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Amazon Yanks Pedophilia E-Book Amid Boycott Talk

Nov 11, 2010 – 8:13 AM
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Lauren Frayer

Lauren Frayer Contributor

(Nov. 11) -- Amazon.com appears to have severed sales of an e-book that condones pedophilia, after news of the self-published "child-lover's" guide went viral on the Internet and sparked cries for a boycott of the online bookseller.

The book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct," still appears on the Amazon site, but its link yields an error message. All 3,011 customer reviews are also inaccessible, but a discussion page about the book is still visible. It is rated by Amazon users as having one out of five stars.

"I am extremely joyous for the Victory pertaining to the removal of this nasty book," wrote one user.

There's been no official word from Amazon that it has dropped the book. As of this morning, the book was inaccessible on the site, but users in Amazon's discussion forum said it was available intermittently throughout the night.

On Wednesday, the company issued a statement saying that it "does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts" but that it believes it is "censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable."

"We do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions," Amazon said, according to AOL's TechCrunch.com.

Many of the postings on Amazon's discussion page focus on the book's contents and how users find them objectionable, but a few also lashed out at Amazon's apparent decision to remove the book.

"They sure screwed themselves by reversing that statement and removing the book!!!! Who is going to believe anything you say ever again, Amazon? Fix it before it's too late. Put it back up and stand strong for the constitution!!!" wrote one user.

Others supported Amazon's initial stance against censorship.

"While I think 99.9% of us object to pedophilia (even though i think this particular book was a publicity stunt/joke), I think we can all agree that we don't want someone else censoring a subject matter that we may be interested in," another user wrote. "Religion, Atheism, homosexuality, etc. are some subjects that spring to mind .. .and they have been censored in the past until we realized that it's best to let all information in (even if we don't like some of it), rather than allow some authority or individual decide what we can and can't know about based on their own opinions or motivations."

Meanwhile, the book's author, 47-year-old Philip R. Greaves, is speaking out in defense of his self-published work.

Greaves, a former nurse's aide from Pueblo, Colo., told the local Channel 9 TV station there that he wrote the book to change people's perception of pedophiles. "Every time you see them on television, they're either murderers, rapists or kidnappers, and, you know, that's just not an accurate presentation of that particular sexuality," he said.

"True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them," Greaves told CNN.

He said he considers his book a how-to guide for pedophiles to indulge their fantasy while abiding by U.S. laws. "I wrote the book to establish guidelines so that people would behave in a manner that is non-injurious to each other," he told ABC News.

"Penetration is out. You can't do that with a child, but kissing and fondling I don't think is that big of a problem," Greaves told CNN.

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Local authorities in Greaves' hometown, however, disagree. Mike Harris, the Jefferson County district attorney's investigator, told Channel 9 that he's in favor of freedom of speech -- up to a point. "When it fuels the motive for people on how to approach kids, how to find kids, how to touch kids and sexually abuse them, that's just wrong," he said.

Greaves' e-book went on sale on Amazon on Oct. 28, with a sale price of $4.79 to download it on the Kindle electronic reader.

This isn't the first time Amazon has found itself mired in controversy over titles of the books and other products it sells. In 2002, a conservative group called the United States Justice Foundation threatened to sue the online bookseller over a title called "Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers" -- which is still available on Amazon.com.

Last year, Amazon halted sales of a video game called "RapeLay," in which players stalk and rape a mother and her daughters. The company yanked the game from its site after citizens and interest groups complained.
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