Vol. 2 No. 3

June 2003

eI logo

--e*I*8-- (Vol. 2 No. 3) June 2003, is published and © 2003 by Earl Kemp. All rights reserved.
It is produced and distributed at least quarterly through http://efanzines.com by Bill Burns in an e-edition only.

2003 FAAn Awards

By Earl Kemp

The 2003 Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards were presented in April 2003 at Corflu Badger in Madison, Wisconsin.

I didn't even know I was in the running for anything, so the announcement of the awards and the runners-up came as a total surprise to me. I felt very flattered indeed.

In the category "Best Fanzine," won by Randy Byers, Andy Hooper, and carl Juarez for Chunga, with 98 points, eI by Earl Kemp placed 12th, with 9 points.

In the category "Best Fan Writer," won by Randy Byers with 68 points, I tied with 6 points with Lenny Bailes, Alison Freebairn, Arthur Hlavaty, Jo Walton, and Kate Yule.

In the category "Best New Fanzine Fan," won easily by John Teehan with 36 points, I tied with 4 points with Julianne Chatelaine.

It was, as the cliché rightly states, a great honor to be included among the list of those recognized for their publishing efforts in the year 2003.

My ezine eI began in January 2002 and, after one and one half years of continuous publication, is now in its eighth issue. We are proud of ourselves and our early recognition as a promising neofan.

We thank everyone who voted for us and promise to try to do better this year. Watch!


IN THE LAST QUARTER, in the midst of losing a few stellar science fiction lights, among others, I lost two very good personal friends.

Henry Beck and I go back to the 1950s before the beginning of time. He was husband to the fabled Martha Beck and brother to the incomparable Sally Rand. Those of us who knew and loved Hank wish him well. We'll catch up later.

This is one of the few pieces of original artwork by Harry Bremner that I managed to save after it was used on the book cover of GC240. It represents Harry at his very best.

The second personal friend that I lost was my old working buddy, Harry Bremner. Harry actually died some time ago but they failed to notify me until now. From the mid 1960s and on into the 70s, Harry Bremner was Design Director of Greenleaf Classics, Inc. And he was one hell of a line artist. He could do just about anything with pen and ink and he had a great sense of line and balance, of color and perspective.

Working closely together with Robert Bonfils, the world's greatest cover artist, Harry's hand-lettered book titles and overall designs trademarked the Golden Age of Greenleaf sleaze, which, naturally, meant the Golden Age of Sleaze, Period.

Harry was an R collector…his secret middle name…and he used it everywhere. He was the Rt Department, for example, and he gathered his Rs where he found them and claimed them as his own and brought them home to his enormous R collection. And, Harry did something very personal for special occasions like birthdays…he would hand-make something quite special as a gift.

I have a number of those gifts and I treasure them very much…one or two of them will be used throughout this issue of eI in tribute to Harry's vast talents.


Lance Casebeer, The Godfather of Paperback Collectors, died in May. He was the Prime Authority on and Collector of complete runs of paperbacks of all paperback publishers, by publisher. He was also owner of The World Class Collection of paperbacks containing many known and verified one-of-a-kind items.

Then, too, the quarter saw the loss of John Foyster, Ben Jason, Roy Tackett, and Harry Warner, Jr., the senior historian and fanzine collector…

I have known Harry Warner, Jr. for over half a century, and found him often very helpful to me, including with my ezine eI itself. Way back when, in the 1960s, he was already recognized as the ultimate authority on science fiction fandom, fan editors, fanzines, and anything related. Along the way, he wrote thousands of articles and even more thousands of letters of comment to eagerly expectant faneditors, and authored two very essential books about the genre, All Our Yesterdays (Advent, 1969) and A Wealth of Fable (SCIFI Press, 1992). His unequalled collection of science fiction fanzines has been designated for the science fiction collection at the University of California, Riverside.


THIS ISSUE OF eI is dedicated to my good friend Louis Katz…attorney for the defense…man among men; Give 'em hell, Lou!

And, as always, everything within eI bearing my byline is part of my in-progress, rough-draft memoirs. I would appreciate any corrections, expansions, illustrations, photographs, jpegs, etc. that you would care to pass along to earlkemp@citlink.net and I thank you in advance.

My insufficient gratitude, as always, goes to my partner Bill Burns who not only makes eI possible but also manages to make me look good at the same time. If there was ever a man who has more than earned his awards for significant efforts on behalf of fandom…he is Bill Burns.

For this issue, I am pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member. Dave Locke has joined the eI staff in the position of Grand Quote Master. His subtle handiwork can be found separating the articles throughout this issue and they are well worth the price of admission alone.

We are very pleased, this quarter, to bring you Victor Banis' third installment in his "Virgin" series plus the long-withheld second and final part of Stephen J. Gertz' "A Galaxy of Porn in San Diego."

Many people made this issue of eI possible. Here are a few of them: Victor J. Banis, Robert Bonfils, Harry Bremner, Bruce Brenner, Stephen J. Gertz, Alexis Gilliland, Dwain Kaiser, Terry Kemp, Tom Lesser, Lynn Munroe, William Rotsler, Robert Speray, and Charlie Williams.

In fact, Charlie's artwork, "Gotcha, Fucker!' Portrait of The Evil One as Richard Nixon, in "Taps," merits special mention and a long, hard look into the face of the criminally depraved past.

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
                  --Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trial

All of Us Virgins*
Or I Lost It at the Book Store

By Victor J. Banis

Victor Banis in 1996.

Years, years ago, in a world far, far away, I wrote a query letter to Publishers' Weekly suggesting an article on the California paperback publishing industry. Naïve, perhaps, but bear in mind, I was only recently bereft of my virginity.

"We are not interested in material on California's sex publishers," that magazine sniffed in reply.

Well, yes, Auntie Em, there was sometimes a sexual element to what was being published in the sixties in California, though I don't think it behooves you to be too disdainful. Let's see if I have your family story right: a tornado picks up the clan's manse and drops it into a strange place thousands of miles to the west. Within minutes your niece has encountered an old bag with a shoe fetish and a suspiciously happy fairy, she is glorified by the "little people"-who, after all, define "star"--and before the day is out she's on a trip with a heavy metal dude who pesters her for lube jobs, a guy with no brains, and an enormous, if timorous, pussy. Tell me we're not talking California.

Let's face it, if the Constitution had been written in California, the Bill or Rights would have addressed a number of sexual questions directly.

Nevertheless, Auntie, the California publishers of the sixties and seventies did not invent sex and they surely weren't the first to think of using sex to peddle their books. There are some covers on Fawcett and Gold Medal books from the fifties and sixties that make the covers of Greenleaf and Brandon House Books look like kindergarten primers. And Greenleaf Classics and Brandon House had better artists, too.

What the California guys did that was different was they just said that sex was okay (I know, you are saying even now, "So California…") and then they refined it a bit. In case you didn't know what to do with those old leather portieres, for instance, Larry Townsend was now available to give advice.

But the real point was, no more skulking and hair shirts. Well, yes, I can see that there might have been one or two individuals with hair-shirt fetishes, and I have no doubt that somewhere along the way a book or even two addressed that particular subject-I shall have to ask Earl.

I will confess, I myself never got much past Gay Sex 101, but there is a limit to what you can expect of a fifties boy from the Midwest Bible Belt. I was well into adulthood before I even learned what "shrimping" was. Hmmm. All right, I can see that my little toes resemble shrimp, sort of; in any event, as closely as they resemble piggies. And it was just last year that someone explained "figging" to me. Now, for those of you scratching your heads (or wherever), figging involves slices of ginger and anal cavities and I shall leave you to figure out the details for yourselves. Who thinks up these things anyway, is what I want to know? I mean, there you are in your kitchen, whipping up a stir-fry, and…well, it seems like quite a leap of imagination if you ask me. And please don't talk to me about bell peppers.

Somebody explain something to me. I can sorta understand homosexuals who are into being feminine and, in essence, adopting the traditional female role. But I don't understand homosexual men who are into sex with virtually female men. Why not just get a woman? Or sex with a man. I really don't understand it.
I mean, I know people do it and God knows I've known all kinds of explanations, rationales, or whatever over the years. Am I strange or something? Perhaps not empathetic? I can understand sex with another man (as a man) better than I can synthetic females.
I suppose it is mostly mental, i.e., different attitudes. A woman wants, expects certain things, tangible and intangible. A man, as a woman, perhaps wouldn't. There is enough sexual variety in my readership that I know someone will have some kind of explanation for me.
                  --William Rotsler 19 Mar 84 Masque

But I was discussing the East Coast prejudice toward California publishing, wasn't I? I don't know exactly how anal cavities got into it, these things just have a habit of getting away from me.

Anyway, I want to tell you that by this late date that anti-West-Coast bias has disappeared from the publishing world.

I really would like to tell you that, but alas, it isn't true, the eastern publishing scene is still as New-York-centric as it ever was.

Cover design for Victor Banis' Only A Boy by Harry Bremner.

I recently read, for example, Pulp Friction by Michael Bronski (St. Martins/Griffin Press). Bronski is unquestionably today's premier chronicler of gay culture and gay history, which I feel makes it all the more unfortunate that his take on the subject is so geographically lopsided.

For instance: to attribute One magazine (which was published by One, Inc. in Los Angeles) to San Francisco's Mattachine Society (who published their own Mattachine Review) is an unfortunate mistake that at the least ought to have been caught by his (New York) editor, or certainly mentioned in one of the many and glowing reviews by (New York) critics. Those two organizations and their publications-the first in this country--were important, indeed major elements in gay history, and deserve to be treated with a tad more respect.

More telling, however, is the emphasis on early East Coast publishers of gay material coupled with the almost total indifference to anything west of the Pennsylvania turnpike. Greenberg Publishers, an early operation in New York City, and H. Lynn Womack's Guild Press out of Washington, DC get a page each. (As an aside, I might mention that I was approached in the late sixties by Womack, to see if I might be interested in writing for him - alas, Womack was notorious for not paying his writers, and I declined the honor.)

I don't mean to disparage those Easterners whose early efforts made a real contribution to our eventual freedom. It is just that, in contrast, Fresno publishers Aday and Maxey, whose 25-year prison sentences for publishing gay paperbacks remains one of the most infamous chapters in our story, get no mention at all. Not a word about Milton Luros. Sherbourne Press gets a single nod, and Greenleaf Classics is named only as the publisher of several of the books from which Bronski quotes.

By the by, Bronski also denounces as a myth the long held view of pre-Stonewall gay fiction as guilt laden and tragically ended, without making clear that this becomes a myth only when one includes the gay material published from the mid-sixties on…which is to say, mostly the products of the West Coast pulp publishers, and most of that from Greenleaf Classics.

The difficulty, of course, comes with that "pre-Stonewall" point of demarcation. I've touched on this subject before and, really, the dividing line as I've already suggested should be Before Earl Kemp and After Earl Kemp. If you look at these pulps from that angle, you will find that the earlier novels-and there were no more than two or three dozen of them-were indeed crammed with guilt and shame, and with rare exception did end in tragedy.

While publishers of the fifties and early sixties were not bound by anything so rigid as the movies' Hayes' Office code, neither did they exist in a vacuum. You could write about or publish all sorts of "sinful" behavior, and make a case that you were simply educating the reading public to the existence of such wickedness-presumably so they might be motivated to stamping it out.

You could not, however, be seen to espouse such behavior-say by showing happy homosexuals, which would have left you open to legal difficulties, even criminal charges. And, yes, Dorothy, that did happen. The postal authorities refused to mail an early issue of One, for instance, because it had an ad for the Swiss magazine Der Kreis. The trial judge read that particular issue of Der Kreis, which included a story by Rudy Burkhardt named "All This and Heaven Too" (with no actual sexual content), and declared, "Such stories are obscene, lascivious, and lewd."

So, it was not just a tradition, but an important legal defense, in publishing gay novels, to show that these were bad people doing naughty things, for which they must be punished by book's end, either by cure or kill.

I've already pointed out at length that it was the arrival of Greenleaf Classics-and more specifically of Earl Kemp-that so dramatically and forever changed the nature of gay publishing. Writers like Chris Davidson (A Different Drum, EL381) and Marcus Miller (The Mother Truckers, CB558) now wrote about characters with complex emotions and sexual desires whose stories often do indeed turn out happily - which makes it I think peculiar that Bronski, otherwise so erudite, seems not to know of Greenleaf's role in this subject - or, chooses to ignore it, which may be that ol' East magic at work again.

What is odder still, at least to me, is that there is probably no publishing house with such an intriguing history. Earl has already told that story elsewhere, at length and far better (and, let's face it, with more insight) than I could. But the very secret "black box" nature of the enterprise is wonderfully intriguing, isn't it? So secret society. Not to mention the coming together of big name literary agent Scott Meredith and sci-fi/fantasy Wunderkind William Hamling, for the specific purpose of creating a "porn factory."

And I am quite sure that no one else in the pulp field had such an A-list of authors who became overnight porn virgins, a status that seems to me to merit mention. Though to be honest, if John Jakes ever pens an autobiography, I doubt very much if he is likely to mention writing steamy paperbacks for Greenleaf as J.X. Williams, or Hal Dresner as Don Holliday. Likewise Evan Hunter, whose left-handed material was published under the Dean Hudson pseudonym. Donald Westlake wrote as Alan Marshall, Lawrence Block was Andrew Shaw, and there were others (Richard Curtis, Robert Silverberg, Marian Zimmer Bradley, etc.) who would surely raise an eyebrow.

My point is not outing these authors, but that there surely wasn't another "porn" publisher with an author's stable like Greenleaf's. I should think if you were going to write of the pulp fiction scene, those names would be irresistible.

Well, I wasn't among that august group myself-I was more the B list, or maybe J or KY - and I've already written elsewhere of the loss of my virginity - a tragic tale and one which really needs a Bronte or a Flaubert to do it justice. But I was not alone in my loss. Sam Dodson (Donny and Clyde by Sam Dodd), John Maggi (Go Down In The Valley by John Maggi), Harold Harding (Murder On Queer Street by Gene Evans) George Davies (Lights Out, Little Hustler by Lance Lester) - in a sense, the suddenness of Greenleaf's impact on gay publishing had made virgins of us all.

We were in uncharted territory certainly, and it was indeed a heady experience. If we mostly didn't start out to be heroes, we certainly knew that we were changing the publishing world - and most decidedly the gay publishing world - in ways that only a year or two earlier we could not have imagined.

It wasn't only me and my writers, of course, nor was it only Greenleaf. Despite the scarcity of gay material and the risks of publishing it, Barney Rosset published John Retchy's City of Night in 1964, a landmark not simply in gay publishing but in gay literature. And Lonnie Coleman's Sam did indeed have a happy ending, all the way back in 1959 (a fact celebrated in Der Kreis). But these were exceptions.

Song of the Loon, the movie, was filmed in Northern California. Every hunky high school jock in the surrounding area was hired, full body painted, and entertained.
Location photo by Earl Kemp dated 1970.

From the mid-sixties on, Earl and Greenleaf were committed to stretching the boundaries so far as printed material was concerned. Richard Love's Loon Trilogy, for instance (Song of the Loon, Song of Aaron and Listen The Loon Sings, by Richard Amory) created a sensation when they appeared in the late sixties, as much for their cowboys-and-indians-in-the-bushes subject matter as for the state-of-the-crotch sex. Song of the Loon was made into a 1970 movie, certainly a breakthrough in gay history (it was not the first gay film, however; that distinction belongs to The Gay Deceivers from 1969) and the books inspired a spoof, Fruit of the Loon by Ricardo Armory, none other than old friend George Davies - though it seemed to me that the original trio were spoofy enough on their own. In West Hollywood circles, the novels' characters were affectionately known as The Loon Ladies.

At the same time, others were challenging the old rules in various fields. Now, the restrictions on gay stories were nothing at all compared to the terror inspired in governmental quarters by the depiction of any sort of male nudity, gay, straight, or sideways. I have never quite understood this. After all, the body is where we live, like it or not. Some call it our temple (though I may as well confess, a friend accuses me of treating mine over the years as more of an amusement park). And if you are going to be entirely frank, the penis is what the male body is all about, isn't it? I mean, the whole point? Face it, a man can do whatever he wants with his toes or his nose, but unless the big sausage is involved, it isn't going to result in any little wienies.

The ancients understood this. The Egyptian God Atum boasted that with his fist as a spouse he had created every being. No penis panic there. And the Greeks weren't the least bit shy about male nudity. They saw the erection as a symbol of the spiritual life force - remember those dinner plates in La Cage Aux Folles? It is worth mentioning, I suppose, that the Greeks mostly admired the small and delicate appendage, a preference that got turned about somewhere along the way, I'm not sure where, but certainly before that enormous spewing all over Pompeii.

Size aside, the Romans mostly took their cues from the Greeks, only they got even bawdier. Charlton Heston notwithstanding, it wasn't all chasing one another around the Coliseum in fancy buggies and making eyes at childhood boyfriends.

It was the Chinese who messed things up with that wall of theirs (now there's an erection!). Stymied, Mister Atilla told his followers to "Go West, young Huns." They ended up in Rome and that toga party came to an end. The hangover that followed is called the Dark Ages, and not because they lacked lamp oil. St Augustine declared the penis "the demon rod," and seemed to think of semen as some sort of "toxic glue" that made all sex just plain dirty. How much fun could you have with that hanging over you, so to speak?

Now, since I have mentioned the dark ages, I suppose this is as good a time as any to make a confession. In the late sixties, inspired by the success of Fanny Hill, publishers turned their attentions to classical erotica. The very fact of their age gave these writings a cachet that made proving obscenity difficult, and it was not much of a problem to find experts willing to testify to their literary worth. Trouble was, there were only so many of these old gems lying about.

This fantastic cover design was done by Greenleaf Classics Design Director Harry Bremner.

Then one day I had much the same thought I had had a few years earlier, when I first started looking at these sexy pulps in a Hollywood book store: "By golly, I could do this." So I reread Fanny Hill, The Memoirs of Cesare Borgia and a bit of de Sade, and wrote Friar Peck and His Tale - by anonymous.

In a scholarly introduction, Douglas H. Gamlin, Ph.D. [Donald H. Gilmore, Ph.D.; see "The King of Somewhere Hot," by Earl Kemp, eI2, April 2002], compared the book to Spenser, Chaucer, et al, and hedged his bets by stating that writing suggests "deep research on the part of the author or, indeed, that the author did exist four hundred years ago."

Despite such a coy hint, Friar Peck quickly became accepted as an authentic piece of 16th century erotica, and still appears as such in book catalogs. So I did make a contribution to the literature of the Dark Ages, although I'm not quite old enough to have lived through them.

But I have once again digressed. It was the male body about which I was writing, and its virtual banishment in those Dark Ages. Well, heck, practically everything fun disappeared at that time, didn't it?

