Bad Press

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ll be brief. Amazon is selling a guide for pedophiles. Yes, you read that right. Amazon’s statement in defense of the practice is telling:

“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 decision.”

Let’s parse that shall we?

It’s censorship. And? That’s it? So what if it is? The First Amendment to the Constitution protects American citizens against the United States government. Is Amazon now a branch of the Federal establishment or a company free to make decisions about what product it stocks? They choose to carry the work in question.  I particularly note the phrase “simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable”–how very broad minded of them. How morally relative. How lawyerly. How vacant.  May I ask who exactly doesn’t find it objectionable?  The word “simply”, as in “merely”, is a touch of vile genius; violated children are such a petty issue, not up to the notice of our intellectual and moral superiors. Apparently we should stop whining about it. It’s good that they “don’t support or promote hatred or criminal acts”.  They do however sell the instruction manuals. What could go wrong?

The statement reads as though Amazon expects us to admire them for being all brave and honest, standing up for free speech. I think their position is despicable. Freedom of speech is absolute, but it does not come with the guarantee of an audience, and certainly not a publisher and reseller. Why is Amazon choosing to participate? Is it a case of “anything goes for a dollar” or “anything to be in the news”? Simply because you can do something does not mean you ought to do it.

I will have no further business dealings with Amazon. Those with a conscience will join me.

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42 Responses to Bad Press

  1. Betty Townsend November 10, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Wow!! Well, I guess I won’t be using Amazon either. And to think I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on their site. TFS

  2. Dee November 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    That just makes me so angry ~ its disgusting!!! I’m with you Deborah. I can buy anything Amazon sells at Target….and I will. Thanks for the heads up. What a bunch of idiots ~ thats really all it comes down to.

  3. Betsy November 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    I am letting Amazon know I will not be spending money with them anymore.
    I need to let others know also what they are doing.
    Betsy

  4. Anna Poole November 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Outrageous! I have so many words rushing my mouth at the same time, nothing is coming out. I need some time to research, process and of course spread the word. Thank you Deborah for bringing this to my attention. I appreciate that you took responsibility for the information you obtained and then took action. Now I shall do the same.

    (Once again, glad to count you among my friends.)

  5. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality November 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    deborah, what a well written post. I’m totally disgusted by this whole sordid thing with Amazon too & couldn’t believe what I was seeing on their site. What a bunch of bunk they are spouting to all who are protesting this dispicable bit of literature. I hope they get SO bombarded with emails that they will be forced to rethink this PC position. Just makes me sick! But, really it just shows how we are sliding down the slippery slope right here in the USA, calling good evil and evil good. In the last days…..

  6. karen November 11, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    I look at Amazon but never bought anything yet. Don’t think I will. Thank you for your comment on my post.

  7. Sue @Rue Mouffetard November 11, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    We spend as much money with Amazon a year as we spend on our mortgage…I am shocked but not surprised in this liberal age we find ourselves in…How did we get to this point?….I was about to order the SIL a big gift card for his upcoming birthday but after this I will be going elsewhere….I have sent this on to a bunch of friends and asked that they forward it on to all their friends….Are you on Facebook?….you need to post this on there….

  8. claire campbell November 11, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    taking a stand on what? trying to control others freedom of speech?

    who are you to tell me what i can and cannot buy (i obviously wouldn’t buy that heinous book) but you are not my mother and you are not other peoples mothers and shouldn’t tell the public at large what to do. Amazon is getting the brunt of this for selling a book in a public domain, what about all the other smutty shops that sell the same thing? are you on a mission to shut them down as-well because you do not approve? Might i also mention the meaning of public domain? as in public, for the masses.

    There are better things to do with our time like curing childhood cancer, ending prematurity and solving world hunger, not getting a book banned off a website

    • Deborah November 11, 2010 at 6:51 am #

      Claire, You seem to be having trouble with the difference between “ought” and “must”. No one is telling Amazon they must not carry the book, nor that people can’t buy it. They ought not do it. It’s wrong. We exercise our rights of free association and free speech in refusing to do business with them as a result and in encouraging others likewise. Amazon is not entitled to everyone’s approval or business; that’s how free societies work. The post was pretty clear on that point. As for the smutty shops issue, it turns out we draw the line at pedophilia and don’t want to enrich those who support it or propagate that viewpoint. We also don’t necessarily think we’d agree on what’s smutty or not, nor do we have to solve all the worlds ills in order attack one of them. Make your own judgments, we will continue to do the same and speak up for our point of view.

