Selective Outrage in Sex Hysteria

In addition to the pathetic characteristics of necessity and emergency in sex hysteria I’ve described in the past, a peculiar aspect of hysterical thinking is to focus on a relatively minor sin or moral transgression, while ignoring other and worse injuries and more serious crimes.

When a person in the grip of sex hysteria learns an accusation of child sex abuse may be untrue, she is not shocked or worried that an innocent person may be victimized by a false accusation of a supposed crime that may have never taken place. Rather, the hysterical crusader is furious that the accused defends himself!

When there is objective evidence that a sex crime actually occurred, such as a video of the crime in progress, or multiple eyewitnesses whose credibility is unquestionable, or medical evidence that is so clear it cannot be interpreted in any other way, then any denial by the accused would certainly be outrageous.

But when there is no objective evidence whatsoever, quite the contrary there is abundant proof that the accuser was coached, changed her story multiple times, contradicted previous statements, recanted later, evidence was falsified, where can there possibly be any rational basis for emotional fury upon hearing the accused assert his innocence?

Are false accusations simply impossible? They are certainly not impossible. Are false accusations extremely rare? Not necessarily. So where is the rational basis for such rock-solid certainly that sex hysterics are so proud to express?

The statistical facts are that the vast majority of child deaths and serious injuries in childhood are due to physical abuse and neglect, not sex crimes, so where is the concern over children frequently riding in motor vehicles without adequate restraint, or other common life-threatening behavior we may see around us every day?

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Sex Crime Vigilantes

As if there aren’t sufficiently exaggerated efforts by law enforcement to investigate and prosecute sex crimes, some civilians feel an urgent need to help out with the crusade. Don’t worry about the state robbing us blind every single day through the massive corruption within government and between government and big business. Focus on sex crimes as a top priority, because that’s what really matters.

Even the supposedly legal investigators can’t resist the temptation to ignore due process, and will falsify evidence to be sure the guilty get what they “deserve,” just in case the pesky requirements of a fair trial get in the way. In some cases the self-righteous are sincerely confused – they are ignorant of the origins of laws regulating sexual conduct, and hence they are dupes of the special interests that created the hysteria.

Centuries ago a few armchair philosophers decided that to be closer to God, people should only have sex to reproduce, like dogs and cats. If people are inhibited from sexual pleasure starting at a very early age, they will have more interest in church-going and such. That kind of logic openly guided secular legislation that outlawed sex work, sexual imagery, and raised the age of consent.

Then near the end of the 1800s an underemployed doctor named Sigmund Freud theorized that what he called “early seduction” is the cause of the mysterious mental disease known as “neurosis.” Fortunately for him and other underemployed doctors he also invented a very expensive talking cure he named “psychoanalysis.” Many years and millions of dollars in medical fees later, science has never succeeded in verifying Freud’s theory nor the efficacy of the treatment.

Even though Freud himself eventually rejected his early views as overly simplistic, in the 1970s a few radical feminists realized they could promote their bigoted anti-male agenda by riving Freud’s nineteenth century theory. They went even further in claiming that “early seduction” is often worse than death, and some drama queens even wrote books and articles claiming there were satanists behind every mail box looking for child victims.

Let’s face it, when you’re up against such a terrible menace, we can overlook such ethical obstacles as the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, due process, and fair trial, and disregard the vast majority of child deaths and serious injures in childhood that have nothing to do with sex.

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Child Porn, Italian Style

Pasolini’s film “Arabian Nights” (1974) is unlike the other examples of “child porn” I’ve described in the past, in that this film really is pornographic. Just about anything can be called child porn nowadays, according to hysterically broad legal definitions. But Arabian Nights definitely crosses the line.

There are numerous explicit scenes portraying minors nude and simulating sexual acts, including erections and some close-ups of the exposed genitals. Those scenes are inserted in a complex story and exotic setting so the film could be considered artistic, but none of the explicit scenes are necessary nor do they contribute to the telling of the story. Quite the contrary, the explicit content may distract some viewers and confuse the story.

