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41 Comments

news

Miss Toronto Tourism Not Welcoming Wiccans

stephanieconover.jpgSay, who’s that dude with the pitchfork selecting the next queen of Toronto’s tourism industry? Hmmm, could it be…SATAN?!!!
It seems that a Toronto woman was invited to judge a local beauty pageant, only to have the invite retracted because some of her hobbies were deemed a little too demonistic.
Stephanie Conover, an actor, singer, dancer, and current Miss Canada Plus 2007, was asked about three weeks ago if she would be interested in judging the 2008 Miss Toronto Tourism contest on February 2. She accepted, and sent along a brief bio detailing some of her interests, including knitting, reading, yoga, reiki, and tarot card reading. Last Tuesday she got a letter from pageant organizers revoking her invitation because the latter two practices constitute “the occult” and “witchcraft.” Reiki is a Japanese art that seeks to heal the body with energy, while Tarot cards are an ancient way of seeking spiritual guidance or entertaining friends when the cable goes out. (Yoga, another potentially diabolical pastime, passed the holy litmus test, although it’s possible that the upright folks at Miss Toronto Tourism may have confused it with yogurt.)


The rest of the letter was similarly absurd, in that fundamentalist religious way that’s both comic and terrifying at the same time. It notes that reiki and Tarot are not only unacceptable to “Jews, Muslims, or Christians,” but to God Himself, who is no doubt even now cursing his bad luck that he doesn’t get to call down hellfire on the pageant, thanks to organizers who had the wit to dump their Jonah overboard before the Big Guy took matters into His Own Hands.
The letter goes on to quote Leviticus 20:6, where God states: “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums or spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut them off from his people,” although fortunately for Stephanie, she’s apparently been exempted from the requirements of Leviticus 20:27, which mandates that “A man or a woman who is a medium…shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones.”
The Miss Toronto Tourism pageant has no any apparent affiliation with the Toronto Convention & Visitors Association or other quasi-official tourism organization.
Stephanie, who is a practicing Wiccan, told Torontoist that she was shocked to receive the letter. “They’re attacking my character when they know nothing about me, and based on things that have nothing to do with the pageant. Reiki and tarot card reading are both positive practices that have nothing to do with ‘dark forces.’”
Even granted that beauty contest audiences in general are more likely be populated by Bible belters than by the be-pentacled crowd, the change of heart on Stephanie’s judging credentials still comes off as a little insane old-fashioned. Stepanie says that “they’re trying to burn me at the stake without knowing anything about my character,” a metaphor which probably leaves the anti-witch brigade yearning for the glories of days gone by.
The letter also hopes that “Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them.” However, in her conversation with Torontoist, Stephanie expressed no interest in repenting.
Ironically, one of the virtues that Miss Toronto Tourism trumpets on their website is their commitment to multiculturalism. Presumably they’re thinking of a limited kind of diversity, inclusive only of those who don’t engage in God-pissing-off practices like being gay, eating bacon, or believing in evolution. But hey, you can’t spell multi-culturalism without “cult.”
The Miss Toronto Tourism pageant did not respond to an email from Torontoist requesting comment.
Photo courtesy Stephanie Conover. Thanks, as well, to Mike Strobel and the Toronto Sun.

Comments

  • spleen

    wow, I would have loved to seen a copy of that letter. But this little diatribe will do fine.
    I lol’ed.

  • Acadie

    Wow did not know my wife was of the Satanic set, I will have a talk with her and if she doesn’t stop her Reiki and stop reading Tarot Cards I will have to stone her. I love her but you know the bible says so, I best be getting to the task …… These people are complete morons, my wife does both and probably has a far higher moral fabric than losers like these people. How ignorance flourishes even what should be educated and tolerant societies.

