Could Be Hazardous To Your Health!
During the last few years autograph collecting has become a dangerous hobby. This only relates to the good guys in the hobby. The autograph professionals, the educators, etc.
The dark side of the hobby hates the good guys, it’s costing them many hundreds of thousands of dollars, each year.
This refers to the many forgers in the hobby, some sellers, some very corrupt so-called autograph authenticators and even an auction house.
The vial language used against professionals by the dark side of the hobby published in their emails is nothing less than eye opening. The threats are even frightening to some.
When a professional autograph authenticator, approved by everyone, (not the high profile ABC type) turns down a high end item, value could have been in excess of $100,00, the forger gets nasty. That one item, if passed by a professional autograph authenticator, could yield a forger a years pay for many. The forger is now forced to work with one of the high profile so-called authenticators that most have lost creditability in the hobby with knowledgeable collectors. These so-called authenticators have some favorite people from the dark side of the hobby who send in many bogus items regularly. The authenticating company will not fail the items because they will loose the regular income from the forger. After all, later, when they are caught in their web of deceit, and proven wrong on a regular basis, they always claim, “it’s just our opinion.” One hundred and fifty bucks, please.
Of course it is well know that some of these so-called autograph authenticators authenticate the customer and not the autograph. This has been going on for a very long time. The authenticating company does not want to lose an active submitter and they will do so if they fail items that are not genuine. Pass the forged item and they keep their customer.
In one specific case I was working with an auction house, in Nevada, and was told the item they were showing me has to be authentic. It will appear on the cover of their next auction catalog. If I don’t pass it, I’m fired. I deemed the item not authentic and I quit and never went back. The corrupt auction house had a deal with me that they would pay my airfare, hotel, expenses and hourly rate. I never got a cent and they are still around. One of the high profile ABC type authenticators was glad to pass the item as genuine and got the account.
A very high profile professional European autograph authenticator who specializes in high end music items has had many calls, life threatening. When he makes appearances he is forced to wear a bullet proof vest.
A long time professional autograph dealer, who has had threats, has had several life threatening calls from one of those rented phones that cannot be traced. The dealer has more than one reason to believe the calls are coming from Florida. Police report files. The dealer receiving the calls is now heavily armed.
Another major professional dealer of autographs has had a bomb mailed to his home/office. Batteries, wires a radio, etc. when opened there was everything in that box that would make you change your underwear.
How about another professional autograph dealer, who has had so many threats, had to protect his home and the area around it with motion sensors?
It seems the dark side of the hobby will stop at nothing when you threaten their lively hood.
Thank God, there are still many professional autograph enthusiasts and dealers who stand up to the bullies. The continue to ensure to keep the hobby clean and that autograph collectors get the real deal.
A list of professional autograph dealers can be found on this web site, it is updated regularly with new names.