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Couple gets prison time for Internet obscenity

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posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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First I want to say great job on the thread to The Associate. This is a tricky subject and I think you've handled it really well.

Second I want to say that it's a real pity that no sassy girl who likes being dominated has shown up to speak out for their point of view. I've already been perhaps more revealing of myself than I'd have liked, so I do understand. I also have to say that one girl in particular whom I've had to do with who liked that stuff was one of the most interesting, intelligent and beautiful women I've ever been lucky enough to squire. Talking to her, you'd never know.

However, in the interests of full disclosure, I have also to say that she thought she might have been abused by her uncle. She had worked as a stripper for a while and she did say that a fair few of the girls she had worked with told similar stories.

(On an unrelated note... she also said she thought that she and her brother had been abducted by aliens. They were out in the countryside and she remembers seeing this thing that looked like a car's headlights, but up in the sky... and then nothing until she and her brother came home. I mention this a) because it's ATS and b) it illustrates a really interesting point that people who are interested in UFOs might take on board. I met her at a time I was researching the subject for a book I never got around to writing, but I'd come across a really cool suggestion: just ask people, anyone you meet - if the situation presents itself - whether they've seen a UFO. I was amazed at the responses I got.)

At any rate, there may be a link between child abuse and a propensity to work in the sex industry. However, as far as I know there's been no actual studies done so it would be incautious to start throwing around causal relations. not that that will stop some people.

It's also possible, as previous posters have mentioned, that those people who've been abused are working out their inner conflicts. It's their choice and those people who say, "well, those girls should be in therapy" need to understand that therapy can only work when the subject is ready and willing to face up to their demons.

There's a great Zen parable that works in this situation as well as many others:

Q: A goose egg is placed in a botthe and the chick hatches out. How do you get the goose out of the bottle without touching the bottle or the goose?
A: You keep feeding the chick until it's big enough to peck its own way out.

And Rapacity, great post and an edgy name to bring to this thread in particular. It's always nice to come across people who can think and write.


Originally posted by Rapacity
I accept some people look to porn for the instruction they ought to be given by society through schooling, parenting and mentoring; but this does not equate to them disregarding right and wrong with regard to non-consensual and extremely violent sexual behavior toward others.


Not surprisingly, Holland has a very good sex ed programme that starts in primary school. The subject is handled in a very down-to-earth, guilt-free way and teenage pregnancy and STD incidence has fallen to among the lowest in Europe.


so those activities will never stop but under prohibition will assume the greater luster of taboo.


Just wanted to remark on that very nicely turned phrase. Quality.


To me, the fact we need to legislate suggests the majority of people are incapable of civilized behavior (isn't it strange that we must pay people to enforce the laws we require to protect us from ourselves - how fickle and a sham is the surface of human society?).


Another nice idea, beautifully put: however, I've just been looking at a Michael Parenti lecture on "The Gangster Nature of the State" and his take on it, which I find very persuasive, is that the state is simply a convenient mechanism to allow the powerful to use violence against the rest of us.

Basically the conflict is between those people who want to use society's surplus production for the good of people within that society, and those who want to grab all that surplus value for themselves. As he says, capitalism works only for those at the top of the pile. All those gains that we've enjoyed in the industrial society have come about through organizing ourselves and making sure that our labour is bought for a fair price. But of course the corporations don't want to spend profits on things like decent wages, maternity leave and all that stuff, and therefore we have the rise of globalisation. Now that's coming back to the US and we're seeing the "third worlding" of America. Wages have fallen steadily in real terms since the sixties: the corporations want to roll things back to 1900... and we're letting it happen.

Sorry about the politcal diatribe.

If you're interested you can find Parenti's lecture here.


Rich23, couple of stars handed out to you.


Right back atcha.




posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by rich23
 


Thanks for the kudos and all the insightful input you've contributed to this thread, rich23. You make excellent points.


TA



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 




I have a problem with it as a Christian, I wouldn't infringe upon someone's right to purchase it.