  • Kevin Bracken

    BEDEVERE:
    And what do you burn apart from witches?
    VILLAGER #1:
    More witches!
    VILLAGER #3:
    Shh!
    VILLAGER #2:
    Wood!
    BEDEVERE:
    So, why do witches burn?
    [pause]
    VILLAGER #3:
    B–… ’cause they’re made of… wood?
    BEDEVERE:
    Good! Heh heh.
    CROWD:
    Oh, yeah. Oh.
    BEDEVERE:
    So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
    VILLAGER #1:
    Build a bridge out of her.
    BEDEVERE:
    Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
    VILLAGER #1:
    Oh, yeah.
    RANDOM:
    Oh, yeah. True. Uhh…
    BEDEVERE:
    Does wood sink in water?
    VILLAGER #1:
    No. No.
    VILLAGER #2:
    No, it floats! It floats!
    VILLAGER #1:
    Throw her into the pond!
    CROWD:
    The pond! Throw her into the pond!
    BEDEVERE:
    What also floats in water?
    VILLAGER #1:
    Bread!
    VILLAGER #2:
    Apples!
    VILLAGER #3:
    Uh, very small rocks!

  • Chris Orbz

    If I’d ever even heard of these people, I’d advocate some sort of a boycott.
    As it is, I’m fine with just laughing at their ignorance, plus their web design.

  • rek

    This is Toronto Tourism, the same folks that brought us the retarded Toronto Unlimited logo right? Are we surprised?

  • Jonathan Goldsbie

    Actually, no, rek:
    “The Miss Toronto Tourism pageant has no any apparent affiliation with the Toronto Convention & Visitors Association or other quasi-official tourism organization.”
    And as the Sun states, “Miss Toronto Tourism is independent, having nil to do with City Hall or with the tourism board, say spokesmen for both.”
    Thank God, eh?

  • SpupEh

    Hey T-Rek: FWIW, Toronto Tourism didn’t act alone in bringing us that lame Toronto Unlimited brand…but I don’t think this pageant has anything to do with them (other than apparently biting their name) anyhow. And really…reiki=occult? Wow.

  • Chris Orbz

    If I was working for any Toronto tourism organization that was actually officially connected to one of the world’s most multicultural cities, I’d make damn sure I made publicly clear that I had nothing and wanted nothing to do with these fundie we’d-be-bigots-if-we-even-understood-what-we-were-talking-about.

  • Carrie M

    The tourist organization is called Tourism Toronto, not Toronto Tourism (even though that’s their website). Either way, it’s pretty easy to get mixed up (which has even been done in this article).

  • Svend

    What do you expect, judgmental people looking for a judge.
    Do my taxes support them?
    If so, it would be amusing if their funding was retracted.

  • Patrick Metzger

    Thanks Carrie…

  • Marc Lostracco

    Who’s running this pageant? Marguerite Perrin?

  • vampchick21

    I’ve written the group in question a letter, and plan on writing their sponsors and the charities they support, as well as boycotting the sponsors until such time as this group joins the 21st century and reality.

  • owl

    Curious… is it not illegal in Canada to discriminate against a person based on their religion?
    Granted, I wouldn’t want to be associated with a group that shows so little respect for others, but seriously, wouldn’t it be a gas if someone filed a human rights complaint about this?
    There has to be a lawyer looking for some free publicity… ;-)

  • antiboy

    owl, you forget, Wicca isn’t considered a religion to these people ;) It’s simply a blasphemy.

  • owl

    Perhaps, but it is recognized in law.
    I’d like not to have to recognise the obligation to pay taxes or obey the speed limit, but somehow, big brother sees it differently.
    Would be fun though.
    Especially since they are using a name that so similarly resembles (to the point where it might cause confusion) to Toronto Tourism.
    I wonder if Toronto Tourism folks know about this? How happy can they be about a minor controversy that risks dragging their name into something they had nothing to do with?

  • Kevin Bracken

    Especially because the REAL Toronto Tourism sees its largest number of visitors to the city during Pride!

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    Someone should tell the author of this piece that tarot cards are not really “ancient” Those cards date no earlier than the 15th century. Also, the tarot was not intended for the occult or fortune telling. There is no evidence that tarot cards were originally intended for any spiritual guidance. It was created for no other purpose than for playing a trick taking card game similar to contract bridge. Tarot is not exclusively an occult item. Tarot never stopped being a card game. People in such places as France and in French speaking Canada are playing Tarot today as an actual card game. While I am no friend of fundamentalist Christianity, they are not the only ones to blame for these controversies surrounding tarot cards. Tarot publishers and mainstream media articles such as this one should also share in the blame by distorting and stereotyping this cultural artifact and making it into something it was not intended to be.

