What has to be the most interesting defense I’ve ever heard for “freedom of speech” came in 2010 when Amazon.com put a self-published eBook on their online market. After all, anyone that wants to write a book on any subject has the right, because it’s in the Constitution! That’s the American way, after all, or at least should be. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Wait until you hear the title…
The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure
by Phillip R. Greaves II
Yeah. I was pretty shocked as well.
What was even more unbelievable was Amazon’s argument as to WHY they allowed this eBook to sell on the website…
“Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”
For some reason, it’s hard for me to believe that a corporate giant like Amazon would have a priority list that looked something like this:
- Not censoring anyone (even if they are pedophiles)
- Making money (even if an eBook is only selling for $4.79…every dime counts!)
- Not upsetting the customer base and losing profits
- Maintain a positive image (who needs those, anyways…PR is completely unnecessary! duh.)
The Pedophile’s Guide is not Greaves’ only book on the subject, but has also released a book with a more shudder-inducing title (I know, I didn’t think it was possible): Our Gardens of Flesh: From the Seeds of Lust Springs the Harvest of Love.
Perhaps the most disturbing side of this Greaves’ angle in his books is his attempt at trying to justify the pedophile “lifestyle” by pointing out things that are apparently condoning sex with children in American culture.
Aspects of our culture which celebrate a sexual attraction between adults and young children include little naked statues of child-like cupids and comical references to such relationships like the ones on “Family Guy”.
Somehow, when the writers of Family Guy developed the character Herbert, I don’t think they were attempting to defend pedophilia.
If that wasn’t enough, more rantings can be heard from the horse’s mouth itself in the following video…
My favorite quote from the video: “What they don’t realize is, the word ‘pedophile’ itself means somebody who loves children!’ Using this logic, apparently every mother, father, grandparent, and sibling that loves a child is a pedophile. I guess we learn something new every day!
One commenter on this Youtube video says: “Honestly I’d have no problem with this man living in my house. He has a head on his shoulders that is probably more intelligent than all the commenters here combined. It’s disgusting that people say that pedophilia (to love a child) is wrong based on some dogmatic world view of what is ‘good’and ‘right’. It says a lot about society, one can not simply think for themselves. Reality is there a hundreds of thousands of pedophiles by definition. As he said, most are not murderous rapists.”
When I read this comment, I was even more shocked – there are other people that seem to think pedophilia is excusable and an actual OPTION for a lifestyle? That commenter can and probably should live with Greaves…preferably, in a boarded-up house. I am not surprised that “disgusting” and “pedophilia” would be in the same sentence…however, I am a little confused as to why someone would say that people who believe pedophilia is wrong (hopefully, the majority of people) are “disgusting.”
At this point, I feel like someone should be calling up Chris Hansen.
All joking aside, I’m fairly inclined to agree with the book’s commenters. This subject is very touchy, understandably so, as people who have dealt with victimization, rape, and child abuse have tragic memories that they don’t want others to experience. My heart goes out to the people that were personally offended by the release of this eBook, including this one:
“It is ILLEGAL to molest children, and for Amazon to promote such is insane. I’m an abuse survivor, and am OUTRAGED Amazon would choose to promote this nonsense. I will not be purchasing anything from your website until this is removed.”
Amazon apparently put their thinking caps on and decided to remove the eBook, but only after an overwhelming public outcry made them hide in the corner. Personally, I feel that they should have removed any of Greaves’ work off of the site after this ordeal...but people can still enjoy his “revolutionary” and “innovative” thoughts. Perfect for any Christmas list, I’m sure.
At any rate, Amazon should have predicted that putting a book like this on their website would not receive positive feedback. Seeing as I don’t really believe they were worried about “free speech,” it makes me wonder how this little gem passed onto their markets. Is the reviewing process for eBooks not very vigilant? Or did some less-than-clever associate decide that this material would actually sell?
Clearly, Amazon’s handle on their public relations was pretty flippant in this case. Namely, the conflict management seemed to be lacking. On page 48 of Think: Public Relations, the “threat appraisal model” is mentioned.
“A threat to an organization requires an assessment of the demands that the threat makes on the organization as well as an assessment of the resources available to address the threat…Are the knowledge, time, finances, and management commitment available to combat the threat?”
In this case, I’d have to say yes. All Amazon had to do (and what they did end up doing after over 2,000 people posted irate comments on Greaves’ book site) was remove the eBook. The general reluctance and outstanding lack of judgment on the part of Amazon was inexcusable. I’m still quite puzzled as to how this happened. Time and finances were no obstacle, especially considering the fact that the eBook was selling at less than $5 a copy. I’m just baffled why this eBook was placed on the market in the first place…much less why it took Amazon a few days to delete it.
For those of you who are curious what happened to Phillip Greaves, I don’t think you will be surprised. But at the same time, I do find that Florida cops must be pretty tricky. The man lives in Colorado, after all. But I won’t criticize their actions, it just makes me wonder how many states don’t have strict obscenity laws. Specific laws by state are surprisingly difficult for me to find on the Internet – can one of the commenters help me out?