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"Wikipedia's visionless, self-selected, value-light online encyclopedia is a deformed shadow of what the global public deserves, says former editor-in-chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Robert McHenry."
A false Wikipedia 'biography' by John Seigenthaler, Editorial/Opinion appearing in USA Today, November 29, 2005.
WIKIPEDIA.COM has unfortunately allowed itself to be used to convey demonstrably false statements about the American Conservatory of Music. Though these errors have been repeatedly corrected, the statements have also been vandalized further by an aspiring editor who can be identified as a former Conservatory student disgruntled by his dismissal for failure to meet the standards of his degree program at this institution. Beyond publishing these Wikipedia distortions, the student made -- unsuccessful -- attempts to lodge invalid complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the State of Indiana. Those cases and their resolution in favor of the Conservatory form a part of the public record providing full evidence that the Conservatory was able to defeat this student's attempts both to falsify facts surrounding his enrollment and dismissal and to spread false allegations regarding his professor, Curtis Robinson. The Conservatory appreciates WIKIPEDIA.COM for making corrections. However, such corrections are again and again distorted or removed by different unrelated editors. Thus it becomes incumbent upon the Conservatory to request that a senior Wikipedia editor conclusively remove the vandalized content.
In a feature article carried in its Arts section in July, 1991, the Chicago Tribune reported that Dr. Leo Heim, President and Dean Emeritus; Dr. Carl Waldschmidt, Dean; Richard and Theodora Schulze, Music Directors of the Telemann Society, and Otto Schulze, a soloist and member of the same; Paul Henry, trustee and classical guitar faculty member of the Conservatory; and Robert Getz, trustee of the Conservatory, had rescued the venerable American Conservatory of Music.
The dismissed and disgruntled student -- already mentioned -- chose, however, to quote a malicious article about the Conservatory, as authored by a Raymond Coffey and published in the Chicago Sun Times in February of 1996. In effect, the article in question formed part of the Illinois Board of Higher Education's response to the law suit that had been filed against it by the Conservatory in early January of that year; for the content of Coffey's article served essentially to announce a counter law suit which was being filed at that time, by the State of Illinois, against the Conservatory. In both the counter law suit and the article the original defendant -- the Illinois Board of Higher Education -- attempted to obscure the fact that the American Conservatory of Music had not, as falsely alleged, closed down in 1992; rather, as verified by the Chicago Tribune in a series of articles, the Conservatory's operations were successfully continued in the summer of 1991, under the same Dean and the same faculty, with the same students, in the same building, and with the same accreditation -- i.e., as the same institution! And, indeed, under the leadership of its president Theodora Schulze the Conservatory has also remained in continuous operation since that time --a fact whose implications clearly and directly connect the current institution back to the founding of the American Conservatory in 1886.
Contrary to an unsupported assertion in the Sun Times article (and carried over into successive publications by the same author) -- that "[Richard] Schulze took over the conservatory in 1993 under the aegis of a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation named Friends of the Conservatory..." -- John Von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune reported in July, 1991, that the Conservatory was rescued in that summer under the aegis of a new management structure sponsored by Mr. Henry Regnery and Dr. Leo Heim, acting with the approval of former board members of the Conservatory who had already (in the late spring and summer of that year) resigned their board positions in deference to the emerging new management structure. And contrary to the further false claim in the Sun Times article -- that "Schulze made himself chairman, his wife Theodora president and their son Otto secretary..." -- the body of the Trustees of the Conservatory, who actually rendered these decisions, has consisted of a cross-section of public-minded servants in whose minds the best interests of music and of this Conservatory are ever uppermost. By the same token, from the Chicago Tribune articles of 1991 as well as the subsequent published obituaries of Dr. Carl Waldschmidt, Dr. Leo Heim, Dr. Amelia Sligting and (most recently) Dr. Joseph L. Miller, it emerges clearly that the claim by the Sun Times that "They"(the Schulzes)... have, also, "been serving as virtually the only full-time faculty members of the conservatory...", is an outrageous falsehood.
Even a cursory check of the official criminal records maintained by Federal and State Law Enforcement agencies will reveal that the President and Chairman of the Conservatory have never been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor. It is beyond question, and a verifiable fact, that our President and Chairman have not been involved in criminal wrongdoing. There is no evidence that may be adduced through proper research which would indicate their involvement in questionable, let alone illicit or fraudulent activities.