  • Patrick Metzger

    Firstly, I had entirely coincidentally read a history of the tarot just prior to writing this piece, so I’m content with my level of knowledge.
    Secondly, how old is “ancient”? I refe you to the Academy of Ancient Music, which plays pieces from the Classical and Baroque periods, not imperial Babylon.
    Thirdly, whatever medieval Italians may have done with the tarot, what they are principally used for these days is divination and spiritual guidance. I can use a Ouija board as a TV tray, but that’s not what they’re sold for.
    Man, I hate single-issue pedants.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    If you’ve done your history homework it does not show itself in the article. “Tarot cards are an ancient way of seeking spiritual guidance..” You’ve given readers the false impression that tarot cards are ancient and that they’ve always been used for divination. The Italian renaissance, the time and place of tarots origins, is not considered “ancient” by historians. Divination with tarot cards dates no earlier than the 18th century. Tarot reading is no more ancient than the American republic! While it is true that tarot cards are used mostly for divination, a case can be made that such usage is an abuse of the artifact based on ignorance of the true history and heritage of these cards. It may sound like pedantry to you but these false impressions which often appear in the mainstream media are harmful to those of us who use the tarot for its intended purpose, for playing card games. If Wiccans can protest the stereotypes about their religion on Halloween, then we tarot gamers have a legitimate beef against the stereotypes regarding our gaming equipment.

  • vampchick21

    The ancientness or not ancientness of the Tarot has SQUAT to do with the issue at hand.
    The issue at hand, as has been clearly explained in the article, is that an organization touting itself as promoting multiculturalism has blatantly discriminated against an individual based her pastimes of Riki and Tarot (and she uses the Tarot as divination, so therefore THAT is the aspect of Tarot at the forefront here), stating that such pastimes are, in essence, the tool of the devil, and an apparently secular organization putting on, of all things, a beauty pageant, had taken it upon themselves to only uphold multiculturalism if it fits in with their religious views (clearly stating that only the Big Three count), clearly putting out there in another news article at citynews.ca that they accept all religions EXCEPT for witchcraft (in essence, Wicca, although not all Witches are Wiccans).
    And ya know what? They’d give you the same reaction as they did her, no matter that you use the Tarot cards to play a card game instead of as a divination tool. You could explain to that dingbat Murray a thousand times about the card game aspect and she’d still be visualizing you at the stake and adding you to her ‘prayers’.
    Besides, the damned things are used for BOTH a game and a tool, so BOTH sides have legitimate and valid points. Deal with it.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    I am speaking of multiculturalism. The monolithic view most of us have of tarot as an occult tool is antithetical to the idea of multiculturalism. The article is one example of many articles in the mainstream media which give no indication whatsoever that those cards were and still are used for card games. In North America, we have a very limited view of tarot cards. Most of us think they are only for fortune telling. We have this conception because the tarot publishing industry does not want us to know the true history of tarot and the mainstream media are doing a poor job at investigating this phenomenon. We should expand our horizons about tarot instead of thinking of these cards only in terms of the occult. We should promote real multiculturalism and let most North Americans know the true nature of tarot. Tarot cards are really nothing more than playing cards. There is nothing spooky or mysterious about them.

  • vampchick21

    And there is nothing spooky or mysterious about mirrors or bowls of water, but I use both for scrying.
    And yes, Tarot cards ARE playing cards, and the modern deck of cards tucked into my junk draw came out of the Tarot cards.
    BUT…they are ALSO used for divination. As are mirrors, bowls of water, various forms of crystal (like the iconic Crystal Ball), tea leaves (shall we tea drinkers now protest that association?), coffee grounds, chicken bones, stones painted or carved with runes, the position of the stars in the sky, the flight path of birds, the palm of your hand….
    Shall I go on?
    My point is, what is your point? So the Tarot is also used to play a card game. It is also used for Divination.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go make a cup of tea and then read the leaves.