I’m not saying the film should be censored, unless the actors (who are now adults) withdraw their consent for the continued distribution or exhibition of the film. My criticism is that despite qualifying as child porn, Italy does not prohibit the sale or exhibition of that film, while local authorities in Palermo have ordered the destruction and punishment of my innocent instructional video Buddy Massage. The reason for the differential treatment is clearly discrimination based on national origin. Pasolini was Italian, but I am a foreigner.

“Arabian Nights” is a film that does have historical value. Pasolini had the courage to challenge the Italian obsession with authority and conformity, as if the nation is always at risk of imminent breakdown and chaos. Traditional paranoia is convenient for the bloated bureaucracy in a state that is nearly bankrupt, where state employees pay themselves a comfortable income to maintain “order.”

In his relatively short life Pasolini was prosecuted 33 times before he was killed. In one of those cases the trials and retrials lasted 15 years. Some critics claim he was not persecuted because of what he did, but because of his radical ideas. Article 21 of the Italian Constitution guarantees freedom of thought and expression to everyone, but like many other noble proclamations they are empty words.

Nonetheless, as a work of art “Arabian Nights” is inferior to other films made in Italy in the same era. It is primitive and boring compared to Lina Wertmuller’s “Seven Beauties” (1975). The latter film includes a portrayal of a romantic relationship between a mature man and an apparently adolescent girl, who eventually becomes a sex worker and his fiancée. When a nosy neighbor complains “Leave the kid alone!” the man replies “It’s not nice to be jealous.” There is also a brief scene of exposed genitals of an adult, but not in any sexual or erotic context. Wertmuller’s film is an epic masterpiece. It has nothing in common with Pasolini’s productions.

And yet the DVD of “Arabian Nights” is still openly sold by Italian booksellers. So is his even worse film “Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom.” The Italian courts today are distracting public attention from recent history. Where is the Italian law’s concern for the so-called protection of children’s “natural” development in the continued sale of those films? Italian authorities are too busy virtue-signaling by persecuting the innocent videos of foreigners.

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Sex in the Real Italy

The loud and frequent virtue signaling against sex is a fraud. When I was a university student I remember being required to study the poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, but I was not informed about his radical films or scandalous personal life. The selective sources were not unique to Pasolini; it was characteristic of the teaching of Italian culture in general. An obvious attempt to promote la bella figura, to make a good impression.

Here’s what I found out long after graduation. In 1949 the gay teacher and poet Pasolini reportedly admitted he had engaged in masturbation with 3 or 4 minors, but surprisingly at trial he was acquitted. He was expelled from the communist party because of the scandal, and went on to be tried over 30 times for his creative writing, radical films and other “immorality.” But as far as I know he never spent any significant time in prison.

In his 1964 film “Comizi d’Amore” Pasolini interviewed Italian kids about what they knew about sex, and most said they didn’t know where babies come from, or they didn’t want to talk about it. P.P.P. also asked adults if they thought sex is an important subject, and if they would like to see pornography. Some said yes, but a few said they don’t think sex should be discussed in public. One man said life would be pointless without sex (presumably he meant sexual pleasure).

Some university students in Bologna said they didn’t feel that Italian society inhibited their sexuality in any way (!), but one student admitted there is a tradition of conformism here. In the south one man said virginity is necessary if a woman wants to marry. One young man said males are not allowed to even talk to girls. One young lady said girls in a small town can’t be seen too often in the square because of the risk of comments about her “honor.” In Naples a man complained that streetwalkers (sex workers) cost 10 times as much now, without any hygienic security, compared to when the brothels were allowed or tolerated.

P.P.P.’s film is not a complete or accurate picture of Italy at the time, because many people chose not to be interviewed. The people who spoke in the film were selected, or self-selected. P.P.P. might have been inspired by the publication of Prof. Alfred Kinsey’s more rigorous research “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” (1948), but P.P.P. was far from scientific.

Before the screening of his last and most controversial film “Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom,” P.P.P. was brutally murdered and the crime was never solved. I haven’t watched his last film, but from what I’ve seen, that film contains some truly disgusting scenes, an attempt to shock rather than entertain, educate or inspire viewers.

