Friday, September 25, 2009

Peron the Pedophile Sympathizer...

…And the “Objectivists” Who Promote Him

Several years ago, when I was still participating in Lindsay Perigo’s SOLO website, a firestorm erupted over a New Zealand Libertarian named Jim Peron. A group called the Locke Foundation had published a report indicating that Peron was a NAMBLA sympathizer and a proponent of “boylovers.” Peron is a notable writer in Libertarian circles, and many allies came to his defense when the charges surfaced. I don’t recall who all was on which side, but Lindsay Perigo led the charge against Peron, while Barbara Braden (author of The Passion of Ayn Rand) sided with Peron.

Perigo’s vitriolic criticism of Branden led to her departure from SOLO. Soon thereafter, Perigo split with his partner in the SOLO website Joe Rowlands and created a new site called SOLO Passion, which is still in operation under his management. Barbara Barden’s ally Michael Stuart Kelly (MSK) started his own website, Objectivist Living (OL), on which Branden is a regular participant. The two sites then engaged in a propaganda war against each another – one which continues to this day.

I didn’t conduct extensive research on Peron or read the Locke Foundation report when all this went down. I didn’t have a dog in the fight, and I wanted to avoid the fireworks. But I did review some of the evidence against Peron, most significantly excerpts from an article he wrote and published himself in which he defends “boylovers” who molested him as a minor. He probably deserves the criticism, I thought, and he definitely warrants close scrutiny. But I didn’t care enough about it to investigate further.

The Peron issue continues to resurface, mostly as a battlefield issue between SOLO and OL, with both sides lobbing hate-filled rhetoric and moral accusations with gusto. I am not now a regular participant in either website, but I recently commented on a thread devoted to Peron on OL. In four pages of comments, every participant had expressed virtually unequivocal support of Peron. I responded that the article Peron had written was very incriminating, and that I was surprised its content had not been considered in the discussion.

These comments incited derisive and dismissive replies from several OL participants, especially from MSK himself. MSK claimed that I didn’t know all the facts, that Peron had been framed, and that I was a “liar” who was “smear[ing]” Peron without justification. I challenged him to publish the evidence against Peron, and he posted links to the Locke Foundation report and the publication Unbound, in which Peron’s “boy love” article can be found.

I read the Locke Foundation report for the first time today, as well as the entirety of Peron’s article Abuse: One Boy’s Story. Taken together, these documents are comprehensive, crushing, and conclusive: Jim Peron is most certainly a NAMBLA sympathizer and a proponent of “man/boy love” (or at least, he was 20 years ago and never owned up to it.) Just a few details from the report:

• Peron sold NAMBLA literature in his San Francisco Libertarian bookstore.
• NAMBLA held regular meetings at this bookstore.
• One of his associates at the book store was arrested for sex with minors, as were several others who contributed articles to Unbound.
• The report contains verbal and written accounts from various sources affirming Peron’s position on “boy love.”
• Peron published at least one issue of Unbound himself, and contributed an article to it. This issue contained nude pictures of children and multiple erotic stories about children, some seemingly autobiographical. Peron’s story was definitely autobiographical. In it he describes how he was subtly molested (or otherwise treated in a sexually inappropriate manner) by several different men at a military academy beginning when he was 12. It made him feel good, he says, and these “boylovers” contributed greatly to his emotional health.

A few passages from Peron’s article warrant particular attention (Warning!!! Many will find these passages to be disturbing and offensive!):

“I remember Mr. C., he was the science teacher. On so many weekends he would take me with him to get a hamburger at McDonald's or to see a movie. There was his friend, Mr. D., who came to work as a substitute houseparent. He used to let me sit in his lap. There was Mr. R. who used to slip his hand down the back of my pajama's. He said it was to make sure I wasn't wearing my underwear to bed but I knew it was because he liked feeling my butt. That was o.k. because I liked it too.”

Note: This one is longer, but worth quoting at length, as it contains a more explicit defense of “boylovers.”

“I also know something about man/boy love and I know it from a boy’s perspective. I vividly remember the men I met after my fathers death. My mother could no longer care for us so she sent us to a military school. It was there I met half a dozen boylovers.

