Amos Yee Won't Shut Up!

Amos Yee in Conversation with Eric Tazelaar

by Eric Tazelaar, May 31, 2018

Amos Yee is not one to hold-back his opinions nor, it would seem, has he ever. At age thirteen, the young Singaporean directed and starred in his own film, “Jan” and won first prize for films at the “New Paper First Film Festival” as well as its “Best Actor” award. He was cute, looked much younger than his age, and spoke with an incongruously rough and commanding voice which adults found instantly hilarious. Congratulated with a kiss on the cheek from one of Singapore’s celebrity ladies, the night was clearly his as he clutched his award, beamed confidently for the cameras and barked responses to questions from the press.

13 Year-Old Amos Yee Receiving Best Film, Best Actor Award, Singapore, 2012

 

Singaporeans were rather less enamored of his intemperate voice when, on March 27, 2015 and at the less endearing age of sixteen, he celebrated the death of the nation’s founder and revered former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, in a YouTube video entitled “Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead.”

Images from "Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!" YouTube, 2015

 

Leaving no room for misinterpretation or ambiguity, he began the video with “Lee Kuan Yew Is dead, finally! Why hasn’t anyone said, 'Fuck yeah, the guy is dead'? Lee Kuan Yew was a horrible person because everyone is scared. Everyone is afraid if they say something like that they might get into trouble which - give Lee Kuan Yew credit, that was primarily the impact of his legacy” he exclaimed, drawing air-quotes around “legacy.”

“But I’m not afraid! So, if Lee Hsien Loong (Lee Kuan Yew’s son and dynastic successor as PM) wishes to sue me, I will oblige to dance with him. Come at me, motherfucker!” Not content with simply offending the memory of LKY, he compared him to Jesus, saying that they “are both power-hungry and malicious but deceive others into thinking they are both compassionate and kind”, thus managing to offend Singapore’s Christians, in the balance. Also, and as if none of that was enough: “Since he has died, you see twenty-four hour coverage of necrophiliacs sucking Lee Kuan Yew’s dick!”

In Yee’s estimation, one of LKY’s "biggest flaws" was that he "honestly thought that money and status equated to happiness". He led Singapore "to be one of the richest countries in the world – and one of the most depressed."

For anyone familiar with Singapore’s famously intolerant attitude towards those who would create waves in the placid waters which define the range of acceptable opinion in the little island city-police-state or who would call into question its highly engineered social cohesion - its trademark as the quintessential techno-autocracy which many in the West celebrate as LKY’s crowning achievement, there will be an immediate and harsh price to pay. Indeed, Amos Yee began immediately paying it, though to little apparent disincentivizing effect. After at least twenty police complaints were made, his video was removed, his website censored and he was arrested for breaking a law proscribing “acting with deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings.”

A bit later, he posted an image on his blog of the Founder having cartoon sex with the late British PM, Margaret Thatcher (they had been keen mutual admirers of one another’s statecraft) which resulted in an obscenity charge and swift denunciations by scandalized Singaporeans. For these offenses and for breaching his bail conditions several times, he would be jailed in Singapore’s notorious Changi Prison (home of the Friday dawn hangings) for fifty-three days.

Amos Yee seen here insulting: The Bible, The Koran, Margaret Thatcher and Lee Kwan Yew

 

A year later, he again “wounded religious feelings” having insulted Islam in a YouTube video in which he read, mockingly, from the Koran and insulted the Prophet. Suffice it to say, for those Muslims with easily hurt feelings, this was a video to be avoided at all costs. For that, he was sentenced to six weeks in prison.

You get the idea...

 

At some point, he decided that Singapore was too small – and too small-minded, to contain his ideas or himself, and he split for the U.S., preferred destination for shit-stirring malcontents for several centuries. He had a sizable fan base here and worldwide for daring to speak out against the authoritarian regime that has tightly stage-managed Singapore since 1965. Human Rights Watch supported his bid for asylum in the U.S. and, after a lengthy stay in immigration detention/county jail, he was finally able to walk freely in the ‘land of the free’ last December (2017).

Recently, however, he has managed to test the liberality of even his most steadfast supporters by openly supporting the rights of children to have sex with adults. He did so, where else? In a YouTube video, since taken-down, along with his entire YouTube channel which he had been cultivating since he was that precocious kid winning film awards years earlier.

It turns out that Yee is not, himself, attracted to kids. However, he feels strongly that such a relationship should not be illegal and that the terrible treatment at the hands of society and the law of those who are is a major injustice. We say “Bravo!” to his bravery and commend him for taking this courageous, and very public, position.

This is where our first conversation (of two such) picks up:

First Conversation

AY: Hey, how’s it going?

ET: I’m fine, I just noticed on Twitter that YouTube took down your channel.

AY: Oh, yes, YouTube took down my channel. That is correct.

ET: Wow! I wonder if this is temporary or if you’re being permanently punished?

AY: I have no idea. I’m thinking that it is probably temporary but we’re defending pedophilia so, what would you expect?

ET: Yeah, that seems to get YouTube channels canceled pretty quickly. When they dare to defend the indefensible.

AY: It’s not indefensible it’s actually super-easy and logical but, I get what you’re saying.

ET: In the view of YouTube it’s indefensible. And in the view of society it’s indefensible.