If P.P.P. hoped “Salò” would help Italians overcome their excessive conformism, I’m afraid he not only failed but even had the opposite effect: traumatizing Italians against the sexual revolution. The film is also blatant political propaganda, since the bad guys in the story are all on the right. He once claimed that authoritarian governments are always on the right, but his knowledge of the Soviet Union at that time was woefully incomplete. The national trauma that P.P.P. contributed to still plagues us today, with many Italians virtue-signaling against any accusation of being soft on sexual transgressions.

A more serious anti-fascist work of art is Bertolucci’s film “The Conformist.” It includes a scene of a chauffeur sexually abusing a young boy. In another scene a young woman on her honeymoon confesses to her husband that she lost her virginity at age 15 to a man who was 60. She used to call her first lover Zio, uncle. The woman and her husband discuss it with amusement and then reenact the deflowering.

A few years ago I went to a small town to see a play, and the apartment I rented overlooked a square where several boys (age 10-11) were playing soccer. When a girl the same age walked across the square the boys stopped playing to say hello, but the girl didn’t stop, she didn’t reply, and she didn’t even look at the boys. Apparently, in provincial culture girls are still at risk of comments about their “honor.”

And yet in the play an actor told a scandalous joke: “Do you know why it’s so important to use extra virgin olive oil? Because in Italy the oil is the only thing there is that’s virgin!” The ongoing crusade against sex was part of the cold war against communism, and is still part of the Catholic war against atheism.

Italy today doesn’t officially discriminate against homosexuals, but widespread homophobia is beneath the surface. When I first came to Italy as a student in the 1980s I was amazed to see the men’s restrooms in train stations frequented by gay men hooking up. Or were they frustrated hetero men unable to score with honor-bound Italian women guarding their precious virginity? How ironic that even the supposedly progressive judiciary is now eager to virtue-signal by coming down hard on anyone who promotes sex education, buddy massage, or social nudity.

Although there are few naturist (nudist) resorts in Italy, compared to other European countries, I’ve observed that many Italians are regular visitors at family naturist resorts in neighboring France. I suspect it is also true in nearby Croatia, but I don’t have any personal experience at any of the many naturist resorts in Croatia.

A few short years ago I showed the film “Little Manhattan” to a class of 11-year-olds in a big city school, and afterwards we talked about the story. I asked them if they thought the boy should have asked the girl for permission before kissing her suddenly. Surprisingly, two girls answered “No,” and nobody disputed their opinion. Apparently these traditional boys and girls thought an uninvited kiss is romantic.

Even Asia Argento reveals a tendency to be defensive about her honor. A.A. seems to be sexually liberated, and in her fascinating autobiography “Anatomia di un cuore selvaggio” (Anatomy of a Savage Heart) she says that “me too” isn’t a synonym for puritanism. Nonetheless she seems eager to distance herself from “prostitutes.” As if sex workers don’t deserve the same respect as any other paid laborers. In more modern countries like Germany and Holland sex work has been decriminalized.

A.A. was famously furious about her experience with Harvey Weinstein, who she calls “the pig,” even though the crime (as she describes it) was hardly a brutal or life-threatening event that would justify the kind of extreme punishment she hints at: torture. I once read a description of a young American woman who was held down and gang-raped by several anonymous attackers, and yet the victim says it was a very negative experience but NOT the end of the world. Eleven-year-old Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped and repeatedly raped while a prisoner for the next 13 years, and she wrote that she would do it all over again simply because her two beautiful children were born as a result of the rapes.

A.A.’s victimization – by her own account – was far less serious than either of those women. Accusations of abuse or rape years after the alleged event are usually impossible to verify, but the accusation itself is often extremely destructive to the accused. A.A. chose the Cannes Film Festival in October 2017 to denounce Harvey Weintstein, which was also the moment when a local prosecutor in Palermo decided to torture minors to solicit false accusations of sexual abuse against an obviously innocent foreigner.

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Italy’s Double Standard on Child Porn

There seems to be a double standard in what the Italian courts consider “child pornography,” depending on whether the producer is an Italian national or a foreigner. There are numerous examples of paintings, sculptures and movies produced by Italians which are openly exhibited to the general public even though they contain child nudity or children simulating sexual acts. Nonetheless, my own instructional video for children “Buddy Massage” was not only quickly prosecuted and judged to be “pornographic,” the local appeals court has just upheld the first trial court’s judgment.