The body made a sort of a comeback with the Renaissance, but then things got worse with the Victorians. By this time masturbation had become an "illness," and the doctors of the time were wont to treat it with leeches. So, if your doctor asked how you felt about getting sucked, it wasn't an invitation to romance. Freud managed somehow to hang everything but the family wash from that convenient pole. The only good thing was he passed on the leeches, but nevertheless you were damned if you had one and damned if you didn't.

By the nineteen twenties and thirties, everyone had relaxed a bit. In the movie Ecstasy, Hedy Lamarr romped in the raw, and the Elmo Lincoln film version of Tarzan showed not one but two frontally nude Tarzans - an uncredited boy of twelve or thirteen and Elmo himself, both showing off their monkey business.

Of course, in no time at all, the Hayes Office had put a stop to that kind of show and tell, and once again we went back to considering our all-together as all together naughty. Or at least being told by those who supposedly knew better than we did ourselves that this was how we were supposed to consider it.

The point I am making here is that male nudity has had a confusing history. The ancient Greeks showed their women tastefully draped while the boys got to show it all. Somewhere along the way, that got completely switched about, so that by the fifties and the sixties, female nudity had become mostly acceptable to the watchdogs of our morality, but it was still a no-no to show the boys hanging around.

In the early sixties, Bruce of Los Angeles - otherwise known as Bruce Bella, who asserted that any man could be persuaded to pose naked in return for a few of the pictures - had the ingenious idea of picturing fully nude males with a posing strap or bathing suit painted on in water soluble paint. Thus the pictures as mailed to you were not nude, and when you had them at hand you need only run them under the faucet in the privacy of your kitchen and voila, the meat is delivered, so to speak. Unfortunately, you were left with some peculiar wrinkles just where you were expected to burst into, "Mine eyes have seen the glory."

Anyway, the postal people weren't amused. Bruce actually spent time driving around the country peddling his wares from the trunk of his car, and so avoiding the postal system altogether for a while, but there were plenty of other watchdogs determined to keep us safe from the visual threat of Mister Woodie.

In 1964 Conrad Germain and Lloyd Spinnar, the owners of DSI, a mail order operation based in Minneapolis, decided to set Mister Woodie free and began mailing full frontal nude photos without any painted panties to mute the Hallelujah chorus. There was certainly nothing sleazy about their products, high quality photography printed on top grade paper, much of it in book form, bound in faux leather and interspersed with educational or amusing articles - as, for instance, my "Johns I Have Known and Loved," a collection of restroom graffiti.

It was predictable that Lloyd and Conrad would go to trial for their daring, and something of a surprise that they won their case. For the first time, the courts had conceded that male nudity was not in and of itself obscene.

Things were changing. We were there in all our glory - well, not all our glory, the question of the stand-up model still waited to be resolved, but we had gone from doing it in the dark to doing it in the light, and from covering it up to showing it all.

And talking about it in print. Only a few years before, book editors had been careful to avoid even the slightest hint that we spice things up a bit - a suggestion that might have worked against them in an obscenity trial.

Now our editor at Brandon House, Yvonne McMannus, was exhorting us, "I want to taste that dick, I want to smell that pussy!" Which you have to admit is relatively unambiguous.

AC-DC Stud, by Victor Banis; cover painting by Robert Bonfils.

Again, it was of course Greenleaf that led the way, but as I have said before, pulp publishing in California was like a small town, everyone knew everyone, and what everyone else was doing.

As writers, we made it our business to keep abreast. Each month my friends and I would dash up to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Circus Books was our neighborhood paperback store, where you went, for instance, to pick up the latest Jackie Holmes adventure.

We browsed, we peeked at the latest releases; we noted every "cock" every "pussy," every "fuck"-and then rushed home to see if we could push the boundaries just a teensy bit further. By the end of the sixties, there was scarcely a one of the heretofore-taboo words that we weren't using regularly. "Motherfucker" was, I believe, the last hold out.

Now, I know that some may wonder if it is really necessary to use "motherfucker" in a book. Perhaps not, though as a writer I can easily imagine that there might be a scene in which that would be the ideal word to convey what the author wanted to show.

Of course, the point isn't really whether "motherfucker" matters as a word, it is about freedom of expression, freedom of speech, which is the foundation of all free society, isn't it? Quite honestly, I look back at what I did then and it seems to me now that some of those books of mine might have been better with less sexual frankness. I think that I simply got caught up in the exhilaration of doing what it had not been possible to do before, in the feeling of liberation.

I have read criticism, both direct and implied, of the profits that publishers like Hamling and Luros made from peddling sex. The guardians of our morality never missed a chance to stress their "obscene profits." I have no doubt that Hamling and others did make money, perhaps lots of it, though they never showed me their profit-and-loss statements. I can assure you, by the way, that they also spent a pretty penny defending themselves in legal battles. Anyway, in a capitalistic society, it seems to me that making money is the point of going into any business, whether publishing sexy paperbacks or peddling girl scout cookies.

I can't say either that I didn't make money. Some years I made quite a bit of it, and I assure you it was every cent guilt free. The concept of starving artists may appeal to the book reading or movie going public, but it is considerably less attractive to the starve-ee.

I can honestly say, however, that in all my years in the pulp business I never met a single individual - publisher, editor, writer, artist, photographer, model - who was in it solely for the money. Without exception, all of them - all of them that I met, and that was quite a few - believed sincerely in the ideal of freedom of expression. We saw ourselves as fighters in a battle for the rights of all artists, of all Americans. And we were committed to the winning of that war. It would have been insanity to continue as we were otherwise, living as we did with the daily risk of arrest, trial, and imprisonment.

Elsewhere in Pulp Friction, Michael Bronski makes the statement that "by 1967 the battle against censorship had fundamentally been won." Hmm. Well, if that were so, why were all of us in California walking on eggshells? I think that is just another example of the New York perspective. I suppose viewing the battlefield from Greenwich Village it might well have looked as if the war was won - by that time, the federales were concentrating on rounding up those of us out west. Certainly in 1967 the trials went on as did the day-to-day harassment, and we were all of us ever mindful of the risks we were taking.

So, no, Michael, it wasn't over in 1967. And yet, so swiftly were things changing on every front that only a few years later, by the early seventies, it actually did seem as if we had rounded the corner and were in the home stretch. Fortunately, because I was getting a little saddle weary.

By 1972, the Chinese year of the cock, Burt Reynolds had bared it all in Cosmopolitan. Or nearly all, and what he had coyly covered could be seen openly in clubs and bars in practically any city. The April 1970 Penthouse eschewed Playboy's carefully airbrushed centerfolds and showed pubic hair for the first time; within months Penthouse had graduated to split beavers.

Sam Dodson in Monte Carlo. Photo by Victor Banis dated 1966.

In 1971, Sam Dodson and I were guests at a San Diego party hosted by Greenleaf. The purpose of the gathering was to present certain writers with royalty checks and or accolades. I'm sorry to tell you that, though I brought with me bank deposit slips and a prepared acceptance speech, I found I had need of neither.

I did have the always pleasurable opportunity, however, to chat with Earl, and as it invariably did, the subject turned to the ongoing struggle for freedom of expression. I asked Earl at the time if he agreed with my assessment that perhaps the worst of the battle was behind us. He was very up then, riding the crest of the wave left behind by his massive slam at Nixon, The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography that had closed out the previous year like Dorothy's tornado ripping through the political countryside.

"Damn right," he told me. "We finally got those crooked bastards up against the wall."


Unfortunately for all of us, that party was in February, only weeks before Earl's indictment announced by the Justice Department, Mr. future criminal John Mitchell in person, in early March. But we didn't know that yet, and we were all feeling pretty proud of ourselves at that gathering of gay sleaze elites.

The mood was optimistic. Certainly the early seventies were the golden age of porn movies. Those grainy 8-millimeter films of the fifties and early sixties had become relics of the past, seemingly overnight. Porn movies now played in real theaters, often very plush ones like the Pussycat Theater chain. Directors put their names, though not always their real ones, on their films. Lighting, costumes, sets, camerawork, all were the work of professionals, often very good ones.

Behind The Green Door opened to standing ovations at the Cannes Film Festival. Crowds flocked to theaters to watch The Devil in Miss Jones and Deep Throat, both ranked with the top-grossing films of all time. Movies like The Opening of Misty Beethoven and The Legend of Lady Blue, with intelligent, witty scripts, starred drop-dead gorgeous actors and actresses-some of whom, like Jamie Gillis, came from the New York theater scene with legitimate acting credits.

Greenleaf Classics invested in a number of feature-length adult films for the general theatre circuits. Most notable among them being Adultery For Fun And Profit, an award-winner at the 1970 Amsterdam sex film festival.
                  --Earl Kemp

In Hollywood there were endless rumors that Warren Beatty was preparing to produce the first big budget hard-core feature film with name stars. We held our breath and crossed our fingers.

The sexual revolution was in full swing and the gay revolution that had begun in Los Angeles and San Francisco - and climaxed with those first few dancing feet outside Stonewall - was now a major chorus line, and a high stepping one indeed.

In the publishing world, there were still trials in progress, but it had begun to seem impossible for the prosecutors to win convictions, or to sustain them through the appeals process.

The Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, issued in 1970, pooh-poohed the idea that heaving bosoms and swollen manhood was in any way threatening our American way of life.

Now, I might as well tell you the truth, up to this point those East Coast boys were still lagging behind, though they were many of them quick to cash in once we had won a battle for them. DSI's victory launched a thousand dangling fancies, and publishers like Maurice Girodias were quick to echo every "cock" or "pussy" that appeared in a Greenleaf book. Chickens that they were, though, they waited to be sure the cocks weren't going to lose their heads in the courtroom. Let it be said, the front lines in the war were never over crowded.

Even the noblest institutions trailed shyly behind the West Coast warriors. It was 1976 before The New York Times convinced themselves to use the word "penis" in print, and as late as 1985 the Times still would not use the word "gay" to denote homosexuality.

July 10, 1969 was a red-letter day for me. I marked it so I would never forget it. That was the day when I first saw the word "fuck" used in a major metropolitan newspaper. Not only that, it was on the front page…of the staid and thoroughly respectable London Times. Admittedly, it was the front page of the literary supplement, but it was still the front page. I remember waiting in anxious expectancy for any substantial newspaper in the USA to follow suit. It's been a long time; I'm still waiting but my anxious expectancy has faded considerably as time passes.
                --Earl Kemp, November 1999

This silliness of censorship resulted in one of the most notoriously botched examples of Times reporting when Nixon's agriculture secretary, Earl Butz, made the racist statement - intended, one supposes, as a joke - that the three things most wanted by blacks in life were "loose shoes, a tight pussy, and a warm place to shit."

It was a story that had to be reported, needless to say - but how to report it without using those naughty words? Finally, the Times changed "a tight pussy" to "good sex." You don't have to be a professor of journalism to see the loss in impact - a powerful argument for my view that censorship - even self-censorship - is generally more harmful than the words being censored.

Still, as I have said, by the early seventies it did seem as if the fat lady had finished singing.

How were we to know she would insist on an encore?


As a postscript it occurs to me that I have been a bit harsh on Michael Bronski's book, Pulp Friction, and I want to say that I consider Michael a fine writer and a serious scholar, and one of the best - hell, one of the few - working to preserve the history of the gay community. Did I not have such respect for him, I would not have taken his lapses so seriously. It is because he is so well regarded, and the book is so generally excellent, that it will take its place on the shelf and be referenced by generations of writers to come. Which makes major shortcomings of otherwise minor ones, alas.

Nonetheless, despite my criticisms, I can recommend it heartily to anyone interested in the subject of gay pulps. It does indeed offer sample chapters from a wide range of books, from a number of different writers, and from differing time periods.

For those of you who want to find some of these pulp books for yourselves, I am sure there are many sources. Three with which I am familiar are:

Kayo Books www.kaybooks.com
Bolerium Books ad@bolerium.com
Lynn Munroe Books lnmunroe@pacbell.net



If for whatever reason - intelligence, say, or good taste - you are particularly interested in finding one of my books, you will probably have the best luck with Lynn Munroe.

You won't get the red shoes, I don't care how many monkeys you've got backing you up.

- - -
*Copyright 2003 by Victor J. Banis. All rights reserved.

You can see how far we've come Dept.: "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today."
                -- Theodore Roosevelt

Who Dat? 2

In the last issue of eI I announced a contest open to all persons. The object was to see who could name the most people shown in a series of six old science fiction fan photographs. I am pleased to announce that the contest was a resounding success.

Two people each identified one person in one of the six pictures…and one of them identified themselves.

Judging by that I have decided to abandon the contest, after awarding the tie winners identical prizes of lifetime subscriptions to eI. This, the second installment of "Who Dat?" will be the final installment and, because there is so much interest, the pictures will run without captions like the previous ones did.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
                -- Theodore Roosevelt

Dina! You Got Me, Babe…. *

By Earl Kemp

Early on at The Porno Factory, I discovered that a wide variety of people wanted to make up close and personal contact with us for a wide variety of reasons, some of them understandable. The majority of them, however, fell far beyond the boundaries of ordinary reality. Some of them were just plain sick. I decided that whatever arrived from all of them should be lumped under the heading of "Funny Letters" [See "Dear Mr. Porno: Send Me A Hoar C.O.D.," eI8.] and that those letters should be identified, isolated, and directed to my attention. There were vague, long-range plans to produce some type of "Dear Mr. Porno" book forming in the back of my mind.

As these letters began accumulating in a file, I quickly noticed that there was one single significant standout included among them, a very vocal, very active, genuine pornography fan. Our very first sex groupie.


Fuck by Harry Bremner. This was a birthday gift for me and hung on my office wall at Greenleaf Classics for years. n.d.

Her letters arrived once a week or thereabouts. Dina was apparently a very avid reader. Naturally there was no return address on any of her letters or envelopes. No form of identification at all except her name. She used ordinary 8-1/2" x 11" white typewriter paper. Her letters were typewritten, single spaced, and normally were only one page long. Every one of them was postmarked Washington, DC. We knew she was either some type of undercover operative or another type official of the federal government, only that didn't matter. They were entitled to be human also.

What struck you the most about Dina's letters was how articulate and purposeful her messages were. Clearly she had very deep-rooted feelings about herself and things sexual and, especially, about what she liked to read in that regard. She would outline whole scenes that would do it for her, sometimes explaining why and how she reacted to certain stimuli.

One of Dina's favorite scenarios, or at least one she kept asking for repeat versions of, involved Dina and two horny men and all the incredible things she had become adept at doing to both of them at the same time. Naturally, Dina's choice wasn't limited just to this, but clearly she favored it.

In no time at all, Dina had become an office favorite. Everyone there was involved with her, her letters, and trying to figure out her motivations and…most of all…who is this mysterious and close Washington, DC person? It became an office project to establish direct contact with Dina.

We took lots of her suggestions seriously and had her desires written into some of the books. Often we would rename the central female character Dina; this really pleased her and it seemed that she could spot each one of the things we inserted into the books for her, sometimes as many as a dozen different novels in the same month. She would shower us with praise and thanks and offer more, deeper, scenes to undertake.

And all the while we were trying to make direct contact with her, and all efforts in that direction were met with total failure…absolute silence.

We even put things on the back of book covers like: "Dina says this is a great book!" And, inside, we would have the central character in the book be opening his mail and have the action go something like this in a blatant, heavy handed manner with the real message sticking out like a sore thumb:

"Reginald picked up the plain envelope and examined it. No return address as usual. Postmarked Washington, DC. He quickly ripped the envelope open and pulled out the piece of paper, unfolding it as he did so.

"Reginald began reading: 'Dina! Urgently important that you please phone me collect. Signed Earl.'

"Reginald, annoyed, crumpled up the letter that was obviously not his and tossed it into his scrap box. I sure hope Dina gets her urgent and important message and phones Earl collect right away, Reginald thought."

We did everything except hit Dina over the head with the message that we really wanted her to touch bases for real, and we would have done that as well could we have identified her. (Of course there is the possibility that Dina was a he; it was her choice to be female and nothing she ever did or said indicated differently.)

Dina's input was genuinely valuable. Somehow she had an insight into the business and into sensuality that was very difficult to ignore. We would have put her on staff instantly had she been available.

Her presence was strongly felt for several years, growing more valuable as time went on then abruptly, with no warning of any sort, Dina's letters stopped arriving.

We waited and waited and hoped for each mail delivery.


After the long, lustful years we had spent together, like a good lover, I somehow expected Dina to just go on being there, doing that…calling the shots and getting off on doing it at the same time.

In real-time-real-life, though, we wrote a different ending for Dina's saga, one that adequately explained away her absence. It was really very simple, actually; Dina's term of office was over. She hadn't been re-elected. She was going home to disappear like the vast majority of public servants who did their time and, somehow, managed to do their own thing while they were at it.

- - -
*In memory of Dina; see what a lasting impression you made? You were a star, baby. Could have had your name up there in lights. Love ya still! Dated September 2000.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
                --James Madison, fourth US president

"Dear Mr. Porno: Send Me a Hoar C.O.D."*

By Earl Kemp

We received a tremendous amount of mail at The Porno Factory on a routine basis. Large segments of it had little to do with business. It was easy to spot the difference and sort out the valuable items from the piles of clutter. The leftover material was unbelievable.

For want of a better label, all this oddball accumulation was relegated to a special file designated "Funny Letters." Not that they were particularly humorous, but rather they were peculiar; odd, abnormal, etc. I wanted to categorize, analyze, and assemble them into a Dear Mr. Porno book of some sort. In fact, I carried that accumulation of letters around with me for years, adding on to it continuously. Nothing ever happened with it except that it grew and grew, finally occupying an entire archival file storage box. None of my plans to turn it into a book ever bore fruit. Some many years later, weary of the simple burden of the weight of the letters alone (I had been carrying them in and out of dead storage in more than one country for decades), I made a ritual bonfire out of the collection and burned every scrap of it.

Wrong, of course, but I've never been much known for doing it right anyway. True to form, I guess. Those letters, the categories alone, were an invaluable source of information and inspiration, of fact and fiction. All alone they could have inspired hundreds and hundreds of compelling novels almost about nearly real people. The psychological insights alone were invaluable; detailed views into people and their most desired most secret most sexual aspirations.

Let us stroll down memory lane for a bit, reexamining some of the categories at least:


DINA! [See "Dina," eI8.] The Porno Factory's very favorite, very own sexual groupie. She deserved a special category all her own, and to be separated from this list by a memory piece devoted exclusively to her and her impact upon all of us in Smutville.


CLERGY: This category was by far one of the largest and most active designations. The letters just kept pouring in from churches and clergymen of all denominations from all over the world. More often than not letters in this category were written on various ecclesiastical letterheads. They were signed by Fathers and Sisters and Reverends and Bishops and Etcs. And there were a certain amount of them on plain paper with attempts made to disguise the writers, but the message was still the same and just as loud from the "closet" as if shouted from the pulpit.

