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Censorship usually refers to the policy of removing parts of or, prohibiting the circulation of books. Works addressing the issue of pedophilia have often been censored. Recent years have seen a deliberate attempt, especially in the United States, to censor the work of scientists, independent researchers and authors through slander campaigns and personal attacks that have little to do with scientific criticism. Lit-erotica authors have also come increasingly under fire.
It will come as no surprise that censorship has always been with us in some form. The publisher of pederastic journal, Der Eigene had to fight against German censorship back in the day. For example, in 1903 a published poem "Die Freundschaft" (The Friendship) provoked a lawsuit against the magazine. The magazine won, seemingly because the poem was written by Friedrich Schiller. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power, Adolf Brand's house was searched and all the materials needed to produce Der Eigene were seized and given to Ernst Röhm.
More recently, major television networks have been known to revise television series and films, especially for the prudish, American market. Much of this involves the removal of references to the prepubescent or adolescent body and any implication that may be politically undesirable to the status quo.
It is worth mentioning that the function of censorship is not to protect the public, or directly alter the marketplace of ideas as it purports to. However, by creating the the widespread perception of servicing these ends, censorship achieves two things:
- Altering public and official perceptions of what is acceptable/credible speech. By placing certain ideologies (far right, communist, liberalist, homosexualist, anti-vaccine) outside of the Overton Window (range of acceptable policy positions), we make them less credible within the public and official spheres. This results in arguments and policies being dismissed out of hand - for example, sexological research papers that have been condemned by multiple political representatives without so much as being read. This article documents some examples.
- The chilling effect. By damaging the careers of dangerous ideologues, censorship sets up a moral cause-and-effect narrative in the public eye. Those authors who questioned the status-quo are less likely to return (even if they could find a publisher), and those who might present new challenges will be forced to think twice. Censorship is outsourced to private media, corporations and publishing houses who do not wish to face the publicity risk of being associated with the wrong author or academic.
In this sense, censorship is not so much about what is being done, but what is seen to be done (i.e. a top-down signalling of intent, to effect a bottom-up process of consent and compliance).
A modern timeline
- For a few examples that may be less specific to our topic, but nevertheless related to the panic, see Adverse effects of hysteria.
- The first comprehensive study of pederasty, Eglinton's Greek Love (1964) was banned in Australia, Ireland and South Africa the following year. Its publishers in United Kingdom had several problems as well, and the book appeared seven years later.
- Stephen O. Murray. (1998). Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities (Suny Press, 2021 e-book edition).
- "Edward Evans-Pritchard, one of the most widely respected authorities on indigenous African cultures, said nothing about male homosexuality in his classic 1937 study [...] Decades passed from the time of his fieldwork until he finally reported what he had learned about male homosexuality among the once-fierce Azande of the northern Congo. In 1957, in a relatively obscure journal, and then in more accessible venues in 1970 and 1971, he related how Azande warriors routinely married boys who functioned as temporary wives. The practice was institutionalized to the extent that the warriors paid “bride-price” to the parents of the boys. [...] The scope of these practices might be entirely unknown today had Evans-Pritchard not decided to finally write about them shortly before his death." (p. xxvi).
- In 1977, Penthouse magazine published an article titled "Incest: The Last Taboo." Self-censoring a large sample of 1,500 positively experienced sexual encounters between relatives:
- "Dr. James Ramey, a sociologist with a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. from Columbia, has censored his own positive incest manuscript for the past four years. Fearing for his reputation and massive misunderstanding, Ramey hesitated to lead with an apparently permission-giving book on man’s oldest taboo. He refuses to discuss specifics but volunteers that only one incest family from his 1,500-plus interviews and questionnaires ever ran afoul of the law. “And that was a setup,” he adds. Feeling that others are bound to soften up the opposition before him, Ramey has opened negotiations for the book. But unless he can control the publication date, promotion, and jacket and advertising copy, he will not proceed. “You have to be careful when you do a taboo-bucking book,” he comments."
- Whilst Ramey's book never saw publication, he discussed the difficulties researchers face in a SIECUS Report entitled “Dealing with the Last Taboo” (1979).
- In 1978, Canadian author Gerald Hannon and the gay liberation magazine at which he worked, The Body Politic came under fire after the publication of his article "Men loving boys loving men" which took a positive look on boylove leading to a legal battle that lasted many years.
