Saturday, December 01, 2007
The Story so far...
So here we are, end of the year and I am not done with the film. I had had some new developments since the infamous filing of the Federal Court case against me for copyright and trademark infringement. First of all, the trademark infringements and violations, a part of their attempted take-downs of my website and YouTube trailers, have been dropped from the actual suit.
What's going to happen next? It is any body's guess.
I am extremely fortunate and grateful for the efforts and services of Foley and Hoag on my behalf and for the existence, services and existence of the Stanford University Fair Use Project. I sing their praises. Without their efforts, I would truly be up a legal creek. I am also grateful to the Independent Feature Project in Chicago for having a seminar on Fair Use that lead me down a path of research that ended in me finding the Stanford folks.
Where am I with the film. No major financing yet. I can't expect any with this law suit pending it seems. Who wants the hassle. I am at dollars end, need new equipment and am absolutely confident that things are going to end up fine. I am still shooting interviews.
Dante Family and friends
I have been in touch with some of Dante's family. Some who are closer than others. I am sworn to secrecy about who they are and will honor that. There are some childhood materials including possible film footage from the family source. I will be getting together with him soon.
I have been in constant contact with one of Dante's childhood friend's. They were friend's since he saved Dante from a beating when they were in 2nd grade at Saint Mary of Scotland's on the South Side. He has tales to share. My policy, just so you new readers know, is I do not reveal names of informants until after I have interviewed them. In the case of the direct Dante relative, we will see.
Jim Konsevic Family
James Konsevic(in flight in the photo) was killed in the April 23, 1970 dojo fight with the Green Dragon Society on West Fullerton Ave. His senseless and tragic death took it's toll on John Keehan and effected him deeply. This was going to be the hardest thing for me, trying to contact his family to talk about this event and it's repercussions.
Fortunate for me, I was contacted by a cousin of Konsevic's. I will respect his privacy and not mention his name until he says it is ok. He is conducting his own investigations as to what happened that day. Being a family member he may be able to find out more than I did. Jim's death lead created a wave of emotional impact that saw his mother dead within a year and one day of his, and his father death a year later. There are other family matters related to the death that I will not discuss here. I will always respect the privacy of my informants and keep their privacy and confidence to heart.
Now this has been a sore point with me. I had heard rumors about Dante being involved in the occult and connected to Anton LaVey(founder of The Church of Satanism and was also born in Chicago) and Aleister Crowley. Nothing made sense until someone mentions the name, Choronzon Club. In my youth I had a lady friend who told me something about this club. I looked into it and finally made a connection 2 weeks ago. I found Count Dante's spiritual teacher. Again, until I speak with him in person and get an interview, no names. What I found out from our phone conversation is that Dante was initiated into several mystical societies. And, yes, it is true it does have to do with some Aleister Crowley connections and the OTO. Anton LaVey, I have no idea about at this point. The triangle with spheres symbol on the Kung-fu flags of both the Black and Green Dragon societies lead the way into deep occult beliefs that intersect this occult world.
This is something I was not looking for. It came to me suddenly after I had given up. I followed an impulse, I did a few searches and came up with a phone number in 10 minutes. I called the number, then got a return call by evening. I asked one question and the caller responded in a very lucid manner about "John Dante" and his activities. I had my man.
Whatever his interests were, we see in the Black Belt Magazine photo above a cross around his neck with the Black Dragon Fighting Society t-shirt beneath it. In that last interview with Mas Ayoob he says he was considering the priesthood. I expect this interview will be very enlightening.
The occult and martial arts have always gone together. So this is not really new information. I now have a consultant, a Christian martial artist who is a bit of a lay expert in these things advising me. I am just seeing where the path leads. And yes he has a biased view of it all. I did say "Christian" martial artist, right.
As I keep saying, making a documentary film is a path of discovery. Editing this thing is going to be a hoot.
Black Dragon Fighting Society News
Last but not least, I got a phone call from Mike Felkoff last night. He was calling to let me know that Stoffel Van Vurren had resigned as president of the Black Dragon Fighting Society International. Van Vurren resigned so that his prior associations would not be a hindrance to the organization. Felkoff has been chosen as the new president.
On a final note...I called John Cole, president of the World Karate Federation in Fall River, MA. He was closely aligned with Bill Aguiar, Jr. I called on a Sunday on a whim because I really need his interview. He is the only other person I have seen from that area who was actively in training with Dante and was promoted by him personally. There is a picture in a newspaper article showing he and Dante with Aguiar. Well it turns out that Cole knew my first sensei, Gregory Jaco. They were in the Green Beret together and were member of the Green Beret Karate demo team. That is good news for me. I may get my interview, if he so chooses to grant it.
So that's it in a blogshell.