Gentle poet Ginsberg doesn’t deserve this

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Last time, Heretic TOC showed how the past is being pilloried in an orgy of accusations and recriminations. Among the cultural icons suddenly being denounced is the poet Allen Ginsberg – a remarkable twist of fate for his reputation so soon after being lionised as a crusader for freedom in two recent movies, Howl and Kill Your Darlings. But do those delivering the damning judgements really know what they are talking about? In a guest blog today, Eric Tazelaar points out that the younger generation of commentators would not have known those they now so freely castigate – unlike Eric, who knew Ginsberg personally.

THAT 70S SHOW: A DECADE RE-CONCEPTUALIZED (AND REPURPOSED)

I have often wondered, beginning some thirty or more years ago, what long-term effects anti-pedophile hysteria, then just starting to gather real steam, would have upon children as well as their eventual adult selves.

The results now appear unequivocal and much worse than my worst imaginings so long ago.

“Thou shalt not suffer a paedophile to live!” seems not too strong a sentiment to represent prevailing societal opinion.

As is unavoidable – if one lives long enough – one is increasingly struck by the youthfulness of those high-minded idealists who now predominate among our journalistic detractors, most of whom were not yet born when Britain’s future Labour leaders rubbed elbows with Tom O’Carroll and PIE under the NCCL umbrella.

Many have decided that the decade of the 1970s was not only weird but had to have been almost supernaturally so, like the “weird” witches in Macbeth.

For one columnist, Tim Stanley, writing recently for The Daily Telegraph, the 1970s were not just “weird” but positively infested with “evil” villains actively propagating their “perversion” amongst the credulous and unsuspecting young.

“Evil men once exploited the sexual revolution and the Left’s naivety to advance their agenda and invade the mainstream.”

It couldn’t get much more black-and-white than that, now could it?

To Stanley, Allen Ginsberg, a man whom I knew well and whose amorous attentions, when I was eighteen years old, I politely rebuffed, is said to have been one of those “evil” infectious agents.

I was thunderstruck when I read that. Evil? Allen Ginsberg? Allen was possibly the least evil person I ever knew, unlike Andrea Dworkin whose unconcealed hatred for all things male and an unwavering conviction in the innate superiority of women made her, to my mind, a manifestly dangerous influence upon impressionable minds.

Stanley quotes her as having said of Ginsberg: “exceptionally aggressive about… his constant pursuit of under-age boys’’.

To that I say “Bullshit!” Although I was not, at eighteen, “underage” my rejection of his erotic interest in me was immediately accepted and we went on to become friends. Furthermore, I saw him interact many times with actual “underage” boys, none of whom he treated with anything but the greatest of gentleness and respect.

I will add that, of those friendships with boys with which I was familiar, most of whom were children of staff or students at the Buddhist school where he taught, none appeared unwelcome and neither the boys nor their parents showed any evidence of feeling threatened by him. Indeed, he was greatly respected and trusted throughout that community.

Allen behaved exactly as I would wish all people would behave: with the highest regard for the rights and dignity of the individual. One should aspire to be precisely that kind of person.

Clearly, Tim Stanley had never met Allen Ginsberg or Tom O’Carroll. Or Andrea Dworkin, for that matter.

No, Tim Stanley simply possesses the unshakable conviction that every lie, every distortion, every libel uttered about Ginsberg, O’Carroll, PIE or NAMBLA and, for that matter, all paedophiles, rings with an unassailable truth, having been levelled by those with intentions wholly good and pure. To Stanley’s mind, paedophiles and their cause are beyond all redemption and to be utterly destroyed, a process which I see to be well underway.

For Tim Stanley, facing down such irredeemable evil, there is no other side to the story and fact-checking in the interest of those proclaimed as evil simply isn’t required or even seriously considered.

But the state in which child lovers exist today is not the worst of it. An even starker reality which confronts us all is the sad and diminished state in which children and adolescents now find themselves, essentially held captive in what amounts to walled gardens where they are unable to form any contact with others not explicitly authorized or to be exposed to any idea deemed “inappropriate” by any but the most puritanical governess.

