Next to come out was another past SCI president and someone I knew. I went to greet him. Once again, I was met with the same resistance. He told me he was only there to make a presentation, then leave. He understood my situation, but was not willing to help. He wanted no part of me or my problem. He left.
At 12:30 pm the meeting began to break for lunch. A professional looking woman walked up to me and introduced herself as the attorney for SCI attending the board meeting. She asked me, "Why are you here? Your attorney has been contacted weeks ago and knows everything. You should talk to him." I asked for clarification, more specifically, who it was who contacted my attorney, his name and phone number. She wrote it down for me. I told her that I was certain no such contact had been made with my attorney. She suggested that I call him and she would check with the Board and get back to me after lunch with further information. I called my attorney and gave him the details of my conversation. He said he had never been contacted but would call the attorney and get back to me.
Just as I ended the call, a man who I will not identify, walked past me and nodded as if he wanted to talk. I moved to greet him. He said we couldn`t talk here but to follow him in two minutes up the stairs and not let anyone see me. I did as asked.
I found him waiting for me partially hidden from view behind a large column. He told me everyone in the board room was instructed not to talk to me. That if anyone did, they would be asked to leave. They may even be removed from office for the offense. He told me he knew my entire story, but that he could not divulge any of it to me. It was privileged information. He did say it was all political. I had enemies within the Executive Committee that wanted me out of SCI and that was that. Even though they had never hunted with me, even though they had never spoken with me, or had ever had contact with me, they wanted me out of SCI permanently. It was no more complicated than that. He said there was nothing he could do. It was out of his hands. I thanked him for the information and we parted company.
I returned to my seat in the hallway. My attorney then called to report he had spoken with the SCI attorney in Tucson, Arizona. Despite what SCI had just told me, the attorney in Tucson had not called my attorney nor had he ever heard of my attorney and had no idea what his call to him was about. In effect, what I was told by SCI`s attorney in Las Vegas was an outright lie. Her representation to me that my attorney knew everything was not true. No such call had ever been made.
Prepared with this latest information I anxiously awaited her return. In due course, she arrived. I told her what I knew. She could not believe what I was saying. She was sure this had been handled weeks before because of what she had been told by the Executive Committee. The expression on her face told me she was sympathetic to my situation. She then told me that she had just been directed by the Board to tell me from this moment on I was "officially" banned from ever being an exhibitor. That the Board`s decision was final, they will not hear your case, will not let you appeal. With that she turned to leave when I asked her for a moment of her time.
I could tell she was upset with being lied to by the Board. I explained in detail my side of things, both conversations with Larry Rudolph, and all that had occurred. I asked if nothing else, could I get an official explanation from SCI. She promised she would have her partner in the Tucson law firm, who was closer to the problem than she, call my attorney within two weeks with a formal declaration of my expulsion. To date, I have yet to hear a word. That was over four months ago.
An interesting side note to all of this. Larry Rudolph`s main concern in our December phone conversation were the movies; "it`s the videos!" Once I agreed not to show them as a condition to exhibiting at the Convention, all was good. Or so I thought. Yet at the 2010 Convention with me gone, my movies were openly on sale on the convention floor with a hi-lite tape showing buffalo and hippo charges, one after the other, and large poster size signs of my most famous movies in plain view. If SCI`s contention were the movies, why then were they allowed to be shown and sold? The hypocrisy is astonishing.
I am not one to make waves. I go about my business quietly yet professionally. This year, for instance, I have more safaris and clients than I have had in 20 years. Although SCI has decided to ban me as an exhibitor, the world`s hunting public endorses me all the more. I have always loved SCI and always will. I welcome the day I should be invited back.
Remember, shoot straight and let them come close. That`s what I do.
Thank you very much and have a great day.
With Best Regards,
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