By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
James Hibberd responds: I stand by the story, which notes that investigators found no other income coming into Safari other than investor funds and a modest amount from ticket sales. The word "allegedly" was not used in the sentence the letter-writer cites because it was clear from the documents that investor funds were being used for Safari luxuries. I would like to add, though, that the portrayal of Jason Ayers should have reflected his disdain for what he considered Safari's irresponsible spending habits (it's the reason he spoke for the story), and he says that while many co-workers had access to free Ecstasy, he did not.
Accountability: Your article was very enlightening. My husband and I invested our life savings in this scheme. I wanted to believe in the whole deal, even when my mind told me it was too good to be true. Mare tells a very convincing story and has a way of making you think that everything will be okay. The amount of money that we invested does not even compare with some of the other large investors, but we have worked hard all of our lives to raise our kids, and it was all that we had saved or were able to come up with. Our hopes for a new home are gone now. Thanks for your seemingly honest account of this mess. I hope that all who hold responsibility for this are held personally accountable.
Name withheld by request
Scene misrepresented: I read the article about Safari Media with much interest. I'm a regular at the Pompeii club night called Freedom or KIND. My friends and I have been anxious for any news that would explain the holdup in the transfer of the club. I must say I am extremely disappointed to hear the reason for the foreclosure.
I speak for many people who are angry and disappointed that Safari Media has behaved in such an immoral and unethical fashion. And we are concerned that its behavior may be interpreted by the general public as being accepted within our club culture. It's not. Our community is based upon a love for music, electronica in particular. Our love for this universal music allows us to develop relationships that cross racial, sexual and other cultural boundaries. We believe in respect as the basic foundation upon which all relationships should be built. We practice that in our lives in a very real way. What Safari Media did is in opposition to everything our movement stands for.
The majority of the press we have received lately has been negative. From the constant police scrutiny of our parties to the sensationalistic reporting of the major news magazines, we have been attacked on all fronts. I felt that you did a pretty fair job in reporting about this issue. Regardless of the media reporting, our scene is not all about drugs and illegal behavior. We love to dance to techno music, plain and simple. Not all of us are 15-year-old drug dealers. I am 27 years old, have a degree in religion and a well-paying professional job. We are persecuted because the media and government have misinterpreted our message and motives. This country is so desperately out of touch about all things related to drugs. We've been fed misinformation and lies, and as a result we stand very close to losing our right to gather in groups and celebrate our love for music. What a tragedy.
I feel strongly that all our dance parties should be 18-and-over events. This is why Freedom at Pompeii fills a great need in our scene. It allows us to dance in a legal venue with other adults. Perhaps if local promoters would stop allowing children into their events, we would be able to continue to enjoy good music without so much hype.
What Safari Media did is in no way supported by the underground dance community in Phoenix. At least not my friends. We are a family. We love our music, each other, and our vibe. We try to practice tolerance in our daily affairs. I feel for those who've been defrauded by Safari Media. But I also feel for the general public, because they are being railroaded into passing legislation that will strip them of their basic civil rights. And it's all being done to rid the earth of the scourge of dancing to techno music. Footloose all over again.
Lastly, I want to say this to the Chisholms: Thanks for adding more fuel to the fire. You may enjoy techno music, but you're not a part of this movement. You've done more harm to the scene than you ever did good. I really hope you're innocent, but my suspicion is you will go to jail for your crimes. If you are guilty, you deserve it -- and I'll dance to that.
Name withheld by request
Drawing on greed: I agree with a lot of what Pearse Cullinane said in "Suspended Animation" (Serene Dominic, September 14). I have worked with Pearse at the Fox studios, and you couldn't meet a more likable, professional guy. I, too, have been in the animation industry for a long time, 11 years. What happened at Fox is nothing new. Studios do this all the time. They all look for instant profit, and if they don't get it, then it's goodbye! You're screwed!