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« MAJOR STORY ABOUT TO BREAK...STAND BY FOR FURTHER DETAILS | Main | Benson Pope expected to resign »


Sam Vilain

What's that scraping sound? Sounds like the bottom of the barrel.

John Boy

Yeah, it surely is. That's where you have go to find politicians these days.


impeccable timing Ian.


“When it was my turn,” continues the former student who'd refused to jump the vault, “I was brought into the hall. I was bent over and caned once over my trousers by Benson-Pope. I pleaded not to be caned again but was struck once more with the cane.
“I remember Benson-Pope laughing while he caned me, and that's what got me the most. When I got home I realized I had blood on my bum.”

So when Benson-Pope accused Investigate of publishing ridiculous nonsense, he omitted to tell Close Up that the allegations actually came from within the official police file.

“Are you a bully?,” Mark Sainsbury asked Benson-Pope on TV.
“I don’t believe so.”
“Are you a liar?”
“Certainly not!”
The responses to those first two questions from Sainsbury were instantaneous. But the next question appeared to give Benson-Pope something to think about, and if you study his response carefully you’ll see he actually did not answer the question directly.

“Are you a pervert?”
(four seconds of silence, so questioner moves to fill the pregnant pause)

Does anybody really think it is about consenting adults?

John Boy

Yep, it is, if you stretch it enough, consenting adults. Political speak these dark days sees kids as young adults - hence a move to lower the age of sexual consent for kids to 12. Adult child sexual consent would be the next logical step. Its easy to mentally sidestep the consent bit (when you are in a position of dominance)if you are disfunctional and can't wait to have a McJackson.

Mort Whitman

Dear Heidi

Re your husband's recent article on Investigate Magazine Online titled "The Secret Life of the Minister for Social Development" please consider the validity and ethical nature of his alledged claims considering in the article's need for an Ethical Guideline in which he states:

13. That Green MP Sue Bradford’s labeling of pro-smacking campaigners as
sexual deviants llustrates that sado-masochism is not regarded as normal,
even among the Greens.

Which begs me to ask dear Heidi is your husband prone to lying or does he feel lying was justified in this article? For what Sue Bradford did say is:

"Personally, I have no problem with sadomasochism carried out between
consenting adults using safe sex practices – what I do have a problem with
is a legacy of hidden sexual violence practised on children and young people
under a mantle of so-called discipline."

Which leads nicely on to his last bullet point:

16. That sado-masochism is recognized in psychology textbooks and journals
as "destructive" and "a form of sexual perversion", "alongside behaviours such
as child sexual abuse and rape" (Sexualities, Vol 4, No.3, 293-314, 2001) *

And when you are done asking him that dear Heidi, can you please ask him to point out to me where in the study cited does the word "destructive" and/or the phrase "a form of sexual perversion" appear in relation to sado-masochism?

Considering I have now searched the document a number of times and not having found these words, I am want to know why your husband Heidi, insults his readers in such a manner? If you or your husband dear Heidi are yet to read the study in it's entirity you can find a cop of it here: Sexualites Vol 4(3): 293–314, Taylor G & Ussher J, Making Sense of S&M: A Discourse Analytic Account

And while he's stumbling over his tongue trying to explain that one dear Heidi can you please ask your husband for his thoughts on reporting fact vs fiction? As an example he states on page 6:
"given that BDSM is still listed by psychiatrists as a mental health problem."

Please bring to your husband's attention that BDSM is not listed in the American diagnosis list DMS-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and never has been.

Guidelines for the diagnosis of Sexual Sadism (SS) or Sexual Masochism (SM) as paraphillias however are. But don't go popping the champagne just yet, for in 1994 the American Psychiatric Association's added modifying criteria that with both masochism and sadism, both A & B criteria for diagnosis must be met in order to make a diagnosis of a mental disorder. That is, the fact that you have SS or SM fantasies and urges "[they] must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning" in order for a mental disorder or impariment to be diagnosed.

