The Anti-Kinsey Report
WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian relies on the dubious claims of Judith Reisman to attack sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.
By Terry Krepel
Until recently, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian's only substantive response to date to critics of his book, "The Marketing of Evil," as articulated in a March 6 article, is that "to date, no one has actually identified a single factual error in 'The Marketing of Evil.' All they can do is get upset and call me a Nazi or a devil or Ann Coulter. But they can't point to where I'm wrong."
ConWebWatch hasn't called Kupelian names, though we have noted some of the dishonest tactics he and WND have used in the marketing of "The Marketing of Evil." But we may be able to disprove Kupelian's assertion.
During the imbroglio over Ohio university librarian Scott Savage, who faced criticism from faculty at the school for recommending Kupelian's book for a reading list, one of the criticisms level against the book by one professor was that Kupelian's description of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey as a "full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia" is a "factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work on every point."
Kupelian did not responded to that specific charge at the time, but in an April 18 column, Rebecca Hagelin defended Kupelian from the professor's claim: "Excuse me, professor, but Judith Reisman, a Ph.D. researcher and world-renowned Kinsey expert, absolutely vaporizes your laughable defense of the mad sex scientist in her pioneering book 'Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences.'"
A November 2004 WND article by Kupelian, "Selling sex in the U.S.A.," also appears in much the same form as a chapter in his book. In it, Kupelian calls Kinsey "a sexual psychopath. ... a bisexual who preferred homosexual sex." Kupelian further describes Kinsey as "a sexually depraved human being who 'rejoiced' at pedophiles' conducting horrifying, Dr. Mengele-like sexual experiments on hundreds of children."The foundation for this claim is Reisman, who has made a career of attacking Kinsey and his research -- and, as it so happens, is writing a book purporting to document "the devastating effects of Kinsean ideology on the culture at large" to be published later this year by WND Books. (Reisman has also published dozens of articles at WND. Corporate synergy!)
A former singer and songwriter on the old "Captain Kangaroo" children's show, Reisman remade herself into a researcher (her doctorate is in communications, not any scientific discipline) and a self-proclaimed expert on pornography and anything that makes Kinsey look bad. After the Kinsey Institute criticized Reisman's 1990 Kinsey-bashing book -- described by one scholarly reviewer as "an inflated political pamphlet" filled with "innuendo, distortion, and selective representation of decontextualized 'facts'" -- Reisman sued the Kinsey Institute, claiming that it was trying to suppress publicity about her book. Reisman was represented by the Rutherford Institute, a conservative legal organization best known for suing President Clinton on behalf of Paula Jones. The suit was eventually thrown out of court.
Most recently, indirectly related to her Kinsey-bashing work, Reisman has been pushing the idea that pornography is a "erototoxin" that "psychopharmacologically imprints young brains -- thereby invalidating notions of informed consent." Her remedy to this includes "mandating law enforcement collection of all pornography data at crime sites" and ending "all Federal funding of educational institutions that train students with bogus Kinseyan academic pornography."
Even the consrvative-leaning Canadian newspaper the National Post wrote in a Dec. 11, 2004, editorial: "There is little reason to take Dr. Reisman seriously."
Poppy Dixon, who operates the less-than-reverent side Adult Christianity, has examined one piece of Reisman scholarship as an example of her work:
The online-only Journal of Human Sexuality, sponsored by Leadership U (a spinoff of Campus Crusade for Christ), has published Reisman's essay, Kinsey and the Homosexual Revolution. The essay is comprised of 31 complex and leading questions, questions designed to prejudice the reader, questions like "...what if all of Kinsey's work was fraudulent, or worse?", and "...could not some American scientists teach pederasts and pedophiles techniques for sexually abusing children for 'science'?", and "Was Kinsey himself a closet homosexual, pedophile or pederast?"
The centerpiece of Kupelian's attack is Reisman's critique of Kinsey's "Table 34" -- "multiple orgasm in pre-adolescent males." According to Reisman (and directly quoted by Kupelian), "Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal 'child sexuality.'" Kupelian adds: "She is speaking the awful truth here."
Perhaps not. Dixon examined Reisman's claims about Table 34. She points out that, contrary to Reisman's assertion:
Kinsey interviewed people who were engaged in illegal sexual activity, but did not encourage, or facilitate in any way, any sexual behavior. He did not "allow...child abusers to conduct experiments" as the Kinsey institute conducted no experiments, nor trained anyone to do so."
The Kinsey Institute has also responded to Reisman's allegations:
Kinsey was not a pedophile in any shape or form. He did not carry out experiments on children; he did not hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings and there is absolutely no evidence that his research "opened flood gates for the sexual abuse of children".
