Child Pornography, The Politics of Child Abuse,
and the Abuse of Innocence: Analysis and Commentary

John Earl*

Child pornographers may be teachers, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy, laborers — in sum, child pornographers are from all walks of life. (Det. Toby Tyler, in a prepared statement before the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Nov. 28, 1984.)

ABSTRACT: The crusade against child pornography and other types of child sexual exploitation reveals a fundamental hypocrisy, exemplified by the crusaders' own indulgence in and exploitation of de jure and de facto sex crimes against children. The case of authors Paul and Shirley Eberle, who have been associated by some critics with the distribution of child pornography, is examined to illustrate the hypocrisy of those critics and other giants in the "child abuse industry."


Paul and Shirley Eberle were the first American journalists to write a popularly acclaimed book defending victims of false child abuse accusations. The Eberles wrote two books on the subject: the first, The Politics of Child Abuse (Hardcover) (1986), examined a number of celebrated multi-victim/multi-perpetrator molestation scandals; the second, The Abuse of Innocence (Hardcover) (1993), focused on the McMartin trial, the most infamous of all American mass sex abuse cases.

In Politics, the Eberles denounce the "child abuse industry" and advocate punishment for its allegedly greedy, blindly obedient and psychopathic managers — mainly social workers and law enforcement officials — whose manipulation of children leads to false allegations that damage the lives of innocent children and adults. The authors also propose reviewing all past molestation convictions and, in order to protect families, reevaluating and possibly dismantling the Welfare State. The publication of Politics catapulted the Eberles into guest spots on radio and television talk shows where they discussed the nationwide child abuse "witch hunt" passionately described in their book.

Many ideologically entrenched child protection professionals became alarmed by advancing media skepticism of exploding numbers of child abuse reports. Presumptuous child abuse theories were treated as articles of faith and used to justify increased funding for child abuse programs and progressively inquisitorial legal reforms. This doctrinaire and politically charged approach to child protection led to a counterattack against critics who were treated as misguided or malevolent heretics — members of a supposed social backlash movement whose beliefs would roll back decades of progress made on behalf of abused children.1 But the reactionary stance of the child protection ideologues, exemplified by their portrayal of the Eberles as former child pornographers with a hidden interest in covering up child abuse, seems to be a projection of their own vested interest in maintaining a "child abuse industry," child pornography included.

The National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse

Since it was created in 1988, the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse has played an important role in the effort to discredit child abuse heresy. NCPCA fired its opening shot at the Eberles with a smear article appearing in the premier issue (May, 1988) of Update, its nationally circulated newsletter. The article, "Whose Politics," implies that a hidden conflict of interest, namely the Eberles' past association with adult and child pornography, explains their harsh criticisms of child protection professionals:

The Eberles' vitriolic attack against criminal justice and child welfare professionals is more understandable when one examines the authors' background. Far from being impartial reporters, the Eberles have for years been active in the Los Angeles pornography subculture. Their other "journalistic" endeavors, the Center has learned, include the currently available soft-core tabloid, L.A. Star, and a hard-core tabloid, Finger, published in the mid-1970s.

Finger features extensive examples of child and adult pornography including explicit photographs and narratives of deviant sexual behavior such as sadism and masochism, bestiality, necrophilia and sexual activity involving urination and defecation. It also features photos and drawings of nude infants and children engaged in sodomy and sexual intercourse with other children and adults as well as lavishly detailed first-hand accounts of sexual experiences with children. On the cover of one of the seven issues reviewed are the Eberles themselves, naked and intertwined with life-size male and female inflatable dolls.2

Patricia Toth, the director of the NCPCA, repeated similar allegations at least a hundred times (as of 1990) in lectures to child abuse professionals across the country.3 At a 1990 child abuse conference, Toth showed slides of Finger, including one article titled "Baby Fucking" and the cover photo of the Eberles noted above. Copies of Finger were made available to prosecutors and others interested in discrediting the Eberles and defense experts who cited their book in court.4 In December of 1990, other articles, such as "My First Rape, "She was Only Thirteen," and "Sexpot at Five" were mentioned in Ms. magazine and Random Lengths, a San Pedro bi-weekly newspaper. The alleged documentation was apparently supplied by San Bernardino deputy sheriff Toby Tyler, an acclaimed "expert" on pedophilia and child pornography.5

The child pornography allegations circulated again after the Eberles' McMartin sequel, Abuse of Innocence, was published in 1993. Jan Hollingsworth's review of Innocence for the Tampa Tribune quotes Tyler as claiming that "For a period of time during the 70s, Paul and Shirley Eberle were the most prolific publishers of child pornography in the United States."6 Hollingsworth, who wrote Unspeakable Acts (Out of Print)(Out of Print) — a passionately pro-prosecution account of the Country Walk case, writes that the Eberles were shown "copulating" with the life-sized dolls on the Finger cover noted earlier. She also cites an anonymous "undercover" LAPD detective to claim that "the Eberles' own children were often featured in their hard-core publications."

