART DEALER WAS NEVER COMPENSATED BY ANY INSURANCE STOP LIEING YOU HEARD HER ON THE PHONE SHE WAS COVEERED BY NOTHING YOU RIPPED HER OFF BY NOT TRYING TO PAY HER BACK YOU LIER
    I know enough about debt collection to say that the worst thing Bill could do is send Lisa a partial payment. Perhaps that's why Kevin is trying to get Bill to do that. That would be an acknowledgement that the debt was valid. Debt collectors trying to collect an old debt will try to get a payment of a dollar. That starts the credit cycle again and puts the debt back on the credit report. A defaulted debt should stay in default or be negotiated for a lower, paid-in-full, payment. But I doubt Bill owes Lisa anything. She got exactly what she paid for, not the bargain she thought she could double her money on.

    I'm glad Kevin is using a video format because it's clear he's not very literate.
    So, if I understand correctly, do you feel that there are enough grey areas here that the whole case should be rendered invalid?
    I think the case would be thrown out of Judge Judy's court :-)

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    She negotiated a price for a signed Picasso with a COA from an expert. She accepted that at the time, but changed her mind when another opinion surfaced. Only Picasso knows the truth, not his daughter, not anyone. Unless the COA was forged, she has no case. I sold something once that was not as good as I thought it was. I refunded the price of the repair. But it was sold as-is and I was under no obligation to do so.
    Plus - As I understand it, she held onto it for at least 2 years, and then sold it at quite a profit. She certainly could have researched it herself in those years of holding it, or at least contacted the person who authenticated it to be sure.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Hi Bill
    Sorry to hear about this.

    Quote I sought out Dr Enrique Mallen, of the On-line Picasso Project, and paid him $2,000 to examine the drawing. He pronounced it authentic, gave me a fornal certificate of authenticity, and placed it in his catalog.

    Armed with that, I sought out an interested art dealer, and the drawing was sold — for something like (from memory) $120,000.

    But then the buyer tried to sell it on. The buyer's potential client consulted Maya Widmaier-Picasso (Pablo Picasso's daughter), who said it was a fake. Then all hell broke loose.
    If I like you, had read Dr Enrique Mallen’s credentials and works as per his site at

    https://picasso.shsu.edu/mallen/PUBLICATIONS.html

    I too, would have thought him an authority on the subject, and in having paid him $ to appraise the piece to which I received a piece of paper confirming authenticity, I’d think I’d taken “reasonable” care and effort.

    Afterall, you didn’t issue the certificate of authenticity, a university professor specialising in this area did and placed the item in his published catalog of other genuine? Picasso items.

    Very unfortunate, highly stressful and I’m sure valuable lessons learned (in hindsight) by all. Very unfortunate for all parties, and some major hard life lessons to be learned – for sure.

    I’m sure every member on the forum (and the planet for that matter) has regrets of the past regarding their words, actions and deeds or in those of the people they’ve met over the years in some shape, manner or form.

    Many probably worry about the future too - be it health, happiness, covid or the planet’s consciousness.

    Isn’t that what life is all about? we experience, we learn, we evolve.

    I do have one question though –

    “What’s the real lesson here and how can we ALL apply the learning from this to come together and make our relationships with past, present and future Avalon members even stronger…?”

    After all, many relationships go through hell at some point, but real relationships get through it.

    Onwards and upwards

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Unfortunately, Bill is not a forger, unlike Max who is like some character out of a London East End gang movie. At only 6 minutes long it really is one of Vice's best mini-documentaries about REAL art fraud.


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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    I remember a story about Picasso doodling on a waitress' check (she was an art student), signing it, and leaving it as a tip. If that was a common practice, I bet Maya is having a hell of a time going around disingenuously discrediting all of them.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    My goodness, though I know it well it never ceases to surprise, how humans can be so thoroughly consumed by the petty whims of ego.

    For clarity's sake this is not a comment about any poster on this thread but one without.

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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story



    That’s the story of Wolfgang Beltracchi, the biggest art forger in history (and a German). I really fell in love with this guy once I heard about him earlier this year. His story holds so many angles to me.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote Posted by TomKat (here)
    I remember a story about Picasso doodling on a waitress' check (she was an art student), signing it, and leaving it as a tip. If that was a common practice, I bet Maya is having a hell of a time going around disingenuously discrediting all of them.
    Yes, I heard about that, too!

    Here's a fun little Picasso story — an insight into his unique and quirky view of the world.

    Picasso was on a train, with a stranger in the same compartment. They were chatting. The other man pulled out a photo from his pocket, and said "This is my wife".

