"A very interesting piece with Judith Levine. Well worth a watch if you have a spare hour.
What she says at 18.25 is frightening and absolutely correct."
Computer Sex Criminality
Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:30 pm
"A most courageous discussion – thanks for the link, ptt13. Unfortunately, it has sponsored a lengthy bray from yours truly, but rarely have Orwell’s prophetic words been more apt:
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”As Levine makes clear, anyone who owns a computer – and certainly anyone who has looked at any form of erotica - is almost certainly at risk of being done for child porn and having their lives destroyed, irrespective of whether they’ve personally searched for the stuff or even seen it. If the filth have any pretext for seizing your device, a pretext which can be as trivial as getting caught growing a little whacky-baccy in your garden shed, they’ll almost certainly be able to find something on it that qualifies as child porn, because the net they use is so insanely wide (and don’t forget to include your kids in this category of computer porn viewers, even if you’ve never looked at a digital growler or willie).
While her observations are deeply alarming (or should be – everyone’s at risk of police terrorism in this area), it’s nonetheless encouraging to see some prominent voices in what is laughingly called the Land of the Free daring to challenge the madness and ferocious cruelty which has always driven these despicable laws – laws which make a mockery of the presumption of innocence, are impossible to defend and will nearly always result in ruinous sentences and permanently destroyed lives.
Levine tackles head-on the corrupt con-trick perpetrated by the Punitive State and its paedo-obsessed cops, who are, for the most part, badly-educated provincial nobodies, chillingly like the guards who humiliated millions of helpless captives in the Nazi death camps before herding them into gas chambers. As the director of the Institute of Ideas, Claire Fox once asked, “Who (the fu*k) are they to tell us what we can and can’t look at?” (OK, I added “the fu*k”). Amongst Levine's many courageous and truthful observations, these two seem worthy of particular mention:
At 35.02 onwards:
"How can they do a prosecution if no one can look at these (images)? The police can look at them (laughter in audience). And so now we’re all in a situation where … we are forced to somehow submit to the opinions of these dirty-minded little two-bit sheriffs – that’s really who’s making decisions about people’s lives."At 37.29 onwards:
“Even guilty people deserve justice. The sex laws in this country amount to banishment. Even people who do the worst crimes get to pay their debt and go on with their lives - except for sex criminals.”Repeating the brilliant dissection she conducted in her book of 2002, Harmful to Minors, Levine also reminds everyone that these laws were from day one based on barefaced lies and nutty exaggerations – child psychiatrist Judianne Densen-Gerber and LAPD cop Sgt Lloyd Martin careened from coast to coast promulgating the deranged whopper that over two million US children were being forced into photographed sex acts by a sinister, multi-billion dollar industry; Martin even claimed to a congressional committee in 1977 that the sexual molestation of children was “worse than homicide”, an absurdity no one demurred from in the hysterical heat of the moment. In one of his evangelically thunderous outbursts on an American Christian TV show, he warned his fellow citizens that:
"… pedophiles (sic) actually wait for babies to be born so that, just minutes after birth, they can grab the post-fetuses and sexually victimize them.”(I lifted both these examples from Levine’s book).
All their claims, after thorough investigation, turned out to be pure, 22-carat bullshit. What happened to these paragons of sexual morality (malicious nutjobs, in plain language, who perversely exploited their powerful positions in order to spread lies and disinformation to their fellow citizens for their own aggrandizement)? Densen-Gerber was shortly afterwards disgraced, after it emerged she had been using degrading and dehumanising methods in her private residential treatment facility for drug-using adolescents, Odyssey House (she was also found guilty of embezzling money). Martin was sacked by LAPD after being found guilty of intimidating witnesses and falsifying evidence – quite a turn-up for the books, given how assiduously the cops protect their own no matter how foully they have behaved, so my reading is that the evidence against him was pretty massive.