A press release by noted repressed memory therapist Renee Fredrickson stated:

. . . Paul and Shirley Eberle . . . have been exposed as involved in child pornography. The husband and wife were shown posed in a defunct "kiddie porn" magazine Finger. The pornographic magazine also contains photographs of naked sexually abused children.7

In a special issue of The Journal of Psychohistory on ritual abuse, editor Lloyd deMause presents Paul and Shirley Eberle as an example of authors of "false memory books" who are not only pedophile advocates but child pornographers. He cites Hollingsworth's quote of Sgt. Toby Tyler, for evidence, then adds:

Their [the Eberles] kiddie porn material that I have seen and the articles they have published such as "I Was a Sexpot at Five" and "Little Lolitas" included illustrations of children involved in sodomy and oral copulation and featured pornographic photos of the Eberles.8

Writing in the same journal, Robert B. Rockwell describes Finger as an "underground child pornography journal . . . which contained nude photographs of them and their children." Rockwell implies that he has seen copies of the issues of the magazine that contained these alleged photos.9

In the book The Backlash: Child Protection Under Fire (Hardcover)(Paperback), John E. B. Myers questions the Eberles' use of the term "benign pedophilia" to describe the context of the charges against the McMartin defendants. In Politics, the Eberles wrote:

They are charged with what are generally viewed as the most loathsome acts in the entire penal code. There may be crimes of greater magnitude, such as murder and high treason, but none considered quite as detestable. There may be some forms of deviant behavior equally raunchy, but they do not embody the violation of the innocent and defenseless. The acts specified here are not benign pedophilia. What these people are charged with is the forcible rape of infants (italics added).10

Myers also stresses the Eberles' association with Finger, stating that it:

. . . featured explicit articles, photographs, and drawings of children involved in sexual acts, including sodomy and sexual intercourse with adults and other children.11

Myers concludes that the Eberles' past association with Finger reveals the real motivation behind their use of the term "benign pedophilia," which Myers labels as an oxymoron. Except for that "inadvertent reference," Myers complains, "nothing in the book belies the Eberles' alignment with child pornography."12

Defining Child Pornography

To determine if the Eberles were child pornographers first requires examining contemporary cultural views on pornography and human sexuality. Ann Wolbert Burgess, long considered by her colleagues as a leading authority on the sexual exploitation of children, cites J. S. DeLora and C. A. B. Warren, who define pornography as:

. . . the written, visual, or spoken presentation of sexual interaction or genitals . . . [usually for the purpose of creating] . . . a blend of entrepreneurial economics and sexuality; the making of money by the production and distribution of depictions of sexuality that will sexually arouse the consumers.13

Burgess also points to the general agreement that "kiddie porn" needs to be eliminated:

Consensus is growing that strict laws are required to prevent the use of children depicted in sexual acts and to punish offenders . . . (Italics added).14

Did the Eberles Violate Child Pornography Laws?

LAPD vice cops made many fruitless attempts to bring the Eberles to trial on obscenity charges. Former Finger layout artist Bob Moritz recalls that the Eberles were "pursued bitterly" by police in an effort to break them financially and stop publication of Finger and the L.A. Star. "Frequently, police cars would wait outside the building . . . and give them parking tickets for pulling out without their turn signals," Moritz recalls. The Eberles recall that police once seized material from their Beverly Hills office, and they estimate that they were arrested 30 times on obscenity charges that were all dropped. But, among all the Eberles' above detractors, only Ms magazine notes that years of surveillance by LAPD vice cop Donald Smith failed to produce any evidence. "There were a lot of photos of people [in Finger] who looked liked they were underage," Smith claimed, "but we could never prove it."15

Smith's statement contradicts Fredrickson's unfounded claim that Finger contained photographs of "sexually abused children." Rockwell's suggestion that he viewed nude photos of the Eberles and their children in Finger also seems disingenuous. Asked to clarify his claim, Rockwell responded that "somebody" told him that a picture he viewed (from Finger) showed the Eberles and their children together naked in a sexual context. But Rockwell said, in a telephone interview, that he forgot if the Eberle family was actually identified in the photo's caption. "In good conscience," he withdrew his claim.

No evidence of illegal child exploitation by the Eberles was found on the pages of Finger or anywhere else. But their lack of legal culpability doesn't necessarily shield them from moral culpability.

Did the Eberles Sexually Exploit Children?

Finger magazine was published during the tail end of great political and social change in America. Many social scientists, physicians and other "sex experts" during the 1960s and 70s depicted sexuality in general as benign and healthy.16 Even juvenile sexual behavior was sometimes presented without the obligatory "pathological consequences" or moral histrionics attached to it today by most professionals.17 Okami sees the best-selling book Show Me: A Picture Book of Sex for Children and their Parents (Out of Print) (Fleishchhauer-Hardt & McBride, 1975) as a manifestation of the rise and fall of that era of sexual liberalism. Show Me contained photographs of nude children and adults, including juvenile masturbation and intercourse, and was widely praised by sex experts and mainstream media reviewers, including Time magazine.18 It sold over 100,000 copies before its publisher issued a nationwide recall in an effort to avoid prosecution on child abuse or obscenity charges.19

Finger was a plebeian vulgarization of the chic sex ethic expressed in the polished prose and professional photos of the mainstream Show Me. It was also a natural outgrowth of the Eberles' past association with the L.A. Free Press, a radical left "underground" news weekly that flourished during the late 60s and shared the Eberles' libertarian/utopian philosophy of sex. The Eberles were, according to Moritz, "part of that whole kind of nice hippie movement. They weren't mean commercial people, and they weren't exploitative."20

Finger rejected the slick editorial trappings of standard sex magazines in exchange for non-commissioned articles, illustrations, and photographs by readers describing their sexual fantasies and histories. Professional models, photographers, and writers were rarely used, according to Moritz, and readers' stories were printed as received, complete with typos and misspellings.