Just wanted to state for the record that, believe it or not, I too am a Christian. I stand up for all forms of Freedom of Speech because, when Sunday morning rolls around, I want my preacher to be able to stand up and say whatever he pleases.


TA



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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I'm not for any censorship of porn, personally I DO believe that when you watch things you program yourself to be aroused by more and more extreme acts which led me personally... to stay away from Porn.. My interest is in being aroused for REAL women not fantasies that can never be plausible or even healthy in a real relationship...

Now as far as this... I'm honestly kind of on the fence...

Because of kids and the inability to keep them off the net...

Kids don't need to get fetished out stumbling upon things like Scat, Snuff (in this case) or Bestiality

Sorry but, that's not porn... it's just grotesque, i wouldn't want those things to be common place in society...

all for Bdsm, and all sorts of stuff that's kinky to be legal...

But Scat, Rape.murder hybrid? Beastiality... 2 Girls and a Cup Naw...

DO NOT WANT!!!!

It just can't be good for kids to grow up seeing this stuff...

I don't know if JAIL is needed, jail is kind of stupid for most crimes...

But an order to cease would be okay frankly...

and if they keep it up... maybe then Jail



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by rapinbatsisaltherage
I thought you stated that you would be okay with the content being forcefully removed just because you disagree with the content, yes? Sorry if I misunderstood you.


I said I had no strong opinion on the prison sentence and was trying to say that a cease and desist order would have been sufficient in my opinion.

That is my personal opinion. Big difference between sharing my personal opinion on rape porn that dehumanizes a segment of the population on a message board and being actively involved in some organization, campaign, political movement or what not to actively stop such things. That is what I was saying.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
With all that said, yes I know I'm coming across as the fuddy duddy and am expressing a very unpopular opinion compared to the majority of members on ATS. Before this gets too far, let me be clear I'm still sticking to my guns though and realize I'm defending a lost cause around here but I'm going to state my opinion anyways. Free speech right?


I doubt very much anyone's going to flame you for your views. I think we all appreciate it's a touchy subject.


And if someone uses that word on, let's say, a live television show, they can rightfully be fined under the obscenity laws.


Gotta say I'm with George Carlin and Lenny Bruce on this one. Swearing isn't clever, funny, or grown-up. Unless you do it just right, when it can be all three. Not that I'd expect you to agree with that opinion.


I think it is a tragic sign of our society that so many would chose rape porn of all things to really bring out their 'passion guns' to defend regarding the free speech issue.


There are plenty of other free speech issues around and I'm sure I'm not the only one on this thread who's spoken out in other arenas. However, this subject cuts to the heart of our freedoms, as sexual behaviour is one of the most personal things in our lives. It's also something that religions and political parties often try to circumscribe, and here's why.

Wilhelm Reich was a pioneer in all sorts of ways. At one time Freud's favourite and brightest pupil, he broke with Freud and eventually "discovered" what he called orgone energy, which seems to be identical with what hindus call prana, Taoists call chi, and Kabbalists call ruach.

He developed a technique of psychotherapy which involved bodywork and was one of the first Westerners to understand that memories and emotions are bound by muscular tensions. Though persecuted and regarded as a charlatan by many, his work has been extended and replicated by others.

He found that by releasing what he termed their "character armour" (the habitual network of tensions that we don't even know are there but inform our habitual facial expression, posture and even tone of voice) his patients would be able to properly surrender to, and feel, orgasm. I can tell you from personal experience that the less tension you carry around, the more overwhelming the sensation of climax: it becomes very much a whole-body thing. And I've experienced this through doing t'ai chi for some time. There are extraordinary parallels between Reich's model of a human being and the Taoist model.

Now Reich wanted to alleviate suffering in the mass of people, and wound up joining the Communist party because they, uniquely at the time, ran free public health clinics. Reich began treating people and achieved quite a good success rate. But there was a problem. Reich's goal was to restore normal vegetative function in people and to clear them of neurosis. Here's the funny thing. Whenever he was successful, people lost all desire for politcal involvement. They'd find a happy relationship and concentrate on their family. They became pretty much impossible to manipulate through guilt or fear, at least with the limited resources the CP of the time had to offer.