Dear Mr. Porno:
Everywhere I look I see your filthy, degenerate, anti-religious books. Fuck you very much…!

Most of them wanted to be fixed up with a sex partner for a quick roll in the hay. "Mercy fuck," we called it around the office; the subcategory of most requests of this nature.

"I will be in San Diego on March 5th at the Holiday Inn. Please have a horny (male/female designated) meet me there at 10 p.m. It will be okay because I won't be wearing the collar at the time."

Long, agonizing diatribes about how obsessed they are to have sex because having sex is forbidden to them. Details as to how they would do it or have it done to them. Details as to personal choices of body types, hair and eye coloring, size and stature. Detail descriptions of clothing that turns them on and how and why it works so well for them.

Cloistered nuns sneaking out and mailing want-list letters like kindergarten kids demanding items from Santa Clause.


RELIGIOUS NUTS: Writers of letters in this category were literally bouncing off the walls. They were so excited, so amped up, so shifted into overdrive, as to appear completely nonhuman.

Dear Mr. Porno:
My wife wants me to have sex with my best friend so she can watch. That's a disgusting idea, and I told her so, only she still wants it.
I don't know if we could do it with anyone watching. We always make sure no one can….

"I pray that God strikes you dead…."

"You have sinned against man and God…."

"You should be erased from the face of the Earth…."

"….because of your horrible deeds…."

"You and your kind are not welcome here…."

And on and on. Long, many paged, single spaced letters of rambling incoherency about righteousness and redemption and "The Way of the Lord…" Whatever that might be. These letters almost without exception had no return address, no identification of any sort, and were signed by people with names like Avenger, Saint, Cleanser, Etc.

For the most part, they couldn't spell worth a damn and wrote most of their own scripture as they thought they needed it.


LAW ENFORCEMENT: This category ran a surprising second to the Clergy. And, except for the letterheads and ranks of the signatures, could have all come from the same book.

These people, plain and simple, expected to be fixed up for a quick no hassle sexual assignation. Like the clergy, they would write specific details as to when they would be in San Diego and expected servicing, how it was to be done and by what type of what gender person.

They would also ask for far out things like stag films, adult videos, bizarre and weird sexual apparatus, and, only from this category, people willing to do kinky things over, around, near, and thoroughly inundating them with copious wastes.

Every such inquiry, as was every other similar Law Enforcement request from anywhere regardless of how it arrived including walking in the front door, was referred directly to the FBI since we provided no such services.


PROSTITUTES (Including hookers, hustlers, escorts, dates, or whatever label who has sex for money): These members of the world's oldest profession, in gender, are female, male, and every increment between. There is no element of society, no place on Earth, which does not contain them and keep them well and thoroughly employed.

Dear Mr. Porno:
My husband has just run away with my best friend. I am shattered. I don't know what to do. I have never missed anyone as much as I miss her….

They come from all walks of life and span every spectrum of experience. Many of them are very articulate, well read, out spoken, with valuable and significant opinions.

Every element of their lives would, eventually, reading between the lines across the letters, become apparent. Almost every one of them knew why they were doing what they were doing and what they got out of it. Most of them were smart enough to get out of the business if it got bad for them.

They would write of their kinky customers, the regulars, who expected really extra special services and what they were and how they were performed. Some of them told outrageous and repeatable stories about encounters with celebrities and other recognizable people at movie star parties, and what went on afterward.


William Rotsler from Masque. n.d.

A-, BI-, AND HOMOSEXUAL: Contributors to this category were among the most articulate and could explain almost anything. They had spent years figuring out many of the answers that plagued huge numbers of the rest of us.

Heterosexuality was excluded from this category on the assumption that it represented most of us and we know who we are.

Dear Mr. Porno:
I am a retired Air Force Colonel. I really like your books. Please send me these titles: Jism Trail, Young and Hard, Men into Boys, and Club Member. Also please send me a catalog of your homosexual titles. I'm not sure I have them all.
It is very important that you send the books in a plain paper wrapper without any markings. I live in a retirement community and wouldn't want anyone, especially my wife, to know….

A large number of persons in this category were very young and naïve and struggling mightily with their own thoughts, concepts, and desires. Almost all of them wanted some form of advice but none ever received it. There were a scattering of Polaroid self portraits of selected portions of bodies with peculiar questions like, "Do you see anything odd about my dick? My girl friend refuses to touch it."


INCEST: This category contained by far the biggest collection of long letters. Page after page of single-spaced typewriting going into the most minute details of the writers' affairs.

It was noticeable that incest between parents and their own children almost never came up except in the form of disgust and condemnation.

Dear Mr. Porno:
I have just read your book Suck Sluts and liked it very much. It is exactly the book I want to write for you. How much will you pay me to write Suck Sluts…?

The one that jumped off the planet was brother/sister. Letter after letter, often signed by both parties, saying: "…we've never told any of this to a soul. We even moved here in remote Africa so no one could ever find us. Our children are perfectly normal in every respect….

"We are twins, you see. We were lovers in the womb, in our crib, in our beds, and for all of our lives; we'll keep at it until we die."

Some of these letters would detail lifetimes of hiding and furtive assignations until, finally, they just did it and their lives changed for the better forever. Or so they say.


TRANSVESTITES AND TRANSSEXUALS: Pretty broad category, all the way from compulsive cross-dressers to "I'm going to get it cut off and pretend I never had one."

Both these categories were rich and rewarding in information, perhaps because each lives most of their lives in a fantasy world. This gives them time to dream and to think long, deep thoughts about simple things like sensuality, especially sensuality since it's the thing they have the most of.

They could really set the stage and line up the entire scene for some fast and hot action that almost never happened, but by damn the stage sure did look pretty.

Dear Mr. Porno:
I read a lot of your books and really like them. In my head I have hundreds of books just like them only better. We need to work a deal.
I'll tell you the stories and you get some clerk in your office to write them up only you send me the money. That way we'll all get rich….

A standout feature of this category, and one that gave the office many unusual thrills, was the big number of photographs accompanying the letters. This was especially true of the transvestites who, it seemed, had to send us "glamour" shots of them in each of their best outfits that were accompanied with their verbal descriptions of how very exciting and sexy they looked. In reality they looked like a bunch of long-haul truckers in K-Mart drag.


EXOTICS, ONANISTS, AND EXHIBITIONISTS: These are the odd type humans who think of themselves as being complete and totally whole and without any room or need for another person anywhere in their emotions, their genitalia, at all.

Many of these people dress funny; it's part of their camouflage. Flamboyant and embarrassing with glitter and capes and maybe even ostrich plumes and not at all draggy.

Dear Mr. Porno:
Please reply to Prisoner 124C41+. I'm doing five for child molestation and I don't think it's fair. She told me she was 16. No way could she be 10….
So, I'm in the shower with my buddy and he leaned over and when I got a look at his pucker like that, I couldn't resist, and I liked it. I'm ready for another shower already.
What I need to know is, am I turning queer or what? Is this temporary…?

They had certainly rather do it themselves than get close enough to anyone else to let them even think about helping with the chore at hand. The beat-off burnouts. The muscle-building jocks. The really dedicated career military men. The religiously pure and simple.

The exhibitionist who lets lots of it, if not all, flop out into plain view. Tops or bottoms, it makes no difference, the effect is the same as is the intent. They can go on for page after page about what a turn on it is knowing it can be seen right there if they'd only look at it or touch it or something.


MARITAL AIDS (Husband and wife fantasies): This category was also a rather large one and, much to my surprise, most of the writers were deadly serious.

Some of these letters were written by husbands who did not share their feelings with their wives.

Some of these letters were written by wives who did not share their feelings with their husbands.

Some of these letters were written by husband and wife together.

Dear Mr. Porno:
I am obsessed with lesbians and dream about them all the time. My favorite is of me watching my wife getting it on in our bed with the baby-sitter or one of her girl friends. I even have my camera hidden where I can take pictures and they wouldn't know I was doing it.
I told her a few times what I want, only she isn't interested, she says. How can I convince her to do it for me? I won't tell her about the video camera; the tape will be our special secret….

This is the scenario wherein the husband (or the wife) secretly watches his wife (or her husband) having sex with someone else (more often than not of the opposite gender but not exclusively so).

It comes in all variations possible: both husband and wife know of this and are participating in a fantasy for the pleasure of both of them. The person she (or he) has selected for her husband (or wife) to have sex with is her (his) best friend.

He (she) watches from various locations: within the closet with the door slightly ajar. From a dark corner of the room. Right up close with his (her) face in it and the flashlight holding steady.

He (she) is getting off by watching as much as his (her) buddy is by participating.

It is an endless game for three or more players that, almost without failure, eventually turns into whatever they were looking for in the first place.


DEPRAVITY: This category was saved for last. Imagine if you can the ugliest, foulest, most offensive things that pop into your mind. Color them. Layer them with odors. Texture them with slime and ooze.

Numerous letters containing semen specimens smeared all over the pages, along with brief thank yous. Folded up and mailed from the other side of the earth, from the other side of the country, from the other side of the state, from the other side of the county, from the other side of the city.

Dear Mr. Porno:
When we go out we like to double date. We're the double and whatever gal we can talk into it's the date.
Sandwiches are our thing. I'm the back door man. She eases onto me then flattens out so Will can move on from the top. That way I get to feel everything.
He likes for me to call him Will when we're doubling, only it's all right, she don't know he's my dad….

Shriveled up and stank filled used condoms "I couldn't have done it without you."

Excrement smeared toilet paper.

Make-up saturated facial tissues.

Letters of brief, cogent meaning: "You fuck, asshole!"

"…cut your dick off just like that…."

"…you goddamned sonofabitch…."

"…shove all eight inches right up your butt…."


And, when it was all over, and the last of the Funny Letters burned in a ritual fire high up the side of a bleak mountain in Baja California, I knew that I would never ever really be free of them, of the specter they had held over me for so very long.

One important afterthought: As outrageous as most of these letters might appear to have been, almost every one of them, in some fashion, was thanking us at The Porno Factory. The number of outright nuts with empty, unarticulated threats was insignificant.

We had, in some manner, as outrageous as it seemed, touched these people's lives in such a manner that they felt the need to thank us for having done so.

All of us who toiled so diligently at the Porno Factory thank them for sharing their feelings with us.


*In loving memory of all those-and you know who you are-who worked side by side with me during those halcyon years. Dated September 2000.

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.
                --Attributed to Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

[Peter V. Cooper was my first assistant. He was also incidentally Editor In Chief of Greenleaf Classics, Inc. He was my right hand man and I knew I could trust him completely and he covered my ass exactly as he should…always a first priority over all other considerations. Pete would travel with me to Europe and manage the local staff while we would be exhibiting at international trade shows. He was right at the top of his game and things couldn't possibly get any better.
[Except, unknown to any of us in the office, Peter was very unhappy at home and began a vicarious love affair with one of the writers and the writer's wife through the mail and phone calls. It was just a fun thing at first, but it got serious. So serious that Pete began devoting great amounts of his time and attention to them. He wrote them many pages of top to bottom, margin to margin, single spaced typed pages of minute by minute happenings inside the office. Plus they had even more devious plans afoot….
[As we left San Diego for the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, we left really loaded. I was going first to London and Pete was going to make a quick fly-by in Florida to visit his favorite writer and the writer's wife. Nothing unusual about that. Sure, Pete was carrying all my Show clothes for the entire trip. Much of the last-minute printed throwaway material…in four languages…half the bottles of special-label California Sherry for snob appeal in Germany…and worse yet, half the expense money.
[And Pete never returned again. Ever. But he did leave behind, perhaps not by accident, hundreds of pages of carbon copies of the daily letters he sent the rest of his menage. It is the oddest thing, reading through those letters and reliving such minute sections of my daily life for almost a year.
[Because Pete knew me better than any other person in the office, it is only fitting that I allow Pete to speak for himself about me.
[I excerpted the juicy parts just for eI. -Earl Kemp]

Earl Is One Cool Head*

By Peter V. Cooper, Editor In Chief, Greenleaf Classics, Inc.

Peter V. Cooper, Editor In Chief, Greenleaf Classics, Inc. is featured on the cover of this paperback. Painting by Robert Bonfils.

(6-17-70 7:35 a.m.) Earl, my immediate boss, editorial director, indescribable here, but later maybe.

(7-7-70 4:25 p.m.) I know a bit about Frankfurt streetwalkers. One evening my first year there, I think 1968, Earl, our hired tour guide, and I strolled into the appropriate district; the girls showed lively interest in Earl, who dresses rather flashily and is slim and maybe a bit horny-looking, and no interest whatever in me, though I wore a business suit and had been told by other Europeans that I was identifiably a non-European. (I got the same reaction the following week, by the way, from the clerks in Carnaby Street clothing stores when Earl and I visited them….)

(7-20-70 12:10 p.m.) Earl would accept if I told him everything (about our affair), but he'd express dismay, on both business and personal grounds. He'd probably offer to buy me a trip to the nearest high-class whorehouse. I believe his view of love is rather sadly shallow. He has five kids too, and they seem to be turning out well (one over 20, one about 16, then 13, 8 I guess), and I know that he lives rich, is an entertainment buff - especially movies, a frequent explorer of Mexico - usually without his wife, but he's neither gay (looks like he is; dresses the part somewhat) nor heterosexually unfaithful as far as I know. His wife's a very nice, very ordinary housefrau; not at all the type you'd expect him to be still married to. More on Earl: he comes on cold, and very taciturn, but people love him, he has a kind of magnetism, particularly for swingers, liberals. A great contact man, for our business. Damn poor on detail, sloppy on staff morale matters.

(7-27-70 3:35 p.m.) I was at my desk when Earl came to the door. He had looked in and begun to turn away before I realized he was there, and in a startled reflex I jerked your lavender (love letter) off the desk and dropped it into the open…. Oh, to hell with it! He keeps secrets…makes secrets of things that should damned well be communicated-business things; he has a habit of such secrecy from the days when smutters were truly persecuted, and it was a favor to employees to let them know as little as possible. And it's his natural bent anyway, to share as little of himself as possible; even his wife suffers from this tendency in him. But in turn he respects the secrets of others. Likes a good bit of gossip if it comes his way, yes; but never snoops or pries or questions third parties… As long as I don't screw anything up badly, or get visibly behind in deadline-type jobs, he'll make no waves. (Indeed, he may have wondered for years how long I'd be able to go without some sort of rift with my wife. Earl is quite decidedly anti-Catholic, anti-uptight generally,)

(7-29-70 9:05 a.m.) Let me try to elucidate the office clothing thing. The general manager was Hamling's brother-in-law, a rather paranoid office-Machiavellian who loved to talk of his early executive days at Ford, under McNamara. He was very concerned with corporate image, and did do Greenleaf a lot of good in this area - the offices, no San Diego distribution, Chamber of Commerce membership, etc. He came to us after a long period of no general managership, and found us wearing casual clothes. With Hamling's agreement - for Hamling thinks this way too, and "can't understand" such things as beards, for instance (though he wears yellow shoes and drives a pale green Jaguar supersedan) - he instituted a white-shirt-and-tie policy, binding on everybody male except Earl, whom Hamling insisted upon excepting. Earl fought it to no avail, but Earl long went on wearing the very mod, flashy stuff he prefers. (Earl's very slim, intently youthful, often mistaken for gay.) I wasn't unhappy; had fairly often worn a tie anyway, until it became an issue and Earl asked all of us not to, to fight the general manager's desires…before the ruling came down irrevocably….

(8-7-70 4:35 p.m.) Earl, I've come to suspect, would be horrified (for Earl) if I told him the truth about US. Even though I'd remind him of his Sex 69 Introduction. And it wouldn't be about the business implications he'd be horrified; he has a higher opinion of me than that, I'm sure. And it wouldn't be out of any particular affection for my wife, or lack of understanding of our incompatibility; as I think I've said, he's a bit more than rationally anti-Catholic, and he's a nut on staying young and slim, and…well anyway, it wouldn't be on her behalf that he'd be horrified. I guess what I feel is that he'd be horrified on the grounds of his image of me as a square but of the best kind. 'Fraid I can't put it - can't even think it out - any better than that. Earl doesn't like to listen to gory accounts of accidents or operations, doesn't like to listen to people's troubles….

(9-8-70 5:38 p.m.) Christ, I'm gonna have a heavy briefcase to lug (to Frankfurt). And Earl has asked me to lug his hang-up suit-bag, too. I did that last year, and learned only a few weeks ago that I smuggled back several items of contraband in it when I returned! The bastard! I love Earl….

(9-9-70 5:10 p.m.) Earl's still writing last-minute notes, conferring with hanging-around bigwigs about this and that, and is about to go up to the penthouse for a drink with a couple visiting dittos….

(9-11-70 4:00 p.m.) Earl, incidentally, worked several evenings last week, plus doing an entire special book edit over the long weekend, at home. And when he's here he does work as steadily as the fragmentation of his duties - even greater than is my case-allows….

(9-15-70 12:01 p.m.) I would not tell Earl or anyone about US except in the love context. And strangely, I feel Earl would accept the love more easily than the sex, if they could be separated. I don't plan to test him, though….


*Peter Cooper, The Letters of. Excerpts dated in parenthesis.

A true patriot would keep the attention of his fellow citizens awake to their grievances, and not allow them to rest till the causes of their just complaints are removed.
                  -- Sam Adams

Beating Off the Feds*
Making a change of venue to Prime Time

By Earl Kemp

Lust is a relentless bitch.

She sits on you and in you and surrounds your mind and takes over completely and only allows you to think about what she wants you to think about. She keeps at it until you're almost writhing in real agony and there's no relief in sight.

The only thing you can think about is getting your hands on it and dominating it completely. Of smelling it and caressing it and licking it…and of tasting it.

Damn you, Lust! Why are you withholding that chopped liver sandwich?


In the early 1950's, in Chicago, boy genius Sidney Coleman (he was perhaps 15 at the time) hooked me on chopped liver sandwiches. Mind you, they weren't ordinary chopped liver sandwiches, they were genuine, authentic, Chicago style ethnic Jewish chopped liver sandwiches.

Sidney gave me many other things that only a boy can teach a man about life and living and religious differences. About people's inherent rights.

When, in 1965, it became time for me to leave my beloved Chicago for a world of pornography and righteousness, the single thing I missed most was that chopped liver. Every decade or so I would even think about Sid.


Two of us moved with The Porno Factory from Chicago (Evanston) to San Diego. Besides me, the default editor, there was Robert Bonfils, an incredible artist. At the time Bob was a new hire, brought onboard to establish and operate our very first in-house art department. We really didn't know each other then but because we had so much in common, we quickly bonded and began spending all our free time together familiarizing ourselves with our new home and its environs.