While Kupelian notes the Kinsey Institute's response, he tries to portray it as debunked because an institute director later admitted that much of it came from a single person, Rex King, whom Kupelian describes as a "serial pedophile." Kupelian then goes on to play guilt by association, linking Kinsey to the notorious North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
Despite his description of Kinsey as "a sexually depraved human being who "rejoiced" at pedophiles' conducting horrifying, Dr. Mengele-like sexual experiments on hundreds of children," Kupelian never offers any evidence to support Reisman's claim that Kinsey "solicited and encouraged pedophiles" to "sexually violate ... infants and children" -- perhaps because Reisman herself has no such evidence.
Kupelian further calls Kinsey a "sexual psychopath" but manages to avoid (in this article, at least) explicitly calling him a pedophile -- something Reisman has regularly done, though she has admitted that she has no direct evidence of it. Her purported evidence of this claim: "Everything he wrote. Nobody but a pedophile could write what he did."
Kupelian also quotes Reisman as saying that "Kinsey's obsessive, brutally masochistic masturbation methods appear to have assisted in his early demise"; in fact, most Kinsey biographers blame Kinsey's death on a heart attack.
Through all of Kupelian's chapter, Reisman is never cited less than authoritatively; he describes her as "a Ph.D. and scholar" and a "world-renowned expert and scholar on this subject." Like Hagelin, Kupelian never notes that there is any dispute over Reisman's research, let alone the flimsy, ideologically driven scholarship that appears to be driving a significant portion of Reisman's work.
But since Reisman's findings sound scholarly enough for those who don't dig too far under the surface -- and, perhaps more importantly, follow the doctrine of conservative correctness in supplying lurid quotes to throw around -- people like Kupelian and Hagelin will defend her at all costs.
Indeed, Kupelian finally rose to the defense of his book's claims about Kinsey in response to a claim in an Ohio newspaper by a professor at the Ohio university that criticized librarian Scott Savage for recommending the book; the professor, Hannibal Hamlin, noted the book's "bigotry and its factual errors," adding: "'The Marketing of Evil,' a book the librarian suggested, is indeed anti-gay. Its statement that homosexuality is 'evil' is unambiguous."
A May 23 WND article claimed that Hamlin "didn't cite any" factual errors in Kupelian's book, but then noted that "[t]he 'factual errors' charge against Kupelian, it turns out, is in response to 'The Marketing of Evil's' expose of the notoriously fraudulent sex scientist, Alfred Kinsey." Kupelian's response:
"Oh my gosh," responded Kupelian, "How out-of-touch can you get? Kinsey is universally known to have been a profoundly troubled human being sexually, as any of his several biographies make all too clear. It's no secret that he circumcised himself with a pocket knife and without anesthesia, he produced and participated in illegal sex movies in his attic, and engaged in bizarre, self-destructive sexual activities far too abhorrent and distasteful to mention here. Furthermore, I think Professor [Norman] Jones [a professor at the Ohio school who called Kupelian's book "homophobic tripe" and who is described as "openly homosexual" three times in the article] must be the only person on earth who doesn't know that Kinsey relied on and encouraged serial pedophiles for obtaining his so-called 'research' on child sexuality.
Again, Kupelian offers no evidence that the "criminal sexual molestation" was done "for the purposes of obtaining 'data' for his research." He then comes a lot closer to calling Kinsey a pedophile:
"How exactly does Professor Jones suppose Kinsey obtained data on the sexual responses of children as young as two months of age? Having such contact with infants and toddlers under any circumstances whatsoever is a felony in the United States.
In other words, Kupelian is resorting to another ad hominem attack to defend his book. This was more explicit in an attack on another professor at the Ohio school, Christopher Phelps, who pointed out that the complaints against Savage by two professors were "in reference to 'harassment based on sexual orientation,' or discrimination, not sexual harassment," as WND and its partner in publicizing the case, the Alliance Defense Fund, claimed. In a May 15 article, WND called Phelps a "far-left professor" in the first paragraph, contrasted a description of Savage as "a devout and conservative Quaker" with Phelps admitting being "on the left of the left" and his decade-old praise of Marxism, and recounted the platform of Phelps' 1996 campaign for a Senate seat as a socialist. The article also quoted Kupelian bashing Phelps as a "rabid socialist ... who extols values that have cost millions of lives in the last century and left hundreds of millions in poverty and despair." Kupelian never addressed what Phelps actually wrote.
That's what Kupelian is apparently down to -- ad hominem attacks and clinging to the questionable research of a woman on a personal crusade.
A conservative newspaper claimed that "[t]here is little reason to take Dr. Reisman seriously," and most serious researchers in the field of sexuality feel the same. So why, beyond WND's business ties to Reisman, does Kupelian feel the need to take her seriously?