But, shockingly, these corrupt, swivel-eyed headbangers got their come-uppance after they had succeeded in planting a malignant legal tumour – the Protection of Children Act – in the US statute book, a move which we eagerly followed in the UK courtesy of an equally hysterical and lying propaganda campaign launched by that moralistic pervert Mary Whitehouse, who saw sexual depravity everywhere she looked without once questioning what was going on in her mind to twist erotic beauty into wicked filth. She was aided and abetted by the media and by the moralistic former Tory, Sir Cyril Townsend, who against all odds got his nutty private member’s bill onto the statute book. To be fair, we owe the Protection of Children Act 1978 – the malignant primary tumour from which so many equally malignant legal metastases have spread - not to informed parliamentary debate, but to its abrogation: the minority Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, forced leftist Labour MP Ian Mikardo to back down on his plans to kill this stupid, unnecessary and hysterical bill by filibustering it, as a result of a shabby backroom compromise with the Tory opposition. They agreed to ease up on opposing the remainder of Labour’s legislative programme so long as the Townsend Bill went through. So much for parliamentary democracy – it’s inherently corrupt and corrupting, as Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph, knew well (just read his superb book "Parliamentary Socialism").
So two corrupt, half-bonkers zealots played a big part in getting a crazy and wicked law enacted, a law copied by pretty well all the legislatures in the Anglophone world thereafter. And we went on copying the American trend as this tumour metastasized into ever more extreme, destructive and indefensible laws. The truth, of course, is that the only multi-billion dollar industry involved in child porn is the child protection industry itself, and its punitive, police puppet masters.
Densen-Gerber and Martin, Whitehouse and Townsend: both these evil couples are the effects, rather than the cause, of a much bigger process. If twentieth century fascism, in its racialised and party political form, is dead (and I think it largely is), twenty-first century fascism is alive and well. It no longer goes by the name of fascism, which is rightly about as appealing as a fungus-encrusted turd to most people, and it is no longer racialised. Instead, it goes by the name of Public Protection, which was never driven by popular, spontaneous demand, and it favours sexual bogeymen over racial bogeymen. But it creates biopolitical monsters (paedos instead of Jews), concentration camps – the virtual concentration camp of the Sex Offender’s Register – and social death (permanent banishment from the human community) every bit as effectively as the Nazis’ Final Solution did. And we should never be so complacent as to dismiss the prospect that some ideologically bankrupt politicians will start calling for literal death penalties, if that’s where they think the votes lie.
It seems to me that US organisations such as the National Centre for Reason and Justice and the Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL) group have no counterparts as yet in the UK. There simply has to be a collective response to this malignant madness, which will simply get worse and worse if left unchallenged; freedom has never, ever been bestowed on the powerless by the privileged, it’s always been wrested from the latter’s vice-like, authoritarian grip by those whom it seeks to discipline and dispossess.
A majority of people are endangered by these crazy laws and, rationally, it ought to be possible to build a collective, political opposition to Police/Protective State terrorism.
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— TheOSC (@OSCP2) October 28, 2013
Issue 9 Childhood Winter 2002/03
Picturing Innocence: An Interview with Anne Higonnet
"At no time in history have pedophobes had it worse than now. Images of children are everywhere; on calendars and Christmas family cards, in advertisements for banks and toilet paper, on keychains and in office cubicles. Grinning at us in that saccharine way that profitmakers love, these images speak of an age of innocence not yet tainted by politics, economics, moral failure, disappointments, class frustrations, ill health, and, worst of all, knowledge of one's mortality.
The sheer numbers of such images are staggering. Of the 25 billion photographs taken in the US every year, about half of them feature the very young. According to the Wolfman Report of 1992, 38 percent of amateur photographs deemed important enough to be framed were of children.1
The ubiquity of images of children may not tell us anything about the variety of images we produce and circulate but it is symptomatic of contemporary Western obsessions with childhood. In her book Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood, Anne Higonnet, professor of art history at Barnard College, traces the history of the images that helped shape this contemporary relationship to children as it first emerged in the 18th century. Sina Najafi spoke to her by phone."