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Thread: Chapter 5 - Jean Lafitte

  1. #101
    Hog
    Hog is offline Junior Twelever Bronze Hog is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wibbly View Post
    This is Heather, the winner from Chapter 3. I would also like to know where the conflict of interest is? I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have not spoken to Ron since leaving LA. I got an e-mail from his team asking me to watch the video right before it was released, and haven't heard from them since. I am a member of the Armchair group, but joined only after meeting Roger and Gisela and hearing about all of the fun they have. (I have been busy though, and rarely even read their site.) I do plan on going for the Golden Eagle, but plan on earning any prize I chase. I'm not sure what you are insinuating, but I don't appreciate it. Good-luck all with Chapter 5!
    Well said, Heather and Isotope. There have been insinuations written on this site, and it's time some people spoke the truth.

    I can categorically say the the club over in the UK, the Armchair Treasure hunt Club, has a private forum where this hunt is discussed. But Ron is not and never has been a member. Furthermore he has not contacted and chatted to Questors or winners over there, other than to advise them they've won and to discuss the travel arrangements etc.There is no conflict of interest and absolutely NO collusion as to the answers to this hunt.

    To say that there is, is untrue and deserves an instant apology to those who have won as well as to the many people who have competed in this hunt.

    The only person who Ron talks to is myself. We became friends after I won the first eagle and I was later pleased to be asked to help out with the winner's hunts through the various cities. Ron is a very busy person and needed somebody to draught out the various details for the day's hunts and present him with ideas for him to work on.

    He has never, and wouldn't, compromise his hunt by discussing any aspect of the chapter's solutions with me or anyone else.

    In recognition of becoming part of his team, however small, I publicly stated that I would waive my right to compete for the golden eagle, Chapter 13.1/2 prize. This way, my competitive involvement is over and there is absolutely no conflict of interest.

    It is time for the arguments and insinuations to stop.

    Get a grip. Those who wish to claim their refund, send back their book.
    Good luck to everybody else who wants to continue with this hunt. I hope you enjoy it and win your eagle.

  2. #102
    isotope is offline Needs to say Hello! isotope is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Thank you Morrigan, because there were implications - not by you, but by people further back. I appreciate that there is some unrest about the hunt but I would appreciate if myself - and other past winners - would be clearly left out of it, even if the insinuations are more against Ron it still has the effect to drag our name through the mud as I'm sure you can appreciate.

    I'm quite pragmatic about hunts, I have seen many come and go. I invested many long (enjoyable) evenings into Treasure of Camelot and it just disappeared, I was tidying today and found pages and pages of notes about it. Still, it wasn't a waste as I really enjoyed it. I'll see what happens later with the Eagle. I'm busy with Endgame at the moment and on that note I will leave it here and spend my limited free time on that instead.

    And while I am here I would like to still say, to all who are interested in pursuing it, the best of luck for chapter 5.

  3. #103
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Quit trying to distract from the issue Roger aka Hog. I'm sorry. Fine. There's your apology. Now address the real issue.

    You said, "I hope you enjoy it and win your eagle."

    THERE AREN'T ANY MORE EAGLES TO ENJOY ACCORDING TO AUTHOR. How about you stop defending him and let the big boy defend himself?

  4. #104
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    I do not want to send my book back for a refund.

    I will never send my book back for a refund.

    I am insulted that people are suggesting that I send my book back for a refund.

    Nobody on this (or any other) forum knows dick about me... or my charitable contributions.

    Ron needs to answer a couple very simple questions people have been asking... I personally do not care, but those that do care have EVERY right.

  5. #105
    Harobed is offline Needs to say Hello! Harobed is an unknown quantity at this point
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    [QUOTE=Morrigan;561629]Well, we've got a problem. In my more than 3 hour discussion with Ron, he admitted that there are NOT 12 silver eagles and never were.

