(Boylove Essays) - State-Rape: Mortification of Non-Harming Deviants

From BoyWiki

State-rape - mortification of non-harming deviants by Kristofor

I want to begin with a disturbing scene from the not-too-distant past. It’s a scene that was, for many years, staple fare for local newspapers in the English-speaking world.

While men who came out publicly as gay mostly moved to the big city and met each other in bars, baths and community organizations, small towns and suburbs retained good-sized populations of closeted gay men and boys. Many of the men were married; most of the boys were older teens well on the way to coming out. There were also some very closeted single teachers, who would be fired if they were known to be gay, plus some spinster gay librarians and curators, a few nervous local politicians, and so on. These men would find a washroom somewhere that could be used to meet others in the same situation, or a secluded, bushy and often beautiful section of park that was very quiet in the evening. And in these places, they would have brief moments of sex.

Eventually some non-participants would notice the goings-on, and complaints would arrive with the local police. Knowing the degree of fear in the closeted men, the police must always have known that confidential warnings about creating a nuisance would have been enough to keep most of the ‘offenders’ away from their meeting grounds. However, there were other possible approaches, some of them offering much more satisfaction as ways of dealing with the ‘pervs.’ For example, the police could secretly stake out the washrooms with cameras, watch for weeks, and then arrest the men for indecency-related crimes. They could show the photos or videos in court, and send all the arrestees’ names out to the local papers. Name and shame them. That would teach them and their kind a lesson. In a society where gaybashing was all but immune from prosecution, where young heterosexual males often fantasized out loud about how they would like to pulp the queers, this was a completely legal avenue of gaybashing. And it was regularly used.

But this practice wasn’t just bashing; it wasn’t just violence. When the news was reported in the local papers, readers all got a mental glimpse of every man on the arrest list out in the dark or in the stink, furtively slurping or humping. The news was titillating. Titillation is one of the three emotional pillars of populist journalism, along with anguish and outrage. These arrest sweeps made good copy. Conventional citizens, men and women, bemoaned the revelations as gross and disgusting; yet, as in so many morality campaigns, few suggestions were ever made that the disgust be minimized by handling the matters quietly. These public humiliations had wide social approval and appeal.

And the affected men got divorced; they were spurned by their children, at least for a while; in every major crackdown, there were always some who committed suicide. Teaching jobs were lost, and library jobs too, for one couldn’t have such men associating with children.

Beloved friends.

I admit that I was never in favor of such brutal means of law enforcement or of many of the laws that were then being enforced – some now long gone from the statute books. But recent events have led me to a new understanding of my negative reaction. I now realize that a sharp-eyed realist can see a familiar pattern developing when law enforcement agencies decide to exercise their state-sanctioned functions by attacking minority (‘deviant’) sexual practices that are essentially harmless. This pattern includes sexually exposing the ‘pervs,’ sexually humiliating them, forcibly confining them, subjecting them to public ridicule, and finally putting forward the impression that superior people have triumphed over inferior people. This series of actions, recognizably, is not just state cruelty. It is rape.

Of course, no physical rape is involved. But the aspects of sexual exposure and sexual humiliation contained in these actions turn them, functionally, into psychosomatic rape acts. The normal result is that the victims of these acts are completely shattered, exactly as physical rape victims so often are. They are sexually mortified, scorned by most or all of their erstwhile friends and loved ones, and in no condition to defend themselves in any way. Abjectly, they plead guilty. They thus gratify their attackers. They may feel that their dirty, wanton actions have brought the rape on. And the community, to solve a problem that could have been solved by police discreetly talking to frightened men, has now had a good long revel in disgust, amusement, vengeful triumph, and bully exhilaration. To the glee of the mob, the pervs have been psychosexually maimed.

In my opinion, everyone who fails to criticize such abusive legal actions is a compliant accessory to this kind of psychosomatic rape.

