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Written by Gary J. Arzt

Monday, 22 September 2008

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What is it all about, Mr. Giolito?

Editor's Note: Dion's response and many other differing opinions from cigar community members can be found in two forum threads on Cigar Review and Cigar Weekly. This article makes no conclusions and is merely speculation of the writer.

Directly following the IPCPR in Las Vegas (14 -17 July), I wrote a piece for this website. In the article, I noted the bizarre use of images of Rev. Jim Jones, a mass murder, in the decoration of Illusione Cigars' booth. I also noted the obscure front marks and 'names' of various Illusione cigars. The article elicited the following e-mail from Dion Giolito, the owner of the brand.
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Gary,

I originally thought about signing up and posting a response in your forums. I concluded that it would be bad form to do so. My letter is to you personally. I'm sure I don't need to remind you but, the first rule of any reporter when considering publishing an article is to make sure his facts are straight and that the source is credible. You dear sir, were false in your information with regards to Illusione cigars. The cigars have NOTHING to do with 2012 and the Mayan calendar. If you would've stopped for one moment with your pad and paper to ask me, your information would've been recorded correctly. You lifted that information from another article written about me and my cigar earlier in the year. You obviously didn't care to take the time and read the entire article, otherwise your may have gotten it correct. That was a comment unrelated to my cigars and, made in jest. Were you rushed for time to make to print or, is it just chalked up to apathy and laziness? Is it your habit when reporting to just make an assumption at face value and fill in the blanks where necessary? I sir take what I do very seriously and, when articles are written with blatantly wrong information that can confuse the reader from past publications. With regards to the Reverend's posters in my booth, you clearly didn't care to inquire at the booth, so I feel an explanation here would fall on deaf ears.
Look beyond.

Dion Giolito
Illusione cigars.

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I responded to Mr. Giolito on the 29 July, as follows, explaining how my erroneous comment about the Mayan calendar happened; and expressing my complete willingness to correct the article.

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Mr. Giolito:

In an attempt to keep this simple, and to the point, I'll ignore your asides about the calibre and quality of my journalism, and not provide you with my bona fides.

I made three (3) attempts to find you at your booth, all to no avail. If I had done the same for the 1680+ booths at the show, it would have required 5,040 booth visits, or 1,440 booth visits per day. Not really in the cards. I made a serious attempt to speak with you.

While I have never read a thing about you or your cigars, nor any reference to the Mayan calendar and your cigars, I had been reading about the Mayan calendar, in another context, and, regrettably, it stuck in my head. The allusions of Illusione are from another piece of esoteric writing. Be that as it may, if you wish to enlighten me, I will correct the article.

As to the late Rev. Jones, I am reminded of the damning comments, about the United States, of another Reverend of more recent vintage, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The explanation was that he was being 'quoted' or YouTubed " ... out of context." No one attempted to explain in what context such comments would be acceptable. If you wish to enlighten me, about the suitability of Rev. Jones photos attendant to the display of your cigars, I'm all ears or eyes as the case may be.

By the way, I commend you to http://www.cigarweekly.com/magazine/cigarticles/07-17-2008/ipcpr-former-rtda--2008 on 17 July 2008 which, independently, arrived at a like conclusion about the presence of the Rev. Jones' likeness.


© 2008 CigarWeekly.com. Used with permission.

I look forward to remedial information regarding my erroneous reference to the Mayan calendar.

Cordially,
Gary J. Arzt

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Mr. Giolito was quick to the respond with the following. The reader will note, as I immediately did, that while he provides some inane spin for the use of the Rev. Jones, he totally ignores the question about correcting my view of the esoteric references used for his front marks and size names.

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Gary,

I hope this email can serve as an olive branch. I'm using this letter to you as a response as well to CW. I'll fill you in on the meanings behind the names of my cigars a little later on today. (GJA's Note: No further information was forthcoming, later that day or at anytime.)

