November 10th, 2010
10:52 PM ET

Amazon.com book defending pedophilia sparks boycott

A listing for 'The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure' is no longer on Amazon.com.

[Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET] The title no longer appears in Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestsellers.

[Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET] The listing for "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" is no longer available on Amazon.com. The title still appears in Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestsellers at number 96, with 2,066 comments.

An e-book for sale on Amazon.com that appears to defend pedophilia has sparked hundreds of angry user comments and threats to boycott the online retailer unless it pulls the title.

Nearly 1,700 users who had commented on the title as of 9:40 p.m. ET deplored its publication and vowed to boycott Amazon until it removes the self-published title from the site. At least two Facebook  pages have been set up dedicated to boycotting Amazon because of the book.

The stated content appears to violate two of Amazon's content guidelines for digital publication. The company has not returned CNN's repeated requests for comment.

The author of "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" said he published the controversial tome to address what he considers unfair portrayals of pedophiles in the media.

"True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them," Phillip R. Greaves II said in a phone interview with CNN on Wednesday.

When asked if the self-published e-book was a "how-to manual," he said, "there are certain parts that are advisory," which set out lines that should not be crossed.

"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," he said.

The Pueblo, Colorado, man told CNN that he has not had sexual contact with a child as an adult, but did when he was a teenager. He also said he "was introduced to oral sex when I was 7" by an older female but did not provide specifics.

In the title's Amazon.com product description, Greaves described it as "my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow.

"I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught," he said.

Most users who commented on the title said they deplored its publication and vowed to boycott Amazon until it removes the title.

"It is ILLEGAL to molest children, and for Amazon to promote such is insane. I'm an abuse survivor, and am OUTRAGED Amazon would choose to promote this nonsense. I will not be purchasing anything from your website until this is removed," one user wrote in a comment echoed by others.

Others lamented they could not give the book less than "one star" in submitting their reviews, saying they would shop elsewhere during the holiday season.

"Cannot believe that Amazon is selling this. I was in the middle of placing my whole Christmas shopping order when I saw something about this. After reviewing it, I have canceled my order from Amazon and am encouraging all of my friends not to order from Amazon because they are choosing to sell this book. I will not be purchasing anything from Amazon until they agree to quit selling this book," another user said.

Amazon did not return CNN's requests for comment, but one user posted what it said was Amazon's response to an e-mail the person had sent.

"Let me assure you that Amazon.com does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

"Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable."

The company's website provides content guidelines for titles sold through its Digital Text Platform Program. The guidelines say publishers are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that titles are in compliance with all local, state, national and international laws.

"If Amazon Digital Services, Inc. determines that the content of a Title is prohibited, we may summarily remove or alter it without returning any fees. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate," the guidelines state.

Pornography, offensive material and "titles which may lead to... illegal activity" are among the prohibited content listed in the guidelines.

What Amazon deems offensive, "is probably about what you would expect" the guidelines state, without elaboration, except to say that, "Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site."

A few Amazon.com users defended the author's right to free speech, and a discussion on the site titled "Why Amazon is Right" delved into the constitutional implications of the controversy.

"While I think 99.9 percent 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. 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," one user wrote.

The author has three other titles on Amazon.com under his name. They are available on the e-reader, Kindle, and all were published within the last week.

Greaves described himself as a former nurses' aid and in-home health care provider who is retired and on disability for "manic depression." He said he first began writing as a child and hopes to continue doing so full time.

But conspiracy theories over the book abound, with commenters citing it as a publicity stunt, a hoax, or perhaps a law enforcement sting.

"People... Relax... This book is obviously promoted by Amazon per request of FBI in order to track down and catch pedophiles. This book is obviously a bait for the sickos that are lurking around out there trying to prey on our children."

soundoff (568 Responses)
  1. tomcat

    Being an antagonist was this written by a Catholic priest?

    November 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JRH

    Freedom of speech is not limitless. You can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theatre. Not everything in life is pure black or pure white. A book on how to grow pot is one thing. A book on how to abuse children is quite another. If Amazon chooses to continue selling this book or others that condone child molestation, then they have seen the last of my business.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mash107

      That's a major fallacy, one that Murray Rothbard puts to rest in his book, "For a New Liberty". I -highly- suggest reading this book if you truly want to understand freedoms. Google it for an free online copy.