    Picasso replied, "Isn't she a little small and flat?"



    Someone was asking about my assets. That's a great question!

    I live on a property that's a logjammed 6-way disputed title jointly held between folks from 5 different nationalities, 3 of them no longer in Ecuador. (Some reading this already know that other long story! It has no end in sight.) I don't own my own property title to anything at all.

    And I've hardly been some kind of "fugitive". I ended up in Vilcabamba in 2011 entirely by unplanned accident. I've been a traveling gypsy for a decade and a half ever since I sold my house in Scotland in 2005, and started Project Camelot the year after.

    Even the 30-year-old jeep I drive isn't in my own name: I tried to change it, but I actually can't. I live on a very thin $400/month pension, but that's just enough to survive on okay here... fruit and veg in the markets is all fresh and very inexpensive. I have no living relatives (no family at all, anywhere in the world), and no next of kin. The most valuable things I have are my health and my dog.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 22nd September 2020 at 19:16.

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    Avalon Member The Moss Trooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Quote The most valuable thing I own is my dog.
    Tut, tut Bill, I'd expect better from you.

    I'm sure that you meant, "the most valuable thing in my life, is my dog".

    :-)
    From Bill: Yes, I agree!! I edited it before I saw your post.

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 22nd September 2020 at 19:18.
    May your Spirit stay unbroken, may you not be deterred.

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    France Avalon Member araucaria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill's Picasso story

    Someone inquired about the signature. There is nothing wrong with the signature, but then a forger would have got it right too. The real problem as I see it is that if Bill Ryan has trouble putting things together about one memorable item that he witnessed as a small child, then this raises the question of how authoritative Maya Picasso can be about things that took place thirty years and more BEFORE her birth in 1935. She ‘said it was a fake’ (post #1). One may question her credentials: she was the painter’s daughter and model; was she an art historian with access to forensic techniques? I don’t know. I am referring to things like analyzing the fibre of the paper, the constituents of the ink, which may or may not be anachronic. In other words, the forger is a time traveller, operating from the future. For example, see this post.

    Maya’s father, who was already in his sixties [correction: fifties] when she was born, produced altogether around 50,000 works. You have to realize that during this time, the twentieth century was very busy, with revolutions, world wars, a cold war etc. She may simply be reiterating the idea/fact that the work was uncatalogued. But catalogues are not carved in stone: stuff comes in; stuff goes out – mainly because of all these things going on in the world that we read about in the history books.

    For example, I can think offhand of a whole bunch of works that she probably wouldn’t have seen until fairly recently and for which the paperwork was lost. The Sergei Shchukin collection, a private collection of early 20th century art built up in St-Petersburg, and including numerous Picassos (paintings), was confiscated by Lenin’s Soviet Russia. Their owner fled the country in 1918. The catalogue of a recent exhibition in Paris – the first time these paintings came back to France – states that none of the archives, letters and other papers relating to the collection that he left behind have ever been found. But no one is saying that any item the collection is not authentic. Probably because the Paris art dealers who sold them have their own records. In other cases however, such as Nazi wartime looting, you have genuine works with a gap in their provenance.

    But this raises a problem. Serious collectors would visit artists in their studios. What would happen? If it was like visiting a wine producer today, where you might get your free vintage magnum with your order, a free drawing might come with the pictures and not appear on the invoice. It is all very innocent, and commercial/generous in the sense of the ‘baker’s dozen‘. It is like delivering financial information on the basis that the black market doesn’t exist. The problem with the black market as practised by the elite is that we all dabble in it, which makes so many so satisfied with the status quo. Think about it.

    I could go on about how the donor, Emile Wolf was putting his own reputation at risk. However, I am more interested in the deeper issue of fakery itself, and art as the total opposite of fakery – and also, despite evidence to the contrary, of monetization. An artwork has value for itself as a window into the human experience of an individual; hence also as part of its creator’s oeuvre; and finally as part of a community of similar human experiences. As such, it has artistic value for individual collectors and in exceptional cases for the general public as part of a museum collection or even a national treasure, world heritage. When this artistic value is absent or fades, then the work gains currency, becomes currency, in the sense of moving around. This is no bad thing, given that some works lose their notoriety through staying hidden away in private hands.