Bob and Mary Bonfils are in the front seat of Little Red. Earl Kemp, the botamaster, is in the rear seat. Photo by David Lieberman dated 1965.

Bonfils, a city boy (first Kansas City and then Chicago), wanted most what he hadn't ever had any of…the great outdoors. Me…I was a country boy from way back there; Chicago was fantasyland to me but I still remembered how it felt to run barefoot and bareass through the toolies and cannonball into the creek.

Bob loved nothing better than to get so far away from civilization that you forgot it was there waiting to get you when you least expected it. It was a simple task for him to lure me along. Those were heady days offroading it in "Little Red," the name Bob gave his Jeep. As time progressed there was also a Jeep Cherokee and then a Land Rover after that, but the thing they all had in common was the 4-wheel-drive ability to gafiate (get away from it all).

Very early on in those days of our travels, a young law student from Chicago named David (always pronounced as two words "Daah Veed" ethnically) Lieberman would accompany us. His parents in Chicago had asked us to look after him occasionally.

We found him to be enthusiastic, eager, and an earnest student of honesty and honorable law. This is important. It was a pleasure to have him go along with us on some of those east-county backwoods safaris. We especially sought out sites where native Indian tribes had lived, scrounging up arrowheads and pottery shards. And climbing on huge boulders and sunbathing at tree-top level. Babes in the woods.

It was Daah Veed who reintroduced me to chopped liver sandwiches. He had discovered Blumer's Delicatessen in San Diego where you could get a reasonable facsimile of a Chicago style chopped liver sandwich. It was wonderful having that lust reignited within me and being able, almost, to satisfy it.

A year later, Harry Bremner would hire on at The Porno Factory as design director and, much to my surprise, reintroduce me to Blumer's and to Chicago style chopped liver all over again. It just keeps getting better.

Years later I was to find yet another deli that served the same sandwich, only this one was in Mexico City.

Naturally, all of us changed over time and other pursuits took over much of our free time. David moved on into his studies and into his contemporaries and Bob and Mary and me, while we still were permanently attached, found less time together away from work. Bob and I found more time together at work where we were both constantly shaking our asses trying to turn out an impossible amount of sleazy, erotic work every day.


Within our administration there are vast numbers of petty employees who actually do most of the work and far too many extremely elevated bosses who do none of it. These are the political payoff cronies or the very rich who buy ambassadorships and people like that who receive vast rewards from our administration in exchange for the vast personal rewards they force upon those who are supposed to protect and serve us instead of their purchasers. Ho-hum…yes…again and again until you finally get it right.

Many of those petty officials don't like those nonbosses who rule over them regardless of how detrimental that is to our nation. Then you toss into that mix just the right amount of my political party is better than your political party and either of us will screw all the citizens to protect the party from any one of them and you're starting to understand how it works.

I have often had occasion to wonder if my old first-porno lover Dina [See "Dina," eI8.] was one of them.

Only thing is you forget and, from Nixon to Bush it all starts over again, and the cliché about history repeating itself becomes meaningless. Again. And again.

A bunch of those petty officials adopted some of us at The Porno Factory over time…and there was plenty of that. We were a fixture, The Porno Factory was, and one that was there to stay and there had never been such a clamor for anything before. Damn near every time any federal agency began doing something they shouldn't do regarding us or most anything else, one of those petty officials would find a way to find us.

They were stand-out different from the usual federal employee in many ways. To begin with, they appeared to be honest and trustworthy, two qualities one would find difficulty relating to the US federal administration. And more important, not one of them ever wanted anything from us, but only to give to us. Not one of them demanded a payoff where that was customarily honorable law-enforcement's opening gambit. And, much more important than that was the fact that we never interfered with any of their business, never suggested a route that would lead to our personal betterment, didn't do a single thing that anyone could ever interpret as having been influential in any of their deliberations or official duties. It was strictly smile, say thank you, grasp the goodies, and keep on keeping-on.

These were secret routes that they devised to reach us, of course, because there was a bunch of paranoia in play in those days and all kinds of criminal cop illegal activity going on like wiretapping and secret filming and…. Nevertheless, secret routes began evolving and a regular group of contributors began feeding data into the pipeline. Nothing like being prepared, I always thought. The thing was, you could never tell when one of those angels would turn up and what kind of goodies they would be bringing with them.

These were unsung heroes, uncredited, no medals, not even a footnote. They were predecessors to Deep Throat, the petty official who eventually brought down Nixon's house of shame and evil. Not one of them did whatever they did for money. Not Deep Throat, not Martha Mitchell, and not the third assistant secretary of the… They all did it because each of them thought a crime was taking place and they were powerless to do anything about it except alert the target victim to prepare for the worst.


In 1967 I began traveling rather extensively throughout Europe, and then later Asia, looking for public domain erotica to use as reprint material by Greenleaf Classics. The Police Action that had been raising hell in Vietnam was still raging at a mass-murdering pace and people all over the country were starting to bitch about its unreasonableness and to question the morality of the US even being there in the first place. It was with the nation…most of the world…fully involved in the notwar the US administration was engaging in for the benefit of the military-industrial complex and all the big businessmen who needed those killing contracts for chemical weapons like agent orange thank you Dow hope you got the check and all those weapons of mass destruction the most powerful country in the world owned and operated to wipe out those $200-a-year-per-capita destitute peasants with $1 million each bombs. Damn, war sure is good for big business and all the professional politicians it owns and maintains.

So naturally I had to go there and see for myself what was going on…Vietnam that is. Because it was not a war and the world was not on a war-time footing, almost all normal, routine business continued to operate. That meant, especially, all the regularly scheduled airline flights that continued business as usual during the entire nonwar. [Unfortunately most of them fully booked, thanks to all the US military flying in and out all the time. It was impossible to get a ticket in tourist class but you could always get a first class ticket and ride up front with the FBI and the CIA and the high ranking officers in charge.] On a dare and as part of a challenge, I went there…as the officially accredited foreign correspondent for the fabled anti-establishment Los Angeles Free Press. And I had all proper US military credentials to go along with it…I spent some time just moving around, looking for myself, seeing what I could see. Saigon, Phu Bi, Chu Lai, Danang…evening news places that were warm and snuggly to every Frenchman's heart.

And while I was at it I managed to flip off enough high ranking military, to say nothing of the ones I told to fuck off because I was a civilian and they couldn't do a damned thing about it. I was threatened at least once, by a major, who kindly pointed out that if he killed me right there in that moment absolutely no one would ever know and nothing would happen to him, and he was right. I had heard that old story before from FBI and CIA toadies…and it never failed to scare the shit out of me but that was the one single thing I felt I could never allow them to realize about me and the way I could, apparently, confront them, regardless of rank, with such absolute authority considering how I really felt inside.

Somewhere, back in DC, the secret, nonexistent, national security dossier on me just kept getting fatter and fuller. They had many reasons to dislike me…and a few reasons to fear me.

By 1968, The Porno Factory had acquired numbers of federal groupies who had, on more than one occasion, proved to be true, valuable, and consistent. In January, an incident occurred in the Far East involving the USS Pueblo, a run-down, amateur-crewed spy ship on its maiden voyage, that was captured red-handed with a smoking gun and held by North Korea. In an unmatched comedy of administrative fumbling, that amateur crew and run-down boat was held for a long time and treated rather uncordially. None of them forgave the administration, so they began looking for us through the groupie route.

This incident serves perfectly to illustrate the extent and nature of people seeking our help to Fuck the Feds. Representatives from the officers and crew of the USS Pueblo came to us begging us to produce a retaliatory book for them. They came armed with photographs and documents and first-hand testaments and just about everything anyone would need to do a real butcher job on the feds. There were several meetings with committee-like groups of six Navy men at a time trying to get this project off the ground. For some reason we decided not to go with it and left it for someone else to do later. And magnificently too, I might add.

Peter V. Cooper (right), Editor in Chief, Greenleaf Classics, is shown managing the Greenleaf exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Dated October 1968.

A whole bunch of other ugly things were happening in 1968, like bombing the crap out of Vietnam. There were 525,000 red-blooded American heroes over there blasting away at every woman, child, geriatric, and infant in sight, working at something called "body counts" for Westmoreland's version of the evening news. United States Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned just before his chits could be called in and his good buddy Lyndon Johnson appointed the members to form a Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

That's when the idea for the book was born…the book to be the damnedest thing you ever saw that would at the same time teach and shock, and be praised and condemned, and to live forever.


Earl Kemp at the Sex 69 World's Fair of Sex in Copenhagen, holding up a poster for the following year's show. Photo by Bent Naesby dated 1969.

On July 10, 1969, the world stood still for just a moment for me. On the front page of the London Times, I read, "Mr. Richard Hoggart [was]…the first to use the word 'fuck' in court…."

I simply could not believe my own eyes, I read it again, and again. Yes…it clearly said fuck. Right there on the front page in the first column of type [of the Literary Supplement] of a major metropolitan newspaper. A pity it was the London Times and not the New York Times. In fact, as of this date, I am still waiting to see the word fuck in ANY major US newspaper anywhere, much less on the front page.

Then, among other international trade shows where Greenleaf Classics, Inc. routinely exhibited as a world-market provider, there was the stunningly exciting World's Fair of Sex in Copenhagen that eventually wound up as a Greenleaf Classic paperback named appropriately enough Sex 69 [GP535, Sex 69 by Erik Dahl (Earl Kemp) and Bent Naesby]. And, in the same year, Midnight Cowboy, an X-rated movie, was awarded the Oscar as Best Picture of the Year. Washington DC, especially Richard Nixon, trembled in fear of what that indicated.

Advertisements like this one for EKIBA A/S were regular features in Greenleaf Classic paperbacks and they reached millions of readers all over the world. "The most famous mail order firm in all Europe," EKIBA A/S, was a legal Danish corporation aka Earl Kemp, Ib Lauritzen & Associates. Dated 1968.

Edith Killrich (left) is owner of A/S Bookman, Denmark's oldest, biggest, and most prestigious literary agency. Ib Lauritzen (right) is her son, my partner, and managing director of A./S Bookman. Photo by Earl Kemp, Copenhagen, 1968.


When Richard Nixon first became president that year, far too many criminal activities to catalog were put into play and not the least of them was to scuttle that obscenity commission any way possible. Nixon had his own peculiar beliefs about sex and sexuality…just ask Pat (or "Mrs. Nixon" to Mr. Nixon)…and how they should be done according to his dictates. I was certainly not the first person to christen him "Dickless."

His first overt move happened in June when Commission Member Kenneth Keating resigned under pressure. In his position, Nixon appointed his good buddy Charles H. Keating, Jr. (no relation), of the Citizens for Decent Literature, and sent him into the fray to destroy the ongoing deliberations.

Keating, a well-known Nixon toadie at the time, was so well protected, so completely isolated from mundane people, he later felt he could get away with any crime, however horrendous. That's when he ripped off thousands of retirees of their funds when he looted Lincoln Federal Savings and Loan to build The Phoenician, an ultra deluxe pleasure palace for his political cronies (numbers of them were Republicans, go figure)…leaving the entire savings and loan industry in the whole USA in shambles.


1970 was a bumper bloody year for the administration. First there were those embarrassing and distasteful murders of the students at Kent State College to contend with, and then Nixon's invasion of Cambodia. Massive demonstrations against the administration's adamant activities in Vietnam were ongoing everywhere…and not just in the US of A.

Between all the killing and the double-talk in the media, it was difficult for me to drag myself away long enough to attend the Amsterdam Suck Film Festival where a Greenleaf Classics financed movie was entered in competition.

Adultery for Fun and Profit was awarded the feature-length trophy and we were all very proud of our accomplishments. We could hardly wait for Nixon to get a look at the flick.


August 11, 1970, President Nixon's press secretary Ronald Ziegler said, [If the Commission's Report on pornography ] "recommends what newspapers say it will recommend, the White House would be opposed to that."

The Wall Street Journal, in mid-August, began publishing leaks from the Commission indicating the results would not be to Nixon's liking. {It sure made me wonder who was doing such an awful thing as leaking that data to the media. Probably someone I knew pretty well.]

Eleven days after Ziegler's comment, Attorney General John Mitchell said, "the Commission is not associated with the Nixon administration. If we want a society in which the noble side of man is encouraged and mankind is elevated, then I submit pornography is surely harmful." In addition he added that pornography should be banned even if it is not harmful.

I don't suppose there is any way one could possibly apply that "society in which the noble side of man is encouraged and mankind is elevated" to Nixon or any of his criminal henchmen including most especially John Mitchell. It if wasn't for his courageous nutcase wife Martha, perhaps none of us would have really ever known…or been able to grin in self-satisfaction watching Mitchell himself go to prison for a few of his crimes as Attorney General of the United States of America under ("Reelect the") President Nixon's direct criminal orders.

In September, Charles Keating went to court and got a restraining order preventing the publication of the Commission's Report. By mid-month, Keating made an agreement to drop the court case in exchange for being allowed to write a dissenting opinion that would be included with the Report.

On the very same day, speaking for and through Citizens for Decent Literature, he bombarded Congress with letters asking for "a prompt and full Congressional investigation of the Commission."

On September 30 the final Report of the Commission was sent to the President, the Congress, and the U.S. Government Printing Office.

In October the Report was denounced by several persons representing the White House.

On October 23, President Nixon declared, "So long as I am in the White House, there will be no relaxation oft the national effort to control and eliminate smut from our national life…the Commission contends that the proliferation of filthy books and plays has no lasting, harmful threat on man's character… Centuries of civilization and ten minutes of comm9on sense tell us otherwise… American morality is not to be trifled with. The Commission on Pornography and Obscenity has performed a disservice, and I totally reject its Report."

Detroit Free Press, September 4, 1970.

On November 11, the Greenleaf Classics, Inc. illustrated edition of the Report was published.


Behind the scenes, all the time since the Commission first began gathering and analyzing data, they were plugged into us, not us into them, though we were well aware of that fact. They kept us continuously updated on any happening of any significance. We were supplied with copies of work-production notes, all manner of memoranda, working-copy in-progress documents…you name it.

We had every draft copy of every edition of the Report before it was distributed to the Commission members. And then, eventually, we got the big one, the tentative final draft copy of the entire Report.

We thought we had the whole thing greased and it slid along the assembly line just like clockwork.

Harry Bremner had plotted the physical package out ahead of time, and did a pretty tight design job on the book itself. All the original artwork was Harry's, the cover design itself, the inside frontispiece, down to the interior layout of the book. Harry was as proud as a peacock with the way it all turned out just the way he planned to start with.

With our hands on that draft copy of the Report, it went instantly into actual production. Several typesetters were working on it simultaneously on different sections. All of it was standing in type by the time the actual final version of the Report was agreed upon.

The pictures used to illustrate the text were assembled and keyed into the exact spots in the text. They were all set aside, waiting their moment in the sun.

The 20-something son of one of the Commission members was given the first available copy of that final manuscript. He took it directly to the airport and onto the next plane to San Diego, hand-delivering it to me, in the same manner many of the other documents had arrived.

Now all we had to do was to compare the two versions, make all the changes necessary in the standing type, and move right on into the good part, putting the iceing on Nixon's Fuck You! nonbirthday cake…hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the kind men like…many in true flesh-tone color at that.

The damnedest legal unactionable book ever created. What's not to love?


A Mr. Masaaki Hironaka, a Post Office suit, came to visit me one day out of the blue. He asked to see me without an appointment to ask me to kindly sign something for him. What he handed me was a fully filled out application form to rent a post office box. We had quite an interesting session with me telling him what a fuck-up he was coming at me with that blatant crap and ordering him out of my office.

The man cried real tears. He whimpered and pleaded with me and would have writhed upon my carpet had I not restrained him. Then I signed the card just to get rid of him.

Only thing was…I would see him again…in court…and I didn't know a thing about that at the time.


In March 1971, in an unusual occurrence that had never happened before, Attorney General John Mitchell (before his criminal conviction for his actions in office and while still in office), on the steps of the Justice Department, held a news conference to announce the indictment of four Greenleaf Classics, Inc. employees for numerous alleged crimes associated with the "unauthorized" production of the book.

Now, what was that again that Congress will make no laws restricting…?

Shortly thereafter, I resigned my position at Greenleaf Classics and departed the company. And all that time the killing continued in Vietnam by the rockets red glare.

The trial was scheduled to begin in October of that year. It did. Most of the best parts are covered in Stephen Gertz' article elsewhere in this issue of eI. Before Christmas it was all over except the singing and the appeals. Guilty of conspiring to mail obscene matter through the US postal system.


Throughout the entire run of the trial the two San Diego dailies plus some out of town newspapers and other media covered the happenings pretty thoroughly. Almost daily there were smear type headlines and questionably slanted reporting. On November 17, 1971, the San Diego Evening Tribune ran a six-column article under a banner headline stating "Attorney describes editor as crusader in pornography trial." The article has no byline. In it, the writer said:

"The editor of 'The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography' has been described as a public-spirited citizen on a crusade to help the American people.

"Local attorney Louis Katz, who represents…the defendant in a pornography trial in U.S. District Court, described…Earl Kemp yesterday as a 'pioneer in the field of explicit sexual material' who believes 'restrictions of such material are senseless….'

"Katz delivered his opening statement before the defense started its case on the 17th day of trial….Of Kemp, Katz told the jury in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson Jr.:

"'He is well-known in the literary field. In his tours of the United States and the world he learned that in all the world the United States seemed to have the most backward attitude toward sex.

"'He found his access to explicit sexual material made him a better father (of five children), a better family man. He believes access to such materials will strengthen the basic institutions of marriage and family by overcoming puritanical attitudes.

'"'He is not just an editor, but a campaigner….'

"'He feels that this book can help dispel fears, distrust,' Katz said, 'His goal is to help the American public and to show that the material can serve a useful purpose.

"'Mr. Kemp is very proud of his publication. He considers it a milestone of literature which can set a trend. The illustrations are placed for the purpose of educating and illustrating the text material. ….

"'This book is not without social redeeming value,' Katz told the jury. 'It has a great deal of value. It is a very important book, a very important scientific work which will be used by libraries and educators for many years….'


As soon as I knew the name of the judge who would try my case, Gordon Thompson, Jr., he went onto my discovery list. I had, over time, acquired a habit of trying to know everything there is to know about any adversary I might be forced to joust with and he would be a major candidate for the battle. And I did; by the time the trial had begun, I knew far more than I ever wanted to know about the man. I knew people who grew up with him in the old neighborhood and went to school with him. I knew people he went to college with, belonged to clubs with, got his degree with.

I felt that he had also gotten to know me, though I was clearly mistaken. We kept running into each other at unexpected times and places, in courthouse elevators and lawyer hallways and judges chambers; he always looked at me happily, first. His eyes would light up and a smile begin on his face and then Whammy! he would remember who I was and all that joy would vanish and be replaced with a blank stare.

