Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Your Kids: 'The Next Sexual Frontier"

Stop the ACLU has called attention to the fact that the Indiana ACLU is fighting for visitation rights for convicted child molesters — a case that was argued all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would not consider a constitutional challenge to a state policy that sharply restricts minors' visits to imprisoned sex offenders who victimized children.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Indiana ... had filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the policy. ...

"We're very disappointed," Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU-Indiana, said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Dan Riehl notices, pedophiles have their own political party in Holland (they're also pro-bestiality):
The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether. "A ban just makes children curious," Ad van den Berg, one of the party's founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.
Wait a minute! Judith Levine, in her award-winning book Harmful to Minors, published in 2002, said that the age of consent in Holland was already 12:
Ms. Levine's book endorses a Dutch law, passed in 1990, that effectively lowered the age of consent to 12.

Ms. Levine cites research about "happy consensual sex among kids under 12," and writes: "America's drive to protect kids from sex is protecting them from nothing. Instead, often it is harming them."
Was Levine mistaken? She never for a minute backed away from the claim that sex with 12-year-olds had been legal in the Netherlands since 1990. While doing research for an article about her book, I was never able to verify this, but I was never able to disprove it, either.

Levine's book won the L.A. Times Book Award and was praised and defended by all the bien-pensants -- but now we learn that 82% of the Dutch oppose a political party that advocates lowering the age of consent to 12. So either Levine knows something about Dutch law that the Dutch pedophiles don't, or else Levine won a prestigious literary award for a book that was based on a false premise.

An old feud

Two years ago, when the paperback edition of Harmful to Minors came out, Levine wrote a new afterword in which she took a couple of shots at me, Bob Knight of Concerned Women for America and other critics of her book. Since it was the middle of an election year, and because Lynn and I were already researching Donkey Cons, I didn't have time to reply to Levine then. Besides, I figured "fair's fair" -- she takes a shot, she gives a shot. Call it even.

But just the other day, I happened to pick up the 2004 paperpack edition again and was re-reading the afterword. I noticed just how dishonestly Levine treated my criticism -- and criticism from others, including Judith Reisman, Laura Schlessinger and John Leo -- which she described as "Sexual McCarthyism."

Granted, some of the criticism of Levine was off-base -- the kind of treatment that's pretty common with media people who react to press releases rather than actually reading books. (Trust me, I know.) What irked me most -- I actually made a presentation about this for CWFA -- was a lack of skepticism on the part of others in the press, who seemed content to treat the controversy over Harmful to Minors as if it were just another shouting match between Left and Right:
So, for many American newspaper readers, this is a story about how a bunch of right-wingers, in their eternal campaign to "turn back the clock," are attacking this lonely little lady who has written a harmless book. If the New York Times wants news that's fit to print, how about this: Yes, Virginia, there is a pedophile movement and Judith Levine's book is part of it.

OK, we have an author who has endorsed a 1990 Dutch law that made it legal for adults to have sex with 12-year-olds. Guess what? The Netherlands seems to be the international capital of the pedophile movement. And guess what else? Two Dutch writers are are among the pro-pedophile writers cited as sources in Judith Levine's book.

I then provided a list of five of those pro-pedophile sources, showing exactly how they were cited, and documented the basis of characterizing these sources as "pro-pedophile." Certainly, there can be no doubt that the late Dutch activist Edward Brongersma, a convicted sex offender, was "pro-pedophile," nor really much doubt about Theo Sandfort -- who co-edited with Brongerssma a book called "Male Intergenerational Intimacy." And since John Money wrote the introduction to Sandfort's book "Boys On Their Contact With Men" ... well, you get the picture.

Child Porn "Myth"?

As soon as I sent this list of Levine's dubious sources to CWFA, Bob Knight called to tell me, "You left out a doozy -- Lawrence Stanley." Indeed. During the 1980s and early '90s, Lawrence A. Stanley was one of the most active defenders of child pornography.