      Though I'm nowhere near as intellectually sharp as Rothbard, I'll describe in the best way I can. The non-aggression axiom, to which imposes a limitation on freedoms, dictates that one person may do, say, buy, sell whatever he or she wishes as long as it doesn't harm a person or property. The movie patrons paid for a movie without interruption, and the movie theater is obliged to fulfill that contract. It is a violation of that contract, and hence, it violations right to property.

      Rothbard is an excellent philosopher and can explain this way better than I.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • tara

      Thank you for pointing out the 'fire' issue, most forget about that.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lisa

    Freedom of speech? If Amazon wants to use that as a cloak to protect itself, fine. I will also exercise my right not to purchase one single item from them in the future. I hope other like-minded people will follow suit. Sometimes the only way to get one's point across is to hit them where it counts–$$$.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      I spent more that $5,000 on Amazon last year – everything from CDs to consumer electronics. I love the convenience of a one-stop-shop, but I'll give it up. This is an outrage.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Victor Vovakes

    No more Amazon for me.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Zach

    I don't see anything wrong with Amazon selling this book. Does anyone really believe that this book is going to convert people to pedophilia or encourage people to do it who wouldn't have otherwise? No one is going to see this book and think "Hmmm, maybe that is a good thing." People need to settle down about this situation. Amazon sells lots of things that I don't need or want but that doesn't stop me from shopping there.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kwreader

    I'm offended by Palin's book, too, but I support Amazon's right to sell it.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • claliengirl

      Palin advocates stupidity – not crimes. At least I don't think she does....

      November 10, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. t lo

    Come on Amazon, wow, this is really f'd up. Makes me shake my head and think what's next?

    November 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. independent

    i smell... a troll.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • /c/tard

      /b/ tard anons trying to hog the limelight. They haven't been paid any online attention this month yet..

      November 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. samm

    I have never been a fan of banning books but this book is about committing a crime successfully. Its wrong to sell this book.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      Well put.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BillyD1953

    It is not a crime to write or sell a book nor should it be. Before you condemn Amazon for selling a pedophile's book, just remember that they are now also selling a book by an infamous war criminal, as self-acknowledged torturer, responsible for the deaths of at least 1 million innocent Iraqi civilians–GWB's memoirs. Books are just books. They are not acts of violence and you can't have a free society if you start banning them. Besides, there would be no way to pick and choose which books should be banned. If you let everyone have a say in which books should be banned, I guarantee that virtually every book would be banned by somebody or another.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AnneSD

    There is a big difference between banning a book and refusing to sell a book that promotes criminal behavior. A bookseller is perfectly free to refuse to sell this book without infringing on this guy's right to free speech. The fact that he can say (or write) whatever he wants does NOT mean anyone has to agree to sell it. This is one book Amazon - and every other mainstream, legitimate bookseller - should say no to. If someone wants to facilitate criminal behavior, there is no reason that Amazon or any other bookseller should assist them.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • fred

      I agree with you word for word. What a wonderfully concise statement that speaks to the heart of this matter.

      November 10, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • megan

      Amazon also sells the Anarchist's Cookbook, but no one was boycotting them because of that. Does anyone else smell the hypocrisy?

      Does this book sound interesting to me? No. I can't say I'm a fan of pedophilia. Guess what? I'm choosing not to read it. But I love shopping on Amazon, so I'm going to continue to do so.

      This book was self-published, so there probably won't be a reprint. Don't worry about it. A book can't hurt you. Actions hurt you.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stix213

    hahaha hilarious

    All this publicity makes me curious about reading the book now (even though pedophilia isn't going to be in my future)

    November 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SafeWorldForChildren

    There are lots of other places to shop online, and I'll be joining those shopping anyplace BUT Amazon from now on.
    For those crying about freedom of speech, I hope your dreams are haunted by the cries of the children molested by those who would buy this book. This is serious. These are REAL children. You can debate all you want about freedom, but the bottom line is that our children should have the freedom to grow up without creeps plotting and planning how to get to them. Anyone who would sell a book like this is enabling the torture of children.

    November 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ballsacteabagger

    moron conservate over-reactionary low income idiots

    November 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cowgirl

    A while ago one news program like 60 min, did an interview with a pedophile who was going to or was writing a book and he said that if parents read his book it could help them to protect their children. what to watch for etc. ! I am not advicating purchasing this book, i am also a victim. When it was happening no one was watching !

    November 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
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