WETZSTEIN: Culture war gets Amazonian

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If anyone thinks that America’s culture war over sex is losing steam, they only need to Google “Amazon.com” and “pedophile” and read the news.

Last week, the world’s largest online retailer pulled “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover’s Code of Conduct” from its books-for-sale list.

Public outcry apparently spurred the move, but as you will see, the end of this story is far from over.

“We are outraged at the decision of Amazon to sell this book,” the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said of the pedophile guide.

“The sexual abuse of children is a serious and pervasive problem. In the United States, it is estimated that one in five girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before they reach age 18,” said the center.

Child-welfare advocates like Maureen Flatley in Massachusetts are exploring prosecution of the retailer under laws that prohibit the distribution and downloading of child pornography.

“If we’re talking about child safety on the Internet, and the biggest Internet retailer in the world is allowing this content, we don’t have a chance to stop this,” said Ms. Flatley, who added yesterday that the “silence from Seattle is deafening.”

In preparing this column a few days ago, I found several books on Amazon.com that rivaled the now-jettisoned “pedophile guide.”

Three of the books - “We Were NOT Abused,” “Beyond Hysteria: Boy Erotica on the Internet” and “Understanding Loved Boys and BoyLovers” - are by David Riegel, a 78-year-old former airline pilot. His latter book was not a how-to manual, but a “plea for reasonableness and understanding,” he wrote.

Now, the Riegel books no longer appear on Amazon.com.

A new search of Amazon.com books about “boylove” - a favorite term for pedophiles - got 60 hits.

Of those 60 items, the vast majority are “not available,” Amazon said. But some items are still for sale: “He may be growing older, but Casimir still pursues erotically and affectionately his love for boys,” says a description of Casimir Dukhaz’s “Growing Old Disgracefully.” There are two copies of this 224-page book, each going for $200.

There are also a few copies left in the “acolyte” series of erotic boy-love tales; the boy-love “memoir” by Michael Davidson; and C.J. Bradbury Robinson’s “Bare Knees, Boy Knees.” The latter offers an “unmatched” and “startling trip into the strange world of the Paederast,” says the description on Amazon, which has one used copy for sale for $500.

As for potentially illegal depictions of little girls, late last week, I saw that Amazon offered several “naturist” videos and CDs that, oddly, seemed to feature mostly preteen, teen and young women working or exercising in the nude. Those videos have now been removed from the Amazon site.

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About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.

Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...

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