Child-welfare advocates are still fuming over Amazon.com’s online offering of a “guidebook” to being a pedophile by an author who says he wishes to give “that particular sexuality” a more benign face.
Amazon.com removed “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover’s Code of Conduct,” earlier this week, after it had been up for about two weeks and had sold enough copies to reach the No. 65 slot on Amazon’s list of the 100 best-selling e-books on its Kindle list.
“At what point did victimizing kids become OK?” asked Laurie Myers, president of Community Voices, a Chelmsford, Mass., advocacy group for victims of sexual assault.
Amazon defended itself by saying it “believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” but noted that it does not support or promote criminal acts.
Amazon guidelines also say that it prohibits pornography, offensive materials and “titles” that may lead people to conduct illegal activity.
Author Phillip Greaves II of Colorado said he self-published the book to “make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles” by advising “pedosexuals” about what they should and shouldn’t do with their “young lovers.”
Talking with TV reporters, Mr. Greaves said he also wanted to counteract media portrayals of peodophiles as murderers, rapists or kidnappers.
“That’s just not an accurate presentation of that particular sexuality,” said the middle-aged, balding man, whom TV reporters have said has no record of sexual crimes.
Mr. Greaves told The Smoking Gun that he was introduced to sex as a 7-year-old boy and while he “could have” engaged in sexual acts with children as an adult, he said he had not.
He acknowledged suffering a “mental collapse” involving manic depression and being involuntarily hospitalized for nine months about three years ago.
He maintained, however, that he had only sold one copy of the book.
Some observers defended Amazon’s “free speech” rights to sell the pedophile guide. “Freedom from censorship is an important principle, despite the fact that its hard to support when it involves such material,” Mathew Ingram said on GigaOM.com.
But an avalanche of people were outraged and protested on Amazon’s site and myriad blog sites.
“It amazes me to see that a major American corporation is so out of touch with the mood of the public. Pedophilia and child molestation are universally condemned,” said lawyer Patrick A. Trueman, former chief of the Justice Department’s child exploitation and obscenity section.
“Yet, I am not surprised to see Amazon carry the publication,” he said, noting that Amazon still carries photo books with sexually explicit photos of pre-teens and teens.