How long have you been in the States, now?

AY: I’ve been in the United States for about five months, yeah... oh, not counting the time that I was in American jails, that was about a year or so.

ET: You were detained for a year?

AY: Yeah.

ET: Wow!

AY: Cause I tried to come from Singapore, escape from Singapore to go to America.

ET: So, you sought asylum?

AY: And they treat any immigrant as a threat before you prove otherwise so, I was just dumb enough to say that I’m asking for asylum in Customs, in the airport and so they put me in there like a month pending court case.

ET: When you first came to the U.S., did you tell them upon entry that you were seeking asylum?

AY: Yeah, stupidly enough because the weird thing is that if you manage to sneak in as a tourist and you apply from the inside then you just have to wait three years and get everything done without being sent to jail. If you ask at the Customs itself then they arrest you.

ET: Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard, that you should just come in on a Tourist Visa and then stay until it is about to expire and then formally apply for asylum. So you have a valid passport and you could have come in as a Tourist?

AY: Yes, I came in completely legally, I didn’t sneak in across the border or anything.

ET: How did they treat you in Detention?

AY: I think to most people it would be really horrible since the food sucked and I was around many criminals who murdered - dangerous people but, for me, personally, it was okay. It was fine.

ET: So were you mixed-in with other people who were seeking asylum or were there other federal prisoners there not related to immigration holds?

AY: No, I thought that they would just put me in with immigrants but no, they put me in with other prisoners, mostly black people.

ET: Oh, so they weren’t just immigration prisoners, then necessarily that you were with? Not other asylum seekers or those being considered for deportation?

AY: About fifty percent. Half were asylum seekers and half were criminals but like super-dangerous ones, though.

ET: American citizens?

AY: Yeah, they were American citizens.

ET: Oh, you were just mixed with federal prisoners then, in an American prison?

AY: Yup!

ET: Where was that?

AY: That was in Wisconsin. It was called “Dodge County Jail.” I think that’s near Milwaukee, yeah.

ET: Oh, a county jail and not a federal facility?

AY: Yeah, they moved me around, one was called “McHenry” another one was called “Dodge,” yeah.

ET: That’s how they treated you? How old were you when you came in?

AY: I just passed my eighteenth birthday so they put me in an adult jail.

ET: Oh, the magic age of eighteen! At which point they can do anything to you that they want.

AY: I think that if you are below eighteen they put you in a juvenile jail.

ET: They’re obsessively concerned with anyone under eighteen but, the minute they become eighteen then, “Fuck ‘em”!

AY: Yes, I think that is the case.

ET: Too bad you went through that.

Now that you’ve been here for more than a year, one year of which was in jail, have you changed your mind about the U.S. on any level? Has the “glistening” worn off?

AY: I don’t think that I had a “glistened” view of America. I’ve always seen that it sucked and in, some measures you could say that in America it is even worse than in Singapore because Singapore is small as hell, their military is fucking useless. In America they go around bombing countries and just destroying their economies and destroying millions of people’s lives. The United States’ foreign policy is fucking horrible.

But, I think that overall, in terms of a place to live, America is far superior to Singapore. But with the caveat that it is fucking still, compared to the Scandinavian countries like health care, many people aren’t able to get health care, people are struggling with housing and homelessness which should not happen in our modern society.

ET: You know, the Western view of Singapore is that it is sort of an authoritarian Disneyland with the possibility of hanging and caning, which is a bit of a caricature, obviously but did you see any tangible oppression growing up in Singapore apart from at the political level where the PAP Party enjoys a lock on all political power?

AY: Could you be more specific?

ET: In your life as a kid growing up in Singapore did you feel that freedom-of-expression was constrained?

AY: Yeah, the entire culture is extremely restrictive. I think that, to an extent, it is also restrictive in American schools, too but in Singapore it goes way beyond that where people just do not dare to speak up against the government. Partly because you might get arrested if you become popular enough and partly because you really do get ostracized, you get detention, you probably fight for your job if you speak up against the government and so the whole country is ruled by fear; you follow the rules, and integrate into society peacefully. It’s boring and completely authoritarian and that’s the kind of culture that manifests itself if you have anti-free speech laws.

ET: I’ve been to Singapore a number of times and I remember that the media was obviously censored. I remember watching the Shawshank Redemption on tv and it was ridiculously censored.

AY: Really? Like, which parts because I’m really familiar with that movie?

ET: I don’t remember, it’s been so long ago but it was obvious that entire parts were cut-out and the language was heavily censored.

AY: Porn is illegal in Singapore. Completely illegal. South Park has been banned. They banned the site.

ET: Although, it seemed to me that they were beginning to lighten-up on censorship on subsequent visits, at least in terms of language. They seemed to be loosening-up. This was about the time that gay-organized tours of Singapore were beginning to be allowed.

AY: In terms of human rights, there could be a small improvement – not nearly enough – but before, they were not hesitant to put political prisoners in jail without trial for decades for, like, public protests. Now, they’re less likely to do that so that’s the weird thing, they do want to suck-up to other nations to have a better reputation worldwide and for economic reasons. So they have to slowly improve but, as of now, they’re still absolutely horrible, their human rights index is horrible. It’s technically illegal to criticize the government although they only really arrest people if they’re big enough of a threat, like me, but it’s still a horrible authoritarian country. I totally hate my fucking country, Singapore.