They benefit only from the society of other kids within one or two years of age or their families (but often minus Dad) or those adults specifically designated and vetted by the state.

All potentially contaminating ideas and people are carefully filtered-out to prevent their inadvertently contaminating today’s kids who, in their strict isolation, spend less time outdoors in unstructured and unscheduled freedom than ever before.

And, it would seem, when eventually they do grow up, they are often angrier than previous generations of young adults, harbouring resentments and suspicions which might be seen as unavoidable given their isolated and artificial childhoods in which kidnapping and molestation were identified as a continuous peril.

So it should not be surprising that many now also see paedophiles as an underlying source of their own social impoverishment as well as their greatest fear while growing up.

Bogeymen made their childhoods both frightening and constraining and they are, understandably, deeply resentful, even if they are misguided.

So this is where we are now:

• where rebels of genuine courage, many long-dead, are utterly vilified for having spoken that which was so obviously true, while hateful, emotionally unstable, misandrists are lionized for their viciousness and sanctimonious cruelty;
• where children, who have been urged daily – incessantly – not to talk to strangers, grow into adults who resist talking to, or trusting, strangers.

As shocking a reality as it is it should probably not come as a great surprise. The years have spoken and the answer to a question I asked, so many years ago, turns out to be much worse than I then imagined.

THE DAILY MAIL STABLE IS AT IT AGAIN

Back to me again, your usual host. I didn’t need an alarm clock this morning. It was quite alarming enough to wake up to the BBC news on the radio at 7am and hear the sound of my own name in the first item of the bulletin. But mine was just a bit part. The big news – or what The Mail on Sunday is foisting upon the nation as news – turned out to be based on the rabid paper’s latest bid to turn itself from a newspaper into an historical journal.

This new foray back into the 1970s, and into who was supposedly promoting paedophilia at the time, had its crosshairs firmly fixed on a senior judge, Lord Justice Fulford. I’m not going to dwell on this ridiculous story or on the details of my alleged connection with the judge all those years ago when he was a junior barrister. For one thing, I honestly can’t remember the details. All I recall is that Adrian Fulford, as I then knew him, was a courteous, pleasant, thoughtful guy with a serious commitment to civil liberties. I see nothing in that for which he need apologise or express any regrets. High Court judge and the child sex ring (allegedly!) is the place to catch up with these bizarre concoctions if you are so minded.

HERETIC TOC’S FIRST ADVERTISEMENT

Despite having a substantial readership (which probably includes a lot of journalists in the wake of recent publicity), Heretic TOC has not so far been overwhelmed with advertising. We haven’t seen any ads here for prestige cars or designer clothes or fine old whisky, which is a great shame as the money would come in handy. It would seem that for some unknown reason the commercial world isn’t all that keen to have its products associated with children’s sexual self-determination and paedophilia, themes which tend to come up here quite a bit.

We do now have our first ad, though (see sidebar, right). Happily for me, MindGlow Media has decided to make a special promotional offer on my book Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons. Obviously the ad. is limited in space, so on this, the occasion of its launch, I am going to give it a bit of a boost by including below a selection of the more favourable review comments the book has received. Actually, there have been very few non-favourable reviews except for hysterical trashings on Amazon by people who clearly haven’t bothered to read it. So, here goes:

“The most engaging, informed, and generous-hearted book we have on the subject or are likely ever to have. I recommend this book strongly.”
Professor James R Kincaid, University of Southern California

“His vivid and insightful commentary is a joy to read.”
DJ West, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Criminology, Cambridge University

“… a profound cultural critique of received assumptions about childhood innocence, pedophilic ‘power’, and parental goodwill.”
Professor Thomas K Hubbard, University of Texas at Austin

“…the pace of a natural storyteller. This book kept me gripped throughout… a nuanced, thoughtful analysis, backed by thorough research, and at the same time a roaringly good read.”
Vitaly (Amazon)

