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The Peron Allegations: Part Two: The Hall of Mirrors

Thu 24 Mar 2005 In: True Stories View at NDHA

With the personalities of some of the New Zealanders investigating a series of allegations into contributor Jim Peron established (see Part 1 of our story), we can now turn to the burning question at the centre of it all: is there a grain of truth to be found in the ever-growing web of rumour? To answer this question, we must go back to the 1980s and speak to sources in San Francisco who were associated with Jim Peron and/or his bookstore, Free Forum Books, to some degree at that time, and weigh these recollections against Peron's own, a job made difficult because Peron is currently out of the country, and could only be reached via email. Of the people we spoke to in the United States, all were very friendly and helpful, and seemed to have no hidden agenda to push. Almost all expressed some bemusement that the political beliefs of Jim Peron, a man with whom they had not been associated with for 15+ years, had become such a major issue in the media and Parliament in a country on the other side of the world. So far, sources we spoke to (and indeed, Peron's accusers) have been able to agree that no evidence exists to prove that Peron was or is an active paedophile, or had ever engaged in sex with minors. But how involved was he in promoting or advocating adult/minor sexual relations back in 1980s San Francisco libertarian circles? What were his beliefs at that time? The San Francisco Chronicle reported on March 7, 1988 that then 28-year-old David Simons had been arrested on charges of child molestation and showing pornography to a minor. Peron has acknowledged that Simons was a part-time employee in his bookstore. THE MAN BOY LOVE CONNECTION The Chronicle went on to say that Simons was a former member of NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association, who continued to attend NAMBLA meetings at the bookstore up until his arrest. “Free Forum Books, at 1800 Market Street, continues to host NAMBLA meetings and to sell NAMBLA literature, including explicit but legal fictional accounts of men having sex with boys as young as 8,” wrote Chronicle staff writer Edward Lempinen. Peron has acknowledged previously that the NAMBLA Bulletin was sold in his bookstore. What material is typically found in this publication? According to NAMBLA's website, it “contains news, fiction, feature articles, pictures, reviews of films, recordings and books, and a regular column of letters from boys and boy-lovers. It is [currently] available on newsstands and at gay and lesbian bookstores throughout the United States and Europe.” A sampling of articles from back issues of the Bulletin are available online. Pictures of young boys clearly under the age of 16, sometimes semi-nude, grace the cover. Advocation of sex with children is a common theme of the articles to be found inside. “Slightly over a century ago, a new and hitherto unknown kind of aggression began to arise: the aggression against people who love children and want to express their love for them with bodily tenderness,” writes Dr. Edward Brongersma, described as a “well-known scholar and proponent of inter-generational relationships.” He's also a convicted sex offender who served time for sex with a minor. Another sex offender correspondent is “Martin”, whose epistles beam live from the county jail. He outlines at length the injustices he feels have been dealt to him, how “inhuman” and “cruel” his punishment, and how bad the food is. “Just because I looked after, loved and cared for several boys over a number of years, boys who were my good friends as I was theirs; and allegedly allowed that love to develop naturally into physical affection (for, remember, here in Amerika hugging is against the law),” he writes. Yet another article, disturbing in a different and twisted way, is entitled “Letter From a Twelve-Year-Old”. This alleged 12-year-old boy, who identifies as gay, believes that NAMBLA are crusaders for gay rights rather than promoters of paedophilia. “Hello! I want to dispel the myth that children do not have the ability to decide what they want to do with their lives,” he writes. “Age is an irrelevant factor in the ability to comprehend rationally. There are totally irrational and totally irresponsible adults out in the world.” "I believe in gay liberation,” he continues. “Gay liberation must include all aspects of the sexual freedom struggle. Young gays should be made to feel at home in the gay community. The gay rights lobby denounces the ‘lunatic fringe' groups (boy lovers, TVs, S   Chris Banks - 24th March 2005

Credit: Chris Banks

First published: Thursday, 24th March 2005 - 12:00pm

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