I think it is appropriate to refer to this type of law enforcement excess, this legal zealotry masking sadistic sexual bullying, as ‘state-rape.’ I believe that state-rape, since it operates within the existing laws of nations, can only be classified as a crime against humanity. It is no more excusable than any other form of torture that states may choose to legally permit. Morally, it is parallel to the worst pogroms, persecutions and witch-burnings of history – with public sexual humiliation thrown in as its constant factor.

I am aware that the men and women who perpetrate these deeds may buy into the idea that they are helping to stomp out a dangerous, growing moral weakness in the community. They may claim to believe that they are attacking weaknesses that, if let go, will corrupt and deprave children and erode families. This kind of idea is based on several long-lasting misconceptions that date back to the Victorian era: the idea that sexual orientation is contagious (for example, that people can be ‘turned gay’); the ideal that deviant sex is by nature hostile to society; the assumption that those seen as deviants are self-gratifiers who lack conscience, compassion and empathy; and, especially, the fear that sex in general is a weakening, undermining influence. Our Victorian forebears religiously taught (both inside and outside of religion) that all sex has to be strictly caged by powerful, highly conventional moral control, or else it will cause society and individuals to collapse into self-indulgence. If the deviant sex monster is let loose – and we are deeply convinced that there must always be a monster somewhere within sex – the Roman Empire will decline and fall on us yet again. For indeed, the lessons most Victorian-era rulers and moralists drew from Edward Gibbon’s famous book, ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ is that dirty, deviant sex has the power to completely destroy us from within. (Gibbon listed “obsession with sex and perversions of sex” as one of the “five marks of the Roman decaying culture.”) This pernicious idea has slithered like a snake through many social guises as the decades have gone by, but has never lost its place as our predominant cultural myth about sex. In recent times, the basic Victorian myths of our society are often found translated into post-feminist psycho-jargon, but they prosper essentially unchanged.

State-rape, thus, can always justify itself with rhetoric. Yet, it differs from conventional law enforcement in that it is deeply fashion-driven. The targets, that is, the victims of state-rape, are not constant over time. Whereas physical, forcible rape and the sexual assault of children have been written into the law books for hundreds if not thousands of years, the ‘crimes’ facilitating the commission of state-rape vary. In one generation, the focus may be on sexually-active unmarried or adulterous heterosexuals, or on heterosexuals practicing oral or anal sex, or on mixed-racial partners - all acts that were deeply illegal in many U.S. states into the late 20th century. These may be the people who can be arrested and communally disrobed in the newspapers for their humiliation. Later on, depending on where in the world we are situated, the clients of prostitutes may become the main interest, along with the prostitutes themselves. Then, in the next generation, the whack-a-perv obsession may wander away from heterosexuals and towards homosexuals, and the gays may be the main targets of collective stripping and gloating from their police and communities. And still later… Well.

The moving hand moves on. Recently, in Massachusetts, a medical doctor, pediatric specialist Dr. Richard Keller, was arrested and subjected to a blazon of newspaper coverage stating that he had been in possession of child pornography – dozens of DVDs, hundreds of still photos. A few days later, another Massachusetts man, registered nurse William S. Thomas, was likewise arrested in connection with the same apparent plague of child porn. The stories made it clear that both men had been traced based on their credit card purchases from an unnamed company. But what was this unnamed company, and what was the atrocious child pornography that they had ordered? Well, some film titles were released that let the secret out – the DVDs and photos were materials that had been openly and apparently legally sold for years by distributors for Azov Films. Complete lists of film titles for this company were anthologized online (de.boywiki.org/wiki/Azov_Films).

In July, 2011, this company was the subject of widespread attention in the Ukrainian press when its chief supplier of films was arrested. (crimea24.info/2011/08/02/konec-zverozuba-organizatorom-raya-dlya-geev-pedofilov-okazalsya-izvestnyjj-krymskijj-kraeved). Azov Films provided a moonlighting occupation for Igor Rusanov, a lecturer at Tavrida National University at Simferopol in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine. Rusanov was a locally famous publicist of Crimean geographical natural beauty. His films, however, were dedicated to showing boys in the 8-to-18 range doing sporting activities in the midst of that beauty – mostly with their clothes off.