“A recommended read. Not just another book about ‘Wacko Jacko’. There won’t be anything written quite like it.”
Richard Green, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles

“…a damned good book! Only the most foolish of people would log onto Amazon and take an ignorant shot at Carl Toms’ work without having read it…”
Desiree Hill, blogger

“It’s been many years since I carried a book with me, anxious to read it over everything else in my life…destined to be a classic in the field of sexuality, along with Krafft-Ebing, Freud, Kinsey, and Masters/Johnson…”
Sally Miller (Synergy Press)

“Congratulations to Mr Toms for having the courage to write the book that had to be written about Michael Jackson, but no one else dared. The irony of this detailed and cogent look into Jackson’s heart and soul is that it is being condemned by those who ought to embrace it: Jackson’s most faithful fans.”
Colton Alexander (Amazon)

“Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons…is the answer for anyone who still may harbor questions about Jackson’s sexuality. This encyclopedic tome leaves no stone unturned… There is a whole host of references to document all that Toms contends in this book… ”
Caz (Amazon)

“The author’s prose is engaging, humorous and dramatically compelling – this is one exceptionally gifted writer who has produced a most persuasive and compassionate volume…Far from coming over as a crazed partisan for paedophilic rape, Toms manages something which Freud, at his best and most heroic, often achieved – discussing issues which the prevailing moral order insists may only be addressed in tones of compulsory revulsion in calm, neutral and sane language. Sometimes, sanity is scandalous.”
Ben Capel (Philososphere)

“…fascinating, challenging and discomfiting. Anyone wanting to understand Michael Jackson will need to read it. The idea that pedophilic relationships can be harmless or even beneficial to children is disturbing to many people, including me. The lack of scientific evidence supporting my largely visceral reactions against pedophilic relationships has been one of the most surprising discoveries of my hopefully ongoing scientific education…O’Carroll argues against my intuitions and he argues well.”
J Michael Bailey, professor of psychology, Northwestern University

Hard to put down, despite its heft. The style is conversational, engaging, and inviting. It read almost like a mystery story in parts; I couldn’t wait to find out how the next part would be resolved.
Dr Pega Ren, sexologist

…a great and absorbing read…Toms’ exhaustive research paints a far more detailed and nuanced portrait of [Jackson] as well as an intricate tableaux of the world he operated within. I was…astounded by a number of revelations…If you’re interested in Michael Jackson, you have to read this book.
Eric Tazelaar, BoyChat

Malice against Alice in cyber-land attack

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Today Heretic TOC features a guest blog from Eric Tazelaar, a name that will be familiar to many here as a contributor of articles to NAMBLA’s website – which as many will also be aware by now has been under attack in the last couple of days from “hacktivists” along with numerous other sites engaging with attraction to minors. NAMBLA’s website now appears to be fully back in action and Eric has reacted very promptly with a piece on the theme of cyber-vigilantism. So well done, both NAMBLA and Eric! However, there is a danger that the site, or some of its functionality, may temporarily disappear again under further attack. Accordingly, Heretic TOC has accepted Eric’s invitation to run his article, which is also announced on the NAMBLA Homepage.

What prompted this spate of vigilantism was initially not NAMBLA, though, but the celebration of Alice Day on 25 April. As the Daily Dot preannounced on 24 April:

It’s Alice Day, a public “pedophile pride” day inspired by the relationship between the author Lewis Carroll and his young muse, Alice Liddell, for whom Alice in Wonderland was written. April 25 is supposedly the day in 1856 that Carroll met 4-year-old Alice, sparking a lifelong infatuation. In one pedophile’s own words, republished on a predator watchdog site, April 25 is a day to “rejoice in the gift of girllove and affirm the ideal so aptly typified by this special relationship.” In 2013, it’s also the day the hacker group Anonymous plans to bombard a long list of online targets with DDoS attacks, leaking suspects’ personal information and defacing their websites.

