A Personal Odyssey to the Truth
By 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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
"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
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.