So can you please ask your husband dear Heidi why he is at pains to point out, wrongly I will add, to his readers that consensual sado-masochism is a paraphillia despite the fact that 12 years ago the DMS was modified to reflect the current psychiatric discourse that it was not, and that 11 years ago Denmark took the political decision that the disease classification for sado-masochism would no longer be used in the indexing of (psychiatric) diseases

Also dear Heidi your husband states in his article that:

"The psychology of sado-masochism has been covered in medical journals and
psychology text books. "Sado-masochism is described as pathology in current
psychological and psychiatric textbooks," write the authors of one scientific
study in the journal Sexualities, Vol 4, no 3, in 2001, "and is often discussed
alongside behaviours such as child sexual abuse and rape. Individuals who engage
in SM are invariably positioned as experiencing intra-psychic conflict
ameliorated through the displacement of the sexual drive."" (pg 6)

However the abstract for the study that this part of his article quotes, the authors' readily go on to state that this "is a limited and one dimensional analysis of a complex phenomenon."

The study further states that subsequent theories have therefore tended to concerntrate on the pathology of SM, in that "they have tended to assume priori that those who engage in SM are psychologically unwell, despite many empirical studies testifying to the relative psychological health of those who engage in SM".

The study further discusses the participants’ adherence to their own rituals and conventions, likening SM to religious flagellation and to "non-western spiritual practices involving the endurance and infliction of pain and suffering."

The references to non Western practices is worth further consideration given Dorothy Hayden, CSW, a New York-based psychotherapist who specializes in fetishes and sexual addiction states on her website,

"Mental health professionals in the west criticize Chinese and Soviet therapists
for pathologizing people who hold political beliefs that are not
normative. Western clinicians, however, make a similar mistake when they
pathologize people who have unconventional sexual predilections and

Taylor & Ussher go on to state the accounts of SM presented in their study "cannot be seen in a vacuum" as they "reflect broader social trends in relation to sexuality and sexual expression" and suggest psychological theories "need to be able to incorporate variability, contradiction and dissent within their abstraction” and for theorists to remain aware of “ freedom and autonomy” of the individual, especially in regard to the role society and culture play “particularly in the definition, regulation and organization of sexuality".

The authors’ go on to suggest that any theorizing about sado-masochism "needs to be firmly grounded in the actual experiences and psychologies of persons who practice SM, rather than making judgmental a priori assumptions."

So while, dear Heidi, your husband professes on page 3 that the intention of his article was to “[not] blow the BDSM community wide open” and I am sure they are extremely thankful to him for that; he does appear to go to absurd lengths to (wrongly) pathologize the practice of BDSM to lend credence to his expose on the alledged sado-masochist activities one David Benson Pope as been that of a man not fit to hold public office.

So it begs the question dear Heidi. Do you agree with your beloved that adults indulging in unconventional consensual sexual activities should remain the domain of shame and public ridicule?

Thus I will leave you dear Heidi with this thought,

“Freedom of speech is like driving a car. We can do it recklessly or responsibly. We can do it without giving thought to its impact upon others, or we can do it carefully, safely, being tolerant of others. The reckless driver has the power to inflict serious injury and grief upon others.”

Mort Whitman


Mort...because you are being very disingenuous, here's a post from a kink psychiatrist in the States complaining about how his profession pathologises people like himself.

He adopts your views, no doubt, but the fact that he's doing so in 2002 belies your claims that BDSM is mainstream in the eyes of mental health:


Mental health theories have changed. Masturbation is okay; women can be sexual; even homosexuality is no longer a mental illness. But psychiatry still pathologizes BDSM, and I maintain that this contributes to shame, secrecy, isolation, and self-loathing within the BDSM community. More concretely, it justifies laws criminalizing S/M behavior, legal decisions to deny child custody to kinky people, and discrimination in job and housing areas. So, it’s more important than you think to fight the psychiatric classification of kinky behavior.