A New York attorney, Stanley at one point represented NAMBLA, and also did battle with federal prosecutors in some rather bizarre cases. Stanley wrote an article for the Dutch pedophile journal Paidika that was later published, in slightly modified form, as "The Child Pornography Myth" in the September 1988 issue of Playboy.

In Harmful to Minors, Levine cites a third revision of that Lawrence Stanley article, from a 1989 law journal. She says this article is "widely considered the most thorough research of child pornography in the 1980s" and characterizes Stanley argument as concluding that "the pornographers were almost exclusively cops." This was a reference to a type of sting operation, in which Stanley said that police mailed out child pornography to men who had responded to classified ads placed by the cops in "adult" publications.

But whatever Lawrence Stanley wrote or Judith Levine believes, there were actual arrests for child pornography in the 1970s and 1980s that had nothing to do with police sting operations. For example, militant feminist Nikki Craft has chronicled several cases involving the nudist/naturist movement, such as Tom Kelley, Tim Wilcox and Eric Cross.

In the course of her activism, Nikki Craft eventually encountered Lawrence Stanley, who it turns out was secretly building his own child-pornography empire, using the pseudonym "N.S. Aristoff" to publish a pedophile newslettter called "Uncommon Desires," and operating a publishing house called Passion Press. Stanley later began another company, Alessandra's Smile, that marketed in such products as European nudist videos, as well as another publishing company, Ophelia Press.

Levine's Source Busted

In April 2002, when Bob Knight told me the background on Lawrence Stanley, the child-porn lawyer's whereabouts were unknown. Three months later, however, Stanley surfaced with a bang -- under arrest in Brazil and charged with child exploitation.

It turned out he had been on the lam, fleeing a child-abuse charge in the Netherlands and (clever lawyer that he is) had gone to Brazil, which has no extradition treaty with the Netherlands. Stanley had coined a new pseudonym, L.A. Stanaman, and was photographing Brazilian girls for an Internet site when he was busted. The Brazilian magazine Epocha did an expose on Stanley, prompting the cops to move in and bust him.

Exactly what happened to Lawrence Stanley after his Brazilian arrest is anyone's guess -- he hasn't been in the news lately -- but what was interesting and relevant to the Levine book was this: Judith Levine had not only cited Stanley's article in her book, she also thanked "Larry Stanley" in her acknowledgements -- and he returned the favor by promoting Harmful to Minors. He sold the Levine book via one of his Web sites which praised Harmful to Minors as an "important and compelling book" debunking "myths that adult attraction to children is a serious and pervasive threat."

Perfect: Lawrence Stanley, convicted child abuser and international fugitive from justice, praising a book that he says exposes as a "myth" the threat of child molesters.

Levine & the ACLU

Such is the problem with Harmful to Minors, which brings us back around to the ACLU and the Dutch pedophile party. Levine claimed that Dutch law in 1990 established the age of consent at 12, which apparently was not true, since the Dutch pedophiles are now demanding just such a law -- and 82% of the Dutch want the pedophile party suppressed.

In 2002, Levine denied that she was part of any movement to legitimize child molestation, and denounced myself and other critics of "Sexual McCarthyism" for daring to suggest she was. But three months after her book was published, one of Levine's key sources -- cited on pages 37-38 of her text and in notes #61, #65 and #76 for Chapter 2 of Harmful to Minors -- was busted in Brazil on a child exploitation charge.

Levine is a member of the National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Sex and Censorship Committee, and thanks the NCAC officials in her acknowledgement, in the same place she thanks "Larry Stanley" -- a/k/a "N.S. Aristoff," a/k/a "L.A. Stanaman" -- international fugitive, whereabouts unknown.