This is why political parties and organised religion repress sexuality: if they do not, people are much less biddable.

There is also a personal component, as the more neurotic someone becomes, the more likely they are to actually fear the full-blown release as being "too much".

You're not going to like this, as a Christian, but both religious and political entities use fear and repression to manipulate their followers. Of course they would!

Reich was expelled from the CP and hounded by it for the rest of his life.


We do have obscenity laws for a reason. These people were held responsible under them.


OK. Please tell me what that reason (or reasons) are. It's good to examine things that may seem self-evident. Often a close look can be very informative.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by rich23]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by TheAssociate
 


I totally understand. I really do. It's a tricky situation. For instance, I hate Holocaust revisionism or denial but at the same time, I'd never want anyone imprisoned for it. That might make me a hypocrite in this situation. I guess rape is just a really touchy subject for me and it really appalls me that people get pleasure from another's pain.

But it's really not even limited to that. It's hard for me to even be disgusted with the people who are turned on by it because you never know what happened to them in their past to make them interested in that. I do, however, have issues with this couple who gained financially from it. They exploit the actors they employ and earn a living by turning a life shattering crime into sexual entertainment.

Very nice posts, though. Respectful and well though out. If we all agreed, this thread would have died on the first page, right?



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Sorry for mistaking you, if you don't intend to force your beliefs on others in any way then I take no issue with your nonsupport of content.


and being actively involved in some organization, campaign, political movement or what not to actively stop such things.

Yes stating an opinion is one thing, I agree with that, but if you actually believe that judges should be allowed to ban this content just because you and the judge have similar grievances with it then I think that mentality is all that is needed to help drive such attitudes and injustices. That was the only point I was making, but since this is not how you feel the point is no longer directed at you.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by rapinbatsisaltherage]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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What a nice, well-mannered thread this has turned into.

If this were a UFO or 9/11 thread, you know there would have been a lot of insulting dimwits to work round.

Thanks, all.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by rapinbatsisaltherage
 



but if you actually believe that judges should be allowed to ban this content...


Sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you were asking if I endorsed the imprisonment. I just went and reread your post and noticed the 'removal' part referring to the material.

In that case, although I understand it is unpopular opinion, I do agree with the banning of the content personally.

Resume debate?


I just don't believe in an 'anything goes' society and that we protect everything under the umbrella of 'Free Speech.' If rape porn doesn't make people flinch and it is considered a protected right under free speech, then what about child porn? I am sure we'd all agree on that being a huge taboo and have no problem with anyone engaging in the production of that to have the book thrown at them. I doubt any sane person would say that should be protected under free speech.

So society does have rules and we are not a 'Do whatever you want' society. Maybe I'm considered prudish or old fashioned in these times but I do find it really disconcerting how someone's suffering and being the victim of rape (even simulated) is used to gain financially for the producers and receive sexual gratification for the viewers. And, yes, I would have a very hard time drawing up sympathy if the material was banned.

Anyways, I'll leave it at that. I understand we're not going to see eye to eye on this and I do respect everyone's opinion here to disagree with mine.
As a society, I personally feel we are getting worse and worse for a culture that is supposedly so enlightened and progressive. If we protect the right of those to victiminze another individual, we're a lot more backwards than we realize.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 



In that case, although I understand it is unpopular opinion, I do agree with the banning of the content personally.

Then I assume you would vote for the banning of such content just because of your personal grievance though there are no laws broken?

I just don't believe in an 'anything goes' society and that we protect everything under the umbrella of 'Free Speech.'


Well to quote your own words: "So society does have rules and we are not a 'Do whatever you want' society" I agree, we do have rules and these people were not illegally breaking any.


If rape porn doesn't make people flinch and it is considered a protected right under free speech, then what about child porn?

Child porn and rape should not be used as examples in putting down simulated actions between two consenting adults. The two are unrelated for two big reason, one is legal and one is not, one involves victims and one does not.


