I was a member of the Tarot of Hope Facebook group, a group dedicated to making a charity Tarot deck to raise money for the blind (Fred Hollows Foundation). I had been a member for months, and rarely posted--since we were assigned cards to work on. Yesterday, I showed my version of the 5 of Swords, many said they liked it, and I asked the founder--Mark Watson--how many words he'd like the companion text to be. He, too, seemed to like my card--and said to keep the card title off so they can do it in PhotoShop. Well, a member of the group--who isn't even a Facebook friend--sent me a PM asking why I was removed. HUH? I thought. Lo and behold I was. No explanation.
So I contacted the founder directly. This is our Facebook PM exchange, word for word:
Me: Hi Mark! A fellow member just told me I was removed from the Tarot of Hope project. May I ask why in the world I was removed?
Mark: Hi Janet, sorry but I'm going to have to remove you from the tarot of Hope project as a lot of other people who have submitted cards say that they won't work with you. I personally think that this is a load of bullshit, but I need to make sure that the deck gets made, and I can't lose half the cards as a result of politics.I have no idea why your relationship with Marcus Katz should be such an issue, but it would appear that this is the case. Once again, politics trumps charity. Several other members said that they would pull their cards if you were allowed to contribute.
Mark: I have no idea why, but I believe it has something to do with your relationship with Marcus Katz, which I know nothing about to be honest. This isnt personal, and I am deeply annoyed that there is some form of political powerplay going on, but right now I am left with the option of either telling them to not be childish and losing half the cards that have already been completed, or removing you. There are three members who have all vocally stated that they would leave, totaling seven cards in all. But all of them were being so vocal that others were being dragged in too. And it seems to have spread on to the Tarot Professionals page, but I cant confirm that as I'm blocked from that page.
Me: And you're kowtowing to a group that has even blocked YOU?
Mark: Nope, Im not kowtowing at all - I dont support your removal, but know that if we dont do something then the Tarot of Hope project will crash and burn due to infighting.
Me: Well, I just had two members PM me telling me they're pulling THEIR four cards. So, you'll have to live with your cowardice.
Mark: I am impressed that youve gotten under Marcus' skin this much. Cowardice? Seriously? Fuck you then.
So, Marcus Katz strikes again. Tarot Professionals is a cancer and it's pathetic that so many published authors and Tarot readers not only suck up to this megolomaniac--but also do his bidding (like boycotting, slandering and harassing other Tarot authors and deck creators).
Or, maybe it's only the truth-telling ones...
Oh, by the way, below was going to be my contributions for the 5 of Swords, appropriately titled GLOATING.
More information, if you want to be enlightened:
Tarot Monopoly, Tarot Tyrant and Restoring Spiritual Dignity
Marcus Katz "The Tarosophist" Threatens Again
Aeclectic Tarot Forums, Censorship, World Tarot Day...Oh My!
Unsavory Tarot Professionals Unmasked
If you'd like to contact Llewellyn Publishing and Lo Scarabeo--who both enthusiastically support and publish this megalomaniac--below is their contact information.