The sexual subject matter of those articles covered a wide range: heterosexuality, homosexuality, transsexuality, transvestism, bestiality, S & M, urination, and exhibitionism. Readers also occasionally sent in stories about their childhood sex experiences or fantasies with incest and pedophilia. The theme that anyone can enjoy sex without shame ran throughout its pages.21

Finger's wide variety of sexual histories provided a "copious harvest of interesting information" that the Eberles had planned to use in a book and which Shirley intended to use for a doctoral dissertation in psychology. But as police harassment continued, and concern over potential legal problems mounted, financial problems ensued and publication of Finger ceased by the mid 70s. The Eberles have not been involved with the publication of any newspaper or magazine since the sale of the soft core L.A. Star several years ago.

The Eberles emphatically deny ever having had the slightest interest in any kind of sexual exploitation for either personal or monetary gain. They also claim that they penned articles in Finger and the Star denouncing the sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography.22 If that is true, it is consistent with the fact that not a single sentence in Politics or Abuse of Innocence could be reasonably construed as condoning child abuse of any kind. According to the Eberles, the term "benign pedophilia," noted by Myers, is used in Politics to imply pedophile relationships in which no sexual contact is involved, not to attribute a neutral moral value as Myers implies.

In chapter one of Politics ("Child Abuse Goes Public"), the Eberles carefully denounce past attitudes linked in the popular literature to the suppression of child sexual abuse. They recite the popular but flawed dogma that official response to child sex molestation constituted, until recently, a cover-up. In that vein they report, incorrectly, that "Until about two years ago stories about sexual molestation of children were not seen in the daily press (editors considered them unsuitable for publication in a respectable, family newspaper) or on television." In Politics, they cite the popular literature which states that child molestation has been, until now (1986) "a well kept secret":

Child victims have been afraid to talk, and the community has been reluctant to listen. Many child abusers have been pillars of the community, men of power and influence, while child witnesses lacked credibility. A number of books have appeared in the past three years, authored by victims and psychologists, telling us that the sexual abuse of children is far more prevalent than most of us suspect, and that most of the victims went through years of adult life without telling anyone (p. 10).23

The Eberles also follow in lock-step the popular dogma on Freud's treatise, the "Aetiology of Hysteria," offering it as proof that sex abuse is "extremely common" and is "one of the major causes of hysteria and other mental illness."24 Faithfully referring to Jeffrey M. Mason's book, The Assault on Truth (Paperback), the Eberles imply that Freud repudiated his theory in the face of voracious professional opposition to it;25 hence the modern world was for a long time unprepared to deal with the reality of child sex abuse. Thereafter, and continuing with The Abuse of Innocence, the Eberles break ranks with their critics by exposing and challenging the false theories and corrupt actions of monomaniacal prosecutors and therapists.

The Vested Interest In Child Exploitation: Part I

A rational evaluation of the Eberles' past association with "pornography" falls far short of damaging their credibility as prominent muckrakers. Finger's mainstay was adult-oriented material, not child sexuality. Depictions of child sexuality, in whatever context or for whatever purpose, hardly formed the axis of the magazine's sphere. Tyler's professional assessment of the Eberles supposed profundity as (child) pornographers is ludicrous, considering Finger's limited scope and influence in an estimated $.5 million to $2 billion-a-year industry.26

The child pornography smear seems to reflect the work of critics who have been less than candid about their own vested interest in child exploitation. The National Center's McCarthy-like attack on the Eberles is more understandable when one examines its background and finds that the Eberles far surpass the Center as objective presenters of fact. As a subsidiary of the National District Attorneys Association, the Center represents a powerful and reactionary special interest group whose agenda seems to be to use innocent children and adults to establish an inquisitorial system of justice. The Center's newsletter, Update, provides pro-prosecution analyses of McMartin, Kelly Michaels, Edenton and Souza — notorious sex abuse cases plagued by grossly unfair trials and "evidence" based on improperly done child interviews and, in the latter case, "repressed memories" as well. As a private, "non-profit," organization, the Center received $3,473,615 in federal grants between 1985 and 1991 from the U.S. Department of Justice, ostensibly to help prosecutors fight child abuse.