ET: I first became aware of you, like many other people, when you were arrested by the Singapore authorities for insulting the founder and longtime ruler of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. When he died a few years ago, you posted a video on YouTube saying that you were glad that he was dead. The novelty of someone so young – I think that you were, what sixteen at the time, in combination with openly disparaging the notoriously litigious Mr. Lee, made quite an impact on many people around the world and clearly marked you as both very brave, daringly precocious and provocative.

I’m wondering how your confrontation celebrity as a kid in standing up to state oppression that was celebrated by young people around the world, how that changed when you more recently took an apostate position on pedophilia. Your view on pedophilia does not seem to comport with that of your contemporaries for whom hatred of pedophilia has become axiomatic. I want to know what has happened to you subsequently since your open declaration of support for pedophilia.

AY: Well, you know everyone has this fallacy that if you have an opinion that makes up ten percent of your political opinions it invalidates all of your other opinions and you should “un-follow” me. It’s complete garbage and it’s a huge strain to my reputation. Many of my followers and viewers have significantly decreased. Fuck it, though I’m willing to take the blow to my reputation to stand up for you guys.

ET: Is this an opportunity to influence anyone, have you influenced anyone with your position?

AY: I hope so, I think so. Many people have come up to me and said that, even if they do not fully agree with me they’re thinking about it and some have actually changed their minds. They claim that they have. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but many pedophile YouTubers - there’s one called “Youth Liberation” and another called “Tom Grauer” - sprang-up after my video. The first one said that he was directly motivated by me to speak up. So I think that I am not only influencing people but convincing them to speak up. It might be a few hundred, a few thousand; it’s hard to know the number but I’m confident that I’m creating an influence and I’m happy about that.

ET: So you don’t regret it, then?

AY: I definitely don’t regret it. I’m not the kind of person who’s thinking about their reputation and I’m willing to be mercilessly logical and honest. I’m enjoying the fucking ride. Obviously, there are set-backs like my YouTube channel that went for over three years but got taken down but, what did I expect?

ET: Are you concerned at all about your asylum bid and have you considered the possibility that it might be affected by this?

AY: I think that the free-speech laws in America are so good that it protects my rights. So yeah, I’m not worried about that. And let’s say that in a stroke of horrible luck I do get arrested then it will stir up another big media controversy.

I believe that I will not get deported back.

ET: Are you estranged from your family, or are you on speaking terms with them?

AY: My mom, I have a close relationship with her and she asks me about how things are so, yeah I have a good relationship with her.

ET: They’re not terribly worried about you?

AY: I think that they’re frighteningly worried about me. Defending pedophilia, people are asking for my deportation and I’m struggling to get money to be financially independent.

ET: How is that going?

AY: It looks like there’s progress and I hope that there will be more progress trying to get money on Patreon. Please donate! Patreon.com/amosyee .

ET: Well, good luck with that. It might serve as an index on the acceptability of pedophilia if you do well on Patreon [laughter].

ET: You live near Chicago, now right?

AY: I don’t live near Chicago, I’m in Chicago.

ET: You wrote on Facebook recently “Damn! I am so unpopular now. My Facebook posts gets as many likes and comments now as the secondary school kid who sits at the back of the class. Is anybody there? Hello? Hello?” So, obviously that was written post-coming-out as a supporter of pedophilia.

AY: The average time that I cause controversy is about one or two times a year and there will always be big stretches when I am unpopular. I’m not in the mood for super-great popular content, right now. I’m confident that, whenever I’m in the mood and want to be in the center of attention and controversial again and make a video with mass appeal, I think I will go back up in views again.

ET: Is the view in Singapore and Asia on pedophilia as bad as it is here because of Western influence or is it just intrinsic?

AY: I’m very unfamiliar with the view on pedophilia in Asia. As soon as I made my views known on pedophilia, it was Westerners who shit themselves. Singaporeans hardly reacted, some of them expressed disagreement but many of them seemed indifferent but that may be because it was so extreme.

ET: If you take homosexuality, the views have been very intolerant in Asia but many of those countries, including Singapore, were colonies of the British or other European countries so maybe that view had its origin in Europe rather than in Asia. India is a good example of a culture that had a very different view of sexuality before it was colonized by England and now has a much more puritanical view of sexuality, indeed far more so than does its former colonial master now have.

AY: I have absolutely no idea on that. In my view, Westerners have a much greater reaction to my views on pedophilia but that it will take far longer for Asian countries to be more accepting of pedophilia than America.

ET: It will take longer, you think, even though the U.S. reactions are stronger?

AY: Yeah.

ET: Because Asians take much longer to change their values even though Americans have much more extreme reactions to pedophilia?

AY: The way I see it is, because there is such a strong reaction is because there is discussion about it and discussion is the next level to creating change. This discussion hasn’t even started in Asian countries so they are much more backward in accepting pedophilia than in the West.

ET: My speculation is that American media and Western NGOs and the U.S. and European governments have influenced other countries, including Asian countries, to become hysterical about things like child prostitution.

AY: I think so.

ET: What do you think the possibility is of young people of your generation changing their minds about pedophilia?

AY: I think that younger generations are becoming more accepting of diversity and can change their mind on pedophilia.