I sat in the back of his courtroom for days on end before our trial began, watching him and studying how he acted and reacted and, as far as I was concerned, both of us knew each other rather well and the love/hate just kept boogieing right along. All this before he even began thinking about the route to my destruction.


The damnedest thing happened. One day when I returned to the office following some forgotten appointment, my secretary, Patty Lamb, handed me my telephone messages that had come in during my absence. Each was written on a separate piece of notepaper. One of them grabbed my immediate attention.

"Your chopped liver sandwiches will be ready to pick up at 2 pm." The message was signed Daah Veed.

Big bells began ringing in my head. It had been several years since I had even heard that name, and to receive such a carefully constructed and innocuous message actually told me many things. There was no way I wouldn't pick up those chopped liver sandwiches.

I arrived at Blumer's Delicatessen just before 2 pm and David Lieberman (which in true suspense fiction is not his real name of course) met me there. For minutes it was old times and we were once again basking in the sun bareass atop the boulders in the treetops. Then we dived into those chopped liver sandwiches as if we really loved them…and finally the good part began….

"I'm Schwartz's clerk," David said…going on to explain that he was the chief clerk of the chief judge of the federal district circuit court. He went on to tell me that some highly unusual things had been ongoing for a while that somehow involved me. There were many phone calls coming into the court house for Judge Schwartz and other judges in the district from the White House and Richard Nixon personally, and those calls involved me and Greenleaf and….

"Every thing routed through the court house to any judge in the district goes through my hands. That's every letter, package, parcel delivery, phone call, and lunch basket. You need to know what's going on. I've been thinking about it and worrying about it and I don't want to get into any trouble, but…."

Before that chopped liver had begun digesting, we had worked out a number of alternate secret routes to contact each other and ingenious means for data transfer. We agreed that, after that afternoon, neither of us would make any effort to see or meet with the other in order to continue the distance between the two of us that had already existed for years. No person was to be able to connect the two of us together in any manner.

Then, we selected a time and a date to do an innocuous walkthrough of the federal courthouse where David felt it necessary to point out some hidden objects to me. We did that, with David walking down the corridors of the different floors of the courthouse many feet ahead of me, pointing out on the walls (at benches just outside the courtrooms) and in the ceilings where microphones were hidden for purposes of eavesdropping on lawyer/client strategy conversations and things like that. A stern warning to never attempt any valid communication in any of the building's restrooms, male or female.

Everything you would ever really need to know to watch out for the sonsofbitches.

Then, as the trial progressed and continued and stretched out and lasted forever, David came up with the damnedest things.

There were all those phone calls from the Justice Department and from the White House and all directly to the Honorable Gordon Thompson, Jr…and they really were almost daily during trial sessions…sort of a back-up cheerleading chorus…fuck them over good!

Then there were more significant things like the list of the judges of the district who were invited to La Casa Pacifica, Robert Aplenoff's pay-off palace Nixon was borrowing at the time just north of San Diego, and who declined the summons as being a conflict of duty.

And the name of the one who didn't.

And much, much more that no mere mortal should ever know about anyone with power enough to eradicate them.

The ironic part of it all is that, following that trial, I never saw David again and never had the
opportunity to share another chopped liver sandwich with him.


After our convictions, I was ordered to appear before the Federal Probation Department for a pre-sentencing interview. I asked Lou Katz, my trial attorney, what to expect and what to do while taking the interview.

Katz told me that the interview would be handled by Alex Levanos, who was head of the department at the time. He also told me that Levanos was one of the good guys and that I should be totally honest about everything I say to him and that I should not restrict myself in any manner.

So I did. I went into that interview and opened myself wide and let it all flow out…a decade of wiretaps and surveillance and abuse at the hands of the feds. How I felt they were operating directly out of the White House and were all criminally inspired. How they have threatened me and demanded money from me and how they could have, at any time, conveniently murdered me and how Nixon was really riding my ass hard and…

Levanos' report to the judge indicated that I was really suffering from some serious delusions of paranoia. That I felt the feds were somehow out to get me and that, most ridiculous of all, I somehow had the absurd notion that the President somehow knew of my existence and somehow was out to get little old me. The rantings of a nutcase.

Levanos lived up to Katz' expectations.


Mr. Masaaki Hironaka reared his Oriental head again…much to my surprise.

He telephoned me one day out of the blue and asked if he could please come and speak with me, indicating that it was very important to him to do so.

Because I was curious, and am naturally generous to a fault, even to extremely unworthy individuals like Nixon…like Hironaka…I agreed to meet with him privately.

When I saw him I recognized immediately that he was not the man I knew before nor was he the man who had sat in that courthouse and testified that I applied to rent that damned incriminating Post Office box. The man before me was gone…beaten down...used up.

Right away he began blubbering and mumbling incoherently. I remembered he was already good at that, begging and pleading.

"I have ruined your life," he said, and that was the God's truth, though I didn't and don't blame him but I do blame the evil for which he stands.

"I knew it all along… I am so sorry, Mr. Kemp, Sir." (He was finally getting it right.)

"Doing so has destroyed me completely. I can't eat. I can't sleep any more. Nothing is good. I walk through continuous nightmares….

"Will you please forgive me…?"

And I did, there on the floor where he literally threw himself at my feet, writhing. I helped him up and passed the blessing and allowed him to kiss the ring.

I told him that all was well and absolved him of all responsibility for his decapitating blow to my life and my life's work. It took me a bit of talking to convince him that I was sincere, and that he could go home and relax and…at last…find peace at the hands of a convicted criminal.

How much irony can one freedom fighter handle?


By January of 1972, all of San Diego County was in an uproar about Richard Nixon. The Republican Convention that would return Nixon to the White House for a second term was scheduled to be held there. To insure his victory, Nixon was stacking the local deck like you wouldn't believe. San Diego was under siege, literally. Every road in and out of town was closed without warning from time to time testing the "isolation" moves to be used while Nixon was attending the convention. Internment camps were set up at numerous spots around town to house the dissidents and other radicals on Nixon's arrest-and-detain list. Nixon's name was on everyone's lips and most of those lips didn't like the taste of what was happening right before their very eyes.

They set up such a clamor that, after expenditure of many millions of dollars to outfit San Diego (At least one deluxe 5-star hotel was built just for that occasion by Mr. San Diego of the Century and Nixon's very own best buddy C. Arnhold Smith…notorious criminal and money launderer. In addition the CIA tainted Sheraton chain built a high-rise to house the less significant delegates. Both buildings languished empty and out of fashion for many years after that.) in a style suitable to accommodate the convention delegates, Nixon ran for his life at the last minute. He scuttled Smith, Sheraton, San Diego, and all…and high-tailed it to a rump convention in Miami much to the delight of the San Diegans.

"That old cocksucker" (to quote Richard Nixon) J. Edgar Hoover died…Nixon's best friend and his biggest enemy. The whole world rejoiced. Hairy Ass Truman and the voice of the angels, Mahalia Jackson, also died that year and, on February 7th, Bill Hamling and I were sentenced to prison for, any way you cut it, violating the First Amendment.


On October 12, I wrote the following to Stanley Fleishman regarding my in-progress appeals:

"Reading through this brief I have made one or two insignificant observations that I will now pass on for what they are worth. At p. 5 'postal patrons…were unable to testify' shouldn't some correction be made so the appellate court will know that was 'postal inspectors deemed unsuitable to testify' in fact and not as represented here. At P. 8 'Testimony from Postal…signed by appellants Kemp…': and P. 41-42 Kemp '…was identified in court by postal employee Masaaki Hironaka as having….signed the Post Office box rental application…etc.' FACT; Mr. H came to see me without an appointment with a filled-out application which he asked me to sign. I refused. He LITERALLY BEGGED me to sign it saying if he went back with the application without my signature he would be in lots of trouble. I told him point blank that I did not sign applications for box rentals and that I was not making application for one and was not signing that one. He repeatedly begged me to do so until he was almost in tears. Soft-heartedly, I signed it, loudly verbally under protest, and told him to get out of my office…and that's the whole truth. I knew at the time I shouldn't have signed that blank and I definitely know it now…."

In another letter dated June 14, 1973 and again to Stanley Fleishman, I returned to the same subject:

"…at the risk of repeating myself to someone who has already heard it loudly and clearly. Due to the nature of the Post Office handling of this [box rental} card, whereupon they presented it to me in my office and demanded that I sign it personally, sometime prior to the indictment, indeed pleaded with me tearfully upon my refusal to do so, clearly stinks of deliberate entrapment and was an obvious case-building move on their part, constructing from nonexistent materials. This fact must be brought out in some manner."

Both letters were signed "Love, Earl."

And Mr. Hironaka would surface yet again….


On June 17, 1972 a little caper that came to be known as Watergate hit the fan with a whole bucketful of Nixon's foul shit in it. Suddenly, although it was much too late for me, people finally began believing some of the things I had said about Nixon and his henchmen all along.

Sometime later, at a charity fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union being hosted by Vince Miranda [Vince was one hell of a host; it was an honor to be invited to any one of his affairs.] of the Pussycat Theatre chain, I ran into an old friend, Alex Levanos. [Remember? All of us criminal types belong to the same clubs, the convicted as well as the not-yet convicted.]

Levanos went out of his way to get to me, and greeted me warmly and shook my hand.

"I owe you a big apology," he said. "When I interviewed you in my office, I have to admit I didn't believe a word you said, only now with Watergate and all, I know differently.

"I am terribly sorry for my failure. I wish there was some way I could make it up to you…"

"But you can't…" I finished for him, and tried my best to put him at ease.

That was two for two.

The one man whose contrived and forced testimony linked me to the only single thing that led to my conviction, my signature on an entrapment card…Mr. Masaaki Hironaka….

The one man who's evaluation of me directly influenced the judge in his deliberations…Alex Levanos….

Where would it all end? How many convicted criminals do you suppose there are out there who have been persuaded to forgive their convictors for crimes against them?

How much better could it possibly get in the best of all possible worlds?

I'll tell you, and I bet you'll understand.

I had the extreme pleasure of watching every single individual who participated in a conspiracy to frame me for participating in a conspiracy go to prison themselves…except one…the biggest prick of all.

That's how much better it can get.


When I finally decided for real that I would write my memoirs, the first thing I did was to reestablish contact with every living federal authority that participated in a legal conspiracy to convict me of that crime.

Judge Gordon Thompson, Jr., as their tool, was first on the list. I was told ahead of time by those who know him best, that he would not respond to my efforts in any fashion. They were correct; he did not.

Masaaki Hironaka was next on my list. I reminded him that I had blessed him and forgiven him and that I now required that he return the favor. All I wanted from him was to admit publicly to his involvement in the conspiracy. He did not reply to me as well.

There were others, of course, some stepped right up and said howdy…you were a good guy all along, but they are not the type people legends are made of.

Thompson is. Hironaka is.

I am.

By the time Stephen Gertz (from a long line of First Amendment freedom fighters) came along, I was well underway gathering fodder for my mind…memories of my past. His interest in the subject area and specifically in the trial that led to my conviction, really inspired me to have at my memoirs with a vengeance…and I have been and I am.

I arranged for Gertz to interview Thompson. I formulated the questions for Gertz to ask the judge. They were only the questions I wanted him to answer for me in the first place and he sorely disappointed me. After all those years and all that experiencing and knowledge gathering, he still isn't ready to stand up for himself and take it like a man.

I arranged for Gertz to contact Hironaka as a point of honor and to try to convince him that true peace of mind only comes with authenticated innocence. He defaulted into his blubber mode and stopped eating and stopped sleeping again.

I guess I'll have to wait for his next request for forgiveness to get some in return.

God and the Republican Party will grant Thompson his now that I already have.

_ _ _
*In Memory of Stanley Fleishman, Sam Rosenwien, and Robert McDaniel, and for my legal eagle Lou Katz; still crazy after all these years. Dated May 2003.

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.
                -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1908

Upon the occasion of my indictment in 1971, my daughter Edith presented me with her interpretation of the event. I have kept it carefully and treasured it securely ever since.

A Blatantly Personal Position*

By Earl Kemp, Vice President and Editorial Director, Greenleaf Classics, Inc.

There are things that one must do. For me, this book is such a task. It has been in preparation now since January 1968, and I have known it all along. It has been long and exhausting and the turmoil is yet to come.

Nevertheless, the only significant thing is that the facts herein will live on forever, despite petty hypocrisy, petty men, and petty deeds. All of us (at Greenleaf) are very proud of this accomplishment, of many things we have done before this. Our record is clear, we sign everything very proudly, very noticeably.… Despite all the efforts I have made to remove myself to a more objective position, I keep falling into much the same trap as does Charles Keating; I can't see the freedom for all the agitators standing in the way.

And I had such high hopes for this Report, for the results of the Commission's findings. I had no thought that it would become tangled up in elections and private-reason fund-raising, only that the truth would make us free.

Gawd, how I think about the "sacrifice" you are making on behalf of "freedom". Okay, so don't be a hero. At least let me think you are one. (I will not remind you again that I said on the stand, under oath, that your introduction to the Report was "one of the most beautiful things I've ever read in the English language." Nothing I know or have seen since has marred that impression.
God love you….
                --Dr. Jack Haberstroh, San Diego State University. Dated 2-11-76.

On that early January 1968 morning, with the dew still boldly on the ground, I went walking along with Diogenes, when he was sent forth with a $2 million light in his hand to find an honest man. He was, coincidentally, expected to regulate (control, adjust, put in order) the honest man's personal selections of private diversions for his individual consumption.

He found that honest man everywhere he went, by the tens of thousands, and returned to describe him as "predominantly white, middle-class, middle-aged, married male…in a business suit or neat casual attire." Diogenes went on to say that the honest man was rather content in the knowledge that most of his fellow honest men preferred to let him do things for himself, so Diogenes spoke up for this majority, saying, "Let my people go," and urging release from harassment by minor factions who were actually hindering law enforcement and incurring horrendous public expenditure by over-zealously "attempting to impose their own standards on the total community…(who) tend to feel that there is widespread community support for their position, whether this is true or not. Those individuals who want the most restrictions on (their neighbors)…even when they are a minority (and), tend to think that most others in the community want the same degree of restriction."

Unfortunately, too few authorities were listening to Diogenes, the other worthies somehow couldn't hear him. Certainly they didn't want to do anything wrong, so they devoted a full forty minutes to Diogenes' 1,053 pages of cold, valid fact that they hadn't seen before, and listened to a few pleas by the minority portion of the minority group, and dismissed Diogenes, and banished the facts, lest they interfere with truth as they were busily distorting it.

But I heard him.

I heard his words through the crackling fresh intellectual air of Denmark, and through the Swedish freedom. I heard him in Germany, flexing his tired muscles now that unnecessary shackling laws are being removed from his shoulders. I heard him in the Netherlands, in Israel and in Great Britain, as each of them voted to cast off the hypocrisy.

I even thought I heard him here, in the United States (such a leader? But so incredibly behind), approaching a rationality threshold. God, how wrong I was, to think he could be that nearby. The gifts Diogenes was bearing could have meant so very much to us all; how desperately I yearn for them…how very much I could love them, were they only mine to guard and protect.

"They" lied to me. They have always lied to me. They said I "live in the land of the free" and proved it by attempting to shackle me, by attempting to "allow" me access to anything they approve of. They did this to me while I was quite young, while it was possible for them to really control me. They went on to tell me that we have the best of the best the world offers, but only here. They went on to tell me that we do only the best things possible in all the whole world, and never, never a naughty thing.

I believed, damn "them!" Then they let me have a look at what "freedom" really was (elsewhere). Then they let me have a look at the best of the best the world offers (elsewhere). Then they let me have a look at the very, very bad things we were doing to innocent people in all the whole world (everywhere). Thank God their teachings took, because I am now so much better than "them." I know the difference and they don't. I will be free, and they will continue only to think that they are.

My purpose now is to encourage others to pause, in their own heads, long enough to discover if they are doing things for themselves. If they are not, they should insist on that right; fight for it if necessary, if they want it. I will have it; they taught me to be free and I will. Each person is greater than the whole, and each person owes it to the next to see that they realize their own potential, and achieve it, for themselves, by themselves.

Each man is God; none has the right to be less, for himself.

Today I am quite sad. All those great and wonderful people in Washington have told me that they will not listen to the words of the majority ("the majority rules?"), that they will turn their backs on reality. The incredible embarrassment of it all, the shame, just knowing that these people are the ones we have selected to provide for the common welfare according to the majority dictates. ("You will do as I say if I have to kill you?")

Today is a humiliation I never really expected. Inside I will cry for a long time; not at my loss, but for "them" who turn their backs. They need me now more than ever. Father, forgive them.

Three years ago this month, this book was born. I knew it then. I knew it again in January 1968 when the Commission was formed. Each time I read a newspaper clipping or heard a newscast, I knew it again.

I knew it watching the May 4-5, 1970 Los Angeles hearings, and Father Hill. Noticing how he never listened, I prayed for him, in the hopes he might find the way. He was so very busy formulating his questions, diverting the business at hand into personal channels. He needed to learn so badly.

Once I was a Father Hill, and I found myself wanting better of all my friends than they were capable of being, than they were capable of handling, than they wanted. All they really wanted was to be themselves. I couldn't understand how they could settle for so little, why they didn't aspire to the heights I alone knew they were capable of reaching. And I lost them, because they couldn't be what I wanted for them. I suffered for that and, in suffering, discovered my error, discovered that they had been, all the while, their own person. I was the loser, not them.

Father Hiss is the loser, not the "predominantly white, middle-class, middle-aged, married male…in a business suit or neat casual attire." Help him.

Help all those who would deny that time is, that evolution continues, that changes will happen. Help all those in high places with not totally personal objectives to see that there is a gap of what is and what they say there is that could just possibly kill us all. Help all those very very sick, very very old men who have spent more than one lifetime distorting statistics for perverse purposes…the ones who couldn't recognize the generation gap in my father's day, and would just as soon lock up everyone under forty today.

Help those who, peculiarly, equate fuck with love, and can't see the ecstatic joy radiating from a naked human body. How pathetic they are…how desperately they need us. ("To murder gooks-especially old women and little children-is divine, and never forget that your first number is just one step away from ODing heroin.")

God that you are, help the God that I am help them discover the God within themselves help all.

Help even the man who would dare to tell me that I couldn't speak "…in any public place" (see the Hill-Link statement) the words "go fuck yourself" without being "punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both…" And should I have the strength, after that, to say "go fuck yourself again," to be punished "by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in the State prison not exceeding five years, or by both…."

Pity the poor actor "who, during the course of a play, night club act, motion picture, television production, or other exhibition, or mechanical reproduction of human conduct, engages in any…simulated act of sexual intercourse…offstage…would be subject to prosecution…" to the very same extent as I for telling that guy up there to "go fuck yourself."