Personally, I’m queer- --bi and kinky. Professionally, I’ve spent over 19 years as the founder and director of IPG Counseling/Institute for Personal Growth, a New Jersey/New York psychotherapy center with two dozen therapists who work with sexual minorities. I’ve had first-hand opportunity to see, in the case of gays and lesbians, how psychiatry damaged people, and how the changes in psychiatric theory and diagnostic nomenclature have contributed to positive social and personal change. I have vivid memories of lesbians and gay men committed to mental institutions simply by virtue of their sexual preference, losing their children because they were, by definition, psychologically unfit, losing jobs because they were considered "sick." But most of all, I have vivid memories of the heavy baggage of shame and self-loathing all gays and lesbians carried because they considered themselves "pathological" and therefore inferior to the rest of society. I have also witnessed an amazing blossoming of pride, more in each younger generation of queer kids.

The same thing can happen in the kinky community if we raise, first, our own consciousness and second, the consciousness of professionals. Let’s start with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association---- the Bible of mental health. The fourth edition of this tome considers us "Paraphiliacs," What this means is…. We are sick simply because of what we fantasize about and/or do, no matter what else we are like as people or how healthy or sick the rest of our lives are.

The DSM IV is not particularly logical in its classification or diagnostic criteria for paraphilias. Some definitions are blatantly ridiculous: you are a fetishist, for example, if silky underwear turns you on but not if vibrators turn you on (vibrators are specifically made for sexual use, underwear is not). Other definitions manage to be both offensive and socially naïve at the same time: part of the definition of a Sexual Sadist is " the person has acted on these sexual urges with a nonconsenting person, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty." In other words, you can be a sadist if you rape and torture someone OR if your wife finds out you have domination fantasies and divorces you OR if you feel personal distress because you’ve been told being a sadist is sick!

Moreover, like the Catholic Church, the DSM IV makes no distinction between fantasy and behavior….. again, the definition for Sexual Sadism only says you have to have "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies….in which the psychological or physical suffering… of the victim (sic) is sexually exciting.."


only adults who indulge in "unconventional consensual sexual activities" in public deserve "shame" and "ridicule".

Mort Whitman

Dear Heidi's husband

Your response dear Heidi's husband does beg me to ask the following question of your wife.

Why dear Heidi does your husband insist on quoting, err make that selective quoting, first a study that both supports psychiatric tolerance and further investigation of consensual sado-masochism activities when diagnosing paraphillias when said paraphillias are practiced between informed adults and suggests past and current psychiatric discourse is "a limited and onedimensional
analysis of a complex phenomenon"? And then in a reactionary reply to my posting my findings of the study cited in the article by your husband dear Heidi he cut & pastes another psychiatrist's article supporting the study's conclusion? Is there something dear Heidi that your beloved is not sharing with the group?

Nevermind answering that dear Heidi, unlike your dear husband Heidi I do not condone the practice of publically calling for someone to defend, confirm or deny their sexual proclivities. And unlike your husband dear Heidi I am not keen to baffle your husband dear Heidi's readers with information they can readily source themselves if the notion of consensual sado-masochism as a paraphillia interests them.

So where that leaves us my dear Heidi in light of your husband's response dear Heidi, is my begging to know when will your husband dear Heidi accept responsibility for the leaps of hysteria made in his latest Benson Pope expose` that have left him wide open to be called to task on the lack of journalistic integrity shown in said article?

I am sure I will positively pee my pants waiting for your husband dear Heidi to succinctly defend this lastest story without once again insulting his readers' intelligence. Because questions have been raised and said article's author, that would be your husband dear Heidi, lack of personal and journalisitic integrity is clear to many in the conclusions it asks it's readers to make based on false information.

So until that time dear Heidi, I am inclined to continue my thoughts that the article a Flounder, as in it lies like a flat fish.


Shane Ponting

Mort, all I can say is - AYE?!?!?! Seriously, it's like you smoked something really good or really bad (depending on how you look at it) before writing the above.....

And I'm sure Heidi *isn't* interested in you, so stop writing to her before Ian KO's you lol


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