One of the NCAC officials thanked is Joan Bertin, who in 1998 complained, " It's almost impossible to get anyone to defend child pornography. Even some First Amendment advocates hesitate." Bertin also once suggested that a judge who wished to ban the 1979 film "The Tin Drum" in Oklahoma City -- because it involves "sexually suggestive scenes with minors" -- might have established a precedent that could lead to the censorship of "some renditions of Romeo and Juliet." (Dear Ms. Bertin: I've read "Romeo and Juliet" several times through, have participated in drama-workshop enactments of some scenes, and have even read it to my children. I am having trouble picturing any scene in the play which might offend even a judge in Oklahoma City.)

This is the slippery-slope argument -- "if you ban X, this might endanger Y" -- by which First Amendment activists have succeeded, over the past 50 years, in rendering America's obscenity laws impotent against every kind of pornography ... except child pornography.

Are you surprised to learn that the ACLU is one of the organizations that make up the National Coalition Against Censorship, of which Ms. Bertin is the boss?

Googling Judith Levine

Levine complains in the afterword to the paperback edition of Harmful to Minors that she's the victim of "guilt by association" smears.

Cry me a river, Ms. Levine! Since moving to Washington, D.C., I've been smeared by masters of the art, who have used the cut-and-paste "ransom note" method of quotation to paint me as a horrible racist monster. I had an angry reaction once to a particularly obnoxious episode of "The Jerry Springer Show," and for the past four years a snippet of that reaction has been used to suggest that I'm some kind of neo-Nazi racial separatist. I've been accused of contributing to Web sites I never contributed to, and the words of others have been attributed to me, so as to give the impression that I defended slavery as having been "ordained by God"!

Given how I've been smeared, I have a rather low tolerance when any leftist complains of such. But if Donkey Cons were chockful of references to works by the political equivalents of Lawrence Stanley and Edward Brongersma -- if we had cited in our footnotes bizarre screeds written by irresponsible crackpots -- it would certainly be fair for any critic to point that out.

But the biggest danger to Judith Levine's reputation comes not from her critics, but from her admirers. You might be surprised what you find when you start Googling with the search terms "Judith Levine" and "Harmful to Minors."

With the aid of such lawyers as Lawrence Stanley, the "anti-censorship" forces have succceeded in pushing back the limits of "free expression." So if you're trying to find information on Judith Levine, don't be surprised if you discover that Google directs you to a site featuring photos of naked children, where the anonymous author quotes Judith Levine's complaint, "What happened to me is a perfect example of the hysteria my book is about."

It's also legal for a blogger to declare himself thus:
"I am a 26 year old man from the UK. I have been attracted to young girls since boyhood. This blog is an attempt at rational discussion about pedophilia, in a societal milieu of hysteria and lies."
This blogger -- calling himself "Lepidopterist" and his blog "DebateCrime" -- cites Levine's book, and the angry response to the book, in support of his claim that "the hysteria over the issue of the pedophilia taboo is generated by a lack of knowledge and an ignorance with regards to the sexuality of children. ... This ignorance towards children's sexuality is clearly harming them."

So, "Lepidopterist" is a big fan of Judith Levine, correct? And, as Levine herself has assured us, child pornography mostly involves "pictures [that] tend to be 20 to 50 years old, made overseas, badly reproduced, and for the most part pretty chaste." And, Levine assures her readers, any effort "to protect kids from sex is protecting them from nothing."

I suppose if "Lepidopterist" discovers that he's been discovered, his blog will disappear, but as of May 31, 2006, the blogroll at DebateCrime included some very interesting sites like "Playtoy Magazine" and "Sure Quality Radio." I'm sure everything on those sites would be perfectly legal -- at least according to Ms. Bertin of the NCAC -- and Judith Levine would tell us that wishing to protect your kids from "Lepidopterist" and his friends is "protecting them from nothing."

Judith Levine would probably tell you that there is no academic pedophile movement, and that even if there was such a movement, she wouldn't be part of it. So why is she using sources like NAMBLA lawyer Lawrence Stanley and Dutch child molester Edward Brongersma, and why are people like "Lepidopterist" among those who admire and praise Harmful to Minors? (Do you own Googling; if Levine is not "pro-pedophile," some of her fans are.)