While it would initially not be unreasonable -- on the basis of the Sun Times articles authored by Raymond Coffey as well as later pieces by C. Shrueder and P. Tanner carried, between 1996 and 1999, in the Chicago Tribune -- to question the extra-musical background or activities of the late Richard Schulze, an unbiased research effort would, nonetheless, reveal the interesting fact that not a single customer of Richard Schulze's financial enterprises ever filed a law suit against him. Indeed, most of them actively supported him as he attempted to undo damage caused by the State of Florida via an improper shut-down of a financial enterprise that -- as documented by the court-appointed Receiver, William Nortmann --had, without fail and up to the end in May of 1987 -- and even while the State of Florida was, falsely, alleging to the contrary -- lived up to all of its obligations.
A guilty man could not have risked himself by filing a Chapter 11 reorganization case if it was, as alleged, impossible for him to deliver on the financial obligations of the enterprise as an ongoing business concern. Thus the fact that Richard Schulze, with the support of the majority of his customers, filed for protection under Chapter 11 meant that he must have believed in his innocence as an undeniable fact. In fact, that the vast majority of his customers also believed in his innocence is evidenced by the lack of any lawsuits by these customers -- a lack that is also strongly suggestive of an awareness on the customers' part that it was the Florida authorities themselves who bore the responsibility for their financial ruin.
The Federal case brought thereafter against Richard Schulze in Nevada represented a tactic devised by the Florida authorities to stop Schulze and his customers from succeeding in their own quest to recover the losses caused by the State. This new assault, as an effective continuation of the Florida case, bore the new twist of attempting to stop Richard Schulze and his customers from putting egg all over the faces of the Florida authorities who were (still) intent on putting him away for life for crimes that they knew he had never committed. Toward implementing the scheme, Florida authorities joined forces with employees of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- now antagonists of Mr. John A. Field, III, the former Chief of Enforcement of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia (1972-1977), who was then serving as the legal advisor to Richard Schulze and his financial enterprises. The stumbling block in the intrigue, for Florida, was the existence of an attorney opinion letter provided by the Wall Street law firm Spengler, Carlson, Frischling, Gubar and Brodsky that corroborated Mr. Field's opinion that the Schulze financial enterprises were operating legally in accordance with Federal law.
The first step in practical implementation of the scheme was to issue false allegations to Oregon environmentalists in an effort to stop the operations of a producing placer gold mine in Oregon. The intent was to stop the Noble enterprise from producing enough gold and other precious metals to undo the entire damage caused by the improper Florida shut-down of a viable financial concern that had been protecting savvy people from the adverse effects of runaway inflation.
As soon as the placer gold mine was crippled, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission moved for a Federal injunction against Noble and its Board, which was comprised of customers from Richard Schulze's Florida enterprise. As attempts to vacate that Federal injunction failed, the customers' fate was sealed. There was no longer any hope of recovering their huge financial losses. With the death of Richard Schulze, in 2001, all knowledge necessary for the continuation of the fight against the Federal and State cases was lost. These Federal and State agencies put their own interests ahead of those of the citizens who pay taxes to provide for their employment. With the power of their offices, the agencies willfully destroyed the financial fortunes of thousands of people across the nation.
Richard Schulze was an unflinchingly brave individual whom the late Dr. Marvin Ziporyn, Dean of the American Conservatory and noted criminologist/psychiatrist (prominent chronicler of the Richard Speck interviews, "Born to Raise Hell: The Untold Story of Richard Speck -- The Man, The Crime, The Trial"), described as truly a Renaissance man, a multifaceted individual who was "...remarkable [and] quintessentially Shakespearian: [for] 'each man in his time plays many parts.' He was a peerless musician, sagacious entrepreneur, stalwart warrior, clever tactician, loyal comrade, and kind-hearted friend. As a musician, he was a first class arranger, and an iron-nerved conductor. His musicological knowledge was prodigiously encyclopedic -- no musical question was a mystery to him. As an entrepreneur -- perhaps his favorite role -- his fertile brain was never at a loss for the conception of a brave, bold new enterprise. As a warrior he was a paragon of courage -- he never backed away from a challenge or fled the field of battle. Had he been French his watchword would have been, like that of Napoleon, 'L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace' (Boldness, boldness, always boldness). As a tactician, he was never at a loss for a solution to a problem. As a comrade and friend, he always took the position of 'My friend -- may he always be right -- but my friend, right or wrong', and he supported his friends unflinchingly. Richard did not have a mean bone in his body -- I never heard him utter a harsh word in the 11 years I knew him -- and there were times he should have. He was one of a kind and I will miss him."
N. B. The current edit of the Wikipedia entry for "American Conservatory of Music" reverts, in error, to a version that contains provably false claims about the Conservatory -- supporting/continuing a series of versions placed on Wikipedia by an individual motivated by hatred for the institution due to his own demonstrated failure to meet the standards of the Conservatory's degree programs.
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