    There are the 3 silver eagles he has given out. The gold eagle that is for sale. The bronze eagle that is the prize for Chapter 5 which is STILL for sale despite his promise to me to take it down. And one remaining silver eagle, also for sale. That leaves a deficit of 7 eagles that he told me do not exist and never did.

    He told me he did not have the money to make the eagles up front and so they have been made on an as needed/as possible basis.

    He says the Terms & Conditions cover him legally, and I told him, "Since I never assumed you are a complete moron, I would assume a lawyer vetted this travesty and you probably are covered. However, it's morally reprehensible to let people go on under the assumption that the prizes exist when they don't and to leave them in the dark as to whether or not you have the monetary equivalent to give as a prize either."

    He also addressed the issue of stifling dissent and promised to address it, blamed staff, etc. Further blamed staff for all the errors in clues. I pointed out that, "That's a cowardly way out. And it doesn't matter. It's your hunt and your responsibility. If it goes out under your name and it's wrong, it's your fault. Own it."

    He asked me what he should say to address all this and I pointed out that it was a pretty clever way to shut me up. Co-opt me to "help" him. He then reiterated that he really wanted my advice. So, at his request, I emailed him a suggested response based on our conversation. He responded to my email and all that appears below. I had almost decided to wait until Monday to say all this, but given what he told Harobed, all bets are indeed off. I have blocked out my last name and email address. All else is unedited. Keep in mind, this is what I suggested he should say to all of you based on our conversation, and in his response to me, he does not dispute any factual item contained within. The email address for him is one he gave me on the phone he said was private so I removed that as well.

    HI Morrigan,

    Actually we do not have a conflict. I said I was not given leave to disclose a certain confidence, (the lack of 12 pre-cast silver eagles) but since you have already done it, I can now add that Ron told me the same thing. I said the eagles do exist because, as an artist who has produced series of sculptures in exactly the same way (that is "as needed") I know that that is pretty standard. Ron assured me (for what it's worth) that the waxes do exist and that he is committed to casting the silver eagles as each chapter is won. As for the gold, he does claim that it is cast and finished exactly as described.

    Interestingly, he also asked me to write a letter for him -- which I also did -- to "help" him out. (Along with that private email address and private phone number -- aren't we special!?) We had pretty much the same reaction to the request, as well. I only finally agreed to do it because he whined so much about how he didn't have time and wasn't sure his pride would allow him to make such public acknowledgement of mistakes. At this point, I think he was doing two things... trying to get us on his side and distract us from negative comments so he could go about his business hassle free; AND make sure HE, himself, never put anything into writing. That way, if anything went wrong, he could simply claim someone else wrote it.

    Did he offer to fly you out to Phoenix as well?

    I don't know about the rest of you, but someone this well-versed in how to divide and conquer opposition while pretending to be an "aw shucks" ordinary guy is not someone I trust. I'm done with this thing!

    As for all the eagle winners who want to make this into a personal vendetta against them, please do us all a favor and get over yourselves. No one here is blaming any of you or saying you didn't win fair and square. READ it all again. This is about what Ron is doing. By getting us to fight amongst ourselves, he can step back and take a breather. So... before you hold up your "holier than thou" banner again saying that you are all too pure to care about the prize and we're all a bunch of money-grubbing layabouts who don't care about cancer research, please keep in mind that you are playing into his hands. We aren't complaining because we were foiled in some wild get-rich-quick scheme, but because we asked legitimate questions about the solvency of this hunt -- questions that were not in Ron's best interests to answer. Now he has you all over there throwing stones at us like a bunch of pious flunkies. Do you think we aren't responding to your attacks because we are ashamed or have nothing to say? We aren't responding because your hero has blocked us. Consider that, and instead of getting indignant with those of us who are really on the same side as you, imagine how you would feel in our position. Focus on RON, and the state of this hunt, not us.

  6. #106
    Harobed is offline Needs to say Hello! Harobed is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Sorry -- I am unable to edit my post, and the quote by Morrigan is missing the end quote. That makes this confusing. My post actually starts with HI Morrigan. Again, apologies.