  • vampchick21

    I also suddenly feel the need to point out that for a long time, and yes, even up to today, many people sincerely belived that card games and decks of cards themselves were tools of the devil.
    So even your innocent game of Go Fish or Gin Rummy or Whist were seen as a sinful pastime. And yet there isn’t anything mysterious or spooky about them.
    My real issue right now is that you seem to be totally dismissing out of hand the divination use. Tarot cards and regular (modern) decks of cards are used for divination (cartomancy, of which taromancy – the use of the Tarot deck – is a sub section of). By all means point out to those who do not know that you can play a game of Rummy with a Tarot deck, but don’t dismiss and deny that many people use that very same deck of cards for divination.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    You’re missing the point of my posts. I’m not trying to dismiss tarot divination. You are also incorrect in your assertion that modern playing cards are derived from tarot. This is another myth often propagated by the mainstream media. Ordinary playing cards actually came before the tarot. My point is to offer some criticism of how tarot cards are often covered in the mainstream media. Those cards are used for both games and divination. Why does this article not point it out? Why does this article use the word “ancient” in a very misleading way? I don’t think this “group” can move into the 21st century, unless our media coverage of tarot also moves into the 21st century.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    I should also point at that there is no evidence linking tarot cards to Kabbalah. I’m speaking of the advertising about Kabbalah which is sometimes appearing here. Here is another example of how tarot is commonly misrepresented in the media.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    I should also point at that there is no evidence linking tarot cards to Kabbalah. I’m speaking of the advertising about Kabbalah which is sometimes appearing here. Here is another example of how tarot is commonly misrepresented in the media.

  • vampchick21

    The advertising is a random script that has nothing to do with the blog. You have an issue with that, I suggest you get in touch with Google and good luck on that.
    And alright, although I actually don’t care one way or the other, tarot developed from playing cards which date back to the 9th century in China.
    And I suppose the article doesn’t point it out because a) it’s an article about a specific discrimination AND THE DIVINATION ASPECT is what one of the points raised by Miss Tourism Toronto was, therefore that’s is what is being addressed, and b) IT’S NOT AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF PLAYING CARDS.
    Mayhap you should email Miss Toronto Tourism to point out to them the long standing non-divination uses of the Tarot? They won’t respond by the way, but the addy is misstorontotourism@yahoo.ca
    As for the use of ‘ancient’, all I can say is that many of the history books on my bookshelf, written by historians and professors and scholars, will refer to something as ancient, when in fact it is Tudor or Medieval. A quick peek at the Mirriam Webster dictionary shows this:
    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ancient
    Main Entry: 1an·cient
    Pronunciation: \ˈān(t)-shənt, ˈāŋ(k)-shənt\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English ancien, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *anteanus, from Latin ante before — more at ante-
    Date: 14th century
    1: having had an existence of many years
    2: of or relating to a remote period, to a time early in history, or to those living in such a period or time; especially : of or relating to the historical period beginning with the earliest known civilizations and extending to the fall of the western Roman Empire in a.d. 476
    3: having the qualities of age or long existence: as a: venerable b: old-fashioned antique
    Meaning, it has more than one usage. It is used to describe/identify more than just definition #2. And from Patrick’s post above (something you might have overlooked….copy and paste here, feel free to scroll up)
    “Secondly, how old is “ancient”? I refe you to the Academy of Ancient Music, which plays pieces from the Classical and Baroque periods, not imperial Babylon.”

  • Patrick Metzger

    Vampchick – I’ve been keeping out of this debate because you’re doing such a bang-up job, but thought I’d reinforce the key point.
    TIFG – As noted above, you do get that this post is actually about a woman who was poorly treated by some religious types because of her penchant for using the Tarot for divination?
    If I ever do a post about the history and use of the Tarot deck, I will certainly consult with you.

  • andrew

    “multiculturalism”?!! what? in what way is playing with a deck of cards constituted as a culture?