I grew up as an Italian American and have lived and worked in Italy for the past 30 years, but there are still gaping holes in my knowledge and understanding of Italian culture, which is far from homogeneous from one Italian family to the next. Teaching kids normal massage is not a simulation of a sexual act by any stretch of the imagination, unless you live in a convent, especially since there is no contact with the sexual organs, and the only brief and incidental nude scene in my initial clips was cut and deleted – it does not appear in the final product offered to the public.

Among the Italian portrayals of children nude or simulating sexual acts I’ve described in the past: Fellini’s “Amarcord,” the Taviani Brothers’ “Padre Padrone,” and Michele Pennetta’s recent “Il Mio Corpo,” I just discovered a film by Asia Argento “Incompresa,” which can be added to the list.

Italian citizen Asia Argento was a child actress who became a director when she grew up. In her autobiographical film “Incompresa” (Misunderstood) she depicts a nine-year-old who was mistreated by her incredibly insensitive Italian father (a successful filmmaker), and mother, not in the 1930s but in the 1980s, in a country where children are abused by their parents at home and then go to school where they are abused by their teachers. Some of the background music reminds me of the desperation in “Midnight Cowboy.”

The emotionally upsetting story is difficult to watch. It includes a few scenes that would probably be prosecuted and convicted as production of child pornography if a foreigner like me included similar scenes in a film. Her father is so superstitious that every time he fears bad luck he grabs his genitals. Once he says his daughter brings him good luck, but later he kicks her out and tells her to go live with her mother who he himself has called insane, a whore, etc. Her mother refuses to take her back, so the child runs away and shares some beer and smoke with a few streetwalkers before spending the night in a park. She attempted suicide twice.

In one scene the father massages the child’s bare legs while she is lying in bed. In another scene the child actress plays rape with two dolls. In another scene the child is watching a man on TV sucking a woman’s exposed breast. In another scene the child is breastfed by her mother. In another scene the mother has a crazy boyfriend who kisses the child on her mouth. In another scene the child deep-kisses a boy her own age. Although we don’t actually see all the details, the camera cleverly depicts those events. Another scene includes an under-the-skirt shot that clearly shows the crotch of the child’s underwear.

The film is not a documentary, so we don’t know which of those scenes actually happened, nor was it necessary to actually include those scenes in the film. The DVD is also available in Germany and France with subtitles, and a version for English speaking viewers is available on Amazon Prime Video. If a foreigner like me made a movie like that in Italy in 2014 (the same year I began filming my innocent video “Buddy Massage”) some local magistrate would probably have prosecuted and convicted me for it.

Don’t get me wrong: A.A.’s film is certainly not pornographic. The director succeeded in telling a very moving story, working with child actors to portray an extremely painful part of her own childhood that’s worth seeing for anybody who’s interested in parenting, or curious about life in general in this schizophrenic country (her affluent childhood home was decorated with posters from the communist U.S.S.R.). Italians live uncomfortably close to the supernatural. In a way it’s a horror story, a successor to her father’s 1980s film “Demoni 2,” in which a much younger A.A. made her debut in a secondary role.

A.A. has been quoted in the media as saying “Censorship of the female nipple is trite and ridiculous.” I agree with that statement. As I’ve been saying for many years, censorship of exposed breasts promotes toxic breast shame, which in turn discourages mothers from breast-feeding, and promotes the despicable sale of inferior bottle formula for infants.

I’m also in favor of extended breastfeeding, which to me means four years old or even six years old, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a nine-year-old being breastfed. In any case breastfeeding and weening are family matters, not an issue for bumbling state interference. Many Italian citizens would be afraid to include such potentially controversial scenes in a movie, so A.A. is a model of courage. I was sufficiently inspired by “Incompresa” to buy A.A.’s recent autobiography “Anatomia di un cuore selvaggio” (Anatomy of a Savage Heart). When I finish reading it I might write a “Part Two” to this post, if the Italian state doesn’t silence me first – the cruel, old-fashioned way.