It seems quite natural that these men would come to a boy’s school. I remember them vividly. I remember them because they were the only staff members who gave us genuine affection. They treated us with dignity, they treated us as if we were human.

For five years, between the ages of twelve and sixteen, I spent much of my time with men who were boylovers. At no time did they force themselves on any of the boys. What they did do was genuinely love us and for that I am greatful.

So I can say from first hand experience what it is like to be abused. And I utterly reject the hysteria about the “abuse” of man/boy love. I reject it because I know the truth about abuse. I know what these so-called “child care professionals” have only studied. I have been beaten within the confines of the family and I have been affectionately cradled in the arms of a “pervert.” I have felt the stinging pain of a fist across my face and the tender caress of a man’s hand across my butt. As a boy I personally experienced both kinds of “abuse” and I can only thank God that I met these boylovers.

Throughout the gay community, pompous, politically correct fools, some elected, spout off about “abusing” children. They dissociate themselves from boylovers. They repudiate them. They say “there is no place in the human rights movement for these people.” Gay politicians throw boylovers to the lions every chance they get. All, they say, to prevent children from being abused.

Enough is enough…”

With this article, Peron nails in his own coffin. Even without all the other evidence against him, this article alone strongly implicates him as a proponent of pedophilia. It should be noted that these passages are preceded by an extensive chronicle of violent abuse Peron suffered at the hands of his father. These are clearly the words of a suffering soul who found solace in the only form of affection he had ever known. While this emotional response is understandable, and Peron’s harsh history pitiable, his subsequent support of pedophilia as an adult (and later public denials of this) are not pitiable. His actions are reprehensible, dishonest, and, in his capacity as a public figure, dangerous.

I cannot imagine how anyone who read Unbound and the Locke Foundation report could question Peron’s pedophilia sympathies. Yet MSK says he has read it all, and he publicly proclaims that Peron was “set up,” that the outrage after the Locke report surfaced was part of “an orchestrated smear job,” and, most fantastically, that he “stakes his name on” this position.

MSK is “staking” something, alright – himself, right through the heart. With their wildly irrational defense of Peron, MSK and friends have completely annihilated any credibility they might have (a credibility many argue was non-existent in the first place). Only a fool could look at the overwhelming evidence against Peron and conclude that he was “set up.” Set up by whom? The Locke Foundation + the San Francisco Police Department + the FBI + the New Zealand Government + some of Peron’s NAMBLA associates + Lindsay Perigo and his harem of “hate-mongers” + at least 10-15 other people noted in the Locke report? It must have been the same group who framed OJ! This conspiracy theory nonsense is so ridiculous, it warrants no further discussion.

One purpose of this blog post is to (re)expose Peron, who I believe is currently living in the U.S. But there is another purpose, one more important to me personally. I wanted to explain why I will never, ever again have anything to with Michael Stuart Kelly. This includes participating in his website, private correspondence, even casual polite conversation at a random academic conference. MSK, you are truly a disgusting human being. You have used your website to defend a proponent of pedophilia; you have distorted the facts about Peron to the members of your website (most of whom are too lazy or too uninterested to look into the facts for themselves); and you have rudely assaulted any who challenge you on this issue. You are a dishonest, delusional, irrational piece of shit.

I have never cared for the culture of condemnations, dissociations, and extreme sanction conscientiousness within the Objectivist community. I have rarely, if ever, dissociated myself from a group or website, and certainly not with grandstanding fanfare and barrages of vitriol in the wake of my warpath. But MSK and OL have well-earned my ire. I’ve participated in OL sparingly over the past few years, mostly as a dissenter on a variety of issues. But I regret that now. I simply cannot be party to such a concerted defense of a clearly exposed pedophilia proponent.

It doesn’t matter whether Peron himself ever committed any crimes, or if he’s changed his mind on these issues, or whatever. I am not here passing judgment on Peron, though he has been thoroughly dishonest in his own defense since the Locke report surfaced. I don’t know Peron, and I don’t particularly care about him, though I’d be concerned if he lived next door to my family.