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    From the Wikipedia article on ancient history, “Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of human history until the Early Middle Ages” Tarot cards, therefore are not ancient.
    The advertising is not chosen by the Torontoist, but I doubt that it is randomly chosen. The advertiser is reinforcing a common but spurious connection between tarot cards and Kabbalah.
    Game playing is a part of culture, so true multiculturalism would embrace tarot as a family of card games instead of treating it exclusively as a divination method.
    Would this woman be as harshly treated if it were revealed she was practicing divination with an ordinary deck of playing cards? While there are those who believe that all playing cards and card games are the tools of the devil, would she face the same discrimination if she were a poker player? I have my doubts she would be. While there is no disagreement from me that those fundamentalists on that board are idiots, they are not the only ones at fault. The public perception of tarot cards common in our part of the world should also be blamed. While the fundamentalists are merely reacting to the stereotypes, the metaphysical publishers and the uncritical mainstream media are the ones creating and promoting the stereotypes in the first place.

  • vampchick21

    In a nutshell? Yes, she would have received the exact same treatment if she said she practice Cartomancy (the practice of diviniation via cards), if she said she read tea leaves or cast runes or ANY OTHER FORM OF DIVINATION. The *thought* of divination by any form, is what has Ms. Murray and her ilk up in the air.
    And you keep going on and on about how tarot = divination is a misconception WHEN IT IS FACT. What you SHOULD be saying is that Tarot is BOTH a game AND a divination tool depending on who is using them. TAROT IS USED FOR DIVINATION BY MANY PEOPLE. These people NEVER use their decks the way you do. And you NEVER use your deck the way they do.
    The fact remains that Ms. Conover, THE PERSON BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST, stated that SHE used the Tarot for Divination. What you use it for makes no matter in this particular case.
    Oh, and never pin everything on Wikipedia. There have been TWO examples of the use of “ancient” to describe something not so ancient after all posted here, and the use is still considered ‘proper’. The use you found on Wikipedia is part of the division of the study of history into compartments. And is only ONE use of the word. Compared to the deck of playing cards in my junk drawer, the Tarot IS ancient. And the 9th century Chinese form is ancient compared to Tarot. The computer I had 5 years ago is ancient compared to the one I am typing on right now. My walkman is ancient compared to my iPod.
    My grandfather is ancient compared to my husband. Windsor Castle is ancient compared to the CN Tower.
    Any of this sinking in? Or should I just devote my energy to more productive things like convincing my cat not to throw up in my shoes?

  • andrew

    “Game playing is a part of culture, so true multiculturalism would embrace tarot as a family of card games instead of treating it exclusively as a divination method.”
    Different cultures have different games. Multiculturalism, a practice whereby the State encourages the public to consider different cultures as equal, has little to do with the consideration of tarot as a game platform. Practicing multiculturalism means that, as an individual, one would investigate, learn from, and enjoy cultures that are different from one’s own on the basis of race, place of origin, ethnicity, or religion. If tarot decks are specific to a region, ethnic group’s practice of game playing/divination, or religious praxis, then indeed multiculturalism as State practice would embrace it also a source of recreation.
    Don’t tell me you’re one of those folks who whine that because people don’t recognize your little subcultural group you’re oppressed. Even as problematic as multiculturalism is, it still has vast uplift for people who really do experience discrimination and oppression. Give it up. We know people play games with the tarot now, even if we didn’t before. We just don’t care considering the subject matter at hand.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    I never said I was oppressed. I simply said that my gaming equipment is being stereotyped. People use many items for divination, what is different about tarot is that it was turned into something it was not intended to be. I’ve never denied that tarot divination exists. My point is that tarot divination is based on false history and cultural thievery. The mainstream media should inform people of tarots intended game playing usage, as opposed to simply passing along uncritically the pseudo-history of the occultists. We cannot blame the funamentalists for having skewed views of the tarot, when there’s an entire metaphysical industry involved in distorting the history and heritage of this gaming artifact.