As it happens, yours truly personally had reason to be aware of the upcoming Alice Day this year, as Alicelovers magazine had scheduled the release of its second issue for that date and I had an article in press with it. The cyber-vigilantes, or rather cyber-vandals, have managed to screw up the release of the magazine, which should be available through a free PDF download via http://alicelovers.info/ The Homepage looks OK but the download is not working at the moment, as I write. Anyway, let me take this opportunity to let you know, if you don’t already, that this is a beautifully produced magazine with good articles – and of course I hope you will feel this accolade can be applied to my own modest contribution (actually titled “A Modest Proposal”) when you are eventually able to download the mag.

But enough. With no further ado, here is Eric’s article, under the author’s own title:

Hipster Vigilantism and the New Populist Attack On Free Speech in the Internet Age

“Anonymous” the self-styled cyber-vigilante group, widely recognized by its use of Guy Fawkes masks to conceal members’ identities, has launched another flurry of DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attacks to overload and thereby silence the websites of organizations which it identifies as “promoting paedophilia”. Several of those organisations targeted were NAMBLA and Boychat which suffered temporary website outages.

We were, once again, reminded of the self-righteous – if inchoate – rage which periodically bubbles to the surface in an effort to deny the rights of others to speak freely.

In the past, this atavistic fury would have taken the form of book burnings or, even earlier, the burning of people.

Today, it is expressed through the sabotage of complex computer networks and requires a modest level of technical expertise that is itself worn as a badge of honor by those who imagine themselves serving a societal good in their concerted efforts to silence others. A very public – and heroic – identification with that which is good and virtuous, as in every moral crusade of the past, is very much a driving force behind these contemporary mob rallies.

As the targets of these actions, we know, from years of experience, that those “hipster vigilantes” responsible for these “actions” are, invariably, almost studiously ignorant of our message and our mission as well as the actual danger our ideas pose to their mythological preconceptions. Their representation of our views and our motives are as scurrilous and distorted as any claims made by tabloid journalists or government agencies. But, of course, they would be.

Considering that most of them are young and grew up in the age of hysteria –  in other words, since the 1970’s – then we understand all too well why this is so.

As children and adolescents, they were spoon-fed a continuous diet of stranger danger, warnings of “bad touches”, alerts of missing children, and continuous surveillance by qualified adults while their permitted range-of-movement within which to explore life, love and humanity, shrank.

Theirs was a childhood informed by a continuous stream of missing children on milk cartons, indoctrination sessions led by alarmist teachers and earnest visiting policemen, hysterical t.v. news and the obsessive demands of parents that they remain within the ever-narrower boundaries which had come to define the limits of childhood and adolescence.

That all of these messages about strange men, in particular, were continuously delivered to them throughout their earliest years with an existential level of urgency makes it trivially easy to understand the levels of vehemence and intolerance our organizations – and our websites – now face.

Angry, destructive bands of crusaders, along with ever more oppressive laws are the result of a more than thirty-five year campaign to systematically suppress dissenting voices and contradicting evidence in order to fundamentally re-engineer society along strictly partisan – and paranoid – lines.

In this way morality, the perception of risk and reality itself have all been gradually, but dramatically, shifted over several generations while society feverishly wrung its hands, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing experiment in which it plays a starring role.

So, when we asked ourselves, many years ago, what the long-term effects would be of the sudden and astounding efflorescence of paranoia we were then witnessing, we now – finally – have our answer.

Back to TOC again. Some might be wondering whether Heretic TOC itself will come under cyber attack. Anything is possible, I suppose, but I imagine WordPress has defences to rival those of the Pentagon. Anyway, so far so good. Also, so far so good in terms of this current state of attacks remaining quite low key. Anonymous were probably hoping for a boost from huge coverage of their Alice Day campaign in the media, as happened following their spectacular (and much more pro-social) contribution to the Occupy Wall Street protest. It simply hasn’t happened. There have been a couple of articles, and that’s about it.  

News just received from our Irony Correspondent : Anonymous UK founder accused of rape at Occupy London camp.

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