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. BlackMonday

    Amazon has never pulled a book from its "shelves", and shouldn't break precedent even here. It's job is to find a potential consumer what he or she wants, not to decide what's suitable for consumption. If you want to get mad, get mad at the author and his publisher. Lots of good writers never see the light of day, and HE gets a forum? Pathetic.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I know they do routinely reject books. Even Amazon cannot sell every damn book out there. So why this one?

      November 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bucks12965

    I will excercise my free speach here. Perhaps they won't notice my absence, but I will not give Amazon the satisfaction of another hit on their site. My Amazon Visa card will also never be used again.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • GHEAD

      But apparently you were ok with all the books on serial killers, nazism, etc etc etc?! Why this book and not a book on Wesley Dodd? Or not a book on the Children of God cult? Give me a break! You've been inadvertently supporting this crap for years.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MORA MAID

    Looking the other way is reason our country is spiraling downward fast! Where's your spine, people? Don't take it ( our good life) for granted! We have become "soft" and enclose ourselves in a virtual box.... BOYCOTT! .... There are other book websites out there.... I love Amazon.com...but no more buying from them until they "clean themselves up"!

    November 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • GHEAD

      Will you boycott everyone else for selling books about serial killers? child killers? Go to any book seller and look up Wesley Dodd, or Jim Goad, or the Children of God cult. Ever watch a Roman Polanski movie? Or even a Woody Allen fliick? What about any Larry Clark endeavor? This is NOT something new people!!! It's been around the whole time! It sucks, sure, but if you really mean the boycott claim, then expect to stop shopping every single book merchant out there!

      November 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • claliengirl

      I sounds like this book is not about pedophilia; it's a how-to-commit the crime of pedophilia and not get caught. There's a difference here people!

      November 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Damned Yankee

    There is nothing wrong with calling for boycott, pickets or peaceful marches to protest. But wouldn't it be better to go after the publisher rather than the seller? Boycotting the publisher hurts all sales not just this book. So much better to get undivided attention, hitting them in the profit margin. The publisher makes far more than Amazon on books sold.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Webster

      It's self-published genius. Do you seriously think a boycott of Amazon (who agreed to sell it) wouldn't cost more in terms of lost sales/share depreciation than to some guy who likely wasn't planning on making much anyway?

      November 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      The article says it's self-published.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeepers

    WTH?!?!?!?!?!

    November 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tomcat

    Lets look at the books that school districts say that are not acceptable in their libraries. Then look at what states publish or dont in school history books. Freedom of speach?

    November 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Off2Amazon

    haha, it's funny how anyone who disagrees with the mob on this one is instantly a pedophile. Angry mob, you make me sick. I'm going to do ALL of my shopping at amazon now just in spite of the stupid mob.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      thumbs up...ME TOO...maybe a copy or two..to set next to Elvis' grave..cause he was bumpin a 14 yr old when he was 24

      November 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • allmountain40

      Your not a pedophile, just an idiot who doesn't understand what freedom of speech was meant to protect. It was meant to protect an individuals right to disagree with the government without reprisal. Read the whole thing, not just one sentence. P.S. Amazon has the right to refuse to sell this garbage, yet they did not. This speeks volumes of this companies ethical standards.

      November 10, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. McA

    I noticed the screen shot from Kindle shows this is a 'Kindle Edition" and one can download a free sample. Wouldn't that be a great way to find pedophiles with them downloading the samples and/or books directly to their computer? I truly hope this is a sting and if so wish them much success in catching a great many pedophiles. This is great publicity for getting this book into the hands of those who need to be caught.

    As for censoring this book, if it's real, as stated previously, not a good thing in the l east. Once censorship starts it is like a fire out of control consuming everything in it's path.

    I shall not boycott Amazon. If this book is on the market it will be purchased regardless of Amazon or not.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark R. McKinniss

    This is not freedom of speech any more than a book explaining how to build a car bomb is freedom of speech. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said: "My right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." The right to freedom of speech ends where my child's safety begins. For the author's sake, I hope he is joking, but I gotta tell you: this is not funny.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozmodius612

      Where does it end? Seriously! I can buy the Anarchist's Cookbook and learn how to usurp your freedom by blowing you up. I can buy a chemistry text book and use it to make Meth and inslave your children. I can buy a book on guns and read how to make a semi-automatic into a fully automatic and go on a shooting spree harming/killing/maiming scores of people. And so on..............

      Who decides what should be banned? Isn't that up to the individual?

      Did you know that the Nazi's did horrendous experiments using POWs in order to study the effects of hypothermia? Did you know that the information they gathered, in such inhumane ways, has been used ever since to save lives? What was evil? The ACTION of getting the information OR the USE of the information?

      Think about it!

      November 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tomcat

    @db 5k at amazon. I take two busses to get to work. Enjoy those books and cds.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The_Mick

    I'm getting ready to place a $400 order with Amazon for Christmas gifts. This allowance of free speech, even though it's disgusting, won't affect my buying.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JTWrenn

    To bad Amazon has banned books in the past...so...their stance is pretty stupid.

    I agree that freedom of speech should be supported, but you can't pick and choose and claim freedom of speech. Silly

    November 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. shrinkydink98

    If we are a culture that promotes the tolerance of books that teach, support, and accept pedophilia as a "normal" part of society, then it's just a matter of time until we will disintegrate like Rome did, from the inside out. This is heart breaking, and as an abuse survivor myself, I honestly think I feel more sadness than outrage. Nothing surprises me anymore (hence, the sadness) and all I can is that without a moral compass, the only hope we have as a society is to ask Jesus to come bring healing to our nation.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Off2Amazon

      Haha, Jesus' teachings are what lead to the greatest ring of pedophiles in the history of the planet. If anything we should be banning the bible.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GHEAD

      I have to ask...As an abuse survivor, did your heart break with all the books on killers being sold on Amazon? or perhaps the books by Jim Goad? Or books about the Children of God cult, that was basically a giant pedophilia ring? maybe Jim Jones? Any heartbreak there? What about "St Joseph's Children"? The point is books of this nature have been on sale right in front of you for years. Sure they may not be a "Pedophile how-to" book, but deal with this topic at great length as well.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozmodius612

      I find it interesting that you mention Jesus. I always wondered if he condoned Lot's daughters sleeping with him after getting him drunk in order to have a baby by him. An incest baby I might add.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Webster

    I'd bet dollars to donuts that if someone tried to sell a book of drawings of the Prophet Mohammed on Amazon you'd see a much different take on censorship.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Father Pervert

    Ahhhh.......capitalism. Well, whatever makes a buck, I suppose.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
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