OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MAGI – Letter of Resignation from Ryan Robertson.

F.A.O: All Members of the Order of the Magi

C/O Secretary Mike Sharples

11th September 2018.


Dear Members,

I write to officially give my resignation from the Order of the Magi.

Due to Family Holidays & other commitments I have been unable to write this letter and address these matters until now, for which I apologise.

I shall also be emailing this to all members for whom I have direct contact emails and/or am connected to via Social Media.

I joined the Order of the Magi after having been encouraged to do so by former member Jonathan Royle who himself resigned from the Magi at the 2018 AGM earlier this year, I was not present at the AGM but I have been told a few different version of events that took place that night.

According to Jonathan he was disgusted by the lack of apparent motivation or action being taken to help the club obtain new members and grow and was shocked to discover that the club had the previous year spent a couple of hundred pounds more on expenses than it had brought in through subscriptions.

I now find myself regrettably feeling that I too have no choice but to resign from the Magi due to the way that Jonathan Royle was treated by Mike Sharples (supposedly on behalf of club members) on the evening of 14th August 2018.

Ultimately Mike Sharples turned Jonathan Royle away at the door and refused him entry to the Adrian Sullivan Presidents Lecture in a manner that was unfounded and also highly embarrassing for Jonathan.

I am aware (as I was there on the night in question) that Jonathan approached the door to go into the room the lecture was taking place and was stopped by Mike Sharples who said words along the lines of “You Can’t Come in as you’re not a member and have been to 2 meetings during this club year”

Jonathan replied to this by saying “Yes I know I can’t come in without renewing my membership as stated on the club website and so here is the money to pay for my renewal of membership” and then he tried to hand the money to Mike who refused.

Not only did Mike refuse Jonathans membership money he also told Jonathan “You’re Not Welcome” and when asked why he replied “We’ve had lots of complaints about you from members” this seems to be misleading, as Jonathan had already spoken with a number of members who had already told Jonathan to just ignore the new rule and come along to the meetings as they would like to see him there.

Since the meeting I have investigated and to the best of my knowledge we as members were not ever asked whether Jonathan should be “refused entry” or “banned from re-joining” and thus I fail to see how such action and behaviour towards him was fair in any manner.

I am aware that at the AGM Jonathan’s language got quite heated and maybe offensive, however I am also aware that since then he has:

1) Apologised directly to anyone who seemed to be offended on the night including directly to Mike Sharples who confirmed that he had accepted such apology hence welcoming Jonathan along to the Magi Auction which took place a few weeks after the AGM.

2) Jonathan has attended Two Lectures Since the AGM and Mike was happy to take his entry money on both occasions with nothing negative being said to him.

3) Jonathan also attended the Close-Up Competition and again nothing negative was said to him by anyone.

4) On the night in question (14th August) Jonathan was sat with myself and a few other Magi member’s downstairs in the Irish Heritage Centre before the Lecture and nobody said anything negative to him at all.

5) Since the 14th August I have been made aware that the first any of the club’s members knew of Jonathan apparently not being welcome was when Jonathan contacted them after the event and/or spoke to them after the meeting which again illustrates that it seems no vote has ever been made on the matter and that the behaviour shown towards Jonathan is unfair.

6) Given that Mike Sharples as Secretary had the chance to tell Jonathan he was not welcome at The Magi Auction, Close-Up Competition and 2 Lectures all of which Jonathan attended and at all of which Mike Sharples and the Magi were happy to take his money at, it becomes clear that all is most certainly not what it seems.

7) The new rule of people to quote the website:

Visitors are welcome to attend meetings and lectures by prior arrangement with either the President or Secretary for a fee of £5 (unless otherwise stated). Please note – This is restricted to two visits per person per Magi syllabus year, not including auctions and competitions. To attend all lectures and meetings, and to benefit from full Magi membership, please apply below”.

This seems to be something that was not discussed at the AGM, nor voted on democratically by the committee and instead seems to have been added AFTER Jonathan has resigned and AFTER he had attended the auction and a lecture, some may say it was instigated to force Jonathan out of attending, it certainly would seem that way.

In any event it is a ridiculous change as potentially this could lose the club money as some people may want to attend 3 events (or more) in a year at £5 = £15 for club’s funds but would only be allowed to attend 2 unless they joined which some may not wish to do.

Given that the club has spent more than it brought in last year surely it would be wise to bring every penny possible into club funds and that includes the fact it would have been wiser to accept Jonathan’s money on 14th August rather than Mike telling him he was and is not welcome?

9) Jonathan being refused entry in the manner he was is even more alarming when it is considered what an active member of the club he was including such things as him:

**Helping to set up and pack away.

**Taking photographs of meetings which went into the magazine monthly.

**Negotiating discounts for club members.

**Participating in the Magi competitions.

**Participating in Magi auctions.

**Always offering help, advice and insights to members when questions were raised.

**Often being asked to clarify things by and for visiting lecturers who have always thanked him.

**He Lectured at the Club 3 times before he joined.

**Having recently been asked by Max Townsend if he had another New Lecture available and in response offering to give such lecture to the club free of charge,

**Actively trying to get things happening to help get new members into the club and back on track to where it once used to be.