    • the cottage child November 15, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      “There are better things to do with our time like curing childhood cancer, ending prematurity and solving world hunger, not getting a book banned off a website”

      Claire, I would invite you to consider that the fundamental respect for children that this “book” requires be obfuscated is exactly why you won’t get the solutions you view as more pressing. It’s willful cognitive dissonance to insist otherwise. Crises of morality is why children are treated the way they are, this kind of garbage perpetuates it.

      It’s already “banned”, the content is illegal, as instructions on assault on children should be. Refusing to facilitate the the trafficking of illegal materials is in no way violating anyone’s free speech, it’s responsible participation in civil society.

      Perfectly written, Deb, and brilliantly defended throughout. Amen.

  9. Jennifer November 11, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    Very well written post! Just so you know they currently carry another title for pedophiles.

    “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers” Guess that isn’t quite as shocking of a title to gain attention as the other one.

    Two guides for pedophiles for sale from one company…that’s enough for me to quit spending my money there!

  10. Missy November 11, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    I am with you 100%! I usually do about 1/2 of my Christmas shopping through Amazon, but they’ll get nary a penny from me this year! It’s a pretty sad world we live in, when it’s “okay” to sell objectionable material because of freedom of speech and press. Whatever happened to morals, values, a conscience and doing the “right thing”?! UGH! Guess our forefathers never thought the world would be such a vile place when they penned those rights or they would have made exceptions to the rules. :(
    Have a great week my friend
    Missy :)

  11. Cass at That Old House November 11, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    Dear Deborah,
    This is so appalling and infuriating that it is almost beyond belief. “Censorship” doesn’t apply — Amazon holds no official office or position and isn’t in a position to “censor” or not. Choosing to not offer such a book is a business decision for them, not censorship. Mercedes dealerships don’t sell junk cars; that’s not censorship. Amazon made the cold decision to sell this book for profit reasons. Really — for them to make that decision completely horrifies me; didn’t anyone at Amazon say, “We can’t sell this?”

    I just went to their site and the page with this book for sale (it’s a Kindle book) is not available. I think they may make another business decision — that enraging their customer base by selling this book is not a good profit move.

    That’s it for me with Amazon. I’m passing along the information, too.
    Thank you; I don’t want to do business with such a cold blooded and conscienceless company.
    Cass

  12. Susan G November 11, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    Deborah, while I find it very upsetting. It is supporting the 1rst amendment. Additionally, this same kind of info is out there on the internet also. Yes it makes me cringe. Do you know there are books on “how to control your woman” also? and Bomb building? This info is also on the web.

    It is sickening that people write stuff that is taboo, but they have the right to do so, and as a retailer has the right to sell it, with their little PSA, just like TV networks do.

    I will be giving this some very serious thought, and I DO have a conscious, but I am not sure if I’ll be boycotting Amazon right now. (I must admit that I also usually buy my used books through them, but they are not usually the seller themselves)

    Susan

    • Deborah November 11, 2010 at 7:16 am #

      Susan, The first amendment has nothing to do with this: Amazon is a private entity making a choice to stock a book about violating children, they are not the government. There’s no ban in place nor called for here. As the post notes, they have an absolute right to sell what they want, but if that’s what they want to sell we choose not to do business with them and will voice our disapproval. As for the other books you cite and as noted in another reply, it turns out we draw the line at pedophilia. We won’t be shopping with them. You decide where you draw your line. It’s still a free country and God willing will remain so.

      • Susan G November 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

        I didn’t say I was NOT going to boycott them, I said I wanted to think on it, and read more about this. I have very strong opinions against censorship. Further reading shows to me it is a book basically for KIDS who might find themselves in one of these situations. secondly it is an e-book. (which to me is NOT a book) I think kindles and over readers should have never been invented. It is going to damage several fields…publishing houses, Printing companies etc. This is starting to feel a little like Farenheit 451.

        Anyway I said I agree with you, that NONE of that stuff should be readily available…bomb making, pedophile info, making submissive wives etc. YET, if we say no to one, then that puts us in danger of NOT saying no to others.

        Yes Amazon has a choice, but they will take flack about other questionable things they carry.

        I BELIEVE, this will be “taken off their shelves” because America is speaking to them loud and clear.

        They get a lot of business from me, but like I said 90% of it is through sellers not actually amazon. I will be emailing them, my opinion. I have no plans on ordering anything for a while, so basically it is a boycott. but I am not formerly say I am boycotting them, til I see how things play out…it is very early in the scandal I think.