Second Conversation, a few days later:

ET: Your YouTube channel was shut down last week after complaints from advertisers and undoubtedly the anti-pedo mob who patrol social media. YouTube accounts generally don't last very long after someone announces their support for pedophilia. Did you know that this would probably happen?

AY: I didn't know explicitly and right now I think I’m still of the opinion that you can get away with defending pedophilia and stay on the platform for awhile. I had debates where I stated my opinion promoting pedophilia and they were allowed on YouTube if it’s like a debate format. It was when I began to directly defend pedophilia, that it got taken down. It could be that there is a way around it and I encourage other people for whom this is important to test the waters. YouTube might have the conventional view that defending pedophilia is defending sexual abuse and obviously that’s horseshit.

I would encourage people, although there is a high probability that pro-pedo channels will be taken down to just make a YouTube account and try to promote their ideas. Unfortunately, YouTube is now a monopoly so it’s very important and after it gets taken down to then worry about what to do next.

ET: You obviously enjoy outraging society. Some people may suspect that you undertook this latest campaign simply to take this further. How do you respond to that?

AY: That is true to an extent. I think that you can truly show that you promote truth and logic and that what’s best for the world is not to defend practices and policies that are already popular. To defend third-wave feminism or healthcare is way more popular than pedophilia, so I stepped it up a notch to prove that I am truthful and principled, even though the truth comes at a big cost to my reputation and stunts my growth as a content producer.

ET: What do you make of the people who harass those who defend pedophilia online? What drives them? Should they be taken at face value as sincere actors or does something else drive them?

AY: I think that those people are scumbag pieces of shit, horrible people, just following the misinformation that pedophiles are harmful people when all of the research shows - and go to my website: http://amosyeebanana.com [Editor: his website has since been suspended but the articles have been reposted at: https://amosyee.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/studies-supporting-pedophilia ] that over 91% of pedophile relationships are harmless. It also misdirects the fact that real abuse comes not from strangers but from family members or acquaintances. So this perception that the media proliferates that it’s this creepy stranger that sexually abuses a kid is absolute bullshit. In terms of their sincerity [the online anti-sex abuse campaigners] their hatred is, I think sincere, in terms of killing a pedophile although most probably wouldn’t actually do that since they’re hiding behind a computer screen and they’re emboldened to do it but the hate is genuine. But that’s an interesting point because many pedophiles, they get their perception of how people treat pedophilia from the Internet, if you just look at comments, it seems like pedophiles are all living in concentration camps but I think that it is overstated and that pedophiles, because they’re all very paranoid about speaking-up and revealing themselves as pedophiles. While I think that the perception of them is negative, it’s not to the extent where people would commit harm to you. There’s still a risk but, let’s say that we have pedophile rallies on the streets, people would just be puzzled, they’d wonder what’s going on and they might be hated but I think that there’s the smallest chance that someone would go up to them and beat them. Unless it is planned.

ET: Do you think that their outspokenness is out-of-proportion to their actual numbers, that there’s a few who make a lot of noise and color perceptions of this societal anger and hostility? Is it exaggerated because there are a few people who are so obsessive about it?

AY: That’s what I’m saying and because of that pedophiles are so paranoid on the Internet because I think that that is how we can progress, to further this movement is to get them to speak up and to say “I’m a pedophile and I’m proud of it.” I’ve been to some of the meetings, the support groups and they’re creating this fear-mongering environment. They say that those who come-out are stupid and naive and they should just be safe and go along with their life. Saying it to their own kind. I am fine with them, maybe it’s strategic with their lives, they don’t want to lose their jobs but other people who have the courage to speak up, don’t discourage them because they are the people who actually create progress. Without these people taking risks because you’re just concerned about stability, there’s never going to be any progress. Gays had to go out and risk being hated so we could have the gay movement. Blacks, too. So we need pedophiles to come out and stop being so fucking fearful. There is a very high chance, when they come out, that some people will get hated, will get doxed, will get killed but that’s inevitable when we want to create change.

ET: So, accept the danger and know that, without risk, there is no possibility for progress.

AY: Exactly! And don’t discourage your own fucking side. These people are so counterproductive.

ET: Do you think that’s more likely with your generation, to step-up and to become more visible?

AY: Yeah, it’s more likely because our generation is the most fortunate generation because we’re not all in the past where we’re all just thinking about making money and surviving to feed the family. Most of us have enough stability to have peace of mind for... we’re trying to innovate to create social change so people are more likely to find a cause that imbues them with purpose and defending pedophiles would be one of those causes.

ET: How much time did you spend on this subject before you made your own announcement that you supported pedophilia? Obviously, you’ve read some studies, done some research – how long does that go back?

AY: The funny thing is that I first formed these ideas about child pornography and pedophilia about two years ago and not from the pedophile community which I only really interacted with recently like a few months ago. It all stems from just thinking. When I was sixteen I was far more interested in stirring shit than I am now – I’m still interested in stirring shit to an extent and creating controversy but I was thinking about little antics that I could do and one of them was I was thinking of creating pornography of me. So I discussed it with some friends and said “Wouldn’t that be interesting?” And they said, “That’s illegal!” And I thought, “Well, that’s very strange. I’m sixteen years old and I want to produce pornography and it’s not hurting anyone but it’s illegal?” I don’t know, would they arrest me for producing that?