Despite all of the above and despite the fact that Jonathan had already apologised (and had his apology accepted) for his language used and any offence he had caused to those present at the AGM whilst resigning all of the aforementioned things it seems have been purposely ignored and subsequently refused membership.

It sadly seems as though those at the helm of the club have no real desire to do what is right for the club and rather are making decisions (without consulting other members or the club council) and taking actions aligned to their own personal agendas.

This raises the question “What is the purpose of a committee or council if important decisions which may directly affect the future of the club are being made by those in direct control.

I am not wishing to cause offence here but this is my honest opinion and I cannot remain silent on these issues hence I am officially withdrawing my membership from the club.

Should these matters be fully rectified and put right fully in the future, then I may possibly reconsider my position at that time, but for now I can no longer remain a member of the Order of the Magi.

I would urge all members to consider these matters seriously when choosing who to vote for at the next AGM, the future of your club depends on it.

Yours Truly

Ryan Robertson.

PS: I have for some strange reason been removed from the magi mailing list & so am not able to find email addresses for other members hence I have sent this
letter to Jonathan Royle and given him permission to post it on his blog page.



Open Letter to Members of Order of the Magi the Manchester Magic Club & Magical Society & Fellow Magicians. THE TRUTH relating to how I was pushed out of England’s 3rd Oldest Magic Club.



Dated Tuesday 11th September 2018 can also be seen here:

From: JONATHAN ROYLE – (Formerly Known as Alex-Le-Roy)

Thursday 16th August 2018.

F:A:O – All Members of The Order of the Magi.

Dear All,

Following events which took place at the last Order of the Magi meeting (Adrian Sullivan Presidents Lecture) on Tuesday 14th August 2018, namely the fact I was (by Secretary Mike Sharple’s) turned away, my money was refused and I was told that I was/am not welcome any longer as apparently I have upset too many members with my comments at the AGM I am sending this message to ensure the full facts are known by all.

Therefore I am sending this letter to all members of the Magi for whom I have (or could easily find) contact details, either by direct email and/or by way of inbox to your Facebook or other Social Media Account.

(I will also publish it openly & publicly on my WordPress Blog Page) 

Firstly to anyone who attended the AGM on 27th March 2018, at which I resigned as a member of the Magi, may I once again in writing repeat that which I have already communicated to various people both verbally in person and also by email/text, namely that if anyone was in any manner offended or upset by any of the language used by myself that I offer my sincere apologies for any upset/offense caused.

However for the record (as communicated to Club Secretary Mike Sharples via Whatsapp Messages & then at a later date in person) I stand by everything I said at the AGM as it was all stated with only the best interests of the future success and growth of the club at heart.

For those who may not know I started attending the Order of the Magi back in Circa 1989 onwards when they were located at The Post Office Club and was very kindly taken to meetings by life member Jack Griggs.

Due to issues which are now water under the bridge relating to Derek Lever I never actually joined the Magi until after I had done three heavily attended and positively received Lectures for your members, where at the end of the 3rd Lecture I joined & became an active member of the club.

With the exception of when I had paid Professional Bookings and/or Television interviews I attended at all Lectures, all informal club meetings and even entered competitions regularly, resulting in me winning the 2016 Cabaret Magic Trophy and both the Best Card Trick Shield and also the outright Close-Up Magic Trophy in the 2017 event.

I would regularly help to set out chairs, clear stuff away after lectures and take photographs during events which appeared on an almost monthly basis within the pages of the Magi magazine.

I came up with the idea of getting discounts from Magic Dealers for our members (and to help entice new members) and indeed I then negotiated such with the dealers. For the year of 2017-2018 there were approx 18 dealers giving members such discounts, for the present year of 2018 to 2019 you will notice on the magi site on the membership page located at this link: that I was able to negotiate more discounts for members (You should have been sent a PDF with all the discount codes) and now you have 34 dealers you can save money with.

Bearing in mind all of the above and the fact that I have known many of the Magi members since I was in my early teens and indeed some members such as Jack Steel worked with me when I was around 12, it is with great regret and sadness that on Tuesday 14th August I discovered that I am no longer welcome in any manner and so it would seem at any time at the Order of the Magi.

In a nutshell as mentioned earlier I resigned my membership at the AGM on 27th March 2018, however on 22nd May after having communicated with Mike Sharples by Whatsapp & text Messages during which I had again apologised for any offense my language may have caused anyone at the AGM it was confirmed by Mike that I was welcome to attend the Magi Auction that evening which indeed I did and as always at such events I bought numerous items thus helping to raise funds for the club in the process.