The Center's first major project was the publication of a 508-page manual, Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse, written primarily by former director Patricia Toth. The first edition cost taxpayers $660,871 and was sold to 8,500 prosecutors nationwide.27 One of its chapters instructs prosecutors on "Exploitative," "Neutralizing," and "Destructive" tactics for cross-examining expert defense witnesses in child abuse trials. Prosecutors are taught how to use "confusion and delay," how to exploit defense witnesses who are "honest, impressive, accurate and well liked by the jury" while avoiding "risky questions," how to select pro-prosecution jurors and how to appeal to their prejudices and sway them with irrelevant issues. Prosecutors are also advised not to tape child interviews lest the defense is able to point out improper interviewing techniques that may have led to false charges of abuse.28 The Center provides prosecutors with dossiers and cross-examination scripts to use during cross-examination of expert defense witnesses. An accompanying list of 60 potential expert defense witnesses includes the Eberles, even though they have never testified in a child abuse trial.

Vested Interests: Part II

Child pornographers may be teachers, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy, laborers — in sum, child pornographers are from all walks of life. (Det. Toby Tyler, in a prepared statement before the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Nov. 28, 1984)

It is an unheralded but ironic fact that the most enthusiastic and prolific purveyors of kiddie porn are sometimes able to openly indulge in their crime by concealing it in an evangelically thick wrap of sexophobia, including homophobia. By the late 1970s and early 80s, former LAPD detective Lloyd Martin had earned a national reputation for running a fanatical campaign against homosexuals and pedophiles. During vice raids, Martin confiscated alleged child pornography and stored it in his garage at home.29 He stirred public outrage during lectures to citizen groups by showing them samples from his stockpile, referring to the boys and girls within as his "children."30 In 1981, Martin made almost $9,000 for his private "non-profit" foundation from solicitations made at such meetings.31

Martin reportedly brought "hundreds" of kiddie porn magazines to a 1981 University of Boston Nursing School symposium on child sex abuse. The symposium was attended by prominent child sex abuse experts from across the country, including future McMartin legends Dr. Roland C. Summit and Kee MacFarlane.32 During his keynote address to the conference, according to witnesses, Martin showed slides of sex between gay adult males, including scenes of "fist fucking." He also walked among the audience with photos of an exploding enema type of device that he named "Big Bertha — The Balloon Buster." This device, he explained, was placed in a man's anus by boys to help the man realize a masochistic sex fantasy.33

But the prurient pinnacle of the conference was a slide presentation by Dean Ann W. Burgess, of UOB's School of Nursing, accompanied by photographic duplicates passed around the dinner table. Some children were shown in outdoor settings, others were urinating, and about a dozen more slides showed boys with erections, during acts of mutual masturbation, and in oral copulation. Burgess offered her expert analysis of the slides: Pedophiles seem to prefer red underwear and bathing suits on boys; several photos of boys wearing Halloween masks signifies a pattern of secrecy and sadomasochism; pedophiles like skinny boys because they [the pedophiles] are fat and like to fantasize about being skinny; the reason the boys in the photos appear to be smiling is because they have been drugged and queued, a common pedophile procedure; the outdoor nude scenes of boys are "very frequent" and indicate that "they [pedophiles] always want them outdoors." Burgess's remark, accompanied by a slide of two boys urinating, that child porn distributors received lots of orders for pictures of "golden showers" resulted in locker room laughter and vulgar remarks from the audience.34

Commission members, invited experts, and lay people alike viewed pornographic slides of children at public hearings held by the Meese Commission on Pornography in 1985, in Miami, Florida. Among the commission members who were allowed to hold and view slides of naked boys was anti-porn-pedophile-gay rights crusader Father Bruce Ritter, who five years later was forced to resign as head of Covenant House, a global chain of runaway child shelters that operated on an $85 million annual budget, after being accused by former boy residents of sexually molesting them.35

During a 1992 lecture at an international child abuse convention in San Diego, California, Toby Tyler showed slides and passed around copies of photographs of young children depicted in a hard core sexual context.36 One of the photograph/slides showed a completely naked 13-year-old girl smiling as she exposed her vagina to the camera in a spread eagle fashion. Another photograph/slide showed two naked boys, approximately 12-years-old, performing oral sex together.

The practice of pedophiliac voyeurism sharply contrasts with the popular image of law enforcement and mental health professionals as trusted protectors of children. Had Tyler forgotten his own words, given to Congress eight years earlier?: "Perpetuating the sexual victimization of children is the most insidious purpose of child pornography."37 At a 1977 Congressional hearing on child exploitation, Det. Martin testified that adult/child sex was a crime "worse than homicide," reasoning that at least death doesn't "destroy the boy's soul."38 In Boston he said that child pornography "is the ultimate crime" and that pedophiles should be locked away forever because they are incurably sick people who destroy "the boy's soul."39 But how did Martin's present behavior differ from that of such pedophiles? At the same conference, a photograph of a nude teenage girl was accompanied by the following moral refrain: "How ashamed she will be when she is a grandmother to know this photograph was taken. This damage is forever."40 If that was true, why was the girl's photograph being shown at that time?

Why Do They Do It?