ET: In the United States, they would, yes. There are plenty of kids now who’ve been prosecuted for producing pornography of themselves.

AY: And they’re put on the sex registry for life, right?

ET: This varies by state. Some are not putting them on for life. California does put them on for life and some others do, too. It makes you wonder about the sincerity of those who are acting, ostensibly on behalf of the welfare of kids when they’re willing to prosecute kids for child pornography.

AY: For creating their own child pornography.

ET: I think it gives lie to that whole conceit that they have that they are acting on behalf of children.

AY: Exactly!

ET: You know, child nudity was not illegal in the U.S. or Europe until recently, within the last decade or so that nudity, by itself, has become illegal. It sort of happened without most of us even noticing that it had happened. All of a sudden, people were being prosecuted for child pornography when it was just simple nudity. There was the whole naturist movement, the nudist movement, and they would go places, nudist colonies, nudist camps, nude beaches and, of course, in Europe where it was far more widespread and included many families, parents and children. So there was a tolerance of nudity and people, including children, could be nude in those places and their were naturist publications in which adults and children were pictured naked. Now, however, there is a conflation of child nudity with pornography which has made it completely illegal. You know, back in the early-to-mid ‘70s, child pornography was completely legal, at least at the federal level, for a few years because pornography, in general, had become, essentially, legal. There was child porn in adult bookstores, it is said and it didn’t become explicitly illegal until the late ‘70s when the first child pornography statutes were enacted.

AY: Oh, that’s very interesting. I know that they’ve done studies on Japan and Denmark and it was found that, when child pornography became illegal, abuse went up.

ET: Well, I think when the laws become so insane it puts kids at increased risk.

AY: It’s ironic, isn’t it? They say that it is for safety of the kids when, in fact, these laws are actually increasing real abuse. I don’t know what the psychology is, maybe because people are less likely to rape when they can view porn and mellow-out a bit, but it’s a fact that they put kids at risk of being harmed.

ET: You know, there are reports that most child pornography today is produced by children with webcams and iphones, not adults.

AY: Yeah, I assumed that. I think most adults today wouldn’t even dare photographing their kids just taking a shower.

ET: Well, how do you think that society got so crazy on the subject of pedophilia?

AY: I don’t know. I’m not up on the history, I’m just concerned with the policies, right now, and not the history. We’re really non-liberated, we’re imprisoning pedophiles that are innocent and it’s completely disgusting.

So, when I found out that child porn was illegal, when I was sixteen, I just developed a view why it should be legal and I made my first video “Why child pornography should be legal” and that caused a huge stir. Later, Harvard invited me to speak because I criticized the government and got arrested. But then they canceled my speech because of my views on child pornography.

ET: Yeah, not THAT speech, you’re not supposed to defend THAT speech! [laughs]

AY: I wasn’t even going to talk about child pornography but, just because out of that one opinion, alone, out of hundreds of them that I’ve made, they wouldn’t give me a platform.

ET: It seems that you’re just being shut-down by all of these private companies who can kill your channel whenever they feel like [referring to YouTube and Paypal and (temporarily) Twitter]. Twitter took down Tom O’Carroll and he hadn’t even said anything. They just did it based on his reputation and because the outrage mobs started flagging him. So this whole thing is kind of flummoxing where you’re not saying anything illegal but because these platforms are private and the owners are so averse to this controversy, you can be removed from the public square because the public square is privately owned. It’s an interesting emerging phenomenon.

AY: They are private services and they can do whatever the hell they want. In my opinion, it is not a free-speech issue, them taking down my channel. I’d be in favor of them wiping-out all of the right-wing channels.

ET: Well, I agree that, because it is a company censoring you it is not a free-speech issue in that it is not the government censoring you. It is within YouTube’s right to do so. I don’t know that it makes sense from a business standpoint to be so censorious but, obviously, they think it is. They come under a lot of pressure from all of these factions, including the anti-pedo faction, to censor people like us.

AY: If you’re an atheist convention you wouldn’t platform a Muslim unchallenged, spreading his hateful Islamic ideology. The ironic thing is that I fought for free-speech legal rights in my home country of Singapore and I got arrested for criticizing the government and religion. But right now, in America, they’re bludgeoning the word “free-speech” because they’re not given a platform to spread their stupid ideas. People delete comments which I make, I delete comments and ban users and they say it’s anti-free-speech when it’s just that we don’t want to give you more platforms to spread your fucking garbage. You should not be arrested for spreading your garbage, that is free speech but in terms of helping you to spread your awful garbage, that’s not a free speech issue.

ET: So, if they have their own servers, they’re free to spread their garbage, would you agree with that?

AY: Yeah. Legally, yeah.

ET: So you’re not arguing for government censorship of these people?

AY: Legally, they have a right to speak it. I just see it as YouTube platforming these people, it’s promotion and you would not want promotion for ideas that you disagree with and I think that people would say that, okay, you ban all the right-wingers, that’s bad. But the thing is, if you ban all the right-wingers, they migrate to some other platform and YouTube would cease to be a monopoly.

ET: And that would be good, right?