As a society, I personally feel we are getting worse and worse for a culture that is supposedly so enlightened and progressive

We're experiencing good and bad as a culture, as we always have, through out the history of progress, just seems like part of human nature.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by rapinbatsisaltherage
 


Pretty much what i was going to say.Anyway,i personally feel that people are imposing what they think of the act/content on to the legality of it,two completely seperate things,this thread is about the legality of it.How can you honestly criminalize two adults who voluntarily consented to perform a sexual act with each other.Yet more normally law abiding citizens to clog up the prison system it seems,simply because someone elses fetish that has no victim upsets another person.

Posted just after me Ashley,as to your animated child pornography comparison.No it should not be illegal imo(there was a thread about this just a couple of months ago i think)..giving "drawings" of children the same rights as children is at the fundamental level just plain silly,and sets a dangerous precedent among other things.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by Solomons]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by rapinbatsisaltherage
 



Then I assume you would vote for the banning of such content just because of your personal grievance though there are no laws broken?



I agree, we do have rules and these people were not illegally breaking any.


I was under the impression due to the article that they were participating in illegal activities:


...pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute obscene material through the mail and over the Internet...

The couple, in their plea agreement, acknowledged distributing three videos through the mail and six video clips over the Internet to western Pennsylvania...


So how can you say they weren't doing anything illegal?


Child porn and rape should not be used as examples in putting down simulated actions between two consenting adults. The two are unrelated for two big reason, one is legal and one is not, one involves victims and one does not.


Not true- simulated child porn is still illegal in some places. Animated or digital. That is why I used it as a comparison to seek your opinion. There is 'no victim' involved in those styles but it is still illegal. Should that be protected under free speech in your opinion? Why or why not?



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by Solomons
How can you honestly criminalize two adults who voluntarily consented to perform a sexual act with each other.


This keeps being said but what I feel is being is missed is the actors were not the ones who were arrested. Nor were the owners of the company arrested just for that. This has nothing to do with what a consenting man or woman does behind closed doors. Even I agree that is nobody's business. lol

This has to do with the distribution of obscene materials through the mail and internet. There is a pretty important difference there in my opinion.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 



So how can you say they weren't doing anything illegal?

Conspiracy to distribute obscene material charges are very vague laws and The US Department of Justice is to blame for such vagueness still existing. It always depends on who is charging you with the crime, I don't consider that lawful at all even if it is on the books.

I agree with Judge Lancaster on this:

Judge Lancaster wrote: "the federal obscenity statutes violate the constitutional guarantees of personal liberty and privacy of consenting adults who wish to view the defendants' films in private."




Not true- simulated child porn is still illegal in some places.

You are correct, I forgot about that, yes I do not agree with punishing people for fake child porn. I personally agree with the "victimless" crime logic. If no real child is involved then there is no victim, banning things that involve no victim is just illogical to me unless the repercussions of such material are conclusive, which they are not. Also every argument against such material can be made for several different forms of legal media.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by rapinbatsisaltherage]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 





I think it is a tragic sign of our society that so many would chose rape porn


I would like to make a few points. First I agree with you that it is tragic sign of our society when there are those that find sexual arousal in dehumanizing others.

You have been very open and honest not only in this thread but in others about difficult instances in your past that you have struggled to overcome. I want to say that I look up to you as a person. Not only for the courage it takes to be so open about those situations but also because of the compassion you hold for others.

I hope that for those of us that oppose these vague obscenity laws that we aren't being viewed as uncompassionate. I know that isn't the case as far as I am concerned.




We do have obscenity laws for a reason. These people were held responsible under them.


The federal obscenity statutes are so vague and ambiguous that I don't know how one can make such a statement. Reading the statutes I don't see how one can determine a reason.

To substantiate my point here is the three part test the federal Government uses to determines if material is obscene.




1. Whether the average person would find that the work, taken as a whole and applying contemporary community standards, appeals to the prurient interest;

2. Whether the work depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, when applying contemporary community standards; and

3. Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.