A.A.’s production might be excused on the grounds that she suffered a tragic childhood, but she has no monopoly on that excuse. As I mentioned in a previous post, my Italian-American mother bathed me until I was 12, and she seemed surprised when I said it was time to stop. She also fondled me and performed fellatio on me when I was about 6 to 8. She also beat me severely, without any urgent need. You know those big wooden spoons they use to stir a pot of spaghetti? She broke one of them on me.

It’s discrimination and a violation of human rights if Italian citizens repeatedly get away with making movies that depict children nude or simulating sexual acts, but a foreign teacher like me is punished for an instructional video on healthy massage.

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Necessity and Emergency in Sex Hysteria

A common trick in propaganda is to claim that some actions are not merely desired but rather are necessary, and urgent action is required to avoid imminent disaster. Hence there is no need to invest a lot of mental effort and energy, nor is there even time to reflect much. Scare words like “nudity” and “sex” and “children” are used to derail rational thinking and provoke quick and sloppy emotional reactions.

In news reports about accusations of rape or especially sex crimes against minors, a surprising number of anonymous people fire off comments assuming right away the accused must be guilty and should be punished severely, even though distant readers don’t even know the details of the case, let alone whether the accusations are completely true, partially true, or blatantly false.

A judge who does know the details of a case is in a bind because if he finds the defendant innocent for lack of evidence, some nut-jobs will immediately shout “Hang the judge!” or “Shoot the messenger!” or even “Castrate the accused anyway!”

In one strange case the police heard that a father had threatened a man who was “too friendly” (in conversation) with his young daughter. The police then interrogated the overly friendly man, who claimed not only that he hadn’t said or done anything to suggest any danger, but that the father was obviously drunk when he raced over to the man’s house to threaten him. A thoughtful detective replied “The father was only protecting his daughter.”

From what? The father imagined that there might be a dangerous escalation of the suspect’s friendliness some time in the future, and in the event that his imagination might be correct, an urgent confrontation and threat in a drunken rage were appropriate? Yep, that was the professional investigator’s evaluation of the situation.

In my own personal experience a prosecutor informed a judge that it was urgently “necessary” to interrogate several children who might have been the victims of sex crimes at some unknown time in the past and in some unknown place. Despite no spontaneous complaints from any children or parents, the sympathetic judge took for granted that the prosecutor was being reasonable and responsible, not hysterical. But in reality the children had been identified a year before, and the only real reason for interrogating them now a year later was precisely to confuse and prejudice the judge in the middle of a separate trial.

The police are supposed to be clever, and judges are supposed to be wise, not vulnerable to such cheap tricks. But sometimes the most important people in positions of staggering power are easily deceived by scare tactics that should actually be a red flag of attempted deception.

There is so much deception entrenched in the discourse of child safety and children’s innocence, that many people react reflexively to any suggestion of sexual danger, while completely ignoring the most frequent causes of child death and serious injuries in childhood which have nothing to do with sex.

Some individuals who claim they “only want to protect children” are willing to join a lynch mob, and that makes them normal or even heroes? Make no mistake: those individuals who assume a person accused of being a witch MUST BE guilty, are not heroes, they are cowards.

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Sex and Ghosts

A striking parallel exists between the very real hysteria over child sex abuse, and the wholly fictional story “The Others.” In that imaginative fiction a mother is trying to prepare her children for their first communion by teaching them the wages of sin: the cruel fate of sinners in the afterlife. The great irony of the story is that the ethics teacher herself turns out to have committed the most gruesome abomination – killing her own children, though she may be considered innocent by reason of insanity.

In the real life hysteria of moral crusaders trying to protect kids from sexual insensitivity and exploitation, we can clearly see the crusaders themselves tormenting and torturing children every day for the good of humanity. The children’s blood is on their hands for all to see.

Just like in “The Others” the good lady doesn’t know that she only exists in the world of the dead. She can’t see the other world, the world of the living, until it intrudes on her world. The good lady teaches that there is no hysteria. There are only “the goodies” who belong in heaven, and “the baddies” who belong in hell, and it all depends on which side of the gory war you fight on.

In the end all crusaders must wake up to their own abominations. Stop trying to protect children by suffocating them. Let children tell you when and if they want or need your help. Don’t commit the same crimes as the insensitive exploiters when they interrupt and dispute what children have to say.

