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Thread: Chapter 5 - Jean Lafitte

  1. #81
    Caffeine is offline Junior Twelever Copper Caffeine is an unknown quantity at this point
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    For me, it isn't about the prize. It isn't even about winning. It is about playing a hunt that is run fairly. I don't necessarily think that this one is. I don't have a problem waiting for clues. I think finding them on your own makes it more of a "hunt". I would LOVE for them to be randomly placed on sponsors’ pages or have to hunt for them on the official website. I enjoy spending long periods of time trying to solve complicated ciphers. I WANT a challenge. I don’t want to be able to solve something the first time I sit down and look at it. I have no problem with the timeline of things. Each chapter is basically a hunt on its own. I would expect a regular hunt to last a year or so, so this one is right on track for that. What I expect is that the creator of the hunt treat all participants equally. This is not happening. What I expect is a hunt that is presented as advertised. This hunt is not. What I expect is for the person running the hunt to treat it as the business it is. This is not happening. What I expect is for a hunt of this magnitude to be run professionally. This is not happening. What I expect is for the creator to postpone the release if he does not have enough time to run it or at least hire someone to run it for him. This didn’t happen. What I expect is for a contest raising money for charity to show proof that money has actually been donated. We have not seen that. What I expect is to have questions answered honestly, even if the answer is “I can’t answer that.” That hasn’t happened. What I expect is for inconsistencies to be addressed and resolved rather than covered up. What I expect, is to get what I paid for. And Bookworm, I don’t think that it is bullying to refuse to be taken advantage of.

    In Canada, charities have to disclose their finances. Take a look at the financials for the Canadian side of the charity.
    REGISTERED Charity's Return - Quick View
    How much money has gone to charitable programs since the charity was created? See for yourself. I sincerely hope that the American side is doing far better.

  2. #82
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Amen

  3. #83
    Rx Jeff's Avatar
    Rx Jeff is offline Good Twelever Aquamarine Rx Jeff is an unknown quantity at this point
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    The US site is cloaked in secrecy because it is listed as a privately held charity not recognized as a 503C organization where donations are tax deductible. No full disclosure because the Internal Revenue Service does not recognize it.

  4. #84
    Harobed is offline Needs to say Hello! Harobed is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine View Post
    Does anyone else find it highly inappropriate for the author to be having 3 hour long conversations with questers? It also appears, based on the Facebook page and previous posts on here, that he has had phone conversations with many questers. Should information about the hunt not be shared with the masses? I would like to know why some questers are given information while others are left in the dark?
    Also, aligning himself with a charity is, without a doubt, the smartest thing Ron has done in relation to this hunt. It seems that many are willing to overlook serious flaws because it is “for a good cause.” This is interesting since, as others have mentioned, it is the net proceeds that will be donated. We’ll have to wait and see just how much, if ANY, that will be. If you want to see your money go to a charity you will be better off just donating it there in the first place and then playing a contest that is better run. I support a number of charities both with my money and my time. I hate it when people use charities as a marketing tool and then drop the ball. It only works out when it can be a win-win situation. I guess it is a good thing that the charity is run by Ron himself. Any major breast cancer charity would be embarrassed to be linked to this disaster. The book had so much potential and that is why I bought it. It has been mismanaged from day-one and gone down hill from there. I have enjoyed a number of the puzzles, but the overall running of the hunt is nothing but disappointing.
    Ron being a "nice guy" or "well-meaning" is irrelevant. This is a business. He sold a product and that product is defective.
    I completely agree with you that contacting individual questors to discuss the state of this hunt is inappropriate. I have thought as much from the first day I discovered that he has had regular (as in nearly daily) contact with a particular group of UK questors -- 3 of whom have already won silver eagles -- since the early days of this hunt. He continues, not only to email and call them, but has involved them in the special hunts for the prize winners -- even to flying them out to the events. I am not suggesting that any of the previous winners or anyone in or connected with that group or other "invitation only" spin-off groups are doing anything against the rules or unethical. However, people are only human and sometimes they make inadvertent slips. When you spend a lot of time with someone, on the phone or in person, it is inevitable that you will begin to understand and interpret those slips, smiles, gestures or even silences. That is inside information, whether intended or not.