Rusanov had apparently familiarized himself the existing U.S. law and neither allowed sexual content of any kind nor particular focus on genitalia. In the U.S., representation of nudity alone is not illegal. To be prosecuted under Title 18 U.S.C. § 2252 (a)(2), a legal paragraph dealing with child exploitation in recorded materials, a movie has to involve “the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” Sexually explicit conduct is defined as “(a) actual or simulated sexual intercourse …, (b ) bestiality, (c ) masturbation, (d) sadistic or masochistic abuse, or (e) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.” There has been a tendency since 1986 to interpret clause (e) with the aid of some guidelines developed by a California District Court in 1986 in case known as U.S. vs. Dost (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dost_test). This test lists several optional criteria that, in combination, might cause gestures or scenes to be interpreted as ‘lascivious exhibition.’

To avoid application of Dost criteria, Rusanov reportedly restricted his scenes to normal sporting activities and typical youthful play. The Azov Films oeuvre was strictly in the tradition of conventional naturist films like those that had been sold legally in Europe since the 1970s. It differed from most of that material by minimizing the participation of adults and females. The activities shown were basically Scouting for naked boys – archery, swimming, tennis, pool tournaments, wrestling, and so on – along with a side focus, after the sports were done, on the shower room and the traditional collective nudism of the Russian sauna. Sauna scenes showed groups of friends basking in the heat, talking to each other, and sometimes getting a few whacks from the classic feathery birch branches used in the Russia and Finland to stimulate circulation in the well steamed body. Short promotional clips from the DVDs were distributed to legal naturist sites on the internet, and the legality of DVD contents was extensively discussed on numerous websites. Many of these past discussions are still readily found by search engines.

Study of the affidavit used in the arrest of Richard Keller shows that in order to turn these visual materials into child pornography under U.S. law, the prosecutor was obliged to find sexual significance in any natural motion the boys made that might draw attention to the genitals. Variations on the phrase “had their legs apart exposing their genitals” occur several times in the affidavit. Particularly highlighted was a scene where the boys played the game Twister and got twisted into off-balance poses, sometimes with legs spread apart at odd angles – the feature that creates party hilarity and has made the game as popular as it is. The affidavit clearly implied that this game was intended to stimulate prurient interest. (msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/keller-affidavit.pdf)

In the affidavit, the twists of Twister became twisted when nudity was mixed in. This advance in legal prurience was a stretch, a prudish great-leap-forward. With this new interpretation of lasciviousness, imagine how much non-existent sex could be read into naturists practicing ballet. For comparison, a recent short documentary showing a naturist in his 50s chatting naturally with the interviewer while his legs are spread open (genitalia blurred out) can be seen here. (www.manbijthond.nl/fragmenten/naaktzwemmen-haren). Scene is at 1:14. If he were 15 and in an Azov film, unblurred, he would be cited as lascivious. And yet, he obviously is not. He is talking about how he begins swimming naked each year on the 15th of March.

Many people have speculated that perhaps Rusanov’s apparently legal film operation was the tip of the iceberg, and the monster of dirty sex was rearing its ugly head somewhere in the depths. Rusanov, however, was arrested over a year ago in Ukraine and all his traceable film subjects were interviewed. None of the subjects has stated a complaint of sexual abuse; moreover, subjects revealed that they were well paid as actors and that they often recruited their friends. Parents and guardians were apparently well aware of their activities. The state has come up with nothing. An early allegation that an Australian visitor to Rusanov’s operation sexually touched a boy has not been substantiated. Rusanov, however, did break a Ukrainian law by making at least one pornographic film with over-18 actors in compliance with U.S. legal codes; pornography in general is banned in the Ukraine unless it has been medically prescribed (!). So the specter of child pornography, as conventionally defined, is getting no support from the Ukrainian side. On the American side, it will be months before we will know if Keller and Thomas possessed any non-Azov imagery that constituted conventional child pornography. What we can say for certain now is that no suspicions to this effect were stated in Keller’s arrest affidavit; he was undoubtedly arrested purely on the basis of purchase of the intrinsically non-sexual Azov naturist materials.