If that actor and I just sat around in private, having a bull session about producing a hypothetical musical we could call Hair, or an imaginary "entertainment" we could call "Oh!, Calcutta!," we would both be "punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in the State prison not exceeding five years, or by both…."

Help the man.

It is up to all of us, now, to shoulder our guns and protect that overgrown "Orange County" from those Commiepinkolonghaireddirty-college kids (shoot more of them, by damn, nothing less than a regular blood bath) and other misfits who're saying "things aren't that way any more?" They'll come around to our way of thinking, in time, if any of them live that long. Just keep raising their taxes and don't let any of them get their hands on any truthorfacts, and keep all that psychologically dependent dopeshit away from them, and make them realize just how dirty their minds and desires are. Shit, man, hurry. Let's finish off this sonofabitching fifth and get on over to th' mutherfuckin' whorehouse.


Time is.
We are.
Evolution will.
I am.
Fuck you very much.


At the time of my conviction, and in an attempt at cheering me up, my daughter Edith excerpted this poem and illuminated it grandly before presenting it to me as a keepsake. I treasure it still.

Stein and Day published a delightful satire in late August, just when the Commission's Report was due. The anonymous author called it The Obscenity Report and it created a minor stir in Washington, as well as in the book industry. It is ironic how closely its predictions paralleled reality. I quote from the Stein and Day book:

"There has been considerable speculation in Washington and New York to the effect that The Obscenity Report would not be released to the public…because of the controversial nature of its findings. This means that this important document…might not…see the light of day."

A good many powerful men tried to see that just that happened.

It is quite easy to see that the Report of this Commission is destined to become the definitive example of what a Presidential Report should be. The blatant repudiation by President Nixon and his advisors is a fearful reaction to facts that do not fit a preconceived ideology.

Burying facts, or one's head, are acts ill suited to either a President or a democracy. If we are determined to ignore reality and the ability to evolve with it, the price of rigid ideologies has become too high, because our own growth as a people has become part of that price.

The type of hysteria that propounds unquestioning maintenance of the status quo is a form of backsliding. Nothing remains the same, and the only alternative to backsliding is progress.

In Copenhagen, last year, I personally participated in the Kutschinsky study involving 398 Copenhagen residents selected at random. It was rather exciting, the time I spent with the Kutschinsky workers, discussing the results to that point with them. And I didn't even know what the purpose of their surveys would be at the time…


*Excerpt from my Foreword to The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Dated 1970. In fondest memory of Kobenhavn, Edith, Ib, Bibsa, and H.H.

A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought, within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.
                -- Dr. M.L. King Jr.


By Earl Kemp

In 1964 William Hamling discovered California, only it wasn't real. What he found was Palm Springs, an elite hideout for the elite, a fantasy in anyone's imagination. Here, everywhere he looked, he saw someone he recognized, someone rich and famous and admired. They, and their way of life, represented everything he ever thought he ever wanted. Surely, if he lived there among them he would automatically be one of them and people, whenever they saw him, would see someone they recognized, someone rich and famous and admired. It took him a very long time to realize that that was never going to happen.

Only dreams are the last things to die. To build upon his dream, Hamling bought a big, pretentious house in Palm Springs not because he liked it, or wanted it, but because it was big and pretentious. That it reflected a lifestyle totally alien to him was no consideration. That the house was built to showcase the talents of a particularly flashy gay interior decorator and was particularly flashy and gay seemed to escape him totally. No single thing about it reflected Hamling or his personal tastes except perhaps the location, ass-to-ass with Jack Warner and across the street from Kirk Douglas.

The more he became addicted to California living, the less we saw of him around The Porno Factory in Evanston. Then, much to our dismay, he began making noises about changing the whole focus of the business and moving the operation totally to California where morals were a great deal more relaxed than in Illinois, where the really beautiful people lived, and where the sun always shined. Along with this came his preliminary efforts at alerting certain key staff members to the eventuality of moving along with their jobs. I was one of them.

As those efforts became more real, Hamling picked out and rented suitable office space for the companies in an industrial complex off Mission Gorge Road in a section of San Diego known as Mission Valley.

In 1964, Mission Valley was a bit out of the way, rustic and very agrarian. In fact, dairies lined both sides of the road winding through the valley and as you traversed the quiet, pastoral route, the aroma of fresh cow shit followed you for miles of nothing but greenery, with almost no businesses in sight anywhere.


In 1769 Father Junipero Serra discovered California, only it wasn't real. He would see to that. As part of the construction of a string of missions all along the coastline of the continent of two future nations, Father Serra and his band of Christian Soldiers brought bountiful gifts to everyone they encountered enroute.

At the Presidio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Serra had constructed a fort and a mission, using the local residents, farmers, and animal tenders as slave labor. Toward this end, Serra was well equipped with various religious trappings such as torture racks, cat-o'-nine-tales, maces, genital clamps and restraints, forceps and anal and vaginal probes, hot-oil injectors, and the lack, should any local resident be reluctant to give their all to Serra's demands.

In 1774, Serra caused the Mission San Diego de Alcala to be moved a few miles inland from the Presidio to a more advantageous location in a lush valley fed by a gently rambling river. Here, amid the splendor and the glory of the magnificent valley, the mission proudly housed the torture equipment, the prison cells for non-Catholics, and the torture chambers themselves. Still, to this day, proudly displayed; a tour guide will fondle the equipment lovingly while describing its religious applications to you in great detail.

As time and progress moved beyond Father Serra, San Diego and San Diego County slowly came along to replace him and his legacy in what would permanently be known as Mission Valley. When they were gone, they left behind some ruins of the fort at the Presidio, the impressive Alcala torture house, and fragments of the Mission Valley dam. That dam, like the mission itself, was also built of the blood and flesh of the tortured locals from whom everything was extracted for the greater glory of Serra and his financial backers.

The whole troop that supported Serra was notorious for their personal body filth and avoidance of water contact. The locals believed they could smell them from miles away. Amid all that personal adornment they also harbored diseases of types completely unknown before that time that almost wiped the locals out completely. And they also left behind a few bastard Catholics and, for the women, some particularly vile vaginal diseases.


Bill Hamling sent me a message to meet with him secretly for a mutually important private discussion. We elected the Mission Valley dam as a reasonably safe, neutral location for our meeting. It had become increasingly more difficult to feel unobserved wherever we happened to be, and anything resembling privacy was very welcomed.

It was a quiet, sobering meeting for both of us. We were so removed from the rest of the world, out there by the dam, surrounded by huge ballooning trees that hid us from everything and everything from us. The parking lot was empty and, at that time of day, almost no traffic passed by on the road leading to Santee. Overhead, a PSA jet downthrottled and banked slowly, lining up for an abrupt landing in the heart of downtown San Diego. No cars passing by, no people, no secret surveillers lurking behind the foliage. We assumed there were no microphones or cameras. We were safe at least for the moment, and wouldn't be interrupted.

There was a noticeable Santa Ana wind blowing in from Anza Borrego and ruffling the lush branches of the huge river-bottom trees. The air itself was filled with the heady fragrance of yesterday's dreams unrealized and tomorrow's terrors unknown.

We sat there on some of the old stones that formed the dam itself, lugged there over great distances and slowly eased into place by the encouragement of the slaver's cat-o'-nine-tales many decades earlier. Bill's cologne clashed with the ambiance; too expensive. Now and then, one of us would toss a pebble at random into the river, watching ripples spiraling outward from the point of contact, reluctant to even speak.

The sound of the river water as it rushed and rippled over rocks and minor falls was a lullaby of total contentment. Sparrows and other birds flittered about overhead, chirping away happily. A hungry frog terrorized a school of minnows trying to hide amid an outcropping of reeds quite near the shoreline. The huge sycamores and oaks were at peak season, occasionally emitting gentle wafts of pollen like yellow clouds. Orange and black Monarchs fluttered through the pollen, trying to capture all they possibly could on their outstretched wings.

A lizard scurried through the dead leaves audibly just over to the left and paused to lap up a couple of grubworms. Two amorous dragonflies, united in coitus, flying together, buzzed past Hamling's head. Idly he brushed at them, oblivious to their insect ecstasy.

It had been months since our indictment, and since I resigned from The Porno Factory and moved on without Hamling, so things were a bit strained between the two of us. Neither of us dared to even approach the general direction of our mutual discontent, lest we both suffer permanent damage. Instead we lapsed into our last hurrah; we were there only to attend a funeral and to play "Taps" over the corpse of our fallen comrade…ourselves.

It was the last time Hamling and I were ever to meet on common ground to discuss our futures and what we might be able to do about them, if anything. In fact, memory tells me that this was not only the last but the very first time the two of us had ever done anything, went anywhere significant alone together, in twenty years. Office meetings and business lunches didn't count, but I have no memory of the two of us ever eating alone either, as far as that goes. Years earlier there had been a planned trip to Tokyo together, but he canceled out at the very last minute because of some marital dispute. It was a great trip we had planned, too, first class all the way; a pity I had to go it alone.

We made plans for the upcoming trial, both of us agreeing that Stanley Fleishman was the only man for the job, for either of us. Hamling and his company would pay for my defense, of course, and I would have my own attorney, Louis Katz, but he would be answerable directly to Stanley and not to me. We created a few nonsense code words to cover wildly different eventualities that were designed to have meaning only for the two of us, and to initiate certain actions accordingly.

Then, with the business finished, the reasons for our meeting covered, Hamling slipped into a reminiscing mood unlike anything I had ever known him to exhibit previously. He almost letdown to the point of humanity.

"I'm really tired of them," he said, "and some of their actions."

"Who?" I asked, but I knew them well.

"Those sonsofbitches in Washington," he said, "and here too, of course. Always, always sticking their hands out, demanding something.

"I don't know if you know this or not," he began, "but back in Evanston, in 1963, Pierre Sallinger came to the office one day, unannounced."

I did know, of course, only I pretended I didn't. Secret things always have ways of turning up and the bigger the secret, the quicker it's shared.

"He told me he had come to see me at John Kennedy's request. John, it seemed, was a bit concerned about the precarious legal position we were in with our books. Sallinger said that John said he could make sure all our troubles would go away for $20,000."

The suggestion, on its face alone, was ridiculous. Even in 1963, John Kennedy's price would have been in the hundreds of thousands, if not a million.

"And you gave it to him, of course," I said.

"Yes," Bill said. "I phoned the bank. They wrapped the money in a tight bundle and delivered it to me right away.

"I handed the package to Sallinger and he grabbed it like a starving kid in a candy store and left immediately, clutching it under his arm inside his suit jacket."

And, unknown to everyone, I stood at the top of the stairs watching his fat French ass waddle out of sight.


"And, that wasn't the worst of it," Hamling said. "The one that really pissed me off came a bit later. You weren't around then, off in Europe somewhere when it happened. Another one of those secret goddamned messages, only this one was from the United States Supreme Court.

"Abe Fortas wanted to see me in Washington. His message was for me to meet him in a certain room at the Hilton at a certain time on a certain day…and to bring $50,000 in cash just for grins."

"Abe Fortas, an honest to goodness sitting United States Supreme Court Justice?" I asked, incredulously, even though I had already heard the story from other sources.

"Yeah," Bill said, "the sonofabitch. He was soliciting a bribe. They all do, every one of them…goddamnit, they ask for…demand money.

"I got the cash, of course, all neatly packed inside a new attaché case, a Samsonite as I recall, and headed of to Washington. I followed his instructions to the letter.

"Some assistant opened the door when I knocked, and asked my name. It was obvious he was expecting me. He took me right into a second room where Fortas was waiting. All he wanted was the briefcase; he reached for it instantly.

"'I feel I can be of enormous service to you in the future,' he said," Bill said. "'In fact, I can absolutely guarantee a reversal should you happen to be convicted in any court. You're safe with me.'

"He grabbed my hand in a weak shake and had his assistant show me to the door. In and out just like that, in maybe five minutes tops," Bill said.

Pretty good rates, I thought, at $10,000 a minute.

"It's really hard to believe," I said, finding it difficult to accept the fact that after all the hype, the lessons, the teachings, justice is, after all, only a matter of price in the U.S. of A. "Who watches the watchbird?"

"Huh?" Hamling said. "What was that?"

"Oh, just an obscure reference to Ladies Home Journal."

Only it was a real question in my mind. "Who watches the watchbird" They were all gone, every one of them who had sworn to protect and to serve, and each had taken the money they asked for and turned their backs and…forgotten.

The awful chronology of it all overwhelmed me because, in my head, there was a clear chain of continuity that started with the Chicago ward-heeler and the foot patrolman that lead directly to administrative inspectors and supervisors to petty court clerks and minor judicial employees to municipal court judges to superior court judges. And then to appellate court judges and sitting governors and presidential cabinet-level spokesmen and, if they are to be believed, one sitting president of the United States and one bona fide Supreme Court Justice…and the truth will make you free?

And that's where we were, there atop the Mission Valley dam, headed right into a stacked forum filled with them and by damned they had their orders and they knew how the system worked as well as either of us.

"Gotcha! Fucker!" Portrait of The Evil One as Richard Nixon, by Charlie Williams.
Copyright 2003.

The menace lurking there in the darkness behind the wispy shadows somehow resembled a righteously pissed-off Richard Nixon…waiting…hungry.

The image and vernacular of The Evil One, inconvenienced, was well known. Perspiration stood out in greasy globules everywhere. His beady little rat-like eyes narrowed into sharp focus onto me, his eyelids closing into tiny slits across his wrinkled-up face. His eyebrows, like storm clouds rushing across the ocean, loomed far forward and seemed to merge into his receding hairline. The unfortunate part was, even then, there was no joy, not even a hint of anything like satisfaction in his voice.

"Gotcha! Fucker!"

Nothing to do but run toward Fear, screaming, arms flailing, wondering if that would be the one time when it wouldn't work.
*For my friend William L. Hamling and everything good we ever tried to do for you. Dated January 2001.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises, at first, a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
                -- Tom Paine

[In eI4 I proudly published Stephen J. Gertz' Earthlings, Beware!, part one of "A Galaxy of Porn In San Diego" (See eI4.) excerpted from his monumental project An Amazing Kingdom of Thrills; American Pulp Erotica 1966-1973. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, publication of part two of this exciting docudrama was delayed until now. I am pleased to present the following excerpt from Gertz' excellent book. -Earl Kemp]

The Apotheosis*
A Galaxy of Porn In San Diego
Copyright © 2003 by Stephen J. Gertz. All rights reserved.

By Stephen J. Gertz

On October 3, 1967, Public Law 90-100, creating The President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, is signed into law. The President's Report will be, as much as is humanly possible, an unbiased, empirical study of the pornography industry and the effects of pornography on individuals and society. President Lyndon Johnson appoints a broad panel of experts from various fields with William B. Lockhart, Dean of University of Minnesota Law School, as Chairman. Edward E. Elson, President Atlanta News Agency; Thomas D. Gill, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court for the State of Connecticut; Edward D. Greenwood, Child Psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic; Morton Hill, S.J., President of Morality in Media; G. William Jones, Asst. Professor of Broadcast/Film at SMU in Dallas; former New York Senator Kenneth B. Keating, Judge, New York Court of Appeals; Joseph T. Klapper, a sociologist and Director of CBS television's Office of Social Research; Otto N. Larson, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington; Irving Lehman, Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, Miami Beach; Freeman Lewis, VP-Publishing at Simon & Schuster; Winfrey C. Link, a ranking officer in the Methodist Church; Morris A. Lipton, Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina Medical School; Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General, Sacramento, CA; Barbara Scott, Attorney, Motion Picture Association of America; Cathryn A. Spelts, an English teacher in Rapid City, S. Dakota; and Marvin E. Wolfgang, Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, are appointed Commission members along with a professional and support staff of twenty-two.

Johnson and Congress likely expected the President's Commission to provide ammunition in the war against smut, and President Nixon, elected in November 1968 to represent the "Silent Majority" whose wish was to roll-back the liberalizing decisions of the Warren Court and establish a counter-revolution to the '60's Counterculture, is sure that the Report, when completed, will justify regressive Supreme Court reinterpretations of obscenity law, particularly now that Chief Justice Earl Warren is off the Court and the President has appointed conservative Justices deemed strict constructionists and Warren Burger as new Chief Justice. They are to be sorely disappointed, despite the fact that, perhaps under pressure, Kenneth Keating has resigned in June 1969 and has been replaced by Citizens For Decent Literature leader, Charles H. Keating (no relation)-- the same month that the Commission's Progress Report is approved and signed.

In mid-August of 1970, The Wall Street Journal publishes a story on porn that includes material "leaked" to them from someone on the Commission. It does not auger well for the anti-smut warriors, and the Nixon administration begins to distance itself from the Commission. Changing all letterheads on reports and documents, it is no longer The President's Commission; now it is merely The Commission. In a press conference on August 11, Presidential Press Secretary Ron Ziegler announces that if the Report "recommends what newspapers say it will recommend, the White House would be opposed to that." On August 22, Attorney General John Mitchell releases a statement that "the Commission is not associated with the Nixon administration. If we want a society in which the noble side of man is encouraged and mankind is elevated, then I submit pornography is surely harmful." He adds that pornography should be banned even if it is not harmful. In early September, Charles H. Keating wins a 10-day restraint order against publication of the Report but drops his suit in mid-month under an agreement wherein he can publish a dissenting report to be released in concert with the Commission's official document, said dissenting paper reportedly ghost-written by Nixon speech writer and later perennial presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan. After two years of research costing two million dollars, the full Report is released to the public on September 30. It is immediately denounced by leaders of both parties in the Senate, the Postmaster General, and the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On October 30, 1970, President Nixon provides his own commentary:

"So long as I am in the White House, there will be no relaxation of the national effort to control and eliminate smut from our national life…the Commission contends that the proliferation of filthy books and plays has no lasting, harmful threat on man's character…Centuries of civilization and ten minutes of common sense tell us otherwise…American morality is not to be trifled with. The Commission on Pornography and Obscenity has performed a disservice, and I totally reject its Report."

Imagine his anger and outrage when, on November 11, 1970, another edition of the commission's findings is issued, this one for the enlightenment, edification, and delectation of the general public that definitely trifles with, if not American morality at large, certainly Nixon's parochial view of it.


It is still discussed in reverential tones by those who were working in the business at the time. "Brilliant." "A work of genius." Competitors were in awe at the sheer nerve, the nth degree of chutzpah involved in its conception and publication. It is now scarce, one of the Holy Grails of collectors, one of the most sought-after rare books of modern erotic literature. It is The Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, edited by Earl Kemp, with an Introduction by Eason Monroe, the ACLU's Southern California Executive Director; a Preface by Donald H. Gilmore; and an additional Preface by Roger Blake, Ph.D. [John Trimble, Ph.D.] and released by Greenleaf Classics, Inc.