Researcher Stephanie Dallam told me in 2002: "Some people view children as the next sexual frontier."

Well ... we report. You decide.


As if you needed another reason to hate Judith Levine: She was on "Oprah" (h/t: BlueApples).

But it's not about politics, you understand! Here's one
Amazon.com reviewer on Levine's anti-consumerism book:
I thought I was checking out a book on consumerism. I should have listened better. While I am not particularly a Bush fan, I can't see how he is to blame for the overconsumerism in our country. Ms Levine rails on about Bush right away in the book. Her views on the war start on page 1. Her foul mouth starts on page 3. While I'm not a prude, her "Merry f******* Christmas" caught me off guard. ....

Levine remodeled her home and INCREASED it's size. (Just one of her homes). ...

This book is more of a political statement than a book on shopping. ... Levine is an athiest, a feminist and a Democrat. While I'm OK with that, there was too much of it. Her rants about religion seemed oddly placed. ...

So while this was an interesting read, it is NOT about shopping. It's about a woman who is struggling to find herself, to find meaning in life. It would've been easier if she had just gone to a therapist. I am absolutely serious.
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Linked by BASIL'S BLOG.

Conservative Culture observes: "Needless to say that Pedophile Perverts (I am sure the ACLU will now call about that ‘hate’ speech) are forming their own political party for on sole purpose… to have sex with your children."

Atlas Shrugs: "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig (unless you're in The Netherlands, in that case they'll probably want to sodomize it.)."

Also blogging: California Conservative, Outside the Beltway, Heretical Ideas , Right-Wing Howler ....

Very interesting to find that the NAMBLA Web site features an article about Judith Levine.

Pro-Sex Conservatives

I suppose that this is as good a place as any to point out that conservatives are not -- repeat NOT -- "anti-sex." This is one of the silliest accusations that liberals make against the Right. You would think that the fact that the Red States are outbreeding the Blue States by a wide margin might get the Left to re-think this "anti-sex" accusation, but no, they never re-think anything.

Nor, by the way, are conservatives hostile to Young Love -- it's just that we tend toward supporting the ancient Judeo-Christian teaching that before Young Love leads to Young Sex, there ought to be a wedding. (This explains how the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" made the National Review list of 50 greatest conservative rock songs: “She said no huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding vow.”)

In fact, it might surprise lifestyle liberals to learn that some members of the Religious Right openly advocate teen sex. For instance, there is Bethany Torode, who wrote "Confessions of a Teenage Mom," coming out of the closet to admit that she had sex as a teenager ... on her wedding night. (Hugo Schwyzer makes Bethany's writing required reading for his students.)

One of the really bold writers on this subject is Maggie Gallagher, whose 1999 report, "The Age of Unwed Mothers" (read it in PDF format) said daring things about the "teen pregnancy crisis":
What we have called our "teen pregnancy" crisis is not really about teenagers. Nor is it really about pregnancy. It is about the decline of marriage. ...

    What has changed most in recent decades is not who gets pregnant, but who gets married… The single biggest change in recent decades has been the declining proportion of pregnant single teens who marry. ...

    Our "teen pregnancy" crisis is inseparable from the disconnect between marriage and childbearing that increasingly characterizes the procreative behavior of adults in their 20s. ... The majority of unwed births in the United States today are to adult women in their 20s. These are not "children having children," nor are they "Murphy Browns."

As folks say down home, "Paint the shotgun white, Pa -- it's gonna be formal!"

I've previously blogged about sex --- like my advocacy of "dangerous sex" (the only kind worth having, you know) and my celebration of abundant fecundity -- for the simple reason that people like sex.

Give 'em some sex (chick of the week!), some scandal (teen cleavage!), some pictures of half-naked celebrities like Britney Spears, and those Google hits just come rolling in. Oh, did I mention ...
(h/t Vilmar)