Source

The test itself doesn't even mention sexual content. It doesn't even differentiate between written, spoken, or visual. There are many political statements on this site that this test could determine to be obscene. It is far too subjective!

If as a society we want to be protected against "rape fantasy porn" then we are responsible for ensuring that the legislation created is not subjective. But clearly defined. This way we avoid inadvertently giving others all encompassing jurisdiction. Such is the case with these obscenity laws.




[edit on 6-7-2009 by harvib]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by rapinbatsisaltherage
 


Thank you for your honest answers. I'll respond to your point about the vagueness along with Harvib below but would like to touch on your opinion that simulated child porn should be acceptable under free speech. We'll have to agree to disagree on that then. I guess as a mother I find it appalling to see children made out to be sexual objects, even in animation or digitally. So I'll respectfully disagree with you on that.

reply to post by harvib
 



I hope that for those of us that oppose these vague obscenity laws that we aren't being viewed as uncompassionate.


You're too nice. lol No, I never took anyone's comments as a high five to these people but instead just as everyone having a very adamant opinion on free speech, even when the particular subject matter is touchy.


Like I said above, if we all agreed on this, this thread would be no fun. lol

Anyways, you raise a very good point on the ambiguity of the laws about obscene content. I can see how this particular case would fit all three descriptions but also how all three can be extremely subjective.


The test itself doesn't even mention sexual content.


What about #2?


2. Whether the work depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, when applying contemporary community standards; and


But I agree with you that it certainly needs to be better defined- no doubt. Especially due to the wording regarding popular opinion and social standards. Those change with the wind, as history shows. But I do believe they are fitting for this case.

My honest opinion.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 



I guess as a mother I find it appalling to see children made out to be sexual objects, even in animation or digitally.

I agree that it's appalling, even the porn that we're discussing in this thread sounds pretty brutal and appalling, but I just don't believe that my personal beliefs about such practices should infringe on others rights.

I really don't like to use any form of slippery slope arguments because they are usually a bunch of bunk, but we have seen that there is a slippery slope when it comes to censorship. There always has been and there always will be, we need to keep in mind why these rulings worry people in the first place. We've seen what the abuse of the power of the law and censorship can do while combined. When it comes to charging people for victimless crimes we really are getting into the territory of thought crimes.

[edit on 6-7-2009 by rapinbatsisaltherage]



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by rapinbatsisaltherage
I really don't like to use any form of slippery slope arguments because they are usually a bunch of bunk...


I agree. I've been trying to restrain myself from using that argument after learning the 'Slippery Slope' argument is actually mentioned in the list of logical fallacies:

The Slipper Slope Logical Fallacy




...but we have seen that there is a slippery slope when it comes to censorship.


But since you brought it up, I'd like to use it as well and offer a different perspective. While I see your point, what worries me is the 'slippery slope' in the opposite direction which happens to be a desensitization to such things. Not to mention a further decay of social standards. I don't necessarily feel we should go back to the days where married couples were depicted as sleeping in separate beds in television, but I do believe we need to take a stand somewhere. And rape as a form of sexual entertainment definitely crosses that line, in my honest opinion.

I really don't think anyone has all the answers. On one hand of the argument we can say this is getting us nearer to an Orwellian society but with the way society is declining, I strongly believe it is more likely the 'slippery slope' concerning this issue is taking us along the lines of social decay and the devaluing of our humanity.



posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 





What about #2?


Oops.


However my point remains the same. Where is the line? When legislation extends jurisdiction and/or authority there needs to be clearly defined lines.




I guess as a mother I find it appalling to see children made out to be sexual objects, even in animation or digitally.


It is appalling. It saddens and sickens me that there are individuals in our community that get sexually aroused by such content. But I strongly feel that these polarizing cases are being used to establish wide sweeping jurisdiction that can be used in ways that we never intended to allow. I feel much more comfortable raising and protecting my own children in a free society then giving away that jurisdiction in the hopes a Government can do a better job.



[edit on 6-7-2009 by harvib]




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