Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 23, 2009


CLS, Classically Liberal - In our new bizarre world of sexual offender legislation each child is a victim and a perpetrator. As the victim, they get no help, of course. The victim status is the excuse needed so that the sledgehammer may be used on the other child. So each becomes a perpetrator. They will be arrested; they will be forced into court. They are likely to be convicted and sentenced. They may be placed into the various prisons for children that have been established-places where they will learn what unwilling, sexual attacks are really like. They will be tortured by therapists and eventually released-maybe. Even that is no longer guaranteed under our sex panic. Today, someone who has served their sentence can then be held in preventative detention for the rest of their natural life because the mob demands it. And the politicians give the mob what it wants.

If our children happen to be released then the real torture begins. They are branded by the cruel laws that opportunistic politicians imposed to satisfy fearful voters. First, the child will be photographed. His or her photo will be published for the world to see. The government hit lists, called sex offender registries, will tell any would-be vigilante where to find this child. The address will be given, if the child is lucky enough to be able to live at home, and not institutionalized.

The sex offender laws will kick in and are guaranteed to destroy any ambition your child may have for success. Any attempts to better themselves, or become productive members of your community, will be throttled by these laws. Every road they try to pursue will become a dead end. It may be impossible for them to finish school. Any job they seek will require them to reveal their "sex offender" status to their employer. Any curious neighbor can find out the "crime" that was committed, though not the circumstances. Years down the road, this child, now an adult, will be listed as someone who committed lewd acts on a child. People will imagine an adult raping a child, not two children playing doctor.

Each time the child moves the police will help him feel welcomed by handing out fliers to the neighbors warning them that a "sex offender" is now living nearby. Rocks thrown through windows can be mild compared to some welcomes that are given. One young man in Maine opened his door to be executed on the spot by a stranger. His crime was that he, as a teen, had sex with his girlfriend. In puritanical America that is enough to make him a sex offender. For that he was murdered with his mother only a few feet away. In jurisdiction after jurisdiction this "offender" will find that most of the community is zoned off limits to him. He can't live too close to a school, too close to a park, too close to a bus stop, too close to. . . the list is almost endless and growing all the time.

Every so often he will be required to visit the police and report to them. They may show up at his home anytime they want and demand to inspect it. He could be banned from social networking websites, or from the Internet completely.

If you child grows up to have a family, a normal relationship will be forbidden. He may well be banned from all activities at his children's school. They may be in a play; he won't be allowed to watch it. If the kids play on a sport's team, their father won't be allowed to attend. Ditto for Little League. Forget having friends over for a birthday party. Dad is a pariah until he dies and his children, and his wife, will be forced to endure the torture with him.

The lucky ones barely manage to hold on. Those who are not so lucky simply end their lives. Others have the option of suicide robbed from them by vigilantes. They quickly learn to give up ambitions and dreams. To excel in life is not possible. To merely survive is hard enough. And some, robbed of all normality, robbed of all hope, mentally and emotionally raped by the state, decide they may as well become the monsters that they are imagined to be.

It takes so little for this happen to a child. A girl in school has oral sex with a boy in school. She becomes a sex offender for the rest of her life. Streaking a school event, as a practical joke, becomes a sex crime in the new America. Two kids "moon" a passerby and are incarcerated in jail as sex offenders, where they may well learn a lesson or two about rape. A teenager, who takes a sexy of photo of him, or herself, is paraded around the community as a "child pornographer" for the rest of his or her life. Two kids in the back seat of a car have fumbling sex. The law says one is an offender because the other is a "victim." One week later, a birthday passes, and it is no longer a crime. One week's difference and a life is ruined. In other cases an act that is legal on Monday is illegal on Tuesday because the older of the two turned one year older. That becomes enough to qualify him, or her, as an offender.

These laws are not so much protecting children from predators as they are turning them into predators. . . When you look at the ages of the offenders you see that 14-year-olds are apparently the most sexually dangerous group in America. The rate declines from there, but throughout adolescence the law is far more likely to deem kids as offenders. You may imagine the dirty old man down the street. But with age people are less likely to "offend". One reason is that they are more mature. But another reason is clear. Once you reach a certain age, having sex with people your own age is normally not considered a crime. The explosion of "youthful sex offenders" is not the result of our kids becoming perverts. It is the result of the law criminalizing what is a normal part of growing up.

Christopher Ryan, Psychology Today - A little over a hundred years ago, John Harvey Kellogg, a physician, claimed the moral authority to instruct parents on the proper sexual education of their children. If you're unfamiliar with the writing of Kellogg and others of his day, their gloating disdain for basic human eroticism is chilling and unmistakable. In his best-selling Plain Facts for Old and Young (written on his sexless honeymoon in 1888), Kellogg offers parents guidance for dealing with their sons' natural erotic self-exploration in a section entitled Treatment for Self-Abuse and its Effects. "A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys," he writes, "is circumcision." He stipulates that, "The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment."

If circumcising your struggling, terrified son without anesthesia wasn't quite what a parent had in mind, Kellogg recommended "the application of one or more silver sutures in such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from one side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur. . . " Parents were assured that sewing their son's penis into its foreskin, "acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice [of masturbation]."