  • vampchick21

    No. Tarot divination is based on people using that particular form of playing card to practice cartomancy.
    Yes, there is an entire ‘metaphysical industry’ around the Tarot deck. Why? BECAUSE LOTS OF PEOPLE USE THEM FOR DIVINATION. So those companies provide THOSE people what they want and need.
    It is NOT CULTURAL THIEVERY.
    Seriously dude, you are stretching your ‘point’ pretty damn thin now. Don’t go calling the people that use tarot differently from you thieves and liers.
    And now I’m pretty much done with you. I see now that it’s pointless to discuss, debate or argue with you since you have a set of blinders on.
    People use the Tarot deck for divination. Get over it.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    People use the tarot for divination mostly because they are ignorant of its intended use. Many people have been misled into believing that divination is somehow the proper use of tarot cards. The metaphysical industry seldom presents the option of playing card games with them. They have written a lot of garbage about tarot cards leading people to believe falshoods; that the cards come from Egypt, that they are related to Kabbalah; that they are anti-Christian and that they are older than dirt. The metaphysical publishers have this need to present tarot cards as ancient or mysterious and I think this has led us into some problems. They’ve led some people to be afraid of tarot cards. This is not the first time I have seen controversies surrounding the tarot. I do not see these controversies surrounding astrology or Chinese fortune cookies or a number of other “occult” practices. I am not anti-divination per se, I have read tarot cards as well as ordinary playing cards and I have dabbled in the I Ching. The reason I am now more interesting in tarot games is because I like tarot cards, have done a lot of research on them and have come to the conclusion that game playing is the more authentic application of the tarot.

  • kalen

    I am a reiki master. This issue has not only insulted my integrity but promotes hatred and intolerance. What happens now if some real bad negative individual buys into Karen Murray’s statement and goes off to kill an innocent white light worker in true reality. Is karen Murray then then to be charged as an accessory to a murder that she ignorantly and asymetrically initiated? This is so wrong and all reiki therapists across the world should be one voice in condemning Karen Murray’s false and illusionary, misleading, defamation of character slander and potentially violent altercations that could ensue for white light healers who only endeavour to help those who are not well. Karen Murray should in the least be stripped of her position but also be held accountable in a Canadian court of law and then a higher spiritual court that she has unknowingly offended. Sincerely Alex Chornyj

  • enchanted spellcaster

    Hatred and intolerance against those with Wiccan beliefs HAS TO STOP. I live north of Toronto and have to say that with this being from a “tourist board” I am totally turned me off the city of Toronto and I will not be going there again any time soon. Wiccan beliefs are acknowledged by the Canadian Government as a religion. This lack of education for the tourist board and defamation against a huge group of people infuriates me beyond belief! I will be mass emailing this out, to say the least and asking my friends and professional contacts to stay away from Toronto!

  • Associate Builder of the Adytum

    @ Tarot is for Games
    There’s nothing mysterious about the connection between Tarot and Qabalah. Such occult authorities as Eliphas Levi, Samuel Mathers, Paul Foster Case, Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley have proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the unmistakable connection between the 22 Hebrew letters ascribed to the Paths of Wisdom upon the Tree of Life and the 22 Major Arcana of Tarot. You’re here telling us that a centuries old occult tradition is wrong simply because you, in you’re infinite wisdom, don’t see the connection. Well many students of Western Occultism DO see the connection and it makes loads of sense to those who actually take the time to study it.
    You are correct in that divination is not the foremost purpose of Tarot. It’s original purpose, according to the authorities on the matter, is for pathworking and meditation. They were designed to act as a blueprint to be placed within one’s subconsciousness, a superior pattern for the psyche, to displace and replace faulty social conditioning.
    Also, according to the occult schools that have preserved the Tarot, handed down from one initiate to the next, they’re creation was in Fez, Morocco around 1200 EV.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    What Associate Builder of the Adytum has written is now dated. Those are the specualtions of 19th and early 20th century occultists. They’ve been debunked. We know more about tarot cards these days. You should read more up to date histories. If you can find it, Michael Dummett’s Game of Tarot, or Wicked Pack of cards. The original purpose of tarot, according to contemporary research on card games, is for playing a card game. No evidence has been found for any other purpose. Only fundamentalists of esoteric tarot dispute these findings.

  • Tarot_Is_For_Games

    On a matter unrelated to tarot history, concerning the Miss Toronto Tourism organization, there seems to be some more problems involved. Google “miss toronto tourism” and “mary kay cosmetics” or “miss toronto tourism” and “michel dauda photography” for details! It appears that some of MTT’s original 18 sponsors, were added to that list without their consent! Mary Kay’s legal dept. is said to be looking into this matter.