- In a paper presented to the World Congress of Sexology, entitled "Progress in Empirical Research on Children's Sexuality", Sexologist Ernest Borneman outlines his findings after his research team had spent 40 years collecting a large community sample of over 4,000 taped conversations where children and adolescents discussed their everyday sex lives, largely hidden from and unknown to their parents, during which the researchers were arrested multiple times before changing their research method. As Borneman explains:
- "Sooner or later, of course, the adults intervened, called the police or the park attendants, and asked what in the world we were up to. Most of us were arrested at least once and got used to carrying thick wallets full of documents identifying us as members of a research team. Despite the fact that we were in no way conducting a participant observation study, and were merely attempting to understand children’s sexual thinking, it was very difficult to communicate this distinction to authorities. The experiences were painful, and so we began to train children in handling tape recorders. This worked extremely well…"
- In his short 1987 commentary On Having One's Research Seized, former Kinsey researcher David Sonenschein documents multiple cases where researchers attempting to document the realities of "child pornography," or "kiddie porn," who were arrested, harassed or subjected to a hostile environment which created difficulty in testing the accuracy of sensationalist media claims.
- He writes:
- "in September, 1984, my own 4-year accumulation of research on pedophilia and children's sexuality was seized. At this writing, nearly 2 years later, the materials (including illegally seized legal files and personal and political writings) are still held; it was over 7 months before American Civil Liberties Union lawyers and I were able to inventory the documents. The news media again helped directly in promoting the project as a "ring," and I was charged with "sexual performance of [sic] a child" for photocopying photo-graphs from commercial "kiddie porn" magazines for content analysis. I have been fined $5,000 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The content analysis was not completed, and the project, an ethnographic study of child-adult sexual relationships, has been destroyed. Fragments will appear if materials are returned; only one historiographic paper has been published (Sonenschein, 1984). Comments by arresting officer Sgt. John Russell may be of interest to other investigators: "Your research is through. Your research is over. I have finished your research for you. You can research anything but this".
- When Theo Sandfort's research on sexual relationships between men and boys in the Netherlands first appeared in English in the early 1980s, it was widely criticized and dismissed, even though critics had not actually read it (Bauserman 1990). A similar furore emerged after the publication of Daniel Tsang's edited volume, The Age Taboo (Tsang 2005).
- By the 1990's, books published by boylove-frendly publishers such as Acolyte Press were banned in several countries including New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. Independent researchers were also harassed when the police searched their houses and confiscated research material (books and articles) in the cases of Gerald P. Jones and Tom O’Carroll.
- In June 17, 1996 an article by Mary Eberstadt with the title "Pedophilia chic" appeared in Weekly Standard outlining the public challenges to the taboo of pedophilia. This article further fuelled the censorship and intimidation attempts and a host of conservative organizations and journalists took the role of watchdogs, ready to denounce what they considered as "Inappropriate research".
- Chris Brand, professor of psychology at Edinburgh University lost his position in 1997 after publicly defending Nobel Prize winner physicist Daniel Gajdusek whom was facing a sentence for sexual relations with a boy.
- Another victim was David Buchanan, barrister in New South Wales, Australia, Richard Guilliatt, senior Writer in Sydney Morning Herald, Lex Watson, senior Lecturer in Government in University of Sydney and others whose papers were "purged" from Australian Insitute of Criminology publication Paedophilia: policy and prevention (1997). In their papers, Buchanan, Guilliatt, Watson and others challenged conventional wisdom regarding recovered memories of child abuse, sex between adults and adolescents, and the age of consent.
- Ellis Hanson, professor of English at Cornell University who has been teaching a course on “The sexual child”, also offended the censors. In 1998, "Accuracy in Academia", a conservative group that, according to its mission statement “wants schools to return to their traditional mission-the quest for truth” called Cornell University to cancel the teaching of the course. Their evidence against Hanson was only their highly innacurate reading of the course's syllabus.
In the 21st Century, censorship has continued in this arena. Victims include:
- Bruce Rind, from Temple University, Robert Bauserman, psychologist at the State of Maryland and Philip Tromovich a (then) PhD student, after the publication of Rind et al. (1998) article in American Psychological Association journal Psychological Bulletin. After the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality denounced the study in their website, radio-host Laura Schlessinger attacked the article as being "junk science" and finally, the U.S. Congress unanimously condemned the scientific article. Rind et al. (2000, 2001), however, exposed the political motivations of their critics and Lilienfeld (2002) identified the multiple errors of analysis, reasoning, and logic evident in the arguments of many of the more vocal of their public critics. In addition, one of the two congressmen whom abstained from condemning the article explained why the condemnation was ridiculous (Baird 2002).
- Bruce Rind, from Temple University (again!) for his article "Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Empirical Data" in a special 2005 issue of the Journal of Homosexuality. The article was accepted for publication and appeared in the pre-publication list but was later withdrawn after pressure to its publisher, Haworth Press. In addition to the attacks to particular scientists and researchers, science came under attack when the Brongersma Foundation archive was seized by the Dutch police in 2000.