At least one member of the Commission was deeply concerned. They knew what direction the Report was taking; it was not going to provide the ammo Nixon hoped for and expected. To the contrary, it would be viewed as a slap in the face. Fearing the wrath of Nixon and the Report's suppression before it ever saw the light of day, this member began to feed drafts of Report sections to Greenleaf publisher William Hamling, who had become respected for his run-ins with the government on prior occasions, with the expectation that Hamling would somehow see to it that the Commission's work would be available to the taxpayers who funded it. When the official edition's conclusions were leaked just prior to publication and Nixon went ballistic, Greenleaf was nearly ready. On the day of the Report's release, September 30, 1970, the Commission's mystery man flew from Washington to San Diego to bring Kemp his personal copy of the completed Report.

It was Kemp's idea to illustrate it. With over 300 b&w photographs, comics, cartoons, and other erotica plus 70 full-color photos culled from Greenleaf's files, the Greenleaf edition provided explicit visual examples of what the Report was discussing in the text. For instance, the notorious oral sex pig-shot.

(Myth: the avidly participating attractive young woman was a Ph.D. from Belgium. Reality: the girl in question was Bodil Joensen, born in Denmark's countryside in 1944, and raised by a stern, puritanical, Calvinistic mother - her father an absentee sailor and a drunkard - who would regularly whip Bodil for the sins of talking to boys and reading books. Bodil, deprived of any warm, human physical contact and emotional nourishment, yearning to give and receive love and coping with her budding sexuality, found solace and comfort at age eleven with her dog. A positive experience, she continued and soon was experimenting with other animals. She made a career performing in Copenhagen live-sex shows and as a most unusual photographer's model, this after being thrown out of a few Danish towns when her sexual predilection for animals was discovered).

Arguably the most subversive publication issued during the era, to the Hon. Judge Gordon Thompson, Jr. who presided over its trial, it was simply "vile." But to its admirers it was, at its worst, broad satire, at its best exactly on point: if the Commission's Report wasn't obscene - it was, after all, a scientifically researched government document discussing pornography and the many manifestations of human sexual behavior found therein - how could pictures in context merely depicting its content be deemed so? Kemp reports that members of the Commission with whom he had contact were delighted with Greenleaf's volume. It proved their point.

It proved a point but there was hell to pay. The story of what happened next has assumed legendary proportions. First appearing in print in a rare book dealer's catalog in the early 1980's, the story asserts legal condemnation, suppression, all copies pulled from distribution and, with those in the warehouse, destroyed.

Not a word of it is true. What is true is that the consensus of opinion within the business was that because of its status as a reprinted government document with visual material to illuminate its text, it would be legally unassailable. One industry macher, however, disagreed.

Mike Resnick, who worked for Reuben Sturman in the early '70s, recalls that, "when word reached him [Sturman] that Greenleaf had just released a photo-illustrated edition of The Report of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography…he announced with absolute certainty that Earl and Hamling were going down. I said I didn't see why, since the report was public domain and they'd published many photos that were just as strong. He said it made no difference, that this was a slap in the government's face and that the Justice Department would never let them get away with it." [Mimosa 27, December 2001]

Sturman's judgment was spot-on.

Fuck Rock by Harry Bremner. Handpainted paperweight gift. n.d.

There was another dissenter to industry wisdom. In a letter to Earl Kemp explaining why they would not be reviewing the Greenleaf edition, Nat Lehrman, managing editor of Playboy, wrote, "I'm quite sad about what you all have done. The President's report is one of the most important documents ever to be published in the censorship area. It's under tremendous assault and you guys are going to boost the wahoos' case by giving the impression that the government provided the pictures for your text. Do you think the Nixon Administration will sit still for that?" [Gay Talese, Thy Neighbor's Wife, p. 402]

The answer is an emphatic no.

The book was the subject of a 20-count federal indictment with Hamling, Kemp, Shirley Wright, and Greenleaf Comptroller David Thomas named as co-defendants. One count prosecuted the book on grounds of obscenity, another on knowingly distributing obscenity. The jury hung on those counts; mistrial. No suppression or destruction of inventory. But the government also pursued a tried and true strategy: violation of post-office statutes regarding sexual material through the mail; twelve counts. They won. "Petitioners were convicted of mailing and conspiring to mail an obscene advertising brochure with sexually explicit photographic material relating to their illustrated version of an official report on obscenity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2, 371, and 1461." Significantly, not a single private citizen - just over 55,000 - who received the "obscene" mail solicitation filed a formal complaint with the Post Office, though Postal Inspectors, FBI agents, and members of Citizens for Decent Literature, who routinely enrolled themselves on Hamling's mailing list, had. Without any unaffiliated citizen's formal complaint, the government acted unilaterally on behalf of that great abstract, "the people."

According to Shirley Wright, shortly after preparing the manuscript for The Illustrated Report… and the copy for the mail-order ad, Kemp went on a working vacation to Europe, lecturing at the University of Paris. His copy was dry - everybody remembered Ralph Ginzberg's conviction for his hardbound Eros magazine which the Supreme Court upheld in 1966 stating that while it found Eros not to be obscene, the "salacious" ad copy for the mail-order campaign, including having it mailed from the post office at Middlesex, NJ, so it would bear its postmark (Ginzberg having failed in his attempts to have it mailed from the post office at Blue Balls, PA and Intercourse, PA - real places), suggested that he, Ginzberg thought it was and thus pandered, a violation.

The copy for the brochure, a one-sheet mailed to approximately 55,000 persons across the country, is pure Kemp:

"Thanks a lot, Mr. President. A monumental work of research and investigation has now become a giant of a book. All the facts, all the statistics, presented in the best possible format, completely illustrated in black and white and full color. Every facet of the most controversial public report ever issued is covered in detail.

"The book is a must for the research shelves of every library, public or private, seriously concerned with full intellectual freedom and adult selection. Millions of dollars in public funds were expended to determine the precise truth about eroticism in the United States today, yet every possible attempt to suppress this information was made from the very highest levels.

"Even the President dismissed the facts out of hand. The attempt to suppress this volume is an inexcusable insult directed at every adult in this country. Each individual must be allowed to make his or her own decision; the facts are inescapable. Many adults, many of them, will do just that after reading this report. In a truly free society, a book like this wouldn't even be necessary."

The copy is followed by an order form, and a photo of the cover, which is entirely print.

Far from a full frontal assault to the groin.

With Kemp out of town, as if he hadn't already put his finger to the flame with the book's publication, Hamling throws himself wholly into the fire with a disastrous decision. Perhaps like his model in stature and attitude, Napoleon, his legal successes have led to an imperious sense of infallibility - employees are now routinely referring to Hamling behind his back as "His Hamlingness" - and Hamling creates his own Waterloo.

He decides the ad copy lacks the requisite spice but nobody, not even Hamling, rewrites Kemp. So, Hamling reasons that what the one-sheet really needs is illustrations of the same ilk as the book to, ahem, arouse interest. The photos in the brochure are accurately described as follows:

"The folder opens to a full page splash of pictures portraying heterosexual and homosexual intercourse, sodomy and a variety of deviant sexual acts. Specifically, a group picture of nine persons, one engaged in masturbation, a female masturbating two males, two couples engaged in intercourse in reverse fashion while one female participant engages in fellatio of a male; a second group picture of six persons, two males masturbating, two fellatrices practicing the act, each bearing a clear depiction of ejaculated seminal fluid on their faces; two persons with the female engaged in the act of fellatio and the male in female masturbation by hand; two separate pictures of males engaged in cunnilinction; a film strip of six frames depicting lesbian love scenes including a cunnilinguist in action and female masturbation with another's hand and a vibrator, and two frames, one depicting a woman mouthing the penis of a horse, and a second posed with same for entrance into her vagina."

While some might consider the photos depicting just another average Saturday night in Hell (others, surely, looking forward to an afterlife of just this sort - harps, angels, or fire and brimstone being entirely too BORE-RING! to endure for eternity), they were, in fact, typical examples of the type of subject matter discussed in the text and the type of material shown to persons who were part of the research projects engaged in for the Commission as basis for their report. Additionally, many of these photos, or those similar in content, had been legally available in Greenleaf magazines and books since 1967 and sold through the mail with second-class privileges. The government never prosecuted those publications.

Harry Bremner designed the book's cover. Milton Luros' London Press printed the book for Greenleaf; Saul Simkin's presses were not set up to handle oversized trade paperbacks nor four-color photo-reproduction. The initial print run was for 77,239 copies, which Luros charged Hamling $1.59 each. Milt, with the largest, slickest mail order division in the business, also handled the mail-order solicitation for Hamling, printing the brochures, stuffing them into the envelopes, and doing the actual mailing. This is a fairly labor-intensive, expensive-beyond-the-cost-of-postage process. Throw in the postage, and you've got a major capital investment made worthwhile only by the fact that a successful mail-order campaign requires slightly less than a 2% response to be quite profitable; a higher response and you're swimming in gravy. But those damned up-front cash outlays make it tempting to cut costs. And Hamling was tempted.

The government had lost the battle for the outright proscription of sexual materials through the mail system earlier but had subsequently enacted fairly reasonable laws under Title 39 §3008 USC governing its legal distribution through the Post Office, one of which, Subsection A, was a specific method to which all mail solicitations must adhere. Any mail-order solicitation of a sexual nature - "obscene" or not - must contain an envelope within an envelope so when recipients open the advertisement they will be confronted by another sealed piece with the printed warning that the advertisement contained therein is for sexual material and that the recipient must be over twenty-one.

According to Wright, Luros advised Hamling that to be in compliance, he had to have that second envelope-within-an-envelope. Luros begged. He pleaded. Hamling, calculating the cost for the second envelopes, the labor and the increased postage that the added weight to the mailer would require, said fuck it.

FBI agents and Post Office Inspectors, who routinely enrolled themselves on industry mail-order lists via industry print ads to monitor the business, received the solicitation for The Illustrated Report… noted the lack of a second envelope (there was a second return envelope but not the second envelope with the warning containing the brochure), took one look at the photos, and…Gotcha!

Follow the Postage

The postage was handled by one of Luros' subsidiaries, Academy Addressing and Mailing Service run by Richard and Venita Harte. The Pitney-Bowes postage meter was supplied to them by Bernie Lieberman, who ran Luros' mail-order business, Regent House, and who had paid the Post Office to set $3,300 worth of postage on the meter. Regent House was billed $541.15 by the Hartes for their services. Regent House in turn billed Hamling's Reed Enterprises for costs and services and was paid with a check signed by Hamling.

Individuals responding to the solicitation were sent copies of the book with postage affixed by a second Pitney-Bowes meter installed at Library Services, Inc., the name of Hamling's mail-order operation, at the direction of an employee at Pitney-Bowes. Hamling comptroller David Thomas, who also signed the check for the postage, signed the rental agreement. Kemp, Vice-President of Library Services, Inc. (he wore a few hats beyond Greenleaf V.P. and Editorial Director) signed the application for the post office box in San Diego. He didn't have to; minions routinely performed such tasks but he was directly approached by a Postal employee who begged, wheedled, and cajoled him into signing it himself. Shirley Wright received a memo from London Press addressed to her as an officer of Reed Enterprises confirming shipment of 28,537 copies of The Illustrated…to Library Services, Inc. (Out of 55,000 mail-order solicitations, over a 50% return response. This may qualify as one of the most spectacularly successful mail-order campaigns in U.S. business history).

Alexis Gilliland and William Rotsler from Marty Cantor's No Award 13, 2003.

The indictment came on March 5th of 1971, announced, without precedent and peculiarly, by U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell in Washington--this was, though a federal case, still a matter for local San Diego federal authorities. When later asked why Mitchell made the unusual announcement, trial judge Hon. Gordon Thompson, Jr., only forty years old at the time and who had been appointed by Nixon barely six months before on California Senator George Murphy's recommendation, replied, "It was a matter of national importance," which begs the question, to whom? Apparently to President Nixon. This was, plain and simple, a political case, part of his "effort to control and eliminate smut from our national life."

On March 12, 1971, Hamling takes out full-page ads in the San Diego Union, San Diego's Evening Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. On Reed Enterprises, Inc. letterhead, it reads:


"On March 5, 1971, the Attorney General of the United States announced from Washington that indictments were being returned as of that date by Grand Juries sitting in Dallas, Texas and San Diego, California against three corporations and four individuals charging them with distributing and selling an 'unauthorized' edition of the Presidential Commission Report on Obscenity and Pornography, and illustrating the work with sexually explicit photographs.

"We would like to set the record straight.

"FACT: In May 1970, long before the return of the indictments, we sued the Attorney General to have the archaic obscenity laws declared unconstitutional, believing that consenting adults should have the right to read and view whatever they choose. This was the recommendation of the official report, condemned by Attorney General Mitchell and the White House.

"FACT: The distribution and sale of the ILLUSTRATED PRESIDENTIAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON OBSCENITY AND PORNOGRAPHY required no 'authorization' since the official Report is in the public domain as are all public documents. Other publishers similarly published the Report [But after Greenleaf, and in cheaply produced editions].

"FACT: While the original Report was not illustrated, the pictures in the illustrated Report were relevant visual portrayals of the original Report, and fairly illuminate the text.

"FACT: The White House was displeased with the official Report, which recommended the abolition of all obscenity laws as they apply to consenting adults. Indeed, President Nixon's sole appointee to the Commission, Charles Keating, founder of the leading censorship group in the nation - the so-called Citizens For Decent Literature - vainly sought a court injunction to suppress the Report. Mr. Keating and the White House were criticized in the indicted book as a result of this effort to suppress the official Report.

"FACT: Charles Keating was quoted in the Los Angeles Times (March 25, 1970) as saying: 'The White House knew when I was appointed my interest was to control pornography. They didn't send me in as an objective observer.'

"FACT: The indictment is a thinly veiled political move. This Administration has, for reasons best known to the President and his advisors, chosen to divert the American people's attention to 'The Pornography Menace' and away from problems like: unemployment, hunger, poverty, growing urban blight, education, crushing taxation and undeclared wars far from home.

"CONCLUSION: The taxpayers' money should not be wasted on policing the thoughts and reading habits of the American people nor should citizens be punished for criticizing official action. The valuable time of the courts should not be wasted with such matters. The Attorney General and the Administration should devote their time and attention to the pressing problems of the day.

"William L. Hamling
Reed Enterprises, Inc.
Greenleaf Classics, Inc.
Library Services, Inc."

It is a somewhat disingenuous manifesto. Hamling suggests that the book and its publisher's are indicted merely for printing an "unauthorized" edition of the government report. He ignores the other nineteen counts of the indictment. The "unauthorized edition" count is ultimately dismissed at trial.

In the June 18, 1971 issue of the Los Angeles Free Press, Hamling - interviewed by Brian Kirby - discusses the indictment. This is a man who spoils for a good fight.

"I was quite aware as a publisher that I would have difficulty with the government. I welcomed it. I criticized the government editorially in that book. This is a politically motivated indictment."

Kirby asks Hamling if this fight makes him feel vulnerable and alone.

"Death is inevitable. It is one of the few things in life that you cannot avoid. I take the personal view that troublesome people, that is to say troublesome to people in authority, can conceivably meet with harm, injury or death by deliberate action under the guise of accidental occurrence. I think that this has happened in this nation. I cannot point to specifics and prove anything, but I feel that the actuality exists. I don't know whether the United States government in its Gestapo approach to harassing American citizens feels that it would like to stoop to such actions with publishers on constitutional questions, but I recognize that they have the power, they have the secret forces to do it. I could end up in an automobile crash twenty minutes from now that would look like an accident. Or maybe, I fall off a roof or maybe I'm caught as an innocent bystander in a riot or holdup in a store. It could be staged.

"I've thought of these things. I could die. But I'll tell you something else. I'm not a great American; I'm just an average American. But I believe one thing: I was born in a country that was fought for. I think the men who founded this country drew up a document that is self-explanatory. A lot of blood was shed to do it. I inherited all the freedoms that these people fought for, my ancestors and yours. And, by God, I think if I recognize any area of attack on them, if I am a citizen and a patriot, I owe it to my family and the future to at least stand up and be counted. I'm not a coward. I'm not an intellectual coward and I'm not a moral coward and I'm not a physical coward and I will fight anytime I think I'm right and they're wrong and I'll take my chances. And if I have to die for it, a lot of people have died in this world for lesser things."

Considered in retrospect, the above reads as if, time-machined into the future, Hamling has been watching Oliver Stone's JFK over and over and over again until he believes himself to be the avatar of Jim Garrison. But during an era of government duplicity regarding Viet Nam, the awful scenes at the 1968 Democratic convention, the darker aspects of President Nixon's administration, and the general feeling that government is not behaving in the people's best interest, Hamling's seemingly grandiose, paranoiac, and egotistical throwing down of the gauntlet is, in tone and tenor, perfectly in step with the times.


Within two weeks of the indictment, Hamling sponsors an essay contest on obscenity, censorship, and free choice with $25,000 in prize money.

"We said since the government is suppressing the Report - has made every effort to discredit and suppress and destroy the commission and the report - and since the commission recommended that not only the Congress but the American people themselves explore and discuss this subject, that it was required to bring some form of discussion to the people. We explored in our own minds how this could be accomplished by a private company. We decided that the only way we could do it would be by sponsoring an essay competition on the subject…and opening it to the college level, to the student of today and the citizens of tomorrow. Start the discussion on that level and hope that the students will raise the issues through other channels." [Los Angeles Free Press, June 18,1971]

And whom do you get to judge the entries? Those seeking comic relief from an otherwise humorless situation will be pleased to learn that the judges are film critic Arthur Knight, Los Angeles City Councilman Art Snyder, and a few other luminaries, including a multi-talented individual not generally known for his skills at literary criticism. Who can judge an es-say…while aping James Cag-ney…and singin', dancin', playin' drums? - The Candy Man can! Yes, Sammy "Yes, I Can" Davis, Jr. is a member of the panel of judges.

Hamling then publishes the essays under the title, Obscenity: Censorship or Freedom of Choice? just weeks before the trial, and in the third week of trial the prosecutor, Justice Department Special Trial Attorney Larry Butcher, has a cow: Hamling has begun a massive ad campaign for the essay compilation, spending $4,000 in print ads alone with plans for an extensive radio-television campaign, that Butcher believes is a transparent attempt to unduly influence jurors and the public. And, let's face it, it probably is--Hamling's next assault in the propaganda war that will surround the case, the newspaper ads that appear in the wake of the indictment his bowshot. In an oral motion, Butcher asks Judge Thompson to issue a temporary restraining order banning the ads for the duration of the trial. Hamling has a conniption fit, telling the San Diego Evening Tribune, "Those advertisements have nothing to do with this trial. That isn't even this book [The Illus. Report…]. They, the government, are trying to tell newspapers, radio and television what they can or cannot sell in the way of advertising. Pretty soon they will be telling everyone what they can or cannot print." [San Diego Evening Tribune, November 18, 1971]

Judge Thompson denies the government's motion, ruling that the oral motion is improper--the government is asking for a civil action in the midst of a criminal case--but advises Butcher that he may proceed with his request in civil court.


