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A Personal Odyssey to the TruthBy Judith A. Reisman, PhD
I have been asked to introduce myself so that you know something of my life and how I came to discover Kinsey's child molestation protocol, his false data, his molding of modern sex education and of western sexual culture and conduct, as well as how I came to be involved in international governmental hearings on science fraud, child sexual abuse, pornography, drugs and the other critical issues of our time. I will try to touch on the points in my life which may be of most use to readers of this Kinsey expose.
I was born, Judith Ann Gelernter, in 1935 in Newark, New Jersey. Mine was a large and thriving second-generation Jewish-American family, Russian on my maternal side, German on my paternal side. Both sets of grandparents had fled persecution in Europe, and upon landing at Ellis Island in New York, they thankfully embraced their adopted country, immediately took up menial labor, and raised large families of achievers.
My father Matthew was born in Massachusetts and my mother Ada in New Jersey. They eventually owned "Matthew's Sea Food," which they developed into a prosperous fish business in Irvington, New Jersey. The Gelernter's held family meetings every few months at Aunt Laura's large home in South Orange, New Jersey. More than forty adults and dozens of children sat down to dinners tastefully arranged and served, table manners always impeccable. After dinner, without the modern invention of television, political debates raged between my parents and the family. My parents were the radicals of the family. They believed the widely publicized propaganda of a perfect new world order under socialism or communism. None of our mainstream newspapers had ever revealed the multiple millions of Russians murdered by "Uncle Joe" Stalin. Still, all was mended when cousin Ruth sat down at the piano to accompany my father and three aunts, Laura, Shirley and Mary, as they sang old Yiddish and American folk songs in four-part harmony. I was mesmerized.
For me, they were musical giants, singing, swaying, smiling and beckoning. My dad, looked, I thought, movie-star handsome alongside my favorite Aunt Mary, a beautiful red-haired, green-eyed soprano who had rejected an offer from the Metropolitan Opera in order to marry and raise a family.
Dad would often remind me that "Gelernter" means "the learned one" in German, a name of distinction bequeathed to my ancestors. "Your life should be an honor to your name," he would say. My mother, Ada, was of more common "Goldberg" stock. Charming and refined, Mother played the lead in major little theater productions at the YMHA, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, directed by Moss Hart, Dore Shary, and other local boys who went on to become major 1930s Hollywood film moguls. While the artistic talent I inherited from my father and mother afforded me a rewarding profession as an adult, I also inherited from them their love of truth, concern for the powerless, and resistance to tyranny, all of which launched me upon the difficult journey described in this book.
I lived at a wonderful time. My mother welcomed me home every day and my father supported anything I did. I was safe among neighbors, uncles or cousins due to the delightfully repressive influence of the time. I married, and the hedge of protection about my life was not breached until 1966 when my 10-year-old daughter was molested by a 13-year-old adored and trusted family friend. She told him to stop, but he persisted. He knew she would like it, he said, he knew from his father's magazines, Playboy, the only "acceptable" pornography of the time. The boy left the country a few weeks later, after it came to light that my daughter was but one of several neighborhood children he had raped, including his own little brother. My heart was broken for all the families involved.
This appalling event in our lives, I would learn later, was a pattern with juvenile sex offenders, as they are known in law enforcement circles.
I might never have known anything about her violation, except that my daughter slipped into a deep depression. Only after I promised not to call the police would she talk about what happened. After assuring her this was not her fault, I called my dependable, staid aunt who listened sympathetically and declared, "Well Judy, she may have been looking for this herself. Children are sexual from birth." Stunned, I replied that my child was not seeking sex, and called my Berkeley school chum, Carole, who counseled, "Well Judy, she may have been looking for this herself. You know children are sexual from birth." I wondered at this same locution from two such different people so separated geographically. I recognized an ideological "party line." I did not know it then, but as a young mother, I had entered the world according to Kinsey. I would hear and read that "children are sexual from birth" often again. But finaly I would uncover the hidden circumstances surrounding its source.
In 1973 I sat in the darkened CBSTV film library pointing out the exact Encyclopedia Britannic clip of "Market Day in Old England" I would use for my next children's music video. With my dad's voice and mother's presence, I was still continually astonished that people paid me to write and sing songs for children! I was a producer of music-videos for "Captain Kangaroo," the most beloved, trusted, long-running children's television program in the United States.
Jim Hirschfeld, "Captain's" producer had immediately put me to work after seeing a sampler of my music-video productions from "Children's Fair," an ETV (PBSTV) program in Wisconsin, "Merry-Go-Round," a CBSTV subsidiary in Ohio, and "Art Through Music" for Scholastics Magazine in New York. On my way to "Captain" I had produced educational materials for several museums: the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles. I was very concerned in those days about the way images impacted on the brain, mind and memory.