- The late Harris Mirkin, Associate Professor of Political Science (University of Missouri, Kansas City) for publishing his article "The Pattern of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophilia," in Journal of Homosexuality in 1999. The Missouri House of Representatives voted 102-29 to eliminate professor Harris Mirkin's salary from the higher education budget in the coming year.
- The late Vern Bullough, Distinguished Professor of State University of New York and Emeritus Professor of California State University was attacked for being in Paidika's editorial board (Bullough 2000).
- Judith Levine for her book Harmful to Minors: the perils of protecting children from sex (2002). The book was turned down by several publishers, due to its controversial topic but finally was published by the prestigious University of Minnesota Press. The book was denounced by several religion fundamentalists months prior to its publication. Robert Knight the spokesperson of the anti-homosexual, anti-evolution and anti-abortion propaganda organization “Concerned Women for America” threatened that “if the Regents of the University of Minnesota do not act quickly to fire those responsible, the people of Minnesota and their elected representatives should move quickly to replace them.”
- Scott O. Lilienfeld, professor of psychology at Emory University for his article "When Worlds Collide: Social Science, Politics, and the Rind et al. (1998) Child Sexual Abuse Meta-Analysis". When Lilienfeld submitted the manuscript to American Psychologist (a journal of the American Psychological Association), the journal's editor overruled the ad hoc editor and its decision to publish the article because it did contain much criticism he personally didn't like. Under pressure from the scientific community, the article was eventually accepted for publication.
- The late Ralph Underwager, psychologist member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Ralph Underwager was attacked for giving an interview which was published in Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia and was presented by reporters as "a known pedophile".
- Richard Yuill, who was awarded his PhD in Sociology from Glasgow University in December 2004. His research topic was “Male adult-youth relationships in the United Kingdom”. Reflecting on the difficulties in writing and publishing on the reality of intergenerational encounters, historian Rachel Hope Cleves summarizes Yuill's story in her 2020 book on once famous and influential pederast Norman Douglas [reviewed here]. She writes: "When Yuill was a PhD candidate in sociology at Glasgow University writing his dissertation, “Male Age- Discrepant Intergenerational Sexualities and Relationships,” he was subjected to multiple investigations by his university, had his research materials reviewed by the police, was attacked repeatedly in the British press, and had his completed dissertation embargoed for five years." Yuill himself details these experiences in his 2010 scholarly article "Interrogating the Essential: Moral Baselines on Adult-Child Sex" (read here), and documents attacks on researchers most fully in his 2013 book chapter "Intergenerational Sexualities: A Case Study on the Colonization of Late Modern Sexual Subjects and Researcher Agendas."
- Red Rose Stories was shut down by the FBI late 2005, and its owner sentenced in 2008.
- "And in August, Karen Fletcher, a 56-year-old Pennsylvania woman, was sentenced to five years of probation, including six months of home detention, and forfeiture of her computer after pleading guilty to six counts of using an interactive computer service to distribute obscene materials. Fletcher owned and operated the Web site Red Rose Stories, which featured stories, but no pictures, describing sexual molestation and violence against children."
- In 2006, an Australian was jailed for similar stories:
- "In what is considered a Territory first, a man has been sent to jail for possessing fictional text stories about sex with children. Former senior public servant Nick Gill was sentenced to 14 days' jail, suspended on the rising of the court, and fined $3000 after being found guilty of having 66 stories, featuring mostly young boys, on his desktop computer. There were no images involved in the case."
- Also in 2006, Dieter Gieseking was fined for promoting the German version of nonfiction work Loving Boys by Edward Brongersma (ISBN 3-922257-71-2), although this was eventually overturned.
- In 2008, with no provocation, Dutch police intimidated and ousted the PNVD from a general anti-state demonstration.
- In 2019, author Yvan Godbout and editor Nycolas Doucet were prosecuted for stories:
- "It is our understanding that the prosecution of the author and publisher in this case stems from the description, on one page of a 270-page horror novel, of the sexual assault of a young child."
- Also in 2019, Thomas Alan Arthur (Mr. Double) was arrested for trafficking stories. In 2021, he was sentenced:
- "A federal judge today sentenced 65-year-old Thomas Alan Arthur to 40 years in federal prison for operating a website dedicated to publishing writings that detailed the sexual abuse of children."
Censorship on the web
Modern online censorship is now the norm for topics far less controversial than attraction to minors. Most of us have heard the well-publicised examples of Americans losing their jobs for supporting right-of-center political causes, and Australians being visited in their own homes after sharing anti-vaccine memes on Facebook. Therefore, it is unsurprising that simply questioning the trauma myth or Child Sexual Abuse orthodoxy is likely to result in permanent blocks from social media sites or Wikipedia for example.
Major governments have attempted to censor legal sites via blocking; see Trojan Horse Censorship, but most censorship is effectively outsourced to the private sector. Child Pornography details some of these infringements upon civil liberties.
