As winter semester draws closer, college students will be looking for cheap textbooks, but recent controversy has caused a few students question which outlets to buy from.
Amazon.com, America’s largest online retailer, recently made news by selling, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure.”
Written and self-published by Philip R. Greaves II, “The Pedophile’s Guide” is a code of conduct for pedophilic relationships.
One of his guidelines suggests that, while penetration with children is bad, there is no problem with kissing or fondling.
The book is self-dedicated to “those courageous boys and men of past generations who shared love with one another, sometimes with the approval of society, sometimes with only grudging acceptance, and sometimes at the peril of their freedom and even their lives.”
Because it does not include photographs or images, the content is protected by the First Amendment and untouchable to the claims of child pornography.
Greaves, 47, told ABC News that the message of his book has been misunderstood.
“I wrote the book to establish guidelines,” he said, “so that people would behave in a manner that is non-injurious to each other, for one, and, for two, to communicate the fact that these people who are so different in maturation, etc., that when they develop relationships, they use certain principles that regular people, adults, would be well to attend.”
Whatever that means, many people aren’t buying it.
Amazon designated a telephone extension to handle the waves of complaints surrounding that single book.
Additionally, the controversial snowball has grown through modern networking, as Facebook groups began popping up to protest, boycott, and condemn Amazon for profiting from the book.
“!!!Boycott Amazon.com for Selling How Guide for pedophile,” is one Facebook group that already has gained nearly 16,000 “likes.”
The group’s description argues that freedom of speech goes both ways.
“As much as retailers have the right to free speech, and to protect what they view as the free speech of their authors . . . , as Americans we have a right to boycott a retailer who sells something we view as objectionable and as a means to promote the most heinous of crimes against those who are most vulnerable . . . our children,” the description stated.
Greaves has been cleared for any previous sexual offenses, and said to ABC that he is not trying to encourage pedophiles with his book.
“I’m not saying I want them around children; I’m saying if they’re there, that’s how I want them to behave,” he said.
Amazon defended the product at first.
“Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we, or others, believe their message is objectionable,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.
“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,” she continued.
After enough negative media attention, however, the book was banned, reinstated, and then banned again.
Amazon may have thought the censorship monkey was off it’s back, but that was far from the case.
With all of the public attention on Amazon, several other pro-molestation books were discovered, including “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers,” “Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting,” and “Beyond Hysteria: Boy Erotica on the Internet.”
MCCC student Laura Brewer said she has bought a few of her college books from Amazon, but probably won’t be taking her business there again.
“I think pedophilia is disgusting, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to sell books about it,” she said.
Student Deanna Boberg said she supports the freedom of the press.
“Disgusting or not, it’s still a First Amendment right,” she said. “If you start banning one thing, where does it go from there?”
Brewer took a stance similar to the Facebook group.
“I agree with freedom of the press, but there’s also the freedom of the buyers, the freedom to protest,” she said. “If they think it’s okay to sell it, then they can go ahead and sell it. But if I don’t want to buy it, I don’t have to buy it.”