Is Philip Greaves a pedophile? Should The Pedophile’s Guide to Love be censored?

Philip Greaves writes manifestos and instruction guides about pedophilia and self-publishes them as $5 ebooks available on Amazon. They’re full of disturbing material that advocates sexual relationships between children and adults, and at first glance it seems obvious that this guy is a pedophile.

But he claims that that’s not the case. But he does claim to have had romantic relationships with adults when he was a child. In interviews he claims to not promote pedophilia, but it “is something that I have sympathy for because of my own childhood. I was not molested, but I was exposed to sex at an early age … Sometimes those relationships are positive. No, I do not advocate pedophilia. I just feel that I understand it.”

Here’s the Amazon description:

“This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught.”

Aside from what must have been some very pleasantly surprised pedophiles who stumbled upon his books using a few obvious keywords, his books were unnoticed until yesterday.

Then TechCrunch found them, especially the one he titled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love & Pleasure (but not to be outdone in ick-factor by Our Gardens of Flesh), and published a blog post about it. The ensuing media exposure caused Philip R. Greaves to sell about 300 copies before Amazon ultimately pulled down the listing for Pedophile (after initially promoting an anti-censorship stance.)  But they left up Our Gardens of Flesh.  Gawker purchased the Gardens and published a few choice pages, which prove that that ebook is just as unsettling as the now-banned one.

They also left up quite a few other pedophile themed books, which Fox News found, including Diary of a Pedophile, Father Pedophile, and The ‘Pedophile’ Sham: Undermining the Torah Matrix.

Amazon has issued the following statement:

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

“ believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable.”

This is a sticky, squirmy subject. We have one book that has been promoted and then banned by the media and public scrutiny, which may be a dangerous stride toward censorship and limiting free speech (should we also prevent people from buying Mein Kampf, Lolita, The Bible, all books that can trigger damaging and destructive behavior when read by certain people?) But we also have an book that’s been prohibited from sale for what is arguably  a good reason, but there are still many more books on the same subject for sale. If it’s morally wrong to sell books that portray pedophilia in a positive light, then shouldn’t all of them be pulled instead of singling out one?

This is a touchy subject, and a particularly incendiary turn of events based on a sensational blog post. Anyone who has a child, knows a child, or has been a child naturally feels outrage at the idea that there’s a book, or books that normalize adult sexual relationships with children.Now that we all know this book exists, does it really help anything for Amazon to pull it, or does it cause more problems?