    I was quite surprised when he called me. I certainly had never contacted him in any way, not even on the facebook site. My lengthy discussion with him, however, involved only one subject -- the unfair silencing of those of us he considered too negative. We did not discuss the treasure hunt, book, clues or anything else relating to the actual solving of the chapters. My anger over this hunt has never been over the length of time the hunt is taking (I actually prefer that to a quick solve because it gives those of us who got into this game late a chance to win) or the quality of the clues. My only gripe has been (and unfortunately, despite his assurances that he would do something about it, still is) the removal of all the "non-supportive" and questioning comments and the blocking of the speakers. The fact that the conversation lasted so long was that I was very firm in my stance. I refused to be quiet unless he would break his own silence and answer the questions people have legitimately asked of him. I also requested reinstatement of all those of us he has blocked. It is because he has not lifted a finger to do either of those things that I feel I can now discuss that conversation without breaking faith with him. It is on his own head, in not following through with his implied promises, that our somewhat tentative and vague agreement is now dissolved.

    A 3-hour conversation is too long to detail, but the gist of it is that Ron blames pretty much everything on others and on circumstances. His "advisers" told him to delete our comments and block us; the stress of getting the award thing together for Annika puts him under too much stress for him to unblock us or reply to us; his feelings are hurt; nobody understands what he has to go through... whine ad infinitum. I asked him why he was telling me all that since it had absolutely nothing to do with our questions about the continued viability of the hunt or whether there were, in fact, more silver eagles, and a gold eagle. Finally after his attempts to derail the direct questions with attempts at sympathy failed miserably, he answered me.

    The bottom line is that there are silver eagles, and they will be awarded as promised. There is a gold eagle as well. That is all good news, so it is very peculiar that Ron has not wanted to nip things in the bud and just answer the questions. I have no proof -- only Ron's assurance that this is true -- but he seemed sincere in explaining how things stand on that score. The rest of our conversation on that subject is the one part of all we discussed that I feel I must keep at least partially confidential. I did not bargain with him for that information and he has not, therefore broken a bargain that would release me from his confidences on this portion of the discussion. He has said, and I hope he will stick to what he said, that when the thing with Annika is over, he will speak (if not before) on this subject. The problem is that he seems to be afraid to tell people all the truth (in part, that sales of the book aren't going as well as they would like) because he thinks it will cause trouble. (As if this NOT speaking isn't already the biggest PR nightmare he could have conceived!) I urged him to tell the truth as the best policy until I was hoarse from repeating myself, but he only continued to lament his position. (For someone who has a degree in business and whose ambition is to be on The Apprentice, he certainly lacks the take-charge attitude you would expect from a leader in charge of an enterprise this large.)


    Why am I still being so hard on him? My only reason at this point is that I do not like the way he treats those of us who do not kiss the ground as he passes, while showing such obvious favouritism to those who do. I do not appreciate censorship, and I will not support him or this hunt in any way until that is lifted. Aside from that, I doubt I will continue to work on this thing myself anyway because this whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. It has been so badly handled and there is so much personal contact between Ron and certain groups of questers that I can no longer see it as a completely fair and unbiased hunt. (In the interests of full disclosure, I admit that he even offered me a plane ticket to Phoenix to help out with the award thing for Annika, as a way of showing me how much he was committed to all of this. He didn't say it was a bribe to "be good", but I refused anyway, on the grounds that that is EXACTLY what it appeared to be and what everyone would think it was, regardless of his actual intent.)

    So... I think this may be my last post on this hunt. I am getting heartily sick of it and unless Ron comes 100% clean on everything ASAP, I want nothing further to do with it. There are better run and more fun puzzles out there. I am going to go look for them.

  5. #85
    isotope is offline Needs to say Hello! isotope is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harobed View Post
    I completely agree with you that contacting individual questors to discuss the state of this hunt is inappropriate. I have thought as much from the first day I discovered that he has had regular (as in nearly daily) contact with a particular group of UK questors -- 3 of whom have already won silver eagles -- since the early days of this hunt. He continues, not only to email and call them, but has involved them in the special hunts for the prize winners -- even to flying them out to the events. I am not suggesting that any of the previous winners or anyone in or connected with that group or other "invitation only" spin-off groups are doing anything against the rules or unethical. However, people are only human and sometimes they make inadvertent slips. When you spend a lot of time with someone, on the phone or in person, it is inevitable that you will begin to understand and interpret those slips, smiles, gestures or even silences. That is inside information, whether intended or not.
    Hi everyone. I'm a long time member of Tweleve but I rarely visit being more often on TATHC. I popped by recently after winning the eagle to say hi and good luck to everyone for chapter 5, but it didn't seem like such a friendly place at the moment.

    Harobed, with all due respect, can you please modify this inaccurate and potentially libellous post. The first contact I have *ever* had with Ron Shore was the phone call to tell me that I had won. I have done nothing wrong, I have had no advantage and I would really appreciate you kept your insinuations to within the facts.

