The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) (often de-capitalised as NAMbLA) is an organization working for men that love boys and vice versa. It provides services such as a prisoners' program (which organizes visits, correspondence, and news for the benefit of boylovers in prison) and published The Nambla Bulletin.
NAMBLA had its beginnings in the 1970s during the height of the Sexual Revolution. It was at first central in the nascent gay political-activism community. The first Gay Pride parades in New York City featured boylove-themed entries. After the Anita Bryant episodes of the 1970s NAMBLA became gradually less accepted by the leadership of the larger gay movement. By 1994, the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the NAMBLA entry in the NYC Gay Pride parade was met with catcalls and derision by some observers, though not by all: some of the men and teenage boys who marched that year were greeted with hugs and appreciation by a few of the onlookers. Note that this was the time that the same-gender oriented community became split. Many organizations such as NAMBLA and PROJECT TRUTH were no longer able to use the word "GAY". NAMBLA was banned from the Pride Days and the community centres as well as the Gay Anarchists and other sympathetic and likewise scorned groups; once so an important part of the early GAY movement. When Gay meant same-gender oriented. This split was a result of the International Lesbian and Gay Association's attempt to gain greater acceptance within the United Nations and also the threats of the United States to withhold U.N. dues in retaliation towards perceived Anti-American groups. NAMBLA was counted amongst these groups.
Bill Andriette and Roy Radow are two of the more well-known leaders of NAMBLA during the first few years of the 21st century. Andriette has written a popular column in the gay tourist magazine, "The Guide", frequently addressing topics of interest to teen-boy lovers.
NAMBLA is popularly considered a pedophilia organization. But the leadership and membership of the organization tend to be more interested in love between men and teenage boys, ephebophilia, than love of younger boys, pedophilia. Thomas Reeves, spokesman for NAMBLA, said of the organization that
it’s homosexual, it’s about teenagers, and it’s about sex in a 1982 telephone interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
FBI infiltration/Glow Ops
The FBI has at times attempted to infiltrate NAMBLA, generally resulting in damage to the organization, but only minimal rewards for the feds. For example, in 1982, a NAMBLA member was falsely linked to the disappearance of Etan Patz. Although the accusation was groundless, the negative publicity was disastrous to the organization. NAMBLA published a book A Witchhunt Foiled: The FBI vs. NAMBLA, which documented these events.
Decline in the 90s and 00s
After an extensive and highly damaging lawsuit that ended in success for NAMBLA's defense, all that remained of the organization was a website, two postboxes, an archive and a loosely associated group of members.
NAMBLA was last seen making and informal appearance at a small sex offender activism protest outside Coalinga State Hospital. In 2009, NAMBLA was briefly and spuriously linked with death threats against Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Apparently unaware or ignorant of the fact that such claims were made frequently, and in similar mocking-tones on newsgroups, where NAMBLA is the butt of numerous jokes, American authorities used this threat as the launchpad for a criminal investigation, again, gleefully reported upon by the Post.
Opinions on whether the NAMBLA concept is worth progressing differ somewhat among boylovers, with the organization remaining an important reference point among baby-boomers. In the 20s, use of the NAMBLA key phrase on modern social media is still very much alive, often eclipsing modern day MAP Movement organizations, but it now consistently lags behind the more current Minor Attracted* key phrase. NAMBLA's present leadership recuses itself from social media on principled grounds, and focuses on archiving, education of boylovers, and protecting its historical legacy.
Associates and members: past and present
In the popular media
NAMBLA is identified as a lobby group in Jon Stewart's America: The Book A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (2004), and is also alluded to on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, often tagged on to an existing lobby group's acronym for the parody (e.g., "American Family Association, or FAMBLA [for short]"). The Daily Show with Jon Stewart acknowledged this in a clip retrospective on the July 27, 2006 episode, then turned the joke on its head by saying "However, for the record, the Daily Show has absolutely no affiliation with the North American Man/Boy Love Association or, as it's called, UNICEF", and again on October 2, 2006, in response to the Mark Foley scandal, "The Foley saga quickly set leaders of the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or, Congress, into action."
