The incredible courage of Judith Ann Reisman
The Hebrew word associated with the virtue of Judith, the ancient Jewish “saviour” of her people is “ometz lev” and it captures a combination of righteousness and courage. The word might be translated into English as “heart strength.” That ancient Hebrew word is not unrelated to the more New York street-wise Yiddish word “Chutzpah” which captures a type of blunt, often humorous and “in-your-face” fearlessness.
Judith Ann Reisman who died suddenly in her home office on 9 April this year, just short of 86, always energetic as a researcher, expert witness and child protection advocate, embodied these qualities in spades.
Only one month before her death she presented a forceful paper: “Sexually explicit images as erototoxins: Four routes of the child sex traffic pandemic” at a Conference campaigning against the “Commercialisation of Sexuality” along with other campaigners such as Dr Melissa Farley and Gunilla Ekberg.
In 2020, Reisman wrote movingly at the death of her “beloved friend” and collaborator, “(Shelley) Lubben, who was a 90s porn star, is today an author, speaker and the founder of ‘The Pink Cross” (Pink Cross is a survivor recovery charity for people suffering the effects of commercialised sex-ploitation.)
After decades of tirelessly taking aim at the “fraudulent”, corrupt and child-destroying foundations of secularised sexual “liberation,” Judith Reisman identified the destruction at the heart of pornography, child sexual abuse, the violence against women, trafficking, gender dysphoria, prostitution and the attendant social dislocation as being ultimately metaphysical in origin.
Of the purpose of pornography she said recently: “It’s not elevated arousal. It’s elevated shame and guilt. It is important to remember that we are spiritual beings at birth, not sexual ones.”
This unshakeable conviction made Reisman many wealthy and powerful enemies. There are few tributes to this doughty woman in mainstream media sources.
Born in 1935 into a communist-leaning Jewish family, the ever “bright eyed” and determined Judith became disillusioned with the dangerous underpinnings of both Marxist and liberal secular ideologies and practices. She was involved in children’s media and produced music videos for the popular program, Captain Kangaroo.
She recalls it was the horror of discovering that her daughter had been raped at the age of 10 by a neighbourhood teenage boy (already known as a sexual offender) and the subsequent inaction and sang froid of family members that galvanised her consciousness and life’s purpose.
What stood out about this distressing situation in 1960 was that people kept attempting to allay her outrage with the line “Ah well … children are sexual from birth.”
Judith Reisman identified the destruction at the heart of pornography, child sexual abuse, the violence against women, trafficking, gender dysphoria, prostitution and the attendant social dislocation as being ultimately metaphysical in origin.
She became deeply concerned about the rationale behind such statements and about the influence of images and music upon children. She began an advanced degree in media studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. She became aware that the supposedly “soft porn” publications such as Playboy and Penthouse were featuring cartoons and images that were not only exploitative of fragile women such as Marilyn Monroe but overtly suggestive of infants and children as sexual objects and agents. She began to compile her later massive data source and archives.
In 1977 she was presenting a paper upon the destructive role of pornography and the rationalisation of child “sexual agency” by pornographic activists at a conference for British Psychological Association International Conference, when a troubled Canadian psychologist urged her to follow her nose to the sources of her findings – the work of the “father of sexology” the American insect scientist, Alfred Kinsey.
As she followed this lead, Judith realised that “hiding in plain sight” were the pseudo-scientific grounds for the acceptance of “diminished” moral outrage and legal sanctions against pederasty and other sexual crimes.
She discovered in his own research texts and tables that Alfred Kinsey, the “venerated” founder of contemporary sexual ideology, was himself a sexual predator (she would say “psychopath”) who had employed the sexual offenders and misfits unable to enter the military during the Second World War in order to compile his now universalised assumptions and unquestioned “statistics” relating to human sexuality.
These wildly off-kilter findings became popularised rapidly and profoundly in the legal, social, medical and media institutions. Worse still, in his “classic” 1948 work Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, Kinsey records in Table 35 (and in other tables) in his studies of 196 (institutionalised) boys under the age of 12 were “sexually” manipulated by Kinsey’s dubious adult co-workers to “sexual release” to produce the claim, that even babies were capable (of adult stimulated) orgasm.
She writes of her astonishment: “I had checked all the Kinsey citations and references in the library, but nowhere was there any mention of child abuse data. I searched all of the books on Kinsey, read the biographies, the hundreds of positive articles about him and his work, and the few scathing reviews, but nowhere was there any criticism of these tables and graphs. I was beginning to accept the fact that the thousands of international scientists who studied Kinsey never saw what was right before their eyes.”
That so much social change could be based on the deplorable “evidence” of children who “cried, fainted or convulsed” as evidence of their sexual pleasure she thought would be exploded by her paper: The Scientist as A Contributing Agent To Child Sexual Abuse; A Preliminary Consideration of Possible Ethics Violation.” Shocked she found that the vested interests in the big media, big porn and other agencies and businesses moved to discredit and silence her findings.
Instead, Dr Reisman continued to publish and speak around the world. She eventually founded the Reisman Institute and became visiting Research Professor with Liberty University in the United States. In 1992 she visited Canberra and spoke to the National Press Club about the damage of pornography.
Under the Reagan Administration she was given a grant to provide evidence to the United States Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Dr. Reisman provided reports and testimony as an expert witness in cases worldwide, including: the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, Jamaica, Croatia, France, Canada, and Mexico.
In 2013 her testimony about pornography as a form of grooming in some forms of school sex education- prompted the Croatian court to ban such programs and order parental participation in further educational endeavours.
In response to the uncovering of child and adolescent sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – Dr Reisman pointed to the role of Kinsey-based literature in seminary libraries and through the notorious Institute of Advanced Sexuality and she boldly called out the omissions about this even to be found in the well regarded John Jay studies commissioned by the United States Bishops.
Dr. Reisman’s books are still in print and many are downloadable from her Institute. These include: Soft Porn Plays Hardball (1991) Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences (1998, 2000, republished as Stolen Honor, Stolen Innocence in 2013) and Sexual Sabotage, 2010.
Vale to a 21st Century Judith!