Michael Stuart Kelly Posted January 17, 2008 Share Posted January 17, 2008 The Smearing of Jim PeronOver on RoR, Joe Rowlands just made a post that contains incorrect information. Since I cannot post on that thread, I will make the correction here. The pertinent part of his post is given below:A few years ago, a prominent libertarian (Jim Peron) in Objectivist circles was outed as a supporter of pedophilia. Some investigators in New Zealand found copies of a magazine he published on the topic, including an article in his own name.The responses at the time were very curious. I would have expected libertarians and Objectivists to try to distance themselves from his viewpoint, or to condemn that ideas he had promoted, or to distance themselves from him. Instead, their was an outpouring of sympathy for him. He has a right to free speech, they said. This is just a witch-hunt, they said. He claims no knowledge of any of it, despite the article penned in his name, they said. That was decades ago, they offered. Age of consent laws are arbitrary(!) they began to argue...On and on, people who had already supported him found ways to dismiss this significant information about him. They determined that there was no significant loss with having libertarian or Objectivist ideas falsely connected to child-rape.It was shocking to me at the time for a few reasons. One, because the hatred and disgust that most people felt was for those who brought out the facts. Two, because while the issue should have been about someone promoting pedophilia, people tried to ignore that and hide behind the freedom of speech principle. And three, because when these didn't seem enough, people actually started making arguments to try to make it seem more respectable, starting with age of consent laws being arbitrary.Here are the incorrect parts:1. Peron was not "outed as a supporter of pedophilia." He was formally accused of being one and set up, with his reputation trashed and renewal of his visa refused by the New Zealand government as punishment.2. I have examined most all of the documentation that has been available online (and some not so available, like the single copy—not "copies"—of the magazine Unbound), and I have concluded that Peron indeed was set up for political reasons by some really nasty people playing power games. Much of the online stuff has been taken down, but I have copies of most of what had been available . Also, The Wayback Machine still records a lot of it.3. If anyone follows the thread Rowlands linked to (Rumors About Linz started by Jeff Riggenbach), he will see that there was not only the outpouring of hatred he mentioned against the accusers, but there was a similar outpouring of hatred by the accusers (and their sympathizers) against Peron supporting the smear that he was a pedophile. (I am ashamed to admit that I was a sympathizer in the second category. I have since apologized to Jim Peron for that. I have not done so in public out of respect for his wishes, but since Rowlands has made this a public issue again, I want it on record that I deeply regret supporting the disgusting lynching that took place.)Just as it is shocking that Objectivists would seemingly tolerate "child-rape" under the guise of "age of consent," so it is equally shocking that a person can be so easily smeared on such flimsy evidence in the name of Objectivism. Those who practice this pervert Objectivism and all it stands for.4. Briefly, what happened was that over 20 years ago, Peron owned a libertarian bookstore in San Francisco that was a hotbed of radical ideas. Lots of people flowed through there and he supported anything subversive that smelled like pro-freedom. Back then, he allowed a pedophilic organization to hold some meetings on the premises. Age of consent was a hot topic at the time and they, obviously, did not advertise themselves as a group of pedophiles. They talked the talk of the times in their negotiations. Peron's printing press published at least one issue of that organization's magazine. He was asked to contribute an article and he did, relating his personal problems growing up with beatings from his father and kindness from strangers. It had nothing at all to do with pedophilia per se. But this article was touted as the smoking gun because it appeared in that magazine. The fact that, shortly after that time, he asked the group to move on, etc., was not taken into account.5. Nothing at all of substance from recent times was presented about Peron. It was all old stuff from two decades ago and totally inconclusive, even taken at face value.6. The so-called "investigators" were a group of Christian conservatives who formed an ad hoc organization at the time called the Locke Foundation. Its sole purpose was to dig up dirt on Peron and present it to the New Zealand government, although it purported to have some kind of intellectual mission. Shortly after the splash and the ensuing government action, the foundation was disbanded. It only existed actively for a very short time.7. For the record, I do not adhere to a low age of consent threshold, and I don't know hardly anyone who does (including Jim Peron himself, who emphatically does not adhere). I agree with Rowlands only on the following point: Objectivist ideas should not be used to endorse child-rape. But then, that is a no-brainer.What took place in New Zealand and reiterated on SoloHQ was an orchestrated smear job. It worked, too, especially with people who do not look at facts, but prefer to repeat what they are told (like what just occurred in Rowlands's recent post). Well I have seen the facts up close and in detail. What they did to Jim Peron stinks. I stake my name on it.To keep this issue to a low public noise level so the smear cannot grow further qua smear, I will be glad to present the information I have by email to anyone asking for it (in good faith, meaning so they can look at the facts and see for themselves, too). Michael Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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