Jim was a kind, courteous man and a committed father, so he made wide allowances for me to work from my home in Cleveland. I recorded at a local sound studio, had the songs illustrated, and sent the final product to New York. With no agent, relying only on my God-given talent, I was at the top of my field. I was deeply impressed that the American system of rewards-for-merit made that possible. Then, Jim called me into his office one day and reluctantly showed me a computer printout. A test group of children was studied, using a hidden camera to track their eye movements. Jim reassured me that while he loved my thoughtful tunes, the advertiser wanted children's eyes locked onto the screen, without mom controlling the knob, children now watched television alone, tuning out "Captain," and tuning into cartoons. I would have to speed up my tempo to compete with the fast-action and the increasing violence of the cartoons on other stations. Bob Keeshan (Captain) was distressed by this and so was Jim, but we had no choice, he said.
I found myself unwilling or unable to write for children that way. However, all was not lost. With the excellent royalties from Captain, I was able to return to college for an advanced degree, studying mass media effects. Having spent the last fifteen years as a university professor's wife, I was both keenly aware of the regard the world had for those with advanced degrees and often disappointed in what I privately considered a lack of intellectual curiosity and vigor within the educated community. I found faculty parties and conversations somehow lacking in a basic sort of common sense, and for all their degrees, most academicians seemed to welcome being out of touch with the reality of the majority.
My museum art work and my television experience left me worried about the way children were being influenced, reconfigured, actually changed, as images and other exciting stimuli daily altered the very structure of the receiving child's brain. If a prestigious and responsible program like "Captain," had to speed-up its format in the days of "Leave it to Beaver," what would happen in the decades to come? What kind of children was television fashioning and how would these altered children change our institutions of education, theology, government, law, medicine, family--mass media itself?
Determined to earn a doctorate in communications, I entered Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to study television effects and found, much to my surprise as a concerned media professional that by 1972 television toxicity had been well documented by the Surgeon General's report on television violence.
By ignoring the hard findings, by the "gatekeepers" not reporting the facts, the mass media successfully discounted and concealed the dangers of its own profession. That there was an already existing but ignored body of research on television effects caused the focus of my graduate work to shift, especially after I witnessed what could be called a worrisome unmonitored experiment in verbal versus non-verbal behavior.
In one of my classes, a young communications student, whose fiance had just left him, had scripted a video production using graphic pictures from Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, and similar magazines. Dr. Lowell Lynn, the course professor, assured me all the students working on the production gave prior consent to its content. They had "no problem" with the pictures, he said, and after the initial nervous giggling subsided, the ordinarily collegial student team toiled in utter silence. Oddly enough then, while none of the sex photos got onto the videotape correctly, all female students working on the project, from director to camera crew, verbally denied that the pictures disturbed them in any way This was an amazing study in the splitting of natural and real emotion from reality since the coeds were obviously upset by the theme and content of the production.
That is, they were so discomforted that none would watch the pictures they agreed to film. Yet, each denied her reaction and blamed the others for "not looking" at the sex pictures. I walked away thinking, if women and girls are exposed to these images worldwide, significant numbers of women and girls worldwide must also be denying very real emotions and aversions.
These images could wreck havoc in the delicate relations between husband and wife, I thought. Since I had daughters I wanted to see happily married to well adjusted men, I decided I had best look into this. It was 1976. Still having no notion of the role of Alfred Kinsey in pornography, nor exactly how "hard" and "soft" pornography related to child sex abuse, I had no idea how bad I would find this problem to be, or how deeply I would become involved in the attempt to solve it. However, I could already see the evidence of how the cultural acceptance of pornography's view of sex was increasing rates of divorce and sexual disorder.
By 1977 I was in Wales to deliver a research paper on women and pornography at the British Psychological Association International Conference on "Love and Attraction" at Swansea University. When I arrived in London I heard that Tom O'Carroll, the leader of the "Pedophile Information Exchange" (PIE), had been blanketing England on a public relations tour, promoting sex with children on his way to speak at the Swansea conference. All of England was in a uproar over the daily press reports describing the aims of PIE and O'Carroll. It was reported that PIE specialized in providing specific lists of places where pedophiles could locate and seduce children. The Swansea University housekeeping staff went on strike when they heard he was to speak from their college podium. They said beds would not be made, nor food cooked, nor clothes washed if the conference gave place to a man promoting sex with children.