Lest you think Kellogg was interested only in the severe, sadistic torture of boys, in the same book he soberly advises the application of carbolic acid to the clitoris of little girls to teach them not to touch themselves. Kellogg and his like-minded contemporaries demonstrate that sexual repression is a "malady that considers itself the remedy," to paraphrase Karl Kraus' dismissal of psychoanalysis. . .

While American moralists aren't sewing boys' foreskins closed or pouring acid into the vaginas of little girls who dare to touch themselves, they continue to destroy the lives of children caught in the most innocent acts of sexual exploration. By labeling these kids "sexual offenders," the long-standing tradition of sacrificing innocents in the name of erotic hypocrisy continues. . .

Adolescents all over the country are getting into serious legal trouble for sexting one another: snapping a risque photo of themselves with their cell-phone and sending it to a friend. Turns out, in many states, these kids can be sent to prison (where sexual abuse is rampant) for photographing their own bodies (manufacturing child pornography) and sharing the photos (distributing child pornography). They're being forced to register as sex offenders despite the fact that they themselves are the victims.

Being freaked-out about sex isn't just sad and ridiculous. It leads directly to horrible abuse of people who aren't responsible for the twisted sexuality of adults.


Blogger m said...

The most immoral of the child molesters are those who use children as sword and shield to build political empires through prosecution.

Those who employ their positions of trust in the development of legislation without regard to the consequences of their actions.

Those who use their employment or political as a means of attempting to control or cover up their own malevolent drives.

Those who sit in judgment and refuse to halt the punishment when it is clear the law does tremendously more harm than good.

These are the worst molesters of all.

September 23, 2009 4:24 PM  
Blogger Libby D'Orazione said...

m. is right.

September 23, 2009 11:40 PM  
Blogger Libby D'Orazione said...

m. is right.

September 23, 2009 11:40 PM  
Blogger VDog said...

Insane registry laws and restrictions did not prevent the perverts, Philip Garrido AND HIS WIFE from doing what they did! The registry laws, and especially the residency / work place restrictions, have done far more harm than good. Forget about all the cases of vigilantism and suicide; forget about the fact that while these laws are proposed to protect the children, they include children, while a huge percentage of those on the list committed crimes that had nothing to do with children; forget about the fact that study after study has proven these laws not only are ineffective, but have actually made matters worse. Forget about the fact that upon release from custody, sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates, not the highest. In fact those who receive counseling and treatment have outstanding records versus those convicted of other violent crimes! The fact is the registry and any restrictions should be limited to those who are proven child molesters and pedophiles; that Law Enforcement could handle and monitor effectively. Do you seriously believe a committed pedophile cannot walk or drive 500, 1000, 2500, 5000 feet or more? Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted miles from where Philip Garrido lived!

I am sure we will see comments from hysterical, uninformed individual(s) who will suggest that all those on the registry should be locked up for life or worse and say there is no rehabilitation for these people. And for a few they are right, we need to focus on those! Once a person has done their time that should be it. That is the foundation of this great country and its legal system. Don’t like it, move to China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, or wherever individual rights are ignored. If a person is a pedophile, lock them up for a long time and provide treatment. Treatment not working, keep them locked up. Many families are being destroyed for political expediency; children of those on the registry are being abused and ostracized at school. Whole families are forced into isolation and restricted from the work place. If the registry is to truly protect the children, then let’s focus on the pedophiles and child molesters’. Get rid of the residency/work place restrictions, focus on the loitering laws. Let the rest on the registry re-assimilate into society after they have done their time, become solid, productive citizens; part of the solution not the problem. The facts, (and the Garrido case) as well as virtually all of the research, and study after study have proven what we are doing now, mostly for political expediency and to appease hysterical uninformed parents is not working and is in fact making matters worse!

September 24, 2009 9:46 AM  
Blogger VDog said...

With regard too the Sexual Offender Registration laws, the public dissemination of public information in such a way as to guarantee public humiliation, loss of privacy, reckless endangerment and threat of harm (even extinction), risk & humiliation of innocent family members and fellow employees, destruction of innocent children’s lives, has been ruled permissible by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)… However, the raping of individuals rights to residency, protection from banishment, right to affordable housing, restrictions on gainful employment, restraints against freedom of movement and lawful assembly, destruction of ability to assimilate into society, restrictions from access to public services and facilities, and general banishment from society, even retroactively after conviction and/or after a person has served their sentence, has yet to be ruled on. Please ACLU and others, please give the SCOTUS the opportunity to unconstitutionally screw up that ruling too.

September 24, 2009 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like someone beat me to the points I was going to make. I'll offer up a great factual information site instead to learn the truth about sex offender laws: www.oncefallen.com

September 24, 2009 2:49 PM  
Blogger SOSVA said...

The claim is always that these offenders have "robbed a child of their innocence". My son's innocence was lost when he was incarcerated at barely 18 for sex with an underage (but experienced) teenage girl. My child will go through a life of hell for a normal sexual experience while this young lady lives her life. Politicians think this is just fine.

You're absolutely right - all doors are barred for him. His hopes and dreams are gone. Whose children are being SAVED, anyway?

September 25, 2009 12:46 AM  

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