End of an era

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:21 pm

OK. This may be no more clear after you've read it than before, but let's see.

First thing is, Professor Michael Crawford is a long-term Keene crony / member of the Buzan-Keene circle, involved in nonsenses like this. He's quite old (89) but not actually officially retired, and appears to be a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London.

Second thing is, the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition certainly used to be a bona fide research organisation, and you can find it referenced in sundry media pieces in the decade preceding this one.

Third thing is, I can find no evidence at all that it presently has any physical, organisational or financial existence: it's not located anywhere, it appears to have no board, no trustees and to submit no accounts. Its website makes a claim about being located at the Chelsea and Westminster which I have checked (email exchange with a representative of the Trust) and which is not true. The Manahel Thabet listed as a contact is part of the Buzan organisation.

Fourth, I looked into this as a by-product of researching the Brain Trust, the curious charity with board members who are also trustees, all of whom are family members or close associates of Ray Keene, and which seems to make all its payments to board members, their friends or organisations controlled by them. Professor Crawford and his Institute are among the beneficiaries.

Fifth, I did eventually in the course of this research manage to speak to Professor Crawford at his home, a very strange conversation although not entirely enlightening (it was one of those experiences where you feel you know less afterwards than you did before). Anyway, he insisted that there was such a thing as the Institute and that it did carry out work, though he was unable to account for the lack of anything like trustees or annual reports or accounts. I got the impression that he didn't feel he needed to bother with such things, for whatever reason.

Anyway, the only conclusion I could come to was that he identified the Institute with himself in some sense, even if I couldn't exactly pin down what that sense was, and maybe he couldn't either.
Last edited by JustinHorton on Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: End of an era

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:36 pm

It's not entirely unusual for professors to vaguely do things which they consider important (and they may be right, of course). They have the advantage that they don't have to justify their research, unlike everyone else, who has to worry about time available, costs, staffing, convincing a committee that the public (or the company!) will benefit etc.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:55 pm

Yeah I'm not quite seeing what that means specifically here though.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: End of an era

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:17 pm

I suppose I was addressing the "I got the impression that he didn't feel he needed to bother with such things, for whatever reason."

His CV looks pretty good, so he ought to care what's going on! I would have thought the Institute should be producing exciting reports which would benefit the public in some way.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:25 pm

Mmm, but there probably isn't any such thing that could do any such thing.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: End of an era

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:53 pm

I had a Brief email exchange with this guy a while back.

It was one of those when you ask for supporting evidence for an assertion made and they answer “well there’s lots of it ... “ and then give a long strange discourse on topics about which you haven’t asked. So you ask again and the same thing happens. And on it goes until you get bored and give up

O.G. Urcan
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Re: End of an era

Post by O.G. Urcan » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:54 am

Another page about Raymond Keene is in the list of "Biographies" at the website of The Mother & Child Foundation: http://www.themotherandchildfoundation. ... iographies

Matt Fletcher
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Re: End of an era

Post by Matt Fletcher » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:30 am

O.G. Urcan wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:54 am
Another page about Raymond Keene is in the list of "Biographies" at the website of The Mother & Child Foundation: http://www.themotherandchildfoundation. ... iographies
There’s another on Outside In Pathways:
http://outsideinpathways.org/our-board/

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:43 am

Outside in Pathways is another beneficiary of Brain Trust money. Old Top of the Pops watchers may recognise the CEO. Old Ray watchers will recognise the Vice-Chair, the final paragraph of whose bio is intriguing.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

O.G. Urcan
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Re: End of an era

Post by O.G. Urcan » Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:09 pm

Another one: http://iobd.org.uk/en/speakers/raymond-keene-obe. This claims that Raymond Keene is a "contributor to a number of daily print
publications."

At https://www.worldmemorychampionships.co ... -keene-obe Raymond Keene takes a stand against imitation and passing-off. A passage highlighted in bold begins: "Imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery but inferring that ...".

"Inferring", rather than "implying", surprised me, but it is interesting to see Raymond Keene speaking out against the alleged impropriety of others.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: End of an era

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:30 pm

I see too that Inside Out's Julian Simpole is a "Commonwealth Chess Master". Google has a number of hits for the title, but they all seem to relate to JS. Anyway, I want to know how you become a Commonwealth Chess Master.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:48 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:09 pm
Another one: http://iobd.org.uk/en/speakers/raymond-keene-obe. This claims that Raymond Keene is a "contributor to a number of daily print
publications."
Oh how curious, I've never come across this one before and with the exception of Tony Buzan, none of the other names are familiar to me. (I know about the fake Polish nobility, but I've no reason to think this one is connected.)
O.G. Urcan wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:09 pm
At https://www.worldmemorychampionships.co ... -keene-obe Raymond Keene takes a stand against imitation and passing-off. A passage highlighted in bold begins: "Imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery but inferring that ...".

"Inferring", rather than "implying", surprised me, but it is interesting to see Raymond Keene speaking out against the alleged impropriety of others.
Very good, yes. Bare-faced cheek aside, I wonder what it's specifically about?

I think Buzan/Memory Sports is pretty much what Ray does these days, and that of course is what the crowdfunding wheeze mentioned above is all about. (The company concerned is World Memory Championships International Limited - the present board of which consists of Ray, his sister, his son and, hey, it's Julian Simpole again.)
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:34 pm

Anyway here's what Ray wants your money for. That portrait looks very bad indeed.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:53 pm

The email I receive, from Seedrs Ltd who are promoting Ray's crowdfunding effort, while (like the video) relatively light on what Ray actually proposes to do with your money, claims that there are
250 million users of Mind Mapping techniques invented by Buzan
and
Close to 1,000,000 readers of Synapsia, the Buzan online magazine
to which claims I say "Jimmy Hill".

It also provides us with the encomium
Tony Buzan will do for the brain what Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time did for the universe
which it attributes to The Times, although no specific writer is identified. A little Googling, though, suggests that the author was one Raymond Keene. I wonder why they forgot to include that information.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:37 pm

They are seeking a total of £200,000 in crowdfunding, which would give contributors a collective total of 1.96% of the ownership of the Tony Buzan Group, which values itself at ten million pounds. They have so far raised £93,550, which consists of four investments by one unnamed individual amounting to £93,510, and four other investments of a tenner apiece.

Here's an interesting thing. I thought I'd look up the shareholders of the Group - click on "confirmation statements / annual returns" and open the PDF - and it tells us that Ray holds 200,000 shares, as does his sister Jackie, his son Alexander half that amount, with Julian Simpole, various Buzan figures and member of the old gang David Massey holding smaller quantities. The third-largest shareholding is in the name of Andrea Greystoke. I wonder if that is anything to do with the Andrew Greystoke some of us remember? (Yes, is the answer: Pantheon International Advisors Limited, holder of 92,000 shares, is Andrew Greystoke.)
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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