        I am not disagreeing with you at all, and like I said, i did put it up on my blog.
        Susan

        • Deborah November 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

          No Susan, I didn’t think you were disagreeing with me or in any way supporting the ‘kindle’ book. I appreciate you posting this on your blog.

          I think readers were directing comments to “Claire” who appears to have commented on several blogs.

          My response was referencing your 1st amendment comment. Amazon is not the government, nor an agency of, so the first amendment does not apply.

          What many do not understand is this is not censorship; it’s about choices. Amazon chose to sell this book; I choose not to purchase it.

          But one step further, I chose to say it is wrong. Wrong to have been written. Wrong to have been published. Wrong to have been offered to the public.

          Some are simply responding to this and other ugly matters by spewing politically correct rhetoric ending in “it’s their right”

          I highly doubt the book in question was written “for children”,

          The author of “The Pedophile’s Guide,” Phillip R Greaves II, describes the book as an “attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow,” and adds “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.”

          It is true, Amazon pulled the book from their virtual shelf (more than once today.) But the reason has more to do with the almighty dollar than ethics. Pedophiles can still purchase books on this subject from Amazon.

          http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/11/11/pedophilia-book-removed-from-amazon-but-others-remain/?mod=djemTECH_t

  13. Susan G November 11, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    PS. forgot to say I am posting this info on my blog also. Thanks for the info.

    Susan

  14. Judith November 11, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    WOW. Thanks for this heads-up, Deborah. I live in Sweden and usually order from the UK Amazon site and they don’t seem to offer this piece of trash, but I’ll be letting them know they’ve lost my patronage anyway since they are after all Amazon.

  15. Parsley November 11, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    I could PUKE! This is what happens when generation after generation has been taught more about ‘rights’ that about what IS right. I have much I could say but I’ll stop with….GOD HELP US!

  16. 'D' November 11, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Deborah, I may have used Amazon once, but ‘for sure’ I will not use it again. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    TO YOU PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN NEGATIVE RESPONSES; if you had been a child who had been abused or had a child that was abused, ect, ect, do you think that you would feel the same way? If in any way, keeping this book out of the wrong hands, keeps just one child from becoming a victim of abuse, it is worth banning it. I pity you for not understanding what Amazon SHOULD have done.

    GOD BLESS YOU DEBORAH, someone has to ‘give the word’ for our children. It was only a year ago that our newspapers and tv news reported the abuse of over 100 children, by their pediatrician, some only 3 months old. We have to be vigil in every way we can to save our children. This has nothing to do with our first amendment, it has to do with our morals.

    ‘D’

    • Susan G November 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

      if that comment about negative comments was directed at me…I am NOT saying it is ok.
      It is sick, but they have the right to write anything they like, and stores can carry stuff, do I think Amazon is wrong for carrying it, yes, but that also means they are for carrying other taboo subjects. we DO have to tread carefully, for censorship and the 1rst amendment are both very important and very touchy subjects.

      I am at least glad that it is NOT a real book. Perhaps they have already gotten the message, as when I did a search on their site a while ago, it was not listed.

      Susan

  17. ain't for city gals November 11, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Amazon has made their choice and now we are free to make ours…thank you Deborah. This is why I quit drinking Starbucks coffee…they did not support our troups and Seattle Best did….I switched.

    • Susan G November 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

      ohhh, I didn’t know that. thanks for that info. (I only like Starbucks chai anyway…hate their bitter strong coffee!
      Susan

    • Di November 29, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      I know this post is not about Starbucks, but speaking of ‘not supporting’, they have now chosen to grow their coffee beans in China. Why not Hawaii and support the good old USA economy? Corporate America, whether it be Amazon or Starbucks or any other are about bottom line $$. I say kick them where it hurts and don’t spend our money supporting them.

      • Deborah November 29, 2010 at 10:55 am #

        I don’t drink “StarYucks”.