What was the purpose of showing large audiences pornographic photographs and slides of identifiable and underaged children? Scientific discourse? Moral reform? Burgess's banal analysis of child erotica, accompanied by adolescent remarks from her colleagues and Martin's "Kiwanis-circuit" antics, gave the Boston conference the air of a stag show more than of a scientific symposium. It is doubtful that the highly politicized Meese Commission's public examination of naked children led to a rational discussion of or a reduction in child exploitation. And it is difficult to fathom how a child's dead "soul" or lost self-esteem, presumably the result of inclusion in child pornography, can be restored when child victims know that their bare photographic images will forever be vulnerable to intense scrutiny by people who publicly vilify those images for serving, to use Tyler's words, an "insidious purpose."

Expressing moral indignation over kiddie porn may be the most efficient form of political pandering, but it is also a sure fire way to act out deviant behavior behind the righteous shields of "feminist" or "family values" which preach that most sex is bad. Unfortunately, sex research indicates that teaching authoritarian sex-negative values, which form the basis of sexual purity crusades, actually encourages indulgence in taboo sexual practices.41 Tyler's pedo/child pornographer typology and Father Ritter's fall from grace, not to mention countless other sex scandals involving moral monomaniacs caught, so to speak, with their pants down, strongly suggest that anti kiddie-porn caucuses tend to reinforce thinly disguised and sexual apostasy.

But spurious moral posturing and political pandering that legitimize the revictimization of defenseless children are only part of the equation. Overtly or obliquely blended into the mix is, to paraphrase the Eberles, "racketeering," or in Burgess's words, cited above: "entrepreneurial economics: the making of money by the production and distribution of depicting of sexuality that will arouse the consumer." One great inspiration for the 1981 "Conference on Child Victimization" was provided by the landslide election of Ronald Reagan, who won by pandering to the sexo/homophobic "Moral Majority" and by promising to make severe cuts in social spending. Conference speaker Kee MacFarlane, soon to be axed from her job as a "child sexual abuse specialist" at the federal National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, smartly raised the suggestion that Reagan might be more likely to fund child molestation projects that emphasize the involvement of law enforcement agencies.42 As a former grant application reviewer for the U.S. Justice Department's Law Enforcement Assistant Administration, MacFarlane knew what she was talking about.43

In 1982 MacFarlane moved to Children's Institute International (CII), a Los Angeles agency that treated abused and neglected children. Her job was to write grant proposals for the struggling agency and run its fledgling sexual abuse diagnosis and treatment center.44 A short time later, MacFarlane also began work as a federal grant proposal reviewer for her former employer, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.45

MacFarlane's blend of political prowess and economic entrepreneurship created a toxic social potion that would eventually turn the name of a respected Southern California preschool into the symbol of the most notorious American "witch hunt" since Salem. The evolution of the so-called McMartin preschool case and the ascendancy of (CII), the agency under MacFarlane's direction, put in charge of interviewing the alleged child victims, is a classic example of the child pornographer's seduction techniques, and the entrepreneur ethic, in action, as outlined by Tyler, Burgess and other experts on pedophilia.

At first, the children must be drawn into the web of a perpetrator who has gained their trust. Then they must have their inhibitions carefully and methodically lifted. "Child molesters," Tyler told U.S. Senate investigators in 1984, "are known to relate in a child like manner to their target victims and frequently use an 'exploration' type approach to exploit their victims." Tyler also stated that:

The typical child exploiter will befriend the potential victim . . . and after establishing a trusting and "affectionate" relationship, will introduce the child to "kiddie porn." . . . The purpose of these methods of instruction to "kiddie porn" is to lower the inhibitions depicted in the material and to entice the child into participating in similar activity.46

No one mimics Tyler's perpetrator typology more snugly than Kee MacFarlane, who was once praised by Dr. Roland Summit, the well-known child molestation expert, for her "motherly, down-to-earth reassuring method that allows a child to trust her."47 In fact, MacFarlane's method of establishing trust with children and using that trust to maneuver and entice them would be the envy of the most skilled pedophile.

CII therapists began exploiting the McMartin children with a clever version of the exploration technique noted by Tyler, by drawing a human figure and bringing the sexual body parts to the special attention of the children. "Anatomically correct" dolls were then introduced to the children along with hand puppets. As this process continued, MacFarlane and other CII therapists interacted with the children as puppet characters, play acting in a "silly" manner, while quickly gaining their trust.48 Once the trust between child and therapist was established, the children were ready to be enticed, or, in a manner consistent with Tyler's thesis, the children were ready to be "tricked, coerced, or 'seduced' into participating in the production of child pornography . . . "49

MacFarlane's motherly manner then worked its magic. "She teases the information out," Summit noted, "while other therapists either discredit the child's assertion or assume it will come out spontaneously."50 Working frantically, at an average of two hours for each child and rarely taking "no" for an answer, the CII therapists, while leading, tricking, seducing and, some would argue, coercing, taught many of the children what semen might look, feel, and taste like and that sex was bad.51

When the CII therapists finished taking almost 400 children through the seduction process, they had in less than four months out done even the most prolific serial pedophiles and child pornography rings in the production and distribution of child pornography. That process was augmented by television and print journalists who wet the palates of their viewers and readers with generous portions of outrageously hyped stories recounting the sadistic sex fantasies created by CII therapists.