AY: Exactly, that would be good! And YouTube would be devalued and slowly would just be like the Internet before and everyone just had their own platforms and websites, I think that would be ideal. More freedom, you wouldn’t have to follow YouTube’s censorious rules. Right now, they’re biased towards people who aren’t vulgar or use vulgar language which they de-monetize. When they stop being a monopoly, that would be great.

ET: Are there any other points you’d like to make?

AY: I wasn’t planning to defend pedophilia right when I came out of jail. I was planning to do more criticism of the Singapore government but then Harvard pissed me off by dis-inviting me and I needed to explain myself better. I made the relatively viral “Why Pedophilia Is Alright” and that attracted the pedophile community to me and began debates and discussions. Right now it’s just fun interacting with the pedophile community and I’m refining the way I’m proliferating my message to make it as effective as possible.

ET: So, you’re going to take it further than you have, now?

AY: For example, in many of the debates which I have, people frame the debate as “Are children able to consent to a sex act?” I find that irrelevant and confusing and leads only to squabbles about the semantics of consent. I’m trying to change the trajectory from “consent” to “harm.” There are a plethora of studies that show that over ninety-percent of relationships between minors and adults are harmless and even beneficial to children.

ET: You would still agree that consent be required in any relationship, right?

AY: Yeah, sure.

ET: But you think that the argument has been focused on that to the exclusion of the harm issue?

AY: Of course, yeah. It obviously should be consensual but I think that the main distinction, to convince people, is about harm. They claim that it is non-consensual, therefore it is harmful but most research shows that it is harmless and [if that were demonstrated to them] they would be more willing to defend pedophiles whereas if you frame it as a consent thing, it’s confusing.

ET: There’s a whole industry that has built this bulwark against intergenerational relationships and they have so many resources and they can just out-shout us and that’s what has happened and that’s what you’re up against.

AY: Oh, yeah it’s intimidating and all of that but frankly irrelevant because truth wins out, in the end.

ET: I have an idea that there are people lying about being victims. Do you have any thoughts on that?

AY: Lying about…

ET: Them being victims. Lying about being victims of abuse. It’s my opinion that there’s lots of people lying about it.

AY: I know that there are studies that show that many of the people that say that they have had a negative experience with an adult, it’s not because of the sexual relationship at that time that they had it, it’s because their parents who convinced them that it was harmful. If in a society where relationships between child and adult are, not only accepted but encouraged then the majority of people would not think that it is harmful at all.

ET: In addition to that, I think that there are people who are just flat-out lying.

AY: Yeah, it’s possible.

ET: I think that there is some sort of illnesses, kind of like Munchhausen's Disease where people fabricate their illness. I think that that is at play, here.

AY: Do they do it just to fuel a narrative that they want to promote?

ET: With Munchhausen's they crave attention and invent illnesses which they pretend to have.

AY: So, it’s mostly because of attention, huh?

ET: There’s also a variant of it call “Munchausen’s By Proxy” where a parent, almost always a mother, makes her children ill. She sets up an elaborate ruse to make her child sick by poisoning them in some form and taking them to doctors continuously to get medical attention. So there’s that pathology out there and my theory is, a lot of women especially, and probably men, too, who claim to have been sexually abused as children, are full of shit.

AY: That’s the thing, these anecdotes are really powerful, aren’t they? They’re like “Oh, I got sexually abused as a child” therefore they make it a reason why we should put innocent pedophiles into jail, give them fifteen years in prison and ruin their lives. As I said, over ninety-percent of pedophiles engage in completely harmless forms of relationships with minors. It’s like withholding rights to gays because of one story about how a guy raped you in the shower. Completely manipulative cherry-picking. It’s so intellectually dishonest.

ET: Part of it is an accessibility issue; availability bias. It’s all that they have available to them, these stories, like John Wayne Gacy back in the ‘70s, say, and so they think that they typify under-age relationships and so that becomes the narrative and they hunt down all pedophiles as monsters.

AY: Yeah, that’s the thing, these shocking stories are the most marketable and because of these stories they make it seem like it represents an entire group when, in reality, it represents a minority of cases, a minority of pedophiles who actually rape children. A similar analogy I can give is immigrants. Most of the illegal immigrants who come to the U.S., they’re harmless, they benefit the economy, but then we have one story where one rapes a child or commits a crime – a small 0.1% of the immigrants to the U.S. - they make it seem that most illegal immigrants are harmful.

ET: Another theory I have is that the whole pedophile outrage machine has to do with its entertainment value.

AY: Sure, I agree.

ET: People are thoroughly entertained by it. I think that it is primitive in that people have always been entertained by stories of the boogeyman, sitting around campfires and telling stories of the threatening, the blood-curdling and the supernatural. Scary monsters are entertaining and I think that this current incarnation of fear of pedophiles is just an extension of that.

AY: Most people are motivated by peer pressure and what’s popular is making fun of the weirdo and right now the weirdos are the people who want to have sex with animals and children. In Singapore, it’s people who are gay.

ET: So, how does pedophilia fit within a larger youth-rights context? Do you take a position on the rights of kids? Do you fit your views on pedophilia within a larger context say, of children’s liberation?

AY: I think that people think that children are stupider than they actually are. They will respond with “You’re just a child” instead of engaging with their capabilities.

ET: I think that people underestimate the capabilities of children. Kids used to have a lot more freedom to explore the world around them.