  18. Joyce November 11, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I guess you can say that they Amazon was just caught with their pants down and their liberal decision to sell this appalling book will hurt them now financially. Good! Thanks for bringing this to our attention Deborah. No more Amazon purchases for this family. Oh and don’t anyone write to me going on about freedom of speech etc. until you have looked into the eyes of an abused child.
    Joyce

  19. LauraIngalls Gunn November 11, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Today is Veteran’s Day. A day set aside to honor those who have put their lives on hold to insure that our country remains the land of the free. To protect the rights put down on paper by our forefathers some 200+ years ago. As the wife of a retired military man I cannot tell you the hundreds of days I was without my husband, my children were without their father. It was difficult, but it was necessary.
    However, I showed this article to that great man of mine. He knows the horrors that someone he loves endured during their childhood. She was to small to have a voice. Her RIGHTS to a childhood free from harm were stripped away from her by a vile and pathetic man.
    My husband said it best. “I fought for many things. But it surely was not for this. Our forefathers would be ashamed at the state of our country. Just because it is a right, doesn’t make it RIGHT! ”
    Every day we wake up in a country that allows us to have a choice. I thank God for this. But today (and everyday) I will strive to choose the good.
    Countless attrocities have occured in our history because a majority of people chose to look the other way. I am shocked at those who admited that they have decided to support a wrongdoing. And yes, by looking the other way you are indeed supporting the wrongdoing.

    I for one am going to look Amazon straight in the eye and say “No more.” Because now, I do have a voice.

    Thank you Deborah for using YOUR blog to voice YOUR opinion.

  20. Karena November 11, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I have spent a great deal of money on Amazon, including electronics.

    This is a boundary I cannot abide, child abuse is wrong in every way! Too bad for Amazon to not draw the line, if they have changed their mind good, a bit late though.

    Karena
    Art by Karena

  21. Shirley November 11, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    I just heard about this on the news this morning. It was announced that Amazon did pull the book from its site after receiving thousands of complaints and requests to remove it. Sadly thousands were sold. How horrific is that? Amazon ought to exercise some strict practices in regards to what it will accept or they shall lose customers.

    • Deborah November 11, 2010 at 10:52 am #

      They also carry:

      “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers”

  22. Colleen November 11, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Do you mind if I post this on my facbook account?? This is deplorable in the highest sense..and for those of us living in Utah, we are reminded daily of this type of deviant behavior with the Elizabeth Smart testimony …we are saddened and shocked at what these horrible, horrible people do..they certainly do not need a guidebook..I will boycott Amazon immediately.

  23. Shirley November 11, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I posted my feelings about this on my blog http://shirley-mybookshelf.blogspot.com/2010/11/amazon-doesnt-believe-in-censorship-bad.html. I have emailed Amazon and will post the results on my blog. I urge everyone to email or call Amazon to express your feelings about them making available these titles!

  24. Amanda November 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/11/amazon_stops_selling_instructi.html

    After the outrage of it, Amazon pulled the book. However, I’m sure the author of the book is gloating over all of the free press his book received.

  25. Rhonda November 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I agree with you 100%!!! I will not order anything from Amazon again.

    Al has spent a lot of hours tracking down these creeps. Seeing some of these children first hand always got to him.

    We certainly won’t do anything to promote their sick behavior.

    I have to question what would make anyone write and publish a book like this anyway?
    I know that we should be praying for these people, but it’s really hard.

    Rhonda

  26. Arthur November 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Dear Deborah,

    Good for you. Those who promote pedophilia are as guilty as the criminal. And that is what Amazon was doing.

    Keep up the great investigative work.

    Peace & Love,

    Arthur

  27. Victoria November 12, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I never purchased from them to begin with but I agree with you on this one.

  28. mel November 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    I saw this on Anderson Cooper. Sick. I was abused by these kind of people. Maybe those folks at amazon would change their money grabbing tune if it was one of their kids these sick *#2* abused. Lets just put all the kids out as bait…I have never bought anything of amazon and you can be sure I never will now.

  29. Barb Boyack November 13, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Deborah, I meant to reply a couple days ago, life got in my way…I purchase a lot from Amazon, I am glad they pulled it from their shelves..Yes, they have a right to sell it, as do we have a right to no purchase from them. As one poster said, they do have a lot of independent sellers under the Amazon umbrella.
    Shame on Amazon, they could just as easily refused to sell it in the first place.

    Barb

  30. Tiffany November 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Thanks for being so bold about this. It just sickens me. I will be boycotting amazon.
    Blessings, Tiffany

  31. Zuzu November 16, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    I just quoted Morrie Schwartz in my most recent post…

    “The culture we have doesn’t make people feel very good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

    I “don’t buy” buying from Amazon.

    ~ Zuzu

  32. Stephenie from Decorating Addiction December 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    I had no idea of this Deborah! It’s completely sick and I will not be making any purchases from Amazon! Furthermore, I will be letting my friends and family know as well. Thanks for the heads up.

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