The most helpful media promoter was Wayne Satz, MacFarlane's new boyfriend and the reporter who broke the McMartin story for television KABC's "Eyewitness News" in Los Angeles.52 About 10 years before McMartin, Satz had been a suspect in another sex scandal, the Hillside Strangler case, much more grisly than McMartin because it had 10 real multiple victims — all women. The suspicion of Satz was based on reports from prostitutes who allegedly encountered his sadistic and "satanic" sexual demands and noted his intense interest in the Hillside corpses.53 His tabloid style serial reporting of the grisly accounts of child rape, pornography and animal mutilation provoked a copycat media reporting frenzy that made the innocent McMartin defendants infamous while lionizing MacFarlane as the savior of sexually abused children.

The media was also helpful when MacFarlane used those fantasies, coupled with scare tactics, at a nationally televised hearing before Congress, to appeal for more funds for her struggling agency.54 The ruse succeeded and CII began raking in millions of dollars more annually in government and private grants, making the agency, by far, arguably the most profitable child exploitation/kiddie porn ring in the history of Western Civilization.55

If the McMartin defendants had been found guilty of operating the lucrative child exploitation/kiddie-porn ring the District Attorney accused them of operating, they would have been sentenced to numerous consecutive life sentences.56 The necessary evidence was never found and there is absolutely no reason to believe that it ever existed. But the McMartin defendants spent from months to years in jail and lost their life savings before being freed. For pointing that out, the Eberles have been vilified by real child exploiters, "The Racketeers," who hide behind hypocritical rhetoric as they continue, with impunity, to commit heinous crimes against children and adults.


1 See John Earl, "The Dark Truth About 'The Dark Tunnels of McMartin,'" Issues In Child Abuse Accusations 77(2) (Spring 1995), pp. 123-35; See also The Backlash: Child Protection Under Fire (Hardcover)(Paperback), John E. B. Myers (Ed.), Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1994.  [Back]

2 "Whose Politics?" Update, May, 1988.  [Back]

3 Patricia Toth, Facts, Fallacies and Hidden Agendas: Current Issues in Child Abuse Intervention 1990. (Tape recorded speech in author's possession.)  [Back]

4 Debbie Nathan and Mike Snedeker, Satan's Silence (Hardcover)(Paperback), New York: Basic Books, 1995, p. 236.  [Back]

5 Based on Toth's remarks at 1990 convention op. cit. and Jan Hollingsworth, "Suffer The Children," The Tampa Tribune, July 25, 1993.  [Back]

6 Jan Hollingsworth, "Suffer The Children," The Tampa Tribune, July 25, 1993.  [Back]

7 Copy of a letter (in author's possession) signed by Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, August 16, 1993.  [Back]

8 Lloyd deMause, "Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children," The Journal of Psychohistory, 21(4), Spring, 1994, p. 506.  [Back]

9 Robert B. Rockwell, "One Psychiatrist's View of Satanic Ritual Abuse," The Journal of Psychohistory, 21(4), Spring, 1994, pp. 450-451. Rockwell misnames the Eberles' first book on the McMartin case, The Politics of Child Abuse, as Pity the Little Children: The Politics of Child Abuse. In footnote # 7, Rockwell states, "I have seen copies of Finger at various conferences on Child Abuse." This footnote is Rockwell's reference for the assertion that the magazine contained nude photos of the Eberles and their children.  [Back]

10 Paul and Shirley Eberle, The Politics of Child Abuse (Hardcover), Secaucus: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1986, p. 18, cited in Myers, op. cit. p. 99.  [Back]

11 Ibid. p. 18.  [Back]

12 Ibid. p. 18.  [Back]

13 Delora and Warren, "Understanding Sexual Interaction," pp. 332-333; cited in Ann Wolbert Burgess, Psychiatric Nursing in the Hospital and the Community (Out of Print)(Out of Print)(Out of Print)(Out of Print)(Out of Print), Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1981, p. 169.  [Back]

14 Ibid, pp. 169-70.  [Back]

15 "A Strange Pair of Experts," Ms. (December 1988).  [Back]

16 Paul Okami, "Child Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse: The Emergence of a Problematic Deviant Category," Journal of Sex Research, 29(1), 1992, p. 109-130.  [Back]

17 Ibid[Back]

18 Ibid[Back]

19 Ibid; In a telephone interview with the author (September, 1995) Paul Eberle stated that the photography referred to by Rockwell was, to the best of his recollection, probably reproduced from Show Me.  [Back]