On October 13, 1971, the case against Hamling, Kemp, Rogers, and Thomas begins.

"The American people want sexually oriented material," Hamling tells the New York Times. "This is what's on the best-sellers' list, and now the best movies are those rated R and X [Midnight Cowboy's original rating]. The people have mandated for explicit sex. The snowball has started and that's why this trial is so important." [New York Times, November 1971]

Judge Thompson admits that he is "overwhelmed." His first big case since taking the bench, he is, reportedly, under a great deal of pressure from Attorney General Mitchell and the Justice Department to assure convictions. (The judge vehemently denies this but reliable sources insist that there was a mole in Judge Thompson's office reporting to the defense who swears that the judge was receiving phone calls from the Justice Department on almost a daily basis to check in on the trial's progress. I have not, however, been able to confirm these reports with substantiating evidence). One thing is clear, though: Judge Thompson admits that he is absolutely dazed and dazzled by Stanley Fleishman's command of obscenity law and can barely keep up with him. He tries to rein-in Stanley when Fleishman insists that the jury be allowed to go over the Greenleaf Illustrated Report…page by page, to little avail. Judge Thompson believes that this is a deliberate tactic to desensitize the jury to the book's content. The judge also feels that another Fleishman tactic is to purposely confuse the jury regarding obscenity laws. "If it was, it worked," he remembers. The trial lasted until two days before Christmas. Guilty of 12 counts of obscene mail solicitation, innocent on all other counts, and mistrial on the counts of publishing and distributing an obscene book.

All The News That's Fit To Print

The "most massively covered obscenity trial in the history of San Diego," [Jack Haberstroh, "Who Silenced the Bell-ringers?" Crime and Corrections, Journal of the California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association, Fall 1974] the two local newspaper's coverage of the trial is clearly biased; the reporting of The San Diego Union and San Diego Evening Tribune later lambasted for "a lack of concern for fairness toward the defendants, a my-mind's-made-up conviction of their guilt, a deplorably patronizing view of the reader, and a violation of traditional journalism ethics." The papers ultimately run a combined total of 658 column inches of space on the trial, four full pages of photos and editorial material. "No more than four days in a row would pass without a story in one paper or the other."

The only thing the papers don't cover during the trial is the defense's case; there is an 18-day blackout of coverage during defense expert witness testimony.

During the prosecution's case, the following headlines are bannered across the Tribune's front page: "Book Called 'Prurient' By Psychiatrist" [Evening Tribune, October 3, 1971]; "Witness Labels Pornography Report 'Injurious'" [Evening Tribune, November 3, 1971]; "Smut Witness Calls Deviant Practices 'Cancer of the Mind'" [Evening Tribune, November 4, 1971]. The Union's headlines are no less prejudicial; they have an affinity for the word smut: "Judge Bans Reading of Smut Report"; "Expert Calls Smut Report 'Deceiving'''; "Art Critic Evaluates Smut Report." This is long before the word becomes an ironic adjective.

Headlines during the defense's case? None.

The papers' reporters, having attended the entire presentation of the government's case and reporting fully on their expert witness testimony, for some strange, highly peculiar reason, absent themselves a day after Stanley Fleishman begins his assault in rebuttal. From November 19 through December 7, the reporters for the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune, who have prime front-row seats, are nowhere to be found. That these respective dailies, otherwise highly competitive in editorial and newsgathering, will simultaneously halt and resume coverage defies coincidence. Perhaps the invisible hand of God? More likely the clandestine intervention through minions by a President who thought he was, and was prepared to do whatever necessary. This, after all, is the President quoted on tape ordering the theft of papers in The Brookings Institute "by any means, do you understand?" a man who considers amorality in politics standard operating procedure.

Sentencing is in February 1972. Wright and Thomas, recognized by the court to be minor if not non-players, receive a year and half suspended sentence plus five years probation each during which time they were enjoined from participating in any way in the business and barred from associating with anybody in the business. For Shirley Wright, this means not seeing or speaking to her best friends, those evil miscreants in the accounting department, the billers and secretaries. There being absolutely no mandated sentencing guidelines at the time, at Judge Thompson's complete discretion Hamling receives one year imprisonment on the conspiracy count and consecutive with that, concurrent terms of three years each on the other eleven counts plus a $32K fine. Kemp receives one year and a day on the conspiracy count followed by concurrent terms of two years for each of the eleven counts. Hamling and Kemp also receive the same five-year probationary enjoinments as Rogers and Thomas upon release. "I did not want to put those men in prison," Judge Thompson said at the time, "I had to." Huh? Asked why years later, the judge explained, "An example had to be set." This suggests that Judge Thompson may have been pressured against his better judgment by the Executive branch of the government. The convictions of Hamling, Kemp, Thomas, and Wright are upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Fleishman then argues the case before the Supreme Court.

In an unusually long opinion that can be accurately characterized as dazzlingly soporific in its legal sophistry, and noteworthy for its duplicity (in the legal sense: the technically incorrect use of two or more distinct claims within a single legal action), the Court, in a 5-4 decision upholds the Court of Appeals decision.

Justice Rehnquist, then merely an Associate on the Court, writes the majority opinion. After hacking through much legalese, the Court's affirmation of Hamling, Kemp, et al's convictions turns on whether a national standard or a local standard is to be used to determine obscenity. In sum, the Court is hearing this case in the aftermath of its 1973 decision which effectively abandons any notion of a national standard; national "community standards" devolve to the local level. Now, Judge Thompson's instructions to the jury use the phrase "national standards" no less than eighteen times; it is the central criterion for determining if the brochure is obscene. Since determining what is obscene on a national level is (and remains) about as precise a procedure as reading tea leaves, Fleishman wants to introduce a report commissioned by the defense, a random survey of San Diegoans which clearly demonstrates that San Diego citizens are not as offended by the brochure and book as authorities have assumed. Judge Thompson denies admission of the survey into evidence stating that "you can't use a piece of a standard as the standard…and I don't think this is the proper way to go about determining the national standard," emphasizing that guilt is to be predicated on violation of a national standard.

The Judge instructs the jury that "'contemporary community standards' [the Roth decision language] means the standards generally held throughout this country concerning sex and matters pertaining to sex. The phrase means, as it has been aptly stated, the average conscience of the time, and the present critical point in the compromise between candor and shame, at which the community may have arrived here and now.

"You are the sole judges of the contemporary community standards of this country. In arriving at and applying your judgment, however, you are not to consider your own standards. That is, of what is good or what is bad. You are not to condemn by your own standards, if you know and believe them to be stricter than those generally held, and you are not to exculpate or excuse by your own standards, if you know and believe them to be more tolerant than those that are generally held. You are not to limit yourself to what you have learned while residing in your present locality or what you have observed from and about people residing in your present locality. Rather, you are to call upon everything you have learned, seen, read, and observed from both the evidence presented at trial and the experience you have gained from your own observations and experiences in your affairs in life."

In other words, to determine the contemporary community standards of the country, get out your crystal ball. The Court's 1973 decision recognizes that it is impossible to determine a national standard of obscenity. And the Court, in this decision offered in the wake of its 1973 "local standards" opinion, rejects as an error this area of Judge Thompson's jury instruction. One would think that that would have been the end of it; conviction overturned based upon the defendants' protection under the Court's new standard determined while the defendants were in the midst of their appeal, case remanded for retrial. Not so. In the Court's opinion, Judge Thompson's assertion of a national standard did not materially affect the jury's decision:

"The instruction to the jury on the application of national community standards of obscenity was not constitutionally improper, since in rejecting the view that that First and Fourteenth Amendments require that the proscription of obscenity be based on uniform national standards, the Court in the [1973] case did not require as a constitutional matter the substitution of some smaller geographical area into the same sort of formula; the test was stated in terms of the understanding of the 'average person, applying contemporary community standards'…Our Brother Brennan takes us to task for reaching this conclusion, insisting that the District Court's instructions and its exclusion of the testimony of a witness who had assertedly conducted a survey of standards in the San Diego area require the petitioners be accorded a new trial…the District Court has wide discretion in its determination to admit and exclude evidence, and this is particularly true in the case of expert testimony. But even assuming that the District Court may have erred in excluding the witness' testimony in light of the [our 1973] cases, we think arguments made by petitioners' counsel and urging the admission of the survey re-emphasize the confusing and often gossamer distinctions between 'national' standards and other types of standards."

Cut through the gobbledygook and herein lies the duplicity: the Court, in the wake of its 1973 "local standards" obscenity decision argues that national standards are no good; local standards not much better, Judge Thompson was wrong in his instructions to the jury. They then argue that local standards rule yet the defense attempt to introduce evidence of a local community standard, which should have exonerated them by the Court's 1973 opinion, is immaterial, ultimately confusing. Their decision in this case would seem to undermine their own argument in reaching that historic 1973 decision. A reading of the majority decision in this case--if you can get through it without developing an acute case of narcolepsy--clearly demonstrates that Justice Rehnquist is desperately trying to satisfy a subjective need to uphold conviction (and remain in Nixon's good graces as his appointee--subsequent events have demonstrated beyond question just how highly politicized the Court can be) with a tangle of objective legal sophistries that prima facie make sense but upon closer reading launch from Mars, ultimately leave the solar system, and discover alien legal reasoning from another galaxy.

In his dissent, Justice William O. Douglas writes:

"In 1970, The President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography issued its report. Dean William D. Lockhart was Chairman. Eighteen others were members. It was a 646-page report. One Member, Charles H. Keating, Jr., filed a dissenting report of some 60 pages with at least as many pages of exhibits. The report contains many references to many facets of sex, e.g., petting, coitus, oral sexuality, masturbation, and homosexual activities.

"What petitioners did was to supply the report with a glossary--not in dictionary terms but visually. Every item in the glossary depicted explicit sexual material within the meaning of that item as used in the report. Perhaps we should have no reports on obscenity. But imbedded in the First Amendment is the philosophy that the people have the right to know. Sex is more important to some than to others but it is of some importance to all. If officials may constitutionally report on obscenity, I see nothing in the First Amendment that allows us to bar the use of a glossary factually to illustrate what the report discusses.

"The constitution of India (Mar. 1, 1963) provides in Art. 19.1 that 'All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression'; but Art. 19.2 provides that nothing in that clause bars 'reasonable restrictions on the exercise' of those rights 'in the interest of…decency or morality.' [Footnote on British influence on Constitution to deligitimize longstanding Hindu sexual beliefs and practices.] Our First Amendment contains no such qualification and certainly when Jefferson and Madison drafted it, sex had as great a potential for vulgarity as for beauty. If they had wanted a Federal censor to edit our publications, they certainly would have made it explicit." (Erotica had been available in the English-speaking world for over two centuries prior to the drafting of our Constitution.)

Justice Brennan, joined by Justices Thurgood Marshall and Potter Stewart, expresses his dissent thus:

"Whatever the constitutional power of government to regulate the distribution of sexually oriented materials, the First and Fourteenth amendments, in my view, deny the Federal and State governments power to wholly suppress their distribution…Since amended 18 U.S.C. 1461 [the dreaded obscenity through the mails Comstock law], as construed by the Court, aims at total suppression of distribution by mail of sexually oriented materials, it is, in my view, unconstitutionally overbroad and therefore invalid on its face. On that ground alone, I would reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and direct the dismissal of the indictment…Other reasons, however, also compel the conclusion that petitioners' convictions should be set aside.

"…Under today's 'local' standards construction…the guilt or innocence of distributors of identical material mailed from the same locale can now turn the chancy course of transit or place of delivery. National distributors choosing to send their products in interstate travel will be forced to cope with the community standards of every hamlet into which their goods may wander. Because these variegated standards are impossible to discern, national distributors, fearful of risking the expense and difficulty of defending against prosecution in any of several remote communities, must inevitably be led to retreat to debilitating self-censorship that abridges the First Amendment rights of the people. For it 'would tend to restrict the public's access to forms (of sexually oriented materials) which the (United States) could not constitutionally suppress directly' (Smith v California, 1959)…Thus the people of many communities will be 'protected' far beyond government's constitutional power to deny them access to sexually oriented materials. A construction that has such consequences necessarily renders the constitutionality of amended 1461 facially suspect under the First Amendment.

"But even on the assumption that amended 1461 is invulnerable to constitutional attack, the Court's affirmance of these convictions is a patently indefensible denial to these petitioners of due process of law. The trial judge followed Manual Enterprise's [1962] construction of amended 1461 that required a determination of guilt upon the basis of a 'national' standard of decency. The Court holds that under today's new 'local' standards construction, this was error. Yet, says the Court, the error in effect was harmless because the references in the instructions to 'national' standards could not have 'materially affected (the juror's) deliberations.' The trial transcript lays bare the utter fallacy of that conclusion" [emphasis added].

"…But in addition to the palpable absurdity of the Court's surmises that introduction of the San Diego study could not have affected the jurors' deliberations, and that petitioners would not have introduced additional evidence or done anything materially different had they known the jurors would be instructed on local standards, the Court's assertion that the jurors could not have ruled differently if instructed to apply local, not national standards, evinces a claim of omniscience hardly mortal."

Ruby Sturman was right: there was no way the system was going to let Hamling, et al get away with this.

Afterward, Fleishman petitions Judge Thompson for sentence reductions. Mercifully, the Judge reduces Hamling and Kemp's to fifteen months and a day, total, but it is still a somewhat draconian prison sentence for the mail offenses. Receiving an unwanted, allegedly obscene piece of mail can certainly be irritating, annoying, and no doubt a nuisance, but a crime with prison time?

Hamling and Kemp begin their lock-up in February 1976. Earl Kemp, by now wholly out of the porn book business having resigned from Surrey, and one of the great book editors the country has ever produced, albeit in counter-mainstream pulp fiction, will never work in publishing again. Hamling will continue, but with his son-in-law fronting the business.

Having reached the Supreme Court, as a matter of law, the case is closed. But if the assertions that Nixon and/or the Justice Department exerted undue influence upon the trial judge (or that Judge Thompson visited Nixon at La Casa Pacifica a number of times during the course of the trial, which was reported to me but which the judge denies) can be proven to be true, then an very interesting situation is created: If the Court had known at the time of their decision that the judge was unduly influenced by the Executive Branch, would they have thrown out the conviction? And, if learning about it decades after the fact, would they reverse themselves?


The Illustrated Report …was not the first time Hamling and Kemp went out on a limb to assure the public that they would be informed of important government activity of concern. In 1966, in the midst of a catalog comprised entirely of porn and a majority of citizens still pro-War, they issue, at Kemp's behest, The Truth About Viet Nam; Report on the U.S. Senate Hearings [GC207], an edited transcript of the tumultuous hearings held January 28-February 18 1966 during an important crossroads in U.S. commitment to the war. Edited by Kemp and Frank M. Robinson, Kemp arranged for then Senators Wayne Morse and J. William Fulbright (LBJ's foreign policy arch-nemesis) to contribute an Analysis and Foreword respectively.

It was a commercial failure, a titanic dud that sank in the marketplace with a speed exceeded only by the famous ocean liner's descent into Davey Jones' locker. "You couldn't give that book away," Hamling recalls [New York Times, November 1971].

The book, however, has become the key reference work to those hearings; it is found in the collections of twelve U.S. university libraries. No other porn publisher during the era is as politically minded and courageous in their actions.

The reason the Illustrated Report… has become so scarce has nothing to do with it being suppressed. It wasn't. Greenleaf was still advertising it two years after its publication in the back of their books. (Although this was due, according to Kemp, to laziness on the part of the production department; it was no longer being sold). One possible basis for its scarcity is altogether prosaic. Hamling claims he printed and distributed 100,000 copies. "Distributed" is the operative verb. He doesn't say he sold 100,000. We know that he did actually sell 28,537 mail-order copies. That leaves 71,500 copies that were distributed into retail, and it is entirely possible that potential retail customers didn't give a rat's ass about a book that was educational, didn't promise thrills, and was unlikely to inspire the flesh. And what happens to paperbacks (and magazines--remember, this is the periodicals business) that don't sell? As you may recall, the covers get ripped off and returned for credit. The books (and mags) themselves--dumpsterville. Unsold inventory in the warehouse? Landfill. Another possibility exists. Though Hamling's Reed Enterprises initially distributed the book, stickers from Milt Luros' Pacific News are often found on the few copies still extant. Luros may have distributed Hamling's returns as non-returnable remainders which tanked and eventually went the way of all paperback flesh-in-print, the round file behind the retail store. In 1988 I found a copy in near mint condition selling for $15 and snapped it up. Two weeks later I sold it for $85 and felt like a bandit. I've seen maybe four since. Occasionally, a copy or two turns up on the Internet. They sell for $400-$600. Kemp has his own personal copy with marginalia and notes in his hand. He can probably name his price. Lord knows, he paid dearly for it.


If you think Earl Kemp's copy for the one-sheet solicitation went a little over the top by suggesting that The Illustrated…"is a must for the research shelves of every library, public or private," think again. Libraries really did understand its value. A library search via the OCLC (On-line Catalogue, Library Consortium) reveals that there are sixteen copies in library collections throughout the country. There are many more in foreign libraries.

Two of America's great writers of the last half of the 20th century appreciated the book's significance as subversive social commentary, satire, obscenity law arson, and political grenade, finding literary inspiration within its covers. A copy found in the Ohio State University Library has an autograph note on the title page: "This copy given to me by Terry Southern 1971, source material for scrap books, William S. Burroughs, Feb. 2, 1974." [Ohio State University Library Special Collections, SPEC.CMS.90 William S. Burroughs Papers, WSB98, Box 18.]

There are pages missing.


*Copyright 2003 by Stephen J. Gertz. All rights reserved.

As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people...
                -- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln

"I Only Have I's For You" 2
Realigning William Rotsler's I Candy For I

IIn eI4, October 2002, I ran a special portfolio of William Rotsler's I drawings from his posthumous fanzine Masque. At the time I did not have a complete collection of Masque and asked for help assembling the missing I's.

Dwain Kaiser came to the rescue. He not only gave me the copies I needed to have a complete run of Masque but, in addition, gave me even yet more unknown Rotsler I's.

It gives me great pleasure to present one additional page for the Rotsler I portfolio included here in this issue of eI. Should additional I's materialize, please don't hesitate to send them along to me at earlkemp@citlink.net and I thank you in advance.

The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open.
                -- Gunther Grass

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