    Who are the 'them' you are talking about? I assume you mean Roger who happens to be a member of the armchair treasure hunt club forum. I am a member of that forum and so are many on Tweleve. Do we have any advantage for this fact? I can't think of a single one. Should Roger have stopped posting on forums after winning? I'm not too sure what you're suggesting??

    Also, regarding to the invitation spin off group, I was only invited to join after I had won!! I think you know this already. Yes there are other eagle winners in that group, but they have already won and are ineligible. Once again I'm not sure what you are trying to imply but can you please stick to facts?

  6. #86
    Rx Jeff's Avatar
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    If you can put dislike of James Frey aside, Endgame is an exciting book and a very smart puzzle. I have gained much knowledge of past civilizations while being challenged by some very good puzzles. The puzzle was done by two MIT PhD guys, so you know it is challenging . I got the book from Amazon with shipping for less than $14.
    If you are done waiting for spoon-fed clues in order to chase letters within text, buy the book and get in the Endgame hunt. It is not for charity, but then again, how much of this mess really is?

  7. #87
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    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.


    > ________________________________________
    > From: Ron [@yahoo.com]
    > Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2014 1:41 AM
    > To: Jana Bohrer
    > Subject: Re: PR Tourniquet
    >
    > Thanks for the note. It looks really good. I will try to edit it this week and get something out as quickly as I can. Thank you again for your help. I really do appreciate it. Ron
    >
    > Sent from my iPhone
    >
    > On Oct 22, 2014, at 2:41 PM, Jana <jbohrer@<mailto:>> wrote:
    >
    > In case the attachment causes problems for your iPhone:
    >
    > Hello Everyone,
    >
    > I’ve looked at the feedback, and I think it’s clear that I haven’t communicated very well with all of you. I want to apologize for that and I want to rectify it. I also want to ask each of you for your help as we move forward.
    >
    > 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. And, 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.
    >
    > First let me address some of the lesser issues that have come up. I have been travelling extensively, and in my absence some of my team thought it best to delete all negative comments from this page and block some users. That was not the best way to handle this and it won’t happen again.
    >
    > Also, I want to clarify that the Chapter 5 eagle, “Phoenix”, is NOT for sale. It will be given as the prize. “Phoenix” was displayed and was for sale in the same way that the gold eagle is. I will be in contact with the studio advertising “Phoenix” and ask them to remove him from their catalog so there won’t be any confusion.
    >
    > 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. And if that’s a huge problem, then I can only reiterate my offer of a refund. I hope the journey makes the wait worthwhile.
    >
    > Having said that, there are some things I can do better and I intend to. We will be more diligent about proofreading and posting clues. And we will also make it crystal clear if we make a mistake. I will also make every reasonable effort to get clues out there by ______ o’clock on Fridays and to let you know in advance if there will not be a clue.
    >
    > Now I need to answer the larger questions. Some of you have asked if there are silver eagles in existence for every remaining chapter. The answer to that question is no. In addition to the gold eagle, the silver eagle “Waiting to Soar” has been made. And of course we have the Chapter 5 eagle “Phoenix” I described in earlier posts.
    >
    > The reason for that is pretty simple. The cost of having all 12 silver eagles and the gold eagle made in advance was simply too prohibitive. So the eagles are made as the book progresses and we are ready to award them. And it’s true that the Hunt is on a tight budget. In retrospect, I wish I had made that clear from the outset so we could have avoided the kind of misunderstanding that has arisen. I am sorry about that.
    >
    > As for “Phoenix” himself, I stand by my earlier description and assessment of his value. While I do understand the pushback regarding the fact the he is not a “silver” eagle, the fact remains that he will be the Chapter 5 prize. I was and 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 hope I’ve addressed all of your concerns. If I haven’t - please ask me. I can’t promise that everyone will always be 100% satisfied with every decision we make, but I can promise to be transparent and accountable to you – and I will be.
    >
    > 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.

  8. #88
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default If you want to buy the Chapter 5 eagle...




    The other remaining eagles are for sale here. The link is to the Chapter 5 prize which is STILL for sale despite a promise to call them and ask them to remove it from their catalog.

  9. #89
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default Not sure link posted properly, here it is again


  10. #90
    Morrigan's Avatar
    Morrigan is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Morrigan is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Given that all of you prior winners are still eligible to win the gold eagle, or whatever he plans to give out instead, then there is an appearance of conflict of interest. And even that appearance should have been avoided if possible. However, I would say this hunt has larger issues.

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