  7. #107
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    No. No trip to Phoenix. But there was a lot of whining. And Mills, I don't think anyone would send the book back, I agree with you. He just needs to pony up some answers. I wonder how many people wrote apology letters for him?

    I personally don't want to participate in the hunt, the whole FB clues thing does not interest me. But I think it can survive and go forward if he would just be honest about where everything stands.

  8. #108
    macphisto is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze macphisto is an unknown quantity at this point
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    This has all got totally out of hand.

    It started with a simple question on Facebook - why was the chapter 5 silver eagle replaced?

    If this had been answered straight away then all of this subsequent bad blood would have been avoided. However, Ron and his team deemed it necessary to delete questions and negative comments and then also blocking certain people, myself included.

    It's his own fault that it's gone this far and he still remains silent.

    Read into that what you will.

  9. #109
    Morrigan's Avatar
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    "Over the past week I have talked to a number of Questors and I have listened to your concerns. I will be posting a response in the next couple of days. I can assure you that I take your concerns seriously and want to make sure that I address them. I am sorry that I have not posted sooner but I have been out of the country and have only just returned. Thanks for your patience. Ron"
    Phoenix. Out of the country for a Canadian, yes. But not exactly Borneo. The man has an iPhone and hours to speak on it....

    That said, I look forward to response. I hope it works out, And Macphisto, I agree with all you said. First addressed, soonest mended.

    I think a lot of people have misunderstood the objections. We want and expect an ethical Hunt. As I told Ron, I understand that it's not easy to design something like this. I don't happen to like the way you appeared to do it (based on FB clues). Fine. We agree to disagree. That's subjective.

    But when it comes to the promised prizes, etc. Ron has a burden to be honest and upfront. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT IS FOR CHARITY.

    That burden is on Ron. Not past winners, whiners or anyone else.

    But if you run something like this you don't get a free pass for "he did a lot or work" or "it's for a good cause". You must be accountable and transparent.

  10. #110
    Ron Shore Author is offline Needs to say Hello! Ron Shore Author is an unknown quantity at this point
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    It seems that things have gotten a bit out of hand here over the past couple of weeks, and I would like to apologize for that. I feel that I have been responsible for causing a rift amongst Questors by not quickly and openly addressing questions and concerns that many of you have had. Something that should have been fun for all of us has turned out to be not so fun with a lot of bickering. I want to try to fix that. I hope you will all bear with me while I attempt to address those things you deserve to know.

    1. 1. First and most importantly, I want you all to know that I intend to take the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt to its conclusion. It is not in my plans to terminate the Hunt early. I remain deeply committed to the cause of breast cancer research. I am also committed to all of you who have helped that cause by participating. I know you have all put in numerous hours of effort and I am grateful for that.

    2. 2. I would like to apologize to all of you for not explaining the offering of the gold plated bronze statue for chapter 5 more thoroughly. I realize that it took some people by surprise and that some of you feel this eagle is not as desirable as a silver eagle. I do, however, stand by my earlier description and assessment of the value. I'm sorry if some of you feel it is indicative that the hunt may be having issues. I am making every effort to be upfront about the prize in advance so it’s clear what you’re going to get and you can make a decision on that basis. I know the book says the eagles are silver and substituting this one for a different eagle looks odd, but it wasn't meant to upset anyone or call the state of this hunt into question. For now, however, the prize will stand as the gold plated bronze eagle as pictured, a trip to Houston, accommodations and an amazing hunt in and around the Houston area.

    3. 3. I would like to explain to everyone that even though I have mentioned 12 silver eagles, they do not all exist at this time. In creating this treasure hunt I realized that some of the chapters may take a while to solve. Silver eagles are very expensive to cast, and with the Hunt being on a tight budget the eagles are being made as the book progresses and we are ready to award them. I do have all the waxes that will ultimately be used to cast the silver eagles.