The point is that OL, MSK, and his close allies have shown that they are poison to the Objectivist movement. A very weak poison, to be sure, but poison nonetheless. Just as we must dissociate ourselves (in varying degrees) from anarchists, Republicans, and pedophilia supporters, so too we must distinguish ourselves from other “Objectivists” who support and promote these people. What if a young person interested in Objectivism stumbles first upon MSK’s notorious website? Good god, what if the press picked up on this crap? Objectivist Living makes us look bad.

I’ve sent a request to MSK to remove my membership from his website. He’ll likely denounce me as a “co-conspiring hate-monger,” part of the “orchestrated” effort to “smear” Peron. You are so delusional MSK, I have no words for it. For the record: This blog post represents my own judgments based on research I personally conducted and evaluated. I have no connection whatsoever with Perigo and SOLO. Though I admit I feel a little kinship with Perigo as a result of this. In this case, he delivered MSK and OL their just desserts.

--Dan Edge


mtnrunner2 said...

Thanks for ending that "controversy".

Dan, I'm glad you've ended your association with ( I don't know enough about SoloPassion to comment).

Even as an experienced Objectivist, it can be difficult to sort out who is who in the Objectivist community. It took me a while. Through my long reading history with NoodleFood, I came respect Diana, Paul and the other bloggers there, and could thereby clearly evaluate their detractors by comparison.

I would agree that one of the worst is Michael Stuart Kelly. He and others on the (OL) criticize Diana Hsieh, ARI, Craig Biddle, James Valliant, and anyone who is associated with the Institute or is actually doing something *productive* as an Objectivist (in other words, they criticize those I hold in high regard based on my several years of watching and learning). They seem to spend their earthly hours dragging down things I value and trying to find clay feet on every hero. Therefore, I'm not the least bit surprised someone there came out on the wrong side of this issue.

I think anyone who is thoughtful and honest will eventually end their association with and similar pseudo-Objectivist sites once they get all the cards on the table, so to speak. I will never be able to abide Barbara Branden, due to her and her husband's cowardly deception of Ayn Rand, their years of impugning her reputation, and for that matter, simply wasting so much of such a brilliant person's precious time on earth.

Dan Edge said...

Thanks for the reply. I agree with all of it.

As I said in the article, most of my participation on OL was in the capacity of a dissenter. For instance:

-I countered Barbara Branden's criticism of the OAC here:

-I defended Craig Biddle's advocacy of total war here, and all throughout that thread:

- I exposed the plagiarisms of Victor Pross all over the place.

There are other similar examples. I knew these people weren't my friends, but I figured, why not use their site to disagree? But the problem is, we don't just disagree on ancillary issues. We disagree about whether it's appropriate to promote pedophilia sympathizers. And that's a big f'n disagreement.

--Dan Edge

Diana Hsieh said...

Thanks for blogging this, Dan.

Two other noteworthy points:

(1) Many years ago, Bill Dwyer recalled something about Jim Peron's endorsement of pedophilia and posted about it on Atlantis II. (I think Bill recalled seeing Unbound in Peron's bookstore. He was initially mistaken on some points, but he soon corrected himself.) He was lambasted for claiming that Peron endorsed pedophilia -- by Peron himself and others. Peron called him a "filthy liar"; he hotly denied everything. Bill maintained that his recollections were right. At the time, Bill seemed to be in the wrong. Even I thought that his memory must be faulty. But then this evidence surfaced on SoloPassion. I was appalled to learn that Peron indeed endorsed pedophilia -- and that he'd slandered Bill Dwyer in order to conceal that. Even after the truth was revealed, many of the libertarians on that list continued to defend Peron and condemn Dwyer.

(2) Jim Peron is now the manager of Laissez Faire Books. From reports I heard from the conference associated with The Atlas Society, Laissez Faire Books will soon be TAS's new bookstore. (Jim Peron was at that conference.) If that's not the nail in TAS's moral coffin, I'm not sure what is.

Rick said...

There is a possible confusion in your second paragraph. MSK was never Lindsay's partner. Lindsay and Joe Rowlands were the owners of the old SOLO. Joe's new site is Rebirth of Reason. MSK was simply a member of the old SOLO.

Dan Edge said...

Rick, I added Joe's name to clear up any confusion. Thanks for the note.

Dan Edge said...