On the 12th of June it was the Andrew Normansell Lecture and on 26th June it was the Paul Roberts Lectures, I attended both events and paid my £5 visiting non magic member attendance fee to Mike Sharples who happily took my money.

On 10th July I attended the Close-Up Competition and just like had occurred at the 2 lectures, various members (you know who you are) were encouraging me to rejoin and so I said I would give it some serious consideration.

It had also recently been brought to my attention that the Magi website had been updated with this sentence:

This is restricted to two visits per person per Magi syllabus year, not including auctions and competitions.”

Which had been added to the sentence about visiting non members so that in full and in context it now read:

Visitors are welcome to attend meetings and lectures by prior arrangement with either the President or Secretary for a fee of £5 (unless otherwise stated). This is restricted to two visits per person per Magi syllabus year, not including auctions and competitions. To attend all lectures and meetings, and to benefit from full Magi membership, Click Here.

Quoted from the home page of

I mentioned this to various members who seemed to be hearing about this for the first time and several commented that such rule was ridiculous and not in the best interests of the club.

My observation is that whilst some clubs such as the Magic Circle have such a rule, they only have such on the basis that they already have lots & lots of members and want to ensure there is always enough room for their registered members to attend.

Sadly no such membership level or issue currently exists with the Magi, and whilst some may think limiting attendance to 2 meetings and then forcing people to join is the way to get more members, I would disagree and point out that currently the more visitors you can get paying £5 a time the more there will be for club funds to pay for more and bigger name lecturers who in turn would attract more paying guests and more funds to the club.

Ultimately in time as bigger names are appearing more regularly some of these people would then join of their own accord due to membership having then become more desirable and beneficial to them.

Anyhow the point is when I attended on 14th August I knew about the 2 meeting rule and so was prepared to pay my £35 subscription fee to rejoin.

I was met at the door by Mike who said “You Can’t Come In” and proceeded to mention the 2 meeting rule to which I replied “That’s fine I understand and that’s why here is my £35 subs money”and tried to hand him the payment.

However Mike refused to take such and said “Your Not welcome, you’ve upset too many members and we’ve had too many complaints” I can only assume by “we” he meant the committee?

Given the AGM was on 27th March 2018 and that I after the event had apologised for the few choice words I used whilst resigning and had subsequently been welcomed back for the auction, 2 lectures and a competition without a single word about “not being welcome” ever being said to me by anybody I was as you can imagine somewhat surprised to say the least by this reaction.

Having spoken to several Magi Members since I was turned away at the door it seems many had absolutely no idea about the new “2 meetings as a visitor rule” and most certainly had no idea that I was apparently no longer welcome at the club.

Several mentioned that members were certainly not asked to vote on whether I was welcome any longer or not and that they doubt that a proper Committee meeting has been held about the matter (or the new 2 meeting rule) as they are aware proper committee meetings in line with the rules of the club have, it seems not taken place for a long time.

So to the members I’ve known for years and those who have become friends in recent years, please do keep in touch and I hope to see you soon.

To those who were encouraging me to rejoin which I tried to do on Tuesday night, thanks again, but it seems I am not welcome any longer.

I’ve only ever wanted the best for the club, for it to grow and return to the kind of success it has enjoyed previously, unfortunately that has not been possible.

I wish you all Health, Happiness and Success for the future.

Kind Regards


PS: I’ve not (yet) been able to find an email address for Dave McGee, Kaye or David and as there may possibly be a few others I’ve missed, it would be massively appreciated if you could, please forward this email to them (and any other members) so that everyone knows what is going on.


Dated Tuesday 11th September 2018 can be seen here:

Rochdale Magician & Hypnotist Jonathan Royle Win’s 2016 Cabaret Magic Trophy at England’s 3rd Oldest Magic Club, Manchester’s Order of the Magi.

ABOVE: Magician Ian Brown Presents the 2017 Trophy for Close-Up Magical Champion to Jonathan Royle at Manchester’s Order of the Magi.

ABOVE: Sly Smith Presenting The Sly Smith Shield for Best Card Trick 2017 to Jonathan Royle at Manchesters Order of the Magi.

Rochdale Magician, Mind-Reader & Hypnotist Wins Close-Up Magical Champion Trophy & The Sly Smith Shield for Best Card Trick in Magic Competition Run by England’s 3rd Oldest Magical Society Manchester Based The Order of the Magi.

Below are the Three Reviews of the Three Lectures I have given to the Order of the Magi in the past which were always positively received and very well attended.





NOTE: Enter the discount code of WIZARD in block capital letters to get 50% off.

Celebrity Hypnotherapist & Comedy Stage Hypnotist & NLP Hypnosis Trainer Jonathan Royle aka Alex William Smith

Celebrity Hypnotherapist & Comedy Stage Hypnotist & NLP Hypnosis Trainer Jonathan Royle aka Alex William Smith

Award Winning Hypnotist Jonathan Royle

Award Winning Hypnotist Jonathan Royle