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Christian Mann's Squashed Letter to Mike South

Christian Mann's Squashed Letter to Mike South

LOS ANGELES—Late last week, Free Speech Coalition board member Christian Mann sent a letter to industry blogger Mike South refuting many of the accusations South and others have made against the FSC and its PASS screening system for adult talent. South stated on his blog that he had chosen not to run the letter because it was "filled with all the same press release bullshit that the FSC has been pumping out from day one, a lot of stuf [sic] is not true (like the FSC doesn't control CET) blah blah blah."

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Mann today supplied his unpublished letter to AVN, which appears below in full:

Dear Mike:

Up until this moment, I have made it a policy to not respond or react to your blog postings because they are so frequently filled with rhetoric that is laced with personal attacks rather than constructive criticism. It's clear that your anti-FSC bias is so powerful that you look for every opportunity to find fault, even in those cases when it requires a stretch of logic that is comical. Additionally, you frequently post opinions and accusations as if they were factual in a manner that blurs the line between opinion-based editorial and fact based reporting. Since you've "called me out", but never actually called or e-mailed me to corroborate or rebut the many articles you post about me or my work at FSC, I simply concluded that facts must take a back seat to your agenda. As such, it never made sense to engage or acknowledge, even when I know that so many of your assertions have been 100% wrong.

I'm breaking with tradition today because I'm concerned that you're giving talent some dangerous advice regarding testing. I hope you will put aside your feelings about the Free Speech Coalition and Diane Duke just long enough to consider some of the facts that I'm stating...

First, the Free Speech Coalition does not own CET. In fact, PASS accepts data from CET and TTS as well as several other testing facilities that have signed on and agreed to our protocols. It is true that TTS and PASS have had some disagreements in the past, and may have some issues yet to be resolved, however I'm proud of the effort I personally expended to bring TTS on board as a fully accredited PASS provider. I don't have a preference at all as to performers using TTS or CET since they both provide data to PASS. My umbrage is with your remark that talent should refuse to use PASS at all. Given that several studios have mandated that test authentication must include verification of availability from the PASS system, and given that the PASS console is not subject to the danger of altered reports being used by talent—a danger that exists when performers rely on each other without the safeguard offered by PASS verification, your advice becomes a disservice to the performers. By the way, I recently had lunch with Sixto who told me in no uncertain terms that PASS is an important tool that must continue to exist.

Second, the Free Speech Coalition makes exactly zero dollars from PASS, CET, testing, etc. The reality is that FSC spends money to staff, program and maintain the PASS data base. Unlike AIM, which was funded by monthly fees from studios as well as testing fees, The Free Speech Coalition has never solicited one cent from talent, receives no kickback or benefit from testing facilities nor has it used PASS as a fundraising vehicle for FSC. It created PASS in the vacuum left by AHF's successful vanquishing of AIM and in the course of stepping up at a time the industry needed us, created a very good model that has found a way to be devoid of the weaknesses that eventually shuttered AIM. Is it perfect? No. Can it be improved? Yes. Are we open to suggestions and input from all sectors of the industry, the legal community and the medical community? You bet. Do we recognize that even while PASS is a data base resource and not a medical enterprise, that it must eventually become independent of the Free Speech Coalition? Yes.

Last, if you want to be taken seriously by me (and I don't presume that you do), I would implore you to address facts and avoid hyperbole such as your preposterous statement: "...Diane Duke would rather lie to you than tell you the truth, she would rather see you die a horrible death than lose twenty dollars in 'donations' to the FSC." Even with your stated disdain for Ms. Duke, I can't believe you truly believe this to be true.

In summation, I have devoted a lot of time and effort as the FSC Board Member chairing the PASS initiative. I have received no recompense and I have no ulterior motive other than to be of service to my industry. The scores of performers and agents who have encountered me over the last thirty years would likely vouch for my integrity and genuine care for them as people and as a vital component of the business. I've never viewed the performers in an "us and them" paradigm. A simple collective "us" has always been my approach. Without our performers, I would have had no job for thirty-plus years. I've never forgotten that. Suggestions to the contrary, even in the 2013 social media, conflict driven hate-sphere, are hurtful. Don't worry. I have thick skin. I've faced other significant challenges beside the ones I'm facing at FSC. I have faith that it's yet possible for our industry, terribly divided at the moment, to return to one that is united and resolve disagreements using civil discourse, a little humility and some willingness to put aside our differences in the interest of the greater good.

Mr. South, you and I can agree to disagree on a number of issues. If you were to put aside the politics of personal attacks and were willing to reach out and check a fact in the interest of getting to the truth, regardless of how it changes the story, I would champion your efforts. Until such time, my only request is that if you post this letter, you post it in its entirety.  

Sincerely,

Christian S. Mann

[Photo of Christian Mann courtesy of JuddWeiss.com]






Related Content:

Free Speech Coalition
Christian Mann
Mike South

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