    Anything no longer needed becomes a commodity: do I sell it, do I give it away, do I throw it away? From the outset, there has been little or no mention of the artistic value of this Picasso. There is no point complaining about the art market; it has been a financial asset all along. So art dealers are ambiguous people: they buy art because they like it; and yet they sell it on because they don’t need it. But they are a necessary cog in the works, because they have communications skills that artists often don’t have, as they focus on communicating through the work itself. But it is a vulnerable moment for an artwork, when it becomes what Melville in Moby Dick calls ‘a loose fish’: up for grabs. A forger gains popular traction because he fools all the experts, but he does so at the expense of the artist’s integrity – the artist he copies, for he has no integrity himself. The forgery is a foreign body in his work; it has no place there. Foreign bodies, like the lego piece recently dislodged from a small boy’s nose, can be harmless or harmful, occasionally useful (implants, again harmless or harmful); but they remain foreign. Likewise, the forger is an outsider. Eric Hebborn, in The Art Forger’s Handbook (Cassell, 1997) notes how painting is ‘not only an art but also a craft’, calling for eggs, milk, bread, potato, coffee, tea and chicory, olive oil… up to and including the kitchen sink. However, R.G. Collingwood in The Principles of Art (1938), states:
    Quote The central and primary characteristic of craft is the distinction it involves between means and end. If art is to be conceived as a craft, it must likewise be divisible into means and end. We have seen that actually it is not so divisible (p. 107-8)
    In other words, art is not a commodity. But forgery is not simply the commoditization of art. Simon Worrall’s book The Poet and the Murderer: A True Story of Verse, Violence and the Art of Forgery (Fourth Estate, 2002) is about the career of the literary forger Mark Hoffmann, whose main motivation seems to have been revenge on his Mormon upbringing, and especially the cover-up of the origins of the Latter Day Saints. He starts by forging a poem by Emily Dickinson. Actually no: he starts very young by changing the C on a worthless coin to a D, making it priceless. He ends in jail after killing people with bombs.
    I can only quote a few passages to give a flavour of this fascinating story. The author quotes ‘Wiliam Hazlitt’s description of Iago, in Shakespeare’s Othello – “diseased intellectual act, with an almost perfect indifference to moral good or evil” – applies in equal measure to the man who once said that deceiving people gave him a feeling of power.’ The epigraph, by the Mormon Brigham Young, suggests that such indifference to moral good or evil can be sparked by its contrary, rebellion against moral evil:
    Quote We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character that you can mention… I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers, and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game.
    This problem has always been with us: back in the 2nd millennium BC, already priests, carving in stone,
    Quote were following historical precedent. In case anyone disputed the text’s authenticity, the priests added a guarantee and a warning. ‘This is not a lie, it is indeed the truth,’ ends the inscription. ‘He who will damage this document let Enki fill up his canals with slime’. (p. 141).
    Catering to ingenuousness:
    Quote Experience had taught Hofmann that he didn’t need to try and convince people of the authenticity of his documents. They would convince themselves. (p. 215)
    The relevance of all this? It is one egregious example of many of the deceptions that we see in all walks of life. A sizeable portion of alternative research deals – not always with a negative connotation – in fake humans: poltergeists, psychopaths, soulless zombies, grey aliens, robots and other AI entities, but also higher dimensional beings, gods, Nordics... They are not fakes, simply outside the ordinary definition of humanness.
    But more than that, Simon Worrall explains the rationale behind the forger, which goes beyond the simplistic diagnosis of evil, sick, inhuman…
    Quote Forgery enabled Hofmann to make money doing something that fascinated him. He could live the free life of an artist. Forgery also brought intrigue, excitement, and celebrity into his life and satisfied a narcissistic conviction that he was smarter than everyone else. Above all it enabled Hofmann to simultaneously win the respect and admiration of the LDS hierarchy while sticking a knife between their ribs. Power and money, social acclaim and revenger, art and celebrity, were rolled into one seductive bundle. Ultimately forgery was his way of bridging the gap between who he was on the inside and the person he had had to pretend to be on the outside. As a child he had been forced to conceal the truth about himself and live a lie. Forgery enabled him to say what he really believed and win the argument he had never been allowed to have with his parents. He could prove that their religion that they so adamantly insisted was true was, in fact, an illusion. All without losing their love. By ‘discovering’ such rare artifacts he had gained the love and respect he had always dreamed of. He was the man with the magic touch, the king of the Mormon documents trade. (p. 138)
    In other words, forgers have a bad response to a bad stimulus. So, if two wrongs don’t make a right, where do you go from here? And especially, if your Picasso is at once authentic and a forgery, what do you do? You ask yourself (and others) a lot of questions.
    Last edited by araucaria; 23rd September 2020 at 16:44.


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