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Sex Hysteria: Stranger Than Fiction

I once wrote a novel “Revolt of the Children” about poor kids in Palermo who rebel against physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The abuse is dramatized, and the story is set “some time after World War Two.” (1)

How ironic that I would later witness even worse abuse in real life in contemporary Italy, at least indirectly by watching the videos of state employees interrogating children suspected of being the victims of sex crimes. I could never write a novel describing the gruesome mental torture that at least one 13-year-old girl recently suffered at the hands of three women: a state psychologist, a detective, and a prosecutor. Readers would vomit all over the pages.

Another little girl (12) was probably tortured too to solicit false accusations, but that video was cut before the accusations were made, obviously to hide the treatment she suffered. Both girls have subsequently recanted their claims of being sexually abused. A third little girl (9) who was taken away from her parents is still in state custody, so whatever she has suffered is yet to be discovered. An indication that this is not a unique case is that so far at least two local judges have read the transcripts of the videos, and neither noticed anything unusual.


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Sexual Saints and Sinners

Welcome to the land that invented witch hunts. Italy’s salvation from repeated pedo scandals in the Roman Catholic church is to accuse foreigners of being the worst witches. How convenient to have an American to hold up to scorn, instead of Italians defending themselves from the international suspicion that sexual exploitation of children was also invented in Italy.

Many Italians want and need to feel like they are not the evil monsters they appear to be in the foreign press. So hearing about an American who is supposedly almost as bad as the lonely priests who aren’t allowed to marry, is a welcome relief to the locals.

It’s tempting to blame this particular witch hunt on a rogue prosecutor exploiting the opportunity to advance her career, but the fact is that she isn’t the only individual who brought this plague on me. A police detective in the midst of her own mid-life crisis boasts that she conducted the initial investigation all by herself.

Nobody twisted the arm of the state psychologist either, who tortured the presumed child victims to solicit accusations against me. Nor was the cover-up of the torture possible without the assistance of a preliminary judge, and the state technicians who claim they were unable to copy or transcribe the videos of the torture for over a year “due to technical difficulties.” They still can’t manage to “recover” 11 minutes of the first child interrogation before any accusation was made. The video evidence of child torture doesn’t matter to the state anyway, because now that the video is finally available nobody in Italy will even acknowledge it or admit they saw the evidence.

The natural immunity of a witch hunt is that anybody who dares defend the alleged witch or claims that witches don’t really exist, is at risk of being prosecuted as a witch himself. A common strategy of inquisitors is to terrorize the public and isolate the accused from other people so an effective defense becomes impossible. Friends who have known me for 30 years are now afraid to be seen talking to me. If anybody complains about poor people’s children being taken away from their parents, the state can take your children hostage too as a threat to other potential critics.

About 15 years ago Italians were all too eager to believe the horrific accusations against the American student, Amanda Knox. The supposed evidence for her part in the grisly murder of fellow student Meredith Kercher was shamefully misrepresented by the Italian media, but many Italians simply wanted to believe the prosecutor’s fairy tale. Italians found something deeply satisfying about the story of a young and cute blood-thirsty American. They were even willing to throw her Italian boyfriend under the bus, Raffaele Sollecito, an even less likely “butcher.” Despite the eventual acquittals and several books detailing the absurdity of the prosecutor’s case, many Italians confide they still believe the pair was guilty as charged.

At least Amanda and Raffaele had close families to help them. In some ways the witch hunt against me is even worse than the prosecution of Amanda and Raffaele. This investigation began when I openly published a photo-documentary “Girl Becomes Woman” but that investigation went nowhere because there is no genital nudity whatsoever or any other suggestion of erotic or sexual intent. A few years later when I published my educational video “Buddy Massage,” there was finally a flimsy excuse for the state to violate the privacy of my home and confiscate my computer.

When that search turned out to be futile, the prosecutor became really desperate and accused my innocent child portraits and educational video of being “child pornography” anyway. Since child porn is in effect witchcraft, no respectable person will even ask to see the supposed evidence. In the nature of witch hunts, the accusation is proof enough. If the accused demands that the supposed evidence be carefully examined, the accuser need merely add more accusations. The general public are always lusting to hear dramatic accusations. Most consumers of mass media are not really interested in pesky details like evidence.