    4. 4. About the other eagles that some of you have mentioned being for sale. Those offered for sale are my own property, paid for by me. There has been no subterfuge involved in offering to sell them because that was an option from the beginning (as a way to raise money toward promoting or otherwise funding this enterprise). I never intended to hide that and it in no way interferes with the regular operation of this hunt or the awarding of prizes. Since I am offering the 24 carat gold-plated bronze casting as this chapter prize, however, I did ask the studio to take it off their website. I am sorry that took some time and its presence on that website caused some confusion. It is no longer on the website.
    As for the Golden Eagle, please rest assured that it is very real, as described, and it exists as stated in the book. It is for sale and part of the proceeds will be used for breast cancer research and to help finance the treasure hunt.


    5. 5. As for the length of time it took to solve chapter 4, I am sorry some people were upset by that. But the fact is that the Hunt will take time. There may be future chapters that are also long. I hope the journey makes the wait worthwhile.

    6. 6. I would also like to apologize for not answering many of your questions in as timely a manner as possible, and for ultimately blocking everyone on Facebook. I know this will sound like a lame excuse, but let me offer my reasons for all that as well as I can.

    I have been very busy in the last number of weeks. The process of setting up everything for the presentation of the latest eagle to our Chapter 4 winner, Annika, takes a lot of time and involves a considerable attention to detail and schedules. In addition I had a number of work related commitments in Arizona during the past week while this apparent storm of controversy was going on. As a result I have not been in my office for the past week. I had not even viewed the Tweleve.org website in over 2 years, until yesterday, so I did not know of any of the comments made on that site. Some of you have said that I have an Iphone so I should have been able to post using that. Well that is easy in theory, the reality is that every time I try to do that I make mistakes and get people more upset with me. Besides, I wanted to make a fuller account of exactly what is going on and that just takes time.

    When people began to question my choice of this eagle I should probably have explained the way things stood immediately, but because I was so busy, I admit I mostly left things in the hopes of addressing them when I got back to my office. I honestly didn't realize that this issue would get so big, so fast.

    When some comments started hinting that the hunt was in trouble or might be a scam, I took it personally and put a hold on the comments until such time as I could deal with it in more depth. I am only human after all. I did not react as many people feel I should. Given the fact that I do not get paid for doing this treasure hunt and have invested a substantial amount of time and my own money I am not willing to just stand back and watch people malign the treasure hunt with comments that call into question my character or the validity of the hunt without being able to address the issues in a fair manner. I still reserve the right to delete comments that are vicious or just untrue. In return I would like to ask that if you have any questions or concerns about the treasure hunt please e-mail me directly at Ron@GreatHunt.com. Please include your telephone number and I will call you to discuss your concerns one on one. Posting hateful or negative comments helps nobody and only serves to bring things down.


    7. 7. I confess that book sales are not going as well as they should. As for raising money for breast cancer to date we have raised about $17,000. It would be great if we could get a big-name celebrity on board to raise awareness for breast cancer research and for the sale of the Golden Eagle.



    I hope I’ve addressed all of your concerns. If I haven’t - please ask me directly. I want to thank those questers who have taken the time to talk with me and for their written suggestions on what was required to clear up any confusion. This Hunt really is a team effort. If all of you participate and encourage others to participate we can keep the Hunt up and running to the end and help the cause. That’s my goal, and I hope it’s yours as well. Together we can make it happen. We can do some good and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way.

    I am 100% committed to this treasure hunt. This is a lifelong dream for me and I am not about to give up on it. The hunt is on-going and full steam ahead to the finish.

    Thanks again for your patience and for your support. I am looking forward to the winner of Chapter 5. If any of you have any good ideas for promoting this hunt, or have a friend or relative in Hollywood please do not hesitate to let me know.


    Good luck to everyone on chapter 5!
    Sincerely,

    Ron Shore, author

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