Other examples include:
*NAMBLA is referenced in an episode of Mr. Show. In the episode (Season 2, episode 3) In the sketch, NAMBLA is up for an advertising award for "Most Improved Image." The commercial played before the winner is announced features various men with black bars over their eyes enjoying a picnic, ending with the slogan "Nambla: We're not killers."
- Detectives on Law And Order: SVU often ask suspects if they are NAMBLA members when they claim they had a consensual relationship with a minor.
- Skacore band Leftöver Crack feature a song called "Muppet N.A.M.B.L.A" on their 2004 in music|2004 "Rock The 40oz" EP. Grindcore band Anal Cunt included a song called "I Gave NAMBLA Pictures of Your Kid" on their 1999 album It Just Gets Worse. The Norwegian band Turbonegro also has a song named "The Midnight NAMBLA" on their 1995 album Ass Cobra.
- NAMBLA was briefly mentioned in the Brasseye "Paedophile special" episode.
- In the movie Kids, Casper shouts "NAMBLA" at two gay men he and his friends verbally assault while they walk by.
- NAMBLA was featured in episode 406 of South Park where Cartman is ostracized from his friends, and decides to try to make new, older, "mature" friends on the internet. He unwittingly attends a NAMBLA meeting later and becomes their poster child, where they take photos of him in nothing but a Speedo. A few NAMBLA members meet Stan and Kyle and they are invited to a banquet along with Cartman. It is here that they learn the true nature of NAMBLA, but the NAMBLA members are soon arrested by the police. It also introduces a second NAMBLA, the "North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes," who are in constant battle with NAMBLA for the domain name nambla.com.
- NAMBLA was also briefly mentioned in a 2006 episode of the MTV show Celebrity Deathmatch. Nick Diamond comments, "We've got more fan mail than Lil Bow Wow at a NAMBLA convention!", to which Johnny Gomez replies "And that's a lot of mail, Nick".
- NAMBLA was referenced in Another Gay Movie. One of the characters was sitting in a gay bar when two people with NAMBLA T-shirts turn around and ask the character his age. When he replied with 17 they responded "Sorry, kid. Waaay past your prime."
- On the May 12, 2007 episode of Saturday Night Live, a NAMBLA member was portrayed by comedian Will Forte in a sketch about fringe Presidential candidates. He ended the sketch with this quote: "I believe children are the future of this country. So tonight I leave them with this message: At my house, I have Xbox."
Bulletins and news articles
- For ILGA controversy related caps, see Historical examples of LGBT-MAP unity.
Bulletins are available in full (in some instances) via the NAMBLA website, along with their other publications. Unfortunately, full Bulletins can not always be provided, but we will do our best to display highlights from our own reviews. The Chronological Archive is also being filled with plenty of material relating to this organization.
Harry Hay (and Scott O'Hara) respond admirably to their exclusion/invalidation by mainstream gays. NAMBLA Bulletin Sept 1985.
- The NAMBLA Homepage
- Infiltration testimony - True Spies: Inside NAMBLA. Testimony from 22:00.
- Chickenhawk - Documentary from 1994 on NAMBLA.
- Interview - With the producer.
- Declassified FBI Documents - A large file of documents concerning NAMBLA.
- A Witchhunt Foiled: The FBI vs. NAMBLA - Full Book scan download on Libgen.
- Extensive and condemnatory Wikipedia article
- Vice - Whatever Happened to NAMBLA?
- 1997 piece from The Stranger
- Thailand infiltration
- Jenkins, Philip (2004). Moral Panic: Changing Concepts of the Child Molester in Modern America. Yale University Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-300-10963-4. Retrieved 2010-09-02. see full text here.
- Kennedy, Hubert (1986-05-13). "A Witch-hunt foiled: The FBI vs. NAMBLA". The Advocate (446): 54. "book review"
- PERV GROUP PUTS 10G ‘HIT’ ON ANDY - NYP
- Pedophiles Gunning for Cuomo - MSNBC
- PROBE FAILS TO KEEP PRICE OFF CUOMO’S HEAD - NYP
- Is NAMBLA Gunning (Literally) for New York AG? - EdgeBoston