UPDATED 11/11/10 10:31 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) - A Chicago parenting blog is among the chorus across the country calling for a boycott of Amazon.com over the sale of a “pedophile’s guide.”
The ChicagoNow blog “High Gloss and Sauce,” a “liberal parenting blog” written by Chicago resident and mother Jenna Myers Karvunidis, called for a boycott of Amazon.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Amazon.com Inc. had pulled the item, or whether the author withdrew it. Amazon did not immediately return messages Thursday.
“The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct” is an electronic book that had been listed as available for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, and the company’s software for reading Kindle books on mobile phones and computers. Amazon allows authors to submit their own works and shares revenue with them.
The author of “The Pedophile’s Guide,” listed as Philip R. Greaves II, argues that pedophiles are misunderstood, as the word literally means to love a child. The author adds that it is only a crime to act on sexual impulses toward children, and offers advice that purportedly allows pedophiles to have a physical interection with the child while supposedly abiding by the law.
The book also offers purported advice on how to make a sexual encounter with a child as safe as possible, and includes first-person descriptions of such encounters, purportedly written from a child’s point of view.
“This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow,” says a description of the book on Amazon. “I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter (sic) sentences should they ever be caught.”
In an interview with CBS News, Greaves added, “Kissing, fondling, that sort of thing, I don’t think is that serious of a problem.”
Before the e-book was pulled, Amazon had said in a statement to the Web site TechCrunch: “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.”
Karvunidis was one of a growing chorus of people who have called for a boycott of Amazon.com over the sale of the e-book. She dismissed Amazon’s argument about censorship.
“You can’t buy liquor at Wal-mart, and Amazon should be socially responsible enough to not make pedo how-tos accessible to the public,” she wrote.
Karvunidis updated her posting on the book twice, first crediting Amazon for pulling the e-book Wednesday night, then expressing anger again when it turned out that at that point, the e-book was still for sale and was selling more than 100,000 copies.
“I hope Amazon is enjoying their badge of social justice and free speech because they won’t be enjoying any more money from me!” she wrote.
Once the e-book came down “for real,” Karvunidis wrote that she was “over this story,” but still chastised Amazon for selling the e-book.
“Amazon just needs to make up its mind – are they pro-family with their Amazon Mom program, or are they supportive of controversial authors who threaten the well being of children?” she wrote. “I know they want everyone’s money, but you can’t have it both ways.”
The e-book drew widespread outrage and calls for a boycott. Angry Twitter users posted in droves using the hashtag “AmazonFail.” A Facebook group urging people to boycott Amazon over the e-book had more than 10,000 members as of late morning Thursday.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has sold material that promotes illegal activity. It is currently accepting pre-orders for the hardcover version of “I Am the Market: How to Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton, in Five Easy Lessons” by Luca Rastello.
Nor is it the first time Amazon has come under attack for selling objectionable content in its store. In 2002, the United States Justice Foundation, a conservative group, threatened to sue Amazon for selling “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers.” That title is still available through Amazon.
In 2009, Amazon stopped selling “RapeLay,” a first-person video game in which the protagonist stalks and then rapes a mother and her daughters, after it was widely condemned in the media and by various interest groups.
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