There was a teacher named “John Holt” who wrote in the 1960s and 70s about the need to liberate kids from the prisons that public schools had become and which he felt were terrible places for kids to learn and develop to become strong and resilient adults. He felt that schools actively harmed children.

AY: I’m of that opinion, too.

ET: He was largely responsible for initiating the movement for children’s liberation which, later, got hijacked by gender-feminists, the ones who really do hate men and who see it as their duty to eradicate all traces of “the male” from society and replace it with a purely female-derived model for governance and for life. So, they co-opted the children’s rights movement and made it synonymous with women authorized by government to exercise children’s rights on their behalf. Really, stripping the last vestiges of personal autonomy from kids that they still enjoyed. That’s what happened to “children’s rights” in this country. It’s really pretty tragic because, what started off as a movement for liberation in the 1960s got hijacked by this sex-obsessed culture of authority. So, the term “children’s rights” is a little like speaking of “The Ministry Of Truth” or “The Ministry Of Love” in Orwell’s 1984. It means the opposite of children’s rights, a stripping-away of any degree of freedom they once had and said to be in the service of protecting them from evil predators. They get no discretion in exercising their rights, the state is going to do it for them.

AY: That is really ironic! Them having more rights means them having less freedom?

ET: Exactly right and the real motivation, at the very beginning, was children’s sexuality. Right from the start. They would soon be joined by Christian fundamentalists who hated gay sex, in particular, as much as gender-feminists hated men and heterosexual sex. With the appearance of Anita Bryant leading the Christian crusade against gays, in 1977, gays began to re-position themselves in opposition to man/boy relationships, and uncritically embrace feminism, in all of its variants, in order to advance the gay movement. This was the beginning of the great child love witch hunt which continues today, the longest-ever such witch hunt and the beginning of the wholesale disenfranchisement of kids who have since been stripped of any genuine authority over their lives.

So, from my perspective, the reason why you had these anti-pedo/anti-kid’s rights movements succeed so spectacularly, is because of these two, greatly distinct forces; radical gender-feminism and Christian fundamentalism, joined together, much of the left-wing and the right-wing, united in this effort.

AY: That’s very interesting. These kinds of left-wingers are also causing harm to feminism today because I think that there is a net-positive to third-wave feminism.

ET: I don’t think that this movement, the anti-child love movement, would have survived without this alliance, early on, of these two extreme political forces. What’s happened since then is that a huge “middle” between those two extremes emerged having completely adopted their paranoid and extreme views on kids and sex and absorbed those values. That’s what we have today.

AY: Talking about people that are supposedly on our side, which we have disagreements with, you’re probably familiar with, there’s “pro-contact” pedophiles and “anti-contact” pedophiles.

ET: Yeah, I don’t like the terminology, “pro-contact.” It comes from the “anti-contact” bunch, to use their term. I don’t use their terminology because it’s used to put words in our mouths and hijack the agenda. They’re full of shit, in general.

AY: So, for the benefit of the audience who doesn’t know, “pro-contact” pedophiles are people who think that they should have the right to engage in harmless sexual acts with children. “Anti-contact” don’t think that people should engage in sexual acts with children although they are pedophile. Do they think that they need help?

ET: Well, the “Virtuous Pedophiles,” you’ve heard of them?

AY: Yeah, so condescending! So, the “pro-contact” ones are not “virtuous,” apparently.

ET: It is condescending and self-congratulatory. So, these are the people who think that they have a pathology and it is to be suppressed at all costs and that they have to abstain forever from having any kind of underage sex. Well, I have to abstain from it, too because I want to keep living outside of prison so we come to the same conclusion but for completely different reasons.

AY: You know, I’m kind of more mixed on it though they are more moderate than us. I’m thinking, is it more strategic to have this moderate faction? For example, the people who win in politics is not that they’re the most right it’s just that they’re in the Overton Window, that is, what is acceptable during the time. So, I would say that, let’s say Bernie Sanders found out that one day we should defend pedophiles, should he actually go on to say that we should defend pedophiles? No, because it’s not strategic for him politically, you know.

ET: Okay, I would argue that they are not more “moderate” than us since moderation implies a shared foundation of essential beliefs. Those don’t exist here. Also, I would point out that we’re not all politicians running for office, are we?

AY: Exactly! That’s why I say that it is really important for radicals, like us, to exist because there would never be any progress without that and make the radical ideas moderate, as time goes on and then politicians will, decades later, enact our policies. Without radicals, there’s no progress. But then I acknowledge that the existence of moderates is politically strategic to create any progress.

ET: I’m not sure what they’re going to achieve, is the only thing, because no part of their message advocates for liberty of any kind, except for a special pleading for sympathy for themselves and the continued vilification of what they call “pro-contacts.”

AY: I think that, if it’s just about strategy and then they dis-associate with the pro-contact pedophiles, then that’s alright, I’d probably be in favor of that but, if they genuinely think that pro-contact people are harmful and shouldn’t exist then that’s where I have a problem and that is the impression that I’m getting. It seems like the only reason why they’re defending pedophiles is not from fact and logic but they’re just biased. They grew up having a sexual attraction to children but their biases makes them promote this ideology.