But the facts are well-documented. Around the same time that my innocent child portraits were accused of being pornographic, Palermo’s major daily newspaper published nearly identical images of nude and semi-nude children by a beloved Italian artist and photo-journalist, Letizia Battaglia, without a peep of criticism from any local moralists (1). A major national newspaper in Rome also published an article about the virtue of buddy massage in public schools in Italy and other countries! (2).

More recently another Italian produced a documentary video that includes two scenes of a naked child (front and rear views), and in one of those scenes he is touching himself. That video was shown to the public twice in the local film festival in the state university’s prestigious ancient locale (3). Rather than being subjected to any criminal investigation or prosecution, that officially approved video was awarded the prize of “Best Documentary” by the local Italian jury.

In another highly acclaimed film “Padre, Padrone” after a young boy is ordered to go out and sleep in the isolated pastures to guard the family’s sheep, his mother says: “What is your little pecker going to do all alone in the pastures?” We can imagine the family context of that rhetorical question.

There are also scenes of children simulating group masturbation and sex with farm animals. A scene in the original novel but not shown in the movie, describes little boys in their Italian classroom exposing themselves to their little female classmates. (4) The film won the Cannes Festival in 1977. There have been other blatantly sexual scenes with minors in other Italian movies and T.V., some of which are considered among the best art ever produced in Italy. (5)

Instead of being self-aggrandizing or far-fetched, maybe my paranoia about being a convenient American scapegoat in this highly scandal-sensitive European country might be right on the mark.


  1. “I Miei Occhi sulla Città” Gabriele Micciche. (Gattopardo, GDS Media, May 2017)
  4. “Padre Padrone” Gavino Ledda. (Maestrale, 2003)
  5. For example: “Amarcord” by Federico Fellini, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1974.
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The Virtue of Hysteria

For years I’ve criticized the mass hysteria over child porn and child sex abuse, but I now realize I was wrong. Hysteria can actually be a good thing. If prudes are calm and rational they can be very persuasive, even when their words are superficial and dishonest, and their behavior is cruel and inhuman. But when such people behave hysterically, they appear downright stupid. Hysterical crusaders for a cause can be so pathetic that they almost make us feel sorry for them.

Some criminals are incredibly incompetent in getting themselves caught, but in this case state employees actually videoed themselves torturing minors to solicit accusations of sex abuse, as if “confessions” under torture are credible. Or maybe the interrogators thought nobody would notice that what they did is degrading and inhuman treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Actually the hysterics did try to hide some of the videos, and about 30 minutes of several videos are still “missing.” But the attempt to cover their tracks is transparently ridiculous. For example, the video of one interrogation was interrupted after 17 minutes, and then resumed 11 minutes later. The psychologist claimed the interruption was necessary to change the battery in the video recorder. In other words, the “professional” began the interrogation of three children, which could last three hours or more, with a battery sufficient for only 17 minutes, and then it took 11 minutes to change the battery! I am not a professional, but I can change a battery in 30 seconds.

All together there are about 10 interruptions in the videos. In cases where no accusations were made the videos were cut at the end while the child was still talking, which indicates an attempt to hide the last desperate attempts to coerce the children. In other cases the videos were cut before the accusations, at the same point near the beginning of the interrogation. Before the interruptions the conversation is about home, school, etc. Then after the interruptions all of a sudden the conversation has changed and the accusations are made. Worse, some of the interruptions are noted by the police officer who was present, but other interruptions are not, which indicates those videos were cut AFTER the interrogations were over. An awful lot of threats can be made in 11 minutes.

Aside from invalidating the evidence now, false accusations obtained under torture will eventually be recanted when the minors grow up and are no longer under threat of being taken away from their parents. Psychologists, social workers and their accomplices who torture children to solicit accusations of abuse might profit in the short term, but how many judges will put their own careers on the line to cover up the torture of children in order to protect the torturers? Sooner or later the hysterics and their accomplices will have to answer for the suffering they caused to innocent children, parents and others, possibly with multiple civil suits against the state for compensation.

Photo by Frank Adamo: Nussberger, Angelika. The European Court of Human Rights. Oxford University Press, 2020.

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