Keller and Thomas may be the beginning of a long series of arrests of the thousands of customers who bought naturist materials produced by Azov Films. The state may ‘get lucky’ and find a few such men with real child pornography, and perhaps even some ‘contact offenders,’ but there is no doubt that the majority will not have been involved in such hitherto recognized offences.

So here you have cases featuring:

  • a hypothetical sexual action that harms no one: to be exact, possible vicarious erotic enjoyment of openly filmed naturist sporting activities, not sexual in nature and visibly enjoyed by the participants
  • a sexual orientation or act perceived as deviant even though, in the arrestee’s case, not involved in any known instances of acts potentially causing harm
  • an abrupt and dramatic arrest and confinement arising from an investigation that was kept secret
  • intense publicity revealing the piquant details of the arrestee’s likely sexual interests
  • public humiliation including almost certain loss of employment
  • the presumption that such an immoral deviant is a danger to children (see gay comparison, above), and
  • a threatened punishment so extreme that it tends to make a mockery of justice – the targets could be imprisoned for more years than parents who torture, starve or even kill their own children.

The Azov arrests are clear, standard cases of state-rape. They cannot be excused in any way. They are a form of psychosexual torture cloaked in uniforms, curtained in robes and gussied up in wigs, and they are a crime against humanity, completely devoid of mitigating social value. They are a rank, odious and repugnant abuse of state power and they should be anathematized and, when it becomes possible, legally punished. They are the bullying acts of the powerful.

Make no mistake, Prof. Richard Keller, in all matters related to Azov Films, is a victim, not an offender. William Thomas is also a victim. The arrested people had no legal ‘mens rea’ to commit crimes; in their Azov purchases, they intended no harm to anyone, and they did no harm to anyone, either directly or by proxy.

They are, simply, state-rape victims. They are being violently sexually humiliated because they are perceived pervs who need to suffer. They are the gay-bashed ‘fags’ of our time. The moving social marionette of the sex monster has moved along, and it is now being dangled over their heads. And shameless, sadistic members of law enforcement agencies are moving to enjoy the carnival game where they get to whack this monster. ‘Save the children’ is the cover-up motto, the smokescreen allowing almost any social violence to gain approval.

And since this is psychosomatic rape, women can enjoy it as much as men. Finally, some revenge can be had on that rampant male sexuality that once took so many liberties and thought it could control the world. Take that, you hypothetical despoiler of the powerless – because even though you’ve done nothing abusive yourself, we can only imagine that your mind is leering with the essence of abuse. So we rape you, we savage you, we shame you, we destroy you.

And if we’re lucky, some large male in prison will make the torture real and put the cherry on top of our efforts – real physical rape.

We love it – because we’re so civilized.

Let this statement notify state-rapists that some of us know that you are not civilized. You are criminals who are momentarily manipulating the law. And someday, God willing, you will meet justice.

As an elder of a Christian church with a special mission to caring and conscientious members of sexual minorities, I call for an end, worldwide, to the practice of state-rape of sexual minority members who have done no harm. I call for an end to the blood-libel fantasy that holds that non-harming members of sexual minorities cause insidious social harm simply by thinking their sexually divergent thoughts in private, or by discussing them with others of the same orientation.

Sadistic, uniformed perv-bashing has escaped recognition until now as the crime against humanity that it truly is. Like all unchecked rape, when it is denied one group of victims, it simply looks for vulnerability and moves on to the next. It is time for us all to wake up and deal with it as a general phenomenon of human depravity. State-rape destroys innocent lives and it must be stopped. [1]

See also