20 Telephone interview with the author (approximate date, December 1990).  [Back]

21 As is shown in this editorial appeal for reader material that appeared in issue Number 7, viewed by the author: "Yes, dear reader, take up your pen, your camera, the microphone of your cassette recorder, and write us a letter . . . No more glossy, air-conditioned, slick, un real supermarket-jet set-sex magazines. No more big photo studio's (sic) with carreergirls (sic) on the go in big glass & steel offices. . . . Just plain folks like you and me. Just act normal, that's crazy enough already. You can do everything in Finger that you want to do. That's why you can expect anything in this fast growing Fanzine . . . If you make a horny tape at home and send it to is, you can be on one of the next Finger tapes. Yes we're are all stars in Finger. If you (sic) kids make porno drawing (do you get it on with them?) send them to us. If you have a private jerk-off photo-collection share them with us, we love to see the pics that got you off. If you think you're too far out for daylight . . . Finger is wide open for you. Take up your instamatic or Nikon and we will tell you how to make you (sic) own photo's (sic) and have fun. Just turn the page and enter our family." A sampling of the same issue includes the following articles: "How to make your own photographs while being sucked and fucked in them"; "Betty Loves you," the self-described saga of a happily married middle-aged woman of the joys that she and her husband receive when he watches her have sex with other men (complete with explicit photographs); "Joy and Willem Tried it in L.A.'s Rush Hour: It's Great, It's Safe," a how-to article (with photographs) by a husband/wife team describing the joys and frustrations (nobody noticed them) of having exhibitionistic sex while driving along Santa Monica Blvd. during the rush hour; "Karen and Brad," a photo essay of them making love; "Make Yourself An Altar And Pray For Lana's [Lana Turner's] Panties," in the "Religion" section; illustrations from a book by Marquis de Sade; and, in "The Amputee Section," an article with photographs called "Love Without Arms," about women amputees who enjoy a full sex life.

Finger was laced with raw humor and occasional satire. The "Religion" and "Amputee" sections, for example, satirized Time magazine's compartmentalization of news issues. The Eberles themselves got into the act when they posed for the cover photo that showed them each smiling and holding, but not copulating with (contrary to Hollingsworth's assertion) life-size inflatable "human" dolls.  [Back]

22 Interview with Paul and Shirley Eberle, October, 1995.  [Back]

23 Extra familial, if not intrafamilial, child sex abuse was no secret to J. Edgar Hoover and the popular media, however. In the 1960s J. Edgar Hoover warned America's adults and children about the dangers of strangers and child molesters, who were often regarded as one and the same. A "clip and save" article written by Hoover, "Warning To U.S. Teenagers," advises teenagers "Don't invite trouble! Here are ten rules that every parent should make sure his youngster knows." Hoover suggested that young people report improper advances from strangers and pornography owned by their friends, and that they avoid suggestive clothing, hitchhiking and blind dates. Other advice included staying with the group at outing, avoiding "lovers' lanes," and being fully dressed at home in case of peeping toms. Hoover's advice was aimed mainly at teenage girls, but Hoover and the popular press in general in the 50s and 60s were concerned for children of both sexes and all ages. An ad by the Laura Scudders potato chips company showed a young boy making the Cub Scouts' two fingered honor salute and saying "I promise never to accept rides from strangers." In a 1961 Los Angeles Herald & Express article, Hoover is quoted, warning parents about the danger to boys and girls of "sex offenders." He also railed against alleged parole board leniency that allowed a convicted rapist to go free. The article also highlights a program that designates certain houses along a child's school route as places "where youngsters may seek assistance should they be accosted by a stranger.

During the 1950s, newspaper headlines and articles about "child molesters," "sex offenders," or "sexual psychopaths" who victimized either boys or girls were common. An unscientific sampling of those stories, mostly from the mid-50s, attributes most attacks to strangers, but also mentions the potential danger from neighbors, family friends, teachers and other respected professionals or, least frequently of all, members of the family.

There was also concern about the treatment of child witnesses/victims of sex abuse and their reliability. An article in the Los Angeles Mirror News, July 28, 1955 "COURT SCORES D.A., FREE CHILD WITNESS," summarizes the conflict between the District Attorney and the District Court over the juvenile court's handling of an 8-year-old girl who had allegedly been molested by her grandfather. After the grandfather was arrested for the alleged molestation the juvenile court took custody of the girl and institutionalized her with the justification that her parents might influence her to deny the alleged molestation.

The juvenile court denied the parents' appeal to have her freed on a writ of habeas corpus. However, the District Court overruled the juvenile court, stating that it had no right to detain the minor simply to use her as a witness, and accused it of "delay, evasion, opposition and lack of cooperation" for refusing to disclose the girl's location or return her to her parents.

Other articles detail other child abuse-related issues that are also hotly debated today. One refers to a defendant who was freed because the 5-year-old child witness against him was crying too much to testify; a judge later recommended that a grand jury be convened in a child abuse case involving three men in order to "eliminate the necessity of child victims of sex crimes testifying at preliminary hearing . . . where they are subject to cross-examination."