I brought eighty slides for my presentation as evidence supporting my findings of child pornography in Playboy and Penthouse. I had already clashed with an American professor, Larry Constantine, a Penthouse board member advocating child pornography in his paper on "The Sexual Rights of Children." So, when Constantine sent out a harried bulletin for a meeting of conference speakers, I hastened to join the group. All international attendees were asked to sign a petition demanding that PIE's O'Carroll speak and that our beds be made. I urged the group to reconsider. We were leaving in a few days, I reasoned. Had we the right to leave behind us a community undone by our having given place to a proselytizing child molester? In the end, I was the only one who would not sign his petition. Ultimately, the Swansea University president ruled O'Carroll was not credentialed to speak, and housekeeping service resumed.
How? why? I wondered, was the university's domestic staff able to aggressively protect their children, while trained academicians remained apathetic, even sympathetic toward this pedophile, O'Carroll? My old disappointments with the university community continued as I noted these credentialed men and women conduct themselves with such indifference to the local people, disdaining what I saw as very legitimate concerns for the protection of their own children.
With O'Carroll safely out of Wales, I was leaving for the London train when a Canadian psychologist took me quietly aside. Certainly, I was right, he said. Those images of children in Playboy/Penthouse would cause sexual acting out on children. But if I was looking for the cause of the global child sex abuse epidemic, he directed me not to neglect reading about Kinsey in The Sex Researchers, by Edward Brecher. "Why?" I asked. "I worked with Kinsey and Pomeroy" he said. "One was a pedophile and the other a homosexual." Which is which, I asked? "Read and discover," he replied.
As I flew back to the States, I pondered the events of the last few weeks. Certainly, I now knew, because I had witnessed it, that there was a growing and proselytizing "international academic pedophile movement" which was on record as wanting access to children for sex. I had stumbled right into their midst at the conference . Again, I wondered what kind of academic training was producing the coarsened and predatory intelligentsia I had met?
Taking up the Canadian on his tip, as soon as I got home I did read Edward Brecher's book, The Sex Researchers. I was unsure which stunned me more at the time, Kinsey's use of infants in sex experiments, or Brecher's acceptance of their use as a research methodology. Speechless, I went back to Kinsey's original book to check Brecher. Yes, he was quoting Kinsey accurately. Now I finally knew there was a source authority for children increasingly being viewed sexually; for me, personally, the question from years before was answered. My aunt and my friend Carole had both gotten the idea that "children were sexual from birth" from Kinsey.
By 1981 I sat in my mountain-top office at Haifa University in Israel staring at the tables of numbers which were staring right back up at me from Kinsey's world famous book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. As I had done so many times before, I was studying page 180, Table 34, straining to see if there was something I missed, something I may have misunderstood. I had checked all the Kinsey citations and references in the library, but nowhere was there any mention of child abuse data. I searched all of the books on Kinsey, read the biographies, the hundreds of positive articles about him and his work, and the few scathing reviews, but nowhere was there any criticism of these tables and graphs. I was beginning to accept the fact that the thousands of international scientists who studied Kinsey never saw what was right before their eyes.
In March 1981 I received a reply to my letter to Kinsey's co-author, Dr. Paul Gebhard. I had written to ask about the child data in Tables 30-34. Gebhard, who succeeded Dr. Kinsey as the Kinsey Institute Director, wrote to me that the children in Kinsey's tables were obtained from parents, school teachers and homosexuals who liked young boys and that some of the men used "manual and oral techniques" to catalog how many "orgasms" infants and children could produce in a given amount of time.
Armed with Gebhard's letter and admissions, on June 23, 1981, I created an uproar in Jerusalem at the 5th World Congress of Sexology when I lectured on Dr. Kinsey and his child data. I was confident my sexology colleagues would be as outraged as was I by these tables and the child data describing Kinsey's reliance on pedophiles as his child sex experimenters. Perhaps worst of all for me, as a scholar and a mother, were on pages 160 and 161, Kinsey claimed his data came from "interviews." How could he say 196 little children-- some as young as 2-months of age--enjoyed "fainting," "screaming," "weeping," and "convulsing"--how could he call these children's responses evidence of their sexual pleasure and "climax"? I called it evidence of terror, of pain, as well as criminal. One of us was very, very mixed-up.
I was positive that the international, educated sexuality community would react as I did. Certainly this revelation about Kinsey, his team, and all of these infant and child data would electrify a conference of global Ph.D.s, and many would agree to my call for an investigation of Kinsey. The human sexuality brain trust worldwide was in attendance at the Jerusalem conference; from Great Britain, the United States, France, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Canada, Scotland, Holland, Sweden and scores of other nations. All attendees knew of my paper. It had been the talk of the event, receiving even more notice than Xaviera Hollander's ("The Happy Hooker") address on "Out of Touch With Sex." People were abuzz about the issue of Kinsey's children during the entire conference.
