There is an ongoing debate raging on over the book recently sold on Amazon entitled “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct”.
Despite issuing guidelines banning “offensive” content, Amazon continued to market this abhorrent book online and through their Kindle sales in the last week. Fortunately, the extreme outrage that followed this discovery eventually caused Amazon to remove the book from its catalog yesterday.
One questions whether the author of this book marketed his book to clergy. His diminishing of the gravity and severity of the crime of childhood sexual abuse sounds strikingly familiar. In litigating in the clergy sex abuse crisis, we hear over and over again attempts at justifying child sex abuse, how a priest abusing a child is a “relationship” based in “love”, rather than a horrific crime that should be immediately reported to law enforcement upon credible allegations.
This horrifying book should never have been published, and even if published, should never be marketed to the general public. This is a criminal’s guide to committing a crime and getting away with it. Would Amazon publish a code of conduct guide for al-Qaida terrorists? How about Mexican drug dealers? The author of this criminal guide wrote on the Amazon web listing for the book, before it was removed from the site this week:
“This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow…I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught.”
Juveniles do not merely find themselves involved in a pedophile situation – these children are forced, sometimes violently, or manipulated by trust and power, to submit to child sexual abuse. These are young and innocent children who are naïve, intellectually, physically and sexually. Children are safer when they are not exposed to offenders.
Here, even the title of this horrifying book reads as a manipulation. The idea that child sex abuse is in any way about sex, pleasure or love is perpetuating a falsehood and a misnomer. Childhood sexual abuse is about power and the abuse of power. Child sexual abuse should never be about the interests of the perpetrator. It should and is always about the child, identifying the harm caused and finding a way to heal. It is disgraceful to see such a large online retailer fail to draw the line on offensive content when it went ahead and sold the criminal’s guide to committing a crime and getting away with it.
This is criminal behavior, being advocated under the guise of a “Guide”. We hope Amazon and other similarly situated retailers will join forces to be sure no book advocating crimes against children is ever published again and never marketed to the public. In doing so, kids will be protected.