- YouTube is now firmly embedded in its policy of removing politically controversial content regarding minor-adult sex and pedophilia, either by per-video censorship or complete removal of accounts. However, due to the size of the website, some have been allowed to prosper. Similar actions have been taken against self-styled vigilantes who make death threats towards pedophiles, incite others to action or threaten and harass minors who appear to support those who they see as pedophiles.
- MCI Canada, upstream provider for Epifora (ISP for Free Spirits, operator of BoyChat and BoyWiki, among other sites) has sent Epifora a notice of termination on the grounds of violation of Verizon's acceptable use policy. (Verizon is the parent company of MCI Canada.) Epifora's president, Camper, has suggested that this action is due to pressure brought to bear on Verizon by the anti-pedophile vigilante organization Perverted Justice.
- Media Design, once host of the Netherlands party Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversiteit (PNVD), is ending its contract to host their website.
- Search engine Ask.com is blocking searches containing terms pedophile, pedophilia, and child sexual abuse. Searches including terms bestiality and necrophilia are also blocked.
- CafePress shut down a site established by Rookiee on the grounds that it violated their acceptable use policy.
- Blogger deleted up to 50 blogs owned by pedophiles and supporters, and also others which opposed incest or made available reliable data concerning the issue. The reasons for this were an organised campaign of complaints in conjunction with a flexible ToS. Some individuals tried to save the websites that were taken down. A similar purge was carried out at LiveJournal, a few months later.
- Wikipedia censor their articles by proxy of blocking any editor who focuses on Child Abuse topics and introduces either neutral or radical sourced information. They have also removed whole articles for reasons related to political correctness (see archive). One contact passed on this private comment from one of their less pleased site admins: "I don't believe that Wikipedia is going to have a paedophile related article that is neutral in the proper sense of the word now or in the forseeable future. It appears to be an editorial decision that the subject matter is too sensitive, and the risk of appearing to condone (that is, not to condemn but appear impartial) the practice is one that the Foundation, Board, etc. are not prepared to take.".
- Medium and other private entities will ban even preventionist authors such as Timothy N. Fury, because they are pedophiles.
- Slashdot rarely removes user comments, relying instead on an algorithmic moderation system based on user ratings. Comments critical of policy established for protection of children are frequently seen there. BoyChat poster ILGO successfully published a front-page story entitled State of Ohio Establishes "Pre-Crime" Registry, which recieved hundreds of user comments, many supportive of the boylover position. As of 2021, Slashdot still provides evidence for one of the first known uses of the term "Minor Attracted Person", as the author had copied it from his blog.
- Quora has been a useful place for MAPs to post articles and answers in the early 2020s.
- Fediverse (decentralized) sites are promising in this regard, since they are very hard to censor if users of each "instance" are in the same boat. MAPs have been seen in some numbers on Mastodon and Pleroma.
- Baird, B. N. (2002) "Politics, Operant Conditioning, Galileo, and the American Psychological Association’s Response to Rind et al. (1998)," American Psychologist 57(3): 189-192.
- Bauserman, R. (1990) “Objectivity and ideology: criticism of Theo Sandfort’s research on man-boy sexual relations,” Journal of Homosexuality 20(1/2): 297-312.
- Bullough, V.L. (2000) "The Pedophile Smear," The Position: An online journal, June 12.
- Lilienfeld, S. O. (2002) "When worlds collide: social science, politics, and the Rind et al. (1998) child sexual abuse meta-analysis," American Psychologist 57(3): 176-188.
- Rind, B., Bauserman, R., and Tromovitch, P. (2000) "Science versus orthodoxy: Anatomy of the Congressional Condemnation of a Scientific Article and Reflections on Remedies for Future Ideological Attacks," Applied & Preventive Psychology 9: 211-225.
- Rind, B., Bauserman, R., and Tromovitch, P. (2001) "The Condemned Meta-Analysis on Child Sexual Abuse: Good science and long-overdue skepticism," Skeptical Inquirer 25(4): 68-72.
- Tsang, D. (2005) "Moral Panic and the Age Taboo," Paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society conference.
- Evans-Pritchard died in 1973 only 2/3 years after publishing on the Azande in a high-profile anthropology journal. See Evans-Pritchard. (1970). Sexual Inversion Among the Azande, in American Anthropologist, 72:6, 1428-1434 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/672845.pdf>.
- Borneman - Progress in Empirical Research on Children's Sexuality
- David Sonenschein
- XBIZ and Computerworld
- Loving Boys, "By including them in the List of Media Harmful to Young Persons, data and telemedia are subject to extensive sales and distribution restrictions as well as an advertising ban. However, with a few exceptions, they may still be made available to adults.", K13
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