My title, "The Scientist as A Contributing Agent To Child Sexual Abuse; A Preliminary Consideration of Possible Ethics Violations," had been released in the Abstracts. The result was no less than I expected--a standing-room only session. I was gratified that so many people were as concerned as I was. After screening my slides of Kinsey's Tables 30 to 34 which described Kinsey's report of rates and speeds of "orgasms" of at least 317 infants and children (again, the youngest a mere two-months old) and presenting Gebhard's letter of confirmation, I rested my case and looked out over the audience. The room was totally silent. Finally, a tall, blond, Nordic type who had been standing near the podium broke out and fairly shouted at the audience:
"I am a Swedish reporter and I never have spoken out at a conference. That is not my role. But, what is the matter with all of you? This woman has just dropped an atomic bomb in this very room and you have nothing to ask? Nothing to say?"
That broke the ice and hands shot up to speak. Comments from those in attendance were limited by the conference moderator, but an investigation would take place. The reaction in the room was heavy; it was numbing for some, discomforting for others. Later, the director of sex education for Sweden approached to tell me she was shocked that children were used without consent. However, she hastened to assure me that children could be sexually stimulated by adults even parents, were this for strictly therapeutic reasons, of course. Late that afternoon my young assistant from Haifa University arrived back from lunch visibly shaken. She had dined at a private table with the international executives of the conference.
My paper was hotly contested and largely condemned, since everyone at her table of about twelve men and women wholeheartedly agreed that children could, indeed, have "loving" sex with adults. I realized clearly that the entire field of sex research relied on Kinsey's human sexuality model for authority and I was there to tell his disciples Kinsey was a fraud. While I was very disappointed in the reaction, with so many international agencies present with vested economic and emotional interests in Kinsey's credibility, I understood why the conference did not choose to investigate Kinsey.
Months later, my daughter died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Never knowing if her childhood rape had contributed to her death, I would spend decades working to protect other children from the growing multitude of Kinsey-Hefner disciples. In 1982, shortly after the confrontation in Jerusalem over Kinsey's Table 34, I was invited by the U.S. Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to return to America from Israel. I was appointed as a Full Research Professor at American University as the principal investigator of an $800,000 grant to investigate Kinsey's role in child sexual abuse and the link to children appearing in mainstream pornography, Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler.
The commercial sex industry now joined forces with the Kinsey Institute and academic sexology to prevent any light from being shed on their world. In time I would obtain copies of secret letters and packages, clandestinely sent worldwide by the Kinsey Institute and pornographers, to discredit my investigation into Kinsey and that of children appearing in their magazines. The Kinsey Institute had secretly threatened American University with a lawsuit if I was allowed to carry out my study.
Therefore, concealing why they were being such obstructionists, the University demanded that I study nothing relating to Kinsey. Of course, this was a complete violation of academic freedom as well as the public's right to know, indeed what the taxpayer was paying to know. All along, the Kinsey Institute maintained a constant, stealth effort, largely censoring me and my findings from the print and broadcast media, all relevant professional conferences and journals, book publishers and such.
In 1990 when some of my child abuse findings were printed in a small-circulation book, popular talk show host and Kinsey devotee, Phil Donahue, telecast Kinsey's general importance to the world. A boy in his audience asked why Kinsey should matter to him, today. Mr. Donahue instructed the youth, too young to remember:
Kinsey was to sexuality what Freud was to psychiatry, what Madame Curie was to radiation, what Einstein was to physics. Comes along this woman [Reisman] saying, "Holy cow! E doesn't equal MC squared. We've based an entire generation of education of sexologists on Kinsey, and Kinsey was a dirty old man."
While Donahue countered that day that Kinsey was really a fine family man, I suggest it is time to let people decide for themselves, who and what Kinsey was. Despite what Mr. Donahue says, this much is certain: the world has a right to know what has been hidden up to now, a right and a responsibility to know, what happened to the children of Table 34?
It is time to identify what effect Alfred Kinsey, the father of the sexual revolution and sex education has had on the lives of so many. Since 1948, public health report data confirm a "sea change" in the way America and the rest of the western world views human sexuality The results are hardly reassuring. As the shift in judgment has occurred over the last 50 years, it is certain, based on the statistical evidence, that our direction deserves review. As Mr. Donahue said, western culture has "based an entire generation of education of sexologists on Kinsey and Kinsey was a dirty old man."
What does that mean for us all? This book, I hope, will be an answer. As Congress readies itself to investigate Kinsey under HR 2749, The Child Protection and Ethics in Education Act, and as the Kinsey Institute readies itself for its 50-year retrospective of Kinsey's contributions to society, it is my greatest hope, as a scholar and as a mother, that the truth will finally be presented--and that the world will have the courage to look at the truth for the benefit of generations to come.
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