ET: I know that they do take the position that it’s never okay and that, officially they’re not doing it for strategic reasons although I suspect that some of them are. I think you would find that there’s a mix of people in there some of whom think that it is advancing their cause, somehow, to take what they see as an intermediate position in the short term and then you’ve got these other people who think that it’s never right and always wrong and always will be wrong. The organization, itself, never advocates for less strict laws or lower ages-of-consent or lower criminal sentences or any of that because they think that it would make people suspicious of their agenda or, for that matter, or make themselves appear less virtuous. So they don’t advocate for any of that and they certainly don’t advocate for children’s rights which, as far as I’m concerned, is really where we need to be going. I think the bigger subject is children’s rights and less so intergenerational relationships.

AY: Oh, really? Okay, that’s really interesting.

ET: I really believe that, on a more fundamental level, kids are powerless in our society. They have no power whatsoever and I see that as a wrong that needs to be righted.

AY: That’s interesting. Maybe send me some links because I haven’t seen it from that perspective before.

ET: It would certainly include the works of John Holt. Okay, anything else?

AY: I think that the last thing I’d like to mention is “activist styles.” You know, I have been to different communities, their Discord Groups, and I’ve been kicked-off by both of them.

ET: Really, can you tell me which ones you’ve been to?

AY: Just small communities like “Millenial Centennials” pedophiles like age eighteen-to-thirty but they didn’t like me that much. It’s mostly because of disagreement with how I present myself. The way I present myself in terms of advocating for pedo rights is not the boring, stuck-up, professor who is composed, refined…

ET: Thoughtful and reflective.

AY: I think that’s the conventional view of what makes an effective activist. I completely disagree. I would say that my personality type would be more accessible, right now, to a far-wider audience. Obviously, some people are more receptive to the more refined and composed professor/activist style.

ET: Like me?

Oh, yeah… I’m assuming [both laugh] the older generation and others are more receptive to people like me who are more crude and I think that the importance to not alienate people is to embrace both kinds of activist styles to feel that both styles are important in getting niche audiences, different sections of society because I think people are under the false impression that there’s only one activist style, which is the composed one which is the most effective way to getting as many people as possible and everyone should be that style but it alienates people who are more receptive to people like me, my style.

ET: I agree.

AY: I think that for activism to be effective in promoting our ideas, we should embrace all of the styles.

ET: Have you been to BoyChat or GirlChat?

AY: What’s that?

ET: Those are two forums, probably the oldest such forums for their respective crowds.

AY: Are they more my style?

ET: I think they’re more anyone’s style since so many styles are represented there. I can’t say so much for GirlChat as it’s not my area. But BoyChat gets pretty argumentative and raucous. I think that you would find an audience there. It’s kind of the Wild West with verbal shoot-outs in the middle of the street at High Noon. It gets very loud, for a text-only board and people have been talking about you there so I think you would be welcome.

AY: Oh, really? Well, I might come in. There’s a reason why this very confrontational, loud supposedly hate-filled mobs came after the invention of the Internet. People like these kinds of styles. They don’t like being all sensitive and pansy and thoughtful all of the time, you know?

ET: Well, BC and GC might be right up your alley. They recommend using TOR to protect your identity.

AY: It’s a completely underground website?

ET: No, it’s not the “dark web” or anything like that. It’s not “underground.” It’s completely legal and it gets vigorously moderated to make sure all content is legal. You’re not allowed to say anything illegal while you’re there nor advocate violating any laws. If you say anything to promote illegality, they will kick you off and remove your messages. But it’s not an underground website however, they recommend using TOR to keep people from knowing that you’re visiting there and to anonymize your web browsing. But aside from those restrictions, you can have free-ranging discussions.

One thing I’d like to let you know about is that there are organizations dedicated to fighting these laws which are beginning to make significant progress and have managed to change some laws. They don’t advocate for underage relationships, by any means, but they do solid work in fighting the extremes of hysteria and hysteria-driven laws.

Another thing that I’d like to let you know about is that the term “pedophilia” is often not used by people in this community. I don’t use it, generally. For NAMBLA, it’s “man/boy love.”

AY: Now that you mentioned that, I did think that, between the terms “pedophilia” or “MAP” [Ed: Minor-Attracted Person as is preferred by the organization “B4U-ACT”]. I chose “pedophilia” because that attracts eyeballs and attention whereas no one knows what the hell “MAP” is.

ET: But I think that you should know that many people really don’t like the term “pedophile” because its roots, its origins are in descriptions of psychiatric illness. Despite the term being Greek, its origins are not in ancient Greece or in the efflorescence of man/boy love but in Nineteenth-Century German psychiatry.

AY: I honestly do not care about the historical context of words. Right now, the word “pedophile,” like “gay” before, is now maligned, discouraged. I’m willing to change people’s perception of that word which is why you playfully call someone the “n-word,” I think that’s fine. I would say the “n-word” if I wasn’t at risk of being censored on FaceBook.

ET: So, I think we may be at a natural conclusion to this interview, what do you think?

AY: Yeah, I think that we’ve covered everything.

ET: So, this is going up on FaceBook, too, on your end?

AY: Yeah! Finally, NAMBLA acknowledged me. I treasure this!

ET: Well, I hope that this is one of the better interviews that you have had.

AY: Take, care, Eric. Thank you for the interview.

ET: You, too Amos. Thanks a lot for your time!

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