Taken aback by the furious protests, Amazon, the well-known online book store, has chosen to withdraw The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct.
The Guide had hit number 65 on the Amazon's list of the top 100 best-selling paid e-books and saw a 101,000-percent increase in sales after the Internet storm broke out, it has been reported.
AdvertisementBut criticism in the media and snowballing calls to boycott Amazon during the all-important holiday shopping season forced the chain to pull the plug.
Not satisfied with Amazon's rearguard action, online groups are now springing up to scour the bookshelves of the firm and organize protest in case of any other offensive material on sale there.
Though withdrawn, the now notorious Guide continues to evoke fury across the web world. Predicably so, as the book includes, tips on how to get away with it and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases by purchasing condom-like products for children too small to use actual condoms.
A sample of the stomach-churning text:When precautions are needed, however, standard condoms go a long way. Unfortunately there are much too big to fit boys younger tan thirteen....Latex, finger coits, intended to protect finger cuts from becoming infected, can provide the same level of protection as the adult latex sheath....Pinup pictures of fully clothed juveniles in your bedroom (the cops may arrest you if any of these pictures show underage children nude), and use them as masturbation material...
The e-book went on sale two weeks ago, but hit the headlines only after news of its publication spread among users of Facebook and Twitter, prompting protests and boycott calls. Diaper.com, a baby supplies site whose parent company was recently bought by Amazon, posted a message on its Facebook page dissociating itself from Amazon's decision.
Many argued it was sending a dangerous message and undermining the social prohibition against seeing children as sexual objects and sexually attractive, and showed that profits were more important than protecting the wellbeing of our children. It's unfathomable that a book normalising paedophilia should be available to purchase on such a mainstream site, a conservative group lashed out.
Initially the chain had sought to brazen it out, saying, ""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."
But as protests intensified, Amazon changed its mind and removed the e-book from its Kindle Store Friday. Kindle, in addition to more conventional titles, allows unpublished authors the chance to sell their books in electronic form.
Phillip R. Greaves II, author of the self-published Pedophile's Guide, defended his book, saying the e-book wasn't necessarily a how-to guide, though "there are certain parts that are advisory." The book also "established boundaries" that should not be crossed
"True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them," Greaves II told CNN.
He has also said that he himself is not a pedophile. "The best advice I can give a pedophile is accept that masturbation is your best friend," Greaves said.
Greaves, 47, a former nurse's aide who retired because of a disability, told ABCNews that he was not encouraging pedophilia, but only enabling pedophiles to indulge their fantasies without causing harm. He also pointed to the case of Mary Kay Letourneau, the Washington state teacher who had an affair with her student, as evidence it is possible "to have a loving, sexual relationship with a child."
While the book was written from the perspective of an adult, Greaves emphasized that he was not speaking from personal experience as a pedophile.
"The only personal perspective it was written from was that I was introduced to sex at the age of 7 by a 10-year-old girl," he said. "It was oral sex. And I carried on through that, having that kind of sex with children until I was about 15. ... And everybody involved enjoyed it."
When asked why he wrote a "code of conduct" that appears to endorse an illegal, abusive act, he said, "I'm not saying I want them around children; I'm saying if they're there, that's how I want them to behave."
The guide was said to violate two of Amazon's own e-book content guidelines, which prohibit the publication of "offensive material," as well as content that "may lead to the production of an illegal item or illegal activity."
Last year, authors of gay and lesbian e-books suddenly lost their sales rankings and were delisted because of "an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error," as Amazon told the New York Times. Although Amazon never specifically said what happened, many authors believed it was because their books were deemed in some way pornographic because of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender themes.
Now there are others who wonder whether Amazon is violating the First Amendment's protection of free speech, or if it's the company's right -- or even duty -- to ban such material from its store.
The Anarchist Cookbook, a how-to guide to making homemade bombs, among other dangerous and illegal material, is still for sale on Amazon.com. You can also purchase The Turner Diaries, a thinly-veiled novel written by a former member of the National Alliance that advocated a violent upheaval of the United States government, writes another columnist
One has to watch out for vigilantism now perhaps! Already Greaves is said to be worried about his security.