Thanks for your comments. I saw that Bill Dwyer conversation on the old SOLO while researching Peron yesterday. Even the difference in writing style between Dwyer and Peron incriminates Peron. Dwyer is clear and explanatory, Peron is accusatory and evasive. But it's not as if this were the only evidence of his guilt.

--Dan Edge

Dan Edge said...

As I expected, the accusations of conspiracy have begun. Brant Gaede asserts that this whole thing is a "set up," orchestrated with Perigo and SOLO. Robert Campbell is more open minded. He also considers the possibility that I was acting under orders of the ARI orbit.

Neither considers the simple, naked truth: that one man -- acting alone -- researched an issue he found disturbing, found conclusive evidence, then dissociated himself from those he judged immoral.

I could point out that I haven't participated in SOLO for years (before 2008 even, the last time I participated in OL). I could point out that I'm on sabbatical from the OAC, that I haven't corresponded much with Diana these past few years, that I've never been to an ARI conference, that I've been critical of the ARI leadership in the past, etc. etc. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a big ARI fan, I'm just sayin'.)

But it's not even worth mentioning these things, because MSK, Gaede, Campbell, and friends live in an alternate reality of their own creation. This other-verse is a bizarre and frightening place, filled with intrigue and hatred and group-think. People hardly ever act alone, think alone, judge alone -- instead, they huddle together in quivering masses of angry and anxious humanity.

I have no plans to enter that universe again, not even for a visit. And I issue a formal travel warning to others: STAY AWAY!

--Dan Edge

Dan Edge said...

This is the kind of crap in Peron's defense that I find completely bizarre. Chris Grieb on OL writes:

"I met Jim Peron at Free Minds. I found him impressive. My one meeting with Perigo was not."

So Grieb bases his judgment of Peron on a single meeting with him? And considering all the evidence against him? Simply unbelievable.

This one is much worse:

"A final point addressed to those who want rid purveyors of kiddie porn out root and branch might consider that parents have been threaten with jail for taking pictures of their children in the bath. In another case a man was entrapped into getting kiddie porn was facing a long time in prison. The US Supreme Court had to reverse his conviction.
I suspect the above means I will be called child porn sympathizer by Perigo but so be it."

You absolutely *will* be called a porn sympathizer, you sick son of a bitch, or at the very least a stalwart defender of kiddie porn lovers. Grieb has a problem with those who "want rid purveyors of kiddie porn out root and branch."(!!!) I find this un-f'n-believable. Remember, we're speaking in the context of a published periodical (Unbound) filled with autobiographical erotic stories about children, alongside nude pictures of children!

Grieb, if your comments weren't meant very clearly and strongly to defend kiddie porn, how the hell is someone supposed to interpret that. The only other possible interpretation I can think of is the following:

"I like OL, and they all like Peron. I met Peron and he was nice. I met Perigo and he was not nice. Perigo said mean things about Peron and all my friends got mad go boom. Peron is nice man no matter what they say."

OK, I can think of one other interpretation:

"I have made myself f'n retarded with poor thinking over an extended period. I am such a blockhead, and have been living in my OL group-think other-verse for so long, that I simply do not comprehend that what I said implies terribly evil, nasty things."

I add Grieb and Robert Campbell to my blacklist. Actually, that especially includes you, Campbell. I'm ashamed for my state and for my beloved local Clemson that you disgrace its halls. If you ever see me in Clemson or Greenville, I would not suggest speaking to me.

--Dan Edge

Dan Edge said...

My refusal to associate with OL extends to its most notorious members posting on my blog. Comments posted here are subject to deletion, though they will be saved.

Jef Riggenbacher just made a comment here accusing me of threatening violence against Robert Campbell and others, which I deleted. I assume he's referring to my suggestion that Campbell not speak to me if he sees me in public.

The implied threat was for a tongue lashing, not a physical beating. I do not initiate force. But I must admit that part of me would be pleased if a pansy ass like Jef R. picked a fight with me.

--Dan Edge

Katrina said...

Good job researching! It's getting easier and easier for me to see why libertarianism is fundamentally bankrupt. By the way, you wrote "too lazy or too disinterested to look into the facts" but the word you want is "uninterested." "Disinterested" means impartial.

Dan Edge said...

Thanks for the heads up, Katrina, I fixed it :D