Simply put, it was a shot aimed at myself. For years in the retail business, I've seen brands come and go, some that really made a big impact and, worked the buyers into a frenzy. I found it ironic that after my years of aprehension and sometimes, downright contempt for these brands, I realized I could be THAT guy now! Many times we've used the term "drink the Kool-Aid" in these instances. I realized that I am the Kool-Aid - The ratings, the reviews, the thumbs up by respected board members etc. It kind of all factored in. I understand completely the feelings certain people must have regarding Jim Jones and his following. I do not support the actions of the Reverend nor, how he chose to interpret the word of God. It is somewhat confusing to me that we can refer to the above phrase to such a horrible incident - in jest and without repercussion yet, when an image is presented, it evokes a much different reaction. Yes, it may have been in bad taste but, without getting too "preachy." let's take Fidel Castro. I find it ironic that, here is a man who had countless people murdered, broken hundreds, if not, thousands of families, and has locked up an equal amount of people only to throw away the key for the sake of the sovereignty of his country through Communism. Yet, with all of his atrocities, we as Americans still seek out Cuban cigars through illegal means and, all the while, look past these atrocities and we still indulge in tobacco drenched in the blood and plight of Cuban humanity. How can this be! His image (Che's as well) has been plastered on clothing and in promotion. Retro- Revolucion hats have been made by cigar companies mimicking symbolism and, not a single word of protest. Where does the hypocrisy end? Where is the line of taste drawn? Is it before Howard Stern but after Rush Limbaugh? I make no excuses (nor apologies). I do not blame-shift and I do not point fingers. I'm accountable for my actions 100%.

And always remember this..

CHARLEY DON'T SURF!
Dion Giolito

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I chose to ignore, "Look Beyond," "Charley Don't Surf," and his reference to his e-mail to " ... serve as an olive branch." I, for one, wasn't at war with him or his cigars!

It was the absence of information on the various names and marks that kept me interested, and there are, after a fair amount of research, specific questions I wish to have answers to. Answers that I think all cigar smokers, who smoke Illusione, and all tobacconists that carry Illusione are entitled to.

None of what follows are accusations; they are not even conclusions. Call it speculation, based on research, which has prompted some questions. Perhaps, by delivering the questions in a public forum, Mr. Giolito will be more inclined to provide information, rather than the promise of information to come, " ... later on today."

I'll keep this simple. I will indicate what I have found, what I have all but concluded for myself, and ask the questions. Then, I'm finished.

Kevin Godbee the owner of www.cigar-review.com has agreed to publish, in full, Mr. Giolito's response, with one condition: That Mr. Giolito's responses address the questions.

At the same time, I would be very interested in hearing from readers, tobacconists and anyone else with a thought, opinion or knowledge on the subject. You can e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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So, let me provide some of the observations I have made, in the absence of explanations from Illusione's owner.

The mark on the bottom of the boxes ... is a Coat of Arms, going back to the Holy Roman Empire that was used and styled throughout German history.

Illusione Coat of Arms

88 ... could be the eighth letter of the alphabet, 'H.' "88," "HH," "Heil Hitler?"

88 Illusione Cigar Mark

2/3 ... eliminate the slash and you have 23. The twenty-third letter of the alphabet is 'W.' "23" is a symbol often used by skinhead and neo Nazi groups in lieu of the word "white." You know, "white power," "white supremacy," that kind of stuff. It also relates to Eris, the goddess of discord, as well as being the number of the Illuminati. As if we don't already have enough conspiracy material here!

I could figure out no way in which 2/3 relates to the culebra, which is really three (3) in one (1).



The Anti-Defamation League notes that '88' and '23' are significant numbers to the neo Nazi and skinhead 'communities.'

888 ... some of my researches showed that this is the number of words in Revelations. Frankly, I did not get into it too deeply. I felt confident that Mr. Giolito would explain all, as he promised in his e-mail.

MK The teaching machine ... this one was a toughie. "The teaching machine, and MK." Well, I thought of Dr. Martin Luther King, but everyone uses his middle initial, so I tossed that theory aside.

MK mark on Illusione cigars Teaching Machine mark on Illusione Cigars

Loathe as I am to credit Adolf Hitler with being a teacher, one must acknowledge that for some, "Mein Kampf," (My struggle, or my battle, written in prison after the Munich Putsch, of 1923) was an important textbook. Is "MK The Teaching Machine," "Mein Kampf," Mr. Giolito?