A 1956 Mirror-News feature article on child molestation quotes a spokesperson for the sheriff's juvenile division claiming that "Contrary to what the public thinks, children are often much better identification witness than adults." The same article quotes a Beverly Hills psychiatrist, Dr. Frederick J. Hacker, who advised police to "modify their questioning of young victims and wherever possible have trained social workers conduct such interviews."  [Back]

24 Paul and Shirley Eberle, The Politics of Child Abuse (Hardcover), Secaucus: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1986, pp. 10-11.  [Back]

25 The controversy overshadows the more salient fact that to this day there is little scientific evidence to support either the seduction theory or the Freudian concept of repression, both of which nevertheless figure prominently in today's community of recovery therapists who treat children and adults who supposedly repressed memories of ritual sexual abuse at the hands of their parents or other adults; See John F. Kihlstrom, The Recovery of Memory in the Laboratory and Clinic, paper presented at the 1993 joint convention of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association and the Western Psychological Association, Phoenix, April 1993. Copy in author's possession.  [Back]

26 Det. Bill Dworin, Los Angeles Police Department, testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Nov. 28, 1984, p. 45.; see also, Lawrence A. Stanley, Esq. "The Hysteria Over Child Pornography And Paedolphilia," Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia, Autumn 1987, no. 2.  [Back]

27 United States Department of Justice, (Grant no. 86JNCXK001) PAL Report 101, July 9, 1991.  [Back]

28 Debbie Nathan and Mike Snedeker, op. cit. p. 226.  [Back]

29 "Officer Finds FameÑand Misfortune," Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1982.  [Back]

30 Ibid.   [Back]

31 Ibid.   [Back]

32 Pan #8, April 1981; "NAMBLA Vs. The Mega-Erotophobiacs," an account of the event by Tom Reeves and Mitzel.  [Back]

33 Ibid.   [Back]

34 Pan, op. cit.   [Back]

35 As reported to the author by Daniel Tsang, author and Social Sciences Librarian for the University of California at Irvine, who also attended the conference; The Guide, 10(3), March, 1990.  [Back]

36 Witnessed by the author at The 1992 San Diego Conference on Responding to Child Maltreatment, In Cooperation With: American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower, and the California Professional Society on the Abuse of Children; Sponsored by the Children's Hospital of San Diego. A workshop on "Computerized Solicitation of Children for Sexual Exploitation," with Toby Tyler and Pete Zadorozny.  [Back]

37 Prepared Statement to The United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, November 29, 1984, p. 100.  [Back]

38 U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Sexual Exploitation of Children: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Crime, 95th Congress, 1st session, 1977.  [Back]

39 Mitzel, op. cit.   [Back]

40 Ibid.   [Back]

41 For example, the view of Dr. John Money, a leading expert on pedophilia, whose studies show that sex criminals were often raised in sexually repressive families. Money states that ". . . current repressive attitudes toward sex will breed an ever-widening epidemic of aberrant sexual behavior." Quoted in the New York Times, January 23, 1990 and cited in Marcia Pally, Sense & Censorship: The Vanity of Bonfires (Out of Print), New York: Americans for Constitutional Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, 1991, p. 126.  [Back]

42 Mitzel, NAMBLA Vs. The Mega-Erotophobiacs: The Confrontation between Sexual Freedom & Sexual Repression at the Conference on Child Victimization: Pornography, Prostitution & Sex Rings; Boston University School of Nursing, Boston, March 12, 1981. No date. Copy in author's possession.  [Back]

43 Kee MacFarlane's Curriculum Vitae, copy in author's possession.  [Back]

44 Kee MacFarlane, Curriculum Vitae, copy in author's possession; John Earl, "The Dark Truth About 'The Dark Tunnels of McMartin,'" Issues In Child Abuse Accusations, 7(2), Spring 1995, p. 80; Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker, Satan's Silence, New York: Basic Books, 1995, p. 77: Nathan and Snedeker report that when MacFarlane arrived at CII, one to two children a week underwent diagnosis at its sexual abuse unit.  [Back]

45 Kee MacFarlane, Curriculum Vitae, copy in author's possession.  [Back]

46 Prepared statement to the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Nov. 28, 1984, p. 100.  [Back]

47 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, April 8, 1984.  [Back]

48 Paul and Shirley Eberle, The Abuse of Innocence (Hardcover), Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1993, p. 245.  [Back]

49 Toby Tyler, op. cit. p. 101.  [Back]

50 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, April 8, 1984.  [Back]

51 Paul and Shirley Eberle, op. cit.   [Back]

52 See David Shaw's Los Angeles Times series on McMartin media coverage, beginning January 19, 1990.  [Back]

53 Defense investigator's report to Daniel Davis, attorney for Raymond Buckey.  [Back]

54 John Earl, op. cit., p. 80.  [Back]

55 Ibid.   [Back]

56 Ibid., p. 80: The terms ranged from 96 to 776 years; "Pornography Was Main Aim of Preschool, D.A. Charges," Los Angeles Times, March 28, 1984. Deputy District Attorney Eleanor Barrett stated that the school's owners and teachers sold "millions of child pornography photographs and films" and that "It was abundantly clear that all income from the operation of (this) school was a fraud upon parents of the enrolled parents." No pornography was ever found, despite a massive search.  [Back]

John Earl is a freelance journalist.  He contributed research material used in The Abuse of Innocence (Hardcover) by Paul and Shirley Eberle.  He is currently working as a researcher and organizer for a union, and can be contacted through the Institute for Psychological Therapies, 5263 130th Street East, Northfield, MN 55057-4880[top]

John Earl: E-mail

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