The Holy Lance ... also known as the lance of Longinus, the Roman soldier, who it is said, stabbed Christ in the side with his lance to be sure that he was dead.

Napoleon sought the lance, and Hitler certainly did. He was certain he had found it in Vienna and when Germany annexed Austria, he personally saw to it being taken to Nuremburg, the home of Nazi pageantry and mysticism as conceived by Rosenberg and Goebbels.

It's just a bizarre selection of front marks and vitola names. The logo type font is Gothic, and most certainly, Germanic in appearance. Most cigars are named for their creators, or family names or geographic names. The front marks are equally understandable ... but these, it's beyond me. This is why I sought, and still seek enlightenment from Mr. Giolito.

The Society is a link on the Illusione web site. When you open the link, you can click on 'above top secret.' When I went to that page, in the lower left hand corner was the simple statement, "Jews are aliens." That's gone now, but if you put "Jews" in the "search" you get a plethora of interesting information (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/searchresults.php?cx=010913664321846374563%3Afzhl_cfnikq&cof=FORID%3A9&q=%22Jews%22+&sa=Search#931) tying Jews to the New World Order, the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg and other standard anti-Semitic drivel.

Giolito, who styles himself "The Dark Lord of the Leaf," has an intense interest in things like the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati and the Rothschild family (several generations of Jewish bankers). Funny, how in certain circles "Jewish bankers," constitutes some sort of indictment or vulgarity, at best.

I was wondering Mr. Giolito, how you feel about Jews.

Least I forget, in "The Society" there is a link for www.infowars.com, the web site of Alex Jones. Alex Jones was the man who wanted to rebuild David Koresh's Waco compound. Koresh at Waco was very much a part of the " ... arm yourself, and get ready to protect yourself and your family," etc. Who do you and Jones think we need protection from, Mr. Giolito?

On a Chat Room thread, on Cigar Family, Mr. Giolito explained that he was born in '68; came to Reno in '88 ... but sometimes there are just too many coincidences.

I was wondering what prompted him to move to Reno.

There's no doubt that Reno, NV is something of a hotbed of neo Nazi and skinhead activity, according the private and government agencies that monitor these things.

I don't want to make this too difficult. Perhaps the fewer points made, the easier it will be to get a response.

My point is that all of this, including the Rev. Jim Jones, is somewhat 'alien' to the relaxing, genteel act of smoking a cigar alone, or with friends while enjoying intelligent conversation. Mixing one's fantasies, conspiracy theories, pet peeves or worse, isn't really conducive to product marketing.

I, myself, don't always observe the old shibboleth ... oops, a Hebrew word, about not talking politics and religion. But, this, Mr.Giolito goes beyond the pale ... and you know where that is!


 




Comments 

 
+2 # BOTLRon Mc 2010-12-10 11:13
this is the most outrageous attack and wild ass extrapolation I have ever witnessed. Gary Artz, your imagination is a loose lit canon, and you have way too much time on your hands.

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0 # RE: Illusione Cigars Odd Names and Marks Raise Questionstanner 2012-06-26 13:25
Your thinking waaaaaaaay to hard about this. I think you had a thought and then tied all of the cigar names to it in some way. Maybe this is your view of dion but not everyone else's. Sure the jim jones thing was in bad taste but dont crucify him over it. Everyone makes mistakes. But dont take one mistake and then label him a anti semitic. That is totally crazy. You are thinking way to hard. I dont know if your bitter about something or just seriously "waco". He is from nevada, so it makes sense for him to move to the second biggest city in his home state to open a cigar shop. Since he employes tons of foreign workers and interacts with them regularly I highly doubt he is a racist. Who cares about his boxes and designs anyways. His cigars are the bomb! Period.

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0 # Wow, what a hatchet job.Damian 2013-12-01 17:55
Rest in Peace Gary but, this is an obvious hatchet job, or musings of a person who sees conspiracies and demons at every turn. I had quite a good explanation from Dion about his naming convention, and it dd not, in any way, coincide with your "seeing the worst" approach. This is not journalism, it is amateur attempt to create sensationalism and contempt over something that obviously rubbed you the wrong way.

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